Monday, 24 July 2017

Baraza Blog- 12th July 2017

Open Baraza- last one of the year!

For our final Baraza of the year we asked the students to just let us know of anything they would like to change or improve. And once again, they were very thoughtful and sensible. Any questions that have been answered previously will not be included in this blog, but we will remind students of what we have done in September.
Q: Can we have trips for students without any consequences?
A: There will be more reward trips next year

Q: Can we have more than one piercing in our ear?
A: Not in school I'm afraid.

Q: Please keep handing out stickers- we still really like them. 
A: We will ! :-)

Q: Can there be more sticker boundaries?
A: These have been reviewed and will be shared with students in the Autumn term

Q: Can we ensure students always get their sticker rewards?
A: We give out a lot of stickers and certificates and 95% of these have been correct- occasionally the system for collecting sticker totals has let us down and so is being revised for next year. Please keep giving us feedback on this as we want it to be 100% perfect!!

Q: Can we do a school trip to Canada/ Spain/ for geography/ PE?
A: We already have a regular school trip planned for Shanghai and hope to set up a STEM trip to USA, plus languages visits to Spain, France and another trip to China for the Mandarin Excellence Programme students. 

Q: Can we wear our sleeves up on our blazers?
Image result for finham park uniform
A: No. If you are warm you can take your blazer off in your lesson without asking. We pride ourselves as a school of looking smart at all times.

Q: Can we avoid being given unnecessary homework?
A: Yes, you should only be given homework if it helps with your learning. We will remind the teachers in September.

Q: Can we have shorter queues in the refectory?
A: This year we have had 240 students queuing for lunch. Most students have received their food at lunch tie in 15 minutes. Next year we will have 180 students on each lunch as we will have split lunches. For future years we will review our facilities to ensure students don't have to queue too long.

Image result for school bellQ: Can we have a different sounding bell?
A: We will investigate this over the summer!

Q: Can the library open earlier?
A: If the library opens earlier it will have to close earlier due to the amount of hours the librarian can work. This may be a possibility if we have more librarians in the future. 
Q: Can we have phones out at break and lunch?
A: No.

Thank you to students for their brilliant feedback this year and we look forward to even more next year! Have a great summer break and see you in September....

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Baraza Blog- 5th July 2017

Special Edition year 6 Transition Feedback Baraza

At the end of a very successful transition day on 5th July we asked our new year 7s about their experience- what went well (WWW) and what could be even better if... (EBI).

The year 6s were incredibly well behaved, polite and brave- several of them made significant contributions to our Baraza in front of 120 students and their new staff- very impressive.

Here's what they said:

What went well (WWW):

- all teachers were brilliant/ funny 
- lesson were not boring- they were fun!
- I loved working together in science
- the "grown ups" were very helpful and supportive
- I loved History- the teacher was very funny
- I liked how friendly EVERYONE was
- Both students and staff were very kind
- Lessons were exciting and enjoyable
- I really enjoyed learning new words in French/ Spanish
- I like being in my own clothes (but am looking forward to wearing the new uniform- it's very smart)
- I loved science
- Mr Plester is a really nice headteacher (not sure about that one! :-) )

Even better if.... (EBI)

- can we have more chemistry?
- more variety of food on Transition Day (we know there is lots of choice on a 'normal day'
- we could have a tour of the school

As you can see their responses were very positive!

Roll on September! Also a huge thank you for Mrs Brake for organising Transition Day and for all of the staff who contributed to making the day such a positive experience for everyone!

See twitter for more Transition Day photos and comments @FinhamPark2

Monday, 26 June 2017

Baraza Blog- 23th June 2017

Image result for finham park collegesCollege Leader Baraza

Competition between our colleges of North, East, South and Westgate is fierce....but in a friendly way! Students are proud of their colleges and work hard to try to win the College Cup. As we move closer towards our Festival of Sport this becomes even more important. 

Here's what our students had to say to the College Leaders:

Q: Can the winning college go to a theme park at the end of the year?
A: We can discuss this for next year. Of  course we would need to think about what the other colleges would do. More student discussions are needed here.

Q: Can we have a college chess championship?
A: This can be arranged for next year.

Q: Can the leading college of the half term have pizza?
A: Again we can look into this as part of a review of awards policy.

Q: It is difficult to get everyone involved in the Christmas tree competition. Can we do something bigger?
A: We also collect for Coventry Cyrenians and could collect toys. Another option would be to do a time capsule at the same time.

