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Principal's Update

Dear Parents/Carers 

What a busy start to the year this has been – every day there has been something positive to celebrate and to share. Whether that is the Year 8 boys winning their football league or students gaining 100% for their extended writing task for the ‘Brilliant Club’ or students completing their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. I extend my congratulations to all of these students and look forward to their future successes. 

Recently, I have had the privilege of working with some of our Year 13 students, discussing their university offers and the merits of higher level apprenticeships. This time of the year is so critical to our Year 13 and Year 11 students with the exam season soon upon us. I urge you to encourage them to take advantage of all the support the College has to offer. 

During the recent Options Evening, it was fantastic to meet so many parents and to discuss the next steps for Post 16 or the range of options available at Key Stage 4. It strikes me that our students have such a huge choice, compared to when we were at school! 

I would like to thank you for your contributions and recommendations in our recent Parent Engagement Survey, our responses to your feedback is included in a separate article in this newsletter. The College is currently undertaking the Annual Parent Survey and, again, we would very much appreciate your contributions to this. 

Recently, I was asked by some parents what they could do to support their child’s learning and, on reflection and as a parent myself, I would like to suggest the following: encourage your son/daughter to read for at least 30 minutes per day, ensure that they are fully prepared for a day’s learning at the College by being organised and having all of their equipment. I would also advise that they take advantage of the opportunities on offer at College and also those that are available in the wider community. Research indicates that it is those students who get involved and actively participate who are often the most successful. 

In order to help you to help your child, we will be offering a parent workshop before the Easter Break, to explore ways in which parents can support their child’s education and preparation for forthcoming examinations. Further details to follow. 

I am looking forward to sharing more student successes in the future and also to working with you throughout the rest of the year. 

Yours faithfully 

Mrs Bevan 
Principal 
 
CURRICULUM
Sixth Form London Trip – 2018
Friday the 14th December saw 15 students travel to London for the annual Sixth Form London Trip. The day began at 5.30am with students taking the early train to London Paddington, from there we travelled by [a very busy] underground to Westminster. The morning was spent touring the London Dungeons; a trip through the streets and the darker elements of Victorian and Dickensian London which was certainly a lively and different way to start the day! 

From there, the group walked along the bank of the Thames to Covent Garden where we explored the stalls, street artists and shops before walking back to Westminster via Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus. One student was even given a special rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ by a busker under the lights of Piccadilly! 

In the afternoon, the group were able to tour the Houses of Parliament and explored the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the incredible 1000 year old Westminster Hall (where we squeezed in a group picture). In what was a particularly eventful and busy week in the country’s parliament buildings, we found ourselves stood in the same chamber where just hours earlier the latest round of the Brexit debate had been rumbling on. After the tour, a Law making workshop gave students the chance to test their knowledge of the law making process and to try their hand at debating and voting. 

One [even busier] tube journey back across London at the height of rush hour later, we were all very happy to make it to the comfort of our train for the journey home. 

The day was an excellent chance for students to experience a taste of the capital and to get a unique insight into how our government operates, in especially political times. We will be running the Sixth Form London Trip again in 2019 by which time nobody yet knows quite what parliament will be debating! 

A special thank you to all those students who attended for making the day a thorough success. 

Mr J G Dunkerley 
Assistant Principal | Head of Sixth Form
 
CURRICULUM
Year 7 Postcard Competition
Students from Year 7 were asked to draw an illustration from their favourite literature novel; the winning entry was then scanned into the computer, reduced down to postcard size and cut into hundreds of copies to be sent to Year 7 parents. 

The English team will use these to individually praise students with their class effort and engagement in the lesson. 

Thank you all for your postcard entries; the response was overwhelming!

Mrs Beynon
English Teacher
 
CURRICULUM
Curriculum Student Voice results go from strength to strength
Every year we ask all of our students to give us their feedback on how we are doing across the full range of subjects they experience on a scale of 1-10. 

The results from this year were once again overwhelming with the positive rating that the students gave us across KS3 and 4.

The results are summarised below:

My teacher helps me do my best even when I find work difficult 84% 
My teacher gives me work that challenges me 84% 
My teacher makes sure I understand what I need to do to improve 85% 
My teacher allows me to enjoy my lessons and learn 83% 
My teacher listens to what students have to say in lessons 87% 
My teacher manages the behaviour in my lessons well 88% 
My teacher encourages me to be independent and think for myself 84% 
My teacher gives me good feedback and time to improve my work 82%
My teacher sets me homework which supports my learning. 80% 

We like to thank all the students for taking part in our survey

Mr Carpenter
Assistant Principal
 
PASTORAL
Year 10 Attendance Award
Congratulations to Year 10 students Anne-Marie and Harrison for winning Love to Shop vouchers for their excellent attendance in the Christmas draw assembly. 

