Our Manor 12-16 October 2020

Message from the Principal

Welcome to another edition of Our Manor. This week we look at the ‘World’ element of our curriculum, introduce you to the Art & Design department, revisit our KS3 formative assessment process and provide updates on some of the great things that are coming up at Manor School.

As we live in an increasingly global and connected society, the World element of our curriculum becomes increasingly important. Developing a knowledge and understanding of our local, regional, national and international context is essential in ensuring that Manor students are prepared for the world they will enter into in their adult lives. In addition, as a school that is predominantly made up of White British students, it is vital that we work hard to recognise and celebrate the diversity that does exist within our school and communities. I hope you enjoy reading about our World roadmap.

In many schools, Art and Design is being side-lined as curriculums are narrowed in order to meet the increasing demands of OFSTED or to chase exam results. At Manor, as with the Arts and Sport, we feel that Art and Design are essential in providing a rich, broad and balanced curriculum, enabling all students the best opportunities to discover and develop their passions. This fits in wholly with our mission of ‘Success for All’ and we have and will continue to invest in providing great resources to support these important subjects.

As restrictions tighten nationally, we continue to adjust and amend our provision to ensure that we can provide safe environments for students and staff. There has been an announcement this week that the majority of the Year 11 and Year 13 exams will be delayed by 3 weeks but at present are fully intending to go ahead. Having said this, the situation is still turbulent and all trial examinations and in-class assessments will be very important in creating the picture of what students know, understand, and can do.

I hope you enjoy this edition of Our Manor.

Jay Davenport, Principal

An introduction to 'World'

Be prepared for the understatement of the year: 2020 has been an eventful year. Protests in Hong Kong. Devastating bushfires in Australia. The UK formally withdrawing from the European Union. The outbreak of COVID-19 across the planet. Protests following the death of George Floyd. And that was only up to May. How many of us knew what the terms ‘furlough’, ‘R-rate’, ‘social distancing’, or ‘herd immunity’ meant at the start of the year?

At Manor School we recognise that our students live in a rapidly changing world: that the world they enter as a Year 7 student could be fundamentally different from the one that they enter when they leave after Year 11 or Year 13. As illustrated this year, it may not even be possible to predict with any accuracy how things can change. For this reason, our World curriculum has been designed to challenge students’ perceptions of other places, asking them to critically evaluate other opinions, and recognise the range of worldviews that exist. Through this approach, students will be critical and reflective learners; they will understand their place in, and have a positive view of, the world. This is routinely embedded across all subject areas, from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 5, where we are continually looking for opportunities to make links between their subject areas and how it applies to the world around them.

We have been using the Sustainable Development Goals to underpin the topics that we explore during our discrete Work World Wellness lessons. These were a global set of aims established by the United Nations to last between 2015 and 2030 to improve the planet. For example, they have targets around eradicating poverty, climate change, our oceans, gender equality, sustainable industry, and peace and justice. Using these goals as our framework, we have then designed our curriculum as a journey from Year 7 to Year 13, with progressively challenging concepts being explored and promoting independence of students. The overall journey can be seen in the World road map below.

What does this mean for students in practical terms? In brief, the following topics are covered over their five-year journey:

  • Year 7 - sustainability, democracy, diversity and prejudice
  • Year 8 - international aid, perceptions of migrants, poverty
  • Year 9 - terrorism, stereotyping, health and wellbeing across the world
  • Year 10 - education systems, improving our area for the future
  • Year 11 - human rights, UK judicial system

The journey continues into A-level, where Year 12 students become much more active by choosing one of the Sustainable Development Goals to focus on, and developing projects to improve the school and later, the local community. Finally, in Year 13 they explore (much of this independently) a series of contemporary challenges facing the planet, including conflict, politics, environment and international co-operation, and present their own opinions on how we can have partnership for these goals.

