We asked if you thought anyone deserved recognition as a KBA Lockdown Legend and we weren’t disappointed. Here are some of the responses.
Friday, January 22, 2021
As we reach the end of our third week of remote learning I do hope this update continues to find you and your families well and healthy.
During this period of remote learning, our primary aim is to deliver a quality, well sequenced, knowledge rich curriculum that meets the needs of our students and community.
Teachers will naturally be prioritising formative assessments (those which build upon the skills and understanding needed to succeed in future public examinations) and assessment for learning (those that enable greater understanding of what and how students can improve in future learning). However, teachers of Years 11 and 13 are also in an ongoing process of assessing and building evidence that may, once the details are published and become clearer, play a part in their final award.
I must continue to stress the importance of attending all live lessons for all students. Attendance registers are completed by teachers for every lesson and we have begun a process of making contact with parents of those students whose engagement is not in keeping with our expectations.
We continue to monitor Ofqual’s consultation regarding the awarding of grades for students in Years 11 and 13 and will update all students, parents and carers when we have any firm guidance.
Ofqual has published consultations for the awarding of GCSEs and A Levels this year as well as a consultation for the awarding of Vocational Qualifications. These consultations close on the 29th January and we expect for firm guidance to be published in the 2 weeks after this date.
Please use the following links:
- GCSE and A Level Qualifications 2021 – Consultation HERE
- Vocational and Technical Qualifications – Consultation HERE
Our advice to students and teachers at this point is simple, carry on as normal, attend every lesson, submit all the work being asked for and meet all deadlines that are being set. We intend to hold a Town Hall meeting on Thursday 28th January for students in exam years where we will discuss the consultations in depth and address any questions that students, parents and carers have. More details off this will follow early next week.
Homework continues to be set by staff in the same way as it would have been if students were in the academy building. Please ensure that you are asking your child about their work and encouraging them to be diligent and conscientious. It is vitally important that students maintain their term-time routine so that, when we reach the February half-term break, they feel as if they have reached a school holiday.
Information regarding how to join live lessons is available on our website and can be found by clicking here
We are, of course, fully aware that there may occasionally be technical issues which prevent your child from accessing live lessons. If this is the case please email your child’s Head of Year in order to ensure that they are fully aware of your difficulties as well as being able to offer possible solutions. Contact details for all staff can be found here
Town Hall Meeting : Monday 25th January at 7:00pm
I would like to invite you all to join me at our next Town Hall Meeting which will take place on Monday 25th January with a 7:00pm start.
I will be providing updates for parents regarding our on-going work in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The academy’s Head of Whole School Literacy, Miss Power, will also be talking to parents about Accelerated Reader. She will be highlighting the importance of reading during lockdown and how to ensure that your child can continue to quiz from home so that they can make progress and hit their reading targets.
Additionally, she will be introducing Bedrock Learning and how it can be used at home to improve your child’s vocabulary by teaching themthe academic words they need to succeed in school and beyond.
We have been asking students families and staff to nominate someone they feel deserves to be recognised as a KBA Lockdown Legend. Thank you to everyone who made a nomination - we know that these have given a real lift to each and every recipient. A separate post will be published on this blog sharing some of the nominations.
Stay Active. Stay Healthy. Stay Safe.
In Monday’s whole academy assembly Mr Fraher shared with students the details of how to access the Strava club that has been set up for the KBA community.
What To Do
- Download and register with Strava from the app store
- Join the club at https://www.strava.com/clubs/KBAStayingActive
- Get active!
Remember that government guidance is you are able to leave your home once per day for exercise with those in your household or support bubble.
Travel Plan Survey
On the theme of moving around, can I ask you to prompt your child to complete the Travel Survey homework which has been set on Satchel One (previously Show My Homework).
The aim of the survey is to help the academy achieve the Modestar STARS travel accreditation and support the academy travel plan project and it can accessed by clicking here.
Sixth Form News
I am very pleased that over 140 KBA Year 11 students have attended interviews for a place in our Sixth Form this week. The Sixth Form team have reported that candidates have been well-prepared, conducted themselves maturely and showed an impressive level of engagement in their futures. Conditional offers of places will be sent to successful candidates in the coming weeks. The late application window is still open and we will read any applications received with great interest.
House Championship News
Our Virtual House Quiz continues to be a great source of competition with over 160 families, staff and students competing against each other on 21st January.
