08 Jan 2021
Senior High Notes 8th January 2021
This week has been quite a whirlwind, as I am sure it has been for many of you, as we adapt with speed to the latest Lockdown conditions. I would like to thank you for all your support and positive feedback we have received this week, and I have shared with our teachers the wealth of complementary emails and Facebook comments you have been sending. We have welcomed 70 Primary pupils, in school for key worker provision, and our nursery, The Wrens, is operating as normal, with Late Waiting available until 5:30pm for Senior school key worker students. I would like to publicly thank all our staff who are working hard to provide high quality teaching and learning. Our core focus, embedded in the Derby High ethos and values, of the personal and academic development of our pupils remains at the forefront of everything we will continue to do through our Remote Learning Programme, featuring live online lessons, mirroring the timings of the usual school day.
It was wonderful to all come together on Friday for my first ‘live’ assembly with the whole of the Senior school. I linked my love of Boyzone with super hero poses and managing challenging times. We listened to Boyzone sing “When the Going Gets Tough” (a great way to start any day in my opinion!). Human beings can achieve amazing feats in difficult, challenging and stressful circumstances. Whilst we might not be climbing Mount Everest or landing on the moon, we all face challenges every day. An example I gave was completing a piece of work when your laptop crashes. The challenge is to keep positive and overcome the issues which unexpectedly crop up.
I talked about strategies we could all use to master the art of not giving up when the going gets tough - as Boyzone said: “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Strategies include meditation and breathing techniques. I also talked about asking for help. Even though we are not all together in a physical classroom, our virtual classrooms on MS Teams mean that students can ask questions and ask for help from their teachers in real time whilst they are working.
My final tip was about striking a super hero pose! Power posing was first introduced by Amy Cuddy in 2010 when she suggested that standing in ‘high power’ stances produces power by working on hormonal changes in the human body. This can affect your confidence and stress levels. By striking a super hero pose, a bit like superman, for just 5 minutes before you start your day might really help you for your day ahead - why not give it a try?!
And finally, we will be resuming our Survey Monkeys for students and parents next Friday, which will provide an opportunity for constructive feedback.
GCSE and A level Summer Examinations Cancelled
Whatever replacement assessment is ultimately put in place, teachers at Derby High are in an excellent position to assess the true potential of each student, as our small group sizes and regular assessments enable us to reflect on all data available. We have a wide range of information clearly indicating the ability and potential of each student and we will be using this in whatever way we can to highlight why our students should be awarded the grades we will recommend. Last summer, under similar conditions, our A level and GCSE results were outstanding, building on our past record of academic excellence, enabling students to achieve their aspirations for the next stage in their education.
Our Astro Club is ready to go live via Teams. A link will be sent to all students inviting them to join the club whilst we are at home. It will have up to date news on the Teams page and an Astra Club session will be starting from next week. More information to follow soon.
Trying Something Different in a Different Type of Form Time!
6.3 had a little task in form time this week, with Mr Dodson giving them an anonymous MS Forms questionnaire where they had to scratch their heads and think about posers such as "In 10 years' time, I expect to be living in...", "During the holidays, the thing I said the most was..." as well as nominating their favourite smell, colour, sound and texture. Partly this was to have a bit of fun, but also to give our new arrival Annika a bit of an insight into what her form mates are like. Mr Dodson then read out some of the responses from a particular person and the form had to guess who it was. They know each other very well, it seems!
Here's some examples of their replies...
In 10 years' time, I expect to be living in..."Australia"
In 10 years' time, I hope to be working as/in/for/at..."marine biologist"
In 10 years' time, the possession I will definitely will still have is..."my numerous amounts of earrings"
In 10 years' time, the thing I would come back to Derby High School to tell the younger students is...
"enjoy your time at Derby High School as it goes very fast", "paninis are overrated", "Don't rock on your chair"
During the holidays, the person I kept in touch with most was... "my grandad",
Covid, Anxiety and Stress Resources
Dr Karen Treisman, MBE, is a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist who works across the National Health System and children’s services. She has extensive experience in the areas of trauma, parenting, adversity (ACE’s) and attachment.
Dr Treisman uses a range of therapeutic approaches with families. She is the author of eleven books, including the bestselling book, "The therapeutic treasure box", and four sets of therapeutic card decks.
Her website features a wide-range of resources and the section on covid, anxiety and stress is particularly valuable and can be found here: http://www.safehandsthinkingminds.co.uk/covid-anxiety-stress-resources-links