We are really impressed by the way Alsager School has handled this current situation. It has been clear, measured and reassuring at all stages.
Work, although difficult with huge volumes at the start has been accessible and well communicated and I feel relevant in all subjects. It has felt like learning has continued rather than just filling time. We are finding our child is very engaged but not too keen to share their work with school as he doesn’t wish to appear on the website!! (I guess it’s not cool). Stars from Afar has been a lovely idea too, so many thanks for continuing this encouragement.
Starting high school was a huge worry in September, but year 7, although disrupted, has been fantastic. Huge thanks to you and all of the staff for working so hard all year and particularly at this time. A time where teachers are being painted as lazy by the media – it is clear to see this is most definitely not the case. Thank you for all you have done and are doing.
(Year 7 parent, May 2020)
TLC (Teaching and Learning Centre)
I would like to comment on TLC and all the work they do to support our children who need a little extra support. My child has anxiety and really struggles going to school but knowing they can go to TLC when children arrive at school in the morning is so helpful.
On two occasions recently we couldn’t get out of the car to walk into school due to crying and being anxious. A member of staff from TLC came to us and offered reassurance so that my child was then able to go into school. As a parent it is hard to leave your child feeling this way, but the school has been really supportive and a member of staff emailed me to give me an update on how my child was feeling. This was extremely reassuring.
All of the TLC staff go above and beyond to support the children who need a little extra support. I never expected this support from high school. It has been invaluable. Thank you.
(Year 7 parent, March 2020)
How we support our child:
We talk about the future and where he sees himself when he leaves school. We explain that not all jobs are 9 to 5, so teachers handing out homework is a preparation for what comes next, and they want you to succeed with that. Stop looking at it as a punishment, teachers are not the enemy! We do have this conversation regularly.
Bribery is another way, school work always has to come first. If the homework is not done he is not allowed to go to the gym or football practice as these are the things he really enjoys.
The internet is switched off at 10pm Sunday to Thursday.
We break the school year down so he knows how long each term is.
We plan trips for half term works well and cash incentive if he gets below 5 threes in a term.
Above all think we tell him to think about the satisfaction and how proud he will be if he passes all his GCSE’s.
(Year 10 parent, February 2020)
A pupil’s journey throughout their school life is not one to be taken alone. At Alsager School, parental and carer support is up there with the most crucial of contributions to a child’s development, academic progress and wellbeing. As parents we are constantly reminded (quite rightly), that giving our children support at home and encouragement to do their very best, can only enhance their chances of reaching their full potential.
Support at home comes in many forms; it can be as simple as ensuring that our children are warm and healthy, to being interested in what they are learning, having an awareness of their strengths, weaknesses and how they feel about their studies. For them, it’s knowing that they always have someone that they can talk to, look to for support, encourage them when they do well and make them feel positive even when things aren’t going so well.
As a family, we have seen so many benefits of taking the high school journey together. We agreed from the beginning that we would give our son all the support that we could. As time passed, of course, our interest was not always welcomed or appreciated, yet despite this we were generally able to gauge a fine balance between support and annoyance (for everyone!) For us, discussions at the dinner table have always worked well as it provides a natural forum for us to chat about what we have done during the day. The standard kick-off question is “So, how has your day been?” Even after five years of high school, we still ask if there is one amazing thing that our son has learned that day. What is fantastic, is now that he is in Alsager Sixth Form, our son is the one saying “Do you want to hear something really cool that I learned today?”
Attendance has been a really important element to support our child with. Good attendance ensures that the foundations of learning are as strong as they can be – we have all seen the statistics of how GCSE grades can be negatively affected by absence from school. In addition, poor attendance is not tolerated in employment, so instilling resilience and reliability into a routine is a great way to prepare our children for the big wide world. There may be the odd occasion when absence can’t be avoided, but we are so proud that our son was able to achieve 100% attendance throughout his five years at Alsager School.
There are lots of opportunities to become more involved in school life; different sports and clubs that help to improve physical, academic and social skills, as well as general wellbeing. There is also the school orchestra, choirs and drama groups that put on some amazing shows every year. Our son was a member of the orchestra throughout high school, as well as being part of a band with friends. The music department was supportive, providing a regular haunt for their band practice and they were even allowed to perform at musical events, which helped them to prepare for their first gigs outside of school.
Our son also successfully applied to become a Prefect – he felt that it would be good experience to gain, as well as being something positive to add to his first CV – showing a commitment to support the school. His 100% attendance is also on his CV. The process of completing an application form and being interviewed by a panel who were interested in his strengths and what skills he could bring to the position of Prefect, were certainly character-building and a glimpse into interview techniques that will be useful in years to come.
The support that our son has received over his five years at Alsager School, both from staff and at home, has been invaluable for our son’s academic and social development. To see him reap the rewards with great GCSE grades and a smooth transition into life at Alsager Sixth Form, has proved that the effort by him and those supporting him has been well worthwhile.
(Parent, January 2020)