CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL

 

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

As we get closer to the holiday break, I wanted to write and to wish you all a happy and safe Christmas and New Year, and at a time for catching up with friends and family, to share some personal news of my own.

 

After seventeen very happy years as Head of School and Principal at George Spencer Academy, I have decided to take retirement from August 2019. In my time at George Spencer I have seen the school become an academy, achieve two 'outstanding' judgements from Ofsted, and be recognised as a truly 'world class' school.

 

Our colleagues in our Teaching School, subject Hubs and the Spencer Academies Trust have flourished, and it has been particularly meaningful for me to support the training of hundreds of new teaching colleagues in my time here.

 

We are now determined that the next appointed Principal will be an exceptional candidate with the leadership skills and strategic understanding to set the direction for the next phase in George Spencer's sixty year history.

 

You will appreciate that finding a candidate of the calibre to lead our outstanding school through the next stage of our evolution is likely to be neither a quick task nor an easy one. Students may therefore see visiting candidates as they get to know the school in the days and weeks ahead, and I hope that you will all join with me in making potential applicants very welcome.

 

I have enjoyed meeting and working with so many of you this year and over the past seventeen years, and look forward to my last eight months at George Spencer. It has been a privilege to lead such an exceptional school.

 

May your Christmas be bright.

 

Best wishes.

Mr Field

 

 

HALF PRICE SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIR

 

Wednesday 12th - Tuesday 18th December

 

From Wednesday 12th until Tuesday 18th December we will be holding a Half-Price Scholastic Book Fair in the Library during break, lunchtime and after school until 4pm. With a wide range of titles featuring some of the best new books, there's sure to be something for everyone to enjoy. Every book sold will help to get FREE BOOKS for the School Library. There will also be a range of stationery and posters available.

 

We will be taking cash at the Book Fair. Alternatively you can visit https://bookfairs.scholastic.co.uk/gift-vouchers to find out about Book Fair Gift Vouchers. These offer a 20% discount when you buy online meaning a £12 voucher costs only £10, a £6 voucher costs only £5 and so on. Vouchers can be purchased up until midnight on the last day of the book fair.

 

Thank you for your support and hope to see you at the fair!.

 

The Library Team

 

 

CHALLENGE DAY

 

Tuesday 4th December, 8.50am - 2.55pm 

Break - 10.00 - 10.20   |   Lunch - 11.30 - 12.20  |  Break - 1.30- 1.45

 

Students will be taking part in various activities:

 

  • Year 7 – Sports Activities (Wear PE kit and tracksuit)

  • Year 8 – Normanton Trip / History / Geography

  • Year 9 – Key Stage 4 taster day

  • Year 10 – Careers

  • Year 11 – Money Matters / Prison Life

  • Year 12 / 13 – There will be a limited number of lessons running.

  

Please note the earlier finish time of 2.55pm for the Challenge Day. 

 

 

 

 

PARENTAL BULLETIN - OCTOBER HALF TERM 2018

 

George Spencer Academy has now just about recovered from the cyberattack which froze a huge amount of our data at the end of the previous term, and we are indebted to the efforts of our support staff who have worked long hours restocking our systems and recovering our efficiency and functionality. Parents are thanked for their patience in waiting for progress updates, particularly for the current Year 11. We are now launching 'INSIGHT' (a strand of our PARS database system) which will revolutionise how you access information about your child's progress and arrange appointments for Progress Evenings this year. Access information is being distributed this week.

 

Our Parents' Forum meets each half term, and you are very welcome to attend in the Conference Centre, and air your views on the main agenda item:

  • Wed 7th November 6pm – Quality Assurance of Teaching & Learning at GSA
  • Wed 30th January 2019 - TBC

 

With the weather turning colder, may we remind you that all students in Years 7 – 11 should wear a plain black coat over their blazer (not instead of) during the next few months. Our Uniform Expectations remain as high as always, and please check the Student Planner if in any doubt.