Q: Can each college have their own charity?
A: Yes- we will arrange this next year.

Q: Can we have more inter-college competitions? E.g. Bake off, sport
A: Yes we can!

Q: Can the college scores be updated every week?
A: Yes- we will do this next year. We will look at the best place to share them

Q: Can we have mentor group trips?
A: Yes- we will look into doing these next year.

Q: Can we have specific rewards for specific behaviours e.g behaviour, attendance?
A: We have a very positive behaviour policy already and rewards will continue to be given for each of these.

Q: Can we have more mentor leaders?
A: Yes, there will be more student leader opportunities in the new academic year.

Baraza Blog- 16th June 2017

Image result for library

Student Feedback on the Library

We are very fortunate at Finham Park 2 to have a large library full of books. There is a lovely atmosphere and it is always bustling with students reading and doing work.

Reading is exceptionally important not only for fun and to find out knowledge, but reading expands our vocabulary and actually really helps with our learning.

Here's what the students said about our library:

Image result for finham park 2Q: Can we have drinks in the library?
A: Yes but away from computers.

Q: Can the library be open earlier?
A: We will consider this next year.

Q: Can we use the computers for games that are not school related?
A: No- the computers are for research, completing homework and for learning only. We do now have software that can monitor all computer screens.

Q: Can we have the complete series of some books where we may only have one?
A: Of course we can look at buying series. Please put any suggestions for new books in the suggestion box in the library.

Q: Can we have more books for older readers?
A: We have already spent a considerable sum of money on new books and will do the same for next year- especially more challenging books. This will be linked to a new reading system called Accelerated Reader. This will encourage all readers to try to read more challenging books, what ever their reading ability.

Q: Can the book shelves be organised better?
A: The layout is currently being reviewed as we buy more books.

Q: Can we take out 2 books at the same time?
A: You can take out 3!

Image result for love reading

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Baraza Blog- 11th June 2017

Student Feedback of their ICT/ Computing Experience

Image result for ict secondary schoolPositives (what went well?):

- We like having access to lesson resources on Frog (Computing is one of the best pages)
- I like the variety of different lesson topics
- I like being able to choose which homework I do
- we like the small class sizes
- lessons are interesting and fun
- I feel like I've learnt a lot this year
- the topics we cover are really important- programming, internet safety

Areas for improvement (Even better if...):

Q: Can we do more 'big projects'? 
A: This is possible in some topics and Mr Rogers will look at this for next year
Q: Could we have more of a variety of tasks and activities in lessons?
A: Yes- Mr Rogers will tweak lessons planned for next year
Q: Can we do more group projects in lessons?
A: As with the first answer- this is possible for some of the topics studied and will be looked at when planning for next year
Q: Can all subjects collect homework via Google Drive?
Image result for maths and computing schoolA: Different subjects have different requirements for homework and Google Drive doesn't work for all subjects. We will share this with them but not all subjects will be able to do this. 
Q:  Can Frog be used more in other subjects? We would like more information on these sites please.
A: Yes- Mr Rogers will speak to all subjects leaders to ensure Frog pages are developed more
Q: Can there be access on Frog to other useful information e.g. our timetables?
A: We will investigate this
Q: Can we do more computing trips?
A: We already have quite a few but mainly for digital leaders- we will look at further trips for next year

Image result for computing secondary

Baraza Blog- 26th May 2017

Kibblestone Residential feedback

Following our week in Staffordshire here is the students' feedback to help us prepare for next year's residential. Once again some really useful and thouthful feedback:

Image result for kibblestone camp siteWhat went well (WWW)- quotes direct from the students:

- we enjoyed the crate stacking- it was really exciting and a bit scary
- room checks (especially in the boys' dorm) as it kept our room clean and tidy
- we had lots of exercise as we had to walk quite a distance between activities- but it was very tiring
- raid and trade was great!
- almost 70% said they would do exactly the same trip again
Image result for kibblestone camp site- 5 days was perfect
- I managed to do things I never thought I could do
- it challenged me to go further- especially with heights
- it was good not to have our phones all the time as we played other games and din't just sit playing with our phones!
- it was lots of fun
- I felt as though I grew up a bit on this trip- it was the first time I'd been away for this long without my parents
- archery was great

Even better if:

- better toast please!
Image result for kibblestone camp site- can the showers be warm all the time?
- more showers
- room checks for girls to encourage us to keep it tidy and clean!
- softer mattresses
- more active time (sometimes we had too much break time)
- longer activities
- less drama, maths and English activities- some were too easy or too hard
- more 'wow' activities
- have all the activities in one place
- more entertainment in the evenings
- camp fires every night
- Kibblestone hoodies

All of the above will be shared with Team Camp, Kibblestone and Mrs Brake who all worked together to arrange this trip.

