Dear Parents, Carers, Students and Friends,
We find ourselves at the end of the summer term after a truly challenging year for everyone.
On reflection I am in awe of the resilient students we have here at Ibstock. Throughout the lockdown and since the return to school in early March, we have seen fantastic engagement, enthusiasm and hard work from the large majority of our students. I speak on behalf of all staff in saying that we are extremely proud of how they have coped, rising to the challenge of staying in their “bubbles”, separated from the rest of the college community.
Despite the challenges college life has been busy and thankfully we have been successful in staying as Covid safe as possible. I would like to thank you for the role you have played in this success particular through the regular lateral flow testing programme. This has meant that college life has continued without any closures.
We continue to follow DFE guidance and whilst we are planning a full timetable taught without restrictions. I ask you to check the website weekly for any updates.
We are already looking forward to the Autumn/Winter term and are excited to welcome new members of staff including; Rob Yates – Faculty Leader for DT & Art and Y8 tutor. Charlie Stafford – History and Y7 tutor, Scarlet Crook – Drama and Y7 tutor and Adam Flavell – Geography and Y7 tutor.
We also have some new additions to our student support team with Rochelle Belnavis joining us as Pastoral Manager for Y7 and Charlie Hulme, Rhiannon Leake and Andie Baker as teaching assistants. They will all be great assets to the team here at Ibstock.
I would like to give special thanks to Ruth Cobley who has completed her final year as Pastoral Manager for Y9. Ruth is an integral part of the pastoral team and will be concentrating on her Attendance Improvement Officer role. Ruth will continue to have a positive impact on all students as she has done for so many years already.
Our Y9 students who leave us to go to Ashby School in August enjoyed their induction day last week and we received such positive feedback about their engagement and enthusiasm in lessons and importantly their polite and positive attitude. Most embody our RESPECT standards and are great ambassadors for the college. We wish them all the very best for the future wherever it takes them and whatever path they take.
Year 9 it has been a pleasure to teach you, to support you and to watch you grow into brilliant young people. Seize every opportunity, try new things and work as hard as you can. Most importantly, be kind to yourself and to each other. Take care and have a wonderful summer.
I hope that you enjoy this final newsletter of the academic year. It is truly a celebration of our wonderful, talented, creative young people who I am so proud of calling Ibstock Community College students. Which leads me to thank all teachers, support staff and wider college staff who have supported and cared for our students this year. Their focus on our student’s wellbeing has been unwavering and it continues to be a privilege to work alongside them.
Wishing you a wonderful, restful summer break.
With best wishes
Head of school
Transfer into LiFE Multi Academy Trust
I am writing to you as we have taken the significant step into the future in joining LiFE Multi Academy Trust, effective from 1st July, and this move brings with it the certainty of age range change at Ibstock Community College from August 2022. There will be exciting changes to come, as the college and the Trust continuously develop and strive to be the best that we can be for our students and our community. Whatever the age of your child(ren), this is good news for the quality of education in this area, with the secondary schools committed to working and improving together. I hope you and your child(ren) are feeling excited about the future and looking forward to continuing their learning, growing and thriving at school, and of course achieving excellent results.
I also want to let you know about how the senior leadership team will change for next term.
As many of you will know, I am leaving my position as Executive Headteacher at the end of August, and retiring from my work at Ibstock and Ivanhoe. It has been wonderful to have worked with the governors and staff at ICC, keeping strong collaborative links with our other partner schools, as we planned a route to age range change. I am grateful for everyone’s support, particularly the governors, heads and senior leaders at the schools, especially in the times when it looked unlikely that changes would be approved!
The ICC governing board have recently approved a permanent change to the Head of School role and Sophie Williams will become Headteacher from 23rd August 2021. This is an enhanced role and comes with significant additional responsibilities and I, governors, and the CEO, are confident that Sophie will continue to lead the college successfully forward into the next phase as we prepare for age range change. This change also ensures continuity in leadership for the whole community at a time of so much change and challenge when confidence in the effectiveness of schools is so important. I am confident that Ibstock Community College is in safe hands with Sophie at the helm, and congratulations to her on this well-deserved promotion.
Changes to SLT job titles
In line with the job title change from the former role of Principal at ICC to Headteacher, and to be more consistent, the other SLT role titles will change from August to Assistant Headteacher, rather than Assistant Principal. The roles and levels of responsibility for these roles will remain the same, although there will be some changes to the details of each person’s responsibility areas as we welcome Sarah Nelson as the new Assistant Headteacher to the senior team for next year.
Into the future
I am very proud of the work done by the whole staff team at Ibstock Community College – not just in this very challenging Covid year, but all the time. This is a vibrant school, providing a high quality of education for the community we serve. That is not because of the buildings and facilities, great as they are, but because of the commitment and dedication of the people who work here.
It has been an honour and a privilege to work at Ibstock Community College and I look forward to seeing its continued success into the future and maintaining its reputation for the highest quality of education for young people in the area.
