Friday 6 May 2022
Dear Parents and Carers,
Students were both curious and excited this week when we opened our new and refurbished gender-neutral toilets in the new build! The open-plan look of these areas is a bit of a novelty at the moment; however, they have initially been designated to Y7 students with our gender-neutral toilet in the Main Reception area also available to all year groups.
This area of school will open again next week after two and a half years of this part of school being out of action! The new LRC (Library) will be housed in there, as will Mr Keegan and Mr Eastwood’s offices, the Student Support Centre, a separate Inclusion Room, the staff room, plus RE, Languages classrooms and a Science classroom. The space is unrecognisable from 2019 – light and airy, clutter-free (!) and a great environment in which to learn. Photos will follow in future bulletins.
Eid Mubarak! To all our Muslim students and staff! We hope you enjoyed celebrating with family and friends!
Holidays in Term Time
We have seen unprecedented numbers of requests over the last few weeks from families wishing to withdraw their child from school for a family holiday. I do fully appreciate the circumstances of cancelled and postponed holidays during the pandemic and the costs which may be incurred by either changing holiday dates or moving them to official school holidays. However, I cannot authorise holidays in term time. Unauthorised absences such as this will incur a fine.
If you feel there are exceptional circumstances in which your child/ward needs to be absent from school, other than with illness, then these will be considered on a case by case basis. Thank you very much for your support in this matter.
Free Courses for Parents and Carers!
On this link you will find 77 free online courses from the Open University - several on adolescent mental health and some on understanding SEN and autism - very much entry level courses, but a whole range of other topics too from business, sport, coaching, science and maths!
Jubilee Celebrations next Friday 13th May
Next Friday afternoon we are celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee! Students can come into school wearing red, white and/or blue, either on top of their school uniform or instead of their school uniform! Staff will be doing likewise and we may even see some Royals in attendance on the day!
The Student Council are organising a fabulous Treasure Hunt for Y7 students and there are two competitions with BIG prizes (to be revealed on the day!):
- The Great British Bake Off – bake a British classic cake or a Jubilee-themed cake, any size and shape. Bring it into school on Friday in a tin/tub/box which is CLEARLY LABELLED WITH YOUR NAME AND FORM and hand it in to Ms Kinder at Reception. These will be displayed in the afternoon and staff with judge the winner.
- The Great British Postcard – design a postcard to celebrate the Jubilee, or to highlight a wonderful place in Britain! Designs should be on A6 paper or card (that’s a quarter of a sheet of A4), and should be bold and colourful! Your NAME and FORM should be clearly written on the back of your design and you should hand this to your FORM TUTOR on Friday morning please. Staff will judge the winner!
Provision will be in place for students who are not taking part in the celebrations that day.
And from Great Britain, to Japan!
“Konnichiwa” (こんにちは, 今日は)
Last term, as part of our Languages enrichment, we welcomed an amazing student teacher from the University of Manchester to deliver Japanese to our students.
Lascell Taylor planned and delivered a series of outstanding Japanese language and culture lessons to the students. By the end of the course, all the students could take part in an extended dialogue about themselves and their interests.
Mr Taylor is planning to move to Japan to teach, and I know his Japanese Club will wish him the very best.
Mr Taylor sent school a message after the course saying: ‘Thank you very much for the experience. It was very enjoyable, and the students were a joy to work with!’
University of Cambridge Visit
Last week we welcomed Bethan from Murray Edwards College at the University of Cambridge to school. Murray Edwards is Altrincham College’s ‘linked’ college at Cambridge, and Bethan was delighted to meet students from Years 10-13 to answer their questions about Cambridge and the ‘Oxbridge’ application process.
Bethan was lovely and has offered to visit us again the next time she is in Manchester 😊
Amy S in Y10 has been selected to represent Cheshire Youth County Cricket Girls Under 15s for the 2022 County season! Many congratulations to Amy – this is a fantastic achievement!
