Tom Jones Returns

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The much anticipated return of Tom Jones, or rather his look alike Dai Perks, took place on Tuesday 1st March.

Dai visited us for the third year running as part of our programme to support year 11 in their preparation for their examinations. The programme “maximize your potential” has been very popular with students, they are all sent away with a pack that includes ideas and approaches they can use at home for example how they can identify and use their learning style when revising, lots of different memory techniques and my favourite using a polo to plan.

There is even a section on stress management the top 3 techniques are:

Take mini breaks in your revision period (5 minutes)
Get organised with a realistic time. Plan/agree this at home and make sure it builds in time out
Exercise: walk, cycle, stretch

What else has been happening?

All students have been issued with their exam timetable
All students have a Revision planner
The school shop now stocks a range of revision materials and books; in addition students can order books of past papers from reception.
Coaches are working with their Year 11 students to support them in their planning
Revision classes take place most nights after school

We have been really pleased by the way Year 11 have been preparing but we are now in the final stretch. Students should be spending about 1 hour a night in revision in blocks of 20-25mins increasing the time in holidays and making sure they are completing past-papers and getting them marked so they can check their mistakes.

Last of all Year 11- GOOD LUCK!

 

BBC Visits the Community College

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The Community College is to feature on the BBC West Midland’s programme ‘Inside Out’ as an example of a successful rural secondary school.
Students, staff and parents were interviewed by David Gregory-Kumar (correspondent) who was investigating the challenges of living and working in a rural setting and how schools like the Community College are supporting students and their families.

Whilst there are many positive aspects to living in the countryside, it certainly does have its challenges. Transport, access to services and the relative isolation were just some of the topics that were talked about. With reductions in government funding and the impact this is having on schools, leisure facilities and cultural activities, this period of austerity is beginning to effect rural communities like ours and their young people.

Results at the College have risen year-on –year in spite of poorer funding than their urban counterparts. Shropshire has historically been one of the worst funded counties in England for education. The government are about to consult on a new funding formula for schools across the country, which hopefully will address some of the inequalities that exist.

The feature will be screened in the next couple of weeks on BBC1.

 

World Book Day 2016

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The Community College celebrated World Book Day 2016 with staff and students dressing up as their favourite characters from the World of books.  A phenomenal effort was made by students and a special shout out goes to Mr Harris who became a walking/talking book.  The illustrator of the Skullduggery books Tom Percival has links to the College as he attended here as a student.

Well done to Frances Beaven who came 1st for Darwin, Lily Green 2nd for Webb, Curtis Bennett 4rd for Clive and Michaela Melonia 4th for Sidney. More pictures to follow in the Spring Messenger.

Learning in a Rural Area

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One of the things that rural schools have in common is that they are relatively small compared to the national average. Unfortunately I don’t have the space here to describe both the delights and difficulties of working in a small school, but suffice to say it can be a real challenge at times. To overcome this, our school has formally linked up with all its primary schools and other partners to form the South West Shropshire Learning Trust. In an age when competition between schools encouraged, it is very refreshing to be able to work in a truly collaborative way with like-minded people and for the benefit of the children.

The Learning Trust has been in existence since October 2014 and already has notched up some notably successes: Literacy, mental health provision, mathematical calculation policies, common assessment approaches, teacher exchanges, special education needs provision, sharing services, attitude to learning and outstanding teacher conferences are just some of the things we’ve come together to organise. The main aim is not to save money in these austere times, but to work together to improve the opportunities and support available to young people in South-West Shropshire.This year, for example, we will be jointly employing an Educational Psychologist to work with our more vulnerable students.

As all schools in South West Shropshire are either good or outstanding, we also have a wealth of expertise that is worth sharing. The Trust is a cooperative so we will soon be encouraging local people to join and become members and have a say in what projects we undertake. We’ve already had a very strong steer from our own school councils! We believe the Trust has a lot of potential to be a force for ‘good’ in these difficult times for rural communities.

Alan Doust
Headteacher
The Community College, Bishop’s Castle