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Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School Horncastle

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News of the following events can be found on our website http://www.qegs.lincs.sch.uk:

 

Dear Parents,

February 1st today and half the academic year nearly gone! With the arrival of some snow in the region, we have included a reminder about our emergency closure procedure in the newsletter.

By now I am sure you have heard that I am stepping down at the end of the year to lead the newly formed Horncastle Education Trust as Chief Operating Officer (Executive Head) for all four schools.  It has not been an easy decision as I love my job as Headteacher of QEGS and am still finding it difficult to imagine not being fully involved in the day-to-day life of the school. Luckily as CEO, I will be able to visit regularly and keep in touch.  We are now beginning the recruitment process for a new Headteacher ready for September and I will keep you informed of developments. 

Thank you for your help with uniform.  Students are actually wearing their uniform better so we have been working with you to sort out students who are coming to school with incorrect uniform.  Please do check with us before purchasing school wear; the Student Planner has some excellent graphics to help and you can just email to double check over style or colour and so forth.

We have a new event on the calendar – The Choir Fest is replacing the Jazz Evening and as usual we will have an amazing spread organised by the PTA to accompany the music.  Tickets can be purchased on Parent Pay - get your ticket early as we often sell out.

As a result of feedback from parents, we have been trying to improve attendance and the reporting of absence.  Some parents were not aware that we can put in additional support and monitoring if a child is not feeling 100% but would like to be in school. The Reception Team will be reminding parents of this offer when you ring up to report an absence.  We will do our best to help if we can.

Y11 have just finished their mock GCSE exams and we are looking forward to results day on Tuesday! Don’t forget we are running revision sessions every Saturday morning based at Banovallum School (10.00 – 12.00) using our Sixth Formers as Learning Mentors.  Every Y11 is welcome – they can study on their own or with a Learning Mentor and they don’t have to go to every session.  We have Y11 parents’ evening the week after next; as in previous years we will try to put together a list of all the revision sessions available at school and make that available to parents and students.

The PTA has launched the annual Challenge Awards and Mr Wright led a full assembly on Tuesday to advertise the scheme to all our students.  There is more information on our website – do encourage your child to apply – it is an amazing opportunity and unique to QEGS and our PTA.

Kind regards and thank you very much for all you do to help us.

 

Mrs H. Payne

HEADTEACHER

 


MAKE YOUR VIEWS HEARD

There are two petitions running at the moment which we hope you might be encouraged to sign:

Sixth Form Funding

Sixth form funding was subject to deep cuts after 2010 and the national funding rate for 16 and 17 year olds has remained frozen at £4,000 per student, per year since 2013/14. The rate for 18 year olds is set even lower at £3,300 per student. To ensure that schools and colleges can continue to deliver a high quality education, the government should raise the funding rate for 16, 17 and 18 year olds by at least £760 per student in the 2019 spending review and raise it in line with inflation each year. Recent research from London Economics 'Understanding the funding shortfall in sixth form education' found that £760 was the minimum level of additional funding required to deliver a high quality education.

The current rate of funding for a Sixth Form student is at least £600 lower than a student lower down the school. 

Sixth Form:  https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/230140 

General funding

Schools are having to make difficult choices on how to spend their limited funding as their income has not kept pace with the rise in costs since 2010. All schools are working very hard to “make ends meet” but this is becoming increasingly difficult and verging on almost impossible. 

As funding has become tighter, schools have had to cut back on: 
• Teaching and non-teaching staff 
• Support for more vulnerable pupils 
• Small group work for children who are not thriving in school 
• Teaching resources (parents being asked to pay for books and materials)
• Subject choices in secondary schools 
• Range of activities for primary pupils 
• Extra curricular activities provided free or subsidised 
• Repairs to buildings 
• Renewal of equipment

General Funding: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/232220

 

SIMS PARENT APP LITE

Parent App Lite is now available for all parents and is a secure portal that parents can use to update the information we hold on them and their children.  All parents for whom we hold a working email address will have received an invitation.  

