NSB NEWS BULLETIN – APRIL 28TH 2020
Dear Parent / Carer
I hope that this email finds you and your family well in these difficult times. I am writing to update you on a wide range of different matters / news relevant to the school. I would encourage you to share the good news stories for the school with your son / daughter.
Distance Learning for Ys 7-10 and Y12
Teachers are generally pleased with the quality of work being completed by the students and most are to be commended for their work ethic and commitment to their learning. A thorough review of the distance learning package for all year groups took place last week and I would like to thank all of the parents who were involved in discussions with senior staff about their views on the distance learning their son / daughter is receiving.
The vast majority of the parental feedback was positive, however there were constructive areas of feedback which have informed the shaping of the provision going forward this term. Following the feedback and in line with recent expert research, the main adjustment is to the volume of work being set downwards, particularly for our younger students.
Ys 7-9 - work set to be equivalent to 30 minutes, rather than 45 minutes per lesson - additional home learning tasks will not be set on top - optional tasks may also be set.
Y10 - work set to be equivalent to the normal timetabled lessons in a subject over the course of the week - i.e. 45 minutes per lesson - additional home learning tasks will not be set on top - optional tasks may also be set.
Y12 - as previously - the work set should reflect the amount of weekly time the student would normally have for timetabled lessons and additional home learning.
If parents / carers have any questions about the distance learning please contact the teacher or Form Tutor in the first instance. Where it is proving difficult for a student to complete the work set due to illness or family circumstances please contact the Form Tutor who will inform the relevant teachers. Please contact Mr Kneeshaw if there are issues relating to technology which are preventing your son / daughter from completing the work. If there are particularly significant matters that you wish to raise over distance learning please contact Mrs Bradley-Brophy for Y12 issues or Mr Kneeshaw or Mr Edwards for matters relating to Ys 7-10.
Mr Rodger, Mr Barker and Miss Kennedy have worked hard to put together a comprehensive on-line parental guide to NSB distance learning with oral commentary to help parents navigate the distance learning process successfully. These presentations cover the following areas:
- On-line safety
The guides can be accessed here:
Y11 and Y13
Teachers have begun the initial stages of awarding centre assessed grades for all Y11/13 students. Y13 students have been given extensive guidance from Mrs Bradley-Brophy, through the Sixth Form Newsletter, over recommended areas of focus in preparation for employment or further education. Y11 students are strongly advised to continue to revisit subjects that they are planning to study at a higher level in September. The results days have been confirmed by Ofqual as the original dates - 13th August for A Level and 20th August for GCSE. I will write to parents with more details of how the results days will operate during Term 6.
Mindful of issues that arise from prolonged absence from friends and ‘Social Distancing’, it is important that students are developing some skills in remote online engagement, talking through online platforms and keeping themselves safe whilst doing so.
The following link provides parents with information and advice around online risks which are heightened during our current predicament. You can find some really interesting safety links on TikTok, on Gaming and Social media etc.
The school has also signed up to the National Online Safety training provider who give excellent online updates and courses for parents to improve awareness and to bring parents up to speed on Social Media platforms their children are using:
With the first concern being ‘keeping your child safe,’ the second is to ensure that children’s mental health and wellbeing are being effectively managed and supported.
It is normal for children and young people to feel worried or anxious at the moment. We have all experienced sudden changes in our lives and routines – and we are living with lots of uncertainty about the coming weeks. For some young people, the coronavirus pandemic may also worsen or trigger anxieties they were already struggling with.
Here are five things which have been professionally recommended for parents to do to support children:
- Talk to your child about the pandemic. Find out how they are feeling and what they are thinking about, let them know it’s okay to feel scared or unsure, and try to answer their questions and reassure them in an age appropriate manner. Remember, you do not need to know all the answers, but talking things through can help them feel calmer.
- Help them to reflect on how they are feeling and encourage them to think about the things they can do to make them feel safer and less worried.
- Reassure them that this will pass, you are there for them, and you will get through this together.
- Spend time doing a positive activity with your child (such as reading, playing, painting or cooking) to help reassure them and reduce their anxiety. This is also a great way of providing a space for them to talk through their concerns, without having a ‘big chat’.
- Keep as many regular routines as possible, so that your child feels safe and that things are stable.
