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A Parents Guide to Technology

by Headstart School in Education Comments: 0 tags: Education

A Parents Guide to Technology is an online resource providing advice for parents about the benefits, capabilities and potential risks of smartphones, gaming devices, tablets and internet-enabled media players. It introduces some of the most popular devices, such as the BlackBerry, iPhone, iPod Touch and 3DS, highlighting safety tools that are available, as well as setting out top tips to help parents encourage their children to stay safe when using these technologies.

Increasingly we are asked questions from parents and carers about particular devices that their children are using – or perhaps would like to have for Christmas! Many young people experience internet-enabled technologies as a positive and integral part of their lives, but parents are not always aware of the capabilities and issues raised by different devices.

We know that it is often challenging for parents and carers to keep up with what their children are doing online, to supervise what they are viewing, who they are chatting to, what games they are playing and what they are downloading, and even more so now that the internet can be accessed from a wide range of devices.
Recent research from Ofcom shows that a large number of British 5-15s are using a range of internet-enabled technologies to go online:

  • 4 in 5 via a PC / Laptop
  • 1 in 5 via a games console
  • 1 in 7 via a mobile phone
  • 1 in 14 via a portable media player
  • 1 in 50 via a tablet


With these devices increasingly making it onto the Christmas wishlist of many young people in the UK, A Parent’s Guide to Technology will help parents and carers in understanding these different internet-enabled technologies.

Visit the Parents Guide to Technology on the UK Safer Internet Centre website.





AQA Feedback

by Headstart School in Education Comments: 0 tags: Education

Alongside outstanding exam results this year we have received extremely positive feedback from the AQA Internally Assessed work moderator for English. He states:

‘The moderator would like to congratulate the centre on the way it has engaged with the specification and on the manner in which it has administered the course; deadlines were pre-emptively met and centre mark forms were filled in helpfully and accurately. The centre should be praised for the effort it put into engaging the candidates; clearly they enjoyed aspects of the controlled assessments – specifically the creative writing tasks exploring TV adverts. The centre clearly worked hard to prepare the candidates for their controlled assessments. It was a pleasure to read such well-prepared work from candidates who are clearly motivated to achieve. The English Department should be commended for its endeavours in the study of English language.’

Exam Results

Headstart School rejoices in exam results August 2014.

Our two students who sat GCSE’s this year celebrated outstanding successes with their GCSE results on Thursday 21 August. One student remained with the school an additional year to re-sit GCSE’s – English D, Maths C – both improved by 2 GCSE grades in one year. Our other student obtained English D and Maths F – this exceeded expectation giving us 100% pass rate.

A number of students from Year 9 upwards were successful with entry level qualifications where they were assessed through a combination of coursework, controlled assessment and examinations, depending on the qualification. We are delighted to announce that three students achieved Entry Level 3 Maths (the highest award for this suite of qualifications), two students achieved Entry Level 2 in Maths with a further student gaining an Entry Level 2 in Science.

We congratulate staff and students who have worked so hard and their successes are well deserved. Headstart School continues to go from strength to strength and we are so pleased that our achievements have been rewarded.





Reflections on 2013 – 2014

Choosing the school at which our children are to be educated is one of the most important decisions we make. One of our strengths is that we are a small school and as a result we are able to offer a high level of care and individual support for every student in a close ‘family’ atmosphere. Our aim is to ensure that each individual student is given every opportunity to reach their full potential. We pride ourselves in offering high quality education in a productive and caring environment. A firm foundation for our success is the good relationship between the school, parents and partners in the local community.

This year we were visited by Ofsted Inspectors who spent two days examining all aspects of school life. We were incredibly pleased with the extremely positive report we received under the new inspection framework which graded us as good in all sections and a good school overall. There were so many fantastic comments about all aspects of our school and I was very pleased that many of them linked directly to our school vision and values. However, despite this report we are not complacent and we will continue to look for ways to improve our school and build on the broad education we offer to all students.

This year has seen a number of changes to staffing, school structure, assessment and curriculum. We realise that the school has been driving forward to raise standards however feel that at the very heart of our beliefs are wishing to raise life chances and aspirations of all young people. In doing so throughout the holidays we are converting an area of the school into a therapy base with a sensory room, soft play room and sensory circuits room, additionally there will be a reading corner where Lennon (the dog) will be based. Works are currently underway in the bottom field to secure areas for chicken, ducks, small animals such as rabbits/guinea pigs etc. Also, lambing pens, holding bays and much more. We have developed the primary, key stage 3, 4 and ASDCN areas throughout the year with more developments planned for the holidays such as soft lighting in the blue rooms. The construction workshop has been resited and is developing. Hopefully you will have all received information regarding the use of Lexia and Symphony and encourage students to use these programmes across the summer to further develop their literacy and numeracy skills.

