Empathy Week is a global event introduced in February 2020 and involved 4000,000 students from over 48 countries. Empathy Week is an invitation for young people across the world to put empathy into action, developing the skills of leadership and resilience along the way. This year’s theme is ‘Resilience and Diversity’
The week runs from February the 22nd to the 26th and to highlight this in school we held a virtual assembly highlighting the importance of empathy as we believe this strongly links to the school’s core values of compassion and social responsibility. We are also ascertaining the girl’s views on empathy through an online quiz. Furthermore, we are aiming to involve the girls as volunteers in a project to highlight the importance of empathy and develop their leadership skills when we return to school shortly. We have chosen the themes of understanding racism and mental health issues. I am confident the girls will rise to the challenge and produce some excellent ideas and I am very much looking forward to sharing these in a future edition of the newsletter.
You can access more information about empathy week using this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2Wlik5Dd7c
I am pleased to announce that we have sourced some excellent textbook resources for the statutory content for the RSE and health education aspect of Life Skills. These are the most up to date resources and together with the current one’s students will have the most current information and support in these areas. The SOW for Life Skills now shows where these books are used for individual lessons starting after February half term. It is also a superb opportunity for literacy and reading skills at PGHS. At present this is just for KS3, however there will be a KS4 set of resources coming out in May 2021, which we have already sourced.
We’ve made it! The end of another half term, and one unlike any other.
The ‘new normal’ seems to be constantly changing, with the past six weeks of remote learning being like nothing experienced before. With regular live lessons and a staggering range of online resources utilised, it’s been something of a revolution! I’m proud to say that our girls have responded with their usual energy, enthusiasm, and drive. In the world of modern online teaching, we can be distracted by the glitzy websites and virtual experiences; however, we know, behind every Zoom lesson or Kahoot Quiz is a lot of hard work and focused concentration. I’m pleased to report, that the feedback from your daughter’s teachers is that all this hard work is paying off, the quality of work being produced is often excellent and pleasing progress is being made.
We know the extra mile our girls have put in over the past half term, maintaining routines and trying their best in unusual circumstances. Well done for ignoring the constant pull of the Xbox, mobile phone and chocolate filled fridge!!! In recognition of your daughter’s hard work, there will be no online lessons this Friday as we want to provide your daughter with the opportunity to participate in some of the activities outlined in this booklet. We hope that all of our students will seize the opportunity to do something different. Where appropriate, we would love to see evidence of any completed tasks, these can be uploaded to the ‘Wellbeing Friday’ homework on ClassCharts.
Senior Assistant Headteacher
Even though many aspects of school life are not working ‘as normal’ during this pandemic, governors still have a duty to monitor the effectiveness of the school provision. The recent publications by the government and Ofsted gave us an opportunity to reflect on how well we are satisfying the requirements around remote learning. Through frequent ‘zoom’ meetings with the governing board, and via information shared by school, we remain in awe of what the school staff manage to provide for all students, whether students attend school in person or access remote learning. We have also been made aware that the school is frequently quoted as an example of good practice across Lancashire by the advisory team; this gives us great confidence that the adopted approaches are the right ones.
In mid- January, Ofsted and the government both published information and guidance on remote learning, against which governors have been able to reflect on school strategy. It outlines four examples of what is meant by remote learning:
- Any learning that takes place outside the classroom.
- Online learning – anything accessed via a digital platform.
- Blended learning – where there is a mixture of online learning and face to face learning.
- Live lessons happening in real time or accessed by students later.
The guidance goes on to outline some facts and to bust some myths about what remote education is and what it is not. The governing board noted in particular the following points made:
- Remote education is not different in its aim to provide high quality learning for students; it simply does so via a different means because we cannot all meet face to face currently. School will follow the same schemes of work as normal and will deliver them in a way best suited to the intended learning.
- Sometimes remote education will consist of a live lesson, but equally sometimes the best method of learning is via a worksheet, textbook or presentation. Five hours per day learning by students requires a variety of approach, as you might imagine.
- Feedback is as important as ever to avoid misconceptions and clarify learning points. The method of doing this might be via chatroom discussions, interactive tools such as quizzes or via question and answer during live lessons or in written feedback.
