Goffs Academy Newsletter
Message from the Principal
Dear Parents/Carers and students,
First and foremost, I would like to wish you a happy, healthy and refreshing summer holiday period, when it arrives. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, despite far fewer students in the school building, I know that staff and students have continued to work incredibly hard throughout this term.
I recognise the challenges learning from home has presented, and I commend students for their resilience throughout. The quality of the work shown throughout this newsletter is testament to that. I would also like to thank parents; I know that ‘home schooling’, particularly when combined with work of your own, can be far from easy. I am grateful for the phenomenal amount of time and energy which has been invested in supporting students.
Because of all of this, the summer holiday period matters more than ever. I have been clear with staff regarding the importance of stepping away from the laptop, to return to school refreshed and ‘ready to go’ in September. That applies equally to students.
Following recent government guidance, we are now planning for the return of all students in September 2020. This is a far from straightforward task. However, I welcome this challenge, and it is of vital importance to get students back into school and learning.
So, have a wonderful summer, and look forward to dusting off the blazers and ties ready for the start of term. We look forward to welcoming you back to your school.
Pride of Goffs
On Tuesday 7th July we would have hosted our Pride of Goffs celebration evening. As the school is currently closed due to Covid-19, we are unable to celebrate with you in person, but still wanted to recognise the work of our students.
We are extremely proud of our young people. Pride of Goffs reflects our students’ many achievements and their determination to be the best that they can be in every aspect of school life. This is an opportunity to reflect on the extraordinary achievements of this academic year and to celebrate all that makes this school such a successful community.
Many congratulations to all the winners. All prize winners will receive certificates and vouchers as a reward for their excellent work.
These are awards presented by Heads of Department to students who have shown excellent effort and progress in their subject.
Alfie Dewson, Year 12
Chloe Flunder, Year 10
Emily Sparrow, Year 11
Harry Brunton, Year 9
Alexander Wood, Year 9
Taylor Middleton, Year 11
Cindy Long, Year 11
Ronnie Ortega-Bohlin, Year 10
Nicholas Mannan, Year 13
Aaron Gallagher, Year 13
Abby Hockney, Year 11
Madison Phillips, Year 12
Chloe Norman, Year 13
Benjamin Hodgkiss, Year 12
Ivy Wright, Year 12
Jordan Ying, Year 13
Isaac Bode, Year 10
Hayden Peck, Year 13
Louvain O'Donoghue, Year 12
Michael Janeway, Year 8
Alanna Simmons, Year 11
Marc Harvey-Hill, Year 13
Kit Hughes, Year 8
Tilly Barnard, Year 10
Caitlin O'Brien, Year 10
Daisy Barber, Year 10
Nathan Hyde, Year 8
Young Citizens Awards
These are awards presented by our Directors of Learning and go to students whom we feel have made a significant contribution to their year group, and in many cases the wider community.
These are awards presented by Mark Ellis, Principal, for outstanding contribution to the school and in many cases the wider community.
Year 7 Commendations
A big well done to the following students who received commendations from Mr Ellis for their excellent work, positive attitude and consistent effort during the school closure.
The students received R5s for their efforts:
Akosua Osei Afriyie
Director of Learning - Year 7
The class of 2013 came to an abrupt end on Friday 20th March. No Graduation, no Prom, no A Level exams and not knowing how they would get their results.
Due to the amazing work of ‘The Top Team’, we managed to have a mini graduation for the students. Marc and Nicole led the Top Team with passion and pride, which resulted in a great day. There was laughter and tears as the students said their final farewell to Goffs Academy after 7 years.
I will miss each and every one of them after being their Director of Learning for 5 years. They are truly an amazing group of students and I wish them all every success in their future lives.
Director of Learning Year 13
In May 2020, the Mental Health Foundation promoted Mental Health Awareness Week, with a focus on the topic of kindness. The Mental Health Foundation works to promote positive mental health for all. They drive change towards a mentally healthy society for all, and support communities, families, and individuals to live mentally healthier lives, with a particular focus on those at greatest risk. Mental health problems can affect anyone, at any time. They believe that mental health is everyone’s business.
So, for one week each May, they campaign around a specific theme for Mental Health Awareness Week. As the support for mental health is something that Goffs Academy stands strongly by, and this year the theme for mental health week was kindness, we launched “The Kindness Cup Challenge”. Students were asked to create a Kindness Cup trophy and present this to someone in their household to show their love and appreciation.
