Welcome to our Easter Newsletter 2023
I hope you and your families are enjoying the Easter break as much as the children on the ski trip!
As we all know, if you’re not going forwards, you’re going backwards. There is no such thing as standing still, and if we are to ensure that our children can compete in an ever-changing educational and employment landscape, we must be prepared to adapt. With this in mind, the governors and the SMT have been working on a school strategy to move the school forward to benefit our pupils. Some of the plans are now in play, and hopefully, when you have read the newsletter, you’ll find that we are far from standing still!
When I received the seemingly endless newsletter submissions from staff, I was overwhelmed – not with the quantity but the quality. This quality fills me with pride in being part of something very special that the pupils, the parents and the staff are creating. I am proud to be part of a school where:
- Our culture of excellence and innovation permeates every aspect of our school.
- Staff constantly strive to improve our curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, and professional development.
- A strong sense of community and collaboration binds us as a school family.
- We value and respect each other’s differences and celebrate each other’s strengths.
- We support and encourage each other in times of challenge and celebrate each other’s successes.
On behalf of the governing body, I would like to inform you of the tuition fee restructuring as a result of the governors’ finance review. Fees are payable from Tuesday, 6th September.
The governing body continues to look at every area of expenditure in the school to make reductions where possible and ensure that our administrative and overhead costs are kept as low as possible so that our investment in resources to benefit all our pupils can be maintained.
Tower College is a registered charity and does not make a profit for owners or shareholders; any surplus is required by law to be reinvested in the facilities and activities of the school. We ensure that your fees are invested in the school to provide the children with the best educational experience.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the payment of school fees or would like to take the opportunity to make your payments every month, please get in touch with Mrs Potter by telephone at 0151 426 4333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On behalf of the governing body and all the staff, please may I thank you for choosing Tower College for your children.
Stationary Year 6
One of our main aims is to inspire our children to be their best selves. We hope that by fostering a nurturing and enriching environment, we provide a well-rounded education allowing our pupils to thrive in the modern world. We recognise that regular curriculum reviews with appropriate adaptations are necessary to provide the best possible educational provision.
We believe that it is in the best interests of our pupils that Year 6 becomes a stationary class with a permanent class teacher. The current Year 5 class have been making excellent progress with Miss Midgley. And we would like to continue with this nurturing environment for one more year.
Mr Sweeney, who has been working with our Year 6 cohort, will become the new Year 6 class teacher in September 2023. We will arrange an information evening in the summer term so that pupils and parents in our current Year 5 class can meet Mr Sweeney and learn about some of the things he has planned. This said, Year 6 will still be able to access an enhanced curriculum. Time has been allocated for specialist subject teachers from the Middle & Upper Schools to provide specialist lessons. This will provide our pupils with a well-rounded education and better prepare them for the transition to Year 7.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with Mrs Gibson; she will be happy to arrange a meeting to discuss any queries you may have.
A warm welcome to our new staff
We have appointed new teachers to all our vacant positions, and we look forward to welcoming them to our school community. In the meantime, we have secured subject specialist teachers as temporary staff members until all our new teachers begin. The appointed staff have kindly shared a little bit about themselves.
My name is Miss Stedman; however, this time next year, I will be known as Mrs Poole!
I am thrilled to be appointed as the new Chemistry teacher; what a wonderful school! I have already had the pleasure of meeting with some pupils during my v
Click HERE to read more about Miss Stedman and our other newly appointed staff.
Spotlight On RHSE
You may be aware that RSHE is in the spotlight due to questions raised by a group of MPs and in the media about the content of some teaching materials. Though problematic materials do exist — thankfully, they are in the minority. Please be reassured that all our material undergoes scrutiny from the SMT before it is allowed to be used.
We know how much importance so many of our parents place on age and developmental appropriateness, alongside the need to avoid, for example, being instructional in harmful behaviours or biased. We use the PHSE Association platform for guidance and resources for these reasons. The following is taken from a recent missive from them …
We also wanted to assure you about the rigour with which we approach creating, and quality assuring, teaching materials to ensure their compliance as well as effectiveness and appropriateness. For example, as part of organisational due diligence, in 2022 we commissioned a KC-led legal review of our resources, guidance and policies related to gender identity to check compliance with relevant laws, regulations and guidance (including the Equality Act 2010, the Education Act 1996 and the Department for Education statutory and non-statutory guidance). The KC concluded that our materials are lawful, and compliant with government guidance and that a court would be likely to find them well-balanced, clear, comprehensible and inclusive.