 

Punctuality has been good in the vast majority of cases all through the first half of the Autumn Term, but a few have started slipping into bad habits as the darker mornings have impacted on 'getting up' times: please ensure as a family that your child leaves the home in plenty of time to get onto GSA site well before 8.45am.

 

On this note, can we please urge parents to be considerate of other road users when dropping/collecting their child at school. Only vehicles displaying a yellow permit will be allowed in through the school gates, as we endeavour to minimise the number of vehicles in amongst pedestrians. The Tram terminal should be used as the drop/collection point for Lower gate, rather than parents dropping off at the end of Lower drive and blocking access

 

When we return on Monday 5th November, George spencer Academy will be on its Winter Routine which means that all students are confined to hard surfaces only and should keep off all grass areas. Years 10 and 11 may play ball games in the 'new' Cage, with Years 7, 8 and 9 in the larger 'old' Cage – appropriate coloured bibs must be warn and no spectators should stand in amongst games.

 

Mock examinations for Year 11 will be taking place during the period from Monday 5th – Tuesday 13th November, and this will impact on Lunch and Break arrangements during that time. We ask that other students are considerate about noise in the vicinity of the School Hall.

 

Please note that we welcome applications for additional Mid-day Supervisors who can help support the calming influence of GSA having plenty of staff presence during the Lunch break. If you are interested in this role please contact us on info@george-spencer.notts.sch.uk for more details.

 

Mr A Field

Principal

 

 

GRAPHICS HALF TERM SESSIONS

  

There will be a Graphics session for students on Monday 29th October from 8.30am - 12.30pm during half term. The session will be based in TE5/TE6.

  

This will be an opportunity for students to improve their pages 1-6 for Section A & B, and to continue working on their design ideas, whilst accessing additional support and feedback.

  

If students have incomplete/missing work this is an ideal opportunity for them to catch up.

 

 Students will not need to wear school uniform. 

 

 

INSIGHT

 

There will be a few changes this year with regards to data and access to information about your child's performance in school.

 

Over the last two terms we have been trialing the use of a piece of software called 'Insight'. This has been evaluated by members of our Parents' Forum and modified to cater for the suggestions they made before being rolled out to a number of year groups as a method for booking Parents Evenings. Our intention was to start the new school year with access to Insight for all families. Unfortunately, you may be aware, that we fell victim to a cyber-attack in July and, as a result, much of our data and information systems were frozen. We can reassure you that none of our data was lost and the integrity of our systems and security has been evaluated externally by internationally recognised organisations and was declared to be more than adequate for a school of this size.

 

Click here to continue reading.

 

Click here for help accessing Insight.

 

 

 

CHALLENGE DAY

 

Thursday 25th October, 8.50am - 2.55pm

Break - 10.00 - 10.20   |   Lunch - 11.30 - 12.20  |  Break - 1.30- 1.45

 

Students will be taking part in various activities:

 

  • Year 7 – Becky Boyle (Science)

  • Year 8 – Sports (Sport & Health Studies)

  • Year 9 – Sex Ed, Drugs/Health (Social Sciences)

  • Year 10 – Romeo & Juliet (English)

  • Year 11 – Sixth Form Tasters

  • Year 12 & 13 - No Lessons

 

Please note the earlier finish time of 2.55pm for the Challenge Day. 

 

 

 

 

Y11 CORE/ OPTION MOCK EXAM TIMETABLE

 

5th November - 15th November

 

All morning examinations to start in registration, student’s line up in the quad at 8.45am.

 

Afternoon examinations, students should line up in quad 1.15pm (12.50pm on Weds).

