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Ibstock Community College Newsletter - December 2020

Welcome

Dear Parents, Carers, Students and Friends,

I hope that this finds you and your families safe and well and beginning to feel a little bit festive as we break up for the holidays. Yes, it is going to be a very different Christmas this year but I know that we will all cherish the time at home, together.

Despite the challenges we have all faced, and yes, there have been many, I am still astonished by the resilience of our young people and this fills me with such pride.

Looking back, it is incredible what we have been able to achieve together and on behalf of all our staff, thank you for your continued support of us and our college.

I hope that the new year will be filled with hope. The vaccine is here and should give us all some reassurance that we will return to some level of normality before the end of the academic year, fingers crossed.

With the possibility of age range change on the horizon, the college will be entering an exciting phase, with lots of work to do, made easier by the idea of keeping some of our Year 8 students through to complete their GCSE’s.

On that note, Year 9 will need to remain focused and determined in their learning as they prepare to make their GCSE choices for next academic year.

I will finish by saying what a joy Year 7 have been this term. The bubbles have suited them and have helped with the transition between primary and secondary school. It has been wonderful to see so many students who struggled back in August, enjoying college life, building friendships and working hard.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Mrs Williams

Head of school

Mr Mason - Assistant Principal - Teaching and Learning

We have reached the end of a challenging first term and one that has been a remarkable journey for us all at Ibstock Community College. I think it is fair to say that we began our term, back in August with considerable excitement at welcoming back our students after such a long time, but with a small degree of nerves and trepidation at what was to be our new normal.

Very quickly it became apparent that there was no need for any nervousness as our students very quickly adjusted to bubble life and new ways of doing things. It was an absolute priority for all of the staff that we continued to offer a fantastic education to our students, despite the array of restrictions that teachers faced. It has to be said that down to the hard work and dedication of our staff and students, we have seen high quality learning taking place in all subject areas. Walking the corridors regularly has allowed me to see so much fantastic behaviour from our students, making the most of the lessons that our teachers have worked so hard to provide. We place teaching and learning at the heart of what we do at Ibstock Community College, with an absolute commitment to providing the best opportunities for all. An example of this is how we have been able to support our staff and students to return to the Science lab to take part in experiments and to get back into the Design computer suite to begin real, hands on design work once again.

Teachers have poured hours of work into the development of our online, home learning provision, that has enabled our students to continue learning when working at home. This has been a steep learning curve for all of us working in education and for families at home. We are hugely grateful for all the support parents/carers have given to us in supporting our home learning provision. This is an area where we need to work together in order to support learning. Thank you also to our wonderful students who have engaged with home learning. Your work is really appreciated by your teachers and will benefit you greatly in the future.

I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday. It is a chance to rest and relax. Have a happy Christmas and I will look forward to seeing you all in the new year.

Ms Scott - Assistant Principal - Behaviour and Attendance and English Teacher

Dear all,

By coming to the end of my first full term at Ibstock Community College, I thought I would share a few observations. First of all, Ibstock CC is definitely the most nurturing and friendly school environment I’ve had the pleasure to work in. Not only have I personally witnessed staff across each year group do an amazing job to offer high quality education amidst a world pandemic, it’s all the extras-the mop up of tears after a fallout, the plasters for a cut knee, the reassurances for a child having a moment of anxiety. After sixteen weeks, I have also continued to meet regularly with many of our lovely parents. It is noticeable the impact of such a supportive community and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know so many parents to help ensure our students get the best all round learning experience.

Our students are the heartbeat of our school. Their resilience in coming to school every day and working hard to catch up on disruption last year is to be commended. With a steady eye on our school’s attendance this term, is it with pride that I confirm that ICC’s attendance has not only remained in line with national attendance, we have beaten it significantly every day. That kind of impact comes down to resilience-Staff, Students and Parents-I thank each of you for your support in continuing to send your child into school this term.

As Fred says in Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’,

I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.

With just a few days to Christmas 2020, it is definitely a year for each of us to be bonded in a common goal of kindness, peace and unity.

