|As the first half term comes to a close, with a more Autumnal feel to the weather, it’s time to draw breath and reflect how much your boys have achieved in a relatively short space of time. Y5 have made their transition into the Middle School, Y6 have been busy preparing for senior school interviews and exams and from the many sports fixtures to making Christmas cards, the term has been as varied as it has been busy. Boys are starting to show some signs of tiredness and will need a rest this half term – whilst for the majority of Y6, in particular, important exams loom large on the horizon and the need for final preparation is important, rest days and time away from study will be vital for them to recharge their batteries and return on top form for the very busy and action-packed run up to the end of the calendar year. We look forward to welcoming the boys back on Monday, 6 November, refreshed and raring to go!
On Wednesday, 18 October, KCC released this year’s 11+ results – the exam being taken back in early September. Huge congratulations to all 26 boys who took this year’s 11+ Kent Test… I am delighted to announce that all 26 have gained a Grammar School place – a pass rate of 100% is very rare indeed and the boys have done themselves, their parents and the school proud. I offer my hearty congratulations to each and every one of them – hard work and diligent study has been rewarded in the best possible way. Boys – we are very proud of all that you have achieved in what is a very challenging exam. Well done!
Atom Learning – Atom Nucleus
For those who were unable to attend the Atom Learning Webinar yesterday, please find the recording for the session here.
For Year 5 parents: if you would like to sign up for Atom Nucleus, the current discount code is NEWYEAR23 – this will give you 10% off the first month.
Primary Maths Challenge
On the Tuesday after half term all of Y5 and Y6 will take part in the Primary Maths Challenge. This is a fun problem solving paper which the boys do not need to revise for. However, if any of them would like to practice, please use the following link: Primary Maths Challenge – PMC Past Papers.
Half Term Reports
All boys in The Middle School will have received a half-term tutorial report today. Within, you will see effort grades (effort/prep for Y5 only) and attainment for Y6. Being early in the year, and with teachers still getting to know the boys and their working habits, the majority of grades will range between a 5 and 7. In some, exceptional, cases an 8 or 9 grade may be awarded but this will certainly be the exception and not the norm. Your son’s Form Tutor will also have written a few words to summarise his term thus far.
Y6 ISEB preparation
With the half term holiday upon us, a number of parents have been enquiring about the amount of Atom boys should be doing over the break. With each family circumstance being different and some holidays booked, I am sure you can appreciate that there is no hard and fast rule regarding this. Whilst it is important to reinforce my point above about the boys having a well-earned rest, it is also advisable to keep him working regularly on his Atom and thus keeping up a good head of steam for the exam itself in mid-November. Our guidance, and I stress guidance, would be to undertake around an hour each day if possible, with focus now turning towards mock tests as a way to fine tune his time management skills, etc. It is best to split a mock test over two sessions, to replicate the conditions for the ISEB. With a mock test complete, you can see areas in need of attention and do some additional work on these, and then complete another mock test, etc. A couple of important reminders: encourage (insist!) your sons to use paper and pencil to help avoid careless errors and aim to spend around 30 seconds (on average) on each question.
When boys return to school after half term, they will be required to wear their (named!) reflective armbands on their outermost garment. With darker mornings/evenings, your sons’ safety is paramount. If you require a new set of armbands, your son’s form teacher will provide this for him when we return in November.
Gum Shields and Rugby Kit
The rugby season gets underway when we return after half term and your son will need a well-fitting gum shield for his Games lessons. In addition to this, blue New Beacon branded ‘skins’ are encouraged, to be worn under his rugby top. These can be both leggings and the upper under-garment. Full tracksuits are also needed in case of muddy boys at the end of a Games lesson – and this can also be an additional layer in very cold weather. New Beacon hats and fingerless gloves can also be worn in the event of very cold temperatures. A reminder that all items must be clearly named.
During the next half term, boys will be required to wear their winter uniform to school. This comprises the following:
- Grey trousers or shorts
- Long-sleeved (new) blue or grey shirt (from Horncastles) and tie
- Long grey New Beacon socks (if wearing shorts)
- Smart black shoes (leather)
- New Beacon jumper
- Blazer (this should be worn to school every day)
- New Beacon coat (either the newer-style waterproof or the more traditional duffle coat)
- Armbands on outer-most garment
Advance notice that all Middle School boys will be attending our in-school Remembrance service on Friday, 10 November. As this is a formal occasion, all boys must have their blazers in school for the day.
Last call for the Head’s Art Competition
Any final entries to Mrs Brownsdon’s art competition titled ‘new beginnings’ must be submitted immediately upon return to school on Monday, 6 November. See previous Friday Bulletins for further details.
Christmas Card Project
We are taking part in the Christmas Card Project again this year. This is an opportunity for your child’s unique artwork to be printed onto a variety of things: cards, mugs, wrapping paper etc., and it also raises funds for the school.
Your child should have brought home their design over the past couple of days. If you would like to order anything please visit www.apfsorders.co.uk, or use the QR code on the leaflet.
The deadline for ordering is midnight 10 November 2023, with an estimated dispatch of orders back to school being 25 November 2023.
Online safety is an important part of keeping children safe at school and at home. We address this in school through teaching our students how to stay safe and behave appropriately online. This approach is most successful if we work together and reinforce safe behaviour at home. Please read the latest edition of the E-Wise Beacon to see how we keep boys safe at school and recommended websites full of information for how you can keep boys safe at home, too.