Miss Morley says that all our netball teams entered into Trafford Schools League placed either 1st, 2nd or 3rd. A big shout out especially to the Year 8A team who came FIRST winning all games in the league! Fabulous achievement girls – you’ve been promoted to Division One!
The Y8A team are:
Tabitha V (Captain)
Immy D-H (Vice-Captain)
Mr Dennis, Head of PE, tells me that the summer term in PE has kicked off with our Inter-house competition in table tennis (boys) and football (girls).
The inter-house competition at AC is a series of events taking place throughout the school year, in which students compete in teams across a range of activities. The scores are collected and go towards an overall total, culminating with Sports Day.
Our team names have been selected to resonate the sporting values we wish students to emulate, with each student allocated to a house at the beginning of the year:
Team 1 - Respect (Blue)
Team 2 - Excellence (Green)
Team 3 - Friendship (Red)
Team 4 - Determination (Yellow)
After 10 events so far, the scores are as follows:
While Inter-house gives all students an experience of sporting competition, we also have many clubs and fixtures for students to take part in after school.
Last term we saw our basketball and netball teams perform extremely well in the Trafford Schools competitions. Our Year 7 Boys Basketball team were unbeaten and were the winners of the South Trafford competition.
The winning team (Y7 basketball) are:
Theo G (Captain)
Unfortunately, success in basketball and netball was not repeated with our football teams (!!) however, the effort and attitude we saw from the players was outstanding, with Year 9 coming up against a very strong Ashton on Mersey side to lose narrowly in the Quarter Finals of the Trafford Cup with standout performances from Pijus O, Chris A, Jacob B and Alfie K during the cup run.
The summer term brings brand-new activities as (hopefully) the weather improves, and we move outside to cricket, rounders, athletics and tennis. Club night has already begun on a Monday for rounders and Tuesday for cricket and tennis, while our very popular dance club will continue on a Tuesday until the end of the year. We look forward to seeing you all there!!
The Chairman of Trafford Rowing Club contacted me this week to say:
“I thought you may want an update on the rowing competition that Maisie (Year 10) was selected to represent the Northwest in at the weekend. The conditions on the day were very challenging with the lake at Holme Pierrepont in Nottingham resembling the sea at times! Maisie won her heat and came 5th overall in her double. The Northwest came third overall in the event which is the best result for a long time. We are very proud of her at Trafford Rowing Club.”
So are we, here at AC! Well done Maisie!
You said, we did
Bullying happens in all schools, in the workplace and in society. How we define it can be tricky. In our school we log bullying incidents and tackle them. In most cases, the student does not repeat the offence, this would be a one-off bullying incident. Some students, however, continue to bully and again we would tackle each incident but also look at a long-term forms of support for that child. The victim’s feelings are always taken into consideration in any incident and our Pastoral Support Team are trained to work with our young people who have been subjected to this.
Miss Diffley has put this information together to support you should this ever happen to your child/ward. You will also find this information on our website:
Bullying – A Parent/Carer Guide
WHAT IS BULLYING?
Bullying is not always easy to define. We define it as: deliberate hostility and aggression directed at a target who may appear vulnerable or an outcome which is painful and distressing to the target
Bullying can be:
- Physical: pushing, kicking, hitting, pinching, and any other forms of violence, threats
- Verbal: name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours
- Emotional: exclusion, isolation, tormenting, ridicule, humiliation
- Racist: racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
- Sexual: unwanted physical contact, verbal abuse
- Homophobic: physical or verbal abuse based on stereotyping sexual orientation
- Cyber-bullying: using technology to bully, text, misusing social networking sites, sexting
EFFECTS OF BULLYING
We know persistent bullying can result in:
- low self-esteem
- poor academic achievement
- suicide or self-harm
Bullying also damages bullies, who learn that they can get away with violence, and that aggression and threats can be an effective way to control people. Studies have found that adults who were bullies as children have a higher chance than others of acquiring a criminal record, tend to be aggressive, and have problems in maintaining relationships.
