Message from Mrs O’Neill

News from Mrs O'Neill

What a difference sunny weather makes.  Today has been a beautiful spring day and has brought with it some very cheerful staff and students. 

Trending on Twitter this week is children of the 70’s sharing their experiences of growing up, with some great throwback photos.  Flares, zippers and the classic mullet haircut -what’s not to love? How many of you remember the climbing frames built on concrete, the slides where you fell into gravel at the bottom, or when you were injured, the advice was to put a wet paper towel on it and carry on.  And if that didn’t work, out came the Lucozade.  Whilst there was a lot in the 70’s that was definitely not right, I think there will be many of us looking back fondly at the freedom we had and the independence we built up through the less ‘hands on’ approach of our parents. I’m not quite sure the ‘don’t come running to me if you break anything’ is an era to return to but there is a lot to be said for us allowing our children to take responsibility for their actions and allowing them to learn from their mistakes. 

The link below is to an interesting article about Dr Becky Kennedy, who has become an Instagram favourite, acting as the ‘voice of reason’ for a generation of young mums and dads.  I recommend reading it.

Parenting is tough and so if there are some useful tips out there, it’s certainly worth a try.  And if they don’t work, find a dark room, have a lie down and put a wet paper towel on your own head.  You may need to reach for something stronger than Lucozade. 

We have made some exciting appointments to our pastoral team.  Mr Woods and Mrs Monaghan will be heading up Dod College and Royce College, following the retirement of Mr Clegg and Miss Appleyard.  Mr Clegg and Miss Appleyard have been fantastic in the support and care they have given to all of the students in their colleges, and we wish them both a happy retirement.  However, in very true Alsager fashion and despite enjoying a leaving do, Miss Appleyard will still be with us for a while, helping with a smooth handover.  More details will be shared once Mr Woods and Mrs Monaghan officially start. 

Year 11 and Year 13 have coped admirably with another set of mock exams.  It does seem highly likely that the summer exam session will go ahead as planned so they will be well prepared for them when they start in May.  

Thank you to all parents who have completed the questionnaires that Mr Rubin sends out post parents’ evening.  The Costa voucher is clearly a great incentive!  The virtual parents’ evenings have been really well received; feedback has been extremely positive, and we are looking to address the areas suggested for improvement.  Year 7 parents’ evening will be held on March 31st.   There are some subject staff who have more than one Y7 class; this makes it more difficult to see every parent/carer.  The new system does have a waiting list, so if a slot becomes available you may be added closer to the evening to see that teacher or if not, staff will contact you on another day at a mutually convenient time either by phone or email.  

Year 8 option forms are due in on March 23rd.  We tweaked the options process a couple of years ago to ensure that all students experienced a broad and balanced curriculum in Key Stage 3.  This means that we have an additional options process in Y9 so that students are better placed to choose their GCSE subjects.  The deadline for Y9 option forms is Wednesday 20th April.  Information about this will be shared shortly.   

Mrs Snape shared a well-being strategy this week: it is called ‘opposite action’.  It may be something you are already familiar with, but I have certainly found it useful.  If you feel like staying in bed, for example, you need to do the opposite and get up and get out for a walk.  

Please continue to email me with your child’s achievements outside of school.  I am fast becoming an expert in Judo belts. 

As always, thank you for your continued support and kind emails to staff acknowledging the work they are doing.  They are always appreciated. 

Whatever your plans, have a lovely weekend. 

“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.”
(Robert Jordan, The Fires of Heaven)

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