They were in the draw alongside many of their fellow students for having 100% attendance over the course of Terms 1 and 2.

Mr Beynon
Pastoral Leader 
 
PARENTS
Parental Engagement Survey 2018/19 feedback

I would like to thank all of the parents that took part in this year’s Parental Engagement survey. The results were incredibly informative and have been discussed in detail with our senior leadership team. 

I have included, for your reference, a summary of the themes that emerged from the survey and most importantly an outline of what we will be doing to drive forward parental engagement improvement: 

Praise

Points that you raised:
• You said we are good at informing you of negative behaviour but not as proactive at letting you know when your child has done well. 
• You also said you were unsure when and why your child has received praise from us. 

What we will do as a result:
• Create opportunities and encourage our staff to contact you when your child deserves praise. 
• Invest in the SIMs Parent App which will provide greater detail for praise points being awarded the reasons why. 
• Praise will be displayed on all student reports. 
• The College will review the praise policy to ensure it meets our students' needs. 
• Parent App link: http://www.sjhcsc.co.uk/parents/sims-parent-app 

Enrichment Activities

Points that you raised:
• You said that you can sometimes find it difficult to know when opportunities are on. 
• You also said that while you appreciated the range of activities that the College provided, it would be even better if more creative options were available.

What we will do as a result:
• Email you an enrichment programme termly. The programme will also be published on our new College website. 
• We are very grateful for the additional time and effort that staff put into enrichment activities. However next year we will review the activities we publish and ensure creative options are available. 

Communication

Points that you raised:
• You have said that many of our communication methods meet your current needs, however there is room for improvement

What we will do as a result:
• As a result of the survey we recently implemented a paperless communication strategy utilising the College website and email which was your preferred method of communication. We have enhanced this strategy with the launch of a Parent App. If you haven't yet signed up for the app we would encourage you to do so. 
• Parent App link: http://www.sjhcsc.co.uk/parents/sims-parent-app 

College Events

Points that you raised:
• You have let us know which events you value the most. 
• You also stated that some of our events could be improved, particularly Parents' Evenings. 
• Finally, you asked if there was any more you could do (as parents) to support your son or daughter with their revision in Year 11. 

What we will do as a result:
• We are in the process of ensuring that our schedule of events combines as many events as possible so that each time you visit us you are able receive as much information as possible. This will reduce the need for you to attend several events e.g. next year we will combine our Parents' Evenings with other events such as Options Evening or Revision Workshops. 
• We have launched our new Parent App which gives access to information on your child regarding progress, praise, conduct and attendance. We will ensure that you will be notified when the most up to date reports have been published for you to view before Parents' Evenings so that you can read your child's report before you book appointments with their teachers. 
• We are in the process of developing a new revision strategy which will be launched to parents and students in the coming weeks. It is hoped this will help you in supporting your son/daughter in what is a crucial part of their exam preparation. 

Homework 

Points that you raised:
• Most of you stated that homework projects were a good and often a popular option, however some of you felt that some homework tasks could be improved. 
• Some of you expressed concern that the focus appears to centre on quantity over quality.

What we will do as a result:
• We will make sure homework tasks are clearly explained by the teacher and always link clearly to your lessons and wider learning. 
• We will make sure that all homework tasks are easy to access for you and your child/children. 
• We will reaffirm at whole staff professional development the need for a focus on choice of tasks to match preferred learning styles and homework quality. 
• Homework link http://www.sjhcsc.co.uk/students/homework 

Once again, thank you for your contributions, I hope that these improvements will see our engagement with you grow even stronger. If you have any further comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me at the College.

Mr Carpenter
Assistant Principal
 
PARENTS
Annual Parent's Survey
Every year we ask you to give us your feedback on how you feel we are doing in supporting our students. Please spare just 2 minutes and complete the survey using the link below.

Survey Link

Thank you

Mr Carpenter
Assistant Principal
 
ENRICHMENT
Clubs and Activities
There is a full range of activities taking place in College. Most of them are after College and many of them are requested by you. 

The activities are organised by the staff for your benefit. Try to do at least one activity. When you come to writing up your own CV you will find that taking part in just one extra-curricular activity will have benefited you enormously. 

