The Okeha pton College Keeping you informed July 2014 Issue 11 This week our Year 10 students will be involved in work experience and our Year 7, 8 and 9 students will be participating in various activities during Curriculum Extension Week. Please can I ask you to remind your son/daughter about the importance of excellent behaviour throughout the week. I would like to wish all our students an enjoyable an productive time and look forward to hearing how their week has gone. Daryll Chapman Principal British Gas Generation Green Energy Performance This year Generation Green tasked school children from around the country to design an eco house of the future. All of the entries were fantastic and, after a tough job whittling them down, six lucky schools came to Westfield, Stratford on 19 June to perform on a specially commissioned energy-generating dance floor. The day our pupils won an energy makeover for the College: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwhXmXfRQII LINK TO ALL OKEHAMPTON COLLEGE NEWSLETTERS: http://e-learn.okehamptoncollege.devon.sch.uk/index.phtml?d=191948 ONLINE PAYMENTS via Many of you have already signed up for our cashless online payments but for those of you who haven’t, please note that during the next academic year we will be requesting that more events/trips need to be paid for online. Due to the ease and speed of online payments it is likely that students whose parents use this method of payment may get an advantage on events/trips that require an early payment. To help avoid any disappointment please ensure you have registered online with Squid. If you have misplaced your child’s unique registration letter and require a copy please contact the Curriculum Support office. PUPIL PREMIUM You will have no doubt read about this funding in the press recently but may not know whether this is applicable to your family. To help you decide we have highlighted the basic criteria below. If your child is: ● Eligible for Free School Meals (or has received a free school meal in the last 6 years) ● A Child in Care ● A Child who has been adopted from Care ● A Child with one or both parents serving in the Armed Forces The College receives additional funding to support all children in receipt of Pupil Premium with their education. Part of this additional funding enables the College to offer a grant of £150 to the parents of Pupil Premium child to support ‘in school’ activities such as music lessons school trips and school uniform. Please contact College Reception for more information about the free school meals criteria and to request an application form. DATA SHEETS As more of our information for parents is distributed by text and email it is increasingly important that we have the most up to date contact details at all times. Please can we ask that you always ensure that your child’s data is current - PARTICULARLY email and telephone number information. Mathematics and Science Groups September 2014 As usual the Maths and Science Faculties will be undertaking a review of Key Stage 3 and 4 setting arrangements ahead of the start of the new academic year. This is to ensure all students are placed in a group that will enable them to receive appropriate support and achieve to their potential. Changes are often necessary to accommodate new students and to ensure that setting remains flexible to take account of differing rates of progress. Teachers have already spoken to students about this, but both students and parents should be aware that this will result in some changes to groups in September. ADVANCE NOTICE Okehampton College Sponsored Walk 12th September 2014 The summer break is a great time to tell everyone you know about our Annual Sponsored Walk on Dartmoor. The entire College will be involved. This walk will be done as a House activity and the aim is not only to enable tutor groups to work together, but also to act as a vehicle for raising funds for the students’ chosen charities: The routes, of approximately 10 miles, will all begin and end in the College and the walkers will be fully supported by staff. First Aid stations and drop out points are built into the route. As this is the end of the first week back of the Autumn term after the summer break we will be issuing *sponsorship forms before the end of the summer term so that you have plenty of time to get support for this very worthwhile event. *Sponsorship forms will be given to our students at the end of the summer term. A big thank you… to all parents and carers for sending in food ingredients so that their youngsters can take part in food lessons. I am about to retire from my job after teaching food and child development at Okehampton for many years. I have enjoyed my career and hope that my replacement will have a successful time and have the same support I have been fortunate to have. I have loved almost every minute teaching the youngsters some useful life skills and I hope that they continue to enjoy cooking some of the dishes we have made in school. A big thank you to my lovely tutor group. Please continue to look after and support each other. I shall miss you all! Mrs Radnor Should teachers and parents cry openly when reading a novel? This is the big question in the news of reading this week Ms Griffiths Here Michael Morpurgo and Kevin Brooks debate this issue Teachers should let themselves cry in class when reading poignant stories to help teach children that books matter, the author Michael Morpurgo has said. Morpurgo, the former children's laureate and writer of War Horse, said showing emotion in schools when reading sad tales should not be avoided, being an essential part of being a "good teacher". Speaking at the Chalke Valley History Festival, where he discussed his First World War novels, he added it was important to let children see stories can touch the adults around them, to help them learn the value of literature. His novels, including War Horse and Private Peaceful, are known for their emotive subject . "If you cry in front