Our Mission Statement as a school was established many years ago. It is to provide the best teaching and learning that we can. We have more recently referred to this as ‘world class’ or ‘exceptional’. It is an aspiration, a journey that raises standards and expectations. It is meant to be aspirational and ambitious and rightly so. It means continually evaluating what is working well and what could be changed or improved. One such change was introduced this week. Starting a new year and decade seemed the right time to introduce a small change that we think will have a big impact.
For many years students at Darrick Wood have been expected to wait outside their classrooms until all have arrived and their teacher lets them into the classroom where they then stand behind their chairs and place their equipment, reading books and planners on their desks. They would then say good morning or good afternoon to their teacher and sit down when invited to do so. This supports an orderly, structured start to lessons and has served us well most of the time. However, it can also mean a delay to the start of learning as time can be lost when those travelling from furthest away take longest to reach their next classroom and those who are most keen to start learning can be held up by those who are less enthusiastic! It can also mean that corridors are unnecessarily congested for longer. From this week, as long as their teacher is present in the classroom, students no longer line up but go straight in, sit down and begin their first learning activity (we call it a ‘do now’). It sounds like a simple, quite obvious, change and of course it is, but we hope it subtly improves the learning culture in the School where all appreciate that every minute of every hour is an opportunity to learn something new or to review previous learning. Sometimes the smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.
We have also re-launched and reinforced our usual classroom rules. New posters have been placed in each classroom. An example is shown below. It helps to support what everyone knows is essential for exceptional teaching and learning to take place. The rules are also underpinned by our core values of Respect, Responsibility and Honesty, our Behaviour Policy and School Rules. Please support our endeavours by talking to your child about these and the change to the start of lessons.
On Monday, Year 11 received their mock GCSE results in a special assembly followed by the nerve wracking opening of envelopes, just like it will be in the summer. They now begin the final stretch and should be spending time each evening working hard to improve their results. Year 13 are currently taking their mock examinations and Year 12 also have assessments. We wish everyone well. Year 11 parents’ evening is coming up this week (Thursday, 16th January). Please make sure you have logged into Bromcom and booked appointments.
Rough Diamonds launch
This week Darrick Wood School launched its very own school-based audio serial drama. Set in a fictitious secondary school, called Danson Wood High, ROUGH DIAMONDS follows the lives of a group of students and sixth-formers, exploring stories and issues relevant to young people. The characters have all been created and performed by students at our school. They have worked tirelessly over the last year to get the project to this point and should be congratulated for their efforts and talents.
Episode one is available to listen to now, with subsequent episodes and omnibus editions to follow every week on our YouTube Channel AMPLIFiED. You can easily access these by visiting the DWS Audio blog, which is on the home page of the School’s website. Or you can click on this link http://dwsaudio.darrickwood.bromley.sch.uk/.
If you do listen, please feel free to like and subscribe, and tell others about it! You can also get regular updates on forthcoming episodes by following our Instagram account, which is called therealroughdiamonds (we promise not to follow you back!)
We hope you enjoy listening!
Parents/carers will be aware that on the return to school this week we have been re-enforcing our uniform policy, with particular emphasis on students having an appropriate coat. We will be speaking to our uniform shops (Oz and Graduates) about how they can best support supplies of these. We have noticed this week, however, that some of our boys would benefit from wearing the optional V-necked jumper under their blazers. This, combined with one of the coats available from the uniform shop would suit all but the coldest of weathers.
We are aware that if a coat other than one in the uniform shops is preferred then it can be tricky by this stage of the winter to find one that meets our uniform policy. Whilst we cannot guarantee any of the those listed other than those from the uniform suppliers, the document below may help if you are still looking. It provides links to currently available, potentially suitable plain brown coats.
Bromley Education Business Partnership (Bromley EBP)
The Bromley EBP, part of the London Borough of Bromley’s Youth Support Programme, signposts and supports young people to gain new skills and experience. Through real-life contact with professionals from business and the community, young people are helped to understand and be better prepared for their futures. Their spring 2020 newsletter can be viewed here.
Darrick Wood School Parents Staff and Friends Association
The easiest way to support PSFA fund raising is to sign up the PSFA Lottery. The form can be found here:
We encourage every parent to participate as it costs no more than £2 a month and you could win prizes of £25, £15 or £10 every month. If more join then the Committee will consider increasing the prizes. The lottery has the potential to raise a lot more money than it currently does. If you are not already involved or would like to purchase more numbers, please complete the form available via the link above.
Another fun way to support the School is through the next PSFA Quiz Night which will be held on Saturday, 29th February at 7.30pm. The cost is£5 per team member with a maximum of 8 members per team. Please put the date in your diaries, get your teams organised and look out for more information coming home soon.
We have noticed an increase in the numbers of pupils bringing smart watches, ear pods and other expensive items into school. Some of these may have been great Christmas presents but they are not permitted at school and will be confiscated if seen.
Dates for the diary
Thursday, 16th January, 5-8pm – Year 11 parents’ evening. Appointments can still be made. Please use the instructions sent by email about online booking using Bromcom.
Thursday, 30th January, 5-8pm – Year 12 parents’ evening. Appointments will be made using Bromcom. An email will be sent regarding this next week.