Letter for Parents – Autumn 2018
Dear Parent/ Carer,
Welcome to the academic year 2018 – 2019. We are a few weeks into term and I thought I would let you know about the work that has taken place at R.E.A.L. Independent School during the Summer break and the term so far.
This term our Key Stage 2 and 3 learners have started work on the topic of “Vikings, were they invaders or traders?” All of the work within each subject area is linked in some way to this topic whilst designed to ensure they cover the National Curriculum at their own level and pace. Next half term our topic will be, “Is North America Great and if so, what makes it great?” This will be the end of our four year topic cycle which has seen a variety of topics including, “Hall of fame, who should be in there?” and “Where would you rather live, the rainforest or Sherwood Forest?” As you can see, each of our topics is based around a question, which encourages deeper thinking and discussion from our learners. All topics have the programmes of study from Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 National Curriculum linked to them to ensure that learners achieve their full potential at an appropriate level for them. The learning manager for your child can give you further information on this topic if you wish and how you can support at home.
Since returning from the summer break our learners in Key Stage 4 and 5 have begun their journey on a range of accredited pathways from Entry Level 1 to Level 3 (equivalent to ‘A’ Level). Learners have chosen to study a combination of GCSE and Functional Skills pathways alongside Vocational Courses including BTEC Sport at Level One, Motor Vehicle Maintenance at Entry 3 and Level 1 and Creative Media at Level 2 and 3.
The PSHE topic for this term is Health and Wellbeing. Learners will be learning about healthy lifestyles including substance and alcohol misuse, the importance of exercise on well being and positive strategies to manage their own feelings and emotions. Learners will also have the opportunity to be involved in awareness raising activities for World Mental Health Day which takes place on 10th October.
Term and INSET Dates
Break up for October half term Friday 26th October 2018
Children start back on Monday 5th November 2018
INSET day – Friday 7th December 2018 –
Break up for Christmas – Friday 21st December 2018
Start back after Christmas Learners – Tuesday 8th January 2019
INSET day – Monday 7th January 2019
Our Celebration events for the Autumn term for Key Stage 2 and 3 will be held at some point during week beginning 17th December 2018. The learning manager for your child will be in touch to let you know the time and place for your child’s celebration. For those learners who cannot cope with large gatherings, a smaller more bespoke celebration event will be arranged.
To celebrate the fantastic achievements from our Year 11 / 12 cohort last academic year, all of whom have transitioned positively to pastures new, we will be holding a celebration event on Friday 23rd November at 1pm. This event will take place at our Woodhouse Road Site and we will be inviting all learners to come back including including those who have left us and moved into employment or education elsewhere. We would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate our learners on achieving some of the highest grades since we opened in 2013 in the summer GCSE exams.
Our school has been working hard to achieve the Gatsby Standards for Careers Education and this term we have begun offering impartial careers information, advice and guidance interviews to all of our Year 11, 12 and 13 learners who are due to transition at the end of the academic year. This term we are also offering learners in Year 11 and 12, who would like to participate, the opportunity to attend the World Skills Show at the NEC. This will take place on Thursday 15th November. Please talk to your child’s Learning Manager if you would like him/her to attend.
For learners in Year 7 and above we now have access to Job Explorer Database which is a fun, interactive tool to explore the different opportunities that are available to them in the world of work. We will also be inviting a guest speaker in this term to come and take part in our new termly ‘Guess my Job’ session.
Charity and themed events
So far this term our learners have raised money for the Macmillan Cancer charity by holding various cake baking events across our many sites. Money is still coming in but initial estimates are that we have raised between £120 and £150 across the sites. Our next large scale charity event is Children in Need, which takes place on November 16th 2018. Learners will be planning all sorts of weird and wonderful events. Your learning manager will let you know what is happening nearer the time. In addition to large scale National events, our learners will take part in more local fund-raising and charitable activities. These include collections for local food banks, bingo afternoons with the local residents at Blidworth and other such activities. If you feel we can help with a local charity near you, please contact your learning manager in the first instance.
Our parent/carer group is still very active and meets regularly to offer support to each other and help us to improve our practices further. Again, this year we are hoping to get guest speakers in to give us advice and support with various issues. If you would like to find out more information about the parent/carer group, please contact the learning manager for your child, who will put you in touch with Ellen Longmate who leads the group.
Holidays during term time
As you may know, the government changed the rules regarding taking young people out of school for holidays a couple of years ago. Schools are no longer allowed to automatically grant permission for learners to have 2 weeks of holiday during term time. Fines of up to £120 per child per week could be issued if children are taken out of school. Often there are a variety of reasons for taking holidays during term time, including cost and over-crowding and some of these are even more valid for our learners. If your child is on the roll of R.E.A.L. Independent school, please ensure you ask your learning manager for a holiday form and fill it in prior to your holiday, giving your reasons for choosing this time of year for the holiday. We will not be able to authorise your child’s absence but will be able to try to help you avoid fines by offering ‘pay back’ opportunities for the days your child misses.
Can we take the time to thank you for your continued support and co-operation this year.
Nikki Purcell and the R.E.A.L. Independent School Team
Thursday 27th September 2018