We would like to announce the winner of the Kindness Cup challenge is Rhianna Kendal, Year 8. Rhianna received a certificate and a £20 love2shop voucher in the post. Well done for your fantastic Kindness Cup design, and a huge well done to everyone who participated for your efforts.
Goffs Academy Virtual Pride
The month of June is usually associated with the month-long celebration of Pride, a collection of many events and activities to promote awareness and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community.
Just before closure, we were delighted to launch an LGBTQ+ lunchtime club that the participating students named PRISM. The purpose of this club was to create an LGBTQ+ presence where everyone is welcome. We therefore wanted to make sure that this new club still was available to those students who needed it.
During these difficult times, we as a community, wanted to celebrate what it means to show pride, and how it is unique for each person. Therefore, during the month of June, we encouraged our students to have a go at some activities based around Pride and to learn more about why people celebrate it. We also encouraged students to think about how, in these new times, celebrating Pride might be a little different. We gave the students a loose framework of ideas to go from, but the response we received was absolutely amazing. From unicorn cakes, to a sculpture of a closet made by a group of Key Worker Year 7 students. The creativity shown by the students was hugely impressive, and reflective of how accepting and supportive our students are.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every student who put work into their ‘Pride’ projects; it has been great to see all the effort and hard work you have put in. I would also like to thank the staff members who got involved, demonstrating our commitment to inclusion.
I wish you all the best, and happy Pride.
Teacher of RS/Geography
Personal Development Challenges
During the period of lockdown, we designed a range of tasks to support our students’ personal development. In addition to the curriculum work set by our class teachers, we felt it crucial that children were able to experience and enjoy challenges that help with their broader personal development. We hope that these activities provided some variety during the school closure period, and that they were valuable in helping students to develop vital skills, and may have even proved useful to parents too!
These tasks ranged from changing a light bulb, to learning new self-defence techniques, from basic first aid, to making budget plans, to boiling an egg or even baking rainbow cupcakes for Pride. There were also Super Challenges, such as CV writing, and researching different financial situations. The feedback was fantastic and each student who participated learnt a new life skill which they all enjoyed doing, showing great resilience and a strong self-esteem throughout. Each student who participated should be proud of their accomplishments. A huge well done to you all!
Mia Harvey-Hill - Year 8
Aleksandra Kolenda - Year 9
Careers Remote Learning
As part of their remote learning, students have been exploring various elements of the world of work. We pride ourselves on ensuring that students are well prepared for future employment, and have a range of opportunities to find out more about different careers. Although some of the planned sessions did not take place this year, students impressed us with the high quality of work they produced. I have included some extracts from this work below.
We currently engage with over 30 different employers, through work experience placements for our Year 10 students and our planned Year 9 Careers Fair. We welcome further support from employers within a range of industries. If you would like to support any of the above events, or feel you may be able to offer support in a different way, then do please contact our Careers Lead, Mark Holding, Assistant Principal, email@example.com.
Assistant Principal – Curriculum Enrichment
Art Department Challenges
During the past few challenging months, the Art Department has set a variety of extra optional Art challenges for the Goffs Community to take part in. Our first two challenges, you will remember, were the ‘Movie on a Toilet Roll’ and ‘Happy Hands’.
Great Artists Remakes Challenge 2020
Challenge number three was the ‘GREAT ARTIST’ remake. The challenge was to recreate a famous painting using available props. Many people rose to the challenge - students, family, and staff members.
Here are just a few examples:
Challenge Number 4: House of Illustration
In this challenge the Goffs' community were asked to create an illustration based on their favourite book. We had many responses, here are a few examples:
Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver
Steliana Anayiotou, Year 8
Anne of Green Gable
Lydie Simmons, Year 8
A Girl Called Owl by Amy Wilson
Callia Jordan, Year 7
Summer Holiday Challenge
We have launched our final challenge. This is a Photography challenge called ‘The World Through My Eyes’ which will run over the summer holidays and will close at the beginning of September. This has also been placed onto Doddle.
We are looking for interesting, fun or inspiring photos that show how you, your family (and maybe even your pets!) are getting on during the lockdown and the Summer holidays!
We know how creative and talented students across the Goffs community are! We want you to show your budding photography skills and take photos at home, in the garden or when you go out for your regular exercise.
Some themes you might want to explore:
- Nature and wildlife
- Portraits/Your life and where you live
- Fashion and culture
Please be creative, but do remember to ask the permission of anyone who appears in your photos.
