- JT NEWS - FEBRUARY 2019
- A message from our Head of School, Mrs Cochrane
- Y11 - Laos 2020 Outlook Expedition
- Y12 Visit to CERN, Geneva
- Magistrate Mock Trial Competition
- Teenage Cancer Trust Fundraiser
- Bali Rai Author Visit - Thursday 14 March 2019
- PTA - Quiz Night - thank you
- Stars of the Week
- Harry Potter Night
- Scholastic Book Fair - Tuesday 19 to Tuesday 26 March 2019
- Book Sale in aid of Book Aid
- A message from our Chair of Governors
- £210 raised for St Giles Hospice
- Y5 Dodgeball Competition organised by Young Sporting Ambassadors
- England Schools’ U13 Table Tennis national quarter finals at Bradford – January.
- Sports Careers Talk by Simon Ord and Keith Gilroy from Derby County Football Club
- Year 5/6 Indoor Athletics, Thomas Russell Junior School
A warm welcome back to the start of the Spring Term. The INSET (training day) at the beginning of January, enabled all members of John Taylor High School to be involved in a JTMAT Conference. The conference was attended by all staff from all of the schools in the MAT. The event was a fantastic opportunity to work together collaboratively across a MAT and we were fortunate, to secure both national and internationally recognised keynote speakers. This was a thoroughly enjoyable day, which staff found extremely valuable. It highlighted the importance of John Taylor High Schools’ commitment to providing high quality professional development for all of our staff.
Our Year 11 students have returned from the Christmas break and have hit the ground running! They had a powerful mock exam results morning, which enabled them to celebrate success and also highlight areas in which they need to focus on for the summer. All year 11 have also received training on a new computer based resource called ‘Century Tech’, which provides an excellent support for their revision programmes based on artificial intelligence – which I will say is extremely impressive!
The Year 12 scientists have had an amazing opportunity to visit CERN – the European Organisation for Nuclear Research and a number of our Year 12 and 13 mathematicians attended the national ‘Mathsfest’ day.
Already this term, we have hosted two quizzes since the start of term. The PTA quiz/cheese and biscuit evening was well attended and raised £640 to support the school. The Sixth Form quiz, again was very well attended and raised money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
One of my highlights so far this year has been my weekly Friday break time ‘hot chocolate with the Head’ with ‘the stars of the week’. This is a great opportunity for me to sit with a small group of students and talk about the amazing things that they have been nominated for, to be the star of the week. If your child does receive this nomination letter, please give them lots of praise at home, it is quite an achievement when there are 1560 students in school!
Thank you for your on-going support to the John Taylor High School community.
Outlook Expeditions Sign up process – Laos 2020
- Click ‘Sign Up’ under New Expedition Application tab
- Enter ERN number: 2020CRL01T1, fill in other details and pay deposit.
For further details see Mrs Bond or email email@example.com
Booklets are also available in the LRC
Sign up deadline/ deposit due date: Wednesday 20th February 2019
On Friday 18th January 2019, proudly wearing our blue wristbands, 17 Y12 Physics students left John Taylor en route to Geneva, accompanied by Mr Sears, Mr Hulme and Mrs Drage. Apart from Liv getting stuck in a barrier, the journey to Geneva was swift and Max even managed to get a photo with the pilot, which was quickly posted on Mr Sears’ Twitter (@mrsearsjths). 1.5 hours later we landed, and everyone agreed that the air tasted fresh. We took a 5-minute train ride, then walked briefly through the tidy streets of Geneva to reach Geneva hostel.
The next morning, after breakfast, we made our way via tram to CERN - The European Organization for Nuclear Research - which houses the world's largest machine, a particle accelerator known as the Large Hadron Collider, and a tour guide who asks for MANY QUESTIONS. Exhibitions at CERN were accessible to a Y12 understanding of Physics. I was particularly fascinated by a cloud chamber which shows the paths of different particles when ionised. Using different buttons, I was able to insert alpha particles into the box which I think gave off the most intricate pattern. This exact cloud chamber was projected onto the floor and can be viewed at any time, from anywhere on the CERN website (home.cern). Krishan especially found the outdoor bubble chamber fun, and most of us managed to climb inside. Next, we had time in the gift shop – Max bought a hard hat, which did help later when we were scanning for him at Geneva Airport. Kangaroo was served at CERN’s cafeteria, which fuelled some students for our tour alongside an interesting question and answer session. Students from John Taylor and an American school asked about our host’s job, experiences at CERN and how particle accelerators work. We visited the now decommissioned synchrocyclotron (CERN’s first particle accelerator) and also the ATLAS detector, part of the LHC itself. After dinner we enjoyed time on the Wii playing Mario Kart and Wii Party; the winners: Max, Ed, Edwin and Sam.