HOW YOU CAN HELP YOUR CHILD
We cannot address bullying if we do not know about it. It is essential that you know your child is being bullied, it is reported to school immediately. Issues can be dealt with far more effectively when they are recent.
If you are worried, ask your child directly. Children are often frightened to say what is happening, either because they have been threatened, or because they fear adult interference will make things worse.
Don't promise to keep the bullying secret, but reassure your child that you will help sort out the situation.
Take whatever your child says seriously and find out exactly what has been going on. This will certainly require talking to the head of year or pastoral manager for the year group.
Some children may need more practice in talking or playing with other children. ‘Bully-proof’ your child by emphasising a positive outlook, a good stance and eye contact, a smile, taking turns, sharing.
Help develop their social skills by role-playing with them.
SUPPORTING A BULLIED CHILD
Children who have been bullied may have had their self-esteem considerably damaged, especially if the bullying has been going on for some time, and rebuilding a child's self-confidence takes plenty of praise and affection.
Reassure your child often by emphasising your love and that you are 100% on their side
Reassure children that the bullying is not their fault, and can be stopped
Explain that reacting to bullies by becoming upset only encourages them. If bullies get no response, they'll get bored. We know staying calm isn't easy!
Practise saying “No” very firmly and walking away from a bully. It is hard for the bully to go on bullying if the target appears not to be upset.
Help your child think up simple, neutral responses to the bully's most frequent taunts
Minimise opportunities for bullying: tell your child not to take valuable possessions to school and stay with a group even if they are not friends
Make time to sit down and talk - about your child's ideas, feelings, solutions
Help your child develop social skills: invite others round and arrange outings
Sign up for Scouts, Guides or martial arts, drama, music, sports and other courses outside of school to increase the possibility of making new friends
Don't discuss your own distress and anger in front of your child. Your calm will help them stay calm. And many children fear upsetting their families.
Mental Health and Wellbeing Information
Please see the link below to some useful resources and information re: supporting ‘Teen Mental Health’. The link includes resources on:
- Academic anxiety
- Peer pressure and cyber-bullying
- Body image
- Stressed parents
Teen Mental Health – A Guide for Parents: https://www.mytutor.co.uk/blog/parents/teen-mental-health-a-guide-for-parents
World Asthma Day
On 3rd May, World Asthma Day, the Trafford Children’s Asthma Nurse visited the school to provide advice on coping with asthma, treating an asthma attack and answering questions.
For further advice, information or support you can contact the team on 0161 934 8333 or by following the links below:
Please can I ask that if you are collecting your child(ren) from school, or dropping them off, that you do not park on the zigzags or yellow lines in front of school or around school.
Last week visibility was seriously impaired by irresponsible parking and traffic was gridlocked – an accident may easily have happened.
We all want our students/children to be safe, please park responsibly.
Star of the Week
Last week's Staff Star was Mr Guy! Mr Guy works so hard every day, as a teacher, our Head of Year 11, and as one of our staff Governors! Mr Guy's 'Friday Chocolate' is also a very welcome weekly tradition which perks all of our spirits at the end of the week!
Mr Guy was thrilled by his accolade, and visited nearly every classroom in school brandishing his well-deserved award!
This week's Staff Star is Mrs Brennan, our Head of Sixth Form. Sadly, Mrs Brennan is absent from school due to testing Covid positive, so there is no picture :-(
Student Stars have been awarded to Dana N in Year 9 for her eloquent contributions to the Drama 'Student Voice' and to Billy Curtis (Year 8) for his hard work on the Student Council. Well done Dana and Billy!
I hope you and your families have a lovely weekend – let’s hope the weather improves!
Year 11 and Year 13 students …. REVISE!!
Thank you for your continued support of our school.
Ms K Earle