I have been talking to lots of parents and students in the last week and it is becoming clear that we are all dealing with different situations at home.
I have been incredibly impressed by the work ethic and maturity of our students who have adapted to a new way of working and want to say that the support from parents and carers has been brilliant too.
Having spoken to many parents myself personally, not one of you feel that what you are doing is good enough. However, I am positive that everyone is doing their best; we must continue to work together in the weeks to come.
DHSB staff are working hard to support you, we are here and are listening to you and adapting or evolving our practice based on your feedback.
One specific update we are publishing today is a Frequently Asked Question document. I hope this will be a one stop place for you to check if you are unsure about something instead of searching through previous letters and emails. We hope that this will help to provide clarity and reassurance. We are also sending a letter to parents today, also linked here.
Please continue to tell me about any individual student achievements or successes as we’d love to celebrate and share these in the Head’s Blog each week.
Well done to Noah Evans who has recently received two awards from the Little Hearts Matter charity.
He has received the Independent Living Award following his participation in the residential trip to London during Curriculum Challenge Week in November - well done to all involved in this!
Noah has also been recognised for his ongoing fundraising for the charity. We have mentioned his Bake Sales in previous Head’s Blogs and his cakes are pictured below!
The 11+ registration form for admission to DHSB in September 2021 is now live at this link.
Please share this with your family and friends who have a son in Year 5.
Parents and carers can also sign-up at this link to receive updates about any 11+ familiarisation session or materials which we are hoping to provide.
Last week we introduced a new Head’s Blog feature on the Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE) activity which is available through Google Classroom each week, replacing the tutor sessions that students would normally have.
We hope families and friends will be able to share and talk about these activities as many of the topics are more for discussion than writing.
Year 7 students are thinking about work related learning. What is it, what may they have already done, and what targets can they set themselves for the year ahead.
Year 8 students are planning for their pensions. It's never too early to start learning about pensions and planning for the future.
Year 9 students are considering generic employability skills that are necessary in all businesses and how many companies use such skills to search, shortlist and interview.
Year 10 students are looking at risk in general, particularly in regard to drugs, and learning how the teenage brain often deals with risk/probability.
Year 11 students are focussing on the personal statement section of a CV; trying to describe themselves honestly but positively.
Ms Brown has sent me some examples of home learning Excellent Work from Year 7.
She says, “ These are examples of lovely design work for a reprocessing single use plastics project where students design and make a clock for the kitchen”.
Year 7 students have also been carrying out product analysis tasks as part of the key skills module. They are learning how designers analyse existing products before designing their own.
I also have an example of Excellent Work submitted by Ms Walker in our RS Department.
Ms Walker said, “This is an Ethical study completed by Lucas McBride for his RS home learning project. He has produced a piece of word art to recap some of the issues studied last term in school, he has also produced a campaign pack about cloning and applied key skills learnt this year to evaluate whether or not we have a responsibility to help those in poverty. This work displays outstanding effort both in terms of content and presentation and he illustrates excellent reasoning, evaluation and critical thinking skills”.
People say that we have no obligation to help the poor because it won't help in the long run. In countries in Africa where poverty is hellishly abundant their money is only simply used to help them to sustain a lifestyle and be able to reproduce. The reason they spend their money in reproducing is so they have another chance to make children that may be able to themselves up with their child if lucky. As seen in the graph birth rates are lower in richer countries and vice versa. Most people in poorer areas can barely afford enough food for themselves so why should we add to it by making them reproduce and continuing the amount of suffering.
For almost every official government service, from passport applications to tax disc renewals, there are many copycat websites out there waiting to con more cash from you than you need to spend and they are becoming even harder to tell from the real sites. I nearly fell for one myself when looking to renew our EHIC cards online before we went on holiday last year.
Cunning copycats analyse internet search traffic for keywords people use to search for driving licence renewals, passports, European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) or car tax renewals to name just a few. They then pay to be listed at the top of the search results pages, above the official government search listings, for those words and because unsuspecting people are more likely to click on results at the top of the page, they end up on official-looking but copycat sites offering to save them money and/or time by processing applications or checking forms.
They look highly convincing, but they’re designed to trap you into paying more than you really have to.
Here are some top tips - taken from Which:
Is it a paid search engine ad?
Look out for paid-for search engine results. These are the boxed adverts displayed at the top of search engine result pages. Quite often, the official site is the first or second non-paid-for link that appears below the ads.
Read the homepage
Take a couple of minutes to double-check the site; don’t dive straight into filling out an application form. Visit the homepage and read the text there. It may even say that the site is not officially affiliated with the official body.
Check the web address
Don’t be fooled by a .org web address, as this is no guarantee that it is a body’s official website. Any website claiming to be an official government website should have a .gov.uk address.
Https vs http
Although it’s not always a guarantee, you can check for ‘https://’ at the beginning of the website address. On pages where you are entering personal information, this indicates that there is encryption in place to protect your personal details; websites just with http:// don’t encrypt your details.
The government has created a guide to show you how to report a misleading website to search engines.
Can you trust a trust mark?
Research carried out by ANEC, a European consumer organisation, found that seven in ten people say they’re more likely to use a website with a trust-mark label or logo.
But with more than 50 different trust-mark labels and logos in use across Europe, and many countries also not using them at all, they are not always a sound way of judging whether a website is trustworthy.
Also, just because a website appears to carry the logo of a reputable trade organisation, it still doesn’t necessarily mean the website is genuine.
If you’re in doubt, you could always contact the trust-mark company to check.