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Monday 27th April 2020

Thanks again to all the parents, guardians and students for doing their best in this difficult time. There have been some great examples of work produced, and we’ve seen many students really try their best to complete work independently. Remember, your teachers are available to answer your questions via email, and extension tasks are there should you wish to challenge yourself further. As well as all the activities your teachers are setting, don’t forget all the fabulous lessons available on BBC bitesize. These can be accessed via the internet but are also available via the red button on many smart TVs. It’s a great time to look into areas that you are interested in.

Learning Top Tips

The way we learn and commit information to long term memory, ready to be used at a later date, is the subject of interest for educators across the globe. Given that we are currently working with remote learning, teachers have been reminded of the best methodology to use to ensure students are learning, and not just performing or being kept busy. Your children may want to use some of these tips to revise previous topics taught in the year: certainly a really good use of their time during the lockdown.

Tip 1: Scientists have discovered something called the ‘Testing Effect’. The testing effect shows that pupils remember more information in the long term if they’ve been tested on the information. For example, pupils who were asked to answer quiz questions on previously taught information a couple of times in the term performed much better than students who re-read those units or were even re-taught those units again. The thinking is that retrieving information previously covered helps create long term memories. Pupils can try this method at home by creating quiz questions, perhaps putting them on flashcards with the answers on the back. They can test themselves, or even ask family members to test them.

Tip 2: In order to strengthen memory, you need to space out practice and interleave it with other topics. That means we need to return to previous units, and re-cap knowledge by recovering some elements, and re-testing, all the while covering other knowledge. Scientists have discovered the testing effect only works if you leave some time for forgetting some of the information in between. This is counter-intuitive and feels more difficult to learn. How many of us try to get better at things by trying to master one thing before moving on? For example, a cricketer may try and improve their leg-spin bowling by only practising leg-spin bowling until they feel they’ve mastered it. However, it is this illusion of mastering something that is the problem, as we trick ourselves into believing we’ve learnt something as we can remember it immediately after studying it. In order to remember something long term, we need to space out practice, return to old topics and re-test frequently. Try and quiz yourself on old topics taught in the Autumn term. How much do you remember of the old units? Don’t worry if you’ve forgotten lots. Testing again, finding the right answer after trying and maybe finding it difficult, actually strengthens your memory. It’s called a desirable difficulty in learning.

Social Science

Year 10 Psychology students are completing a research project on brain scanning techniques. They are investigating CT, PET and fMRI scans and explaining how each scan works as well as their strengths and limitations.

They have the choice of how to present their work and can be as creative as they want. For those students wanting to go the extra mile, they can research how the brain was investigated before scanning technology was developed.

PE

Year 10 Dance is choreographing motifs for their group performance piece and learning motifs from other students via video calls. 

Religious Studies

In Religious Studies, some students have been tasked with learning how to lead a debate. Difficult in these times without face to face communication, but here’s an example from Haaniah in Y10 of overcoming this obstacle and creating a debate in a written form showing some of the techniques needed.

Design & Technology

The Design and Technology Faculty continue to help the PPE effort in Rotherham.  Having already manufactured visors before the Easter holidays.  As a Faculty, we have now gained more stock of polypropylene and intend over the coming weeks to significantly extend the amounts we have produced.  The Textiles dept has also started to manufacture Scrubs wash bags this week along with other items of PPE, desperately needed in the community at this difficult time.

Computing & IT

Students have been working on their programming skills. Alexandra Griffiths wrote a program using Scratch to draw this house using the Pen tool.

Art

Students have been making work in response to the Artist Joel Penkman. All Year 7’s have used whichever materials they have at home be it paints, colour pencils or pastels to make a study of a Fab Lolly. Some of the lollies are Fab!!!

Natasha Brindley
Hannah Spooner
Aleya Fawcett

Music

Year 8 Music – Popular Music Project 

Students have chosen two of the decades of Popular Music we have studied in school and created an illustrated study giving an overview of the history of the decade then details about their two chosen artists, finally, they have analysed a piece of music by their chosen artist using musical vocabulary.

Science

Year 10 Physics students have been learning about reflection.  Students were set the extension task of looking for interesting reflections in the real world and came back with some excellent photos to demonstrate their work.

Sienna L
Ella H
Emily C
Charlotte O

English

Students in Year 7 have started their scheme of work about Hidden Figures by researching Walter Tull, before moving onto Alan Turing and his work on Enigma.

Year 8 students have already completed some excellent work about Myths and Legends.

Pastoral and Well-being

Students have been learning about the importance of sleep in their PSHE lessons. This week they have been identifying factors that reduce quality sleep and considering strategies to improve sleep hygiene. 

Y7 HOY: All students in year 7 have been invited to join our Google classroom, where we will be sharing hints and tips on the best ways to work from home and staying happy and healthy. We will also have a weekly ‘virtual’ assembly, where students will be sent a video to watch covering a variety of topics. Over the rest of the term, we will also be attempting some challenges and tasks at home, and hopefully getting the family involved too!

Finally, all year groups have been sent their weekly assembly from their heads of year to watch from the comfort of their phones or computers so make sure you tune in for your weekly assembly.

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