Our Manor 30 November - 4 December 2020

Message from the Principal

Manor School continues to be a vibrant school community despite the restrictions in place due to COVID-19. This issue of Our Manor showcases many of the opportunities that continue to be available to our students, and I hope you will join me in encouraging all students to take advantage of these opportunities whenever they arise.

Sixth Form progress

Our ambitions for our Sixth Form are huge.

Over the past three years we have invested heavily in this important area of the school across many areas. I have written previously about an example of this with our investment in the Elephant Group programme. This was launched with students recently.

This week I have been particularly pleased that some of our Sixth Form students who submitted early university applications because they are applying to Oxbridge or Veterinary or Medicine courses have started to hear back and have interviews confirmed. These are always exciting times for students and their families, and it makes us incredibly proud that we’ve been able to support the educational journey of these exceptional students.

We are also pleased that so many other Sixth Form students applying to universities have either completed or almost completed their applications ahead of the deadline in mid-January. The in-school team are also supporting our students who are seeking employment or apprenticeship routes to ensure that all students have a viable pathway.

The process for Year 11 students wishing to enter our Sixth Form is well underway and there is further information in this newsletter and on our website where you can even follow some micro lessons in subjects that may be new to you.

Summer exam season 2021

You may have seen in the media this week that the Department for Education have released further information about the exam season for Summer 2021. This announcement confirmed previous information that the examinations will still go ahead with a 3-week delay for most exams and with some adjustment of content for a small number of subjects.

This week’s announcement provides some information about further concessions that will aid Year 11 and 13 students in their exam experience. These may include notifications of topics in advance, more ‘generous’ marking, exam aids such as formulae sheets, and the potential use of Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs) if exams are unavoidably missed through COVID.

As ever, the devil is in the detail. An independent expert panel is meeting in January to provide the specifics and we anticipate there will be varying adjustments depending on the level, subject and nature of the course being studied. As we learn more about how each of the exams is impacted, we will ensure that we communicate this effectively with you.

I am aware that the uncertainty over arrangements for exams has been a source of concern and anxiety for both students and parents/carers. I therefore hope that, although not fully constructed, there is some relief provided by the increased clarity in outlining the steps being taken to ensure the exams progress as fairly as possible.

The full press release from the Department of Education can be found here.

COVID realities

At Manor we have put in place significant provision via our risk assessment and procedures to minimise the risks of COVID-19 whilst aiming to also minimise the impact on the education of the students. We know that if we must send students home, there is a significant impact on the whole household. In comparison with the national picture where some schools have been closed or are operating a rota system, we are proud of what we have achieved so far. However, we are also constantly aware that the picture can change very quickly, so we must continue to be mindful, robust and be aware of COVID fatigue.

The realities of COVID-19 were brought home to me personally this week when my son tested positive. He is ok and none of the rest of us have symptoms but as a result, my household and I are having to isolate for 14 days – so I can empathise entirely with those of you that have been impacted! Fortunately, the leadership, teaching and associate staff teams at Manor are incredibly strong and resilient – indeed staff absence this week has been incredibly low! Therefore, I can continue to work, albeit from home, safe in the knowledge that students are getting a great deal by being at Manor.

I hope you enjoy this edition of Our Manor. Stay safe.

Jay Davenport, Principal

PE department

Welcome to the PE department!

L-R: Mr Amadi, Miss Hustwait, Miss King, Miss Pell, Mrs Rate, Mrs Sanders, Mr Sturgess

We have taken significant steps over the last few years in ensuring that physical education is a subject that caters for all of our students. Physical education is often just associated with sport, which for many creates a barrier to the subject, sometimes before even trying. These opinions are often rooted in knowledge of other people’s experiences, the weather, or through our own perception and confidence of our own ability. Our vision in PE at Manor is to ensure that all students have a positive experience of PE which then has a positive influence on their knowledge, understanding and desire to lead a healthy and active lifestyle both now and into adulthood.

