Head’s Half Termly Update

Summer Term 2 – July 2022

Dear Parents/Carers,

We are now at the end of the summer term which also signals the end of the academic year 21-22. Overall, it has been a challenging but equally positive year which also presented us with a heatwave in the last week that was just as unpredictable as COVID-19! The AMSI community however have all supported each other throughout the year and as a result staff and students are all looking forward to a well earned break for the summer holiday.

This half term has been filled with the Year 11 leavers’ assembly post exams, their Prom, staff taking students on extracurricular visits, our inaugural Cultural week and visitors from primary schools starting to use our facilities on site again; all bringing a welcomed additional layer to school life. 

Primary School Dance Festival

An example of returning visitors was the Primary School Dance Festival, hosted at AMSI by our Year 10 students. St John’s Highbury Vale, Morelands and Duncombe Year 3 – 6 pupils attended with their parents to watch the performance given in the afternoon at the end of a morning of rehearsals.

Our Year 10 Dance students led these sessions. They also hosted with great confidence and were a credit to the school.

Cubitt Arts – Artists in the Community at AMSI

A group of Year 8 students have been working with Cubitt Arts on a special project with Islington residences about the anti apartheid movement. They celebrated the end of the project by holding a “Not a Tea Party” in Wray Crescent Park which included music, creative games, activities and food. It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon having learnt so much from our elder generation.

The School Day

We are pleased to announce that as of September, we will be returning to a fixed start and end point to the day for all students. The day will begin at 8.40am and end at 3.00pm, with after school activities running until 4.00pm and detentions until 4.15pm. The day timings of the day are as follows:

Attendance and Punctuality

The Government has released new guidance for schools on attendance. The main points to note for families is that the school will close the morning registers at 9.10am. This is 30 minutes after the start of school. After this time, students will be given a U Code, which means they will be marked absent instead of late. 

Student attendance will be monitored closely and we would like all students to aim for 100% attendance, although our target for each student is 96%+, which means no more than 8 days off across the school year. Any student with  attendance below 90% will have missed 19 days of school – nearly 4 weeks, and would be classed a persistent absentee. We will continue to monitor attendance closely, offering support and taking action early to ensure our students maximise their time in school. 

Punctuality

There are the same expectations for punctuality. If students are late once every 2 weeks you would be considered to have persistent lateness. We understand there will be some times when there is an accident and roads are closed meaning students are late. However, heavy traffic is not an acceptable excuse as we expect our young people to leave home in good time for school. If they arrive early, they will be able to do work or join our breakfast club for something to eat. 

Finally, I am pleased to say that our push on punctuality to lessons has had a very positive impact, so this shall continue in September. Mr McLoughlin talks you through the changes to the national guidance on attendance and punctuality: Attendance & Punctuality

Teaching & Learning

We have been making creative use of spaces during the recent heatspell and where possible we have moved lessons either outdoors or to cooler spaces. The picture is of a Spanish lesson delivered by Ms Vickers during a sweltering afternoon last week.

Whilst we welcome a break to rest and recuperate for staff and students, it is important to negate any lost learning due to the summer break; evidence suggests that the average student loses between 17 – 34% of the prior year’s learning during the summer break. We have a competition for the ‘Mrs Stubbs’ Top Scholar Award’, which we will be judging in September; each form will have 2 pieces of work entered into the final draw for their key stage; please encourage your child to get involved and complete some review and revision of the work they have done over the last year as well as any new learning that they may gain through travel, visiting museums, exploring art galleries etc.  

Homework Support & KS4 Prep 2022 – 23

Due to the school day changes the homework support sessions will be changing with respect to location as well as timings.  KS4 Prep (Year 10 & 11) will take place from 8 – 8.40 am and KS3 Homework Support (Year 7,8 & 9) will take place on Tuesday to Thursday from  3 – 3.40 pm.

Student Voice

The Student Council was heavily involved in the design of ‘Cultural Week’ (4th July 2022- 8th July 2022) and supported staff to organise the festivities. It was a huge success. AMSI staff and students enjoyed dishes from around the world being cooked by the students to celebrate the diversity with the school. In addition, Islington Youth Council and the LGBTQ charity Mosaic also visited the school during the week to raise awareness about the work that they do. During this week, students participated in school trips to various enriching locations (e.g. Natural History Museum) and finished the week with staff and students dressing in traditional clothing to represent their ethnicity/ identity or wearing colours of a flag of their choice. The funds raised from selling the food and students donating money to the school on cultural dress day will go towards purchasing equipment for students to use at break and lunchtimes, as requested by the School Council. The response to ‘Cultural Week’ was incredible and we thank the students at AMSI for bringing this initiative to the attention of the Senior Leadership Team so that it could be carried out the way they wanted.

Images of ‘Cultural Week’ celebrations can be found on the school website (Cultural Week). 

AMSI Musician of the week

This half term we have showcased seven MOTW performances! After Kacper and May’s incredible performance of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, our final ‘Musician of the Week’ for this school year recorded a fantastic drumming performance. Thank you, as always, to the featured students for their resilience in investing hours of practice and dedication in perfecting their incredible performances and to our fantastic instrumental tutors for supporting and mentoring our aspiring musicians. This performance is of Sting’s ‘Message in a Bottle’ and is performed brilliantly by Kofi. Check out the high hat work from 2:59.  A very special thank you to Luna (vocals) and Connor (guitar and bass) for their contributions to this amazing recording. Kofi: Message in a Bottle

AMSI Summer Radio Show 2022

This is the last in the series of our themed Radio Shows for this academic year. It involves interviews and performances from staff (members of the Senior Leadership Team no less) and students. It celebrates all things good about the summer holidays!

Year Ahead Meetings 

We are pleased to say that these will be returning in September – they will be an opportunity for us to share key information with you, as well as a chance for you to meet the teachers. We strongly urge you to attend!

  • Year 7 –  Monday 5th September 2022 @ 4.00pm
  • Year 11 – Tuesday 6th September 2022 @ 4.00pm
  • Year 10 – Wednesday 7th September 2022 @ 4.00pm
  • Year 8 – Tuesday 13th September 2022 @ 4.00pm
  • Year 9 – Wednesday 14th September 2022 @ 4.00pm

Reminders

  • School returns for the new Year 7 on Monday 5th September 2022 @ 08.30am.
  • School returns for current Year 7 – 10 on Tuesday 6th September 2022 @ 08.30am.
  • Students must return to school  in full school uniform which includes their blazers to show scholarly dress. A heatwave will hopefully not be an issue then.

Key Dates Ahead 

  • 22nd – 24th August 2022 – Summer School for current Year 6 students
  • 25th August 2022 – Results Day for Year 11 students from 8.00am – 11.00am
  • 24th October – 28th October 2022 – Autumn Half-Term 
  • 16th December 2022 – End of Autumn term (Half day finish)

Last but not least families, keep safe and have a well deserved summer break!

Kind regards

Susan Service
Head teacher