Goffs School Newsletter
February 2016 - Designed by Digital Leaders
US Ambassador Visits Goffs Students
Sixth Form students at Goffs School started the year with a visit from the US Ambassador to the UK, Matthew Barzun, on 7th January 2016.
The Ambassador visited the school to listen to the views of students about the USA and to discuss issues that are important to them, explaining that the results of their feedback will be collated and shared with the US President, Barack Obama. In starting his session with the students, Mr Barzun told them, "When I started as a US Ambassador, I asked Barrack Obama if he had any advice as I was about to start my new career; he said listen.... that's all he said. That's really why I am here - listening to you as the future leaders of the United Kingdom could not be more important."
Using interactive clicker buttons, the session began with students voting on their perceptions of what they thought was the most important issue to the US government and then the US people. The majority of students stated that ‘security’ is the number one concern for the US government as well as ‘freedom and individual liberty’ for the US people.
The Ambassador asked the Students for their opinions on which foreign policy issue was most important to them: 12% said Middle East Peace, 18% said UK in the EU, 6% said Ukraine/Russia, 53% said international terrorism, and climate change received 11% of the student vote.
Students were asked to reflect on what they feel were the most important issues to the American Government, and then the American people. Issues such as terrorism, gun control, foreign policy and the role of Congress were all discussed by the Ambassador with the students.
The debate was both lively and engaging on both sides, with the Ambassador thanking the students for their very active and genuine interest and participation. The Ambassador finished his visit by asking Students to highlight what they liked most about the US. Responses included space, freedom, different television series, but the majority of students gave ‘opportunity’ as their number one answer. Commenting on the visit, Caroline Legg, Assistant Principal in charge of the Sixth Form, said:
“We are truly grateful to Mr Barzun for coming to Goffs. Students were hugely excited to have the opportunity to meet such an influential figure. Mr Barzun’s very open and engaging style allowed them to discuss and debate topics that are of great importance to them in an open and constructive way.”
Katie Avril, a Year 13 student, said, “I thought it was brilliant and I honestly felt truly privileged to be given the opportunity of listening to Matthew, especially considering the career I hope to go in to.”
New Build Update
Hello to everyone from the Interserve Construction team currently working on your new school! Despite the rain and cold, progress has been good over the past few months. The new build is really starting to take shape with the structural steel frame being over 90% finished (due to be completed in the coming weeks). Other trades now working on site include: envelope framing teams, brick layers, window installers and roofers. With the building progressively becoming watertight it will be the turn of the internal trades to start performing shortly.
We continue to engage with students on a number of topics including:
· Weekly construction progress photos being taken by Sixth Form Photography students
· Running a fortnightly Motiv8 session with 30 Year 9 students covering topics such as First Aid, Programming, Risk Assessment and Design – these students have now enrolled onto a prestigious CREST Bronze award scheme during which they will have to design their own sustainable housing community
· Running practical workshops for students interested in the construction industry
· Sixth Form students have even joined the construction team to gain some work experience during the holiday periods
Exciting times are ahead… with a busy few months for the construction team!
Goffs Got Talent
The Student Leadership Academy ran their annual ‘Goffs Got Talent’ Competition, culminating in the live finals on Thursday 28th January.
The competition started with the Audition Round. These took place in front of a small panel of students and staff who were very impressed by the various talents displayed. There were many entrants this year with the competition proving very popular: auditions had to be extended by an extra day so that everyone could be seen! The selection process was a difficult one and took much deliberation, with nine finalists being chosen for the live final.
The judging panel included our very own Simon Cowell, Amanda Holding and Alicia Dixon: Mr Holding, Miss McBride and Miss Ball; while the Talent show was hosted by the infamous double act, Tom Fitzsimmons and Connor Fitzgerald.
The finalists were all fantastic, giving their very best performances. The talents included a Poetry Blast by Nicole Lee in Year 8, a musical performance from Harrison Doe and a stand-up routine from Rhys Dell.