Photos can include special effects and be in either black & white or in colour.
Send your photograph or photographs to Ms Brew (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Friday 4th September 2020. Results will be featured in the next newsletter.
Thank you to all of you who have taken part in these challenges. The Art Department wishes you a happy and safe summer holiday. Keep being CREATIVE and we look forward to seeing you in September when we return to school.
Best wishes from,
Colleen Brew and Tiffany Brown
English Department News
Lessons and Remote Learning at KS3
Students in Year 7, 8 and 9 are being taught with pre-recorded lessons, which takes some getting used to…our teachers are beginning to sound like professional presenters! The feedback has been really good, with students in all years asserting that this is a positive and welcome change because it’s more interactive. In some ways, it’s hugely beneficial because students can stop, pause and work at their pace. Nothing beats the old days though, and we look forward to seeing you all face to face soon!
Students from all years have been encouraged to continue their independent learning. We recommend students keep sending completed work to their teachers because we love to see it, and we share it around the department with pride! Obviously, we cannot mention everyone, but there will be lots of rewards when we return to school…lots! So keep sending in the work!
As Year 9 have just finished work on ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ and embark on the summer 'Blood Brothers' project, some excellent work has been coming in. A special mention for Katie Brown 9E/EN, who at the start of it, made regular contact with her teachers, sharing her work on a daily basis.
All the 'Blood Brothers' links for Year 9 and Year 10 are on the school website. The film of the show is available too, so get your popcorn ready!
Miss Booth also received great work for the free write Friday from:
Melissa Senturk 8W/Dickens, Mia Harvey-Hill 8E/Dickens, Lakshna Nundah 8E/Dickens
Brooke Davies 8E/Dickens and Sophia Dodsworth 8E/Dickens.
Lessons and Remote Learning at KS4
Changing the way we teach and assess for remote learning at KS4
Year 10 students have been invited back into school on two occasions to work with their teachers, finishing set texts, such as, Macbeth and practising skills for language paper 1. An impressive 86% of students turned up to enjoy some long-awaited lessons with their English teachers. All tasks completed have been closely linked to GCSE style questions, making their learning valuable for the 2021 GCSE examinations.
Assessments have changed, with teachers assessing memory with quizzes and assessment for learning, not of learning. The difference being that we look for ideas to feed-forward to students, helping to prepare them for what they will be learning in Year 11. Feed-forward is an innovative way to work with students and suits face to face and remote working. Teachers have found that students are working a little differently, but work is still of a high quality. A BIG shout out to Kayla Ibrahim 10E/EN, who has completed excellent work on Literature during lockdown (see below).
The recent announcements from Ofqual about 2021 examinations are under consultation until late July, so we are doing everything we can to make sure work continues and is relevant for our students. We are committed to making sure you hear the news when we do.
The New Year 12
The school website has a host of information, and here you will find all the learning that has been taking place. Currently, Year 11s who are interested in taking English Literature as an A level are being introduced to their future texts, such as ‘The Great Gatsby’ and Christina Rossetti poetry.
Students are completing introductory tasks on autobiographical, social and historical context. Students can access Schmoop, Sparknotes, Cornell notes, Seneca to name but a few online platforms. The short story, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ was popular with last year’s A level class, so this is on the school website for students to read and answer the 5 BIG questions.
The final piece of work will be the summer tasks, which are introduced on a pre-recorded PowerPoint, so students can start this work now as there is rather a lot to do…
Remote Learning Online
At an unusual time such as this, we have to make more use of online learning. Whilst the internet contains a remarkable wealth of useful information and helpful websites, we have to remember that there are risks as well. Consequently, the need to be mindful of children’s online safety is more important now than ever.
When teachers set work using Class Charts, Doddle, Seneca or other online platforms, they will only refer students to websites that they have checked, or direct to established and reputable online learning Platforms. There is a wealth of information on Youtube and some clips are educational, but we recommend parents supervise online activities when possible.
Lockdown is undoubtedly a difficult and stressful time and as well as completing online learning, we always recommend escaping from it all with a reading book. If you can’t manage a lengthy book at this time, try a quick read…
Remote learning for KS5
It was nice to see the majority of students back in school for some face to face teaching, albeit, it was a little different. If students didn’t attend school, they have been sent their summer tasks and reading. If this wasn’t received, please contact Mrs Collins, the Head of English, before summer closure.