Our students – your children – will be the decision-makers of the future. Our World curriculum will allow students to face the challenges and grasp the opportunities that the world will provide. We can see with the events of 2020 that we will never be able to fully predict the nature of these opportunities and challenges, but we can be confident that they will make the best decisions for all of our futures.

Jonathan Andrews, Lead for 'World'

Art and Design Department

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and my department to you all. My name is Mr Ben Cousins and I am the proud Curriculum Leader of Art & Design (including Health & Social Care).

Myself and the department staff have a pure passion for our subjects and a love of seeing our students thrive and progress within the specialist areas that the department has to offer.

L-R: Mrs Blanchard-Doyle, Mr Cousins, Miss Ireland, Mr Isaacs, Mr Jeffery, Miss McDowell, Mrs Mitchell, Mr Parkin, Ms Shipton-Davies

There are a number of different creative subjects that fall into our remit within the school and these include:

  • Art & Design (1)
  • Food & Nutrition (2)
  • Graphics
  • Health & Social Care
  • Product Design / Resistant Materials (3)
  • Textiles (4)

Within the Key Stage 3 curriculum, students operate within a carousel of rotations covering the four subjects numbered above. Students undertake a range of both theory and practical tasks which lead to completed products which individuals and parents/carers are very proud of. Students enjoy all aspects of the curriculum but it is clear to see their excitement during practical sessions and how they develop different skill sets, become problem solvers and manipulators of materials and ingredients.

To ensure hygiene and health & safety regulations are adhered to, I ask that all students provide their own named apron which would be used throughout Years 7-9. It will also be required for KS4 if your child makes the decision to opt for one of the Art & Design or Health & Social care subjects for GCSE qualifications. These can be bought from the school supplier or alternatively a navy-blue apron from any other provider is acceptable.

The department building is an inviting block of the school, with high-quality displays of student work and signage greeting you as you enter. We have a range of highly specialised rooms and facilities to cater for the different subjects offered which range include:

  • Two new food room kitchen instillations with gas and electric services. These high-specification classrooms came into operation in October 2019 and have only improved the teaching & learning environments for both students and staff.
  • A double workshop which boasts woodworking tools and machinery. There are also a range of computer aided manufacturing machines including a laser cutter, 3D printer, 3D modeler and a CNC router machine.
  • Two computer suites are available in the building to assist with the computer aided design and manufacture students undertake.
  • A range of motivating Art & Design studios complete the department setup.

Students may be interested in joining one of the clubs that the department has to offer. Please be ready to sign up to these once details have been announced.

If you have any questions about the subjects and topic areas we cover or would like to discuss your child's progress, please do not hesitate to contact me by emailing bcousins@manor.school

Ben Cousins, Curriculum Leader for Art & Design (including Health & Social Care)

Year 12 virtual university and apprenticeship fair

All Year 12 and invited Year 13 students took part in a virtual university and apprenticeship fair on Wednesday 14 October. The fair featured a wide range of universities, colleges and apprenticeship providers, with students able to chat to representatives, view information and videos, download prospectuses and take part in live webinars.

Curriculum Day

The first Curriculum Day of this academic year is taking place on Tuesday 20 October. This is a day when all students come off their usual timetable, with each year group having a different theme for the day. The themes vary for each Curriculum Day, but always link to our core curriculum strands of Work, World and Wellness.

The themes for this term's Curriculum Day are as follows:

  • Year 7 - Understanding wellness
  • Year 8 - Using creativity to understand wellness
  • Year 9 - Prison, Me? No Way!
  • Year 10 - Values and faiths
  • Year 11 - Revision techniques and skills
  • Years 12 and 13 - Journey to work

This promises to be an exciting day which will give students an opportunity to learn outside of their normal subjects.

STEM club logo competition

Ahead of the launch of our STEM club, we are running a competition for Year 7 students to design a logo that incorporates what a STEM club involves. Students should send their designs to House@manor.school by 31 October, remembering to include their name and House.