Image result for kibblestone camp siteImage result for teamcamp uk

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Baraza Blog- 5th May 2017

Student Feedback of their Humanities experience

Humanities is a broad area of learning which includes Geography, History and Religious Studies. Mr Ludgate listened to what the students had to say:

Positives (what went well?)
Image result for kahoot
  • We enjoy History group work
  • Kahoot is a good resource
  • We like doing projects
  • We get lots of rewards and stickers from most teachers
  • we can sometimes sit next to our friends
  • We don't think the topic of discrimination is needed in PSHE as everyone gets along
Next steps (even better if):

Q: Can we do more group work?
A: Yes in certain topics that is definitely possible

Q: Can we spend more time on topics?
A: We will try to ensure that everyone has a good understanding of every topic, but because there is so much to learn we can't stretch them out too much. However, this year we have had enrichment history, so students who chose that have been able to go deeper with their historical learning.

Q: Can we do more drama in RE and Geography?
A: It really depends on the teacher and the topic being taught, but Mr Ludgate will raise it at the next department meeting
Image result for politics uk
Q: Can we use Kahoot more?
A: When it is appropriate to do so, yes!

Q: Can we do more project work in Geography and RE?
A: Mr Ludgate will ask the teachers of these subjects

Q: Can we do more politics, more use of videos, more sheets with less writing (!), more opportunities to show our artistic side, sticker related challenges
A: All of these are possible and will be shared with the Humanities team of teachers

Image result for discriminationQ: Can the topic of discrimination be made more challenging?
A: We will review that topic with student input and put this in place for next year

Q: Can we do more on the topic of social media in PSHE
A: Yes, but it would need to be different to what is already studied in computing

Q: Can we have study extremism and terrorism in year 9?
A: Yes

Image result for places of worship clipartQ: Can we visit places of worship in RE,  go to Parliament again and visit Ford Castle in year 7
A: Trips are being planned for the places of worship; it is likely we will visit Parliament again and we can investigate a trip to Ford Castle- although we already do a castles trip for all year 7s.

Baraza Blog- 28th April 2017

Student Leadership Baraza

We have a large number of active student leaders already and are currently recruiting more.

Image result for grow a poundTo start with, our current student leaders were asked what to spend the approx £600 that was raised from the fantastic 'Grow a Pound' competition last year. Students suggested that the money should go towards buying more books for the library,
Here's what else they had to say:

Q: Can we have some say in what departments spend their money on?
A: Department student leaders can during meetings with Subject Leaders and during Barazas

Q: Student Ambassadors love taking part in staff recruitment and feel it is worthwhile. Can other student leaders be involved?
A: Yes, once they are trained up by shadowing current student interviewers. Mrs Brake and Mrs Rose will action this.

Q: Students would like more access to computers in lesson time
A: We currently have a lot of computers for the number of students in the school. However in September we will have more full equipped computer rooms available that can be used in lessons

Image result for ducks and ducklingsQ: Can we have a duck sanctuary?
A: We have already contacted the RSPCA regarding our ducks and ducklings. They have said that they cannot do anything to help them and that "nature should just take its course". We have a small group of students that look after our current ducks by ensuring they have clean water. If we do have more ducks next year we will look at this again and see what we may be able to do to protect them better.

Q: Students have enjoyed the trips and asked if there can be more for student leaders?
A: Yes this is a good idea. Mrs Brake will speak to staff working with student leaders to see what else can be offered- the students may have some good ideas too!

Q: What will Edward's Keep be used for?
A: Currently our plan is to use it as an additional PE space, exam hall and place for assemblies

Image result for virtual reality headsetQ: Can we have a Virtual Reality/ gaming room
A: It depends what it is being used for. However there is huge educational benefits that could be developed. Perhaps the Digital Leaders could speak to Mr Rogers to put a proposal together. 