Parents who haven't received an email and would like to use the portal can contact the school office (01507 522465, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to check that the email we have for them is the correct one.

 

STUDENT NEWS

Liverpool International Horse Show

During the Christmas holidays Ava Vernon took part in the Liverpool International Horse Show. It is one of the first international shows that she has taken part in with contenders from other parts of Europe and as far away as America. She competed against top adult riders, male and female, to win her Grand Prix amateur class on New Year’s Eve. She was the youngest rider on the youngest horse with the fastest time representing Great Britain.  This is a fantastic result and well-deserved.

National Children's Orchestra

Well done to Aakash and Shivani Jansari who have successfully auditioned for places in the National Children's Orchestra for 2019.

Published in Stranger Saga

In creative writing Tanvi Venkateshan and Maaria Rajput (both Y8) have been published in the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire edition of Stranger Sagas. The challenge was to produce a thrilling story in fewer than 100 words. We have a copy of the book in the English Department (and QEGS has the first two stories in the book!). A brilliant achievement – well done!

 

MUSIC & PTA NEWS

Choir Fest Advert

 

EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSURE

If we do have to close for any reason such as bad weather, we will be using our own website and local radio to get the message out.  If we can access the school site, we will also text and email parents.

 

TIME TO TALK DAY 2019: Thursday 7th February

What: Time to Talk Day is an event promoted by Time to Change, a charity aiming to eliminate the stigma associated with mental health and discussions about mental health.

What are we doing: the big event of the day will be in the Main Hall at lunchtime where we aim to have chairs, tea/coffee/hot chocolate, cake, biscuits and we're inviting everyone to come in and have a chat about how they're feeling. Alongside the tea/cake etc., we hope to have conversation starters to promote the discussion, stress balls, writing groups, flyers advertising external support, the presence of the Heads of Year should students want to talk to us, the peer listeners, some representation from the LGBTQ+ group.

Mental health problems affect one in four of us, yet people are still afraid to talk about it. Time to Talk Day encourages everyone to talk about mental health. Having conversations about mental health helps break down stereotypes, improve relationships, aid recovery and take the stigma out of something that affects us all.

Who is it for? Everyone! Students, sixth form, teaching staff, support staff, governors...

www.time-to-change.org.uk

 

MONEY MATTERS

Free School Meals iconFree School Meals

We are delighted that recent applications have risen and more students will receive free school meals.  If you believe you may be eligible, you can use the quick and easy online system to check.  Follow this link, input your details and the results will be emailed to you within minutes.

 https://cloudforedu.org.uk/ofsm/sims

 

 

Online Shopping

Did you know that whenever you shop online, your retailer could be making a donation to our school funds at no cost to you? We are now registered with easyfundraising.org.uk whoeasyfundraising icon have signed up over 3000 big name retailers willing to help schools raise money. Simply access your chosen retailer through the http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/ website to trigger the donation. Every transaction will help.

 

ABSENCE PROCEDURE

A high attendance rate for your child at school is vitally important if we are to maximise their learning opportunities.  Connected to attendance, we have reviewed and improved our process for supporting you when reporting a student absence.  To ensure that we collect the information to better help and support your child (and you), you will find that we are asking more questions of you about the type of illness and symptoms.  Depending on what symptoms your child has, we will also check with you whether if we put in some additional monitoring and support, you think they could come to school. Ultimately, we will be guided by you.  Caring for our students is a high priority and so we will of course continue to keep in touch with you as and when necessary.  As always, your support with this is much appreciated.

 

UNIFORM

We are currently focussing on ensuring that our high standards of uniform dress are consistent across the whole school, and we would appreciate your full support with this matter.

In particular:

  • Skirts must be navy knee-length and either ‘A’ line with kick-pleat or a straight non-clinging style;

  • Trousers must be either navy or grey tailored ‘school uniform’ trousers, not ‘drain-pipe’ or a tightly fitting style;

  • Shoes should be securely fitted plain black leather without logos, decorative bows or coloured trim.

