- Message from the Headteacher
- You will be greatly missed
- Headteacher’s Commendation
- Work Experience
- Quality in Careers Standard
- Year 7 Swimming Star
- QEHS celebrates Mayflower 400
- Sixth Form Updates
- Performing Arts Star!
- Road Safety Advice
- Music Success
- Drama Star
- Student Community Ambassador
- Severe Weather and School Closures
- Key Dates
I would like to begin by thanking all of those parents who have wished me well for my next challenge after QEHS. I will of course be sad to go; my association with QEHS goes back to 1979 and it has been an honour to serve the school for the last 11 years as its Headteacher. I have always seen myself as the custodian of the school and recognise the work of Headteachers in the past and of course the ones to come in the future.
On a personal note, my first time in the school was in the summer term of 1979 when we were being shown around as top year juniors on an induction day. We were welcomed by Mr Pape, now sadly passed away, but the rest of the school was empty. As was relatively common in the late 1970s, there was a bomb scare and I was surprised to see my father walking down the corridor, who was the local detective dealing with the situation. In contravention of all Health and Safety, Mr Pape took the opportunity to show us around the school ‘whilst it was quiet’ as the rest of the boys took refuge on the school field.
I hope that my association with the school doesn’t end in 2020 and that I can still keep in touch with colleagues and parents once I have handed over the reins to the next incumbent.
This time of year sees the school change up a gear as we leave winter behind and start to look towards spring and of course the summer exams; particularly for those students taking GCSEs and A Levels. Our upper school students will now be in full exam preparation mode; finalising coursework and completing the content of their courses, clearing the way for the focused preparation required for success. I know that our students will face this challenge with the same attitude that they approach all aspects of school life and I wish them well in the summer. Luck isn’t part of the process, just well-planned and well-executed preparation. To help parents and students I have included some tips and guidance below for exam preparation.
So as the daffodils and tulips start to give way to blackthorn and cherry blossom during Term 4, I hope you all have a relaxing half term.
Helping your child to prepare for exams at home
We know that all parents/guardians want to help and support their children when revising for examinations. However, many also ask us for guidance as to how they can provide that help to ensure that the examinations are as stress-free as possible. Below are some hints that might be useful for parents/guardians and students:
Preparing for exams is a three-part process.
- Make sure you know what it is you have to learn for the exam. Use the specification (all of which are available on the exam board websites or from the W drive), to organise your notes so that you only revise what you actually have to know. Then make notes on the material that are as concise as possible. Mind-maps can be useful for those who like them but they don’t work for everybody. Whatever you do, your notes should be very concise; a good rule of thumb is that your notes should be 20% of the original text.
- Learn the material. This is a process which can’t be rushed so you need to start early. The act of learning has to be active; it is no good just reading the material. Try copying out your notes from memory, checking against the original, making corrections and then copying it out again. There are no magic short-cuts to learning content; students have to put the work and the hours in. However, every student at QEHS is capable of learning the material. The higher grades are gained by those that are willing to put the time into doing so.
- Practice doing exams. This is a crucial element. Each exam board will have a particular style of questioning, with which students need to become familiar. Read the mark-schemes, as these provide an invaluable insight into what the examiner is looking for. Most examiners are also teachers and will be marking after a long day at work; make it easy for them by writing the phrases you are told to look for!
Revise in an environment similar to the exam hall. Whilst you can’t replicate a large hall with 90 chairs and tables, you can re-create a clean desk and silent conditions. Working to music is good for some aspects of work but when revising, particularly the learning and practising elements, it is much better to work at a clear desk in silence.
Don’t procrastinate. Avoid kidding yourself by saying things like, ‘I will work harder’ or ‘I will complete my coursework’. Whilst these are good motivational thoughts, in the end thoughts won’t get good grades. Actually ‘doing’ will get the grades - so don’t ‘just have a drink’ or ‘check emails’ before doing the work; get on with it now!
Aim high. Revise as though you have to get an A* (or a 9 in English and Mathematics), irrespective of your target grade or tier of entry. Don’t let any topic pass by without you working sufficiently long, so that you finally understand it and don’t miss bits of the specification out in the hope they won’t come up. Taking this approach will reduce your anxiety levels about the exam as you will know that whatever comes up, you have it covered.