After much deliberation from the judges the final prizes were awarded to the following:
First Place - Rosie Grant (Year 10) for singing ‘I dreamed a Dream’ from ‘Les Miserables’
Joint Second Place - Anastasia Holland (Year 7) for singing ‘Tomorrow’ from ‘Annie’ and Nicole Lee (Year 8) for her Poetry Blast
Third Place - Kieran Lines (Year 7) for singing ‘Grease is the Word’ from ‘Grease’
The Student Leadership Academy were very pleased with audience numbers, with many staff, students and parents coming along to enjoy and support the acts. It was a very positive and upbeat community event.
The other finalists were:
Rhys Dell (Year 7) - Stand Up
Harrison Doe - Singing and Guitar
Year 9 twilight dance group - Dancing
Cindy Long (Year 7) - Piano
Daisy McKenna and Holly Fisher- Acting
Attendance and Punctuality
End of January 2016
- YR7- 97.2%
- YR8 - 95.8%
- YR9 - 95.9%
- YR10 - 94.3%
- YR11 - 94.5%
OVERALL - 95.5%
CONGRATULATIONS to Year 7 again for achieving the highest attendance – WELL DONE!
Whilst attendance figures are generally high, some students have had some attendance concerns. We will be contacting parents/carers of students whose attendance has dropped in the last month to invite them in for a meeting to discuss strategies and support that can be put in place to improve their attendance.
Please continue to encourage your child to come to school everyday; your support is invaluable to us, and a reminder that even a few days off each term can have a significant impact on learning.
We do not penalise for Medical appointments, however please be mindful that they still count as an absence and therefore will affect the attendance level; hence we ask that appointments are made early before school or after school wherever possible.
Please can I remind you that all students need to be in school by 8.25am to avoid being late, as the gates close at 8.27 precisely. Anyone not through the gates at that time will receive a 45 minute detention the same day.
Please remember to call the school on each day of your child’s absence to avoid him/her having an unauthorised absences logged.
Good attendance and punctuality will be reflected in any references we have to give for any future education or employment for your child.
Mrs Francoise Grote
01992 424200 ext. 230
Modern Foreign Languages Update February2016
Italian taster lessons
Year 8 students have had the opportunity to learn Italian in a series of taster lessons in readiness for their upcoming GCSE options.
Students have learnt to describe the food and drink they like and what they would have at a party. They have also learnt about Italian customs and traditional meals.
Year 8 have been highly engaged in these lessons and we therefore look forward to a number of students choosing Italian as either their main GCSE language option or as a second language to French/Spanish.
Trips & Visits
Due to events in Europe, we unfortunately had to cancel our very popular visit to Amiens Christmas market, France in December arranged for Year 7. We have also decided to not run our cultural trip to Madrid, Spain during the Easter holidays for Years 9 and 10. However, we are hoping to offer both of these visits next academic year and will open these up to a number of year groups. We hope to be continuing with the long-running Paris trip in July for Year 8 which is always a success.
We are proud to be able to have a class of 6 students who will be taking AS/A2 Turkish this summer and are currently having regular lessons with an experienced Turkish teacher and examiner. This term, we will be trialling lunchtime clubs for Community Languages run by our students and we look forward to an increasing number of students attending these.
Head of MFL
Aspiration and Achievement Update February 2016
The A Team’s Away Day, December 2015
Prior to their December mock exams, the Year 11 A Team group of students were taken off-site to the Churchgate Council Offices where they received thorough preparation in English and Math’s skills. Miss Zorpides ran the English sessions, focusing on how to achieve top marks in one of our Literature texts, An Inspector Calls and Mr Vyras ran the Maths sessions, focusing in how to achieve top marks in Maths exam papers.
Students commented on how helpful the day was and in particular, how well timed it was.