Sunday consisted of a short walk where we were in awe of The Geneva Water fountain (Jet d’Eau). Overlooking this was a very interactive science museum where we were able to view a huge variety of old scientific equipment, as well as play with Duplo and also talk to each other with the use of parabolic sound mirrors. Full of Physics we were then allowed free time. Some people went to McDonalds to try a Toblerone McFlurry, whilst others shopped for souvenirs and Swiss chocolate. At 2 o’clock we collected our suitcases and headed to Geneva airport on the double decker train that Mr Sears eyed after we landed on Friday. Being at the top for five minutes was worth the little rush to make it.
Two weeks later writing this review, I am still overwhelmed by all that I have learned and experienced, but most importantly I am pleased to say that the Lotus Biscoff spread made its way from Barton-Under-Needwood to Geneva and back! (Holly, Y12)
Following auditions, thirteen pupils from years 8 and 9 have been selected for the Magistrate Mock Trial competition that is taking place at Derby Magistrates’ Court in March. Our team is made up of defence and prosecution lawyers and witnesses, a legal adviser, an usher and magistrates. The team are busy learning statements and preparing questions and speeches in the case of a student who has been charged with stealing a mobile phone in a snatch and grab attack on a moped. We’re also looking forward to a visit to the Magistrates’ Court, organised by our Chair of Governors, Mrs Richardson, which will be really useful in helping our pupils to understand the workings of the court and etiquette involved in presenting a case. We look forward to letting you know how we get on.
The 6th form quiz was a great night for everyone. From staff to students, everyone had a laugh and joined in with the crazy tasks set by Mr Brackstone and Mr Sears to scavenge for more points between rounds. The questions were tricky and each round had a link between all of the answers. Some of the links also had a Mr Sears twist (who knew he was such a huge thunderbirds fan?!) By the end of the quiz each team had had a wonderful time, especially the winners who snuck into the lead with a 10 point token they had discovered by the piano! All proceeds raised went to the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Leicestershire author Bali Rai, will be in school on Thursday 14 March as part of our celebrations for World Book Day. Bali is a very down to earth and entertaining speaker, who is passionate about the power of reading and education for young people. He will be speaking to selected groups of our Y8 and 9 students, as well as running some creative writing workshops for one of Y7 and Y8 English groups. A group of selected students will also be invited to attend a special creative writing workshop in the LRC.
All students will have the opportunity to meet Bali at lunchtime on 14 March and he wil be happy to sign books for students. He will bring some books with him on the day at a cost of £6, but will take orders from students who wish to order one of his books to be sent into school at a later date.
Thanks to the PTA for organising the annual Fun Quiz in January. Thanks to everyone who supported this event by helping out, taking part in the quiz or donating raffle prizes. Special thanks to Joe Handsaker who wrote the quiz questions again this year and to Mr Twynham who stood in, last-minute, as Question Master on the evening, and did a fantastic job. A great result - over £600 was raised on the evening.
Here are some of our Stars of the Week who, this term, have enjoyed 'Hot Chocolate with the Head', following nominations made by staff. Well done, we are very proud of you!
We celebrated Harry Potter Book Night in school on Tuesday 5 February. We had a fantastic evening of Harry Potter themed activities lined up, which included the sorting hat activity overseen by Professors Trelawney and McGonagall, Mrs K Jones and Mrs Woodings . This was followed by house banner making, singing the Hogwarts song and judging of the best Harry Potter themed costume.
Our students were then shown how to make potions by Ms Groom. Consumable versions of Amortenia, Polyjuice Potion, Draught of the Living Dead and Veritaserum were next on the menu, followed by a Bertie Bots Bean Boozle. We rounded the evening off with a Harry Potter quiz. Congratulations to Hufflepuff House who were our winners on the night.
We will be holding a Scholastic Book Fair in the LRC from 19 to 26 March. Students will be able to choose from a wide range of children's and Young Adult books, plus stationery and posters, at reasonable prices. They will also be able to use their World Book Day tokens to receive a £1 off a book of their choice. School will receive some commission to spend on books for the LRC if we achieve £300 in sales.
Leaflets detailing the choice of books available in the Fair will be distributed to forms after half term.
As part of our World Book Day celebrations we will be holding a booksale in the LRC in the week of 4 March to raise money for Book Aid, a charity which helps improves literacy in third world countries.
If you are having a sort out over half term and would like to send any children's or Young Adult books in to us to support this book sale they will be very gratefully received.
Many thanks for your support.
I am hugely privileged to have been elected as the Chair of Governors of John Taylor Local Governing Body. Having served in the role now for just over a term I can share with you that I am finding it an enjoyable, rewarding and challenging role.
I have served as a governor at the school since September 2013 and am very familiar with it. My previous background involved working in secondary education for much of my life and most recently in voluntary roles including serving as a magistrate and trustee of a local football community trust.
My enjoyment comes from the opportunity to work with a committed and skilled group of governors who bring a host of complementary skills to the table. Furthermore, the opportunity to work closely with our new Head of School Mrs Cochrane, and the senior leaders is hugely exciting. Mrs Cochrane has high aspirations for the school and as governors we aim to both support and challenge her to achieve these. Equally we have high expectations of everyone within the school and seek to ensure that the school continues to deliver outstanding teaching and learning and provide opportunities for all learners to reach their full potential within a safe and inclusive environment.
