Reading Girls' School newsletter - 9 OCTOBER 2020

Principal's message: "Our Hybrid Classrooms have received media interest"

SCHOOLS WEEK is a nationwide digital weekly educational newspaper that reports on all aspects of UK education. They saw coverage of our Hybrid Classrooms on social media and asked if they could use our school as the headline for their report on online learning. Here is a link to the article that they have since tweeted.

Also this week, Ofsted published their briefing notes on a pilot study that they conducted across 121 schools in early September. The purpose of the study was to give them a barometer to use when they visit schools across the country this term to see how schools have reopened and coping with the challenges they face.

We have compared our provision to that found in their pilot study. Please take time to read pages 28-33 of our ‘Covid-19 provision strategy’. We feel that our provision is significantly better than what Ofsted are using as a barometer.

Although we review provision on a daily basis, next week we will begin a full-scale review of this term’s provision and conclude on 21st October 2020. I will include a link in next week’s newsletter article to our parent survey to gather your feedback. We also will be asking the girls and staff to provide official feedback to inform our special year group assemblies on Friday 23rd October where we will report the findings and set out any amendments to our safety steps around the school ahead of term 2. I will publish a full copy of the findings and any amendments for your information in the newsletter on 23rd October 2020.

Jon Gargan, Principal

Word of the Week


"My year 7 class tried really hard to include word of the week in their storyboard of Chapter 1 of The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas. It was quite a challenge!" - Mrs Smith

Has your lesson been REAL (Relevant, Engaging, Active Learning)?

Using REAL tokens students have the opportunity to give instant feedback to staff about their experiences within the lesson.

Students are provided with a token and at the end of the lesson, are asked if their lesson has been R.E.A.L. (Relevant, Engaging, Active Learning). Students theen place their token into the 'Yes' or 'No' box, which is in every teaching classroom. Staff then uses this information to make any modification to their delivery of their lesson. These tokens are then collected in at the end of every week and counted.

Results for this week: Monday 5 to Friday 9 October 2020

YES - 2853 tokens

No - 129 tokens

Increasing Student Participation

"Talking Tokens"

Talking Tokens are issued by the classroom teacher and/or teaching assistant to pupils who participate to questions and/or ask questions during lessons. Pupils are encouraged to write their name and year group on the back of the 'Talking Token' and place them into the relevant 'Talking Token' collection box for their year group. At the end of each term, all 'Talking Tokens' are placed together and a pupil is selected at random. The more 'Talking Tokens' a pupil collects for contributing answers to questions in class, the more chances they have to win a prize.

At the end of this week the following number of 'Talking Tokens' collected by each year group were:

  • Year 7 - 646
  • Year 8 - 205
  • Year 9 - 43
  • Year 10 - 154
  • Year 11 - 698
  • Total number of 'Talking Tokens' collected this year across the whole school are 3366.

All meals are provided by Chartwells - a school meal consists of a main meal and a dessert for £2.40 a variety of snacks and drinks are also available.

Chartwells operate a cashless till system, operated by cards. The cards are topped up online using a secure website called ParentPay, if your daughter is eligible for free meals, £2.40 is credited to her card each day. Your daughter will be provided with her card and ParentPay login details on her first day at Reading Girls' School. You can find more information about ParentPay on their website http://www.parentpay.com. The school office is also happy to help with any enquiries.

Follow the link for details of the school menu.

Special Needs Jungle has just released a new online recording of a conversation with SEND lawyers about home education and Education Otherwise Than at School (EOTAS).

Short Breaks

  • Booking opens this week for the short breaks in half-term funded by Brighter Futures! We will email you the details as we get them.
  • Funtastic is a mainstream holiday and term time club that aims to be inclusive for 4 – 15-year olds. It doesn’t do personal care or one to one supervision but could be an option for some of you. They have a half-term club at Sonning and Woodley Primary Schools.
  • Autism Berkshire has started their trampolining sessions in Bracknell for 5 – 7 year olds with autism Please contact Sarah Brown at the Autism Berkshire office on 01189 594 594 or email admin@autismberkshire.org.uk for further details.

18+ Activities

  • The Charity Talk Back aims to promote self-advocacy. They are starting their face to face groups again, plus the phone in or zoom for those not able to attend face to face from the week beginning 19th October - so that's Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st October 10am-12noon.
  • The Wednesday group CAMEO is for adults 18+ who have a diagnosis of autism or are awaiting an assessment. Drop-In Sessions are held at: Abbey Baptist Church, Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BE from 10am – 12pm
  • The Tuesday group Think, Feel, Belong has been created for people with learning disabilities and/or autism who have wellbeing and/or mental health needs, are socially isolated, at risk of crisis, or are otherwise vulnerable. The group aims to increase a person’s confidence. Each week there will be the opportunity to take part in 30 minute mini-workshops in self-advocacy skills, mindfulness, relationships and emotional literacy skills, keeping safe in the community, confidence building and more. Sessions are held at: Abbey Baptist Church 10 am—12noon. Please book in advance as numbers of limited for social distancing measures by emailing sue.pigott@talkback-uk.com or contact Talkback on 01494 43448.

Mental Health

The AnDY Research Clinic is based at the University of Reading and funded through the NHS. They are running a treatment study for 11- 18 young people who experience panic disorder. If your child/young person has panic attacks that are affecting their live and have a GP in Berkshire, they could receive help (either face to face or by video call) while taking part in a study. They have produced a video at https://vimeo.com/449607886 which will tell you more and how to refer.

Autism Berkshire has a new autism and well-being course for parents starting this Wednesday, 7th October.