Year 11 have this week completed Pre-Public Examinations (PPEs) in many of their subjects. These final mock examinations will be used to track their progress and diagnose specific gaps in their knowledge and understanding so that the work they do in school and at home over the next few months can make a real difference to their performance in their GCSEs this summer. They have worked very hard this week and we hope they get some well deserved rest over the half term.
The ski trip group set off today and we wish them an enjoyable and of course safe week. We look forward to hearing all about it on their return. Our thanks to all the staff who once again have given up their half term break. It will be fun but a lot of hard work too.
Safer Internet Day
Assemblies this week focused on Safer Internet Day which was on Tuesday. The theme for Safer Internet Day this year explores our online identity. Is it better to present our real selves online, only the best version of ourselves, or a fake version of ourselves. Pupils were warned about the dangers of sharing too much information and in particular any information that could be used to personally identify them (e.g. full name, date of birth etc). They were also asked to consider how to help the internet become a safer place for all. The world wide web was invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee 30 years ago. He believes the ‘web is for everyone and collectively we hold the power to change it’. All of us can, through the way we use the web, make it a better, safer place for everyone.
On a similar theme one of the ways to ensure your child is safer on the internet is a fairly obvious one but can be tricky to enforce especially if it is not something that has been a rule in household since your child first got their mobile phone. However, we would certainly recommend it if at all possible. This is to have a no mobile phones in the bedroom rule, particularly at bed time. Research shows that when this goes unchecked children can be found on social media very late into the night, leaving them more vulnerable and less likely to get enough sleep. If this is difficult to enforce, see if there are ways to switch off wifi access at particular times, or limit screen time in whichever way you can.
Working in partnership with parents in relation to the challenges facing young people when using social media is very much something we as a school want to do more of. We have often found that children are using sites that are not designed for them and where they have signed up even though they have not yet reached the age supposedly allowed to access the site. Do check the apps and sites your child is accessing and that they are old enough to meet the age restrictions. Have conversations with them about only ever using social media to make the world a nicer place for all.
I wish to remind all in our school community of our Communications Policy available on our website and agreed by the Governing Body last year. I will be writing home after half term to raise further awareness of certain parts of the policy, clarifying why this policy exists and why it must be adhered to.
Smart watches etc
A reminder that as per the School Rules, smart watches and similar devices that may be used to connect wirelessly to mobile phones are not allowed in school. Energy drinks and aerosols are also no longer allowed. Cash and expensive items of any kind should not be brought into school.
PSFA events and news
The PSFA are holding a Quiz Night on Saturday, 29th February 2020. £5 per team member, 8 members per team. Bring your own drinks and nibbles. Children welcome. Info can be found here:
This is a fun way to help raise much needed funds for the School. Get a team together and enter ASAP.
The PSFA is now
established as a registered charity of Amazon Smile. Please support the PSFA
and the School by visiting https://smile.amazon.co.uk/
and nominate Darrick Wood PSFA as your chosen charity. Whenever you make a purchase from Amazon do
it via https://smile.amazon.co.uk/
and the PSFA will receive some additional funding. If all involved with Darrick
Wood School do this we could raise significant money for the
In order to serve refreshments the PSFA need a larder fridge for storage of milk and cold drinks. The current one is on its last legs and produce is having to be thrown away as a result. If anyone has a large larder fridge (no freezer compartment) of at least 142cm tall they would be prepared to donate the PSFA Committee would be incredibly grateful. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
Dates for the diary
Monday, 17th to Friday 21st February – half term break
Thursday, 27th February – Year 8 parents’ evening, 5-8pm
Thursday, 5th March – Year 9 options evening, 7pm Main Hall
Thursday, 12th March – Year 9 parents’ evening, 5-8pm