Once again- sich brilliant ideas and sensible, mature suggestions from our suggestions.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Baraza Blog- 7th April 2017

Open Baraza Year 8

This week was year 8's opportunity to feedback their thoughts on any area of the school. Here's what they had to say:

Image result for sport rulesQ: As well as learning about the skills for each sport can we be taught the rules?
A: Yes- we will pass this onto Mr Hudson

Q: Can we have the Refectory menu on Frog?
A: Yes- we will ask the Refectory staff to do this for after Easter

Q: Can we have coffee in the mornings?
A: I'm afraid we don't sell caffeinated drinks

Q: Can we have cups for the water fountains?
A: Unfortunately cups make a mess and are not very environmentally friendly as they are just thrown away after one use. Also by now should all students should have a Finham Park 2 water bottle that they should bring to school to fill up.

Q: Can we have a Dodge ball club?
A: We will ask Mr Hudson.

Q: Can we have PE OOSHL on Monday's and Fridays?
A: Again, we will ask Mr Hudson to feedback at the next Baraza as there have been a lot of ideas for PE

Q: Can we have double PE?
A: We have asked our timetabler if this is possible- we will let you know in the summer term

Q: Can we stay in our PE kit at 3pm on Monday or Friday when we go home early?
A: Students should change back into their school uniforms on Monday and Friday, however on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday they can stay in their kit as this extra curricular PE.

Image result for we love peImage result for student voiceImage result for frog school vle

Baraza Blog- 31st March 2017

Open Baraza year 7

This week students were given the opportunity to feedback on anything to do with the school. Here's what year 7 said:
Image result for dodgeball club
Q: Can the leaves be picked up off the tennis courts?
A: Yes- we will pass this onto site services

Q: Can we have a Dodgeball OOSHL
A: As long as there is sufficient staffing on top of other clubs this should be possible- we will ask Mr Hudson

Q: We are enjoying the sports fixtures- can we have more please?
Image result for school trampolinesA: We will ask Mr Hudson to feedback on this

Q: Can we use Templars' fields more often?
A: Mr Plester is in further discussions to ensure that FP2 students can use Templars' fields more regularly.

Q: When will we use the trampolines?
A: Mr Hudson will need to answer that question

Q: Can we have an equipment shop?
A: Yes- Mrs Brake will work with the office to get this set up

Q: Can we have an animation OOSHL (after school club)?
A: We will ask Mr Rogers and Mrs Pendergrast to see if this is possible for next year.

Once again, some great ideas from our brilliant year 7s!

Image result for student voice

Baraza Blog- 24th March 2017

Modern Foreign Languages Feedback- year 8

This week students from year 8 were invited to Baraza to feed back their thoughts to Mr Zafar on their French or Spanish lessons. Students really seemed to understand the importance of learning a language and how it will benefit them in the future.

Here's what they said:

What Went Well:

Students commented that they:

  • enjoy that different skills that are involved in lessons
  • enjoyed the last module which was a French film review
  • enjoyed learning about the culture about the countries alongside the language aspects
  • are making a greater progress this year and enjoying languages more
  • enjoy watching videos alongside working, they believe it helps them more.
  • enjoy languages overall

Even Better If:

Students said that would like:

  • more role play activities
  • to choose their seating plan (students are aware that teachers choose seating plans for a variety of good learning reasons)
  • a language OOSHL (after school club)

Image result for importance of learning spanish and french

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Baraza Blog- 17th March 2017

Modern Foreign Languages Feedback- year 7

This week students from year 7 were invited to Baraza to feed back their thoughts to Mr Zafar on their French or Spanish lessons. Students really seemed to understand the importance of learning a language and how it will benefit them in the future.

Here's what they said:

WWW (what went well....)
  • Students like the fact that they do lots of different varied  activities including fun games and not just writing!
  • Watching films in foreign languages with English subtitles is interesting (this is also a great idea for students to do at home if they want to improve their French/ Spanish)
  • The progress chart is very useful to see much we are learning- this will be shared with other subjects as a model of good practice
  • We like learning about the countries that speak French and Spanish too.
EBI (even better if....)
  • We could have had more languages teaching at primary school- FP2 will investigate how we could support local primary schools to help prepare students better for secondary school languages
  • For students that are slow with their writing or need more help, could these students be given work sheets?- yes
  • Can we "work more things out for ourselves rather than being told"?- yes
  • Could we have a quiz in every topic e.g. Kahoot?- we will try this when there is relevant points in the learning
  • Could we listen to French and Spanish songs?-  yes

Also if students need help with their French or Spanish the Duolingo app can be useful:

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Baraza Blog- 10th March 2017

Student involvement in our 'Strategic Framework' 

Both Finham Park and Finham Park 2 use a 'Strategic Framework' to summarise the plans for their schools over the next 3 years. There are several areas that we focus on such as teaching and learning, buildings, resources, assessment etc. Every year this is reviewed and updated and all students are involved in mentor time as well as some students being invited to a Baraza to have face-to-face input with Mr Plester. 