of children when you're reading a book it's good teaching," he said. "How else do children ever get to know that books matter, that stories really matter, unless they see grown-ups touched by them?" He added: "I find it profoundly difficult to read the Carol Ann Duffy poem [about the Christmas Truce]. I think that's the point of literature, it's about something different: engaging us deeply, making us think." When asked why many of his children's books were so "melancholy", he added: "Young people are thinking people. I know your life isn't perfect. There are really good bits about your life and maybe some bits that are not so good. If you just write stories for young people and wrap everything in a little pink bow and say everything's fine, they know you're not being honest. I have to be honest with people, look them in the eye and tell them a story - not try to pull the wool over their eyes." Speaking at the Hay Festival last year, Morpurgo disclosed he did not write for children in mind, or consider their age when telling a story. He added they are "quite capable" of judging what they can cope with, and equipped with the mental tools to process the reality of the modern world. Morpurgo, who has tackled difficult subjects throughout his 128 novels, including the execution of a young soldier, urged authors to stop shielding children from the issues of the real world. "We all know children are growing up so fast these days, the world cannot be hidden from them," he said. They must read literature that reflects that world, that is serious about that world, that makes them think about it. I like to look children in the eye. I don't think of them as seven, eight or nine; I just tell the story. I rely on their intelligence, their sensitivity to understand it as best they can. Children can accept what they can accept. Provided you're not pushing the whole thing at them and pushing it down their throats, they're quite capable of saying 'that's enough' and responding to that." Speaking last week, Kevin Brooks, the newly-crowned winner of the Carnegie Medal said children do not need their books to have “patronising” happy endings but should learn life is not always "all right in the end". Brooks argued children’s novels do not need to include an “element of hope”, which leaves young readers cossetted and sheltered from the real world. Speaking at the presentation of the medal, Brooks added that being “patronising and condescending” is the “very worst” offence an author can commit. “There is a school of thought that no matter how dark or difficult a novel is, it should contain at least an element of hope,” he told an audience. “As readers, children – and teens in particular – don’t need to be cossetted with artificial hope that there will always be a happy ending. This article can be found online at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/10 933797/Michael-Morpurgo-tells-teachers-to-cry-whenreading-to-children.html Key Stage 3 and Year 11 Graduation Ceremonies Okehampton College recently held its Annual Awards Evening where almost 800 guests attended over 2 ceremonies to see more than 350 students receive awards from College staff. The evening commenced with the Key Stage 3 Awards, where teachers in each faculty area nominated students for awards covering Excellence, Improvement, Effort and House Awards which reward students for their contribution to either their tutor group or active participation in House activities. The ceremony also included the presentation of Junior Graduation awards by the Principal, Mr Chapman. The Year 11 Graduation Ceremony followed. During Year 11, students accrue Graduation Points for the various aspects of College life that the College and the Community think are important. In order to graduate, each student must gain a minimum score in areas of progress, exam entry, praise points and attendance. The more points gathered and recorded, the further up the Graduation Board a student graduates. Guests also had the opportunity to watch the work of Year 11 Media Studies students who had put together video trailers as part of their course work. Arron Wilson, Awards Evening Coordinator said, 'This was an opportunity for parents to glow with pride and the College to publicly recognise the progress made by many of our students. The evening was a real success and I thank everyone who supported it’. Okehampton College Head Boy Jed Chapman and his friend Kyler Burns take on The Three Welsh Peaks Challenge THE SUMMIT OF SNOWDON On 14th July 2014 students from Okehampton College will return to Bulgaria to spend a week working in a state orphanage in which they organise play and educational sessions for the children that are housed there. This project is closely linked to the work of the Okehampton charity, 'The House of Rachel'. THE SUMMIT OF SNOWDON (descent via the Miner’s Path) Okehampton College Head Boy Jed Chapman and his friend Kyler Burns decided to raise funds to subsidise the trip by attempting to walk the following three mountains in Wales: Snowdon in the north, Cadair ldris in the west and Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons. Known as The Three Welsh Peaks Challenge, at 4.32 am on Sunday 22nd June and after a delicious cooked breakfast at the Youth Hostel, Jed and Kyler set off to climb Snowdon via the Pyg path. To begin with they found themselves climbing in thick cloud, but an hour into the walk the sun broke through, revealing an awe inspiring landscape. Completing the walk in just 2.5 hours, they were then driven by Jed’s father to the foot of Cadair Idris. Following the Pony Path they reached the summit of Cadair Idris at 11.30 am. CADAIR IDRIS, SNOWDONIA At 12.30 pm they then set off by car to the Brecon Beacons and there was time to grab some much needed sleep before climbing Pen Y Fan. Another Okehampton College boy, Aaron Kimber, happened to be camping in Brecon with his family and keen to offer his offer support he joined Jed and Kyler for the final ascent. Whilst