Mrs Piesse’s Monthly Blog
This is my last blog of 2017 and I wanted to close this year with a key theme that prevails in all schools- behaviour.
At Khalsa Secondary Academy we have made behaviour for learning a big priority. We want to build on our high standards to ensure the very best behaviour and conduct from all our students, at all times.
In March this year the government published an independent review of behaviour in schools. The report’s author, Tom Bennett, says:
“A student’s experience in school remains one of the most insightful indicators of later life success in any one of a number of metrics. For many it is the best chance they will ever have to flourish. How they conduct themselves at school is crucial to that experience. Helping them develop good behaviour is therefore one of the most important tasks a school faces…
…Whatever one believes the aims of education to be, all of [them] are best realised in schools where good behaviour is the norm, and antisocial, selfish, or self-destructive behaviour is minimised.”
It’s hard to argue with Bennett’s conclusions. Here at KSA we believe that good behaviour is the foundation upon which a successful education is built. It’s a minimum expectation that students at KSA will be polite, well-mannered, and tolerant, but we expect not just compliance but active participation in learning and taking responsibility for the choices they make. That’s why we use the behaviour for learning chart and our school code of conduct to help our students understand our expectations of them.
The Code of Conduct lays out our expectations of student behaviour in, around and beyond the school; the behaviour chart helps students understand the things they need to do in lessons to ensure they are making the most of their opportunities to learn and make progress.
All of our teachers plan lessons, provide challenging work, mark and provide students with feedback to help them to improve. Our teachers are supported with students’ behaviour concerns, students are put on report if there is an issue and attitude to learning is monitored. Like in every school, there are a handful of students who just don’t get it and we work very hard with them to ensure that they understand the implications of their behaviour to other students.
Each subject reports on Attitude to Learning in every progress check. Whilst students may receive concerns for breaking the Code of Conduct, we are now placing an increased emphasis on giving rewards to those who consistently meet or exceed our expectations. Our aim is to use this positive reinforcement to ensure that those students who behave well consistently are recognised for their part in building a culture where exemplary behaviour and attitude to learning is the norm. It is this interplay between behaviour and attitude to learning that ensures the best chance of success in school.
Our staff and students have responded brilliantly to this focus. Since the start of the term, our students have been awarded a staggering 1,117 reward points for attitude to learning alone, alongside over 498 for excellent classwork and homework. In total, across all of our categories, our students have been awarded 2,347 reward points in seven weeks!
What our next focus is next term is reinforcing the importance of manners; holding doors open for one another, including staff, not leaving plates after lunch on their tables in the canteen, helping teachers carry books, tidying up classrooms, saying please and thank you. Manners go a long way and I am sure you will agree that if all our students mastered these simple rules of etiquette they will get noticed - for all the right reasons!
It is safe to say it has been a good first term, but we recognise that we need to continue with this focus and ensure that there is no lost learning time because of individuals not having the right attitude to their studies or towards their teachers. We know that as a school, we can count on your support in reinforcing basic expectations at home.
November 2017 What’s the point in school uniform? KSA students have their say.
“Wearing a school uniform means students do not have to worry about peer pressure when it comes to their clothes. When everyone is dressed the same, worrying about what you look like isn’t so important. There is no competition about being dressed in the latest trend.”
“Uniforms show that you are part of a community.”
“Wearing a uniform is about having pride, it creates our school’s identity”.
“Wearing a uniform says we’re all in this together.”
“If you wear your uniform with pride, it means you are respectful and believing what the school is all about.”
These are just some of our student’s comments on uniform when I asked them about why they thought wearing a school uniform is important.
I would agree with all of their comments. A school uniform teaches students to dress smartly and take pride in their appearance. Uniforms help students to prepare for when they leave school, when they will have to dress smartly or wear a uniform.
Having had two non-school uniform days at KSA this year, it has also highlighted that a school uniform can improve learning by reducing distraction, sharpening focus on schoolwork and making the classroom a more serious environment, allowing students to perform better.