Our recommended school uniform suppliers are:

Nationwide school uniforms - https://www.nationwideschooluniforms.co.uk/school-uniform/secondary-school/queen-elizabeth-s-grammar-horncastle/

Uniform Direct - https://www.uniform-direct.com/acatalog/Queen-Elizabeths-Grammar-School-Horncastle.html

For further details please see our school website or your child’s student planner.

 

LIBRARY NEWS

Reading Lists - We now have a variety of Recommended Reading Lists available to view online, accessed via the links on the Library sections of both the QEGS website and Moodle or directly at the Love Reading 4 Schools website. Lists currently available include those for Year 7, Year 8, Year 9, Age 14+ years, GCSE and Reluctant Readers.

Books from the lists can be purchased through the site at up to 25% discount and earn 5% commission for the school Jobson Library. Students and parents can download a free Opening Extract of most books to read before purchasing. You will be asked to register as a parent and create your own account. All you need is an email address and a password that you can remember. Registering is free, and very important as it enables us to earn commission. For every £100 spent by parents of our school we are given a £5 book voucher to purchase more books for our school library, benefiting your child even further. Once you have registered you will need to login each time you visit the school reading lists. After registration you will be sent to the QEGS book page where you can click on any of the book lists to see the recommended books.

http://www.lovereading4schools.co.uk/login/?fwd=viewschool/3131/favourite

Scholastic Book Club - The Librarians have an account with Scholastic whereby parents and staff can purchase books online. Many of the books are at greatly reduced prices and include recently published titles. The school benefits by receiving commission at the rate of 25p in every pound spent, which is used to buy new books for the Library.  You can view the whole selection at http://schools.scholastic.co.uk/queen-elizabeths-grammar-ln9

If we have a school Book Club order running at that time, you will receive free postage and packing to the school. However, if there is not, you can still place an order with free delivery on orders over £25. To ensure our school library receives commission on your order, please select ‘QEGS Horncastle’ when prompted at the checkout. Thank you.

Year 7 and Year 8 students will continue to receive the Scholastic Teen Book Club leaflet each term.

 

PE NEWS

6th form football; Mid-term season review - Sixth Form XI’s season to date has seen the side rise to second in the league standings having found consistency in recent Sixth Form Football Teamweeks following a stop-start beginning to the season. Three consecutive victories prior to Christmas boosted the side's record to Won 6, Lost 4, Scored 29, Conceded 19, the sixth win a 3-0 triumph at leaders Spalding.

The fixtures got underway on Carre's artificial surface, where QEGS lost 4-2, before a pair of 3-1 home wins over Deepings and Lincoln College (interrupted by the 3-2 loss in the National Cup at Boston Grammar). The season progressed into November with a pair of two-goal defeats against Priory Ruskins and Spalding, before an eye-catching 8-1 demolition of Boston College which proved to be the confidence booster required to unlock the potential the side showed glimpses of in the Autumn. Playing into the winter months Mr Cope's side racked up four wins in five, firstly the aforementioned thrashing of Boston College then victories over Boston Grammar (2-1, avenging a 3-2 home defeat to the same side a week prior), Boston College again- 4-2 this time- then leaders Spalding: 3-0.

The upturn in form has coincided with the shift to the traditional formation of English Football: 4-4-2. Underpinning the best displays of the year has been attacking performances consolidated by secure passing and a rigid defensive line. Personnel wise, Mr Cope has used 16 players in the first 11 matches, Captain Max Gowshall leading the goal charts with 9, followed by Jonathan Timmins (6). Assists have come most frequently from Alfie Lindsey (5) and Oli Dean (3).

Please see the school website for more in-depth match reports, which have been written by U6 student Christian James.

