Friday, 18 November 2016

Baraza Blog- 18th November 2016

Image result for rewards school

Today our Baraza asked students about the rewards they receive, what they like, what they don't like and any ideas from their primary schools (or other schools) that they thought would be good to implement at FP2. 

Here's what they said:

Q- some students are still waiting for certificates and badges to go out
A- we have been waiting for the badge delivery and they have arrived TODAY!! Certificates will go out next week. Well done to all that have achieved bronze, silver and gold already!!

Q- students mentioned that they were not sure why they logged stickers even though lots of them do regularly- however they said that they really like the stickers and badges
A- school to review the use of Carrot rewards and let students know the outcome

Q- can we have more 'feel good friday' phone calls and postcards sent home?
A- yes of course. We will remind staff.

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There were also lots of ideas to improve rewards. Here are the ideas many (if not all) of which we will put into practice over the next few weeks:

- regular headteacher tea and cake for the those students who have gone 'above and beyond' in their learning 
- rewards assemblies every week
- college leaders to have rewards breakfasts- 'star mentee' of the week
- subject/ college stars of the week

When the Baraza Boxes go into all mentor rooms, we will hopefully get even more ideas! The more praise we can give out the better!

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Sunday, 6 November 2016

Baraza Blog- 4th November 2016

Year 7's thoughts on marking & teacher feedback

Marking and feedback is crucial to good learning. This Baraza was designed to get feedback from the students to see how we as teachers can improve our feedback!  The questions put to students focused on if there books are marked regularly, is the feedback from teachers useful to help with their learning, and do they have enough time to act on their marking. Here's what they said (questions were from Mr Plester and Mrs Brake with the students giving their answers):

Q: Are you books marked regularly?
A: Yes in almost all areas. It was noted that Discovery is not marked as regularly. Particularly good marking was noted for English, History, Geography, RE, Design Technology, most of Science, Maths.

Q: How can we improve our marking?
A: Can teachers make sure we can always read their handwriting!?
A: Can we have more DIRT (Dedicated Improvement & Reflection Time) in lessons after books have been marked?
A: Can EBIs be more about learning rather than presentation?

Image result for dirt timeFurther points from the Baraza:

- teachers should not mark ALL work in books as some are notes and/ or will be marked or assessed by students themselves

- specific pieces of work will be marked more thoroughly than others (this is for assessment purposes)

- subject specific vocabulary should be corrected (with students having to correct 3 times)

- feedback from the teacher during the lesson is often more effective to improve learning

- self & peer assessment can be quite hard unless students know what the success criteria are (one student asked if they could have some training before assessing!)

- homework will be checked regularly. If students are falling behind with homework they will do 3 nights of homework club during OOSHL until they are back on track

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Friday, 7 October 2016

Baraza Blog- 7th October 2016

Year 8 Feedback on The Refectory

We are truly blessed at Finham Park 2 to have:

- a beautiful airy and light place for students to eat- our Refectory, as well as an outdoor eating area
- wonderful kitchen staff who care about our students and the food they are providing for them
- healthy food on offer at breakfast, break and lunch

- staff eating their lunch with the students

Today we wanted to find out what the year 8 students really think about The Refectory:

Image result for healthy school foodQ: Can we have our phones out at break and lunch time?
A: The simple answer is no! There is no need to have phones out in school except if they are helpful with learning and the teacher suggests to use it .e.g taking a photo of a science experiment/ piece of art etc

Q: Can we have Radnor fizz and/ or flavoured water?
A: We already have a wide variety of healthy drinks but we can look into this with the kitchen staff.

Q: Can we use the music practice rooms at breaks and lunch
A: Yes- we will have a sing up sheet and students will be responsible for the room if they use it. More information will follow after half term.

Q: Can we use the passageway to the Tennis Courts?
A: By half term most of the the main building (Leigh Court) will be completed and handed over to the school (5 months ahead of schedule!!). Students will be able to walk from the outside eating area past the new table tennis tables and fusbol tables to the tennis courts. However, food can still only be eaten in the Refectory and the outside eating area.

