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Week A - Beginning 11th September 2017

Back into the routine, with lots of opportunities and a reminder about uniform and how we now set homework...

Well summer is well and truly over – the weather certainly seems to indicate that.  With all the extreme conditions in America and India though we shouldn’t complain!

It was a good first week back with the students looking well dressed and enthusiastic (well those who were awake anyway – a bit of a shock to the system for some!).  Lovely to see all the Year 7 students with their excitement and boundless energy, although by the end of the week they did seem to be running out of steam a little.  No doubt they slept well on Friday evening and over the weekend!  Just a reminder to all that school trousers should be mid-grey (there are a few black pairs here and there – which are not uniform).  Also some students are wearing ‘van’ type shoes, which even in their leather form, are not permissible.

A new year means a chance for a new start.  The results at GCSE in the summer were very encouraging, especially given the fact that in English and Maths the exams were longer and tougher.  Our new Year 11 have the potential to do even better, but the key to success will be reviewing rather than revising.  The difference you ask?  Reviewing means going back over work covered on a regular basis, especially revisiting the topics that were perhaps more problematic.  Students have Personalised Learning Checklists (PLCs) which are essentially lists of all the topics studied to date for each subject.  On a regular basis they RAG rate these – deciding which are fully understood, partially understood and not understood at all.  Reviewing should always start with their amber subjects – consolidating what they are a little ‘fuzzy’ on using Doddle, subject websites, their notes and text books.  This means that students will not have to revise coming up to tests/assessments and exams as the work is still fresh.  This is particularly important as the amount students need to learn has increased in most GCSE subjects.  This technique is equally important in other year groups, and should become part of their regular routine.  As such if your child says they have no homework – then there is always reviewing to be done!

In terms of homework, as I am sure you are aware all will be set on Doddle, rather than recorded by the student in their planner.  This does not necessarily mean their homework assignment will be a  Doddle piece of work, but a record of what it is will be on Doddle.  As a parent you will have access to Doddle and will be able to see what homeworks have been set, when the deadlines are and for some, whether they have been completed.

There are lots of opportunities for students to go ‘over and above’ (this weeks’ theme).  Year 7 (and students for other year groups) were able to attend the ‘Bell’s Gone, What’s On?’ event on Friday.  This outlines all of the different extra curricular activities on offer here at Hinchingbrooke, from a plethora of sports clubs to Zumba, Duke of Edinburgh to homework club.  There is so much to get involved with other than just the academic and socialising with friends.  It’s a way to make new friends and try out new things.  Exciting times!  This week there is already the start of the auditions process for this years’ production.  If it is anything like Sweeny Todd then it will be a blockbuster, and well worth getting involved with.

Year 9 have just started their new options, chosen last academic year.  This is where their tenacity and resilience comes in to play.  Starting their exam courses, and on occasion without their friends.  It is an opportunity to make new friends!  The subject might not be what they thought, but it is very early days and students need to give new subjects a chance and see how they pan out this half term.  Good luck Year 9 – I know you will give it your all!

Wow…lots going on and lots to get involved with, so I will leave you with this sound advice…

Have a great week!

Anna Nightingale

Vice Principal