Spring Newsletter, Week 8

It was great to meet with so many parents on Thursday evening to talk through our plans for re-opening. Your support is as always appreciated. What came across loud and clear was the joint effort between school and home to help our teens settle quickly into being back in school.

We expect next week to be busy, and appreciate that there will be a heady combination of excitement, worry and overwhelm as we return to being with people. We expect that students will be tired and may be more emotional or snappy than usual. Please do get in touch if you are concerned about your child.

Our priority is to ensure students feel safe and happy. We will be focused on reintroducing the necessary routines and structures to ensure students are maintaining social distancing and good hygiene. It is so important that we promote safe behaviours so that we can keep our year groups in school. We will be reminding students that it is not okay to hug each other, much as we would like to. We will be looking at how we best support each teen’s mental health whilst taking steps to address any gaps in learning.

We would really appreciate your support in reminding your teens that they need to travel safely to school. They need to ensure that they do not congregate with other students outside the building and that they are not mixing bubbles.

Highlights for this week:

Year 9, Ignite Students have been consolidating their Chemistry knowledge of elements, compounds, molecules, mixtures and separation methods. In maths, we have been finding the probability of single events. Congratulations to Malika, Ahmed, Aakash, Ziad and Isaac who were selected to represent us in the Unilever Inspire Programme. Their excellent work in designing and branding a sustainable new product based on natural ingredients for Unilever means they will go on to compete against over 20 schools. We have started work on The Future Food Festival with Farm Urban. Students will study global food issues, explore high-tech urban farming and join in the mission to reconnect people with their food and encourage healthy, sustainable lifestyles. In health, students are looking at the multidisciplinary team and how different health care professionals in the NHS work together for the best patient outcome. In history, we have been focusing on the Battle of the Somme. In enrichment we have continued to explore Gothic design.

Year 10 Students have been completing an online assessment for Physics around conservation of energy. Synergy scientists have extended their knowledge of Photosynthesis to include understanding the factors which limit photosynthesis. In engineering, students have been working on iconic designs, including Concorde, iPhone and Ferrai Daytona. Historians have completed an online assessment on Health and the People and have started looking at the introduction of the Welfare State at the start of the 20th century. In English, students embarked on a new topic ‘Unseen Poetry’ where they were introduced to strategies that will assist them when exploring a poem they’ve never before seen. Students quickly gained confidence with their independent analysis of Maya Angelou’s ‘Still I Rise’ and John Agard’s ‘Flag’. Students also revised their skills for Language Paper 1 Question 2 by analysing language from an extract of Christy Lefteri’s ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo’. Special shout out to Bee and Lara for their enthusiastic exploration and analysis of Lefteri’s work.

Year 11 Science students have now finished their course content and are revising in preparation for online mock exams and subsequent assessments for when we are back in school. In maths, students are working on the probability of multiple events. Engineers have been working on the importance of design legislation including CE marking, British standards, ROHs Compliance and WEEE directives. We are continuing with our robotic hexapod challenge set by Autodesk. We are doing design drawings and using generative design to improve and optimise. The image is the excellent work produced by Caleb! Historians have been revising Health and the People and Conflict and Tension . In English, students revised poems from the ‘Power and Conflict’ cluster and explored how to craft a response through examination of a real GCSE response. Special shout out to Lydia and Ruby who have consistently shown active participation in these lessons.

Year 12 Physicist have been working on pair production, annihilation, and starting a new topic on waves. We have been discussing how polarisation of waves links to VR and generating image depth on a VR cave. Mathematicians are studying the kinematics of constant acceleration. Further mathematicians are busy calculating the angle between a line and a plane in three dimensions. Maths for engineering students have been using second order derivatives to find turning points. Programmers are hard at work on their coursework. In criminology, we discussed explanations for why a person may commit crime taking into account, sociological, psychological and biological explanations. Sociologists are analysing research methods with a particular focus on documents, official statistics and how sociology informs social policy. In English, we debated the relationship between the Loman family in ‘Death of a Salesman’ as they explored Linda’s culpability in Willy’s demise, the strained relationship between Willy and his son and what such dynamics represent for society. Special shout out to Farah, Olivia, and Tom for such an interesting discussion. Historians have been studying the First Continental Congress and Henry VIII’s later foreign policy. In health, we explored the management of an acutely unwell patient and the strategy a doctor might take when assessing and treating them.

Year 13. We have been preparing for PPE exams in most subjects this week. Aspiring medics have finished their university prep as most have now completed their interviews. We are focused on clinical knowledge; prescribing medications, common pharmacology and clinical leadership insight sessions. Our year 13 EPQ students gave fantastic presentations via google meet. It was impressive to see how professional the presentations were. We had an amazing talk from Nour about her work to develop a mixed-reality laboratory that can be used to help students to develop their knowledge of required practicals during remote learning. Mia presented her fascinating project looking at the impact of the pandemic on social mobility. Alana presented her research on what influences the choices of eco-conscious shoppers and which changes to consumer behaviour are likely to have the biggest impact on carbon dioxide emissions. Callum presented his original designs for an aquaponic system that could fit onto existing aquaria to turn domestic fish tanks into functioning aquaponic systems. English students continued with their exploration of the epic poem ‘Lamia’ and framed their analysis of the poem around the distinction between love and desire positing that one’s foolishness in confusing desire for love is ultimately what leads the protagonist to their downfall. Well done Daniel, Fathima, and Carter!

Return to school reminders:

  • Students will start to return to the building from Monday. The return is staggered to allow us to build in testing as students are reintegrated into their bubbles. All students will be back in school by Friday 12th March.

Year group return dates

  • Monday 8th – Year 9 & Year 10
  • Tuesday 9th – Year 12 Vocational (Health, Applied Science, Games Design)
  • Wednesday 10th – Year 12 A-level (if you usually have a timetabled lesson – Biology, Enterprise, Engineering, Criminology, Further Maths, History, Art, Maths, Psychology). Year 12 Bridging. Year 13 Vocational (Health, Applied Science, Games Design)
  • Thursday 11th – Year 12 A-level. Year 13 A-level (if you usually have a timetabled lesson)
  • Friday 12th – Year 11. Year 13 A-level
  • Over 80% of families have consented for testing. If you have not yet returned your form, please do so as soon as possible.
  • Testing is not compulsory, but we would highly recommend it as it will help us to keep bubbles open and we know our students and families are desperate for their teens to be back in school.
  • Students will be tested three times over the first two weeks.
  • Students will be returning to their year group hubs in the building to avoid mixing between bubbles.
  • Start, finish and lunch times will continue to be staggered as in December.

Notes for this week:

  • Institute for Research in Schools – We have been selected to run a pilot project for the IRS. The project, called DNA Origami , will give Yr 12 students the chanceto design and construct their own DNA nanostructures. They will learn how to use CAD software to design objects which they will then construct entirely out of DNA. This approach is used for targeted drug delivery, building nanorobots and studying enzyme-substrate interactions.

  • National Careers Week – Students have this week participated in National Careers Week, including a visit to a virtual careers fair and chances to hear from key employers about careers in a range of sectors.

  • Y10 Work Experience – On Thursday, Yr10 students took part in a day long virtual work experience. Students selected from a range of businesses including nursing with Merseycare, marketing with Merseyrail, engineering with Cadent Gas and web design for National Museums Liverpool. Students had virtual tours, heard from staff and completed a series of tasks.

  • Pre Public Exams Online – PPEs will continue as planned next week. Please ensure you follow the instructions from your teachers.

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