Mr Mason - Assistant Principal, Teaching and Learning
We have spent a lot of time over this school year working on a new way of reporting home about student progress. There were many reasons we decided to change our reports, but one thing we wanted to do was to tell you your current progress. We based this on several factors that include assessments that you sit in each subjects, your performance in lesson and the GCSE target data and reading age information that use to plan and teach lessons on a daily basis that are appropriate for the students in the class. When you get to Year 9, you will see the addition of GCSE target grades for all of your subjects. We include this information in Year 9 because that is when you will begin to have serious conversations with parents/carers and teachers about what options you might be interested in taking for your GCSE studies. With your GCSE target information, it is important to remember that this is a target you are capable of meeting, with hard work and dedication. You have to do your bit as well! Following the RESPECT standards will make sure you are able to do this.
In each subject you will either be Above, On or Below. If your teacher judges, you to be Above or On then this is something to be proud of! This means that you are either performing above or are where you should be at that point in your studies. For example, if you are On in English, and your GCSE target is a grade 7-9, this is something to be really proud of. It shows you are on track to do really well at GCSE. If you are Below, then this means that you need to work harder to get back to where you should be.
This links to the Preparation for Learning judgement your form tutor will give you. This is about how prepared you are for successful learning at school each day. From your attendance, uniform, planner, knowledge organiser book and participation in activities like Number Up and form time reading. These are all things that help you do your very best each day and contribute to your development as a student who wants to do their very best. Preparation is such an important life skill and we want to develop students as academic achievers, but also as young people who are prepared for the world of work.
Finally, you will receive an Attitude to Learning judgement. At Ibstock Community College we believe that attitude is everything. It doesn’t matter if you feel confident in a particular subject, the most important thing you can do is to show a positive attitude, in line with the RESPECT standards. This will mean that you are working hard and doing everything you can to ensure success.
Hopefully, this helps to clarify your new report. If you have any other questions about your report, then email me at email@example.com, or want to find out any information from your teachers, then use the email address provided on the report.
Have a fantastic summer holiday, have lots of rest recharge your batteries, ready for the new school year, where we hope lots of things will be going back to normal again. Stay safe and take care.
Ms Scott - Assistant Principal, Behaviour and Attendance and English Teacher
As we come to the end of another school year, we look back on what has to be a year for the record books. Again.
Not only have our staff and students had to face the unknown with Covid related disruption, everyone has had to dig even deeper into the depths of our resilience in terms of maintaining our excellent levels of engagement during the January-March Lockdown. We have you, our Parents and Guardians, to thank in so many respects. Your support and understanding during times of unsettled life, meant that as a school, we could work together for the best of our students wellbeing and their learning.
Things have not slowed down across this final term. Instead of Trip Day, our staff have worked tirelessly to organise various activities to recognise the hard work and excellent attitudes of our students. We have held three Sports Days and as everyone in the school can attest, these have been the best Sports Days at ICC to date! We look forward to the various Achievement Assemblies planned for our final week and the chance to recognise the outstanding achievements in each year group.
As we look ahead to our new academic year, planning around transition for our current Year 7s has already taken place in the form of school tours to help our students find their way for next year. We are so disappointed to have had to cancel the Yr6 Induction sessions in school this year but we look forward to having our new Yr7 cohort in school for their very own Yr7 Induction Day on Wednesday, 25th August 2021.
During this day, our new Yr7s will be taking part in a range of Learning Camps, based around our school’s RESPECT standards, routines and expectations. Our Yr8 and 9 cohorts will be joining us on Thursday, 26th August and will also spend their first day back with Learning Camps around routines, expectations, target setting and wellbeing. We want our students to start well and know what to expect so everyone can be their best right from the outset.
We wish everyone a safe and restful summer and we look forward to seeing everyone in the new term.
For the first time sports day was run as an inter form competition in bubbles with fun being the focus of the day.
There were fun and games for all with the egg and spoon race, 3 legged race, wellie wanging, relays and the highlight of the event the tug of War.
Students were also tasked with coming up with their own class tic tok competition which were judged by the form tutors which showed off their hidden talents.
The weather was glorious and we had had the highest level of participation for years with everybody having go at an event whether it was the limbo or the 60m sprint.
Thanks to Mr Ball for keeping us entertained with the music and verses of sweet Caroline and to the form tutors for supporting the students.
Congratulations to our winners:
Year 9 Portraits
Year 9 have been completing their final Art assessment over the past few weeks. Their task has been to produce a portrait of either a family member, friend or celebrity. Miss Moore has been amazed by these outcomes, aren’t they just brilliant! The whole of Year 9 have worked so hard during this task and we are so proud. Here are just a small sample of the work that’s been taking place in Art.
It has been a funny old year but I hope that The Hive has managed to stay a place for students to feel supported in their learning; they’ve certainly been busy when they have been here working on extra maths, reading and literacy with our Teaching Assistants.