Physical education is literally educating young people in ways to be physically active. This may well be through sports participation, fitness and exercise activities, or even recreational leisure activities. But it is also the opportunity to develop key life skills that are absolutely integral to physical, mental, social and emotional development.

In Years 7 and 8 we provide a knowledge-rich curriculum which gives all students the opportunity to learn across different topic areas.

  • Physical preparation - ensures students know and understand the principles of exercising safely, and the components of fitness that are applicable to both health and skill development.
  • Invasion games - incorporates various team and individual sports and activities, which allows students to develop in both the role of a performer and a coach, but also looks to develop an understanding of skills such as teamwork and communication which are valuable both within PE and sport, as well as for everyday use.
  • Leadership - students again look to develop skills associated with leadership such as creativity and empathy, requiring them to view sports and physical activities through a different lens.
  • Athletics and summer sports and activities - students combine their previous learning across the different roles and life skills to demonstrate an understanding of the sports and activities.

This year we have introduced a new pathway system from Year 9 through to Year 11 where students are able to select a route that interests them the most and which is also related to their progress and development in PE. Students are not limited to just following one pathway and have the opportunity across the academic year to change between pathways should they wish to.

  • Sport and Training - focuses on the development of skills, techniques and tactics related to the more traditional sports. The expectation here is that students are able to practice and apply themselves in competitive situations. In Year 10 and 11 is it advisable that students who have chosen GCSE PE follow this pathway for their core PE time.
  • Fitness and Exercise - focuses on the development of fitness for health, and an understanding of the ways in which we would exercise in order to achieve this. In Year 10 and 11 it is advisable that students who have chosen the Cambridge National in Sports Science follow this pathway as there is a requirement on this course to apply understanding of training and exercising safely.
  • Leadership and Coaching – focuses on learning how to plan and lead activities in an effective way to successfully coach and lead others, demonstrating the REACH values and creativity in their approach.

These pathways ensure that there is an inclusive approach to PE so that all students are able to achieve and feel proud of their contributions to their PE lessons.

In addition to the core PE offer, we also offer GCSE PE and Cambridge National in Sports Science as an optional subject for KS4, as well as A Level Physical Education and BTEC National Foundation Diploma in Sport for KS5. Having both types of course ensures that students are able to choose the course that is right for them.

Supporting and underpinning all of the above is a robust extra-curricular programme which all students are welcome and encouraged to attend. We offer different sports after school every night, and these sessions are led by the sports specialists within the PE department. We love to share our passion for our sport with students in this more informal environment, and definitely see further improvement in students’ knowledge, understanding and application of this by attending these additional sessions. We are always open to suggestions for other activities, and other members of staff outside the PE department are often keen to don their PE kit to lead or assist with different activities too, so if there is something students would like to be offered which currently isn’t, feel free to speak to one of the PE team and we will endeavour to get this added. Whilst we aren’t able to offer this fully right now due to the current pandemic, it will return and we cannot wait!

Toni Hustwait, Curriculum Lead for PE

Face covering reminder

May we please remind you to ensure that your child has a face covering before coming to school each morning. They should also have a sealable bag in which to store their face covering when they are not being used.

If your child is exempt, please ensure that they are aware that they need to be consciously proactive in ensuring social distancing measures wherever possible outside of the classroom.

Year 7 Park Road entrance update

These changes will be implemented from Monday 7 December and are for Year 7 students only.

In order to help alleviate congestion around the Park Road entrance at the beginning and end of the day, we are making the following changes:

  • The main double gates will be opened by site staff before 8am to allow students access to their outside area
  • Session 3 will finish at 3.05pm. Teachers will accompany their students to the gate. Only the smaller gate will be open to help funnel the flow. If students are taking a school bus they can walk the exterior of the school and around to the bus bays.

