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High School: 31 October 2016

31 October 2016

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It was great to see so many parents of Year 11 and Year 13 students at last week's Parent/Student/Teacher meetings, the first of this year.

Over the next few weeks, teachers will be reporting on students in Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) and Years 10 and 12, and I have included a reminder of the dates when these Grade Reports will be published, and of these Year groups' Parent/Student/Teacher Meetings, as well as this week's events, in the calendar below. On Thursday this week we begin the Year 9 Option Choices process with a Parents' Information Evening, and look forward to seeing many of you at this, or at Parent/Student/Teacher Meetings later this term.

I have written a lot about our new What makes a Great St Andrews Community? document in recent weeks, but parents of students who joined the school this year may not know that this follows in the footsteps of a similar What makes a Great St Andrews lesson? document, created by all the High School teachers three years ago:


What makes a Great St Andrews lesson?


Activities and Engagement:

  • Learning objectives, and expected outcomes, are clearly understood by all students.

  • Students are fully engaged in a happy, supportive and stimulating environment, that fosters trust, fairness and respect.

  • Planning, activities and resources take into account prior learning and the teachers' knowledge of the students and the lesson is appropriately inspiring and challenging for every student in the class, from the moment they enter the classroom.

  • Supporting staff (where appropriate) are utilised as an integral part of the lesson.


Assessment and Progress:

  • Evidence of a range of formative assessment practices, e.g. self- and peer-assessment and rich questioning.

  • Assessment informs both students and teachers of progress, related to the learning objectives and/or appropriate criteria.

  • Assessment informs both planning and learning, with meaningful feedback, and feedforward, directing students to next steps.

  • All students make progress, related to both the learning objectives and appropriate criteria.



  • Students are encouraged to develop their abilities as enquiring, risk-taking, independent learners, who can think creatively, critically and reflectively.

  • Students are encouraged to develop their growth mindsets, persisting in the face of setbacks and seeing effort as the path to mastery.

  • Students are encouraged to develop their abilities of communication and collaboration, using the physical, linguistic, cognitive and social-emotional strands of the Oracy Skills Framework.

  • Students and teachers demonstrate personal, local and global responsibility.

  • Students are given the opportunity to make connections, both to the real world and to their work in other subjects.

It is this document that forms the basis of the discussion whenever teachers observe each others' lessons. This is something that we have being doing more and more in recent years to ensure that we can continue to share best practice and make teaching and learning in the High School better every year.


Last week Ms Jen and I observed all those teachers who joined the High School in August, and it was really enjoyable to visit so many Great St Andrews lessons, seeing:

*One Year 8 Tutor Group creating a Maths Trail, from Maths found around the campus, in their Maths lesson, and then using some of the same Maths in their Art lesson to create William Morris-style designs.

*Year 8 Spanish students having very detailed discussions about their plans for their social lives, in a level of Spanish that is muy superbo for students who only began studying the language last year, or even this year for some students in the class.

*Year 10 Chemistry students working their way through a number of different experiments and identifying the different types of reactions taking place.

*Year 10 Economics students simulating the Tokyo Tuna Market, investigating Market Equilibrium.

Year 10 Biology students modeling and exploring up close the human digestive system, which got very messy at times.

Year 8 Science students exploring the dark side of the moon, using their bodies to simulate the rotation of the earth and moon, and using Oreo cookies to model the phases of the moon.

Year 10 Thai Language students developing their use of the five senses to write descriptive and engaging pieces of work from interesting pictures.


This week Ms Jen and I will be visiting English lessons throughout the week, as the first in a cycle of weeks spent visiting lessons in each Department/Faculty for the remainder of the year. I will give you regular updates on some of the Great St Andrews lessons that we see, both in future Newsletters and on the school's Facebook page...


Mr Roo


Year 11 National Art Gallery Trip


An essential part of any GCSE Art project is to gather visual and contextual information. This has been especially important for the stimulus of Year 11 students’ mock exam project, with the theme of “Force”. On Friday 28th October, our group of creative practitioners visited the National Gallery, where the 62nd National Art exhibition was being held.

Students were able to take inspiration from an eclectic mix of Thai artists’ work and were treated to a guided tour of the gallery by one of the senior curators, ably translated by Pat. After a brief pizza stop, they were off again making sketches and taking photographs of Pinklao bridge and Pra Sumen fort. This was a brilliant start to a challenging project, and a great way to end the week.

High School Calendar: Term 1

Saturday 29th October – Thursday 3rd November

International Award Practise Journey

Monday 31st November

Year 8 Science Trip: Bang Pu

Thursday 3rd November

Year 9 Options: Parents' Information Evening

Friday 4th November

Year 9 Options Assembly

Saturday 5th November

SAT Tests

Saturday 5th November – Tuesday 8th November

Year 13 Operation Smile Trip

Friday 18th November

Year 7, 8 and 9 Grade Reports published

Tuesday 22nd November

Year 7 Parent/Student/Teacher Meetings

Thursday 24th November

Year 8 Parent/Student/Teacher Meetings

Friday 25th November

Year 10 and 12 Grade Reports published

Tuesday 29th November

Year 9 Parent/Student/Teacher Meetings

Thursday 1st December

Year 10 Parent/Student/Teacher Meetings

Tuesday 6th December

Year 12 Parent/Student/Teacher Meetings