- Happy Christmas to the JTFS Community
- Updates from the JTFS staff
- Leadership for 2022
- Our Community
- Student Leadership Team is revealed!
- From the Romans to the Age of Reform - History at JTFS
- Mathematics Christmas Advent Calendar
- Geography Goes Global!
- Surviving on a desert island with STEAM
- Outdoor Education at JTFS
- Up for Debate with Year 8!
- Computing thrives at JTFS!
- Pluto Pages - our brand new school newspaper!
- How can Maths help us conquer terrain?
- Business Studies at JTFS
- Seasonal Crafts
- An update from Eco Club
- JTFS Race for Life
- Turn Up
- The JTFS Learning Conference
- Year 10 Work Experience
- Mental Health Day 2021
- INSET Day
- Year 7 and 8 students return to school
- All students in school
- Year 8 Student Led Consultations
- Half Term
As we approach the end of term, I would like to thank everyone in our school community for the support they have shown us over the last few months. It has been another challenging time in school with changes to Covid guidance, increasing cases in school, staff and student absence relating to Covid and now we are preparing for LFT testing in January once again. We have tried our best to minimise the impact of all of this change on our students and their learning; we know that the priority is to maintain a consistent routine and high quality education for our students. So thank you for your patience, understanding and support while we navigate through what remains an incredibly difficult time and it is certainly a long way from "business as usual".
This newsletter brings together all the activities from the last term from within lessons and beyond. We also launch our first student newsletter which the newspaper club have been working hard on during enrichment. Both of these have been pulled together by our new Editor in Chief Mr Bowen Jones, so thank you to him for all his hard work.
At the end of this term, we will all appreciate some time with family and friends, to rest, relax and enjoy whatever festivities we have planned and are able to continue with. I sincerely hope that you have a wonderful holiday and that 2022 brings health and happiness to you all.
Happy Christmas from
Sue Plant and all the team at JTFS.
We have some happy news to share from the JTFS staff and know that our community will want to wish the following people well:
Miss Pepper gave birth to a baby boy earlier this term. Beau was born on 10th November and is a happy healthy new addition to their family. Mrs Brougton also welcomed a new arrival when baby Evie arrived in September. Miss Pomlett finally got married on 10th December after her wedding was delayed by Covid and Mr Davis is also getting married later in December, again, his wedding delayed by covid restrictions. Miss Hopkins is expecting her baby in January and we hope she enjoys her maternity leave before the baby arrives.
We wish them all the very best for the next chapter in their lives - congratulations from us all!
After just over 3 years at JTFS, Mrs Barnby leaves us at the end of term. We thank her for all her hard work with students and their families and wish her well for the future.
First, I hope I hope you are all well and looking forward to spending time with your friends and family over the festive period. Given the challenges of the previous Christmases, I hope we all get to spend time with our loved ones.
After a period of absence, I have taken the difficult decision to leave JTFS and I am grateful to be allowed to do so from the end of this term. For some parents, I will have been in contact with you more than others, but please know that I appreciate the opportunities to have worked with you to help to generate the positive ehtos that is being established at the school.
I wish each and every one of your children continued success, but morst of all happiness, as they continue with their education journey.
Take care and best wishes,
Over the last couple of weeks, we have been advertising and then interviewing for the Student Leadership Team at JTFS. We are looking for dedicated and hard working young people who can demonstrate the key leadership characteristics of:
- Values driven leadership demonstrating trust, respect and integrity.
- A clear vision for what it means to be a JTFS students.
- A passion for excellence and drive for personal growth.
- A willingness and positive attitude to being a positive role model for others.
Students who applied put a lot of thought, time and effort into their application and it has been a real pleasure to interview the short listed candidates. They spoke clearly and in a very articulate way about how they could positively influence the next generation of students at John Taylor Free School, the ideas they had for future developments and how to be an effective team player as part of the Student Leadership Team.
Leadership development has always been a passion of mine. I enjoy spotting talent and providing opportunities for further growth. I am proud to work with many talented individuals and thoroughly enjoy planning for the Leadership Development Programme as part of Professional Learning. To be able to support others to reflect, discuss and learn is a wonderful opportunity. Each time we meet and consider our practice, the principles of Ethical Leadership, coaching and emotional intelligence, I learn something new about my own leadership.
Delivering the new NPQH programme as a Visiting Fellow with Ambition Insitute and John Taylor Teaching School Hub has also been a pleasure this term. I have met leaders from different schools and contexts and each experience has taught me something new. A thirst for learning as a professional and a strong ability to self reflect and evaluate are important features of effective leadership.
As part of our STRIPE approach, we often talk about being a "Team Player" - knowing when to lead and when to be led is a key skill which even experienced professionals can find hard! I am really looking forward to working with the new SLT - Student Leadership Team - to see what they have to offer, to help them shape the future of the school and provide positive role models for the other students at JTFS.
