Sunday, 22 January 2017

Baraza Blog- 20th January 2017

Year 7 & 8 feedback on Mathematics

Today we invited Miss McDonald to Baraza. She wanted to ask the students what they liked about maths and maths lessons (WWW- what went well) and what can be improved (EBI- even better if). Here's what the year 7 & 8s said:

- we like being able to choose tasks that are most suitable for our learning and ability
- most maths lessons are fun and engaging
- we like being able to work on our own and sometimes in pairs
- we like using Kahoot quizzes
- the teachers are nice!
- the teachers are supportive

Q- can we have more setting? 
A- there is already setting in place and this will continue next year

Q- can we use Kahoot more often?
A- yes, but it will depend on the lesson and the task we're doing. Sometimes students get too excited as they can be very competitive

Q- can we have more creative lessons (we already have some)
A- yes- again this depends on which topic we're doing

Q- can we have more pre-topic homeworks to help us prepare for the next topic
A- yes- the one that was sent home over Christmas was very useful for students and teachers

Q- can we have Maths Watch clips before starting a topic?
A- yes

Miss McDonald also asked students if they like using My Maths or Maths Watch- and although students liked being able to use both, they prefer Maths Watch.

Mr Plester also commented how essential maths qualifications are in future careers, college and university courses.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Baraza Blog- 13th January 2017

You said, We did.... homework OOSHL feedback (y7)

Please see last week's Baraza Blog for 'You Said, We Did'.

Further OOSHL feedback- homework club:

After recent improvements suggested by year 8 last week, here are year 7's thoughts and feedback (students answers/ questions in BOLD)
  • Do you like being able to  listen to music on your headphones for homework club? YES
  • Do you like being able to talk quietly and help each other? YES
  • Is it better sitting in teaching groups so you can work on the same homework? YES
  • In general are you happy with homework club and the improvements? YES
  • Any other questions or ideas?
    • Can we use laptops if needed?  We did comment on this last week (see Baraza Blog for 6th January), however not all students can use computers as we do not have sufficient for everyone to use one (no school does!). However, this will be at the discretion of the teacher running homework club and the availability of computers each night. We will review this as we purchase more computers. One idea was to have a computer based homework club and paper-based homework club next year with students being able to book a computer in advance- again we will look into this as we move forward.
    • Can we have paper and crayons on tables? Yes
    • Can we have gymnastics club? Yes once the Sports Hall is open.
Mr Plester also pointed out that approximately a third of students with the highest ATL (attitude to learning) in both year groups will have their own Reward Homework Club in the library once the new OOSHL timetable starts in  the next few weeks and Year 7 progress checks have been finalised (year 8 have already started this). 

Thank you to Libby Windsor for once again doing a fabulous job of minuting.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Baraza Blog- 6th January 2017

You said, We did.... homework OOSHL feedback (y8)

  • Can we have some other drinks in the Refectory? We now have milkshakes.
  • Can we have some themed days in the Refectory? We had a Halloween and Christmas themed day which went down very well and others are planned for this year.
  • Can we have hot chocolate? This is now available.
  • Can we make the queues shorter? On average the queues have gone with at least 15 mins to spare- however we will try to do more… (Mr Plester is meeting the manager of the Refectory next week to look at ways of speeding up service)
  • Can the 1 or 2 students that don’t clean up after themselves be given a C3 to clean up? Staff on duty have been reminded.
  • Can we have 'meal deals'? These are now available.
  • Can we have signs telling us what food is on offer? These are now in place.
We will also invite the Refectory staff to a future Baraza.

  • Can we have more chairs in the Refectory? This was done straight after Baraza.
  • Can we have more benches outside? We have ordered 9 more benches which should be here shortly.
  • Can there be a water fountain in the Fitness Suite? This is currently being fitted along with air conditioning (that was requested in an earlier Baraza).
  • Sometimes the West Staircase can be busy. The South staircase has now been opened to help ease congestion.
  • Can we have some table tennis tables? 3 concrete tables have been bought and fitted.
  • Can we have a new container for the balls on the Tennis Courts? Yes, we will be buying a new one and one to store the table tennis bats and balls.
  • Can we make the road crossing safer? We are having more fences fitted on Torrington Avenue to ensure students cross at the crossing; assemblies took place to remind students where to cross; Mr Plester has asked parents not to park on the pavement on Torrington Avenue. There has been a huge improvement since September but we continue to keep student safety as the highest priority.

  • Can we have a year 8 residential? Yes- one is being planned for this year
  • Can we have: Basketball club? Table tennis club? Coventry FC come in to train us? Cricket club? Girls’ football team? Martial Arts club? Many of these will be put in place once the Sports Hall has been finished at the end of January. A Taekwondo club has now started 
  • Can we have girls’ rugby matches? Yes – these are organised for the Spring term
  • Can we have after school swimming club? Mr Hudson will investigate this regarding costs.
  • Can we use the music practice rooms at break and lunch? Yes- please see Mr Plester to book a room


  • Can these be given out as some students are still waiting? We are now up to date with giving out rewards certificates apologies for any delay.

Further OOSHL feedback- homework club:

Some parents and students have recently  commented that the trial of our current model of homework club needs improving. Here are year 8's thoughts:
  • Can we listen to music on our headphones to work?
  • Can we talk quietly (especially so we can help each other)?
  • Can some of us do homework in the library?
  • Can there be more teachers/ support on hand in homework club? We would like to be able to help each other as well.
  • Can we use computers if needed?
  • Can we sit with friends (or students in our class so we can help each other)?
Mr Plester and Mrs Brake have already met to discuss how to improve homework club and all of the above (plus suggestions from parents) were taken into account. We will keep parents and students informed of further updates.

Background to homework club:
  • One of the most important areas of our OOSHL programme is homework club with the aim to get students into good habits with their homework.
  • Getting the right balance of students being able to get an hour's homework completed as well as enjoying the experience is vitally important. Our experience tells us that children learn in different ways- some like working in silence, others like to chat, some prefer to work together on homework, and others on their own.
  • The use of computers is an interesting question. Again, from our experience, most students love to use the computers but not all students are as productive as they could be when it comes to using computers for homework! Also not all homework is computer based and on many occasions it is better to complete homework on paper or in exercise books.
  • Students always know when they will be doing homework club and are aware to bring homework to get on with or a reading book. Unfortunately it is not possible for students to join other clubs if they do not have any homework  as we need to know where all students are in the building and other clubs are already full.
  • Students also have the opportunity to do homework in the library from 8am every morning, break time, lunch time and after school on Mondays and Fridays till 4pm.