In assemblies this week the topic was Right Speech. The assembly started with the familiar phrase, “Is it true, is it necessary, is it kind?” Students were asked to reflect on whether, when they speak or post online, they follow this simple rule. From the looks on many faces, it would seem they do not always do this. This is no surprise – we know when we are still growing and developing, finding our way in the world, mistakes are natural. However, the phrase provides a helpful framework for more conscious, thoughtful speech. Further consideration was given to how we speak to different people in our lives – our closest friends, our acquaintances, our teachers, our boss, relatives or parents. Students were encouraged to develop the life skill of adapting language based on the situation and the person being spoken to.
The public examinations are coming to an end and with that we wish our Year 11 and Year 13 students all the very best for their futures. For Year 11, we have planned a Leavers’ Assembly and celebration event to follow Book Return Day activities for both Year 11 and Year 13. Book Return Day is exactly what it sounds like – students come in at an agreed time to return books and resources that belong to the School. Please see the separate emails already sent home.
Year 7 Summer Party
Parents/carers of Year 7 who have not yet purchased tickets for the their child to attend the Summer Party on Friday, 1st July (7-9pm) can still do so from the PSFA website.
The PSFA would really appreciate the help of parents/carers who are able to help at the Year 7 Summery Party. Help is also needed for the second hand uniform sale on 6th July. Details are available on the PSFA website: Darrick Wood School PSFA (pta-events.co.uk)
Parent survey summary
Thank you to all parents/carers who completed the survey earlier this term. The results showed continued overall support for all that the School does and the vast majority of parents/carers would recommend the School to others. We are always looking to improve and a survey of parents is helpful in identifying not only our strengths, but also where things could be even better. The areas for improvement highlighted by parents/carers can broadly be summarised as those that would benefit from improved communication. As a result we are planning to:
- Review of Prevention of Bullying and associated policies together with enhanced communication with all stakeholders on what bullying is and what it is not, and what the School does to support pupils to make the best choices when relating to others.
- Review of how the School communicates with parents on the progress their children are making.
- Redesign of our website to include greater clarity about what students will be learning and the personal development curriculum we intend them to follow. For example, we are currently planning to develop what we are calling the Darrick Wood Life Learning Skills and to embed these into the lessons we teach.
It was clear that the School could do better at sharing with parents/carers matters that itself considers a strength. For example, the curriculum at Darrick Wood remains very broad – the range of subjects offered in Key Stage 3 is very wide indeed. In fact where some schools have narrowed the focus in favour of English and Mathematics, we have continued to ensure the full range of National Curriculum subjects is available. At GCSE and A level the range of subjects is also really broad. Despite the cuts to our budget over the last few years and increasing costs faced by all schools we have still managed to offer subjects other schools have dropped over the years. An indication that we have not communicated this fact well enough is that 45 parents who responded to our survey felt that the School did not offer a good range of subjects. To use a traditional cliché from old school reports – “we must try harder” to communicate these strengths and to listen and act when things could be better. We remain committed to our mission to deliver the very best education we can for all and are as ever grateful for the ongoing support of our parents and carers.
Jack Petchey Count on Us Secondary Maths Challenge
This year for the first time, Darrick Wood School has taken part in the Jack Petchey Count on Us Secondary Maths Challenge. Students from across Years 7, 8 and 9 have enjoyed taking part in new activities in class as part of this pan-London maths programme.
Five Year 9 pupils were then chosen to represent the School in the tournament heats. Joel Broadie, Lev Mann, Luke Corbett, Milla Grant and Norah Cleveland travelled to London last month, where they competed against schools from across the capital.
They worked both as a team and individually in five challenging but hugely enjoyable rounds, that tested and stretched their understanding and application of algebra, number, problem-solving, statistics, probability and geometry. They acquitted themselves superbly, achieving one of the highest scores across all the heats in one round, and missing out on a place in the final by the narrowest of margins. Well done to all who took part.
It has been a busy week for DWS Audio. On Wednesday, another episode of our ‘Rough Diamonds’ audio serial was broadcast on Leo Ulph’s Upload show on BBC Radio Kent. You can listen via this link from 26.40:
In addition to more new episodes of ‘Rough Diamonds’, you can also listen to three speeches written and recorded by Darrick Wood students for the World Class Schools ‘Talk Off’ competition. Glon Sylaj, Niamh Christie and Freya Keable all debated the question, “How can World Class Schools use social media as a force for good?” They have all produced fantastic speeches and we wish them well in the competition, which will be judged next month.
And finally, if you are a football fan why not check out Joshua Grayson and Jake Scrivener’s Premier League Predictions podcast for the 2022-23 season. Where will your team place? Listen to see if you agree with Jake and Josh!
The link to our blog is here:
Dates for the diary
Thursday, 30th June – 8Y to Le Touquet (see separate communications home)
Friday, 22nd July – End of term
Thursday, 18th August – A level results day
Thursday, 25th August – GCSE results day
Wednesday, 31st August – Start of term (PD Day – staff only)
Thursday, 1st September – Years 7 and 12 start
Friday, 2nd September – All students return
Wednesday, 5th October – Open Evening
Monday, 17th – Friday 28th October – Half-term break
Monday, 19th December – Monday, 2nd January – Christmas Holidays. Return to school Tuesday, 3rd January