End of Year Speeches

Key Stage 2 student of the year: This key stage 2 student has made superb progress across this academic year in so many different ways from caring for others to raising achievement and sharing her knowledge of animals to her peers. This student has shown excellent leadership qualities and has been a positive influence on other class members through assisting them in their work. We are so proud of her and are delighted to announce the winner of the Key stage 2 student of the year goes to Annette Lees.


Key Stage 3 student of the year: This key stage 3 student is always enthusiastic to try out new learning experiences be this in the classroom or outside in the wider community. This student has shown a greater confidence in himself which has translated positively to his interactions and communication with both adults and students including actively being involved in role play even adopting female roles – therefore key stage 3 student of the year goes to Louie Penfold.


Key Stage 4 student of the year: This key stage 4 student has made significant progress across this academic year being entered for a range of exams that he felt would never be possible. We have seen him develop into an articulate young man who is ready for his move into college life, therefore key stage 4 student of the year is David Nicol.


Key Stage 5 student of the year: This key stage 5 student has always been willing to participate in practical activities and has been an asset on the farm. It is good to see that this student is returning in September and currently will be the only student to be studying a level 2 course in Construction. Therefore key stage 5 student of the year is Josh Pope.


ASDCN student of the year: This student has been a very mature member of his group, is a conscientious learner and has shown a greater degree of independence around the school and with his learning which is pleasing to see. Therefore ASDCN student of the year is Jaydon Towers.


Most progress Made: Two students have been chosen for their excellent progress in many ways throughout this academic year. The first student is always enthusiastic to try out new learning experiences and is an active participant in classroom discussion. This student has shown a greater confidence in herself and this has translated positively to her interactions and communication with both adults and students. This student should feel very proud of her social and learning achievements – therefore the first student who has made excellent progress is Holly Owens.

The second student has made significant progress both socially and academically, he has overcome many personal challenges and is now able to work with a range of staff and students, he has tried beyond measure to make progress and has achieved this – therefore this student is Ewan Massoon.


Sports person of the year: This student has developed in leaps and bounds in all areas of sport. This student is able to take a lead role within his team and offers support to team members. His student has played in matches against other schools and is an asset to sports at Headstart School including being this year’s table tennis champion – this student is Bill Treeby.


Artist of the year: This student always arrives at her lesson with lots of enthusiasm and bundles of ideas. This student is very creative and likes to develop her own independent original ideas. She has a keen eye for detail and often creates work which is highly detailed and sometimes complicated in design. This student is Holly Owens.


Head teacher’s Award: Headstart School has seen this student change from a quiet, shy student into a more confident and determined young man. He has conducted himself impeccably throughout his time at Headstart. This student was so determined to be successful that he decided to stay at headstart for an additional year to resit English and Maths and to sit an AS level in Art. Therefore we are very proud to announce that the headteachers award is presented to David Stallwood.


Teacher of the Year: This member of staff is a highly valued and totally committed member of the staff team. This teacher holds high expectations of all students and believes that each and every student can reach for the stars. This teacher seeks ways to give students a real world application for knowledge remaining sensitive to the needs of others including parents and colleagues. This is by no means easy as each student has very different needs however this teacher plays out a multitude of different roles throughout the day with fluidity and grace. This member of staff has strong core principles however has evolved with changing times. The most effective educators bring their entire selves to the job, celebrate student successes, show compassion, laugh at their mistakes, share their unique ways and aren’t afraid to be human and as importantly treat students with respect – this analogy is totally fitting for our teacher of the year: Lorraine Colegate.

Headstart “SEND” Offer

by Headstart School in Education Comments: 0 tags: Education

At Headstart School, we are committed to offering an inclusive curriculum to ensure the best possible progress for all of our students, whatever their needs or abilities. All students are valued, given a sense of self-worth and are helped to develop confidence in their abilities and strengths throughout their school experience.

Support is provided for all students who require additional or personalised provision to enable them to achieve success. These students will have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and will currently have a Statement of Special Educational Needs. In addition some of these students may also be nationally recognised as vulnerable to under achievement, such as children who are looked after by the Local Authority (LAC), students eligible for free school meals (FSM), Gypsy, Roma Travellers (GRT) and those from ethnic minority groups (EM).

All teachers are able to teach across a range of abilities and personalise learning according to individual student need. We recognise that it is the teacher’s responsibility to meet the needs of all young people in their class through their classroom organisation, materials used, teaching style, differentiation (planning tasks to take account of different learning styles) and through partnership working with our highly specialist staff team, outstanding communication with external professionals, parents/carers and active engagement in the local community. We firmly believe that this lies at the heart of good inclusive practice.



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