We are quickly approaching the halfway mark of the academic year and George Spencer Academy has accomplished many things which we are extremely proud of during this time. Our ‘Ethos of Excellence’ is becoming an embedded part of academy life with both staff and pupils using our motto as the basis for recognising and celebrating successes. I am delighted to observe that our core values have further strengthened the unity of our school community with pupils demonstrating each value on a daily basis. Since becoming Principal in September I have regularly talked about George Spencer Academy being a child centred school with the fundamental aim of ensuring we meet the needs of all our pupils. With this in mind we are in the process of building a Pupil Support Centre on our upper school site which will open in March. The Pupil Support Centre is located next to the main reception and will be a beacon for pupils to access support from our Pupil Support Assistants and Directors of Learning, all of whom will be housed in the centre.
In December I wrote of our updated school logo and how this has been developed by our pupils to visually represent the unity of our school community. In turn we are updating key items where our logo will be used; this includes the school blazer and school skirt. We are not requesting parents purchase a new blazer however the blazer with the old logo design has been discontinued. We accept that we will have a transition period of pupils wearing both the old and new logo and we plan to see a natural transition when new blazers are purchased as new intakes join the academy.
At George Spencer Academy we monitor the attendance of our pupils very closely because we know attendance to school is a good way to measure a child’s eagerness to learn and engage in school life. Our attendance is continually improving showing that our pupils are ready to learn. This is, of course, a whole community effort and I thank parents and carers for driving forward our focus on punctuality and resilience in attendance. We have recently introduced a new role to our pastoral team, an Attendance Intervention Worker. Miss R Croft has been successfully appointed to this role and will start working with families and children where barriers are preventing a child from being able to attend school.
Our partnership with parents and carers remains our strength to fully supporting every child on their journey to ‘excellence’ so I encourage you to communicate with us whenever you feel the need and to also join our Parent Forum, details of which can be found on our school website or by contacting main reception – you can be assured a warm welcome.
Mrs H Corbett
Year 11 Pre Public Examinations (PPEs)
The second set of PPEs will begin on Monday 2 March and end Friday 13 March. All year 11 students have been given a timetable of exams and there are plenty support sessions running during lunchtime and after school. The students are incredibly motivated to do their very best and aspire to achieve or exceed their targets. As a parent there are many ways you can support them in their revision.
- Ask them to show you their top pocket target card and have a conversation about each of their subjects and where they are at currently.
- Look over their PPE timetable and help create a revision schedule for over half term.
- Ensure they are working in a productive environment with minimal distractions.
- Give them incentives to revise and then relax.
- Make sure they are eating and drinking the right things at the right time.
- Try to keep to a routine with sleep and not be up too late or sleeping in too much – regulate the body clock.
- Keep talking.
We are so proud of all their efforts so far this year, and as I always say to them “You got this”.
Miss L Jenkinson
Vice Principal/Director of Learning Year 11
As you are aware we have high expectations of our students and how they wear our uniform, we are very proud of how the students present themselves on a daily basis. There are a selection of students choosing not to wear their uniform correctly (rolling up their skirt, having additional piercings, wearing cropped trousers, wearing trainers). Through assemblies this week we have reiterated our expectations and would appreciate your support in reminding your son/daughter of their need to wear the uniform correctly. Students have been made aware that persistent refusal to comply with our expectations will result in us dealing with issues in a more formal manner.
If you need clarification on any of the expectations please refer to your son/daughter’s planner or contact their Director of Learning.
Thank you for your continued support.
Mr K Hartley
This half term, pupils in all year groups have had an assembly promoting mental health awareness as part of mental health week. Pupil well being is a huge priority for us as a school and we are always looking to develop the ways in which we support our students. We have recently launched the George Spencer Well Being line which pupils are able to call or text for support or guidance. The number for the well-being line is 07969203860. Students can contact this number if they are worried about anything, if they are having issues with other students, if they are concerned about one of their friends or they just need someone to talk to. The phone is monitored regularly by our support team who can offer guidance and support either over the phone or by text. The well being line was promoted as part of the mental health awareness assembly and posters will also be going up around school next half term.
Mr J Dakers
Careers information and guidance is being delivered through form time learning, dedicated growth lessons, through our subject curriculum and Challenge Days all of which underpin our desire to equip our students with the necessary employability skills that will ensure that they leave school prepared for life in modern Britain. Students have visited various universities; Nottingham, Warwick, Cambridge and Oxford. Our Y10 Designers are presenting at Design Ventura, London as I type. Students have also had college taster days and visited the World Skills Show. Up and coming events include our Y11 Interviews on the 17 March, if you can help out, please email Mr Platts. We had our first “A day in the life of….” presentation HR which was informative and went well. On the 1 April, Y8 and Post 16 students will have the opportunity of attending out next careers fayre which will see 20 companies and HE providers link with the students. On the 27 February we have our “Getting to know the Growing Success Hub and Unifrog”. Please log into the Growing Success Hub and Unifrog using the links below to support your children at home: https://sites.google.com/george-spencer.notts.sch.uk/growingsuccess/home
As a parent, you can get access to Unifrog by following the link below and registering (please ignore that it says student!) using the form code; parentsgeorgespencer https://sites.google.com/george-spencer.notts.sch.uk/growingsuccess/home/parentcarer-information
Finally, a you may or may not be aware, alongside our curriculum we run a careers, information and guidance programme to ensure our students are sufficiently well informed and guided through their educational career and into the world of employment.