I wish everyone a safe and restful holiday.

Di Scott

Assistant Principal

Free School Meals over the Christmas Holidays

Following the Government’s announcement that free school meal vouchers would be given over the Christmas Holidays you will receive an ECode from Edenred for £30.00 per child to cover the two week period.

The Ecodes have been ordered and you should receive and email direct from Edenred today. Please ensure you check your junk email if it has not gone to your inbox.

For those of you that were with us earlier in the year, when we previously used the scheme, you will see that it needs to be redeemed in the same way. As some of you previously received your vouchers through your primary school this may have been done differently with the school redeeming the Ecode on your behalf. You will need to do this step yourself. Please visit our website for the step by step action you need to take and also some frequently asked questions to help.

If you do experience any difficulties please do not hesitate to contact me at businessmanager@ibstockcollege.co.uk and I will come back to you as soon as I am able. I will be checking this email daily during the holiday.

Snibston Colliery Poster Competition

We took part in the Snibston Colliery poster competition to design a poster for the new Snibston Colliery Park re-opening.

More than 214 entries across Leicestershire entered the competition and four judges were chosen to select their top 3.

Judges for the competition included:

• Paul Bryant (Site Manager, Fortem)

• Cllr Terri Eynon (Patch member for North West Leicestershire)

• Stuart Warburton (Snibston Heritage Trust)

• Julia Keeling (Strategic Commissioning Manager, LCC)

(All judges had to conduct judging separately in line with government guidance and the lead judge conducted the decision virtually).

Lilly Appleby was the chosen winner and received a Samsung Galaxy Tablet as her prize. Grace Price's entry was also highly commended and she received a chocolate selection box.

Cllr Terri Eynon, as lead judge, had the difficult decision of selecting the winner from the shortlisted entries. She said: “It is so wonderful to see the artistic talent and passion that so many young people have for a such a poignant topic. We’ve seen some fantastic entries and if we could pick more than one, we would! We’re looking forward to seeing Lilly’s poster on display and I’d encourage everyone to visit Snibston Colliery Park when it reopens, it really is going to be an asset to the people of Leicestershire.”

Huge congratulations to Lilly! We look forward to seeing her poster on display.

Well-being

Last week, we discussed well-being with the students. To see the information that we shared with them, please follow the link:

https://www.ibstockcollege.co.uk/user_uploads/files/DocumentsWellbeing_Information_For_Students.pdf

Ashby School Option Evening

Ashby School Options Evenings in January are unlikely to go ahead. Ashby School are currently working on a plan to share all information on KS4 courses and the options process with students and parents virtually.

In January, information and deadlines will be shared with students by their form tutors through videos and booklets; presentations will also be on Ashby School's website as well as our own.

We will ensure all parents are informed in more detail about this nearer the time.

Parent View Questionnaire

As we have been unable to hold our parents evening in school this year, we have added our annual parent view questionnaire to our website. Please follow the link to complete the questionnaire.

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=VPmWoUyaJUWlwBmAnSHcl7hB2SJdwCFNpVPyV0f7dm9URjU1M0M5OUo0VVFEVk9RUlhPMkYyQ01CUC4u

BookTrust

‘Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read!’

‘Studies have shown that those who read for pleasure have higher levels of self-esteem and a greater ability to cope with difficult situations. Reading for pleasure was also associated with better sleeping patterns.’

This finding from a study by J Billington in 2015 is certainly relevant right now as we cope with the challenging times we find ourselves living in. So, help your child to get lost in the magic of a good book this Christmas.

BookTrust has created on their website ‘Bookfinder’ which can help you discover the best children’s books from a range of genres. Click on the link below and see what fantastic novels you can find!!

https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/bookfinder/

End of term news from the RRC

“If your mind is screaming “get me out of here”, this (reading books) is an excellent way to placate it.”