In America, where a majority of schools do not have a uniform, roughly 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. This might not be directly linked to what they are wearing, but having a uniform can be a safety net for many students who might otherwise suffer from bullying. A strict uniform gives the impression that rules are strict too, helping maintain a sense of order at school.
At KSA our rules are firm yet fair and for us, first impressions, high standards and high expectations count. We are proud of our school and the community we belong to and our uniform represents this.
Please re-read the letters that have been sent out regarding our uniform and make up expectations and let us collectively encourage and ensure that students are dressed with pride and admiration for the community that they are a part of.
Why is Parental Involvment in Education so Important?
It is no secret that parental involvement in education is important. I appreciate that some parents may not know just how important, so I shall attempt to explain as well as provide some avenues for you to explore in this blog.
Research shows that when children have the involvement of their parents, they are more likely to get better grades, go on to university and even have better attitudes. As a parent gets more involved in their child’s education, positive social behaviour improves within the family unit.
If you show a child that education is important and live it out, they will believe it and their grades will be positively impacted.
So, how can parents help?
- Checking your child’s homework is being completed is a great way to start. For example, the homework has to be done before social media takes over.
- Please engage with us. When we call you to talk about your child’s progress, our teachers are doing this because they care, so please support them!
- When we invite you into school regularly to talk about your child’s academia and social well-being. Please ensure that you attend and are aware of what you can do to help support your child at home to improve. For example, regular quizzing on their subject knowledge or vocabulary.
- Please email subject teachers if you have concerns about any aspect of your child’s education. We want the best for your child, just as you do.
- You are warmly invited to the school to talk to a member of the Senior Leadership on Tuesdays about any matters you have to raise, positive or negative.
- Join our Parent Forum- parent mail messages are sent frequently. We are keen to know your views and ask you to help us to steer the school in the best direction.
- Join the PTA to get involved in whole school events.
- Support us to help children read from 08.00-08.30.
Being involved in your child’s education doesn’t mean doing the work for them. It means being an involved advocate for your child’s future. With the job market as dire as it is, it is important now more than ever to excel academically, and with your encouragement, coupled with us pushing your son’s and daughter’s, they will do exactly that.
I am writing to thank you for filling in the Ofsted parent questionnaires and for all your overwhelming positive comments. The inspectors were really pleased to see the strong teaching and learning and complimented us on the excellent behavior demonstrated by our students. The Lead Inspector has informed me that the outcome of the inspection has to remain confidential until such time that the final report is published. This should come within 14 days.Thank you for your phenomenal support. I wish you a happy and peaceful weekend.
GCSE results are in – How should we feel?
This has been an excellent year for Khalsa Secondary Academy GCSE students. We are delighted with our results as they are a testimony to the hard work and effort of our staff and students. Khalsa Secondary Academy has stepped up to the challenge at a time of rapid educational change and increased rigour at GCSE level.
Achievement in the core subjects was very impressive with 81% of our students achieving 5 A*-C grades. We are incredibly proud that some of our most able Khalsa students managed to achieve the elusive Grade 9 in each of the core disciplines.
The level of performance by the other subjects right across the curriculum has been very strong with a marked number of pupils achieving A*/A grades.
We are incredibly proud of these students. Achieving these targets takes dedication, hard work and commitment from our staff and students and we are delighted to know that they are all moving on to the next phase of their education successfully.
We wish all of our students ongoing success. They leave with our grateful thanks for their excellent contribution to the life of our school over the last five years.
Summer is finally here!
Thank you to everyone who has made the last week so great; the trips away, the work experience, the brilliant activities in school.Thank you to every parent, family member and carer for supporting the school.
Thank you to all the staff for your hard work and dedication. You are an amazing team and I feel so lucky to work with you.
Thank you to all those colleagues who are leaving us for new opportunities but most of all thank you to the students. Sounds obvious, but you make the school what it is and you make my job so much fun.
Have a great summer everyone and come back ready to do it all again in September!