Mr Bevis' Words Lent 5
Nobody with a child in school can have failed to notice the changes that have been wrought in GCSE exams taken at the end of secondary school. The change from a modular course to one in which exams are taken at the end of Year 11, the removal of coursework also known as controlled assessment, and the change from grades to levels are all having an impact on Year 10 and 11 curriculum and teaching approaches.
On Monday, at the GCSE Information Evening, Year 9 parents and pupils were given a quick sprint through these changes, and then had the opportunity to speak to subject teachers about the delights of their subject. Teachers are passionate about their subject and never knowingly turn down an opportunity to demonstrate that - Food & Nutrition were encouraging all of us to consume insects and worms in the form of flapjacks! It was a lively and engaging evening and Year 9 will now spend the next 3 weeks discussing their choices with their teachers, tutors and parents.
Sport wise our cross country teams are leaving for the ISA London West Championships and it looks set to be a muddy and demanding course at Sherfield School. Our Under 14 hockey side fought hard at Beaconsfield High but narrowly lost 1-0 which was an excellent result against such strong opponents. On the netball courts both our Year 7 A & B teams played really well in the Under 12 RBWM tournament with both teams winning 5 and losing 1 match to finish runner up in both competitions.
Our Open Morning on Wednesday drew interest from over 25 families from Nursery to Sixth Form and for Senior Girls Year 7 were brilliant guides and ambassadors. Their enthusiasm for their school and the confident and articulate way in which the speak about their experiences is always a joy to hear. Our popularity continues to grow and we now have waiting lists for Year 8 and at near to capacity in all other year groups.
Very much looking forward to the Rotary Young Chef of the Year competition that we are hosting on Saturday and good luck to Maddie and her three course menu. On Tuesday Year 11 artists are off to Tate Modern and I once again marvel that our nation shows such a commitment to providing access to one of the most prestigious galleries in the work free of charge. I am proud that we retain our commitment to cultural education by maintaining a strong presence in our curriculum for art, textiles, music, dance and drama. We will see much of that talent on display next week at the Dance Show... and talking of talent the staff dance video is now at the editing stage.. oh dear!
You will no doubt have seen a recent headline that the NHS has seen a 45% rise in cases of anxiety amongst young people, including those under 12. The rise in mental health issues of young people has been well documented and as a school we are not immune to this phenomena. We constantly review how we can help, not just by providing support for those suffering from ill health, but also in giving our pupils the means to look after themselves more effectively. In assembly this week we spent some time looking at how the developing teenage brain develops, the role of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex, and how it is possible for even the teenage brain to revert from emotional irrationality to quiet control with some simple meditation techniques. This is a theme we shall be returning to in future weeks.
So a hugely varied and busy week and Year 11 will have earned a weekend off after their efforts in the GCSE mock exams - so have a lovely Saturday and Sunday.
Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation. Henri Cartier-Bresson