Here are the top ten places from our last quiz. Congratulations to the Osborne family who came out on top for Viking House.
Details of next week’s quiz will be shared via @kbahousechamp on Twitter as well as being published in this blog at the start of next week.
If you follow us on Twitter (@KBuccleuchA and @kbahousechamp) you may have seen that we are launching our latest Virtual House Competition; KBA Does The Masked Singer
I am, as ever, so proud of our brilliant staff who have filmed their alter-egos performing a song for you as an audience. Make sure you are following our two main Twitter accounts and please join in with the fun.
Change To Calendar
Finally, I have taken the decision to cancel our next INSET day for staff on 29th January which would, under normal circumstances, have led to students not being in school. I believe it is important for students to have access to as much remote learning as possible at this time and students should attend scheduled live lessons as per their Microsoft Teams calendar.
I hope you are able to find some time this weekend to enjoy time with your household. The evenings are beginning to draw out a little each day and, hopefully, the weather will begin to become a little more Spring-like in the not too distant future.
Friday, January 15, 2021
Our next Virtual House Quiz takes place at 7:00pm on Thursday 21st January.
As this is a House Competition we ask that all players use the following format for their nickname when playing.
What a week it has been! Remote learning, distribution of IT devices and Free School Meal parcels and the administration of Covid-19 testing for staff and children on site are just some of the things that have been at the forefront of our thinking and I really appreciate the support and kind messages that we have received as we work together through the process of meeting these challenges. Please be assured that these messages are very gratefully received and shared with our wider staff.
As we reach the end of the second week of this lockdown, I cannot stress enough the importance for all children of attending the live lessons provided by our dedicated and determined staff.
We are monitoring attendance at each live lesson and I am pleased to report that the overwhelming majority of students are engaging positively with this change to their diet of learning. We know that there will be technical problems at times (for both students and staff!) but teamwork and resilience are always our greatest strengths and we know that we will be able to overcome challenges as they arise.
Please find time to talk to your child about the importance for students to focus on their studies, as best as they are able to, so that they are in the strongest position possible to return to school when this is possible.
We understand the Government’s announcement to cancel the summer examination series is unsettling for everyone but students need to focus on what they can control, specifically in terms of completing their courses to the very best of their ability. We will provide updates as soon as we have received further details from the Department for Education.
GCSE Options Process
The GCSE Options process will begin for Year 9 students in the week beginning Monday 1st February. In the two weeks leading to half term Year 9 will receive talks during assembly time from different subject leads – it is vitally important that your child attends these assemblies if they are in Year 9.
A letter with details of all dates and times will be emailed to parents on Monday 25th January. GCSE Options evening will take place on Thursday 25th February. This will be an online event. If you have any further questions, following the receipt of the letter on the 25th January, then please contact Iain Holmes, Assistant Principal, by email via email@example.com.
Sixth Form News
The Sixth Form team and I would like to congratulate Year 13 student Esele Okondo for being offered a place at The University of Oxford to study Medicine. Only 24% of applicants are interviewed and only 9% are offered a place. Well done for this outstanding achievement!
Additionally, twelve Year 13 students have been offered places from all five universities to which they applied and a further thirty-eight are receiving offers daily.
Can I also congratulate Ezra Lewis and Uday Singh for being awarded Bronze medals in the British Physics Olympiad. To be recognised for their significant talent as physicists in a national competition is a great achievement.
Next week the Sixth Form team will be interviewing 144 KBA Year 11 students who have applied for a place to study A levels and BTEC qualifications at KBA Sixth Form. In the following weeks, they will be interviewing over 70 students who have applied for places from other schools in Northamptonshire. This level of interest in our Sixth Form is unprecedented and is a testament to the hard work of all of our Sixth Form students for making it a great place to study.
Virtual House Quiz
Over 130 families took part in our first Virtual House Quiz of 2021 on Thursday 14th September. The focus of this week’s quiz was the year 1968 and it proved to be a close competition with the Watson family eventually triumphing for Phoenix House. Congratulations to them and to everyone else who came together for this event. The top 10 positions are shown below.
The quiz will take place every Thursday evening during term time with a 7:00pm start. There are 50 multiple choice questions relating to a particular year. Details relating to how to join the quiz are tweeted out each week and also placed on this blog. We would love to see more families taking part – it really is a great way to keep our sense of community going through these challenging times. If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org Mr Henton will be happy to help.
