Letter from Mr Spiers, Headteacher

Dear Parents and Carers, 

 

Thank you to all those parents who took the time to provide feedback on last week’s remote learning day. This has been extremely helpful in shaping our digital strategy moving forward. A reminder that you can access our latest plans for remote learning on the main school website here. As we approach the final weeks of the year, we are asking that all parents take five minutes to complete the bi-annual parent/carer survey here. Your feedback is vital to improving the success of our school.

 

Throughout this period of uncertainty staff at AGFS have pulled together to keep in regular contact with our families and continue to provide a really great educational experience for our scholars. Incredibly, as national student attendance figures drop sharply, attendance at AGFS remains at around 96% for the year to date. Moreover, our amazing Year 11 scholars have just posted the highest mock exam grades in the school’s history. This success can be largely attributed to the steadfast determination and professionalism of our staff, who, despite their own personal challenges, continue to turn up every day and do a great job.

 

If you would like to send a positive message to an individual member of staff, or the whole staff team here at AGFS, I would encourage you to do so by emailing jlinn@arkgreenwich.org.

 

Thank you for helping me to look after all members of our community.

 

Mr Spiers

How To Use the New Parent Bulletin Format

As you can see, we are trialing a new format for our parent bulletin, where all the information you need is in one easy and accessible spot. To help you make the most of it, please follow these steps to ensure you're up-to-date each week. If you have feedback on the new layout, please send it to Ms Linn at jlinn@arkgreenwich.org

  • To view upcoming dates, click on 'View Calendar' in the bar below this message. It will take you to the full calendar of the current month. You can click into it for further details. 
  • To view and download attachments, scroll to the 'Attachments' section and click on the subsequent tile with the document/form you need. 

Upcoming Dates

28 September

Open Day

29 September

Open Day

01 October

Black History Month

AGFS Updates 27th November 2020

Digital Strategy Day Survey

To help us make sure we’re providing the right support for you and your child, we’d like to know your thoughts on our approach to home learning. Please take the time to complete this survey. It should take just minutes to complete.

Children of Key Workers

We recognise that we have a number of key workers whose children may wish to access community classrooms during school inset days. If the upcoming Ark-wide Network Hub Day (4th Dec) impacts you as a key worker, please contact Ms Gainey at vgainey@arkgreenwich.org in the first instance.

Year 10 and 11 GCSE Revision Guides

To support y10 and 11 scholars with revision , all departments have specified a recommended revision guide. A list of the recommended revision guides can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/Revisiononapage.

The school is able to offer these revision guides at cost price and scholars in receipt of the Pupil Premium Grant will receive them for free. To order revision guides from the school, please fill in the form attached below and send to finance@arkgreenwich.org no later than 30th November at 8am.

Free School Meals Eligibility

If you have had a change in circumstances and believe your child could be eligible for free school meals (FSM) please fill in your information via the link below and we will be notified immediately of the outcome. Any one eligible for FSM will also be issued vouchers to cover lunches over the Christmas break so we strongly encourage any family who believes they could be eligible to complete this short form. The Government has temporarily extended eligibility for free school meals to groups with no recourse to public funds. The income threshold for these groups is higher (£16,500 after tax) than the income threshold for standard eligibility.  

Lunch Account Top Ups

While scholars will never be left without food, it is the responsibility of the parent and child to ensure there are adequate funds available on their lunch account, or that the child bring in a packed lunch. Should your child be left without money on their account, a call will be made home and notice will be given. Accounts can be topped up with cash via the cashloaders in the main school foyer, or via WisePay. Should you need to set up a WisePay account or request a password reset, please email ccashford@arkgreenwich.org.

 

Weekly Assembly Reminder

Each week scholars have two assemblies, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Please note scholars may return 5-10 mins later on assembly days, especially during rewards assembly, as we are celebrating your child’s success! Please see the schedule of assemblies below:

Assembly AM PM
Monday Y7 Y11
Tuesday Y8 Y10
Wednesday Y9 Y7
Thursday Y10 Y8
Friday  Y11 Y9

Dismissal is from 4:00-4:30pm Monday -Wednesday and 3:00-3:30pm Thursday and Friday.