Start early...start now. Preparation for exams is a lengthy process, particularly when you have 10 or more subjects to prepare for at GCSE. Therefore you need to start early to avoid a panic and a rush as we get ever closer to the exams. Preparing for 10 or more GCSEs to be taken over several weeks is a complex operation. You therefore need a shared plan in the household as to what exams are when, and how you will ensure each exam’s preparation is at its optimum, just as the exam comes up. The exam timetable will be made available to students soon and it will also be on the school website at the same time. Pin a copy on the fridge or a notice board somewhere where everybody can see it.
Mr D Allsop
By now most of you will have heard the news that Mr Allsop will be leaving QEHS over the summer.
In my 12 years associated with the school as a parent and Governor, Mr Allsop has never failed to impress me with the care, commitment and dedication he has shown to the school, its pupils and staff.
The school and Governing Body will reflect how best to mark Mr Allsop’s time at QEHS. You will know yourselves the many strengths of his leadership and his contribution in raising the profile of the school and embedding it into the wider Gainsborough community. We are truly grateful to him.
The Governors have started the process of recruiting the new Headteacher of Queen Elizabeth’s High School. We have secured the professional expertise of respected advisors with a track record of success in the appointment of grammar school leaders to support us in this process.
Rest assured, the Governing Body will work tirelessly on your behalf to make an appointment which builds upon Mr Allsop’s legacy to secure the continued provision of excellent opportunities for all students. Meanwhile, Mr Allsop will continue to work with our dedicated staff to ensure that the school enjoys another highly successful year.
Dr Julian White
Chair of Governors
Congratulations to Rebekah Oatridge, 9S, who received this term’s Headteacher’s Commendation following nomination by Mr Fearn and Mr Rigby. Rebekah was nominated for being professional, caring and mature; sharing experiences and skills to help others and being readily available to assist student voice, rehearsals and auditions.
Year 10 and 12 - take steps now to meet the deadline!
A lot of students who have opted to carry out work experience in July have made a real effort to secure a placement, but the competitive nature of work experience means that currently only 40 students from Years 10 and 12 have their work experience places booked.
TIME IS RUNNING OUT! For any Year 10 or Year 12 student who wishes to take part in the programme and has NOT yet booked or applied for a placement.
The FINAL deadline for all placement paperwork to be handed in is FRIDAY 20 MARCH 2020. However, I would encourage any student (whether in Year 10 or 12) considering a placement more than 35 miles from QEHS (out of area), to finalise this as soon as possible. Please remember, out of area placements will incur additional charges, from the outside agency, EBP.
Year 10 please use the online form to update your progress: https://www.qehs.lincs.sch.uk/form/15
The Lincolnshire EBP has a strict deadline for work placement details to ensure the safety of students whilst on placement. Risk assessments are carried out for over 5,000 students annually, which necessitates a lead time of 3-4 months, with agencies outside Lincolnshire often taking longer than this.
Students should really aim to hand in placement forms a few weeks before the final deadline, which will give me enough “wriggle room” to sort out any potential queries! Forms returned on 20 March which are incomplete/inaccurate/without written confirmation, will probably not be processed and therefore will not be able to go ahead.
I would advise students to use the holiday week to contact or chase up employers by letter, phone, email or even call in. There is strong competition for work placements in July from schools in Lincoln, Scunthorpe and Retford, so it is vital that QEHS students make it a priority to submit applications to employers. Employers who regularly take students for work experience are aware of the lead time needed for risk assessments to be done and there is no harm in pointing out to them that their placement confirmation needs to be given to the student before the 20 March.
The medical/additional needs questionnaires for Year 10 students were sent home with the students in January. A number of these have been completed and returned to school but if your child receives a reminder, please ensure the fully completed form is returned to school as soon as possible.
Thank you to all parents/guardians who have been supporting the students through the work experience process. I am sure the efforts of all concerned will be rewarded with worthwhile placements.