County Cross-County

On Saturday 19th January, 6 students travelled to Burghley House, Stamford to represent the district at the County Schools Cross Country Championships. Despite the cold and the rain, all 6 students ran extremely well against some very strong, seasoned runners. Alex Dunkley (Year 7) finished 33rd, Eve Herbert (Year 7) finished 48th, Alex Frick (Year 8) finished 27th, Oliver Cridland (Year 9) finished 37th, Chloe Pickering (Year 10) finished 48th and Matthew Spendlove (Year 10) finished 5th.

As Matthew finished in the top 12, he has now qualified for the Anglian Championships, which will take place on Saturday 2nd February at Abington Park, Northampton. We wish Matthew the best of luck!

U16 Netball Regional Finals, Soar Valley, Leicester – Loughborough High Schools Foundation was our first opponents, their GS and GK were tall, which was a telling feature of the match. We were very positive though and the game flowed end-to-end throughout. The positive was the ball was fed well into the shooting circle but the negative was we “fell short” in defence. Final score: 4-18.

After a review of all scores after the first round, QEGS knew that we had a good chance for all of the remaining matches. Next up was Repton. We had a strong start and won the first half with no errors made. This was a tight match that we were unlucky to only draw 5-5. A missed opportunity!

Oundle were to follow. The final score was 11-12 and was another match we should have won as the match is only two halves of seven minutes and yet again we were ahead at half-time, a silly mistake in seven minutes makes a difference to the final outcome.

Still buoyed by what was generally a fine performance, all the girls were playing very well together, even though the team comprised of Year 10 and Year 11 students. Not to be deterred our next opponents were Rushcliffe. Following the trend of leading at half-time our nerve wavered. We didn’t vary the tactics enough and they began to read our moves. We became too predictable and lost 8-12.

So to the final match – the play-off between the top two Lincolnshire Under-16 teams. QEGS going into the tournament as County winners were very confident of maintaining our leading title. Yet again, ahead at half-time, we held on to a fine win against KGGS, 12-9.

Overall, finishing ninth was a harsh but fair result. Those small margins in other matches could have ended up with a top five position. All of our players: Ella, Anna, Daisy, Lydia, Connie, Alice, Kirsty, Katie and Ellie were well challenged, provided answers, played well together and learnt the art of communication on a netball court.

Thanks to Mrs Parsons, Mrs Kemp and Mrs Samra for their help and support and taking us on the day.

 

SIXTH FORM

Next Steps for Study – We have now started our ‘Next Steps for Study’ programme with Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) which looks at why students might go to university, how to research choices and what would influence such choices. The programme also touches on and other aspects such as study styles, time management, student finance and presentation and debating skills.  This programme is aimed at L6 students and can be included on a UCAS form and involves two trips to BGU in Lincoln with a tour around the campus and experience of a lecture and seminar.  Twelve L6 students are taking part.

Sixth Form Applications for September 2019 – Members of Lower Sixth who joined us this year from other schools have been helping at the applications afternoons for external students.  They have kindly given their time to show applicants and their parents around and talk about the transition into Sixth Form.  The new students have proved to be excellent hosts, staying on to help our visitors fill in their application forms, chat about their subjects, serving (and sampling) the tea and biscuits.  

VESPA (Vison, Effort, Systems, Practice, Attitude)  - From January onwards, Lower Sixth students will be undertaking a series of activities in Form time and PHSE lessons that are aimed at raising aspirations, boosting independent learning skills and increasing resilience.

Absence From School During the winter months it is more important than ever to contact the school if you know your son or daughter is going to be absent, particularly if they drive to school.  Please ring the school before 9:00 am each day of absence.  It is acceptable in the first instance if a Sixth Former rings in to report sick but we must have this followed up with a call from parents, just to let us know that you are aware that they are off school and at home.  We send texts from our electronic registration system to alert you that your son or daughter is not in school; if you change mobile numbers, please don’t forget to let us know.

Mock Exams – Mock exams will take place 25-28 Feb, as soon as students return from the February Half Term. It’s never too early to revise.

Student Assistance And Support (SAS) - Following the success of this programme last year, thirteen Lower Sixth students have been selected to help run GCSE revision sessions at Banovallum School on Saturday mornings. 

