As you are aware, school closed early yesterday to allow members of staff to devote time to revise schemes of work in order to meet new curriculum requirements and changes to examinations. Significant educational reforms introduced by the government will impact significantly on all young people of school age.

I have summarised some of the main changes for GCSEs below:

- Pupils now in Year 10 will be the last group to take the current GCSEs in English, English Language and Mathematics before sweeping GCSE reforms are introduced.

- Pupils now in Year 9 will be the first to sit new GCSEs in English and Mathematics.

- Pupils now in Year 8 will be assessed under a new GCSE structure in subjects including English, Mathematics, Religious Studies, Science, History, Geography, Spanish and French (where this option is taken).

- A new grading system will be introduced in English and Mathematics from 2017 onwards and in other subjects (including Religious Studies, Science, History, Geography and Spanish) from 2018 onwards. Further subjects will be reformed in subsequent years.

- Pupils will be awarded a grade from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest. Grade U will be awarded where performance is below the minimum required to pass the GCSE.

- New GCSEs will not be divided into modules, and there will be little or no coursework. This is to avoid the disruption to teaching and learning through repeated assessment, to allow pupils to demonstrate the full breadth of their abilities in the subject, and to allow standards to be set fairly and consistently. This means that the assessment of nearly all pupils will take place at the end of courses in Year 11.

- Tiered papers which cater for pupils of different abilities, currently taken by pupils in a number of subjects, will be used only where an examination paper does not allow pupils at the lower end of the ability range to demonstrate their knowledge and skills, or will not stretch the most able.

- Taking a GCSE examination before the summer of Year 11 will be rare. GCSE examinations will be available only in the summer series of examinations, apart from a November re-sit series for English Language and Mathematics. This series is aimed at students who are at least 16 years of age and who are re-sitting papers previously taken.

Further details of the above reforms are available on the Ofqual website and on the Department for Education website

Although much remains to be done, please be assured that the time gained yesterday afternoon was used wisely. Thank you to all parents for supporting the school in addressing this initiative.

New Uniform

 

We are heartened by the response of parents and pupils to the new school uniform. Many of our current pupils have expressed an intention to wear the new uniform next term. It will become compulsory for new Year 7 pupils arriving in September 2015. Pupils currently in Years 7 and 8 must wear the new school uniform by September 2016. Pupils currently in Year 9 have the option of wearing the new school uniform should they choose, but this is not a requirement. Year 9 pupils must, however, buy and wear the new school tie (priced £4.99) by September 2016.

This week any pupil wearing incorrect uniform has been issued with an Inappropriate Uniform Card. This card highlights the item of uniform that does not meet with school policy. Parents are asked to sign and return the card to school the day after its receipt with a commitment to address the aspect of uniform identified, as soon as possible and no later than the start of the new academic year. Please click here to download the Dress for Success booklet

New school uniform (burgundy blazer, plaid school skirt, school tie and PE kit) is available from APC school outfitters. APC’s school uniform shop is based in Tadcaster. Orders may be made online. APC will be in school for purchases of uniform on Tuesday 23 June from 5.30pm to 6.45pm, Tuesday 7 July from 5.30pm to 7.00pm and Monday 20 July from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

Oliver Stapleton

As our current Year 11 pupils are nearing the end of this season’s GCSE papers, I would like to share an interesting example of the varied work that is presented for assessment to examiners.

Oliver Stapleton (Year 11), used Sketch Up and other software to design a toy for children aged five to seven years, as part of his GCSE Resistant Materials final project. He then printed a miniature three-dimensional model of the design before making the product. This was hand-crafted to meet the demands of the brief. His design includes many intricate details such as a mechanism that allows the propeller to rotate as the wheels move. He took his inspiration from the film Stuart Little!

The school will close to pupils at 1.20pm next Thursday, 11 June 2015. Priorities for School Development planning in
2014-15 require subject teachers and support staff to review curriculum plans and revise schemes of work, in view of
significant changes to GCSE which are being introduced in all subjects. The initiative is part of the school’s strategy to
ensure high standards of subject delivery across all year groups. Pupil attendance on Thursday is important and
timetabled lessons will take place across the morning. An earlier lunch will precede tutor time before dismissal at
1.15pm. School meals will therefore be served earlier than usual. School buses will collect pupils from school at
1.30pm. Please contact school if this early close causes childcare problems. Pupils who are unable to get home may
remain in school until 3.15pm. Supervision by staff will be provided, but normal lessons will be suspended. Please be
assured that the time gained by staff will be used conscientiously to plan and map provision in light of curriculum
change.

Members of the Leadership Team delivered assemblies to all pupils this week, outlining the key aspects of the
school’s uniform outlined in the Dress for Success booklet which was sent home to parents before half-term. We are
extremely proud of the the vast majority of our pupils who continue to wear school uniform appropriately; we thank
parents for working with the school to secure high standards. However, standards need to improve for a number of
pupils who are wearing inappropriate uniform, particularly trousers, footwear and skirts. From Monday any pupil
wearing incorrect uniform will be issued with an Inappropriate Uniform Card. This card will highlight the item of
uniform that does not meet with school policy. Parents are asked to sign and return the card to school the day after
its receipt with a commitment to address the aspect of uniform identified, as soon as possible and no later than the
start of the new academic year. Forthcoming meetings of senior school staff and personnel from Rawcliffes and Jo
Brand will emphasise that items on sale as our uniform must comply with style of skirts and trousers which are
acceptable here. All details are available in the Dress for Success booklet and on the school’s website.
 
As you are aware, the school is introducing a new school uniform with effect from 1 September 2015. There is no
expectation that pupils currently attending school need to buy the uniform this September, though many parents
have indicated that they wish to do so. Pupils currently in Years 7 and 8 must wear the new school uniform by
September 2016. Pupils currently in Year 9 have the option of wearing the new school uniform should they choose,
but this is not a requirement. Year 9 pupils must, however, buy and wear the new school tie (priced £4.99) by
September 2016.
 
New school uniform (burgundy blazer, plaid school skirt, school tie and PE kit) is available from APC school outfitters.
APC’s school uniform shop is based in Tadcaster. Orders may be made online. APC will be in school for purchases of
uniform on Tuesday 23 June from 5.30pm to 6.45pm, Tuesday 7 July from 5.30pm to 7.00pm and Monday 20 July
from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

 

 

 

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