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Q: Can we have hot chocolate in the mornings
A: Probably- we'll check with the kitchen staff

Q: Can we have pizza at break time
A: We try to offer a variety of food with the aim of being healthy as well as offering food that the students like. Pizza is available but not every day.

Q: Can we have halal meat?
A: We cannot offer halal meat as we do not have the facilities to prepare it.

Q: Can the queue be shorter?
A: We will hopefully do this by adding another member of kitchen staff. However, usually the queue goes down quickly allowing everyone sufficient time to eat.

Q: Can we have signs outside and on the screens saying what is available?
A: Yes- we will ask the kitchen staff to do this

Q: Can we have nachos?
A: We do! But not every day.

Image resultQ: Can we have meal deals?
A: Again we can ask the kitchen staff - but we're sure this is possible.

Q: A few students don't clean up after themselves. Can staff on duty please give them C3s and then get them to clean up for the rest of lunch
A: yes!

Q: Can we have a new container for the balls on the tennis courts?
A: We are currently fixing the one that we have at the moment. Please place balls in the box as throwing them from a distance can damage it.

Q: Can we have goal posts on the tennis courts?
A: Currently students use their bags and there is a large fence behind them. In practice goal posts at break and lunch can get damaged easily. It is better to buy the posts for PE lessons as they will last longer.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Baraza Blog- 30th September 2016

Year 7 Feedback on OOSHL

Image result for homework clubThis week it's year 7's turn to share with us their feedback on OOSHL. They've very quickly got into the swing of Baraza and continue to make some insightful comments.

To begin with there was lots of positive feedback about our OOSHL program and how most students like having the opportunity to do homework in school and get involved in clubs they might not normally get involved in. Also there was a lot of engaging discussion in sports:

Q: Can we have year 7 rugby every week?
A: As soon as the access to the local playing fields are available this will happen

Image result for girls footballQ: Can we have girls football team
A: Yes- this is already planned 

Q: Can we have fitness club more then once a week
A: This is already a very popular club with both year 7 & 8 so currently there isn't the space or time to, however we will look at how we can make this happen

Q: Can we have a martial arts club?
Image result for parkour clubsA: We can look at buying in a trainer and investigate costs as this would be additional to our current free offer

Q: Can we have a parkour club? (Mr Plester wasn't quite sure what this is free-running apparently!:
A: Again we can look into this once the Sports hall has been finished in January

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Sunday, 25 September 2016

Baraza Blog- 23rd September 2016

Year 8 feedback on OOSHL

This week our year 8s gave some honest feedback about our compulsory OOSHL programme. All students stay at school for an extra hour on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to get involved in a wide variety of extra curricular activities or what we call Out of School Hours Learning (OOSHL).

Research shows that students that get involved in more activities at school (and outside of school) tend to do better with their studies, are more engaged with their education, are happier and have a more positive self-image. It can often spark an interest that becomes a life-long source of enjoyment. 

Here's what the students said:

Image result for basketball clubQ: Can we have table-tennis club?
A: Yes, once our new outdoor table tennis tables arrive we can get started. Also we are planning to buy some indoor tables that will be available to use after Christmas.

Q: Can we have a basketball club?
A: Yes, again after Christmas when the Sports Hall is completed (with electronic scoreboard!)

Image result for coventry cityQ: Can we have CCFC come to train us for football.
A: Mr Hudson will investigate this

Q: Can the girls play rugby competitions?
A: We would love to and we are investigating if other schools have girls rugby teams.

Q: What about athletics?
A: We have a running track in Green Lane which we will use. Also once the Sports Hall is complete gymnastics and other indoor athletics can start.

Q: We really like the dance studio- can we have another one!?
A: The Refectory and Edwards Keep will be able to be used as well as the Sports Hall

Q: Can we do out of school swimming?
A: Mr Hudson is going to investigate costs for an extended OOSHL

Other comments: Students said they loved the makaton club, rock and pop, choir, chess, library and ukulele club. They also said there is a lot of different clubs to please most students! Students said it was useful to have homework club during school hours. 