Best wishes, The PSHE Association team
Our Very Own Forest School
A few weeks ago, Mr Morgan took his children to a forest school in Warrington; they loved it! He thought the children at Tower could have just as good a time playing and learning – if only we had a forest school. He floated the idea with Mr Barr and Mr Barbar, who agreed it would be an excellent addition to the children’s learning experience.
If you’re wondering what a forest school is, it’s a type of outdoor education that encourages children to learn through nature and play. It’s based on the idea that children are naturally curious and creative, and they can develop skills like resilience, problem-solving, teamwork and self-confidence by exploring the natural environment.
The team did some research and found out that there are many benefits of a forest school for children’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. Some of these benefits include:
- Improved immune system and reduced risk of allergies and asthma
- Enhanced sensory awareness and motor skills
- Increased concentration and memory
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Higher self-esteem and motivation
- Greater creativity and imagination
- Better social skills and empathy
All this they brought to a meeting with me. I only needed a little convincing as the team highlighted the benefits in the list above. But what really sold it was Mr Morgan’s impromptu drawing of his forest school vision.
No sooner said than done!
Amazingly, it took the team just one week to complete the stunning forest school. Please watch the video to see how the photo above would look if it were taken now- see a remarkable vision realised in a week.
Thank you, Mr Morgan, Mr Barr and Mr Barbar, for your innovation and hard work. I can’t wait to see the children’s excitement when they return from the Easter break and access the school.
Library Report by Taylor, Year 11
As avid readers, we are keen to encourage as many of our fellow pupils to share our love of literature. To help make the library more user-friendly, we have used a simplified version of the internationally recognised library classification system for non-fiction books – the ‘Dewey Classification system.
Books are stored using a high-level ‘Dewey’ reference number to introduce pupils to the Dewey Classification System. We have created labels with mini images related to the topic and a description to help pupils understand the lower levels of Dewey and allow them to locate subjects of interest quickly and easily. Hopefully, this will help to foster a passion for reading.
Sarah, Mariam, and I have thoroughly enjoyed making our library a place to relax, unwind, and, most importantly, share our love of reading. We are always in the library on Thursday lunchtime, and we will happily advise and give recommendations to pupils about their book choices. We hope to see some more pupils in the library soon!
Taylor, Sarah and Mariam. Year 11.
I want to add my special thanks to Mrs Corcoran for all the improvements she has made since taking over managing the library.
A balanced diet is not a cookie in both hands!
As a staff member, I can bring food from home (pre-bought or homemade) or skip lunch altogether. But I choose to have lunch in our diner. This is for two reasons: 1) It allows me precious time with the pupils, and 2) The food is glorious!
The diner offers various dishes, including vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and dairy. The portions are a good size, and the calories are controlled. Chef Ian and Chef Phil follow the dietary guidelines and standards set by the government and the school.
A rotating menu features different cuisines from around the world, such as Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Indian, and more. The dishes are cooked with fresh ingredients and seasoned with herbs and spices. The canteen also caters to different preferences and needs, such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, halal, and more. I always look forward to trying new dishes and flavours in the canteen.
The feedback from pupils and staff has been overwhelmingly positive. Many have commented on how much they enjoy the new food, how it makes them feel more energized and satisfied, and how it improves their mood and concentration. Some have even said they look forward to lunchtime more than ever before.
We are happy with the results of this change, and we hope you are too. Good food is essential for learning, and we want to provide the best possible experience for our school community. We thank Thomas Franks, Chef Ian and his team for their excellent work.
Ski Trip 2023
If you have been to our Facebook page in the last couple of days, you will have already seen the amazing pictures of what promises to be an outstanding trip.
I would like to thank the staff who are making this trip possible. As the photographs attest, they are not only providing the children with a fun and unforgettable experience but also an opportunity to learn new skills, challenge themselves, and enjoy the natural beauty of nature. The staff are Miss Deane, Mrs Turner, Mrs Riley, Miss Midgley, Mr Taylor and Mr Glover – Thank you!
I’m not one for singling out individual staff members, but as I know just how much preparation goes into running a trip like this, I must bring special mention to Mr Glover, who has been planning this trip for over a year. Running a ski trip nowadays requires high-level organisation skills and phenomenal attention to detail – especially if you’re taking a group of 48 children of different ages. I don’t think I have seen a trip checklist quite like his! Thank you, Mr Glover, for making this happen – and keep taking the photos!
And finally …
Well, that’s it from me (apart from an Open Day reminder) and this short video that shows the difficulty of making really important decisions. I hope you enjoy the rest of the newsletter as much as I did.Open Day – 20th April 2023 (click)
Wishing you all a restful and happy Easter holiday!