Please read the booklet using the link below. Note the times, the places and the year groups and if you feel like coming along, see the teacher. 

Enrichment Booklet

If you have any ideas for clubs and activities which you would like included, please see me or your student council representative.

Mr Carpenter
Assistant Principal
 
 
ENRICHMENT
Sixth Form Students work with Royal Voluntary Service to hold Tea Party for Senior Citizens

Sixth Form students have been working closely with the Royal Voluntary Service to deliver a special afternoon tea party to local senior citizens. The students who are now active volunteers for the organisation have been planning and preparing to welcome the residents in to the school and enjoy a splendid selection of scones, sandwiches, cakes, biscuits and treats.

This is part of an generational experiment in which we hope to forge good links within the community and in particular to help close the generational gap. Students spent the afternoon chatting and sharing stories with the residents who were thrilled to be part of an ongoing group who will be coming in to visit.

As a result students were also able to enhance their CV, UCAS application and develop key employability skills that will help them in the future.     

Ms Newberry
Careers Coordinator  

 
ENRICHMENT
Royal Society of Chemistry Top of the Bench 2018
On Wednesday 12th December, a team that comprised of two Year 9’s, a Year 10, and a Year 11 student, travelled to Exeter University to compete against other colleges from the southwest in the annual RSC Top of the Bench competition. 

After an initial introduction to the event, the students were challenged with their first practical task – to calculate the acidity of a range of drinks and put them in order using titration. 

This task was followed by a team quiz on Chemistry and after a tour around the campus at lunch, a final practical challenge to work out the most effective indigestion remedy, using titration again, but with no instructions to assist. 

Our team worked incredibly hard to produce their results, and although not winning the competition, they learnt a new set of scientific skills and experienced working in a university Chemistry laboratory. 

Mr Waite 
Assistant Curriculum Lead for Science
 
CAREERS
Former student on fast track to success

It's great to hear from former students of Sir John Hunt particularly those that have gone on to achieve so many great things and experience wonderful opportunities. Former student Kristen has been in touch telling us all about her exciting adventure since leaving SJH two years ago. Here is a copy of her letter:

Dear Miss Newberry, 

I was attending sixth form nearly two years. Yourself and an individual from the civil service supported me through the process of applying for the civil service fast track scheme and as you know, I got the job. To put it into perspective, 20,000 people applied for the fast track and only 5% were hired. 

My role was within the Ministry of Defence, specifically defence equipment and support, to train to become a project manager. I’m now a year into my apprenticeship and I have had a great experience learning about not only what it takes to be a PM, but also about defence and our latest equipment that we have or will be supplying the military. 

Within my first year, I have been working within the maritime combat system. This team is made up of approximately 250 people 40% military and 60% civilian. The team aim to make our ships fit to fight now and in the future with the latest equipment available. Within this role, I have been working specifically with the project controls aspects of project management , this includes; risk ,scheduling, change and earned value management. This also involves visiting various docks, like Plymouth and Portsmouth, to assess our ships equipment in person. 

However, I will be entering a new placement next week. This will be on a project working on our latest technology regarding drones and will require some travel to America as this is where our stakeholder are based. This placement will be concentrating on managing the project itself , the project team, the contracts and the stakeholders. 

I wanted to say thank you for advertising and encouraging opportunities like these as I wouldn’t of ever considered this hadn’t it of been presented by yourself. I can say from my experience that higher apprenticeships from the civil service are very interesting and exciting. I hope that the students at SJH will consider these opportunities as well as university. 

Kind regards 
Kristen 
 
KS4
Students Inspired by Plymouth Guest Speaker 
Year 11 students were left feeling both positive and motivated following a visit from local motivational speaker Stephen Seki

From farmer to pharmacist, we met the amazing Plymouth man who is inspiring the city's youngsters 

Stephen is an incredibly passionate and engaging speaker with a powerful message. 
Going against the odds to become a pharmacist Stephen is now committed to sharing both his story of transitioning from life in a Ugandan village to the many challenges he faced when he came to the UK aged 10 and unable to speak, write or read English. He shares the various strategies that helped him get where he is today with students. 

His unique insight about the education system allows students to see that nothing is impossible if you never give up. This is the message that Stephen Seki shares with every student. 

Ms Newberry
Careers Coordinator  

 

 






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Sir John Hunt Community Sports College · Lancaster Gardens · Plymouth, Devon PL5 4AA · United Kingdom