February 2015

Year 11 Catch up Praise Event On Monday 26th January the following Year 11 students who unfortunately missed out on the Christmas praise event due to trial exams, enjoyed an afternoon at Jimmy Spices to celebrate their success: Rhianna Davis-Jones, Kyran Redguard, Joanna Higgs, Khadijr Rahman, Moueez Arif, Matilda Prestridge, Luke Richards, Emily Rollins, Imogen Lockyer, Gabriel Hammond and Taylor Matthews. The next praise event will be occurring at the end of the Easter term; the 15 students in each year group that have earned the most praise points this term will be invited to enjoy an end of term treat! Parliament Praise Trip for Politics Students Please see an extract from an article written by three of our students after they had the opportunity to visit the House of Commons and see Prime Minister’s Questions in action. The full article was published in the Sutton Coldfield Observer and can be found on the website. On the 14th January 2015 we three current Arthur Terry Sixth Form students – Beth Davies, Taylor Billings and Sophie Harding – had the privilege of accompanying Mrs Hurn on a trip to the Houses of Parliament to watch Prime Minister’s Questions. It certainly was dramatic! There were a few obviously planted questions which were designed to praise the Prime Minister, talking about the raise in youth employment in some constituencies, and some planted to trip him up which are all in place to make certain parties appear more appealing as the 2015 draws ever closer The day was extremely insightful and enabled us to see a form of Parliamentary scrutiny in action and really assess how effect the method is which will come in great use when answering questions in our forthcoming exams. St John Ambulance First Aid – Attention all sixth formers If you are interested in gaining a valuable certificate in first aid, come along on Friday lunchtimes starting on the 12th of June after you have returned from your study leave. This course will teach you valuable life skills that are essential in everyday life and will enhance your CV. email Mhart@arthurterry.bham.sch.uk to sign up or drop into E2.3. EXAMINATIONS Remember please see the exams section on the school website for up to date information: Exams In additional to seasonal information you and your son/daughter will find documents from the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) which includes all of the regulations pertaining to examinations. 6th FORM TRIAL EXAMS Year 12 – Monday 9 February to Friday 13 February 2015 Please click on the following link for the Trial Exam web page: Trial Exams There will be no study leave during trial exams and students will continue with their timetabled lessons throughout the trial exam series. If there is a clash of exams students need to see the Exams Officer. The exams will be conducted according to the procedures set out by the Examination Boards. This is so students are familiar with the correct procedure in the summer. A copy of the JCQ guidelines can be found on the JCQ Exam Notices JCQ Exam Notices Please ensure your child is familiar with the regulations in particular the following document, information for written exams: Information for candidates for written exams Equipment should be carried in a clear pencil case. There will be no spare equipment available for students to use. Students must use a black ink or ballpoint pen for all exams (gel pens are not permitted) and under no circumstances should mobile phones be taken to the exam desks. No food or fizzy drinks are permitted in the exam room, and candidates are not expected to need to leave the exam room to use the toilet during individual exams. If necessary, water can be brought in a clear, unlabelled bottle, which should be kept under the exam desk. SUMMER 2015 EXAMINATION SERIES – AS/A Level Re-sits AS/A Level re-sits are available in the Summer 2015 exam series; the re-sit form is available on the school website and the deadline is Monday 2nd February: Re-sit Form Please note that re-sit forms will only be accepted with subject leader signature and full payment. If payment is made by ParentPay the receipt must be submitted with the re-sit form to the Exams Office. If a student misses this deadline they need to see the Exams Officer as a matter of urgency. Remember NO FORM = NO ENTRY A2 General Studies (Year 13) Students will only be entered for A2 General Studies if they achieved Grade ‘D’ or above at AS in 2013/2014 (Year 12). If students who received ‘E’ or ‘U’ want to enter for A2 they must complete and return a re-sit form for either or both of the units they did last year at AS Level which are £22 per unit. SUMMER 2015 EXAMINATION SERIES – TIMETABLES Personalised exam timetables will be issued in March. Arthur Terry 6th Form News University Applications By the January 15th deadline we had sent off almost two hundred applications, including a few from last year’s Y13 who are taking a gap year. All of these aspiring undergraduates will have received “conditional offers” by now, the “condition” being that if they achieve certain A-level grades they will have a place at one of their five chosen universities, that final one to be decided by the student over the next three months. Congratulations to Daniel Sturch, who, on audition, has been awarded a place and a bursary at the prestigious Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama . He plays the tuba. And to Amelia French who has been awarded a place at both Urdang and Laine – two of the country’s leading Dance academies. Similarly to Amy Hart who will be going to Bird dance academy in London. And to Georgia Benson who has won a place at Italia Conti , the leading Musical Theatre academy in London. And finally to Andrew Meikle who has reached the fourth and final stage of selection to train as a pilot with the RAF. Andrew has already had unconditional offers from Nottingham and Sheffield Universities to study History – but that’s just his reserve! Good Luck to those others from the Performing Arts Faculty whose place depends on auditions yet to come , and to the Art students who have to take their Art portfolios for scrutiny at universities and colleges when applying for the intensive Pre-degree Art Foundation courses. University Choices At the annual UCAS Conference held early in January, we heard that as usual we are giving exactly the right advice to our students. Mary Curnock- Cook, the chief executive at UCAS, affirmed that students who have received all their offers should not feel obliged to indicate their choice of “Firm” and “Insurance” places until much nearer the deadline –usually towards