Ibstock Community College Newsletter - September 2019


Dear Parents, Carers, Students and Friends,

Here we are already at the end of September and what an exciting start to the academic year it has been! I was so proud to welcome our students back to school looking so smart and ready to learn in their new uniforms. Thank you for your continued support with this. On our visits to lessons, students are engaged and enjoying challenging lessons that are knowledge rich. 'Do now tasks' help teachers to assess the impact of the knowledge organisers and outside of the classroom the students are polite and respectful towards staff and each other following our school motto of “Respect and Pride brings Success”.

Assemblies this term have focused on Safer travel, European Day of Languages and the launch of Routes to Resilience with Mr Hemmerman. This involves tutor groups working together to challenge themselves eg, learning to crochet, to juggle or even learning to speak Italian! It will be interesting to review the progress throughout the year. Let’s not forget Mrs Barber’s Book Buzz assembly for Year 7, which introduced a wealth of interesting books for the students to choose from perfect for their 20:20:20 homework.

Open evening was another great opportunity to showcase the magic of Ibstock to prospective parents and students. Over 60 current students volunteered to help out as tour guides, assisting in faculties, presenting to parents or performing in the hall. I am so proud of our wonderful students and staff whose efforts made the evening very special.

It is great to see so many students taking part in extra curricular events this year. Our sports teams continue to perform well, there are even more students taking extra music and singing lessons and next week Mr Pilcher will be welcoming Year 9 parents to school for the information evening for this year’s Wales trip. It really is busy!

As the weather turns cooler and inclement please ensure that students wear an outdoor waterproof coat over their blazer.

Don’t forget that we have a Halloween Year 7 disco on Thursday 31st October as a welcome and a well done - they have had such a positive start to this term.

What have our staff been up to?

Welcome to our new staff:

  • Sophie McMahon – Faculty Leader for Humanities – Yr 7 tutor
  • Laura Clarke – MFL – Yr 7 tutor
  • Carys Tudor - D&T – Yr7 tutor
  • Colin Mayhew – Art – Yr7 tutor
  • Mandy Howe - English
  • Sarah Winsland – Data Manager
  • Clare Houghton – Finance Assistant

All school staff completed behaviour management training by March Training and Development during the August training days.

Teachers were invited to listen to educational author and blogger David Didau.

Congratulations to Miss Foster, pastoral manager for Yr 9 who has successfully completed her Masters in Inclusion and SEN from Birmingham University. It is such an achievement to complete such important research whilst working so hard at the college. We are all very proud of her!

Mr Mason , Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning across the college has been looking into Kyra action research opportunities for our staff to engage with and enhance their teaching.

Mrs Grimadell has completed her Designated Teacher training which fits into her new additional role as pupil premium coordinator.

Mrs Merry, Assistant Principal for Behaviour and Inclusion has completed her DSL safeguarding training along with Mr Mason, Mrs Bedwell and Mrs Wheeler.

Mrs Cobley and Mrs Webster – pastoral managers are now qualified to run a Living with Teenagers course, watch out for further details on the website.

20:20:20 Homework

A significant feature of the student learning experience from this year at Ibstock Community College has been the introduction of 20:20:20 homework. This involves your child completing 20 minutes of My Maths, 20 minutes reading and 20 minutes of knowledge organiser work each night, during the college week. As a team, here at Ibstock, we passionately believe that this structured form of completing work at home can have significant benefits when it comes to the learning of your child. Not only will it help develop the powerful knowledge needed by each student to progress in all subjects, preparing for the rigours of GCSE study, but also develop key life skills of organisation.

Alongside this, we want to provide help and guidance to parents/carers and students when it comes to aspects of the 20:20:20 homework.

My Maths is an online programme that students are familiar with. Each student should have a login and designated tasks to complete. Should any login problems occur, please ask your child to speak to their Maths teacher. The My Maths tasks can help you to test your child a bit more should you wish to provide further challenge.