Earlier this term students took part in an online assembly regarding their community both at school and in the local area. They were asked to think carefully about how they look after their school and show respect to our local area.
We launched our new House logos this half term. The winning design came from Kian H and has been digitally reproduced so that we can use them in lots of different spaces. The tree design reflects the growth of the school, strong roots enable trees to grow tall and this analogy relfects our learning community where everyone grows stronger together. Each House now has a mascot which reflects the characteristics of the different sectors of our school community.
In the restaurant
We have worked hard with students to ensure that they treat the restaurant area with respect. This means clearing up after themselves and each other, putting all rubbish in the relevant recycling bin and ensuring that no food or drink leaves the space. This term, students have been asked to sit in their house group; we want the students to feel a sense of pride in their House and part of a strong community. House points will be awarded this week to the House which has kept their section of the restaurant clean and tidy over this half term.
Students have been learning about how to walk or cycle to school safely, including using the footpaths appropriately. We have asked them not to cut across the fields of Burton Rugby Club as this is disrespectful to our neighbours. Now that the days are shorter, anyone cycling must have lights on their bikes and all students should wear a helmet. Parents using the PUDO have been reminded about speed limits and appropriate parking. Please do not park or wait outside of marked bays - it is not safe and creates significant issues for all other users. Additional bays are available in the rugby club area and parents should be mindful of others when using the space.
We have worked hard with students to ensure that they turn up to school and to lessons on time, ready and focused on their own learning. This has had a really positive impact on the start of lessons. Important instructions or retrieval activities can take place uninterrupted and lesson time is maximised. Please continue to discuss the importance of punctuality and the respect it shows for everyone in the community.
Work hard and be nice!
Our focus on respect continues with the introduction of the "respect card". Students have been proud to wear their lanyard and keep their card clean, as it demonstrates that they are both smart and polite. We have seen students waving their unsigned cards at their Personal Tutor in recognition of being respectful! We are really pleased that students have taken to this so well and are proud of demonstrating our key value of RESPECT. The holidays are a good opportunity to check that uniform is appropriate and students have a face mask or exemption lanyard. Rewards for turning up, working hard and being nice will continue in the new term. Please be aware that should students not meet our expectations, there will be consequences for their actions. We sincerely hope that this is a rare occurence... so far students have been proud to demonstrate respect for themselves and others in their community.
After a rigorous recruitment process, we are delighted to announce the following appointments to the Student Leadership Team:
|House||House Leader||Deputy House Leader|
|Marchington||Maya White||Jason Warner|
|Kingstone||Skyla Purdy||Chloe Tsang|
|Charnwood||Tash Shelton||Mia Knapton- Clarke|
|Needwood||Kolbie Alexander||Tegan Davies|
|Rosliston||Zac Birkett Potter||Ava Mack|
|Sherwood||Serena Pettingle||Charlie Moorby|
These students will play an important role in developing our school as it continues to grow and we look forward to working with them.
Our year 7 students have been investigating how the legacies of the Romans, Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings have shaped Britain’s image. We learned about Roman roads such as Watling Street, Roman Medicine and the ideas of Galen. With the Anglo-Saxons, we discovered how they reintroduced Christianity and the written word to England. As for the Vikings, students learned that they were excellent navigators, traders, and craftsmen. Students were surprised to find that so many aspects of our lives are influenced from the Ancient World!
This half-term, our year 8 students have been using their enquirer skills to answer the following question: ‘Why did Henry VIII break with Rome: love, religion or power?’ We investigated the various corruptions of the Catholic Church during the 16th Century – including very naughty Popes, wealthy monasteries, and some not so genuine relics! Students also discovered the real motivations behind Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon and the dissolution of the Monasteries. We have been proud of the resilience students have used to understand this complex period in European History.
Year 9 have been learning about the Industrial Revolution and the Age of Reform. We found out what it was like to work in an 18th Century Cotton Mill. Students have explained why urbanisation led to an increase in crime, illness, and poverty. Students have also used their innovate and create skills alongside their enquirer skills in their French Revolution projects this half term. Well done year 9!
Our year 10 Historians have been learning about how medicine saw significant change in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Students researched the contributions of a wide range of individuals such as Jenner, Pasteur and Koch. We have been proud of the high-quality resilience and self-manager skills that our year 10 historians have demonstrated!
This Christmas we have become very festive in the mathematics department by asking students mathematical questions with a Christmas theme rather than a chocolate each day. The questions have been varied and aimed at different year groups. They have been designed to develop students' enquiry skills and there has been lots of students getting involved - it has been lovely to see the enthusiasm for the Christmas season. Some of the questions should help out with the Christmas dinner preparations at home too!