Once again- fantastic ideas and comments from our students. We hope we can rise to the challenge.....?
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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Baraza Blog of 2016-17 Academic Year - 16th September 2016

Starting at Secondary School- Year 7 feedback

This week we were delighted to have our very first (proper) Baraza with our new year 7s- who, by the way, have made a superb start to their time at FP2. We asked them about their experiences of their first 7 days. This is what they said:

"I really like the way the new school has just fallen into place." 

When questioned on this, the student said that it was impressive  that the new building had opened on time, that it was really well designed and that all the teachers were really nice.

Q: "Can there be a water fountain in the fitness suite?"
Image result for water fountain schoolsA: We are already looking at this as well as ensuring there is a new one in the Refectory and in the new Sports Hall

Q: "Is it possible to have a lollipop lady on Wolfe Road?"
A: We have already contacted the council re safety measures on Torrington Avenue and Wolfe Rd in addition to what was put in place for September. We will let you know how we get on with this.

Q: "Can there be a map of the school at the school entrance?"
A: We will have one in student planners, but visitors will always be accompanied by a member of staff so we are not sure one is necessary at the moment."

Image result for directions signQ: " Can there be arrows on the directions to classrooms?"
A: At the moment we have most of our lessons on the 2nd floor and everyone know where they are going already (quick show of hands proved this). However, we may look at this when we move into the new building, depending on the need.

Q: "Sometimes the stairs can be busy."
Image result for concrete table tennis tables concrete sportsA: We will have teachers on the stairwells in the short term. Eventually all FOUR staircases can be  used which will ease the pressure.

Q:" Can we have some table tennis tables?
A: They are already ordered and will be set up once the whole school is handed over. We will also buy some indoor ones for Edward's Keep.

Q: "Can we decorate our mentor rooms?
A: Yes, there will be a mentor room noticeboard competition over the next few weeks.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

First Baraza Blog of 2016-17 Academic Year - 9th September 2016

Moving to our new building- feedback so far from year 8

Image result for welcome back to schoolAs Finham Park 2 continues to grow and evolve we now have year 7 & 8 and have moved into our new building on Torrington Avenue. The excitement from both staff and students (as well as visitors) was clear. BAM, our construction partners, have done a superb job of delivering a wonderfully light, bright and professional feeling building on time and in budget.... 

...but what do our year 8s think?

  • "The toilets are really posh!"
  • " I really like the outdoor eating area and The Courtyard"
  • "I love the Refectory- the food has been really nice"
  • " You can see trees everywhere you go even inside school!"
  • "I like it that there are lots of different places to go at break and lunch"
  • "Finding your way around is easy."
  • "I feel very proud of our school"
  • "The corridors are very wide."

What do we still need to do?

The use of the Tennis Courts

Q: Can we have footballs and rugby balls on the tennis courts?
A: Yes we will be filling the ball storage box this week. However, please be careful about kicking balls over the fence. Rugby balls should not be kicked in this area as it is dangerous- we will take a view on the use of rugby balls as we go through the year and see how many students are using the areas. Safety of our students is paramount.

The Refectory:

Q: Can we have Schmoo milkshakes, Radnor fizz or other healthy soft drinks?
A: Some of the drinks we had last year were not as healthy as we would have liked. We will feed these comments back to the Refectory staff who we will invite to a Baraza to comment.

Q: Can we have themed days in the Refectory e.g. 4th July American food? Halloween? 
A: Excellent idea! I'm sure we can do that.

Q: Is it possible to have more vegetarian options
A: We have a selection of vegetarian options everyday already but again we can speak to the Refectory staff to see what they can do

The Building
Q: Can we have more chairs in the Refectory?
A: Yes we will put more in by the end of today- This was done straight away after Baraza!

Q: Can we have more benches outside?
A: Yes we will order some

Q: Sometimes you can't here the lesson changeover bell
A: Students were asked and they said that they could hear it but it was a bit annoying!

Other items

Q: Some student leaders haven't got their badges
A: Please see Mrs Brake

Q: Where is the whole-school picture from last year?
A: This is still to go up on the wall

Q: Can we have a school mascot?
A: Great idea- we will have a competition to do this.
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