Unfortunately we are still seeing a large number of parents/carers parking on the yellow zigzag lines whilst picking up their child from the school. May we please ask you to adhere to the law and the highway code for the safety of our students.

Christmas Jumper Day

This year's Christmas Jumper Day is taking place on Friday 11 December. Students can donate £1 to wear a festive jumper in aid of Save the Children. The jumper is to replace their blazer, with all other uniform rules still applying.

Donations will be gratefully received even if students do not wish to wear a jumper.

Christmas Lunch

From Friday 11 December we will be offering each year group a Christmas lunch. The dates are as follows:

  • Friday 11 - Sixth Form
  • Monday 14 - Year 7
  • Tuesday 15 - Year 8
  • Wednesday 16 - Year 9
  • Thursday 17 - Year 10
  • Friday 18 - Year 11

If you wish to book a Christmas lunch for your child, please complete this order form. Please ensure your child’s Wisepay account has adequate funds on it before completing this order form.

Students opting not to have a Christmas lunch can bring in a packed lunch or purchase a grab bag as usual.

COVID Catch-up Premium

As a school we continue to deliver a robust, exciting and challenging curriculum linked to our intent of Work, World and Wellness. To enhance our offer further, all schools have been provided with a one- off catch up premium for the 2020-2021 academic year to ensure that schools have the support needed to help students make up for lost teaching time.

Please find below a link to our report on how we are targeting our approach. Students are already starting to benefit from these strategies, for example all students now have access to Tassomai, which was mentioned in a previous newsletter.

Reading Canon

Well done to Year 8 for completing their first book in the Reading Canon - Private Peaceful written by Michael Morpurgo. This story follows Tommo Peaceful to the frontline during WW1 and captures his memories of his family and village life. It allows students to think about resilience, trauma and reflection, which links in with our history, English, culture and ethics curriculums.

The next book that they will be reading is Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

Manor Maths Challenges

This week is the start of the festive season, and so for December Mrs Radd's blog is featuring NRich's advent tasks. There's also a 'just for fun' competition that involves mathematical song titles.

House Competition

This week's House Competition challenges students to transport cookies from their forehead to their mouth using only their facial muscles. As per usual, students should film their entries and send them to House@manor.school. for full details, please see the poster.

We also have an extra-special second competition - scroll down to find out what it is...

PlayStation F.C. School’s Cup Kit Design Competition 20/21

We are excited to tell students about an external, country-wide competition they can take part in with an amazing prize.

PlayStation are asking students to design a new kit for the FIFA 21 game – the winning design will be featured in the game!

How to enter:

  1. Download the kit template from: https://twitter.com/psschoolscup or email House@manor.school and we will send you the template.
  2. You can design your kit digitally or on paper.
  3. Consider colour, patterns, current trends - think how you could catch the judges’ eye.
  4. Send entries to House@manor.school by 6 January.

We will award 500 points to the House with the most entries and 500 points for what we think is the best design.

We will also forward all entries to PlayStation, who will create a shortlist of their favourites and put them to a public vote to decide a winner.

COVID-19 & Emotional Health seminar

Every day we learn a bit more about the impact of COVID-19 on a generation already facing unprecedented mental health challenges. If you’re left with big questions you aren’t alone!

What is going on? What can you do to help your child thrive? You’ll get the latest research and practical tips in an upcoming interactive seminar hosted by Souster Youth. The details for the event are as follows:

  • Venue: Online via Zoom
  • Date and time: 8 Dec 8-9:30pm or 11 Dec 8-9:30pm
  • Cost: £5 (a limited number of free tickets are also available)

For more details and to book a ticket, please click the following link:

Year 11 into 12 transition

Following a successful trial examination period, we now encourage students to step up the planning for their post-16 destinations. All students in Year 11 have already completed the following steps as part of their KS4-KS5 transition:

  • In mid-September, all Year 11 students completed a post-16 intentions questionnaire
  • In late September and October, all students had either a group or 1:1 Information, Advice & Guidance (IAG) meeting to discuss Sixth Form, college and employment options and pathways
  • In November, students showing interest in following a further education college pathway were scheduled a follow-up group or 1:1 IAG meeting to check progress on applications
  • Tutors have received weekly updates of post-16 intentions and progress with applications to discuss with their students in Work. World. Wellness. lessons
  • On 18 November, all students attended a virtual Sixth Form information assembly.

