MANGOTSFIELD SCHOOL BULLETIN
21st October 2015 Issue 2
Well, the term really has flown by!
There is so much potentially to report on but I just want to highlight some of the main events from this term.
Firstly, there has been a real positivity evident in students and staff. That has been reinforced in assemblies consistently this term. I am adamant that a key factor this year will be the things we do for ethos. Mangotsfield is a very caring place, supportive and inclusive of all of its students. The challenge now is to build on those existing strengths and to build a culture where we build a sense of aspiration and ambition in our students. I have stressed that it is all about quality teaching and so, to that end, we have been dropping in to lessons daily to monitor the quality of learning. It has been a joy and I know our students have appreciated the praise postcards which have been distributed!
We have just completed a major piece of work, our Inclusion and Ethos Review. That has involved senior colleagues across local and CSET schools coming together and giving us their views on diverse aspects of the student experience, such as assemblies, tutor time, sanctions, rewards, as well as aspects of our provision for SEN students. It involved watching lessons, talking to students and canvassing parents' views. Pulling it all together takes time but we hope to make public the key recommendations in November. Next term we will be reviewing our Curriculum, including the timetable and Options.
Our Year 7s have settled in very well indeed, and I am really grateful for the hard work and dedication of George Vincent, Carl Taylor and the Year 7 tutor team. Clearly, the transition from Year 6 into Year 7 is not without its challenges but their care and input has done much to make this a successful start for them. I know most really enjoyed the days spent together in their tutor groups at H5 in Wootton Bassett!
I am constantly struck by the manners and friendliness of our students. That was evident from our recent visit to a UWE-organised event on the theme of The Blitz. The Year 9s who went were fortunate to work with lecturers and PGCE students, and it is a credit to our children that Mrs Hanratty, who accompanied the trip, was frequently reminded how lucky she was to work at Mangotsfield, so impressed were people there. Having spent the best part of a month conducting parent tours each morning I can now reflect on the warm and friendly welcome which our students extend to prospective parents. No lessons have been off limits and we have all really enjoyed the experience touring around and popping into lessons. More often than not, our current students have recognised younger pupils, which is always lovely.
I am so pleased with the welcome I have had from community partners. It was lovely early this term to visit four partner primaries, and it was useful to be able to talk to the Headteachers about how we could work better with them. It has given us plenty of ideas for activities which we hope to put on in primaries or at Mangotsfield for Years 4 and 5, not just in sport but in Music, DT, Languages and Science. We have also become a partner school of Bristol Rovers Football Club. In essence this means that we receive high-quality coaching at school and they will help us to develop girls' football in particular. We have plans for them to assist us with some breakfast coaching and coaching drop-ins over one of the holidays.
You will have seen the improvements to the Assembly Hall. This Half Term will see us start to refurbish the Sixth Form Block, part of a rolling programme of refurbishment scheduled over each major holiday.
On a personal note, I am really grateful to the parent body for the welcome you have extended to me since starting. With your support, I know we will build on this strong start and that Mangotsfield will go from strength to strength.
A Golden Celebration
Mangotsfield School was very pleased to welcome Mr and Mrs Roger Saunders on the occasion of their Golden Wedding anniversary. Mr and Mrs Saunders met, aged 13 and 12, whilst students at Rodway Technical High School now known as Mangotsfield School.
Their son, Peter, arranged for them to re-visit the place where they first fell in love.
In addition to a guided tour by the Headteacher, they also took part in a question and answer session with some Year 7 history students. Mrs Saunders brought with her a whole school photograph taken in the early 1960s so that the students could see the then school uniform. She and her husband talked about what it was like to be a student at 'Rodway'. The students were quite shocked to discover that: punishments could be meted out if a student was seen in uniform outside school not wearing their cap or beret; the school day was longer; corporal punishment was used and sometimes Mrs Saunders travelled by steam train to get home from school.
Mr Saunders said how much the school had changed over the years, although the hall and science block were pretty much how he remembered them.
(The Bristol Post ran a feature on this golden couple see http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/love-story-50-years-childhood-sweethearts-visit/story-27883770-detail/story.html )
If any students would like to see how the school has changed over the last 50 years, ask Mrs Wells in the L.R.C. to show you some of the old photographs we keep in the school archive.
Year 9 Football National Cup News
For the second round of the National Knockout, the boys travelled all the way to Hereford to play St Mary’s School. It was worth the trip as we continued our winning performance in the competition so far by an emphatic 7 - 0 win.
The goal scorers were: Oliver Hulbert (3), Bailey Sloper (2), Ryley Towler (1) and Harry Simons (1). Well done to the whole team.
Year 8 Rugby
Year 8 rugby players have represented Mangotsfield at 2 rugby festivals over the last couple of weeks. They have played a combined 8 games out of both festivals and are undefeated, winning 7 games and drawing 1.