It is very rewarding attending governors meetings where we receive regular information about how the school is performing and the innovations and practices being introduced to ensure that the school is continually moving forward. Governors are responsible for three core functions:
- To ensure the vision for the school is clear, its ethos is defined and it has a purposeful strategic direction;
- To hold the Head of School to account for the educational performance of the schools and its pupils, and the performance management of the staff; and
- To oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure that its money is well spent.
Apart from attending governors meeting we carry out these functions in a variety of ways; through visiting staff and departments within the school as link governors, working closely with the Business Manager to set budgets and monitor spending and by attending various events to witness directly pupils achievements in sport, music and drama. We particularly benefit from hearing direct feedback from parents to ensure that the issues we are discussing align with yours. Please continue to contact the school when issues arise and direct your communications to me and the other governors when you feel it appropriate to do so. We welcome your comments.
I mentioned the role is challenging. The role is time consuming and yet many of our governors hold down full time jobs. The school is already recognised to be outstanding so it is a challenge to both retain that reputation and to continually improve. It can also be challenging to have those necessary but difficult conversations to divert underperformance. In all this we are fortunate to receive the direct support of the MAT Chief Executive and Board to whom we are directly accountable.
I look forward to meeting you at events or directly and would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support. I can ensure you that I and the other governors are proud of our school and all the pupils within it.
Mrs B RichardsonRead Less
On a very cold and frosty evening in January, a group of approximately ten Young Sporting Ambassadors led and organised an inter-form dodgeball competition for the four houses of Thomas Russell Junior School. This event was purely for Thomas Russell as they were unable to attend the inter-school primary event back in December.
First of all, a thorough warm-up and stretching was keenly taken by Liv Taylor, then the houses were split up and practised the dodgeball skills of throwing, catching and dodging. After a short refreshment break, the houses played three games against each other. Lots of fun was had by the 40 Y5 pupils and, for some, this was their first time at a sporting event at John Taylor.
The Young Sporting Ambassadors enjoyed themselves and so did the Y5 pupils. In the end it was Blue house who took the honours, winning every game they played!
Well done to all the leaders and all the primary pupils for participating in an exciting evening of Dodgeball.
Closing Date: 01 Apr 2019
The Under 13 boys’ team travelled to these championships with optimistic hopes of improving on their performance of last year when they were a year younger. As it turned out the team of Aidan, Sam, Greg and Sam had good reason to be pleased with themselves. Unfortunately, the organisers placed the six schools into two pools of three and we found ourselves in a pool with Carlton le Willows school from Nottingham and Bradford GS the hosts from Yorkshire. The other pool was a much weaker pool and both Carlton le Willows and Bradford GS ultimately contested the final therefore going through to the national semi-finals. In their pool the boys lost both matches by 5 matches to 3. Technically we were on a par with our opponents but we were much more inconsistent and gave too many easy points away. In three matches we were 2-0 up in a five set match and lost 3-2. On another day it could have been much different. Special congratulations should go to Aidan who playing against our opponents' best players won three of his four matches. Many thanks to the boys who gave their heart and soul to the games, to the parents who once again transported and supported all the boys and to Simon Price who provides more advanced coaching for the team at his club.
Approximately 75 pupils attended a careers talk in the hall recently. Simon Ord, Head of Education and Welfare at Derby County Football Club, attended with another coach, ex Burton Albion player, Keith Gilroy, to talk to the pupils about various career opportunities on offer at football clubs.
Physiotherapy, ground maintenance, business, sports science, coaching and a variety of other careers were discussed. Simon also gave an overview of what the academy players had to do whilst at Derby but also what was on offer to them if they did not succeed in the football world.
Thanks go out to both for a very informative session. Simon did mention the opportunities of work experience at the club. If there is anyone who attended the talk and who is seriously interested in work experience, then see Mrs Berry in the PE Department.
Please note that our next careers talk is by Guy Moran from the PGA who is coming in to the school hall on Friday 12th April 1.15-1.45pm. Pupils from Year 9-13 are most welcome to attend.
Closing Date: 01 Mar 2019
Obstacle course, track running and field events were on offer for approximately 40 pupils from the school. For some of them this was their first time that they had attended John Taylor and the excitement was evident.
Sporting Ambassadors organised the warm up, sorted the races out and helped record times and distances for track and field events. Throwing, jumping and other activities were offered to both boys and girls.
At the end of the meeting and after the Young Ambassadors had run their own relay race, certificates were handed out to the winning house and the other pupils went home with certificates of attendance.
Well done to all 16 Ambassadors from Year 8, 9 and 10 who made sure the whole sporting event ran smoothly.
Also many thanks to John Taylor PTA for letting us purchase the indoor athletics equipment which is certainly getting used by a large number of students.