Head’s Half Termly Update – Spring Term 2 – March 2023
The above photo shows a selection of our Year 11 students that have achieved at least an average of a Grade 6+ across their GCSE subjects for their mocks. The year group all received their results in the same way that they would in August at the beginning of this half term and were then mentored by senior staff and tutors straight after. I am very proud of their efforts so far; especially as the only way is up!
Lunchtime interventions – AMSI & Cubitt Arts Partnership
I would like to highlight two Spring term projects that have raised students’ awareness of the studio provision in C Block and the presence of artists that practise their artistry on site at AMSI.
Lunchtime Sound Club – with artist Dunya Kalentery. Throughout the 6 sessions, students experimented with audio recordings across AMSI and shared music they self-produced.
The Film Club – with artists from Kaleidoworks; Lydia CS and Betsy Dadd. Students learnt about and became curious about artist films and the way they are made.
What Do You Think?, with artist Meera Shakti Osborne. This is a project that involves 2 initial taster workshops that took place this half term with a selected group of students. It was facilitated by our librarian in preparation for co-creation sessions on an enrichment programme which will take place during the Easter holidays.
Attendance and Punctuality
We have seen peaks and troughs in terms of attendance and punctuality. We have seen some improvement in terms of the school’s attendance, but there is still plenty for us all to do! Many of you will have received calls from staff about our attendance challenge – all students with attendance above 90% at the end of this half term will be entered into a draw for a £50 Amazon voucher the first week back. We must keep ensuring our young people are in school – please only keep your children off school if they are really ill – a sore belly, cough, sniffles or hayfever are not adequate reasons for absence.
In terms of punctuality, the vast majority of our students attend school punctually, but there are a small number of students who are habitually late. We ask you as a school to hold the young people to account, and ensure that they are leaving the home in plenty of time to get to school.
Friends of AMSI
This half term, we held our first ‘Friends of AMSI’ meeting. We were delighted that around 20 parents attended. It was a really useful meeting, and lovely to have an opportunity to talk about our community. As a result of this meeting, there are a few points that will be actioned in the summer term;
- Whatsapp groups for parents in each year group.
- Weekly communication bulletin for parents.
- A summer social event – possibly a Family BBQ.
This term we launched the AMSI reading challenge, with over 70 students signing up so far, equating to over 1 in 10 students. These students have pledged to read 15 books in 14 weeks, with a prize for the first in each year group to complete the challenge, and a reward for all students who successfully complete it. The challenge is designed to encourage reading and engagement with the library, as well as to push students to read a range of different texts. To successfully complete the challenge, they need to read a mix of fiction, non fiction, poetry and graphic novels, as well as two ‘Librarian’s Pick,’ tailored to the student. Already, one Year 7 student has read 10 of his 15 books, and has been commended for his excellent effort so far.
There have been two Year 9 literacy enrichment trips this half term: one as part of the Young City Poets Award and one as part of Young Mystery Writers. The first group attended a visit to London Metropolitan archives and were given a tour and workshop on writing haiku poems. This will be followed up next term by a visit and workshop from published author and poet Arji Manuelpillai. The second group visited St Martin’s Theatre to watch a production of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap and will participate in a workshop from a writer of mystery fiction in the summer term.
This term we are re-starting our paired reading programme during tutor time, targeting students whose reading age is significantly below their chronological age. They will be reading twice a week with a PGCE student, in order to improve their reading fluency and comprehension. Students will be rewarded for successfully attending all sessions.
We have seen an increase in the completion of Homework this term due to our amended opening hours for support. KS3 and KS4 now have the option to attend after school between 3 – 3.40pm or before school from 8 – 8.40am. Please encourage your child to check Classcharts each day so they do not miss deadlines. We welcome all students to attend homework support as a quiet place to work with chromebooks and support from staff.
On the 23rd of March, Year 8 students visited the Royal Academy for the exhibition: Spain and the Hispanic World Treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum & Library, as a reward for their outstanding progress and engagement in Spanish.
It was an excellent trip where students increased their cultural capital about Hispanic art and culture, having the chance to observe some master artwork such as Goya’s ‘The Black Duchess’ or the ‘Original Map’ by Giovani Vespucci that originated the name of America, among many others.Some students were highly impressed by the middle age manuscripts or the religious sculptures. They had a treasure hunt quiz and they were congratulated by the Royal Academy staff for their excellent behaviour.
