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Reading Girls' School Newsletter - 13 decEMBER 2019

Principal's Message - our surveys say....

Each year in October, February and May we conduct student and staff surveys. The first one of this academic year provided very positive feedback. In addition, we identify the most common areas for improvement and act on them.

Last month we followed our survey with whole-school workshops around the concept of ambitious, challenging and independent learning. The key point, however, as you will see below, is that there were outcomes for students and staff. Of course, our girls have responsibility for their own learning but as staff, we also have responsibility to support them. Everyone is in it together.

Our classroom expectations are very high and we wanted our girls to understand that they are being challenged in class to work to their maximum which sometimes may cause pressures. Equally, as staff we must ensure that, when challenging the students, we use the correct language that depersonalizes situations.

Moreover, with regard to ownership of learning, it is vital that the girls are able to articulate what they are learning within a bigger picture. We do not want them to see a lesson’s learning in isolation. They need to be asking themselves about the relevance of their learning and how it links to previous and future learning. Again, as staff, we need to ensure that we are helping them articulate their learning experiences so that they are more meaningful.

November’s whole-school workshop learning outcomes

Key headlines from our survey

Student responses:

  • 94% of students feel safe at school
  • 96% of students reported that they know how to keep themselves safe online
  • 80% of students report that L.E.A.R.N is used consistently by teachers across all their lessons
  • 93% of students report that the school has clear expectations and routines for all pupils to follow
  • 85% of students reported that they are aware of aims and objectives of what their group needs to have achieved by end of this term in their PLEDGE lessons
  • 85% of students reported that the school encourages them to respect people from other backgrounds and to treat everyone equally
  • 71% of students reported that their lessons are REAL on a regular basis
  • 77% of students reported that they are aware of Active Learning activities during their lesson
  • 79% of students reported that they receive talking tokens
  • 85% of students report that they are randomly selected to answer questions in class

Staff responses:

  • 93% are proud to be a member of staff at Reading Girls’ School
  • 100% of staff reported that the behaviour of students at Reading Girls’ School is GOOD
  • 82% of staff reported that leaders use professional development to encourage, challenge and support teachers’ improvement
  • 82% of staff reported that leaders do all they can to ensure the school has a motivated, respected and effective teaching staff
  • 84% of staff reported that leaders have created a climate in which teachers are trusted to take risks and innovate in ways that are right for the pupils
  • 100% of staff reported that Reading Girls’ School has a culture that encourages calm and orderly conduct and is aspirational for all pupils
  • 94% of staff reported that Reading Girls’ School challenges all pupils to make at least good progress
  • 95% of staff reported that Reading Girls’ School is well led and managed
  • 81% of staff reported that they are treated fairly and with respect at Reading Girls’ School
  • 88% of staff reported that they enjoyed working at Reading Girls’ School

Jon Gargan, Principal

Schools' Climate Conference

A group of Year 8 and 9 students took part in the Schools' Climate Conference in Reading’s Council Chamber on Friday 6th December. The girls represented Cuba, Russian Federation and the United Kingdom in a debate about climate change with other Reading schools.

The students worked hard in their teams preparing their country speeches about their actions and contributions towards climate change. They all were contributing towards good quality questions and answers to the complex discussions between the countries. They were enthusiastic and showed a passion for the subject in their speeches. Erin, Iris, Jamie, Kaamachi, Mona and Ashleyne spoke eloquently and showed excellent presentation skills. They all participated fully in the negotiations with other countries and made some positive agreements and decisions about ways to slow climate change and impacts down.

Year 7 girls have been designing posters for the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors.

Stay healthy

Now that winter is well and truly upon us, it can be very easy to pick up a winter illness, resulting in having to take time off school.

At Reading Girls’ School, our target is for all students to have a minimum attendance figure of 98%. We encourage all of our students to strive for excellence.

A few helpful hints and tips can be found on the NHS website - nhs

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 their 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 - 31
  • Year 8 - 22
  • Year 9 - 34
  • Year 10 - 121
  • Year 11 - 37
  • Total number of 'Talking Tokens' collect this year across the whole school are 2755.

Teaching and Learning

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

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 then 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 the delivery of their lesson. These tokens are then collected in at the end of every week and counted.

Results for this week: Monday 9 to Friday 13 December 2019

YES - 1566 tokens

No - 85 tokens