Golden Tickets are presented when students show attributes towards an IB Learner Profile, receive House Points or a weekly Praise Postcard from a teacher. As well as celebrating achievement at Compass, we also acknowledge the effort students make in developing their character. We specifically work on developing our core values to have courage, to be ambitious, to have integrity, be respectful and to be open. The half-term rewards ranged from non-uniform day to pizza and doughnuts. The rewards increase throughout the year and will culminate in an end of year trip for all the students drawn from the tombola.
The House System is being relaunched with Mrs. Welch and Mr. Nixon leading the charge. Pupils in Year 7 and 8 started their first House competition of the year. Pupils have been challenged to create an original and entertaining house chant or cheer. They also need to write a manifesto for their house and finally produce a flag depicting their house emblem. The entries will be judged in assembly on Monday, 4 November. I have already seen the engagement from the students, walking around school at the break times there has been a real buzz in different groups regarding the tasks set. One student challenged me "what rhymes with North?". Email the main reception with your suggestions! I have been part of schools with a strong history of House Competition and I'm extremely proud that this is being taken to the next stage here at MK. The first inter-house competition due to take place is Volleyball.
World Mental Health Day saw us launch our emotional wellbeing programme of study with Year 11. The first session on stress management and mindfulness was led by our ALN Co-ordinators. We are privileged to have qualified Psychologists and Counsellors in our Compass Team at Madinat Khalifa who can adapt to the specific needs of our students. I have been reflecting on how we as a school can improve on this. We will ensure that the sessions are spread amongst the other year groups after the Year 11s have completed the pilot unit. In school, we have a mindfulness ECA and two fully trained counselors. It reminded me of an article I read about a school in America that has ditched detentions and replaced them with yoga sessions and the culture that this creates in a school. Is this going too far?
I believe we all play a part in the mental health, and indeed mental strength of our children and students. In the ICT department, the teacher entered 9 students early for their IGCSE in Year 10. This means that they are carrying out an additional GCSE in Computer Science this year. I walked into the computing lesson to hear the teacher praising some students for the work they were doing independently. What was different about this conversation though, was that 20 minutes earlier the same students were frustrated and had ‘given up’, they were not going to attempt a task that they couldn’t do. Sometimes society is developing into one that does not allow children to fail. It makes them feel uncomfortable and so should be avoided at all costs. As parents, we are making sure that our children don't get upset. They will learn a far bigger lesson from being in ‘the pit’ and learning how to overcome those challenges.
We have a strong growth mindset culture in this school. One that embraces the ‘learning pit’ – the emotions that we find ourselves feeling when we are challenged and at the bottom of the pit, and also the emotions and skills required to make a success of being challenged. We speak to the children about failing, and the role models that have failed along the way before they succeed. What else can we all do to achieve this?
I thought I would use this as an opportunity for a few reminders for a strong start back after half term:
- Uniform – students should wear shoes. Hoodies are not permitted, however, school jumpers can be purchased from the Unimart shop.
- Food – please send your child to school with a healthy lunch. Please note that MK is a nut-free site.
- Medicine – the School Nurse cannot prescribe paracetamol. If your child needs it, then they should bring it in and the School Nurse can regulate the medication when given to her/him.
- Morning registration. Form time begins at 07:15. To allow time to go to the locker and walk upstairs, students should arrive at MK for 07:05.
- Absence – please email MK reception if they are going to be absent from school due to illness or at a medical appointment.
- Long term absence – if there may be a planned absence, then the school's Absence Request Form should be completed. This can be requested from the Main Reception.
Head of Secondary, Madinat Khalifa