If your child is a reluctant reader, finding a book, magazine article or website that is related to something your child is interested in can help with engagement in reading. The important thing here is to help your child identify something to read that is age appropriate, both in content and challenge. It can help build confidence in learners when they are able to follow the text with a more experienced reader. This can help recognising the sounds of more difficult words, taking the fear out of reading, building confidence and engagement in reading, therefore boosting attainment in education. Reading, well, is such an important part of every child’s education and we are committed to ensuring all learners become the best reader they can during their time with us . To support this each student spends one tutorial period each week completing silent reading. Further assistance is provided through the RRC (Reading and Research Centre) at college, with Mrs Barber on hand to assist any student in selecting a book free of charge or with any wider reading recommendations. As a college, we are also working on a recommended reading list for our website for students, parents and carers to access.

The purpose of the knowledge organiser tasks is to provide students with the opportunity to develop the key, powerful knowledge needed in each subject in order to make progress. As we move through the college year, subjects will develop more knowledge organisers which will allow students to revisit work they have done. In other words, by the time June 2020 comes round, students will be expected to study the knowledge organiser that contains the powerful knowledge being learned in September 2019. The aim is for the knowledge learned to move into long term memory.

Top Tips for 20:20:20

  • Spend time with your child planning out their week to support the completion of 20:20:20 homework. This will develop organisation and time management skills the student planner can be used for this.
  • If your child is a reluctant reader, sitting and reading with them can help build confidence and engagement in reading more challenging words.
  • Purchase a folder for your child to keep their work in.
  • Ask your child about the book they are reading. Give them a quick quiz on the content of the knowledge organisers or test them further with more Maths questions.
  • Your child must make a note, in their planners, about the homework completed. This is checked by form tutors each week. Parents and carers should also sign the planner to confirm that the work in the planner has been completed.

Thank you for all the support and encouragement you are giving your child with their 20:20:20 homework. I passionately believe it will enhance your child’s learning and prepare each learner for the many challenges of GCSE exams.

For more information on homework expectations, to view the Autumn term schedule and access to all the Knowledge Organisers please visit the homework page of our website http://www.ibstockcollege.leics.sch.uk/homework

If you have any questions regarding 20:20:20 homework please contact James Mason, Assistant Principal, Teaching and Learning. j.mason@ibstockcollege.co.uk

Student Attendance

Attendance at school is shown to be a good indicator of future success, employment and well-being. The evidence shows that half of all students with below 90% attendance (on average) fail to get 5 ‘good’ GCSE grades (including English and Maths). We know that you want your child to be successful and that is our goal – attendance is an important tool in delivering that success. The college wants all of its students to attend regularly and this is why we have set a target (for all students) of 95% or above. Significant numbers of students get 100% and this is a real achievement.

Regular attendance is important. Students who miss learning never really catch up and it is this ‘lost learning’ that has the most impact. Regular attendance builds effective habits for the future – particularly when it comes to future employment.

There are strict rules around how a school manages attendance, we cannot authorise absence for family holidays. If a child is not in college and no reason is given, then the college must unauthorise the absence. In certain cases, the college may have no choice but to issue fixed penalty notices for non-attendance.

You can help us improve your child’s attendance by:

  • Talking to your child about the importance of attending school and explaining to them that absence from school will have a real and long lasting effect on them.
  • Encourage your child to attend school regularly and make them take responsibility for getting themselves up in the morning, and getting here on time. Explain to them that the habits that they are developing now are habits for the future.
  • Telephone the college if your child is absent, for any reason, – you must always give a reason for the absence. It is the responsibility of parents/carers to inform the college of the reasons for an absence. If no reason is given (or no contact is made) then your child will have an unauthorised absence mark on their record. If you child has a number of unauthorised absences then this can result in fixed penalty notices being issued. This is something that we do not want to happen.
  • If your child is ill then they can still access the knowledge organisers on the website – this will help them to limit the impact of their absence.
  • Ensure that your child gets enough sleep – the college has a policy of recommending to parents that all students are ‘offline after nine’. There is clear evidence that screen-time (after 9pm) has a real and significant effect on quality and length of sleep. Sleep is important in the proper function of the immune system, improving memory and recall and in maintaining appropriate mood and positive mental health.
  • If you are struggling to get your child into college then please contact your child’s pastoral manager. They can give good advice and help support you.