 

Period

MONDAY 5th November

TUESDAY 6th November

WEDNESDAY 7th November

THURSDAY 8th November

FRIDAY 9th November

Period 1/2

Physics

1hr 45 min papers

English Language

I hr 45min

All Y11

Maths 2

1 hr 30mins

All Y11

Maths 3

1 hr 30mins

All Y11

OPTION A

Business 1hr 30mins

Geography 1hr 30mins

History 1hr 20mins

Philosophy 1hr 45mins

Spanish Writing 1hr/1hr15mins

Combined Science

1hr 15 min papers

Students return to option lessons asap

 

Break

Period 3

Normal Lessons

Normal Lessons

Normal Lessons

Normal Lessons

Normal Lessons

 

Lunch

Period 4

Maths 1

1 hr 30mins

All Y11

Chemistry

1hr 45 min papers

OPTION B

Business 1hr 30mins

Drama 1hr 30mins

French Writing 1hr/1hr15mins

French Reading H/F – 45mins/1hr.

Geography 1hr 30mins

History 1hr 20mins

Philosophy 1hr 45mins

PE 1hr 45mins

Biology

1hr 45 min papers

English Literature

I hr 45mins

Students go straight home

Period 5

Combined Science

1hr 15 min papers

Students return to option lessons asap

Combined Science

1hr 15 min papers

 

 

Period

MONDAY 12th November

TUESDAY 13th November

WEDNESDAY 14th November

THURSDAY 15th November

Period 1/2

Design Technology (P Half) – classrooms

FP&N – classrooms

 

8.50 – 9.50am French Listening H

9.50 – 10.50 French Listening F

 
 

Break

Period 3

Normal Lessons

Option A

Spanish Read H/F (29) 45mins/1hr.

11. 15 – 12.15pm Spanish Listening H

 
 

Lunch

Period 4

OPTION C

Business Studies 1hr 30 mins

Computing 1hr 30mins

Geography 1hr 30mins

History 1hr 20mins

Creative iMedia 1 hr

Media (19) 45mins - Classroom

Spanish Writing 1hr/1hr 15 mins

Spanish Reading H/F – 45mins/1hr.

PE 1hr 45mins

OPTION D

Business 1hr 30mins

Computing 1hr 30mins

Creative iMedia 1hr

French Writing 1hr/1hr 15 mins

French Reading H/F – 45mins/1hr.

Geography 1 hr 30mins

History 1hr 20mins

PE – 1hr 45mins

Spanish Writing 1hr/1hr15mins

Spanish Reading H/F – 45mins/1hr.

Break

12.55 – 1.55pm Spanish Listening F

Design Technology (S Half) – classrooms

FP&N – classrooms

Period 5

 

 

 

EXAM DATES - SUMMER 2019

 

 

The Summer 2019 exam season begins on Monday, 13th May 2019 and the last day students will be required to be available for exams will be Wednesday, 26th June 2019.

 

These dates exclude the practical exams such as speaking tests and Art & Photography which would usually take place in advance of the main exam season.

 

 

 

KOOTH

 

Kooth is a free counselling support and advice for young people aged 11-15. It can be used as a 'drop in' service or for regular booked sessions with a named counsellor.

 

It also offers things such as emotional health message forums to discuss emotional health related issues hosted by a qualified counsellor, and an 'Ask Kooth' feature which enables young people to ask questions about anything of concern to them.

 

  • Monday to Friday 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Weekends 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • 365 days of the year

 

 

 

CHALLENGE DAY

 

Thursday 27th September, 8.50am - 2.55pm

Break - 10.00 - 10.20   |   Lunch - 11.30 - 12.20  |  Break - 1.30- 1.45

 

Students will be taking part in various activities:

  • Year 7 – Warwick Castle (Social Sciences) – offsite

  • Year 8 – Dragon’s Den (Science)

  • Year 9 – Enterprise Day (ICT & Business)

  • Year 10 – Creative Writing (English)

  • Year 11 – Technology Day & Prison Life (Technology) 

  • Year 12 & 13 Tutor Review Day

 

Please note the earlier finish time of 2.55pm for the Challenge Day. 