Free School Meals
There has been much publicity regarding the quality of Free School Meal parcels in the press and wider media during the last few days. As of Monday 18thJanuary we will revert to vouchers being sent out to families who qualify for Free School Meals and hope that that allows greater flexibility in relation to the items that are purchased. Should you have any questions about Free School Meals please email email@example.com we will be pleased to help.
Exercise and Reading Books
We have posted out exercise and reading books to all students in Years 7-13 over the last week. If you have not received these items please email firstname.lastname@example.org, again, we will be pleased to help.
Town Hall Meeting
Our next Virtual Town Hall Meeting for parents takes place on Monday 25thJanuary at 7:00pm. Can I please ask that you put this date in your diary. It would also be appreciated if you could ensure that you join the meeting in plenty of time for the scheduled start time of 7:00pm.
You can access every Town Hall Meeting via our website www.kba.uk/townhallmeetingand we have now started adding recording of previous meetings to this page so that you can watch these if you were unable to attend when they were live.
Thank you once again for your continued support. I hope you find the information in this week’s update helpful for you - if you have any concerns or queries please don’t hesitate to get in touch via email@example.com we will do our very best to help you through this testing time.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
The link to join our first Virtual House Quiz of 2021 is below:
As this is a House Competition we ask that all players use the following format for their nickname when playing.
Saturday, January 9, 2021
Our next Virtual Town Hall Meeting for secondary parents takes place on Monday 11th January at 7:00pm.
This meeting can be accessed via https://kba.uk/townhallmeeting
Please note that the address remains the same for all Virtual Town Hall Meetings.
If you miss the latest Town Hall Meeting you can watch a recording of it by using the link above.
Friday, January 8, 2021
We would like all student and staff families to join us each week as we resume our Virtual House Quiz. You can choose to play either individually or as a family.
The quiz will launch every Thursday at 7:00pm during term time.
This year each quiz will focus on the events of a particular year in the 20th or 21st century with 50 multiple choice questions.
100 points are awarded for a correct answer with bonus points being awarded depending on how quickly your correct answer is submitted.
We use the MyQuiz website to host the quiz and it is really easy to join and take part.
- Students will not sit GCSE, AS and A Level exams this summer.
- A consultation will be launched next week and conclude swiftly to give certainty to schools, colleges and students.
- We expect Ofqual, the exams regulator, to consider a teacher-assessed system as a replacement.
- Teachers will be given training and support to ensure these marks are awarded fairly and consistently
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all parents for the support that is being given to the academy at this time. I also think it is important to praise our students, who have shown real engagement with live lessons, our teaching staff, who have been working tirelessly in order to ensure that these lessons are prepared and delivered, and our associate staff who do so much to ensure that the academy runs efficiently. We have had fantastic feedback regarding this first week of remote learning via social media and email and we really do appreciate this.
As a school we pride ourselves on communication. Regular updates will be posted on this blog relating to both curricular and extra-curricular activities taking place throughout the period of remote education. I will, of course, also continue to contact parents on a regular basis with updates and information, either by email or Virtual Town Hall meetings.
Our next Virtual Town Hall Meeting for secondary parents takes place on Monday 11th January at 7:00pm. This meeting can be accessed via https://kba.uk/townhallmeeting (please note that the address remains the same for all Virtual Town Hall Meetings).
We know that there will be a great deal of uncertainty amongst students and parents regarding the awarding of GCSE, BTEC and Advanced Level grades in the summer and I will share the most recent information available with you as and when I can. We are receiving regular updates from the Government in relation to public examinations and the situation regarding this is likely to continue to change. Please be reassured that, as part of United Learning, we are supported by a dedicated and determined sponsor and we will take directions from our executive board members in relation to Government advice.
I am pleased to report that in the last week we have supported over 300 students with the provision of IT equipment. We also have our fantastic IT team on hand to support parents with any issues or questions and, should you require their support at , please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will arrange for them to contact you. Any other questions you may have can also be sent to this central email address.
Next Thursday (14th September) sees the return of our weekly Virtual House Quiz. This will take place each week at 7:00pm and all families (student and staff) are welcome to take part. Details of how to join the quiz each week will be published on our blog and tweeted out via the academy’s 2 main Twitter @kbuccleucha and @kbahousechamp. The Virtual House Quiz will provide another opportunity for us all to come together and we hope it provides a little light relief in these strange and challenging times.
Dino Di Salvo