Arts Steering Committee – L6 student Vanessa Ankude has been chosen to sit on a steering committee, whose aim is to provide advice on community engagement with diversity in the arts in Lincolnshire and to set up projects to address this.  Vanessa is the only student on the committee which includes university lecturers, Headteachers and theatre directors

Certificate In Financial Studies – Most of our Sixth Form students will take this subject as their enrichment in either Lower or Upper Sixth.  Accredited by the London Institute of Banking and Finance, it teaches students about different aspects of finance from credit cards to mortgages and insurance. L6 students Aaron, Luke and Yousef took their interest a step further recently when the joined the LIBF ‘Autumn University’ in London where they spent time looking at courses on offer, learning about the big financial institutions and visiting the Bank of England, as well as experiencing life in the city. 

Music – This year’s Music Committee is: Greg Carter, Matthew Eggleton, Enny Hewitt, Emily Smith, Erin Taylor, Alice Verdon and Imraan Zakaria.  They were instrumental (pun intended) in helping Mrs Addis and Mrs Brown organise and run the Christmas Concert which was held in St Mary’s Church, Horncastle.  As always, it was a super concert and this year’s retiring collection was for Horncastle Food Bank.  Grade 8 – Recent Grade 8 passes to be celebrated:  Matthew Eggleton and Enny Hewitt (flute) and George Wookey (Saxophone)

Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire’s Cadet – We were delighted to find out recently that Joshua Chapman (L6) has been appointed this year’s Lincolnshire Lord Lieutenant’s Army Cadet.  His role is to accompany the Lord Lieutenant, Mr Toby Dennis, to official events and he recently met Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire’s Cadet The Princess Royal at Market Rasen.  Other duties this year have involved the Remembrance Day parade in Lincoln when Joshua took the salute with the Lord Lieutenant, and the Remembrance Service in the Cathedral.  If you’d like to know more about the Army Cadets and Joshua’s appointment, please follow this link:

Army Cadets - Lincolnshire ACF NewsSenior Adult Volunteer Colonel Jeremy Field MBE, Commandant of Lincolnshire ACF, commenting on the East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association website said:” Cadet Staff Sergeant Chapman is an excellent role model for the Army Cadet Force. He has sound leadership qualities and is a competent Senior Cadet Instructor who always manages to engage his students.  “He will prove to be an outstanding ambassador as the Lincolnshire Lord Lieutenant’s Army Cadet.” 

Social Committee – Lower Sixth students Ellie Corrigan-Clarke, Ellie McCanna and Ella Pearson
have joined the Social Committee to help with ideas, event planning and will carry the committee forward next September.  Plans for the U6 Ball are taking shape, the likely venue is The Lincoln Hotel up by the cathedral.

 

PARENTS’ ASSOCIATION

The BIG Challenge

 

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

FEBRUARY

 

6 (Wed)

6th Form Application Afternoon

7 (Thurs)

Intermediate Maths Challenge

8 -11  (Fri-Mon)

Madrid Trip

13 (Wed)

Y11 Parents’ Evening, 7 pm

14-15 (Thurs-Fri)

Y10 Stop the Clock

14 (Thurs)

Choir Fest 7.30pm

15(Fri)

End of term

25(Mon)

Term begins

25-28(Mon-Thurs)

6th Form Mock Exams

MARCH

 

6 (Wed)

6th Form Application Afternoon

7 (Thurs)

World Book Day

7 (Thurs)

A level Music Recital 4.30pm

14 (Thurs)

Y9 Parents’ Evening

22-24 (Fri-Sun)

D of E Silver Expedition

25-26 (Mon-Tues)

Y9 Stop the Clock

27 (Wed)

Closing date for Sixth Form Applications

28 (Thurs)

Spring Concert 7.30pm

APRIL

 

4 (Thurs)

L6 Parents’ Evening

5-12 (Fri-Fri)

Ski Trip, Aprica resort, N Italy

5 (Fri)

End of Term