- ‘Some think that a live lesson is the ‘gold standard’ of remote education. This isn’t necessarily the case.’ ‘Different approaches to remote education suit different types of content and pupils.’ (Ofsted 2021)
Governors will continue to monitor the school’s strategies in this area and to assess their success as the restrictions (hopefully) begin to loosen. We have been encouraged by the positivity of parental, student and staff feedback and also by all of the examples of excellent work that we see weekly though this newsletter. We continue to be guided by the ever-changing COVID risk assessment completed by the school and throughout, remain conscientious of our role in monitoring the safeguarding and wellbeing aspects through close scrutiny.
Lorimer Russell-Hayes, Chair of the Governing Board
Year 7 have been looking at the Citizenship topic of ‘Democracy’. They explored the meaning of democracy and how students can get involved. They looked at the main political parties, their leaders and the four special features of a democracy. Students also looked at the law and voting. They gave their opinion on whether they think that the voting age is correct. They then investigated ways that they could participate in democracy in school, for example by joining the student council.
‘Shout outs’ to Vidhya P and Sasha H of 7H.
Year 8 are coming to the end of their finance lessons and have used the NatWest Money Sense resource to explore consumer rights. They used the interactive quizzes and video to test their knowledge and learn about the Consumer Rights Act and the responsibility of the consumer. They also had the opportunity to look at the student’s section with games and videos on money matters.
‘Shout outs’ to Abigail P, Victoria K and Gracie H for their great scores.
Year 9 have started to look at gender identity and stereotyping. They completed a key term match up game on the different gender identities. They looked at the meaning of LGBTQ and they investigated the meaning of stigmas and stereotyping and completed an activity on gay stereotypes. They also looked at ‘Lee’s Story’ that led them to possibly stereotyping and identifying Lee as gay, lesbian or homosexual, dresses like a boy and isn’t very girly, when in fact Lee is a girl who is heterosexual and dresses practical as she likes lots of sport. Students will continue to look at other areas of this important topic, such as homophobia, biphobia and transphobia over the coming weeks and have been given areas of advice and support such as the OK2BBE website, https://www.stonewall.org.uk/help-advice/coming-out/coming-out-young-person, and https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/coming-out.html.
‘Shout outs’ to Grace H and Naomi J of 9J.
Year 10 investigated drug classification, the law and consequences. The responses to the questions on forms was extremely positive with almost 100% of students knowing the different classes of drugs and over 90% of students knowing that you could be arrested if under 18 for drug offences. All students that responded could name a place of support or advice on drug related matters.
Year 11 looked at the pressures online and again, had a great set of responses on forms. Almost 100% of students knew to report to CEOP if they felt they were being put under pressure to have sex or being made to feel uncomfortable online.
As next week is ‘Safer Internet Week’, all students will be focusing on this as part of their Life Skills lessons, as well as in their computing lessons and other areas of school life.
KS3 students will focus on unreliable internet content and KS4 students will look at the role of influencers. In a world where internet usage has dramatically increased, it is more important than ever that students engage with this. The theme for this year is ‘together for a better internet.’
Mrs R Cahill
Life Skills Co-ordinator
Languagenut is an online platform that allows our pupils to learn, practise and have fun with their language learning all at the same time. Our learners can select tasks on the topics that we are currently studying and go head to head in competitions individually or as a class. Our students can also gain their own medals and achieve their gold, silver and bronze medals on different vocabulary and grammar topics. It also gives us the opportunity to compete against other schools across the world. Currently as I write this, we are in position 45 in the world which is an amazing achievement and testimony to how hard our girls are working and also how much fun it is. Grace in Year 7 tells us how she has been using and finding it:
“I find Languagenut a fun way of learning German because you get to play games and you go up places. It’s really motivated me to learn German because then I can see how much I know and learn what I don’t. I like how my German teacher can set me new assignments to do. I like collecting medals after every game (I have 191 golds, 7 silvers and 1 bronze).”
