Year 11

Greetings to students of Year 11,

I hope that you and your families are safe, secure and staying as positive as you possibly can be, whilst we are all following government guidance to stay inside. I understand and share in your disappointment of not having the opportunity to show your hard-work and dedication within your examinations this summer. Also, it is not an easy task, to avoid going out and seeing other people; however, every day you stay at home is a day in which you are ensuring both your own safety and the safety and wellbeing of other people as well.

Each of you are contributing towards our country’s collective efforts to combat Corona and staying at home is how we can ‘play our part’ towards returning life to as close to normal as we can hope for. We are living through unprecedented times, certainly the most significant global experience in living memory; we need to look after ourselves and one another.

I strongly advise all of you to use this time to start preparing and studying for the courses you are intending to study in September. I am sure your college or your subject teachers can provide A Level preparation work if you get in touch with us.

I will continue to upload details about examinations and your results and please keep emailing Ms Butt and myself if you have any queries.

Keep Safe,

Mr Wiles
Ms Butt
Mr Kamran

Grading in 2020 – Information for students – Ofqual

Year 11 Letters Home

Y11: Assessment Week

September 2020 Dear Parent/Carer, Y11: Assessment Week Year 11 students are scheduled to undertake a two-week period of assessments. They will take exams in all of their GCSE subjects with the exception of GCSE English which has already been completed. The assessment...

GCSE Results Day – Thursday 20th August

Dear Parents/Carers and Year 11 Students GCSE Results Day – Thursday 20th August We are writing to inform you of arrangements for GCSE Results Day so that you feel reassured, prepared and know exactly what to do. Due to the need for social distancing we will not be...

Post 16 – Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. I have a college interview date coming up.  Should I still attend?

Colleges will contact you over the coming weeks to arrange a telephone interview or inform you of another way of offering you a place. You should try to check your emails daily.

Q2. What will a telephone interview be like?

It will be an informal chat about the course you want to study and why. It will probably be a little shorter than a face-to-face interview you may have had previously. It is not something you should worry about.

Q3. I have applied to a college but I haven’t had an interview date yet. What should I do?

Don’t worry. There are a lot of other students in your position. Colleges will get in touch to arrange telephone interviews. You should try to check your emails daily.

 Q4. Can I still apply to a college?

Absolutely. Colleges are still accepting applications. Go online to the college website and submit your application. This is very easy to do. It should only take 10 minutes.

Q5. What information will I need for a college application?

You will need your:

Address
Date of birth
Email address
Phone number (Yours or your parent/carers)
Predicted grades (Up until now we have been using predicted grades based on your November PPE1. But if you know your PPE2 grades you can use those.)

Q6. How long will it take a college to process my application?

In normal circumstances a college sends an acknowledgment email within a week. This is to confirm that your application has been received. Processing your application and arranging interviews usually takes between 4-8 weeks.

In the current situation all of the above may take longer. Do not worry. There is plenty of time until September when your courses will start.
Please note: If you have not received at least an acknowledgment email within 2 weeks please email Ms Butt who will look into this for you.

 Q7. If face to face interviews are not happening, how will colleges obtain my reference?

Colleges will contact school directly and we will send a reference by email. Or they will ask for references in August.

Q8. Will colleges still be making offers?

Colleges will continue to make conditional offers. A conditional offer is an offer based on you achieving the entry requirements needed for the course you have applied for. This means achieving certain grades. Please see Q9 for details.

Q9. I have a conditional offer. How will I know if I have a place for September?

Normally you would not know this until Thursday August 20th – GCSE Results Day.

However due to COVID 19 and the government’s decision to cancel GCSE exams this year grades will be awarded based upon a combination of both a teacher predicted grade and a calculated grade provided by Ofqual. (Ofqual is the organisation that run exams in England.) To produce this, teachers will take into account a range of evidence and data including PPE2 results and non-exam assessment. The exam boards will then combine this with other data, including prior attainment to produce a calculated grade for every student. The aim is for students to have these grades by the end of July.

School will be sharing more information about this process when we have it.

If you have any further questions about Post 16 applications, please contact Ms Butt via email or Teams

 

You can also check college websites for updates:

Accessing Online Learning

GCSE Pod www.gcsepod.com:

GCSE Pod is an on-line learning platform. It hosts a wide range of subject and exam-specific resources including videos covering course content, assignments and self-check tasks. GCSE Pod also tracks the progress of individual students and personalises ‘next steps’ to best support your development and GCSE Progress. At time of writing, all bar 35 Y10 students have activated their GCSE Pod accounts – let’s have 100% activation by the end of the week!

Students can access a section on GCSE Pod called “My Courses.”  Here you can view upcoming exams (including exam dates) and view playlists of Pods covering the topics relevant to each exam.  I encourage you to review topics that have been taught in class and revise your prior knowledge: tick the star icon to ‘favourite’ any Pods you wish to return to.

