Student survey - results
Published: Wednesday, 12 January 2022 06:20
Written by Mrs S Jellett
Last term, we surveyed all students to get a feel for what it’s like to be studying at Dane Court. We asked about our school values and teaching strategies, as well as perceptions of behaviour, bullying, wellbeing, extra curricular opportunities and the impact of PSHE.
Over 400 students responded (just over ⅓ of the student body). Across all year groups, an average of 91% of students say they enjoy school (with 99% of students in year 7 claiming they enjoy it at least some of the time).
Our school values encourage everyone in the community to be caring, open-minded and principled, and this is reflected in the survey results: 95% of students in years 7-9, and 82% of students in years 10-13 agree the school encourages them to respect people from other backgrounds and treat everyone equally. A high proportion of students perceive the behaviour of other students as good, and the majority of those who are aware of bullying agree that it is dealt with quickly.
This year, we have introduced three evidence-informed teaching strategies, to ensure high quality talk, regular retrieval and opportunities for silent, independent practice in all lessons. Students in all year groups recognise the benefits of these strategies - for example, 76% of Yr 7 students feel more confident taking part in discussion using the ‘Think Pair Share’ strategy. 93% of all students agree they feel more confident tackling new tasks when teachers model perfect answers - something we will continue to do in all subjects.
Our PSHE/SRE programme has been developed this year and already it is having an impact, particularly in the younger years: 73% of year 7 and 8 students feel these lessons give them confidence when dealing with health and wellbeing issues.
The events of the past two years have made extra-curricular provision difficult, but one of our aims this year is to revive previous opportunities and add to our extra-curricular offer. It is hugely encouraging to see that 54% of students are now taking part in a range of activities outside the classroom; Year 12 is the most active year group, with 71% taking part in clubs and groups.
We asked students what the best things about being in Dane Court are, and received a range of responses. Here is a snapshot:
Year 7: ‘It’s fun and educational at the same time and the teachers are always nice and helpful.’
Year 8: ‘Being accepted for who I am by other pupils.’
Year 9: ‘Having fun, making memories, learning new things.’
Year 10: ‘Wide range of opportunities given, mainly academically, and the attitude of teachers towards learning.’
Year 11: ‘Being able to learn in a comfortable and safe environment.’
Year 12: ‘The IB is a much better choice than any other offered nearby.’
Year 13: ‘Dane Court feels like a community and I will be sad to leave.’
We also asked what we could do better, and many students responded ‘nothing!’ Some students requested more support with mental health, so we have recruited three new members of staff as Welfare Mentors and trained a group of Year 13 students as Mental Health Ambassadors. Over the coming weeks, we will work with year leads and mentors to address any other concerns or suggestions raised in the surveys.
We would like to thank all students who took part in the survey - it is hugely valuable being able to see our school through the eyes of the students. We will run a follow-up survey in April, so please encourage your children to take part.
UPDATED: Start of term 3 - COVID-19 testing
Published: Monday, 03 January 2022 15:45
Written by Mr M Jones
Happy New Year. I hope that you have enjoyed a peaceful holiday.
Yesterday, the Department for Education issued updated Covid-19 safety guidance for schools. The main points concern the use of face coverings, on-site Covid-19 testing at the start of Term 3, new rules about self-isolation, and daily testing for close contacts of Covid-19.
On-site Covid-19 testing schedule
Students will be offered one on-site Covid-19 test on Tuesday 4 or Wednesday 5 January according to the schedule below. Although testing is voluntary we would encourage as many students as possible to take part in the on-site testing offered to help facilitate the safest possible school environment for their return to school for Term 3.
Please be aware that the guidance around testing in the 90 days following a positive test has recently changed. The guidance now states: Even if your son/daughter has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, they are strongly encouraged to take part in on-site LFD testing or test at home once they have completed their isolation period for their prior infection. If your son/daughter chooses to test at home please report the results to school. Students not taking part in the on-site testing should return to school at the same time as their form group according to the testing schedule below. If students are unable to attend their time slot, they should test at home - there will be no 'catch-up' opportunity.
Safety measures on the first testing day
Our testing centre is based in the sports hall building. Students must not enter any other building before completing their test. They must use the gate immediately in front of the sports hall.
- Wear a face covering, unless exempt, until instructed to remove it by the testing assistant
- Use the hand-sanitisers when asked to do so
The full schedule of testing and phased return to face-to-face teaching is below.
Tuesday 4 January 2022
Year 11 and 13: Students should arrive at school at the time of their COVID-19 test. After their test and 15-minute isolation period students will return to normal lessons in school if the result is negative. Students in year 11 should wear school uniform.
Year 10 and 12: Students should arrive at school at the time of their COVID-19 test and return home as soon as their test is complete. Learning resources will be uploaded to Google Classroom according to timetable. Students return to school on Wednesday 5 January.
Year 7, 8 and 9: Live remote teaching according to timetable.
Wednesday 5 January 2022
Year 10, 11, 12 and 13: Normal lessons in school.
Year 7 and 8: COVID-19 testing followed by return to normal lessons (see timings below)
Year 9: COVID-19 testing only (see timings below).
Learning resources will be uploaded to Google Classroom according to timetable. Students return to school on Thursday 6 January.
Year 7 and 8: Students should arrive at school at the time of their COVID-19 test. After their test and 15-minute isolation period students will return to normal lessons in school if the result is negative.
Students should wear school uniform.
Year 9: Students should arrive at school at the time of their COVID-19 test and return home as soon as their test is complete. Learning resources will be uploaded to Google Classroom according to timetable. Students return to school on Thursday 6 January.
Year 10, 11, 12, 13: In school for normal lessons.
Updated guidance from the Department for Education
The most important and immediate change for students is about the use of face coverings in school.
As before Christmas, face coverings should be worn by students, staff and visitors in communal areas and corridors. In addition, it is now recommended that students wear face coverings in classrooms. Face coverings are not required in PE lessons, or when students are outdoors.
The following detailed information is taken from the DfE’s guidance to schools (full information for parents and carers is here). We would be very grateful if you would discuss these changes with your son/daughter.
Face coverings help protect the wearer and others against the spread of infection because they cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of transmission of COVID-19.
From 4 January 2022, we recommend that in those schools where pupils in year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn in classrooms. This does not apply in situations where wearing a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity, for example in PE lessons. This is a temporary measure.
Where pupils and students in year 7 and above are educated, we also recommend that face coverings should be worn by pupils, students, staff and adult visitors when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas. This will also be a temporary measure.
These pupils and students must also wear a face covering when travelling on public transport and should wear it on dedicated transport to and from school.
Face coverings do not need to be worn by students when outdoors.
Circumstances where people are not able to wear face coverings
There are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear a face covering. Some people are less able to wear face coverings, and the reasons for this may not be visible to others.
In relation to education settings, this includes (but is not limited to):
- children under the age of 11 on 31 August 2021
- people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
- people for whom putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress
- people speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
- avoiding the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others
- removing a face covering in order to take medication
Changes to the self-isolation period for individuals who test positive for Covid-19
Since Wednesday 22nd December, the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason.
Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self- isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to school from day 8
Daily testing for close contacts of Covid-19
People who are fully vaccinated, or children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years and 6 months, identified as a close contact of someone with Covid-19, should take an LFD test every day for seven days and continue to attend school as normal, unless they have a positive test result or develop symptoms at any time.
Many thanks for your continued support with these measures.
We’re looking forward to welcoming the students back to school this week and we hope to see you soon.
Mr M Jones