Excellent performances especially from Will Warman, Charlie Hill, Cole Wyllie and Tyler Lane.
Year 7 Parents' Evening and Barbecue
Parents of our Year 7 students were able to see how their children were settling into their new school when they met their child's tutor at the recent parents' evening. The Headteacher, members of the Senior Leadership Team and Head of Year, Miss Vincent, were also on hand to answer any additional questions.
To welcome parents and make the evening a more sociable event, the school provided a barbecue in the courtyard.
There was also an opportunity to sign up for 'Home Connect', an online link to the Accelerated Reader scheme used by all students in Years 7 and 8. By joining this scheme parents have access to their child's reading record and will also receive an e-mail whenever their child does well in a reading quiz.
If you are the parent of a Year 7 or Year 8 child who would like to take part in 'Home Connect' and has not yet signed up, please e-mail the librarian, Mrs Wells, putting 'Home Connect' in the subject line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Duke of Edinburgh Award
On Thursday 1st October 45 Year 11 students presented their expedition aims/photos from last summer to an audience of nearly 200 people. It was a very enjoyable evening and great to see so many young people who had faced new challenges enjoying the satisfaction of achieving success and gaining valuable life skills in the process.
This year 60 Year 10 students have signed up to start their Bronze DofE Award. They will be meeting with DofE leaders, and other staff who have volunteered to mentor them, and will be taking part in various activities which include: raising chickens, netball, cricket, fundraising for charities, football coaching, Parkrun, reading mentors for Years 7 and 8, badminton, photography, scouts, cycling, cooking, drama coaching, horseriding, judo, ballet, helping at ATC, helping at guides, Zumba and cooking.
Thank You for your support with uniform
It is important that all students personally present themselves in an appropriate way that contributes to a disciplined and well-ordered environment for learning. Uniform is a great 'leveller' in this sense. Worn well, it symbolises that 'we are all equal here' and creates a sense of identity and belonging to the school community. We will therefore continue to insist that uniform is worn correctly at all times at Mangotsfield as an indication that students take pride in belonging to our school community.
I am sure we all agree it is important that students have the right equipment, arrive at school on time every day and are serious about their studies here.
The Mangotsfield School Attendance Target for All Students in Years 7 - 11 is 96%
Attendance and the Link with Exam Success
Non-urgent medical appointments should be arranged during out of school hours or school holidays.
If an appointment is taken in school hours we will only authorise a 2 hour window for attending medical appointments. No child should take the whole day off school for a medical appointment unless it has been authorised by the school in advance. Please contact Miss Chard if your child needs a longer time.
Absence During Term Time
Amendments to the Education Regulations from the Department for Education no longer allow Headteachers to grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are very exceptional circumstances. In accordance with the guidance, parents or carers are not permitted to withdraw their children from school during term time.
Holidays must therefore be taken during the official school holidays and may not be timed to start or end during term-time.
Your co-operation is much appreciated.
New contact e-mail addresses
To ensure your emails get quickly to the right member of staff, and to respond to parental feedback, we have created the following dedicated e-mail addresses:
E-mails to any of these accounts will be directed immediately to the department concerned who will reply via that e-mail address. If you know the name of the teacher you wish to contact, please add it to the subject line to ensure a prompt reply.
To ensure the safety of Mangotsfield students, parents may not drive onto the school site or drop off their children across the entrances to the school car parks. The only exception is to safely deliver those students with mobility difficulties or other special needs. For these circumstances, please use the designated disabled and visitor parking spaces in the main car park. Post 16 students do not have the use of on-site car parks.
Items of lost property are sent to our Reception office. Please ensure that all uniform, kit and possessions are clearly marked with your child’s name so that, if an item is handed in, it can be reunited with its owner as soon as possible.
Year 10 Work Experience Week
Year 10 Work Experience Week is 13th – 17th June 2016. This is an exciting opportunity for students to obtain experience in the workplace, build their skills and gain an employer reference for the future. Information, example application letter and advice for students are all available on the school network.
Miss Phillips is your contact at school. Apply early to secure placements.
Our World Challenge students are in action again raising money towards their adventure next year. They are organising a disco for our Year 7 and Year 8 students during the last week of the Christmas term.
The event will be held in the main hall on Tuesday 15th December from 5.30 pm - 8.30 pm. Tickets will cost £2.50 in advance or £3.00 on the door and can obtained by contacting Sixth Formers Emily Cadden or Sam Redfern. (See poster for details).
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Monday 2nd November: INSET Day
Tuesday 3rd November: School re-opens to all students, Week A
Thursday 12th November: Post 16 Open Evening, 6.00 pm - 8.00 pm, at Downend School