Finally, in Maths and English Literature, you can test your knowledge independently using GCSE Pod’s fantastic ‘Check & Challenge’ feature.  To do so, visit any Maths and selected English Literature playlists and click the purple “C&C”.  This will start a short self-marking assessment.

If your parents would like to know more, please direct them to www.gcsepod.com/parents where they can find lots more information and resources.

Logging in to GCSE Pod:

  • Go to gcsepod.com and click “Login” in the top right-hand corner
  • Click “New here? Get started.”
  • Select “Student”
  • Enter your name, date of birth and the school name.
  • Create a username, password, and a password hint to help them remember the password.

If you have any questions regarding GCSE Pod please message support@gcsepod.com

Seneca www.senecalearning.com:

Seneca is a similar learning platform to GCSE Pod that will support students learning Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Hospitality & Catering. Your Science teachers may also direct you to specific tasks set up on Seneca.

Logging in to Senca

  • Go to senecalearning.com and click “students start here” on the first button
  • Click the title of the unit that you wish to study,
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to answer the questions.
  • Seneca will mark your responses and suggest next steps personalised to individual need.

Mathswatch vle.mathswatch.co.uk:

Mathswatch is an electronic learning platform dedicated to Mathematics. This is another excellent resource that also tracks your responses and sets tasks personalised to your own areas for development, based on your responses to questions.

Logging in to Mathswatch:

  • Go to vle.mathswatch.co.uk and enter ‘username’ and ‘password’,
  • Click the title of the unit that you wish to study to access the video,
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to answer the associated questions.
  • Seneca will mark your responses and suggest next steps personalised to individual need.

Active Learn www.pearsonactivelearn.com:

Active Learn hosts resources to support Spanish revision; a great platform to practice your skills and immerse yourself in Spanish language and culture.

Logging in to Active Learn:

  • Go to pearsonactivelearn.com and enter ‘username’ and ‘password’,
  • Click the title of the unit that you wish to study to access the video,
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to answer the associated questions.
  • Seneca will mark your responses and suggest next steps personalised to individual need.

BBC Bitesize Daily https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/dailylessons
(ideal for those without computer access)

BBC Bitesize Daily is a newly-established improvement to the existing BBC Bitesize resource. It includes videos, quizzes, activities, animations and practice tasks organised by year group and by subject, focussing primarily on Core subjects (English, Maths, Science) with four distinct ‘lessons’ per day. As much of the content is video based, this is accessible for students who have access to the internet but not necessarily a computer of their own to work on.

It is well worth a look and the daily update adds a pleasing sense of structure and progression. You can check it out here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/dailylessons

Microsoft Teams

Every teacher has set up individual Team pages on Microsoft’s Teams online platform. That means you will have a ‘virtual classroom’ coordinated by each of your timetabled teachers, for every subject that you would study in school.

These online classrooms are ideal for the following activities to take place:

  • Teachers to set tasks specifically for your group,
  • Teachers to post resources for you to download or links for you to follow up,
  • A chat host for you to ask questions and clarify details with your teachers…
  • …and with each other through (on task!) discussion and debate,
  • Students and teachers alike to share examples of good practice and to encourage one another to engage.

In addition, although your teachers may post at any time, we also have a time-table which specifies when we will be ‘active’ on-line: this means you could, if you so wished, complete a five-lesson day interacting with your teachers at the times listed below:

Online Subject
09:00-10:00 Creatives: Art, DT, Music, Food, Photography
10:00-11:00 Higher Maths, Foundation Maths
11:00-12:00 Science: Triple, Higher, Foundation
12:00-13:00 English Lit, English Lang
13:00-14:00 Humanities: Geog, Hist, RE
14:00-15:00 Spanish, iMedia, PE

Subject Leaders

Finally, if you have specific questions or concerns (or your parents do), you can contact Subject Leaders directly via email. Please allow 24 hours for reply.

Mental health and wellbeing

Studying is helpful to maintaining a positive mental perspective by creating a sense of purpose and structure to your days. However, we do find ourselves in unusual circumstances and our physical wellbeing impacts equally on our overall health. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep, eating healthily and taking time to exercise as best you can: I recommend the Joe Wicks PE workout sessions daily on YouTube as a great means of keeping yourself active and fit (I am completing these myself – half an hour doesn’t sound like a long time to exercise until you’re doing the actual exercises!).

Should you have concerns or worries regarding emotional or physical wellbeing however, we have compiled links on our school website that will direct you to support and guidance. You can find that here: https://www.starbankschool.co.uk/information/emotional-health-well-being/

Starbank School,
Hob Moor Road,
Birmingham
B10 9LR

p: 0121 464 2638
e: info@starbank.staracademies.org
t: @Starbank_School

Star Academies is one of the UK’s leading education providers with primary and secondary schools across the country.

Star Academies
Star Institute

Star Academies
Shadsworth Road, Blackburn, BB1 2HT
 t: 0330 313 9800