Top Languagenutters at PGHS
Top Languagenutter classes at PGHS
7S German Frau Gill
7P German Frau Raine
Year 11 French Madame Raine
7H German Frau Gelder
7J German Frau Williams
Curriculum Leader for MFL
Throughout our online lessons we have been using a fantastic website called Blooket. This is linked closely to Quizlet that we use regularly to learn and practise our online vocabulary. Blooket is an online game where you can choose a subject to take a quiz on. You can either play solo or against friends. There are different games such as Café, Gold Chest, Factory, Battle Royale, Racing, Crazy Kingdom, Tower of Doom and Classic. If you want to play, you search Blooket to play and follow the teacher’s instructions! Our students have particularly enjoyed playing the Gold Chest games and stealing gold from their teachers!
Here, our students tell us what they have particularly enjoyed playing on Blooket.
“We have been using Blooket in our online language lessons and I have really enjoyed it because we get to play fun games and at the same time, remember our vocabulary. The whole class socialises and we play against each other. It’s always funny when people steal off the teacher and Frau Gill makes it even more fun. I would like to keep using Blooket.” Hanya A, Year 8
“We have been using Blooket in our online language lessons and I have really enjoyed it because the games are really fun, while helping us remember German words and phrases. The activities are helpful as you have to remember the phrases to win, which everyone wants to do.” Grace R, Year 10
“We have been using Blooket in our online lessons and I have very much enjoyed doing it because you are able to interact with everyone in the lesson and it also helps to improve your German.” Freya A, Year 10
“We have been using Blooket in our online language lessons and I have really enjoyed using this website because it’s an easy way to learn key German vocabulary and it makes the subject more active, fun and a great way to feel like you’re back working with your class mates. You don’t realise how much you’re actually learning because it has been made in such a good way that it just feels like you are playing a game. It has really helped me and I love using Blooket in my lessons!” Lois R, Year 10
“We have been using Blooket in our online language lessons and I have really enjoyed it because it helps you learn and remember your vocabulary. It is a game where if you get a multiple-choice question, e.g. ‘What does Horrorfilme mean?’ If you get it right, you pick a chest and you could get gold or you could steal someone else’s gold or even lose your own. I personally like using it for the competition and seeing if I can win, which motivates me to learn my vocabulary for different topics.” Felicity A, Year 10
“We have been using Blooket in our online language lessons and I have really enjoyed it and it is also a fun way to remember any words that we have learnt in a lesson.” Khitam A, Year 8
“We have been using Blooket in our online lessons recently in German and I find it very exciting and amusing because there are lots of entertaining games to learn a language.” Lojaina A, Year 8
Curriculum Leader for MFL
This half term, Year 8 have finished their module on media. We have learned all about different types of film, TV programmes and books and we have discussed our screen time and which media we prefer and why. To help in their revision, some members of 8P and 8S have produced revision games to practise their vocabulary. Here are some creative examples below. Well done, girls! They look fantastic and you have made great use of your German!
Curriculum Leader for Modern Foreign Languages
If you are tired of watching ‘Friends’ or your usual TV shows, why not have a watch of some German shows to enhance your German learning further and relax at the same time! Mrs Williams has found some really interesting films and shows to watch to support your learning further and give you chance to immerse yourself further into your languages. Try keeping on the German subtitles, even if you are watching in English and if you want to watch in German, be sure to select German Audio, as Netflix defaults to the dubbed English version. You can, of course, put English subtitles on to help you. Here are some recommendations on Netflix:
1. Frauen, die Geschichte machten – Women Who Made History.
This is an inspiring, beautifully filmed documentary chronicling iconic women of history. Catherine the Great, Queen Elizabeth I, Cleopatra, Joan of Arc and Sophie Scholl, to name a few.
2. Wer kann! Der Kann! – Nailed it!
Germany’s answer to TGBBO. Home chefs compete for cash with their epic baking fails. A very funny show with lots of fun language to learn.
3. Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter – Generation War.
World War 2 mini-series. It follows the different paths of five young German friends through Nazi Germany and the war. This is highly addictive and beautifully filmed.
4. Türkisch für Anfänger – Turkish for Beginners.
This comedy show is well known in Germany and revolves around a mum and her children. They move in with a Turkish widower and his two teenage children in Berlin. It is a comedy series showing two different cultures and well worth a watch.
Curriculum Leader for Modern Foreign Languages