South Wolds’ Blog
 
South Wolds is such a vibrant place to grow up and learn.  On a daily basis there is so much happening it is difficult to keep up with.  We will update the blog on a regular basis to let you know what is happening at our great Academy. We also operate a twitter account @southwolds for parents and carers.
16th September - Year 7 VIVOs

At South Wolds we believe strongly that individual successes and effort should be rewarded. We use the online reward system VIVO to do this and to ensure that students receive tangible rewards for their efforts. This morning in the Year 7 assembly I was really impressed by the students who received praise for being the top 3 VIVO earners last week.  There is also clearly hot competition for which which tutor group achieves the most VIVOs in a week.  
Keep up the good work Year  7 - you have made a great start.
AG

10th September - Year 12 
Students joining our sixth know that their main focus is to achieve excellence in their A-Level results. However, they are also committed to developing the wider personal skills to be successful in whatever route they choose to take.  They are also very aware that they are role models for the rest of the school.
In order to develop this wider aspect of their time in sixth form further this year Year 12 students will be working with lower school tutor groups in the morning to undertake a variety of roles including: ensuring everyone is ready for school; supporting weaker readers; undertaking one to one mentoring; helping with homework; and leading presentations on career routes.  

We are very excited by this new role for our sixth formers and we know they will do a great job.
AG
9th September - Supporting Global Education
 
Last year out Year 7 students and Mrs Seller supported a campaign for all children globally to receive a good education.  Their work and support is acknowledged in this letter from The Right Honourable Ken Clarke
Student Notices
AG

8th September - A Change in Approach

The vast majority of our students have developed good study habits and are superb at completing homework on time and to the best of their ability.   This year through the use of Show My Homework we are setting out to work more closely with parents on making sure that all students demonstrate these excellent study habits.

There will, however, be some students who will need extra reminders of the importance of homework.  Later in this term we will be introducing a Rapid Response Detention so that students who do not complete homework will be given the opportunity to catch up on missed homework in a lunchtime detention on the same day.  

It is also worth remembering that some students do struggle with homework.  If any parent has concerns about homework then they should also contact their child's tutor in the first instance.

If you haven't already looked at Show My Homework then please do take the time to do so.  We think you will agree it is an invaluable addition to the work we do with parents to make sure that all students at South Wolds have every chance to succeed.
Student Notices
AG

7th September - Extra-Curricular

Despite the best efforts of our former education minister, South Wolds still gives priority to participation in opportunities beyond the classroom.  We believe that such opportunities can help create interests that will last for life and will help shape youngsters into well rounded individuals. Even in the first few days back it has been wonderful to see so many students signing up to take part.  Some examples of what is on offer so far are:
  • Auditions are taking place this Thursday for the Academy's very popular pantomime.
  • The Dance Troupe are also auditioning for new members this Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Year 10 girls are being given the opportunity to take part in Stride for Life to raise money for cancer research.
  • The Music Department's extra-curricular activities are all up and running.  You can see full details of these on their website.
There will be many more opportunities throughout the year.   These are communicated to students every day through the Student Notices.
Student Notices
AG

6th September - Academic Excellence part 2.

After reading the last blog entry a parent got in touch with me and referred me to an article in the Nottingham Post which sets out the local context of the impact of the national changes on GCSE results.  You can read the article in full here.

Student Notices
AG

5th September - Academic Excellence in 2014

Now that we have settled into the new term it is time to reflect on the performance of the Year 11 and Year 13 students who left us in the summer.  We are absolutely delighted that once again our exam performance means that we are one of the top performing Academies in Nottinghamshire.  Some of the highlights are set out below.

A-Level
  • 25% A*-A grades
  • 51% A*-B grades
  • 100% pass rate
  • 95% of students achieved their first choice university and we maintained our excellent record of sending students to Oxbridge Universities.
This third year of superb performance now means that we can confidently say that we are one of the top performing Sixth Forms in Rushcliffe and Nottinghamshire.  

GCSE
  • 10% achieved at least 10 A*-A  grades.  Wow!
  • 16% achieved at least 8 A*-A grades
  • Significantly higher proportions of students made at least 3 and 4 levels of progress than the national averages in English and Maths
  • 34% of students achieved the E-Baccalaureate suite of qualifications
  • 85% of students achieved at least 2 A*-C grades in Science
  • 61% of students achieved at least 1 Modern Foreign Language A*-C grade
We really do achieve academic excellence in a genuinely caring environment.  We are Rushcliffe's best kept secret and are proud of the fantastic achievements of our students and staff.
 
Our one disappointment was that the proportion of students achieving 5 A*-C grades including English and Maths has dropped slightly to 67%.  We are contesting one set of results with an exam board and will let you know if this does change this figure.  

Whilst we are disappointed in this slight drop it should be noted that this is in the context of national changes to exams which are widely acknowledged to have impacted on this measure this year.   Direct comparisons on this single attainment measure with other schools are always unhelpful as they give no indication of the progress that students have made from Key Stage 2, this is why the government have already planned to remove this measure from the 2016 performance tables.  If you do wish to make comparisons with other schools then I would also urge you to find out what the measure is when you take into account first entry only.  In line with government policy we do not use early entry widely because, like them, we believe that it caps achievement and reduces the depth to which subjects are taught and studied.

Now it is back to work and making sure that the current Year 11 and Year 13 students achieve the fantastic results we know they are capable of in 2015.

Student Notices
AG



3rd September 2014 - Show My Homework

This year we are introducing a new way in which parents can keep an overview of homework.  All staff from Years 7 to 13 will be recording every piece of homework they set on the Show My Homework website.  We are sending out log in details for all parents, if you do come across any teething problems then please contact us by email at showmyhomework@southwolds.notts.sch.uk.

AG

2nd September 2014 - The Dawn of a New School Year

Today is one of the most exciting days of the year.  Parents of Years 8,9,10,11 and 13 have held meetings with tutors and Year Performance Leaders to make sure that everything is in place for a successful year.  Year 12 have been in for most of the day to sign up for their new courses.   Year 7 have spent their first full day in school - they have made a great first impression and we are looking forward to working with them in the coming year.

The message to Year 7 was that we want everyone to do their best, take part in the many activities on offer and enjoy school.   Three simple ingredients for success.  I have to say that everyone who has worked with them is confident that they will be a fantastic year group.

Roll on tomorrow when everyone is in school and the timetable begins.

AG
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