We continue to remind students of the school uniform requirements. Now the weather has changed, becoming colder and wet, please ensure your child has an appropriate coat to wear over their blazer.

The new uniform policy requires a plain coat that is black, navy or dark grey, with no contrasting details or logo. Having said that we do not want families to have the expense of buying second coat if your child currently has a suitable coat that is another dark colour.

Should you need to replace your child's coat in the future we ask that it is back, navy or dark grey as required in our uniform policy.

For more information please visit; http://www.ibstockcollege.co.uk/uniform-information

Routes to Resilience

In an ever changing world, best preparing students for future successes in employment and in their personal lives is a great challenge. A rapid rise in the use of smart technologies and robotics in society means that the world of work is always evolving.

We strive to prepare our students in the best ways possible, but it is inevitable that some of the information we teach in the present, may change or be outdated in the near or distant future.

In response to this, we feel it is important to focus on the characteristics that our students develop, as well as the knowledge. By partaking in the ‘Routes to Resilience’ initiative we have been able to identify areas where we can develop these characteristics.

The characteristics we have been focussing on at Ibstock, since last year are, Resilience, Listening & Communicating, Respect, Courage & Risk Taking and Creativity & Imagination. Last year we introduced a nominations system, whereby students and staff can nominate each other when we have seen evidence of any of these characteristics.

This year, we are taking the next step and incorporating resilience based activities into our tutorial lessons. Each form group has decided to take on a new skill that is designed to challenge resilience and some of the other desired characteristics. Some examples of the activities selected are, Juggling, Sign Language, Origami, Touch Typing, Crochet and Italian.

It is hoped that by showing resilience, courage, risk taking and respect we can, in our form groups, begin to master these skills by the end of the year.

We look forward to keeping you updated!

Book Buzz

To encourage our Year 7 students in their reading for 20:20:20, we have joined the Bookbuzz initiative from Book Trust. Each Year 7 student will get to choose a book from a range of 17 books – no cost to students. The research behind this programme has shown that the transition from primary to secondary school is a crucial time when formative attitudes towards reading develop. Receiving a book has been shown to increase motivation to read. The aims of Bookbuzz are to provide an opportunity for schools to:

  • focus on reading for pleasure;
  • develop students’ abilities to choose books; and
  • develop a whole school reading culture.

What Year 7 think so far.....


Please ensure your child has sufficient balance on their ParentPay account in order for them to purchase food and drink during morning break and lunchtime. We are not able to loan students money for food. If you have not received a ParentPay password please contact icc.admin@ibstockcollege.co.uk

If you feel you may be entitled to free school meals please visit https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals

A free school meal allowance is £2.45 a day which can be spent during morning break or lunchtime.


Insight will give you easy access to personalised information for your child's life at Ibstock Community College. This includes attendance, achievement points, behaviour, parents’ evening information and much more. You will be able to find student assessment information here as well as their annual report.

Parent Lite

Update information such as medical details, dietary needs and contact information with SIMS Parent Lite. In a move to improve home-school communication, we are adopting a more paperless approach to contacting parents and carers.

Please ensure you have activated your account and update your child's information as required. If you have not received an activation email please contact icc.admin@ibstockcollege.co.uk

Contact with College

There may be times when you need to speak to a member of staff. In order that we may facilitate this please ensure you make an appointment with the appropriate person, all contacts details can be found on our website http://www.ibstockcollege.co.uk/staff-list-

Due to the commitments of a school day, should you arrive without an appointment we cannot guarantee that a member of staff will be available to speak with you.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Upcoming dates

Y7 Tutor Evening - Thursday 10 October

October half term begins Friday 11 October

Year 7 Halloween disco - Thursday 31 October

Year 9 Parents' evening - Thursday 7 November and Tuesday 12 November

For further dates and information please visit http://www.ibstockcollege.co.uk/content/calendar.php

Contacting the college

Tel: 01530 260705

Email: icc.admin@ibstockcollege.co.uk

Website: www.ibstockcollege.co.uk

Medical Conditions

Individual Health Care Plans - if you child has an IHCP please notify us of any changes so we remain up-to-date with your child's medical needs. Likewise, if your child has been diagnosed with a new medical condition, they may need an IHCP putting in place.


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