 

 

 

GCSE SUCCESS

 

George Spencer Academy is once again celebrating excellent GCSE outcomes for its students. Building on consistently high level performance over many years, this OFSTED recognised 'Outstanding' school has today celebrated its successes with its 2018 Year 11 cohort, whose overall headline results are in many cases some of the best in the region.

 

Year on year, students at the school surpass the national expectations and the headline results are improving at a greater than expected rate. The Progress figure for the year group is once again illustrating that GSA students achieve, on average, a third of a GCSE grade better than all students nationally taking the same combinations of subjects, and starting from similar backgrounds. This places George Spencer in the top 20% of schools in the country once again."

 

" 'Strong' GCSE results (Grades 5 – 9) for both English and maths are once again really pleasing," said Principal, Andrew Field. "Our students and staff work very hard and we have shown that despite the new specifications and the numerical grading systems now implemented across nearly all subjects this year, we are more than capable of giving every child who comes through our doors the opportunity to succeed."

 

Scott Doyle, Vice Principal, added: "We are, once again, pleased with such excellent results for the school but more so for each of our young people. The increased demands of the new courses has received a deal of media attention this year, as such we are proud that students have taken this in their stride and secured grades that are truly reflective of their potential and set them up for the next stage in their career. As a Teaching School we are privileged to have a climate where all staff and students embrace lifelong learning, resulting in a dedicated, professional staff team and the development of the most talented trainee teachers. This has undoubtedly helped us to stay ahead of the curve and prepare our students fully for the new courses and more challenging examination content."

 

George Spencer Academy is part of the Spencer Academies Trust, which includes five secondary schools in the region. CEO, Paul West said: ""At Spencer Trust we are delighted to celebrate the continued strong performance of GCSE Students at George Spencer Academy. The school has not only delivered consistently high results in many subjects including English, Maths and Science, credit goes to the school leadership, teaching and support teams and the supportive community of students and parents. Congratulations to all."

 

"Examination results are not everything at George Spencer", commented Mr Field. "We aim to prepare young people for the fast changing world of work, and give them the breadth of experience for their lives beyond education. That said, we also encourage them to give something back – only two weeks ago, a group of 20 Year 11 students returned from a working expedition to Tanzania. Here they contributed labour to the construction of a rural school for orphans, having raised funds to support this charitable cause, before then adventuring on safari and to the island of Zanzibar. All these experiences make a GSA student a more rounded employee of the future, with world class life skills and aspirations. We welcome positive young people such as these into our Sixth Form to further their education."

 

 

 

POST-16 SUCCESS

 

Once again, George Spencer Academy Sixth Form students are celebrating great successes on their Post-16 courses...

 

This morning, George Spencer Academy has been delighted to have so many individual achievements to applaud, and the overall outcome means that for the third year running the Sixth Form has attained the highest of grades for well over half of all entries. A phenomenal third of all grades achieved were A or A* at 32%. The average Points Score per Entry was 36.9 points, equivalent to a grade B.

 

Andrew Field, Principal, said: "Our staff and students have thoroughly deserved the results which our Year 13 has gained today. With so many courses being examined under new specifications, there was always going to be concerns about accuracy of predictions and so we are delighted that, once again, we have proven that we can prepare our students to have every opportunity to succeed, and that those students have done themselves proud through their hard work and determination!"

 

Karen Fawcett, Director of Sixth Form, added: We love to see the excitement and sense of accomplishment on the faces of so many of our students who will be able to take up employment, apprenticeships or university under-graduate places, and look forward to seeing them embark on their chosen career routes.

 

Paul West, CEO of The Spencer Academies Trust shared in the school's celebrations, "The Spencer Academies Trust are delighted for the students here at George Spencer Sixth Form. We're also thrilled that across our family of schools, more sixth form students than ever before have achieved higher grades, opening doors to their futures. This is testament to dedicated staff and hardworking pupils and families committed to education."