The Year 7 STEM club will begin on 9 November and will run every Monday from 3:15pm to 4:15pm in M7, with additional virtual activities to try at home. To sign up, students should email atowers@manor.school

MFL magazines

A reminder that the closing date for subscriptions to the Mary Glasgow magazines recommended by our languages department is 23 October.

For a £10 annual subscription, students will receive 5 magazines offering a range of articles, activities and quizzes designed for teenagers. It also offers unlimited access to media and online activities, including audio tracks, video and resources linked to each magazine issue.

If you wish to place an order, please visit the following link where you’ll be able to browse magazines and pay online for your subscriptions.

Key Stage 3 Formative Assessment

Please look out for the orange Formative Assessment reporting sheets which will start appearing in Year 7, 8 and 9 exercise books over the next few weeks. These are an important part of our assessment and reporting strategy, and should inform students and parents/carers about what is going well, and what the next steps in learning are.

At each formative assessment point, students are assessed against the Good Pass Benchmarks – the standard that we think students should be reaching at this point in their school career if they are on track to achieve a good pass (grade 5 or higher) in each subject at the end of Key Stage 4.

The good pass benchmarks for each topic, or term of work, will be in the boxes on the right-hand side of the sheet (each skill area for the subject has at least one benchmark per topic). The ‘radar’ graph on the left gives an indication of whether students are working at the level of the benchmark in each skill area and there is space at the bottom for student and teacher comments about what is going well and what the next steps in learning are for each student. We request that all parents/carers review the formative assessment sheets with their child and add their own comments to the sheet if they would like to do so.

Matthew Hurren, Assistant Principal

Excellence in effort, academic achievement and attendance

Last week I wrote to you explaining our REACH rewards. This week I wanted to take the opportunity to share how we focus on achieving excellence at Manor School.

We are promoting and encouraging a culture of excellence within our community. We therefore take every opportunity we can to celebrate, praise and reward those individuals who demonstrate excellence in their effort, academic achievement or attendance.

Students who demonstrate excellence in their effort or academic achievement are rewarded by their class teacher, or a member of staff, with a praise postcard. This is something they can take home and share with their families. These students are also recognised in the celebration assembly at the end of each term and on social media.

Those students who demonstrate excellence in their attendance are celebrated in the end of term assemblies. Those that exceed the school target are entered into a prize draw, which is drawn in the assembly. Gold, silver and bronze attendance certificates are also awarded as part of the termly celebration assemblies.

Hayleigh King, Strategic Lead for Praise and Rewards

Site and teaching apparatus updates

The past week has seen several updates to the school site and learning environments as part of our continued investment due to COVID-19 restrictions. This has included the addition of two large marquees to the quad for Year 9 students to make use of outside of lessons. This means that all year groups now have a large inside space in case of inclement weather.

In our Year 11 pod we have replaced the existing wooden stools with high-backed lab stools in four of our science classrooms. This will ensure that students will have use of these chairs at various points in the day as they rotate around rooms.

To further aid the delivery of high-quality teaching we have also installed 15 large-screen HD televisions in addition to supplying all our teachers with visualisers, allowing teachers to model how to complete a piece of work via camera-feed.

PE extra-curricular clubs

We will be trialing the return of extra-curricular clubs in PE after the half-term break, starting on Tuesday 3 November. Each year group has been allocated a day in which to participate in either football or netball after school. In order to stay in line with current COVID-19 guidelines, the number of students who can participate will be capped at 30 for football and 20 for netball.

Students are to wait in their year pods where they will be collected by a member of the PE team before moving to their designated area. Students will have access to the 3G changing rooms for football and the indoor changing rooms for netball.

The sessions will finish at 4:20pm, with students collecting their belongings and walked out of the school by their teacher. Students must make sure that they have arranged transport to get home and have informed their parents/carers that they are taking part in the extra-curricular club.

Students wishing to take part must sign up via the sign-up sheet in their pod by lunchtime of the day of the club. Only those who have signed up will be permitted to attend the session.

Toni Hustwait, Curriculum Lead for PE