KS5 have embarked on the final reading books for A level literature: ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ by John Steinbeck and ‘A Doll’s House’ by Henrik Ibsen. Students are expected to read their texts over the long summer holidays, and come back to school in September ready to learn and compare. It might be a little bit different learning from home, but we are here to support you every step of the way!
We have put a comprehensive guided reading booklet on Doddle to support your reading of ‘The Grapes of Wrath.’ Students should print the guide or take pictures before it comes off Doddle in late July. It really encourages you to read, analyse and explore all the different contexts. Learning about the author is a good starting point.
The recent announcements from Ofqual about 2021 examinations are under consultation until late July, so we are doing everything we can to make sure work is purposeful and relevant. We will keep you informed.
Enjoy your summer, whether it’s a staycation, a quick trip to the seaside or visiting friends and family, keep safe and well and we’re looking forward to welcoming everyone back in the autumn term!
Associate Head of English
Reading Online for the Summer
Students from all years have been encouraged to continue their independent reading at home – we recommend half an hour each day, but of course would encourage our keen readers to be reading as much (and as widely) as they possibly can! Additional reading recommendations can be found on our school website under Literacy -Reading Lists.
Our Responsive Reading booklets, sent to all students' email accounts, feature an extract a week for a different modern fiction text. These extracts and accompanying activities will take students up to their summer break, exposing them to a range of literary styles in the 21st Century, as well as developing their vocabulary and inference skills.
Recommended Summer Reads for Parents
Lockdown is undoubtedly a difficult and stressful time, and as well as thanking parents for all the support they have been giving our students whilst working from home, we have collated a list of great summer reads currently being read by our English teachers.
The Mirror and the Light (Hilary Mantel)
Cromwell is a man with only his wits to rely on; he has no great family to back him, no private army. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry's regime to the breaking point, Cromwell's robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future.
Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race (Reni Eddo-Lodge)
In 2014, award-winning journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote about her frustration with the way that discussions of race and racism in Britain were being led by those who weren't affected by it. She posted a piece on her blog, entitled: 'Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race'.
The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt)
It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
The Doll Factory (Elizabeth Macneal)
The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal is the intoxicating story of a young woman who aspires to be an artist, and the man whose obsession may destroy her world for ever. London. ... When Iris is asked to model for pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint.
MFL Department News
Hello to you all, and all of us here in the MFL department hope that you are keeping well.
We have come to the end of a very different and challenging academic year, which has proved to be quite extraordinary for all of us as parents/teachers, but most importantly for the students. Here in the MFL department we have continued to be very proud of the amount of determination and resilience our students have had in continuing with their learning whilst at home.
On a weekly basis, as part of their remote learning, the students are asked to complete tasks on particular websites. We are very proud of all the work the students have been doing. A special acknowledgement goes to the following students for showing their consistent dedication to their learning, for having achieved the highest amount of points in the whole school.
This is Language:
· 1st place - Caitlin O'Brien Yr 10
· 2nd place - Riley Skillet Yr 10
· 3rd place - Jessica Marlow Yr 10
· 1st place - Louise Barter Yr 8
· 2nd place – Grace Gaffney Yr 8
· 3rd place - Erin O’Brien Yr 7
As part of their cultural enrichment and development, our students have been involved in various activities throughout the year. From taking part in European Day of Languages competitions; producing outstanding pieces of work for end of term projects such as videos, models, presentations; researching Easter celebrations; attending lunchtime language clubs; to currently taking part in a Language Emersion Challenge.
One of our main events this year was when our Year 7 and Year 8 students studying French, had the opportunity to see a live theatre production in French. The students found this an extremely enriching and an enjoyable event:
"Miss, it really helped to see the people acting the words” (Year 8 student)
“Miss, that was soooo much fun” (Year 7 student)
Over the past few months, remote learning has become the new way of studying. Many of our students have embraced the challenges that this has carried, and have brought extended learning to a new platform for them.
Our Year 10 students have amazed us with their commitment and determination as they prepare for their GCSE exams next year. They have continued to develop the skill of effective independent learning as they start to take control of their own abilities and strengths. An example of this is revision methods that they are using with the resources that have been provided to them through remote learning. Below is an example of how Ashlyn Harrington has been preparing revision cards for Italian.
Well done everyone for all your amazing efforts, and the dedication you have given to learning and developing your knowledge of Modern Foreign Languages!