We work closely with Futures who provide bespoke guidance, interviews and planning sessions to help you and your child navigate the ever changing world of education and employment. In order to run this service efficiently, we need to share basic information about your child and their curriculum with Futures. Futures will store student data according to data protection regulations; this data will not be shared with other agencies and will remain confidential.
If you DO NOT wish for your child’s information to be shared with our Future team, please email email@example.com so a record can be kept of this not being permissible.
The Friends of George Spencer (FrOGS) are an active body of parents and supporters of the school who run a range of community activities throughout the year which benefit both our students and our local community; examples being the Fireworks Extravaganza, the Joules clothing sales which proved to be extremely successful with visitors queuing to get inside the doors, the Christmas Artisan Market and several cheese and wine events throughout the year. If you would like to support FrOGS and the school please email them on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Challenge Days continue to underpin our enrichment with students being offered a wide range of activities ranging from Becky Boyle, Prison life, meet the employer, Money Matters to name but a few. As a focus, from this year, all Challenge Days are linked to an employability skill for example the 4 Rs, aspirational, informed, achieving and accountable. The intention behind this is that the students explicitly develop the “soft skills” that society and employers are looking for in the modern Britain of the future. We are equipping the students to embrace, succeed and indeed shape their future and hopefully the future of others.
Are your children taking advantage of our extra-curricular offer which ranges from academic support through Period 6, lunchtime and evenings designed to enhance the learning and progress of our students to a wide range of pastoral activities which develop our students as a whole? From the Lego club, Warhammer club to music, drama and sport, students have many opportunities to try new activities, thrive and develop their confidence and experiences outside the classroom. The production and quality of Oliver this year was a testament to the hard work and dedication of the students and staff.
We are very proud of our continuing sporting successes, an example being the Y11 girls netball team who recently became the Regional Champions and now go onto the National Finals which are held on Saturday 14 March at Welwyn Garden City. If any of you would like to attend and support our girls, I am sure that they would appreciate it.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme has been expanded this year with a larger take up in both the Bronze and Silver awards. The lifelong skills developed through participation in this scheme cannot be underestimated. Another example of the variety of activities available is the success of our Y10 students who are in the final of the Design Ventura competition at the Design Museum in London. It will be a long day for them but we wish them well. As a school, we always encourage our students to embrace life and the opportunities available to them. We are proud of and acknowledge the many activities that they participate in outside of school whether it be Army Cadets, dancing, volunteering or any other activity.
Our wealth of trips continue to add to the opportunities of our students. The rolling programme of Inclusive Games has offered competition and team building through a range of different sports. Trips to the GCSE and A Level Science Live show, the Tamworth Snowdome, various Maths Challenges, The Open Centre – Faith Trail, Cinderella Pantomime, Languages Pop Up museum, Art in Action and the River Trent to name but a few add to the enrichment of our students.
Mr N Platts
This week we have had the PPEs and after half term there will be a Results Day. This will take place on Friday 6 March during registration. Once results have been issued then papers will be returned. We will of course celebrate successes and continue to support all students as we move towards the summer examinations. There will be subject specific sessions and additional workshops offered focussing on organisation, well being, revision techniques, dealing with stress and planning for the future.
Dates for Your Diary
- Thursday 19 March – Year 13 Progress Evening
- Thursday 26 March – Evening event focussing on Well Being in preparation for summer examinations.
Half term is also a great opportunity for students to get organised so any additional encouragement would be great! Just a few ideas – sort folders, print off specifications, make a revision plan as well of course taking time to rest.
January started with Work Experience week. It can be very difficult for students to secure positions but it is all credit to them that they persevered and completed the week successfully. It is really important that they keep a record of their achievements so please encourage them to go onto UNIFROG and complete their activity log. (See above for information on how to log on to the system).
This week we held a celebration assembly and it was great to be able to deliver messages from subject teachers and to celebrate the success of so many students since the start of term.
Thank you for your continuing support. If you have any specific concerns then please do not hesitate to contact the Sixth Form team.
Mrs K Fawcett
Director of Learning
Did You Know!?
There is a chance to get our school a reward of £1000 towards our prom or leavers merchandise if 50% of our year group sign up to NCS, meaning they have fully completed their sign up including payment and medical forms by March. Is your child aged 16-17? Have they got plans when they finish their exams over the summer? Would you like them to have a fantastic opportunity that they will remember for years to come? If so please visit the National Citizen Service (NCS) website https://wearencs.com/what-is-ncs. NCS have been into school over the past few weeks running an assembly, a lunchtime doughnut drop and into tutor groups to hand out registration forms. If the cost is an issue, please contact James as they may be able to help:
Youth Engagement Advisor