Today we just focused on areas for improvement. Not all requests are answered here as some are longer term decisions that will be made as the school grows. Here's what our year 8s had to say:

Q: Could we be allowed in mentor rooms during social time- before school, break, lunch (with rules of course)?

Image result for homework clubQ: Can we have more OOSHL options?

Q: It's much better now, but can we choose when we have homework club?

Q: Can those students not in highest ATL homework club have access to laptops and ipads?

Image result for no mobile phonesQ: Can we have phones out at break and lunch times?
A: Sorry, but no! Our rules are clear on mobile phones.

Q: Is there a room we can go to if we "are stressed" to sit quietly?
A: We already have The Hub and 'Little Hub' for students to go to, but will have more spaces from September.

Q: Can we use the Astroturf at break and lunch?

Q: Can we have longer breaks and lunches
A: We could but we would have a longer school day!

Q: Can we have more Intergate competitions?

Q: Could we have Amazon vouchers for the Diamond Awards
A: We will be reviewing the rewards system but the costs for the system would need to remain the same. We could have vouchers for the Diamond Awards but we would have to move them from elsewhere.

Image result for finham park awards  Image result for amazon vouchers

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Baraza Blog- 3rd March 2017

Student involvement in our 'Strategic Framework'

Both Finham Park and Finham Park 2 use a 'Strategic Framework' to summarise the plans for their schools over the next 3 years. There are several areas that we focus on such as teaching and learning, buildings, resources, assessment etc. Every year this is reviewed and updated and all students are involved in mentor time as well as some students being invited to a Baraza to have face-to-face input with Mr Plester. 
Related image
Here's what they said:

Things that are great!

- "Our buildings are the best I've ever seen"
- ..."especially the Sports Hall.."
- the food in the Refectory is lovely
- most students are polite and well-behaved
- everyone wears the right uniform
- we don't see students on mobile phones and there is no chewing gum!
- teachers are nice and supportive
- getting stickers
Image result for finham park 2- we have lots of trips
- being able to do Mandarin
- we have a lot of equipment in music and PE
- Baraza is good as we can change things 

Things that we could improve (as one of the students, said this is always easier!)

- start using the herb garden (we will do once the frosts have finished)
- have more bike sheds (we do have more and will start using them in September- we have enough space at the moment...just!)
- the sand on the artificial pitch is annoying (this is common in the winter but will tread in over time and won't be as much of a problem later in the spring and summer)
- can we do more homework projects? 
- star sticker badges can be given out late (we'll aim to speed this up ASAP)
- can we make lunch queues smaller (we will probably got to two lunches next year so there will be less students. Students can also order 'grad-and-go' food in the morning.)
- possibly have smaller balls on the tennis courts to play football; keep the ball boxes and table tennis box stocked up
- can we have more badges for things such as tour guide, science leader, maths leader etc?

Image result for finham park 2 Related image Image result for finham park 2
Image result for finham park 2 Image result for finham park 2 Image result for finham park 2

Monday, 27 February 2017

Baraza Blog- 17th February 2017

Open Baraza

Before half term we had a short Baraza as we spent quite a bit of time talking about the new Sports Hall that the students are quite rightly excited about.

Here are the other points they raised (which are similar to comments brought up in previous weeks- amazing consistency!):

Q: Can we have more time to cook in Food lessons
A: Having double food lessons would be a good thing but as technology and ICT are linked having a double ICT lesson may be more difficult. We may be able to look at going into OOSHL for some classes. We will have to look at this for next year's curriculum now.
Q: Can we have water fountains upstairs?
A: New water fountains are being installed in several locations on the ground floor due to the cost of plumbing and possible water spillages

Q: Can we have double PE lessons?
A: We will try to see if this will fit the timetable for 2017-18.

Q: Can the hand sanitisers around the site be refilled
A: Yes
Q: Can we use the East Staircase?
A: From September we will be able to use all the staircases.
Image result for hand sanitisers