I hope this update finds you all in good health and enjoying the relaxation of some of the restrictions. We are nearing the end of another half term and the end of formal lessons for both Years 11 and 13, with 1 week remaining for them. The time does pass by quickly and we will be taking some time to reflect and celebrate with them next week alongside collating evidence for their grades. More on that below.
We have had our first positive case in some time this week. All students who need to isolate have been informed and have moved to online provision. This is an isolated case but serve as a reminder that we need to remain vigilant. Our students should continue with their twice-weekly tests at home on Sunday and Wednesday and must continue to come to school with a face mask and a spare.
I have mentioned previously that we are taking part in a research study to test the effect of contact tracing in schools. What will happen is that any student who tests positive or needs to self isolate will be sent PCR swab kits to take at home during their isolation period. These kits will then be analysed in a lab to see if the virus has spread across the student body and to look at the variants involved. Consent letters will be sent with the kits for families to complete. The results of the tests will be shared with families once processed and the analysis will help the research team understand how variants spread within student populations.
You will no doubt be aware of the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East at the moment. Many of our students are wanting to show solidarity and help those in need and we have been working with them this week to help have their voice heard. Student Leaders are planning fundraising activities for next week and into the next half term to support children who are effected in the region. We have structured an activity for students to craft a letter to their local MP about their feelings on the issue and we are engaging with local police to help ensure any protests/marches that are due to take place in the community are safe for those taking part. I have had conversations with a number of students this week and have been so impressed with their knowledge, understanding and passion about the history of Palestine and Israel but also about enacting change. We hope that the actions they take can help change lives for those most in need of aid as well as developing strong values and morality in our students. Our student leaders have asked if they can wear a badge on their uniform to show that the issue is important to them and we have agreed that a small pin badge is in line with what we do for other causes. We have allowed some students to have stickers on their lanyards this week but will be asking for this to phase out and be replaced by a small badge as we move forwards. Students are not allowed to write on their hands or face and where we have had instances of this we have asked them to wash, your support with this would be appreciated. Likewise, we do not allow students to put up posters in any circumstance and ask the same in this instance.
We have such a special and unique community at Derby Moor and this week has shown how important that is to our students but also how delicately balanced it is. It’s been absolutely amazing to see our student leaders respond so quickly to this – look out for the planned activities this week and after half term.
Next week we will be holding our Careers Week where there will be a range of activities during both lessons and form time. We are excited to have a series of virtual careers talks during the week that will be given by former Derby Moor students. We know that many of our parents/carers also attended Derby Moor and would be delighted to hear from you if you are interested in getting involved in supporting the school with future activities. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
(Andrew Kilgour – Careers Leader). During the week it would be great if you could have a look at our new website for careers and encourage the students to do the same. You will find it on the link below:
Year 9 Pathways
A further reminder that the deadline for pathway choices is Monday 24th May. Please do take a look at the range of courses on offer and discuss these with your child.
The link below will take you to the Pathways booklets and the loom videos from each subject area along with a video with top tips for making your selection.
Year 11 Mock interviews
A reminder that Year 11 students will be having a mock interview during the week commencing 24th May. These will be conducted either face to face or virtually with a range of volunteers from the world of work. Students have been preparing for these interviews in form time and are expected to have a completed a CV and have their Record of Achievement folder ready for the interview. Some example of CVs have been shared with students on ‘Show My Homework’.
Teacher Assessed Grade (TAGs) guide for parents
We have attached a guide for parents to the email version of this update. The guide explains how we arrive at final grades for students, the type of evidence used in subjects, how we have moderated marking and what the quality assurance process looks like. The intention behind the guide is to clarify what has been happening for students in Year 11 and 13 since returning to school and what will happen between now and June 18th. The key thing to note are the measures we have taken to ensure the grades are fair, accurate and reflective of the evidence students have submitted. Please see the guide for more details and contact your child’s progress leader if you have any questions.
I write these messages at the end of each week to update our community on what has happened and is due to happen in school. Originally this was to communicate key information about Covid and measures in school but I know it has become a familiar source of information for many of our families and an insight into school life. It is also nice for me personally to reflect on the week and document our journey through the year. The strength of feeling in our community this week has been almost tangible and, whilst it is a challenge to channel the energy of so many young people into actions that can make a difference, I really feel like our young people are showing how Student Leadership can make a huge difference not just within, but also beyond our school. Coincidentally, a Year 11 student passed me a note this week that was totally unrelated to that – it read “The leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” I’m not sure where the young man took the quote from but I appreciate his words and the time it took for him to give me this message. Reflecting on that quote now, at the end of this week, looking at the ability and potential our young leaders in the school have, I can end the week safe in the knowledge that we are creating leaders here today. Tomorrow, perhaps they will be leaders in a greater capacity, enacting genuine change and improving the lives of others.
Together We Succeed.