Associate Assistant Principal/HOD English
Star Chasers’ Away Day, Villiers Park Workshop, 1st February 2016
The Star Chasers group of students are a group of students who have been identified as consistently performing to a high standard.
To reward their efforts, on 1st February, 36 students took part in a workshop led by academics who are currently completing PhDs at the University of Cambridge. The day covered key aspects of the core subjects: English, Math’s and Science; although crucially, rather than merely covering content, the workshops were centered on problem-solving strategies.
The students enjoyed partaking in a Maths-based code-breaking session, as well as a session concerning the making of bubbles from a Chemistry point of view. To round off the day, students took a trip to the past and explored Johnson’s English Dictionary, analysing key definitions and etymological roots of specific words.
Students commented on the value of this day and were particularly interested in speaking to the academics about their PhD subjects.
Associate Assistant Principal/HOD English
Careers Fair, 3rd February 2016
The Careers Fair 2016 was a huge success. The representatives inspired so many of our students to do well in their studies and to follow their career dreams.
One of the representatives, a lawyer, had the following to say: “Your careers event was extremely well organized and your students were a credit to your school. They asked interesting and appropriate questions and I felt they took the opportunity to engage with professionals very seriously.”
Students commented on how interesting it was to meet a variety of representatives and to witness the variety of jobs and apprenticeships that are available.
Caitlin Firn, who is a member of the Aspiration and Achievement group in Year 10, stated: “Thanks to Miss Ball's great organizational skills, students were allowed to receive an insight into future prospects and jobs they might want to explore. To list a few of the careers represented: solicitor, pilot, investment banker and a professional actor!”
Another student, Shyaan Salih, also a member of the Aspiration and Achievement group in Year 10, stated: “I was really inspired by the makeup artist because of her work and her advice. She explained the different courses and colleges for my long-term aspiration to be a special effects make-up artist for film.”
The event proved to, yet again, be a huge success and we would like to thank everyone involved for giving up their time for our students.
Aspiration and Achievement
Jack the Ripper Trip
On Wednesday 27th January, 40 Year 8 students travelled back to 1888 London, when the notorious serial killer 'Jack the Ripper' terrorised the streets of Whitechapel. With the aid of two excellent and well-informed guides, we visited some of the more notorious spots that the Ripper made infamous, such as the locations of the victims and places such as Spitalfields Market and the Ten Bells pub.
The cold and gloomy conditions of the evening made for a realistic atmosphere to listen to the stories of each victim’s demise. From the evidence presented we were able to come to our own conclusions as to the identity of the Ripper, and the guides didn't leave out any of the gory details!
Overall, it was an amazing trip that helped our current lessons and increased our knowledge on the topic.
Lissy Batt, Year 8
On Thursday 28th and Friday 29th January 2016, 10 Goffs School students took part in the CHEXS Lea Valley Enrichment Project. They were joined on this project by two students from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School on the Thursday and two students from Burleigh Primary School on Friday.
This Project allows Goffs students to improve on their teamwork skills, problem solving and mentoring skills.
We had fantastic feedback from CHEXS:
“Goffs students were fantastic mentors for the young pupils and looked after them making sure they were safe, and encouraging them when they were tired.”
Coming soon on a screen near you is a short film presented by the Anti Bullying Advocates called:
“Should besties, (sisters) come before Mr’s ?”
Last term the Anti Bullying Advocates filmed and edited the short film which is aimed at showing that cyberbullying can happen in everyday life and that there is always a way to resolve it.
Watch out for the new film released in February/March on the Goffs website and in assemblies.
Key Stage 2/3 Moderation Day, February 2016
We recently hosted a moderation event with local and feeder primary schools to ensure that our marking in English is streamlined across the Key Stages and adheres to curriculum changes. We will continue to host such events in the future and discuss ideas on how to make the transition between Key Stage 2 and 3 beneficial for our students. Below are some photos showcasing the event.
Associate Assistant Principal