On the 9th December, students were asked:
My Christmas dinner turkey is 7kg.
The cooking instructions state:
For the first 4kg cook for 40 minutes per kg.
For every 1kg after cook for 45 minutes per kg.
How long do I need to cook my turkey for?
If our students do help with the cooking of your Christmas dinner this year, they should succeed in the timings for cooking the Christmas turkey.
Students have developed their teamwork skills by working together to develop their mathematical skills, whilst also getting into the Christmas spirit throughout Advent. Students will be given House Points for getting involved with the advent calendar and in the new year we will meet with the students who got involved.
Wishing you all a safe and relaxing Christmas.
The JTFS Mathematics Department
Despite being a continent, Antarctica doesn’t have a flag. However, more than 50 countries work together to protect the Antarctic environment and share their scientific research using a peaceful agreement called the Antarctic Treaty System. Each year the UK Polar Network invite students from participating schools to design a flag which they believe symbolises this continent. The winning design from each school is then given to researchers and station staff heading down to Antarctica for the Austral Summer (November-January). The flags are transported all the way to Antarctica with these “flag bearers”.
JTFS Students designed some beautiful, creative flags based on their learning about Antarctica which they felt represented the icy continent. Geography staff picked Alahna Frost’s flag as our winning entry, and it was submitted to the UK Polar Network. Alahna’s flag has since travelled nearly 9.000 miles to Antarctica with Geophysicist Dr Greg Leonard and he is shown in the image driving a piston bully near Scott Station (Australian base), Antarctica proudly flying Alahna’s flag.
Well done Alahna on this amazing achievement!
The STEAM club have been busy this term with a themed enrichment entitled ‘How to survive on a desert island’. As part of the project, students have created a water powered fan, learnt how to write in invisible ink and discussed the impact of homelessness.
Students have learnt how to create a strong rope out of plastic bags, dissected a fish to see the inner workings (not for the faint of heart!), and created their own organic toothpaste.
The students have engaged really well with this project and it has been really fun to be a part of.
We look forward to the next STEAM themed project.
This term as part of our enrichment timetable, a very dedicated group of students from all year groups came together to create a new school newspaper. It was conceived as a paper written by our students, for our students, and we have the first official edition of "Pluto Pages!" The newspaper was given this name by Caleb L, and as you will see, many students have contribued to creating a really successul first issue.
Within its pages, you will read articles about school life as well as several students talking about their interests outside school, such as providing book recommendations and reviewing a hit West End musical. It has been a real joy supporting these students with their articles, and we're very excited to share the completed newspaper with you.
In Year 7 Maths, we have been looking at the driving question “How do I conquer terrain?” in relation to perimeter and area. We have discussed how in agriculture farmers must conquer the terrain before they can use the land. We have considered how they may conquer it by fencing the perimeter as well as cultivating the area and carried out some calculations to consider how much it would cost to do this.
Year 9 Careers Event
On Thursday 25th November, all year 9 took part in a careers event with different employers and organisations to gain an insight into different options available to them. As part of this event the students elected activities/talks/workshops which they wanted to attend. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers who gave up their time from the organisations below:
- University of Derby
- Staffordshire University
- Ideal Standard
- Derby Theatre
- Loughborough University
We hope that this event will become a yearly fixture in our calendar for year 9 as they approach choices over GCSE pathways.
Business Board Games
This half term we have introduced a new enrichment in the business department, ‘business board games’. We have had teams of students attend to come and play Monopoly, Payday and the Logo Game. Next half term we will be starting a leader board of the students who take part in Monopoly for ‘Most money in the bank’ at the end of each lunchtime.
The Eco Club have been working hard this year to ensure that JTFS continues to be a beautiful environment that allows all students to succeed and thrive.
Our action points this year are
- To reduce litter around the school
At our school we are not allowed to eat anywhere other than the restaurant, this reduces the amount of litter around the site. We also sit in our houses, so we are responsible for tidying up our tables after we eat.
- To improve biodiversity around the JTFS site
The club has been working hard in the garden. We have cleared weeds and harvested some seeds to plant in the new year.
- To ensure that our school saves energy
Our Eco Code is displayed on the school screens as well as all classrooms having switch off signs to remind staff and students to switch off electricals and shut windows as they leave the classroom.
We are looking to set up our litter campaign with a House competition in the new year. We want to create some anti-litter emoji posters to be displayed around our school. Teachers will also be encouraged to hand out praise points for those pupils who are seen picking up litter.
We hope to develop our school garden by building polly tunnels to grow our own vegetables. We also want to continue to section the garden so that different areas have different uses. We will also start work on the nursery next to the pavilion.
We have now completed the Race for Life in order to raise money for Cancer Research UK. We also used this event as an opportunity for students to represent their House and to further develop their STRIPE habits.