Pen Y Fan is deemed to be the easiest of the three peaks, by now muscles were beginning to ache! PEN Y FAN, THE BRECON BEACONS The challenge was completed in just 7 hours walking, and including driving between the peaks, was completed in just over 12 hours, a remarkable achievement. The smile on the faces says it all! Funds raised in excess of the actual cost of the trip will be donated to the House of Rachel for the Bulgarian orphanage. (Last year Jed's additional sponsorship helped towards the funding of two teenagers from the orphanage through Varna College). It is hoped that other students at Okehampton College will be inspired by this challenge. Not only have Jed and Kyler raised much needed funds for an excellent cause, they have gained a great deal from the experience. In Kyler’s own words, ‘What would I have done this weekend if I hadn’t done this? Probably just drifted into town, and spent some money. I will never forget those stunning views! ‘ Swimming Update Grace James - Following on from her recent success at the County Swimming Championships where she qualified for 11 events, made 7 finals and won 1 silver and 2 bronze medals, Grace subsequently qualified to compete in the 200m butterfly at the South West Regional Swimming Championships. The day started with some trepidation finding herself ranked 14th out of only 14 who had achieved the qualification time across the 6 counties. During the first heat Grace found herself in last position at the half way stage only to power back and win the heat with a massive personal best time, this left everyone waiting to see if it was fast enough to make the finals, and it was! Placing her ranked 6th. After many hours of waiting for the finals for the 200m Butterfly, this energy sapping race was upon her. A great performance was again produced with another personal best attained and a further position improvement as the 5th fastest in the West – Well done Grace. COLLEGE ENERGY INITIATIVES FEATURE IN A MAJOR AWARDS SCHEME The pioneering work that we have undertaken in recent years on energy management and renewable energy was held up as a national exemplar in an awards ceremony, The Responsible Business Awards 2014, held at The Royal Albert Hall attended by Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry. The considerable achievements at the College have been made with the ongoing support of EDF Energy who were presented with a Responsible Business Award as part of the Business in The Community Awards Scheme (BiTC) of which Prince Charles is patron. Keith Webber and Tim Andrews (6th form) pictured above were invited to the ceremony as representatives of The College. Switching off a few lights and being more energy aware has produced some interesting outcomes. Getting ready for Dementia Awareness Day in Okehampton Waitrose very kindly sent along a partner to support Dementia Ambassadors and visitors to our Dementia Café on Tuesday 8th July in the making of table decorations. A stunning collection of flowers was provided by Waitrose, plus expertise in cutting and arranging flowers. Ambassadors worked with guests to create the displays which will be used at the Dementia Awareness Day on Friday 11th July in the Charter Hall. The Dementia Awareness Day will provide information on Dementia and discuss how we as a community can tackle the challenges that living with Dementia presents. Dementia Ambassadors will be involved in presenting two sessions and will attend as young representatives of our community. The Dementia Awareness Day in Okehampton is the first to actively involve members of the community under 16. The conference, organised by Devon Senior Voice, is the 8th Community Action Day provided for towns in Devon. Year 9 students who have opted for Catering courses in Year 10 will provide the buffet lunch and Media students will record action from the day. Thank you to everyone who supported our recent Coffee Morning on June 21st. It was a very hot day and we were in competition with a number of other events being held on that Saturday. The money raised was around the £250 mark. If you were unable to make that coffee morning we will be holding our next one on Saturday 13th September and look forward to seeing you there. We would also like to say a big thank you to Mrs Joanne Camies, who ran the London Marathon and raised £256 for the PTFA. It is much appreciated and we will be letting Mrs Camies know what the money has gone towards. Thank you everyone for your support and look forward to meeting you at future events. Carol Chapman PTFA Treasurer Okehampton College PTFA END OF YEAR ART EXHIBITION ROOM 301 (6th Form Art Studio) FEATURING A SELECTION OF WORK FROM OUR EXAM GROUPS OPEN EVENING MONDAY 21st JULY 3.30 – 6.30pm (there will be a list of students whose work has been selected on the board outside the Art rooms by the end of the week) Dates for your diary & forthcoming events MONTH DATE EVENT Monday 14th to Friday 18th Curriculum Extension Week Thursday 24th Last Day Of Term Wednesday 3rd to Friday 5th Incl. Non-Pupil Days Monday 8th All Pupils Return Monday 27th to Friday 31st Half Term Monday 3rd All Pupils Return Friday 28th Non-Pupil Day Friday 19th Last Day of Term July SEPT OCT NOV DEC Christmas Break Monday 22nd to Friday 2nd January 2015 Inclusive Link to web site term dates: http://e-learn.okehamptoncollege.devon.sch.uk/index.phtml?d=191947 Important Information for Parent/Carers Please be aware of new safeguarding guidance, ‘Keeping Children Safe’ Paragraph 117 - Parents/Carers using Facebook, Twitter and other social media to make derogatory remarks about staff is not acceptable under the prohibition on reporting and publishing allegations about teachers in section 141F of the Education Act 2002. Schools across the country are reporting issues relating to the misuse of social media sites. If any such abuse of these sites regarding Okehampton College takes place, appropriate action will be taken.
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