Next steps

Further follow-up IAG meetings will be organised in December to target groups of students on FE college applications, Sixth Form subject choices and post-18 employment & university pathways.

Manor School Sixth Form

Applications for the Sixth Form will be accepted following the Sixth Form Open Evening on Tuesday 12 January. We firmly believe that students should be fully informed before they make their applications, so our information evening is scheduled to coincide with the release of the students' trial exams results assembly. We encourage students to take part in the online 'micro lessons' few subjects that are new in the Sixth Form.

For more information about the open events for the Sixth Form, and to access the A level micro lessons, please visit www.manor.school/sixth-form/sixth-form-2021-admissions.

Students hear from Holocaust survivor

In the Work. World. Wellness. session this week, our Year 11, 12 and 13 students were given the opportunity to listen to the life story of a Holocaust survivor as told by his daughter, and afterwards engage in a Q&A session with both him and his daughter.

The testimony of Harry Spiro was both emotional and inspiring; he finished the session by telling students that what he wished for them to take away from the experience more than anything was the importance of education in reducing hate. Despite everything that he endured as a boy, his positivity shone through and he sets an example to us all.

Our students responded to the testimony in an empathetic and mature way, asking a number of intelligent and thought- provoking questions to both Mr Spiro and his daughter Tracy. Mr Spiro's daughter finished by telling students that now they knew about Harry's personal story, that they had a responsibility to ensure that this account is not forgotten.

Certainly this was a session that we shan't forget in a hurry. Thank you to Mr Spiro and his daughter for speaking to us and the Holocaust Educational Trust for arranging the event.

Pastoral Support Officer vacancy

We're looking for a Pastoral Support Officer to join our amazing pastoral team. For full details and an application form, please click here.

Christmas Toy Appeal

The Key Stage 3 Award is presented to...

Molly T

Molly always works to the best of her ability, whether that be in her classwork or discussions about the topic. She consistently contributes to the lesson and will always show resilience when doing more challenging work.

Awarded by Mr Bhangal

The Key Stage 4 Award is presented to...

Elisa D

Elisa continuously displays resilience in the face of difficulty to grasp concepts in science. She works hard to ensure she can recall her knowledge by completing Tassimai and Kerboodle quizzes outside of lessons.

Awarded by Mr Kelsall

The Key Stage 5 Award is presented to...

Katie R

Outstanding levels of self-motivation mean that Katie has produced some extremely high quality work, all of which has been to distinction level so far. This includes work that was completed independently over the lockdown period.

Awarded by Mrs Eales

The Key Stage 3 Award is presented to...

Kamran H

This student has demonstrated excellent knowledge from beyond the classroom and is applying it to their learning. This has been exemplified through their explanation of tarn formation to their peers in class. This student is consistently dutiful and always trying their best in lesson which has allowed them to make geographical links between different topic areas, which is incredibly mature and developed for this stage of the course.

Awarded by Mr Andrews

The Key Stage 4 Award is presented to...

Maddie L

This student has produced very high quality examination responses based on high-quality notes in her book. Homework is detailed and considered, and the step that she has made from KS3 to KS4 has been monumental in terms of the work and effort that she is putting in.

Awarded by Mr Andrews

The Key Stage 5 Award is presented to...

William B

This student has been making constant links between different topic areas. They listen to advice which helps them to have clear arguments. They are completing independent work thoroughly in terms of breadth and depth.

Awarded by Mr Andrews

Weekly REACH Champions