Interventions will still take place in The Hive next year, but will be run slightly differently – teaching staff will be leading them so that the Assistant SENDCO will be able to focus on assessments and applications with me as the SENDCO. We are now in the position where we can screen for Dyslexia and ADHD in school so if there are any concerns we will be able to identify them much more quickly and put plans in place whilst waiting for an official diagnosis.
And of course, The Hive garden project continues to blossom! The ground is filling up with bird baths, a Belfast Sink ‘pond’, flowers, fruit and vegetables – some of the tomatoes are just waiting for a little bit of sun to help them go red! We are now the proud owners of four new planters, a tool shed and two smashing benches courtesy of Mick Cunningham and Eddie Stobarts. We are incredibly grateful for everything they have provided for us in The Hive, including new lights inside the building and an exterior electricity supply. Mili Cunningham supervised the installation of everything and even brought a cat (called Zee) for us! We are very much looking forward to inviting all of those involved into school for the Grand Opening – hopefully our planters will be filled by then, we just need to find top soil and compost to fill them! Eventually we hope to have a Remembrance Planter (filled with poppies and decorated appropriately), Scent Boxes (filled with lavenders, mint, rosemary and any other gorgeous smelling plants we can find) and a ‘nursery’ box for helping next year’s seedlings to grow big and strong. It’s lovely to hear the local residents talk about the garden when they pass, their engagement with staff and students has been amazing. We would like to say a huge thank you to local residents Mr & Mrs Burns, who are kindly donating us some gardening equipment.
We will be sure to update you over the coming months about the progress inside and outside of The Hive.
Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
Despite the challenges of this year, we are very proud to have successfully implemented a brand new library system which allows much better access to our library books for all of our students.
As a parent of three older children, it is a wonderful journey to observe and support as our young people grow up and start to develop interests in particular subjects and plan for their future. Whichever pathway your child chooses, reading is a skill that underpins all subjects and supports progress in any career. As Barack Obama puts it ‘reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible.’
A report hit the news last year showing that weak literacy affects GCSE performance across all subjects, even subjects you may not necessarily expect such as maths.
This is why it’s so important that our students complete their 20 minutes of reading as part of their 20:20:20 homework, building that foundation ready for their Year 11 exams. In order to support them in this, we have been working with students to ask them what books they would like to see in the library. The whole of Year 7 and Year 8 were asked what books we should buy and we had a wonderful 200 responses!
It has been great to see the students’ enthusiasm for new books (see below for a selection) and we can’t wait until some of these start flying off the shelves! Although Mrs Barber is still trying to get her head around the Manga passion!
Have a wonderful summer and make sure you find a good book or two to relax with after a challenging year!
Please, please ask your child to look for any outstanding library books – especially with lockdowns and limited access to the library, it’s been easy to forget to bring them back. No questions asked, absolutely no late fines just huge gratitude at getting lost books back in! (Even if they resurface during the summer after a room tidy, we would be delighted to get them back.)
Dance and Musical Theatre Celebration
One of our Year 7 students, Caitlin Cole (7CS) auditioned on Saturday 5th June for the Urdang Associate Course at the prestigious Urdang College in London.
Urdang Associates offers training in Dance and Musical Theatre for talented young students who wish to enhance and develop their pre-vocational skills.
This programme is a unique opportunity to work alongside other like-minded, passionate and highly motivated students and to experience a professional level of training. The faculty consists of mainly Urdang Academy teachers, many of whom have performed in West End shows as well as being highly respected teachers, choreographers, musical directors.
Whilst open to everyone, Urdang Associates is a selective course with only a limited number of places available to the most talented applicants.
Caitlin has been accepted onto the Mid Musical Theatre Course for students aged 10-13 and will be starting in September 2021. They only take a small number of students each year so it is a huge achievement to have been accepted and Caitlin can’t wait to start. Good luck Caitlin!
Year 7 & 8 Achievement Afternoon
Some of our Year 7 & 8 students were invited to attend an Afternoon Tea with Mrs Williams on Tuesday 6 July to recognise their outstanding attitude to learning. A great time was had by all despite the Great British weather forcing us to hold the event indoors.
Year 8 Lottery Winners
Outstanding attitude to learning - Finley Whinkless 8JLP & Grace Dobrowolska 8BH
Most achievement points awarded for the last half term - Morgan Ward 8RM & Chris Allen 8RM
Year 9 Fair on the Field Celebration Event
Due to Covid restrictions we could not hold a Year 9 prom so decided to hold a Fair on the Field instead. The students enjoyed an afternoon of inflatables, traditional Fair stalls, candy floss, toffee apples, cakes and sweets. We even had the Ice-cream man on the field. This would not have been possible without the generosity of the local community and parents. We would like to thank:
Mr & Mrs Graham, Mr & Mrs Thornley, Mrs Barwick, Mrs Gardner, Cattows for providing the Hay bales and Sunshine Take-away in Ibstock for providing the food which the students loved. Also Ibstock Country Fair for providing the Marquees and putting them up.
Yesterday showed we truly are a Community School.