Autumn Pastoral update

Good afternoon

It was a pleasure to see the students back in school this week after the half term break and it has been a positive first week of the new half term. Our collective Act of Remembrance today was a really powerful Academy event and it was fantastic to see our whole community together in that way. Our students conducted themselves in an exemplary manner and students in the Armed Forces cadets, Boys’ Brigade, Scouts and Guides along with Head Students Archie Curran and Ellena McNamee should be commended for their involvement in the parade and wreath laying ceremony at the Matthew Stuart Tree.

Pastoral Changes

I am writing to let you know about some further pastoral changes that are now in effect. Students were in assemblies on Monday and we went over the key expectations around their conduct and our values of Readiness, Respectfulness and being Responsible so they are aware of these changes. Year 11 were in their mock exams so I will be sure to let them know next Monday.

Home School Communication

We want to ensure that communication between home and school is as strong as possible so we have added some more options to ClassCharts. Conduct around school, both excellent and poor will now be communicated via ClassCharts.

There are now more options for teachers to use in order to praise students and we have added the first warning to ClassCharts. The first warning is where a student is not following instructions/expectations set out by the teacher and positive rule reminders have not worked. The student is then explicitly told by the teacher that it is a first warning, and they know this means they are disrupting the learning of themselves or others. If you notice your child is getting to this stage in lessons, then please do support us by discussing this with them so we can further reduce disruption to learning. We were concerned that parents were not necessarily getting the full picture around the conduct of our young people and wanted to act on this feedback from some parents to ensure that you are fully aware of what is happening. That is the reason for this change.

ClassCharts is the online platform we use to communicate with parents around praise and conduct. If you have any trouble accessing your child’s praise and conduct information on ClassCharts, then please email [email protected] to request support.

Praise and Rewards

We have also introduced praise postcards for outstanding effort / conduct / contribution over time. Teachers across the school will be sending a few of these weekly and they will contain information about the excellent contributions made. Please look out for the first ones in next week’s post and join us in celebrating these fantastic contributions and consistent effort over time.

As we look to continue to positively impact on the culture across the school, we will be launching a pupil focus group aimed at developing a further sense of belonging and pride in the school community. Information will be shared, via tutors, next week about how students can volunteer to be a part of this and contribute to the positive direction of the school.

Anti-bullying Week

Next week is anti-bullying week across the country and we have combined with some external agencies to plan activities and events across the rest of November. This will be kicked off with assemblies and tutor time activities centred around anti-bullying throughout next week. We will be sharing with you an update on this along with useful resources later in the month. Above all, we are reminding everyone to put kindness at the heart of our interactions with one another and we will look to continue to model that to the students just as many of them model it with their peers.

We have been having issues in school with ‘monkey noodles’. The rubber tubes some students are using as ‘fidget toys’. These are now banned from school and
will be confiscated if seen. Please can we ask that you support us by ensuring that they are not brought into school in the first place.

This is a good time to remind everyone that blue tack or therapeutic putty is the only fidget toy that we include on passports for students with reasonable adjustments as part of a MyPlan or EHCP, so all other fidget toys are not permitted in school. Without the use of blue tack/therapeutic putty agreed and in place through our inclusion and SEND teams, students are not permitted to use them.

Road Safety

Now that the clocks have changed and the nights are darker and with so many of our students cycling to school, I encourage you to consider the safety precautions you are taking for your child should they be cycling or walking to school and home in the dark.

Thank you for your ongoing support. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further queries.

Yours faithfully

Adam Wood
Assistant Principal – Culture and Ethos

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Tewkesbury Academy
Ashchurch Road
GL20 8DF
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