Science Department News
Goffs STEM Club - Could You Survive a Desert Island?
Imagine the scene. You are in the middle of a 'once in a lifetime' around the world trip, and disaster strikes. As you pass through the tropics your boat hits a pile of floating debris and a large log tears a hole in your hull. Your yacht sinks. Luckily for you you are a strong swimmer and you manage to reach a distant island. Less fortunately for you – it is uninhabited. Can you survive long enough to be rescued?
We have a series of challenges waiting for you next year, some of which you can complete at home and four of which will need to be completed in the team HQs (otherwise known as the labs). We will have fortnightly campfires (socials) on 'Teams' so you can share how the projects have worked for you and get ideas from other groups. Those of you who complete the full set of challenges will be able to get a CREST award and may be able to present their work in assemblies.
What are the challenges? Can you make a water-powered fan, invisible ink (for the message in a bottle), paper recycling, a rope (to tie together an escape raft), a coconut carbon filter (to purify your water), a sundial, organic toothpaste? There are also challenges linked to biodiversity and adaptations. Of course if you have any other ideas about projects linked to this theme, then go for it!
So, anyone in Year 7 or Year 8 who would like to join the club or continue their project that was interrupted back in March please contact Mrs Nicholson (Eni@goffs.herts.sch.uk) or Miss Crichton (FCr@goffs.herts.sch.uk ) so we can get you started. We look forward to hearing from you!
Teacher of Science
For more Science this Summer, please see...
RSB Biology & Photography Competition
The RSB run an annual photography competition, which invites amateurs to submit photos on a theme. This year the theme is ‘our changing world’ which means photographs could illustrate changes in nature such as metamorphism, changes in habitats or the impact of humans on nature. The prize for the young photographer of the year (under 18) is £500. Please also send a copy of the photo that you submit to Mrs Nicholson ENi@goffs.herts.sch.uk
The Young Innovators Challenge
InvestIN want you to propose one big idea to transform virtual learning in any school activity.
Submit your boldest innovation, whatever form it takes. Do you have a creative product design that allows students to carry out practical lab work at home? Can you deliver virtually, the crucial life skills students get from extra-curricular activities like sport and drama? Can you match the fun of face-to-face contact with friends?
Your innovation must:
- Have a name
- Be in the form of a short video OR a piece of text
- Explain the following: i) what the innovation is; ii) what problem it has solved; iii) how it works; iv) why solving this problem is important to you
The winner will be awarded £50 of Amazon vouchers and a complimentary place on any of our 20 Autumn Term career experience programmes. The deadline for entries is Friday 31st July and you can apply by clicking here.
More Outstanding Work Across Goffs
Bronte Aldous, Year 7
Callia Jordan - Year 7
Mia Brown - Year 8 and Fraya Brown - Year 7
Luke Howard - Year 7 - Textiles project
Virtual Sports Week
The Battle of the Houses!
Virtual Sports Week
On Monday 10th July, Sports Week kicked off. The PE department have been amazed by the number of entries across all year groups. Plenty of House points have been awarded over the week and the leading House will be announced to students at the start of next term.
Students have engaged brilliantly across all subjects; please see the following images for examples of some of the outstanding entries. It has been wonderful to see the students' efforts. A particular mention goes to Jack Lawrence and Joley Moynihan who represent the Falcon house. Jack cycled 137.51km and Joley achieved 72 in the speed bounce challenge!
Another special mention goes to Callia Jordan and Rosie Clowes for their amazing results across several PE challenges.
Miss Myers was very impressed by Hayden Wotton’s slow motion video and his editing skills. Miss Huseyin was blown away by ‘Storm,’ a poem written by Sharon Hood - as I am sure you will all agree, it is sensational.
‘Storm’ By Sharon Hood
Sweaty palms- the calm before the storm
Hands positioned against the ground
The clouds darken as you rise on one leg
Before you hear the shot sound.
And then you’re running: rapidly
The wind biting against your skin
Your turbulent arms driving forwards
As you feel the storm brewing within.
Time seems to stop in the eye of the storm
An eerie silence drowns out the chatter
Pause. It’s like the world is stood still
And you and the track are all that matter.
Then you’re out. You’re still running,
Warm rain trickles down your forehead
You’re thundering, striking, storming past
And storm within you is no longer dead.
Well done to everyone who has taken part in virtual Sports Week. You have all been utterly brilliant!
2nd i/c PE