 

Career Meetings for Y9, Y10 and Y11 Scholars

Every scholar in Y9, Y10 and Y11 has been offered a one-to-one career meeting with our Level 6 qualified CEIAG Careers Lead, which commenced at the beginning of October. As you can imagine with so many scholars to see, the appointments will span over the next few months, especially for those in Y9 and 10. However, priority meetings were given to scholars in Y11 in order for them to receive tailored advice regarding their post-16 progression from our careers lead, Mrs Neville.

We appreciate the patience of all scholars in waiting for their appointment.

Scholars of the Week

Congratulations to this week's top scholars for achieving the most golden tickets in their year groups. Each student has exemplified the school values of Ambition, Growth, Fellowship and Scholarship. 

Wellbeing Workshops

In these unprecedented times, we recognise that young peoples’ mental health requires more attention than ever. It’s for this reason Ms Towler has set up a series of workshops to tackle some of the common issues that our scholars may face. Feedback from scholars who took part in the first workshops has been incredible, with more than half asking to join more sessions in the future. It is very encouraging that so many of our scholars are engaging with the support on offer.

Tutors and other members of staff have made recommendations of those who would benefit from one or more of these groups, but if you would like your child to be added to the waiting list, please refer to the workshop calendar and contact Ms Towler directly (Jtowler@arkgreenwich.org) with the particular workshop(s) that you and your child have in mind.

Celebrating the Christmas Season at AGFS

December will unveil some fun events for our scholars, including the lighting of our Christmas tree on 1st December, Christmas dinner, and more. On the 15th of December our scholars are encouraged to wear their most festive and creative Christmas jumpers and to donate £1 to the Mizen Foundation, a local charity that combats bullying. The donation link will be live on WisePay from 1st December. Alternatively, scholars may bring in a £1 coin on the 14th in preparation for the following day. Further information will be shared in a letter home in the upcoming days. We look forward to celebrating this festive season with our scholars and seeing their incredible jumpers! 

Careers & Aspirations Information

Invitation For Parents: Success Beyond School

Guiding your child to a successful career

InvestIN provides students aged 12-18 with immersive work experience in some of the world's most competitive and desirable careers - medicine, law, engineering, investment banking and more. More than 40,000 students from 81 different countries have attended an InvestIN programme.

You are cordially invited to our free-of-charge, 'Live Online' event for parents aged 12-18. You will hear our expert panel share their knowledge on:

· Why your child's career starts at school

· The most in-demand skills top employers are looking for, and how to get them

· The role you can play in helping them achieve their aims

· Guidance on work experience, interview techniques, LinkedIn profiles and more

Date: Thursday 10th December 2020
Time: 19.30 - 21.00 (GMT)

Register your place here

 

AGFS Alumni Notice– Sutton Trust US Applications Now Open

The Sutton Trust US Programme are now accepting applications to their free programme.  You’re   eligible if you:

· Are currently in Year 12

· Attend and have always attended a state-funded school or college (i.e. non-fee paying)

· Not hold US Citizenship

· Be from a low or middle income family (household yearly earnings of £45,000 or less)

· Have excellent GCSE grades (either achieved or close to at least 8 GCSEs Grade A or 7 or above)

We encourage any interested applicants to research further at us.suttontrust.com and contact Ms Linn at jlinn@arkgreenwich.org should you have any questions.

New Parent App: My Child at School (MCAS)

We've heard your concerns, and we've listened. We want to thank our parents and carers for their patience as we found a better solution for our parent application. We are excited to announce that starting on January 4th we'll be migrating all communications to parents via the MCAS app. The app is free to use on both Android and Apple phones, and can also be accessed via online. Some of the features included with MCAS are: 
  • Behaviour points (you'll be able to see when your child has a detention or golden ticket, as well as the reason)
  • Attendance tracking
  • School announcements and messages 
  • Reports on progress and achievement  
  • Permission forms 
To help with this migration process, we ask that parents download the app now. We will be sending further details and step-by-step instructions to parents next week about the role-out of this app. All AGFS families will be expected to use this app. We look forward to your feedback on it.