Year 9

Dear Year 9 pupils, parents/carers

I hope this letter finds you and your family well in what is these most challenging of times.

We are missing seeing you all on a daily basis and hope to see you all soon, hopefully before the end summer term. However, at this time it is important to take care of yourself and family and follow the government instructions to stay at home.

Year 9 is an important year with options having been chosen and GCSE courses being studied. In a recent assembly before school closed, I asked all year 9 pupils to strive to continue in raising the high standards of the year group and having high expectations and aspirations both during your school years and successful careers that will follow. As a Year group, you had begun to rise to this challenge and I know your determination to succeed will allow you to excel and overcome this difficult period of time we are all experiencing.

During this time of school closures it is important you look after both your physical and mental health; getting good quality sleep, healthy eating and exercising. There is a number of fantastic resources online including Joe Wicks PE lessons weekdays from 9am on you tube. As a school, we have developed an emotional health and wellbeing page on the school website to give you tips and important contact details of support available if required. (https://www.starbankschool.co.uk/information/emotional-health-well-being/)

It is also important whilst you are not in school you continue to develop your knowledge, skills and understanding across the range of subjects you would normally experience in school. Working independently is going to be quite a challenge and will require individual resilience and determination. Independent learning is not the same as learning on your own, however: your teachers will be available on-line at the times detailed below to offer support and ensure you are progressing:

There is a wealth of resources available to you both online and for those pupils/families that are finding this difficult to access via workbooks available from the school. BBC website and BBC bitesize (https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize) has release a range of resources and the national academy (https://www.thenational.academy/) has hundreds of lessons and resources for all school age groups.

Your teachers will continue you to set work and post resources on Office 365 Teams. A reminder to contact your teachers, simply log in to Office 365 Teams, find the room/teacher you want and make contact. Your teachers will be on-hand to support your independent learning through contact such as:

  • Answering direct questions that you may have regarding content,
  • Posting activities and subject-related challenges such as past-paper questions,
  • Setting new reading or wider resources to really master your subjects,
  • Responding to submitted work or sharing good examples of practice,
  • Each subject area has a set time during which they will be online each day – if a student wished, they could engage with teachers directly for a full 25 hours per working week via these means.
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

 

I am grateful to you both students and families for continuing to work in partnership with the school. I hope that you and your family stay safe and well in these most challenging of times.

Yours sincerely,

Mr S Tonks
Deputy Headteacher

Mr W Wray
Head of Year 9

 

Distance

Learning

Menus:

Year 9 : 06-07-20 to 20-07-20
English
Maths
Science
History
Geography
Spanish
Creative Subjects
RE
Computing
PE
Year 9 : 22-06-20 to 03-07-20

English
Maths
Science
History
Geography
Spanish

Year 9 : 06-06-20 to 19-06-20

English
Maths
Science

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/

Get in Touch

Visit our Contact Us page to find out the best way to get in touch with Starbank School, or fill in the contact form.