We have spent the start of term talking a lot about the importance of learning and gaining knowledge- not just to do well in exams but to also have the facts to make sense of the world we live in!  
I think it is helpful to think of 4 really important bits to this:
(a) Acquiring knowledge in the first place.  This is why it is so important to be in school in the first place and to be actively engaged in lessons so that the brain is starting to store facts.  What we learn in school can be added to, for example by independent research, chatting to adults and watching the news regularly.
(b) Organising knowledge.  Over time, we learn lots of things.  At some point we need to organise what we know- a bit like a sorting exercise for the brain! Some people use mindmaps, other people like flash cards or knowledge organisers. You need to find what works for you so try different things.
(c) Memorising knowledge.  This is the bit most of us find hardest.  How do we get our brain to be able to recall specific facts and link them together? We have to train our brain to do this as it will not automatically happen.
(d) Applying knowledge.  It is not enough to know a list of facts.  We need to practice how we can use these facts in different contexts.  This is where online tools such as My Maths, Doddle and BBC Bitsesize are brilliant- as are past papers from your teachers.
For parents and carers, please do not hesitate to contact us if you need advice on resources and revision guides that can support learning.  We are always keen to sign post resources.
Good luck!

As we head into 2019 with new resolutions and hopes for the future, we intend to keep it simple- we want to be the best version of Sprowston Community Academy that we can be!

This means:

(A) Maintaining a positive and purposeful culture where achievement and effort are rewarded and behaviour and attitudes to learning are good

(B) Making sure we all know how to acquire, learn and can apply knowledge so that we do as well as we can in exams and make sense of the world we live in

(C) Prioritising well-being and mental health. We want to be a school that is kind and where we look after each other and celebrate our differences as well as our shared purposes

I wish all our students, staff and families a very Happy New Year and hope that this year brings happiness, personal success and fulfillment.

As we get to the end of a busy term, it's always good to reflect.

Last week we had a visit from Jim Nixon, ex Head teacher at Great Yarmouth High and CNS. He couldn't believe how much the school has changed since he last visited and told us that if he was Head teacher here, he would be very proud.

I am exceptionally proud.

This term, we set ourselves 3 key aims:

  1. To Improve the culture and behaviour for learning in school by adopting clearer and more consistent expectations.
  2. To make sure our lessons, curriculum and assessments get our students ready for the more "knowledge rich" examinations.
  3. To make sure the well-being of our students and staff is paramount in everything that we do.

We think we have come a long way in achieving these aims but we are not complacent and we know we still have work to do.

We have also been listening carefully to the voice of our parents and carers and responding to the things that you identify as areas of improvement. This week I will be sending out a "You said, we did" email to explain our responses so far.

We are so lucky to work with amazing students and supportive families. Thank you so much. Have a fantastic holiday when it comes and see you in 2019!

We've been using this phrase in the staff-room. We are in that "bit" between Bonfire Night and Spring when everything feels a bit dark and gloomy. With the possible exception of Christmas, there is not a lot to look forward to and it is harder and harder to get out of bed!

The message is clear. It is OK to not be OK. What is important is that we talk to each other and don't feel that we have to pretend to be alright if we're not.

I want our students to get the same message. This can be a tough time- especially for Y9 choosing options and Y11 and Y13 approaching their mocks. We all have different things going on in our lives and pressures that we sometimes keep to ourselves. I want our school to be an emotionally safe place where it is OK to ask for help.

There are lots of people who you can talk to in school:
Your form tutor
A teacher or member of the support staff you get on well with
Your Head of Year or Inclusion Co-ordinator
Mrs Purton or Miss Clark in Compass
Staff in the ARC or Pathways
Me- just because I am Headteacher, doesn't mean I can't listen!

Please look after each other and let us look after you.

Friday was one of those magical days that don't get captured in league tables and government statistics. All of our staff and students were totally on board to share one goal- raising as much money as possible for Children In Need.

From cake sales and films clubs to karaoke; from splatting teachers with cream pies to table tennis tournaments, students and staff led activities that made us smile and made us laugh. Above all there was a sense of togetherness and mutual support. These are the days that our students will remember forever and these are the days that will truly shape them as young people.

Standing in the Hall at lunchtime, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of pride for our school, our staff and our students. When the email came through to say that we had raised £1708.16 including £402.65 at lunchtime alone I realised (not for the first time) that I have the best job in the world leading our amazing school.

Have a fantastic week.

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