the end of May. This will give students much more time to assess how their A-level work is going in the final stages and be better able to estimate what their final grades are likely to be. It also gives time at half term and in the Easter holidays to visit the universities. The student on a visit needs to imagine themselves there and get a real buzz of excitement,(and the accompanying parent feel positively jealous that they are not going themselves!). When making the Insurance (i.e. reserve) choice, it must be somewhere that the student would in the end be happy to attend and therefore is a genuine choice. Quite a few of our students have been made “unconditional” offers by one or more of the universities to which they have applied, and in many cases these are Russell Group universities or equivalent. This means that they have to gain only two Grade E passes. This is a relatively new practice, which a few universities took up last year as an attempt to persuade some of their most promising applicants to put them as Firm (I.e. first) choice. This is flattering and attractive – but if students are tempted , they must also not be tempted to go easy on A-level work , not least because A-level grades will be important eventually in the job search. A-level Standards The UCAS Conference confirmed what we already suspected what is happening with the current A-levels : that they are being marked more stringently at examination stage. This means that this coming summer, once again there will be fewer A/B grades on results day. However , the number of university places available remains the same. As they did last summer , university subject departments will want to fill all their places and will adjust to the new levels of attainment by accepting students with slightly lower grades than their offer indicated. But it’s still a competitive market and students should work hard to achieve their best. A-level Reforms Controversy remains. Despite what one would imagine to be overwhelming advice from schools and universities, the then Education Minister Michael Gove insisted on separating Y12 AS qualifications from Y13 A2 qualifications; in other words the AS exam would no longer be the first part of the whole A2 qualification. However, if there is a change of government in May the interconnection of AS and A2 will be restored. This may be one way to help you decide which of the two main parties to vote for on May 5th ! However, for those students approaching the A-level stage we at Arthur Terry are offering the best of various possible deals according to the UCAS Conference. This is basically to expect all our students to take four AS subjects and to continue with three of those in Y13. This accommodates all eventualities, especially for those who eventually apply for the most prestigious universities : no university will expect students to have more than three A-levels, but a few are likely to expect their applicants to have taken four subjects in Y12. Other Things to Bear in Mind At the UCAS Conference we heard that “the Government has stated that the purpose of taking A-levels is primarily for entry to university”. At Arthur Terry, where always, on average, ninety per cent of our A-level students do go on to university, this has always been the case in practical terms as a sixth form outcome. So, for a great many students in any of the Arthur Terry year groups this is something to aspire to. On average ,earnings for graduates “are significantly higher” than for non –graduates over a lifetime. Apprenticeships are an attractive alternative to A-levels at age sixteen or to university at age eighteen. But remember, the “advanced apprenticeship” for A-level leavers usually entails part time study at university, with the fees paid by the employing company. The Conference also reiterated that “seventy per cent of graduate recruitment is non subject specific”: i.e. prospective employers are looking for applicants who have done well at school, university and in general personal development no matter what subject degree. So , if you’re interested in Ancient History, or in American Studies, go for it! Roger Townsend (Post 16 Admissions Tutor) School Show 2015 – We Will Rock You The box office is now open and tickets are on sale! Please book now to avoid disappointment. To access the booking form, please click here to the show blog. Cast of East is East On Tuesday 13th January 2015 18 students from The Arthur Terry School attended a performance of the newly revived 80’s classic ‘East is East’ at the Alexander Theatre starring Jane Horrocks. The A Level theatre studies students were inspired by the excellent acting and dramatic techniques they saw in the show and were delighted when, following the performance, the cast and crew of the production came to the Arthur Terry School. Midlands Today came out to film some of the session and we even made it to the actual news on the following evening. A great way to publicise some of the excellent learning going on in school. Year 13 re-sit Classes PSYA 1 Friday lunchtime re-sit classes are still running in G1.1 for Year 13 students. October to February we covered Memory. February to April we are recapping Attachment. Make sure you attend to all lunchtime sessions. Any Year 12 students who want to join the group for supported revision on this topic, please see Miss Geillis. GKN Driveline GKN Driveline and UBRacing, Birmingham University’s Formula Student racing team, recently teamed up to give students from Arthur Terry School an insight into the world of automotive engineering and how it is impacting on motorsport. Twelve students from the Sutton Coldfield-based school visited GKN Driveline’s Birmingham manufacturing facility to see how the company’s technology is helping the world’s major auto-makers improve the drive performance of their vehicles. As part of the visit, the pupils also met members of the UBRacing team, who brought along the single-seat race car designed and developed at the university. Formula Student is an educational motorsport competition, backed by GKN, in which a number of universities across Europe develop vehicles and compete in a range of competitions. The Arthur Terry School pupils were also given the opportunity to win two exciting prizes: an iPad Mini for writing up to 500 words about their experience of the day, and a Bose wireless speaker for taking pictures from around the plant and posting them on social media. Congratulations to two of our students…. Harry Craven-Jones – won the Twitter phot competition – receives the Bose Bluetooth speaker Robert Gee – won the essay competition for the iPad mini