You may associate reading primarily as a way for students to improve their learning. It definitely does that - but so much more too. Associate Professor Dr Aisha Ahmad who has worked in disaster zones across the world, likens some of our experiences and emotions in this pandemic to those she experienced through her work, where she learned to sleep with gunshots under her window and live in cholera –infected areas. She says this:

“While films and TV shows have become staples during the pandemic, books can be more effective in creating the full-system psychological escape needed. If your mind is screaming “get me out of here”, this is an excellent way to placate it.”

In particular, she recommends: “Historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy all work well in mentally separating you from the here and now. The further away a story can teleport the reader, the better the escape.”

Borrowing E-books and E-audiobooks from Leicestershire Libraries for FREE!

Accessing books has been a challenge at some points in the year. I did recommend ‘BorrowBox’ to students during lockdown - a fabulous and FREE app where you can borrow Ebooks and E-audiobooks from Leicestershire libraries. I’ve put the article on FOLDR again under ‘Reading resources’ at the top of each Year group folder. It’s called, 0 - Borrow E-books and E-audiobooks for FREE from Leicestershire Libraries!’

Further information is available at:

https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/libraries/digital-library-services/ebooks

Sneak peek! New library system coming soon!

We have been busy implementing a new Library Management System which will enable students to view ALL of the books in the library from a computer (including from home!), make reservations and have their books delivered to their tutor room. This service has been so successful in some schools that they intend to run it alongside face-to-face borrowing even when “normality” resumes.

Merry Christmas from Mrs Barber in the RRC and may your 2021 be full of great reads!

Bookbuzz

BookBuzz – Giving books the buzz they deserve!

At Ibstock we believe in the power of reading and are prepared to put our money where our mouths are! All 200+ of our Year 7 students have received a book – to keep – as part of the BookBuzz project. We hope they really enjoy their new books – look out for our BookBuzz book review competition in 2021!

Children in Need

Thank you so much to everyone for their kind donations for Children in Need. Together we raised a fantastic £482.96!

Christmas Jumper Day

We celebrated Christmas Jumper Day on Friday 11th December. We raised a total of £248.26 for Save the Children. A huge thank you to everybody for all of your donations.

Christmas Food Bank

Thank you to everyone for your generous donations to our Christmas Foodbank collection. We received a fantastic amount of food! We have been able to box this up and deliver to the Coalville Foodbank in time for Christmas.

12 Days of Christmas

Miss Moore and our students have helped use get festive by creating the 12 Days of Christmas. The posters have been displayed around the college and we think that they look fantastic! Well done everyone!

Student Support

Should any students require support over the festive holiday's there is information on our website. Please follow the link for advice and places to contact:

https://www.ibstockcollege.co.uk/user_uploads/files/Support_over_the_festive_holidays.pdf

Parent Lite

We are constantly striving to increase our engagement with parents and carers, we are aware that we use different systems within school and this can sometimes make it more difficult for parents / carers to access information.

In order to bring everything together into one system and improve the experience for parents / carers we have expanded the use of Parentlite. We will no longer be using Insight.

As you are aware we currently use Parentlite for data collection. We have expanded this system to bring you everything Insight did and much more.

When you open your Parentlite app you will see the following new options available to you:

  • Activities
  • Assessment
  • Attendance
  • Conduct
  • Homework
  • Reports
  • Diary
  • Timetable

We will stagger the switch on of these new functions through the academic year.

You should now also be able to see:

  • Attendance for your child
  • Conduct for you child
  • Timetable for your child

To follow in 2021, for parents, you will also be able to see the following functions:

  • Homework
  • Diary

Students will be emailed the link to download the Parentlite app on their own mobile phones and be able to access the following information:

  • Attendance
  • Conduct
  • Timetable
  • Homework
  • Diary

For more information and a step by step parent and student registration guide, please visit: https://www.ibstockcollege.co.uk/letters/parentlite

Contacting the college

Email: icc.admin@ibstockcollege.co.uk

Website: www.ibstockcollege.co.uk

Upcoming Dates

Christmas break - College closes Thursday 17 December 2020 - reopens Monday 4 January 2021