The School Council met to provide their feedback on the current achievement and behaviour policy. Year 11 school council students have asked the school to consider an alternative activity to the end of Year school prom and the senior leadership team is willing to support and help make arrangements. That being said, students have been asked to participate in a final vote so that, in a true British Values way, there is clarity, transparency and democracy involved in making the final decision.
Next term, we will be raising both monetary funds and clothing donations for Crisis (our chosen Charity); students will also be involved in working with the Dance department and Primary schools to promote creativity at AMSI. We are also hoping to raise food donations to give to the local food bank.
AMSI Musician of the Week (MoTW) Live Event
I am pleased to report that I spent the best hour of my day on Thursday 23rd March watching the performance of our students in the MoTW Live event – Spring edition. There was such a range of performances in both genres and abilities, but they all showed confidence, resilience and skills throughout. A credit to themselves, families and the school. The next performance will be on the 18th July so if you can, please support this event by attending. It is an excellent way to spend an hour of your evening.
Easter Radio Show
This is the fourth production of our themed radio shows for this academic year. Relax and listen as we acknowledge this time of the year that celebrates a significant period in the Christian calendar.
Careers report – Spring Term 2023
The Spring Term has been very busy for Careers as we have hosted four key events.
National Apprenticeship Week (6th – 10th February) is a national week of Career opportunity awareness raising. All students were introduced to Apprenticeships during a week of assemblies, informing them of apprenticeships as a Post 16 option to consider and also referring to development as an individual for the World of Work requirements. In addition, Year 11 heard from our representatives from ASK (leading government apprenticeship source) and from two young apprentices from Islington Council about their career journeys and choices. Year 10 also had an additional Presentation from ADA – Specialist College of Digital Skills, based in Tottenham, about their range of courses, Apprenticeships on offer and an insight into Digital skills as a career choice as a growth market. The London Screen Academy and ADA also visited subject classes for more bespoke sessions in KS4.
National Careers Week (6th – 10th March) is a national Week of Career Opportunity awareness raising. During the week curriculum subjects delivered sessions in class to embed their subject into careers to help students understand the value of their subject within future occupational opportunities. Additionally, Year 11 had an assembly from IntoUniversity who presented on all aspects of choosing University as a Higher Education option, University life and expectation, the range of courses, funding and bursaries and the opportunity to ask questions.
Environmental Design project – Year 10 D&T students (10th – 17th March) is a new project linking working with a local Environmental Design company who are based near Finsbury Park. Led by Mr Bethell, Head of D&T, students have taken a piece of waste land at the rear of the school and put together a plan for design and development. They measured the land and created mood boards as well as researched ideas before outlining their final planning suggestion. Students really enjoyed this interactive opportunity and this will be followed up by a visit to their premises in May and one student is currently on work placement with them for the original group. We look forward to any realistions of this project in the future.
Work Experience preparation Day (21st March 2023) took place the week before. Students were asked to Dress for Success for the day in school, dressed in appropriate business attire and be a professional for the day. This was a whole day of activity starting with a Work ready performance in the theatre and followed by 3 lessons working with employers and volunteers looking at the work environment and speaking with employers. The day finished in the Theatre with presentations from two of our local, creative and specialist colleges, Big Creative Education based in Tottenham and The London Screen Academy based in Highbury.
Work Experience – Year 10 (27th – 31st March) is now up and running following COVID and this is for the whole year group. On the whole our students have been very excited about the opportunity to experience a work placement and take on the challenge and experience the workplace.
As always, we continue to share the student bulletin directly with the students via the school email system and on the school website. Bulletins can be found here:
- 17th April – School re-opens for the first half of the Summer term.
- The school door opens at 8.30am every morning. Attendance is the key to success.
- Students are required to bring their chromebooks fully charged to school every day.
- 3rd – 6th April – Easter Enrichment programme with artist Meera Shakti Osborne.
- 19th – 20th April – Barcelona students visit AMSI.
- 17th April – 6th May – GCSE Public Speaking and Listening exams for all Languages.
- 15th May onwards – GCSE public exams start.
- 23rd February – Year 9 Options Evening 5.30pm – 6.30pm.
- 27th May – End of Summer 1 Term.
Have a safe and enjoyable Easter break till Monday 17th April 2023 when school reopens at the usual time.