Mrs J Thorpe
Work Experience Co-ordinator
It is fantastic to hear that Jennifer Walker (7D) was the overall winner in her age group (11 year old girls) for Retford Swimming Club Championships, what a star!
Keep up to date on all other sporting news:
This year sees the Gainsborough community celebrate Mayflower 400. To commemorate Alumni John Robinson (Mayflower Pilgrim leader), QEHS is to host a 17th Century Banquet on Saturday 25 April 2020.
Click here to view your Mayflower 400 Invitation
Please feel free to circulate the invitation amongst your family, friends and Alumni, and contact me at QEHS via the School Office if there is anything you would wish to discuss further.
We do hope you will join us on what promises to be an enjoyable evening.
Mrs J McGrath
Community Relations Officer
The Gainsborough Academy Careers Fair
We supported the careers fair at The Gainsborough Academy on Wednesday 5 February. It was a great success with a lot of other colleges and businesses there too. Our sixth form students met and spoke to students from Years 7-11. Thanks goes to Audra Morris, Dom Curry, Harry Swinhoe, Liv Wilkinson, Amy White, Kinga Soltysiak and Eva Tremelling who gave up their time to be involved in the day.
Sixth Form Drivers
There is a great car park facility used solely by Sixth Form students at the back of College House, a space can be reserved each term for the cost of £10. If you are a Sixth Form student who already drives to school and parks on the road, or those new motorists who have just passed their driving test, why not try out our safe, secure car park. Mrs Housham will inform students by email when these spaces become available to reserve on ParentMail. Be quick though, as there are only 27 spaces!!
Congratulations to Performing Arts talent Bethany Qualter (13A), having achieved 2 Grade 8 LAMDA distinctions! Bethany has been awarded the highest possible level (equivalent to A Level) in both Communication and Performance. Outstanding work!
Hey, did you know about @QEHSScience?
Follow us on Twitter for all the latest Science action, including STEM activities:
Congratulations to QEHS students who have once again achieved great success in their music practical and theory exams:
Erin Chambers 9C passed Grade 2 Piano
Lily Dakin 8E passed Grade 2 Clarinet
Adam Croft 13B passed Grade 3 Alto Sax
Hollie Wilson 11D passed Grade 5 Flute
Thomas Bailey 9B passed Grade 7 Piano
Alice Davies 9E passed Grade 1 Guitar with Merit
Ethan Royston-Lee 8E passed Grade 1 Clarinet with Merit
Lewis Kerr 8C passed Grade 2 Piano with Merit
Oli Daubney 7D passed Grade 2 Flute with Merit
Grace Overvoorde 9D passed Grade 4 Oboe with Merit
Suzanne Timms 9A passed Grade 5 Alto Sax with Merit
A special mention goes to:
Madeleine Walton 8S who passed Grade 5 Piano with Merit and Grade 5 Music Theory with Distinction (97%)
Isabelle Martin 8C who passed Grade 2 Piano and Grade 5 Flute, both with Merit.
Excellent results were earned by:
Liya Binoy 8A who passed Grade 2 Cello with Distinction
Elizabeth Hagon 13E who passed Grade 8 Oboe with Distinction.
Well done to all!
Mrs B Henighan
Congratulations to Bassetlaw Youth Council member Reece Hancock on his award from the Youth Council in December 2019. Councillor Debbie Merryweather commended Reece for his work, producing a young peoples' health awareness poster for the Bassetlaw Integrated Care Partnership. This is a great achievement, displaying compassion and a connection with the wider community. Well done Reece!
As we approach the depths of winter and the frosty mornings, we would like to take this opportunity to remind parents how to find out the latest news on whether QEHS has had to take the decision to close the school. Whenever possible, the school will be kept open. The quickest and best route to determine whether the school has had to close is to check the school website: www.qehs.lincs.sch.uk. This site will always have the very latest information available.
We also inform Lincolnshire County Council and local radio stations, who will include our school in their announcements if we have had to close (such as BBC Radio Lincolnshire and Lincs FM). Bus companies and taxis which service our school children will also be contacted.
Mrs D Brown