Form Tutors are contacting students and parents on a weekly basis and feeding back to Year Team Leaders. There have been some amazing stories shared of students caring for ill parents, cooking and managing the house; of students doing the shopping for the family; of a family who have been through life threatening circumstances; of sixth formers doing deliveries to older people who are shielded; we have been sent pictures and videos of students doing their fitness programmes at home and those taking up running to improve their mile run! It is at these challenging times we continue to find ourselves incredibly proud of our students who attend Northampton School for Boys. Please do send in these positive stories to the Form Tutor and we will begin to share these in the near future! Lastly, if your child is struggling and missing their friends but did not share contacts prior to the lockdown, please talk to the Form Tutor. They may be able to facilitate communication between families.
NSB supports the NHS
A huge thanks to Mr Samples; our Head of Design Technology! He has been dedicating his time to creating ‘a steady flow’ of safety visors for health care professionals, by running the school’s 3D printer at home for up to 16 hours a day. In addition to the visors, the school has also donated 300 pairs of its safety goggles to NGH. The health care workers shown are from Brixworth and are wearing visors made by Mr Samples.
The school might be closed but there have still been a variety of fantastic student successes to celebrate.
Many congratulations to Phong Ta in Y12 who has made the final of the prestigious ‘Making Links School Challenge’ which is a competition to find the most talented Sixth Form potential commercial lawyer of the future. This is a nationwide competition and Phong has already earned £1000 for the school in reaching the Grand Final. Phong earned his place through his essay response to the question, “What has been the single biggest disruption or innovation in the business world, within your lifetime?”. In the Grand Final, Phong will have the opportunity to develop his ideas further when questioned (remotely) by a panel of experts. Results will be issued at the end of April and we wish him the very best of luck.
Congratulations also to Angus Simpson in Y11 who entered a competition with an American dance organisation called Oxygen. Out of all the entries, they selected the top 5 dancers and Angus got one of the elusive picks!
As a result he has won an all-expenses paid trip to New York to attend the Oxygen Dance Convention in October. Angus is making huge waves in the professional dance world at a very young age and will definitely be a name to watch for in the public eye in the future.
There have also been some outstanding performances in the NSB Music department.
Students, Elliot Scribot-Carter and Juliet White have been royally entertaining their neighbours with their musical prowess in the weekly Clap for Carers - please check out their performances on the NSB Music Twitter Feed.
Mr Druker has also released some brilliant NSB recorded ensembles for the Music for Youth Finals - which were due this summer. The recordings can be found on the links below and are representative of exceptional performances for students of their school age:
Symphony Orchestra (student composition - William Donaldson)
In sport, many congratulations to Y11 student Carney Chukwuemeka who is currently being courted by the leading football clubs in the Premier League: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-8210103/amp/Liverpool-Manchester-United-battling-Aston-Villa-teenager.html?__twitter_impression=true
On the same theme, recent former students, Ollie Sleightholme and Connor Tupai have earned new contracts at the Northampton Saints for next season following a successful first campaign.
There are many opportunities to try a new cultural pursuit online free of charge with the entertainment and learning streaming into our homes. Here are some examples that parents and students alike may enjoy:
Watch a Play
National Theatre Live screen a NT Play every Thursday at 7pm. They will be available to screen for the following 7 weeks. It started on 2nd April with James Corden in One Man Two Guvnors
The Royal Shakespeare Company has free full length broadcast here:
Watch a Ballet
Every Friday at 7pm a full-length ballet is broadcast by the Royal Opera House
Discover a new City or Culture
Explore the world’s greatest landmarks, culture and arts with Goole Arts and Culture
Here are 12 of the world’s greatest museums and galleries
YOU CAN BE AN ART EXPERT!
Select a National Gallery online lecture to become an expert on an artist...or at least listen to one and know a bit more than you did before.
Here’s Vincent van Gogh
Choose other artists
All our best Museums and Galleries from Home
Have you ever tried Opera?
The Met Opera in New York have nightly broadcasts of World-class performances https://www.metopera.org/nightly-opera-stream/
Glyndebourne Opera is in East Sussex
Live Classical Music
Chamber music from around the world
Speak another Language
Learn a language for free
Try a Short University Course from around the world
Finally, NSB is really missing its students: