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Testing times

Mock exams for Year 11s, order assessments for Years 7 -9 and the annual quiz for staff and parents!

As I write this blog our Year 11 students are in the middle of their Mock Exam fortnight. This is an absolutely crucial part of Key Stage 4, representing as it does the start of the final phase of the students’ GCSE journey. The vast majority of GCSE courses are finished and the mocks allow both students and staff to gauge where they are and most importantly what they need to be doing in the period running up to the summer exams.

The mock period is very intense with exams coming in quick succession. The students have tackled these demands with great tenacity. They have also conducted themselves superbly and approached each exam with the right attitude. All of these elements will be vital for the students to perform well in the summer.  

Our Key Stage 3 students are beginning the preparation for the second of their 3 “order” assessments that will take place in the first week of March. These order assessments are a key element in our tracking of student progress at Key Stage 3. They allow us to identify students not making progress, and to put in place interventions where necessary. They also allow us to celebrate the successes of those students making excellent progress. Homework for students in English, Maths and Science for the next 3 weeks will be focused on enabling students to prepare for the forthcoming tests. I was very proud of how well the students conducted themselves for the last round of order assessments and how seriously they took them. I expect to see a similar level of preparedness and determination in March.

Yesterday evening saw our Year 9 Parents Evening. It was really pleasing to see so many parents and to be able to have beneficial conversations regarding students’ learning.  It also saw the beginning of the Year 9 options process with the distribution of the Options Booklets for 2020.  This year we have made some small, but significant, refinements to the process.  The most significant of these is the introduction of taster sessions for all students in the ‘new’ subjects.  This is a really beneficial development and one that will give students a better insight into these subjects and will help them make even more informed decisions. We will of course still have the Options Evening on Thursday 5th March to which all Year 9 parents are invited.  

Finally, this evening sees one of my favourite events of the year, the Annual Friends of Severn Vale Quiz Night. This is the fifth year we have held the quiz and once again it promises to be a great evening with the top spot being keenly fought for. The places all sold out in record time and the evening will raise a significant amount of money for the school. I am very grateful to the Friends of Severn Vale and to our quiz master extraordinaire, Ian Pogue, for their support.

Now to go and brush up on my general knowledge skills!!!

Have a great weekend.

Richard Johnson