 

 

 

 

For students in years 7-11 only

One of the reasons you have chosen to send your child to George Spencer Academy is for the high expectations we have of our young people, as well as our academic prowess. The introduction of the blazer six years ago has increased how smart our students look.

 

It is important that we maintain these high standards and it is only through positive relationships with yourselves that we achieve this. We wanted to make you aware as early as possible to some alterations, as we are mindful that you maybe updating your child's uniform before the end of term.

 

The changes that will be in place from the beginning of the new academic year in September will be:

  • Students are not allowed to wear 'skinny' or 'cropped' trousers,
  • Students are no longer allowed to wear the 'Bootleg air Suffolk' trainer style shoe from Clarks, or any other 'trainer' style. All shoes should be formal style shoes.

 

The planner and uniform guide for the new academic year will be updated to indicate these changes. Students wearing inappropriate uniform in September will be removed from circulation until the situation is resolved.

 

The high expectation with regard to student's attire will remain in place throughout the year. Please ensure that you child continues to wear the correct uniform for the remainder of the academic year.

 

Thank you in advance for your support and co-operation.

 

Mr A Field

Principal

 


 

 

YEAR GCSE SCIENCE & UPCOMING ASSESSMENTS

Many thanks to everyone for all of the positive comments and interest shown in student progress in Science at the recent progress evening. We had some excellent questions about the content studied so far in the GCSE science courses as well as the upcoming end of year assessments.

 

 

For Year 10, this will be W/C 9th July 2018 

You will be able to access the specification for GCSE Trilogy (combined) Science here.

 

For the Separate Science course, you will be able to access the specification for... 

  • GCSE Physics here 
  • GCSE Chemistry here 
  • GCSE Biology here

 

Topics studied: All year 10 pupils will have completed the following topics (during the course of Year 9 and Year 10)

 

Biology

Chemistry

Physics

Cell biology (Year 9)

Atomic structure and the periodic table (Year 9)

Energy

Organisation (Year 9)

Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter (Year 9)

Electricity

Infection and response

Quantitative chemistry

Particle model of matter

Bioenergetics

Chemical changes

Atomic structure

Homeostasis and response

Energy changes

Forces (Year 9)

 

The rate and extent of chemical change

 

 

The Physics equations sheets (GCSE Physics & Combined Science) – all students in combined Science will need to be able to recall 21 Physics equations, and 23 equations on the GCSE Physics course. Please be aware that not all of the equations have been taught to pupils yet – as there are still topics to teachin year 11.

 

 

Revision Resources

BBC Bitesize (You need to select either, Biology, Chemistry, Physics for the separate courses, or Combined Science and then AQA for the correct exam board – this can also be downloaded as an app.)

 

 

Specimen Papers & Mark Schemes

 

Revision guides can be purchased on Squid portal– they are CGP and can be purchased for Separate Science (all three books) or for combined (one book) – students can collect these from us in the Science office when they have purchased them.

 

 

Kerboodle

Al of our GCSE Science textbooks are available on Kerboodle – which all students have now used, a guide for accessing Kerboodle can be found here.

 

For further enquiries you can also email Miss K. Hancock at khancock@george-spencer.notts.sch.uk or Mr N. Baker (Curriculum Leader for Science) at nbaker@george-spencer.notts.sch.uk

 

 

 

A MESSAGE FROM THE (NEWISH) PRINCIPAL

End of Spring Term 2018

 

During this Spring Term of 2018 we have experienced some most unorthodox events:

 

  • the closure of the school for two days due to the extreme weather conditions (for only the second time in 15 years) as even George Spencer succumbed to the ‘Beast from the East’, not before stout resistance from our heroic caretaking team
  • sporting successes, particularly in Table Tennis and Netball , with national and county finals reached
  • a team of sports leaders ‘stepping’ their way up and down Kilimanjaro, and still having the energy to also ‘reach’ Paris!
  • two exhilarating overseas school trips, to countries previously not on the GSA ‘empire map’ – Morocco, to conquer the highest peak in North Africa, and to Lithuania to study the geography of one of the Baltic states; as well as our two regular German exchanges taking place
  • Lots of other events for students, including STEM Week, Maths Challenges, Valentine’s disco, Fix Up for Year 11, and theatre trips

 

All the while, we constantly strive to do all that we can to help every student progress and attain to the best of their ability, and we continue to professionally develop our staff through innovative CPD. The efforts and dedication of all our colleagues continues to make GSA.

 

We will be sorry to see the departure of Mr Paul Hynes (Vice Principal) at Easter, after 7 years as a member of the Core Leadership team of George Spencer. Paul has been our timetabler in recent years, and brought considerable knowledge of curriculum design and assessment to the table in leading many aspects of GSA’s transition during the introduction of new specifications across Key Stages 4 and 5.  He has also taught many subjects, most notably Business Studies, to great effect and has always been most willing to ‘fill the gaps’ in any teaching need – most recently the ECDL qualification last summer. However, we have never actually utilised Paul for his original teaching subject (which can now be revealed as ….Chemistry)!

 

We wish Paul all the best in his new position as Deputy Principal at Woodbrook Vale School in Loughborough, and appreciate that he will be coming back to GSA twice a week during the next half term in order to fulfill his Year 11 teaching commitment and guide his successor with the new timetable, Mr Allen.

 

We are also saying goodbye to MsHymke Moens, as she emigrates to the Netherlands with her partner. She has been a fabulous Science teacher in her 3 years here, and even had time to coach some of our Chinese speakers with one of her many languages. She also holds the distinction of being the only GSA member of staff to lift the ‘glitter-ball trophy’ of Strictly Spencer (after fierce competition from Mr Titley) and her grace and poise on the dance floor exemplified her approach to life and teaching in general.

 

Also leaving us will be Ms Alice Ryrie, our specialist teacher who handles the transition for certain Year 7 students. She is taking up a new post at Longdon park School, Eggington, and we wish them all the very best in their future careers.

 

It has been a short and intense term at the school, and we now break for Easter before the examination season gets underway. There are lots of Revision Sessions being run in school during the holiday (timetables have been issued to relevant students) and we urge parents to encourage their children to take up all the opportunities for additional support that we offer. In this day and age, qualifications from school are still the ticket to having a range of career options, amid increasing competition in the job market. Whilst we do all that we can to inspire and focus young minds, there are so many distractions in the world today that sometimes it needs all the adults in a young person’s life to be saying the same thing together….the effort you put in today will pay dividends tomorrow!

 

GSA intends to switch to its ‘Summer Routine’ from the end of April, so after the first two weeks of the new term we will open up the fields for student access at Lunch. This year, public examinations for GCSEs will be sat in the Sports Hall as we have invested in new carpet matting in order to protect the flooring, so this will be a new experience for us all.

 

Happy Easter, and let’s hope warmer weather beckons.

 

 

 


  

share your views

Through the Parents' Forum & Parent View

Parents and carers are invited to our Parents' Forum meetings. The meetings takes place at 6pm in the Conference centre. Parents and carers can also give their views of our school at any time of the school year and at the time of a school inspection using an online questionnaire called Parent View. When our school is notified of its next Ofsted inspection, parents will be invited to give their views about the school to inspectors using the Parent View online facility as this has replaced Ofsted's paper questionnaire. Please make sure we have your most up-to-date contact details.

 

Please register with an email address and a password here . Once your login has been activated, it only takes a few minutes to complete answers to 12 short questions about aspects such as bullying, the quality of teaching, level of homework, etc. Your views are important in helping inspectors make a decision about our school, and to help us know what is going well and what could be improved. If you do not have a computer or an email address or if you would like help to use Parent View, please come into school and ask at reception.

 

 

parent view

A MESSAGE FROM THE (NEWISH) PRINCIPAL – end of Spring Term 2018

 

 

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