The West Bridgford School

A Specialist Technology Academy

A FOCUS ON MUSIC - Mr Dyer

The first of a series of articles on school departments 

 

So, what did you do in Music today? ‘Oh, we played the keyboards a bit and sang some songs…..’

 

That might be what your offspring inform you of, but do you REALLY know what sorts of things they learn in Music?

 

Music at The West Bridgford School is one of those subjects that EVERYONE can enjoy and EVERYONE can get something out of, even if they’re not Grade 6 on piano or play in a County Youth Orchestra.  The Music staff are well accustomed to teaching students of a huge ability range in Key Stage 3 lessons. The aims of the department include practical prowess, listening skills, composition aptitude and good-old-fashioned-sing-alongs-with -the -2-Mr-Ds!

 

GCSE Music results, are consistently high, and are no doubt related to the range of extra-curricular activities that occur each week.  String Ensemble, Jazz Group, Orchestra and various small combos including Brass Ensemble, Barbershop Group, Flute Choir and Clarinet/Saxophone Group together with Pop and Rock Ensembles preparing for the forthcoming ‘Bridgstock’ evenings make for an eclectic range of musical tastes.

 

 

During the past few years, the Music Department has twice taken large groups of students (40+) to the Black Forest area of Germany to perform in 3 al fresco concerts each time in beautiful settings.  You can see some photographs/videos of our last trip in 2015 here…….. 2017 beckons a new dawn, with possible venues including Malta, France or even maybe Norway (watch this space!)

 

“So when is the next musical evening?” I hear you ask……

 

NEXT WEDNESDAY, YES, NEXT WEDNESDAY, 10TH FEBRUARY at 6.30pm in the school theatre is the Upper School Performing Arts’ Showcase. Tickets, priced £3.50 (£2.50 for concessions) are available from the Music Department.

EXAMS AND RAMADAN

You may have noticed articles in the newspapers last week explaining that the exam boards have decided to move the dates of examinations to fit in with Ramadan. This has sparked several parental enquiries around what the move in dates will actually be. In fact the exam boards considered the dates of Ramadan last summer when initially drawing up the calen-dar of examinations, meaning the dates already published to parents remain the correct and official ones.

CASHLESS CATERING – THE FIRST WEEK

After lots of hard work, Tuesday saw the launch of ‘Full Cashless’. The canteen ‘Revaluation Machines’ now only allow balance checking and a queue of pupils appeared wanting to try out the new look machines. Anticipating queues of pupils requiring loans or having issues, Student Services was fully manned waiting to deal with any problems….and nobody arrived! Through Wednesday and Thursday a steady trickle of the remaining pupils who have yet to have anybody sign up for Agora made their way to the Stu-dent Services window, but pupils were fed and the canteen functioned as normal…just without cash. We will review the progress of ‘CASHLESS’ on a weekly basis. Student well-being is paramount and we will keep a close eye on children's eating habits.


How will parents without access to computers pay? – Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a ‘Paypoint’ barcode card. This will allow cash payments for school catering at local shops such as Asda.


What will happen if I forget to top up the account? – Students can access a ‘loan’ at Student Services. A maximum of 3 loans will be available. After the first loan is issued students will be given a reminder card to pass on when they get home. After a second loan has been made, attempts will be made to contact home by phone.


I feel fine adding money to the catering side however would like to pay for large items, such as expensive trips, with a cheque. – We will continue to accept cheques for trip payments over £50. This will be reviewed in July 2016.


I know I have had multiple letters and emails home about this but haven’t registered with Agora! What should I do? – no problem, school staff are available to issue Agora codes. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and a code will be sent .

Make a No!se about bullying

Anti-bullying week is another opportunity for school’s to shine a light on initiatives promoting a clear message of no tolerance for bullying.  Year 7 designed anti-bullying posters, now displayed in our theatre foyer.  We also joined a county-wide initiative called Make a No!se about bullying, organised by Lorna Naylor, county anti-bullying coordinator.  Miss Rogers worked with pupils on a choreographed dance piece which was performed at 12.30 on Monday 16th November.  The performance coincided with other schools in the county doing the same dance at the same time.  Unsuspecting diners were curious to see what was happening when the music blasted out and congregated round the Flash Mob.  Some of the performances have been edited together so please click here to view in full

Here’s what some of the team thought about the Flash Mob:

“I really enjoyed the campaign, it lifted the spirits of the school and raised awareness of bullying as well as inspiring a positive atmosphere around this issue” Natasha Johnson – year 10

“I really enjoyed learning and performing the flash mob with my friends.  It was a really good way to send the message around that bullying is not acceptable”  Megan - pupil

“The girls were all very enthusiastic about the flash mob. They all learned the dance and performed it as a united front towards bullying.  It was a fantastic way to present the issue of bullying and raise the awareness of this within the school”  Miss Rogers – PE/Dance teacher

Culture & Diversity ambassadors have been promoting the importance of expressing Pupil Voice confidently and constructively as all pupils in year 7 – 13 complete a questionnaire about bullying and prejudice, now open to complete on Moodle.  Our ambassadors will follow up with focus groups for further discussion next term.  We will keep you posted.

Message from Chris Few – Chair of the Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board

I write with regard to the sensitive but important subject of child sexual exploitation (CSE). This is a topic which you may have seen or heard about through the national and local media, and which has featured in storylines on television dramas.

The numbers of children we are aware of as being either at risk of, or actually being, sexually exploited, are relatively small. However, we do want to be proactive in helping parents and carers to be aware of the risks that their children may meet, either face to face or through social media and the internet.

The Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board has therefore decided to once again write directly to all parents and carers, of secondary aged children within the County, via their secondary schools and academies.

To see the full letter please click here

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