They have been preparing for the event as part of their PE curriculum and students had to demonstrate resilience during some quite challenging conditions over the last week or so. Year 9 even had to complete their run after Christmas dinner!
Students and families have worked hard to riase moeny and at the time of going to press, we raised over £1,500 - which is a fabulous achievement. If you would like to make a contribution, you can do so via our JTFS Just Giving page, using this link.
It was a wonderful opportunity to come together as a community and raise money for Cancer Research UK and for the opportunity for students to represent their houses.
We expect all students to Turn Up, Work Hard and Be Nice to each other at JTFS. Over the last couple of weeks, we have been supporting students to understand the importance of "Turn Up".
"Be in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing"
We believe that a positive approach to punctuality is an important part of the “Self Manager” skill in our STRIPE approach and will provide positive foundations for your child’s future.
- Preparation for the world of work which can be a far less forgiving environment!
- Lateness is disresepctful - to the teacher who has planned the lesson and the rest of the class who are disturbed by the late arrival
- Being late means students miss important instructions or information
- Being on time means you are a good Self Manager and a sign of good organisation
Being late to lesson means that there is lost learning. Lost learning equates to reduced progress and does not allow our students to succeed and thrive. This applies to those students who are late but also means that those students in the class have their learning disrupted as someone else arrives once the lesson has begun. A poor attitude to punctuality affects everyone.
|Number of minutes late||Amount of learning lost over a year|
|5 minutes||3 days|
|10 minutes||6.5 days|
|15 minutes||10 days|
|20 minutes||13 days|
|30 minutes||19 days|
On Wednesday 15th December, all students at JTFS from year 7 through to year 10 will be taking part in a learning conference in order to share, explore and develop their learning across the curriculum.
At the time that this article went to press, the conference had not yet taken place; however, staff and students have been preparing through our professional learning programme, lessons, enrichments and tutor time to ensure that each of our students is able to enquire into our driving questions and offer their own thoughts and ideas on these, regardless of year group. Students will be spending time with their personal tutor groups debating and discussing how they respond to the questions:
Who creates our image?
How do we conquer terrain?
Does money make us rich?
What makes Britain great?
What are our aspirations?
Everybody has been encouraged to regularly update their STRIPE portfolios which act as a record of anything that they are proud of from throughout this term, and eventually all years at JTFS. These portfolios include certificates, examples of work, photocopies, and photographs. Students will be bringing these home to share at home after the learning conference so that they can continue to celebrate how they are succeeding and thriving.
We know from research that metacognition strategies (understanding the process of learning) are vital to the success of students and at JTFS, the Learning Conference is one of the ways we support students with this important skill.
This is our first learning conference since 2019 and it has taken on a very different format than in previous years. We hope that this model will then evolve to a point where we are able to hold exhibitions of our learning not only to share with peers, but extended members of our JTFS community: staff, governors and importantly, parents and guardians.
We are committed as a school to giving students an insight into the world of work and its disciplines. We hope that by offering work experience, we will proactively bridge the gap between the academic qualifications that the students will leave with and the employability skills that young people may have a more limited experience of.
Our year 10 students are currently searching for work experience placements for the week commencing 27th June 2022. As a new school we are in the unique position to be offering this opportunity to our students for the first time and therefore we are looking to create a database of local organisations who can support us. If you are able to help our students by offering placements in the local area please get in touch with Mrs Pollitt, Curriculum Leader of Business, Careers and Computing at the school on email@example.com
Last half term, as the world was celebrating World Mental Health Day, we took an opportunity within our JTFS community to encourage students to reflect on their own wellbeing. Through the launch of our house competition and ‘Hello Yellow Campaign’, we hope that students will consider what they do inside and outside of school to improve their own mental health. In Personal Tutor time we have been tailoring our discussions around being kind to ourselves and ways we can achieve this daily such as: getting enough quality sleep, having some time to take part in enjoyable activities, eating healthily, socialising and being a part of supportive peer groups.
We pride ourselves at JTFS on our positive approach to wellbeing and this is demonstrated through the wide range of opportunities and enrichments provided for all students, creating an environment for all students to succeed and thrive. We engage in tutor time ‘walk and talks’ which enable staff and students to connect, get some fresh air and stretch our legs for 15 minutes; it truly is a great way to start the day!
We will be launching our new Student Wellbeing Champion roles in the near future and will be working on some exciting whole school events – watch this space!
05 Jan 2022
Lateral Flow tests will take place during the day. Please make sure consent forms have been complete.
Year 9 and 10 will complete remote learning - please see GO4Schools for details.
06 Jan 2022
Year 9 and 10 students will have Lateral Flow Tests, please ensure consent forms are completed.
Year 7 and 8 students have lessons as normal
03 Feb 2022
4:15 PM to 6:15 PM