Our Manor 15-19 March 2021

Message from the Principal

Another fantastic week in school with so much going on as we start to find our feet again, getting used to the routines and procedures that allow us to operate safely and effectively. I continue to be pleased by the students, who have grown to take the additional procedures in their stride – face coverings, hand washing, line ups and sanitising – all now just a regular part of our daily routines. However, it is the attitude to learning in the classroom that has been most impressive - there truly is a sense of determined optimism as students engage with their learning. When we combine this with the joy of being together in our unstructured time, there really is a sense of the school coming back to life, just like the flowers that are springing up across the site.

I have been delighted this week to see the return of extra-curricular sports clubs. PE and sport have always been an important part of life at Manor and the encouraging turnout means it looks like our students have missed it too. As a PE teacher myself, I never want to miss an opportunity to ‘thank’ the PE staff and all those teachers who provide extra-curricular provision, going above and beyond to provide our students with opportunities to develop their skills and grow their character.

Summer Term: Transition, next steps and destinations - Year 6, 11 and 13

There have been many questions being asked and much speculation about the ‘leaving dates’ for Years 11 and 13 following on from the government’s decision to cancel examinations. As per Mr Hurren’s letter last week, teaching and assessment of current courses will continue up to the week after half term enabling us time to ensure we can apply our robust quality assurance processes ahead of the 18 June entry deadline. However, we are very aware of the amount of disruption students have had to their courses and our priority is ensuring all students are fully prepared for their next steps and destinations.

Therefore, we will be working with a range of institutions including our own careers team and sixth form, universities and local colleges as well as families to provide transition programmes in the second half of the summer term. All students will have conversations about their routes and pathways and a plan of support in place until the end of the academic year.

Similarly, we are working with Nene Education Trust on an extensive transition programme for Year 6 students moving into Year 7 in September. Working with colleagues from our feeder primary schools, we will ensure that our incoming students are ready for their introduction to the secondary school experience.

The Elephant Group

We are delighted to start to see the rewards of investing in being part of The Elephant Group. This week Mr Carter and I have both been in involved in strategic meetings working directly with university admissions and outreach staff as well as looking at the positive impact that membership is having. The aim is to raise aspirations with schools getting one third of our students into the top third of universities. The stats are impressive with some schools showing a 40% increase in students applying for and receiving offers for these institutions. We look forward to seeing similar results at Manor as the programme rolls into Year 13 for us next year.

This week Year 12 students were involved in an Elephant Group webinar and we are looking forward to getting back to some face-to-face inputs in the summer.

Exciting developments

At the beginning of next week, we will be announcing some exciting news that we have been working on for a while over the lockdown period. We are looking forward to sharing this with you, so keep an eye on your inbox!

As ever we are hugely grateful for your support. We have received some wonderful emails from parents/carers this week who have said how happy their children are to be back in school. The feeling is mutual – we are delighted to have them all with us.

Jay Davenport, Principal

Curriculum Day

On Wednesday 24 March we will be having a Curriculum Day for all year groups. As part of our Work, World and Wellness beliefs this is a vital opportunity to explore different aspects outside of the normal school curriculum.

  • Year 7: STEM - students will explore the theme of natural disasters using their science, technology and maths skills
  • Year 8: Enterprise - students will explore and develop a business start-up idea
  • Year 9: Wellbeing during and after the pandemic - students will be looking at how they can look after their physical and mental wellbeing
  • Year 10: World of work - students have been given the opportunity to select careers that interest them, and will explore what the job entails and how to join that career
  • Year 11: Politics - students will explore the different political parties in the UK
  • Years 12 and 13: Preparing for life after Manor - students will prepare for independent life by looking at a variety of areas

As Year 9 students will be participating in outdoor sporting activities, please can they come to school in their PE kits. They will remain in their kit all day.

Extra-curricular clubs

This week we were finally able to start the PE extra-curricular activities that we have missed so much this academic year. Whilst current restrictions mean that we have had to adapt the activities we offer at this time, it has been great to see so many students coming to either the football, hockey or netball sessions, being active and enjoying themselves; it has also been a lovely end to each day for the staff too!

After Easter we hope to continue to offer more activities and hope to see even more students joining us. Look out for rounders club, volleyball club and Head of English, Mr Austen, has also offered to run an athletics sprinting club for our runners out there.

Exciting times ahead!!

Borrowed IT equipment

May we remind any families who borrowed laptops, wireless dongles or other IT devices over lockdown to return their equipment safely to school as soon as possible. These devices will then be cleaned, reset and prepared for any students to use for any individual periods of isolation as well as used in school with small groups as an extra resource. Devices can be returned to any teacher for delivery back to IT Support.

House competition

The final competition running this term is the Theatre competition - why not have a go at the Egg-stravaganza Challenge!

The task is to decorate an egg (or more than one) using any materials e.g. paint, felt-tips, paper. We are looking for students to be as creative as they can.

Students should take a photo of their entry next to a piece of paper with their name and House on it. This should then be emailed to house@manor.school. The competition closes on Wednesday 24 March.

Manor Maths Challenges

To tie in with Census Day (Sunday 21 March), we're asking students to complete our own census about the school community. Details and a scannable QR code for the census can be found in this week's edition of Mrs Radd's blog.

Weekly REACH Champions