A three year national research study into the benefits of arts and cultural education was presented to senior ministers and policy makers at The House of Lords on Monday 15th October, and Mrs Sally Thompson from the English Team was there to support Minsthorpe’s contribution.
Funded by Arts Council England, and conducted in secondary and special schools, the TALE (Tracking Arts Learning and Engagement) study analysed 6,000 responses from young people aged 14-18, tracking students and 63 teachers over three years.
Led by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Tate and The University of Nottingham, the study brings to light the voices and opinions of young people, and the depth and breadth of the research gives significant new insights into the positive difference that sustained engagement with the arts and cultural education has on the lives of young people.
Minsthorpe is proud to be an arts and culture rich school, developing the 6 Rs through a broad and balanced curriculum, as well as offering wider opportunities through the English and Creative Teams visits, productions, residentials and Shakespeare Festivals.
The TALE project is now calling for the government to protect funding for an Arts and Culture Premium, and ensure all arts subjects are valued equally in every school across the country.
For further information of the research study findings and to see their five key recommendations to ensure every young person can learn in an arts and culture rich school, go to www.researchtale.net or click on the document below.
A year ago we wrote to you inviting your child to take part in a national research project called My Resilience in Adolescence (MYRIAD), along with the rest of his or her class. Your child’s school has agreed to work together with the University of Oxford to take part in this project, which is looking at wellbeing and resilience during adolescence.
If your child participated they have already given valuable information towards this project by completing questions about their own resilience and wellbeing.
We are writing to you again as the classes progressing onto the next stage of the project have now been allocated. These classes are selected randomly and are not affected by how pupils answered their last set of questionnaires. If your child’s class has been randomly selected to take part in the next set of measures, you will have received a separate letter explaining this. If you have not received this letter, it means your child’s class will not be included in the next stage.
Please note, if you previously let the school know that you don’t want your child to take part, no matter which class they are in, they will not be approached by the MYRIAD researchers.
Professor Willem Kuyken (Chief Investigator)
Elizabeth Nuthall (Trial Manager)
The College wants to stress the necessity for parents to be extra vigilant in relation to online safety and ensure that your child is safe online.
Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in young people being targeted by sexual predators online – predators who request images and videos of an explicit nature. This then inevitably leads to blackmail and the potential grooming of your child. Please stress to your child that it is not normal for a complete stranger to ask them for indecent images and that it is incredibly hard to undo the damage that will result if they respond and send such images to anybody – whether they are strangers or known to them. As a community we have to show empathy for the victims of such crimes but the important thing is for young people not to become victims in the first place.
If the College becomes aware of such an incident you will be informed alongside a report made to the police. Significant emotional harm is caused to the young person involved and we need to ensure that you as parents are able to reduce the risks to your child.
Please ensure that you are monitoring the activity of your child via the internet and mobile phone – for example delete any contacts on social media who are not known to you or your child. Many young people have accepted friend requests from people they have never had contact with in the real world. Please speak about this with your child and reinforce the online safety messages given regularly in College.
Equally remind your child that if they receive any inappropriate images they must report it to the police or CEOP, and ensure that they do not share this with anyone else or risk prosecution themselves. If they receive such images please remind them that, if they share them, they are further hurting people who have been hurt enough already and that they need to see these victims as people and not as images.
The College website includes many useful guides and documents that will support you in setting up privacy functions as well as links to key organisations that can help.
West Yorkshire Police also offer this advice to parents:
Surfing the internet can be an educational and fun family activity. Here’s a few tips for safer use of the internet:
- Check the advice on the Get Safe Online website.
- Check the advice on our Online Guides Pages.
- Place the computer in a central area of your home where you can monitor it frequently. Get your children used to involvement early. Ask what they’re looking at and finding, or who they’re visiting.
- Establish age-appropriate ground rules, including time limits, acceptable areas to access and reasonable penalties – such as denying internet access – if the rules are broken.
- Use blocking and filtering programs available as software or online. They will enable you to monitor or limit your children’s net access. Ask your Internet Service Provider for advice, and see below for details about the Internet Watch Foundation.
- Warn your children frequently about the dangers of the internet, just as you warn them about the dangers of drugs, talking to strangers etc.
- Explain the importance of keeping personal information a secret – real names, home address, phone number, sports clubs etc.
- Tell your children never to respond to an angry, obscene or threatening message. Remind them to call you or another trusted adult if they come across something that makes them feel uncomfortable. Let them know that its not their fault if they receive bad messages.
- Be on the alert for signs of trouble:
- Overuse of the computer, especially at night.
- Bad or explicit language – your child learned it from somewhere, perhaps online.
- Obsession with violent fantasy games.
- Unexplained long distance numbers on your phone bill. Your child could be in contact with a stranger.
- Online friends; if you child makes online friends with another local child and asks if they can meet in person, first talk to the child’s parents. Set up a meeting with the other child and parent, make it at a public place and accompany your child.
- Report inappropriate online activities. Contact the police immediately if an adult (or a person you suspect to be posing as an adult) tries to set up a meeting with your child. This could be a very dangerous situation.
- Child Pornography. Report any online child pornography to your Internet Service Provider and to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). The IWF is funded by Internet service providers and takes reports from the public about child and grossly indecent adult pornography. They pass on information to the police about sites where criminal offences are taking place. Their website is www.iwf.org.uk
- Worried parents can also contact the IWF website for advice about how to set up "net nannies" to ensure their children aren’t viewing unsuitable sites.
- Thinuknow have a resource – Play Like Share This three-episode animated series and accompanying resource pack aims to help eight to ten year olds learn how to stay safe from sexual abuse, exploitation and other risks they might encounter online such as sharing content.
Protect yourself and your equipment, purchase or download good virus protection software to safeguard your computer. Choose a password with a minimum of six characters – short passwords are easy for hackers to crack.
Further Information: Offensive Posts On Social Media
Students at Minsthorpe Community College are, yet again, celebrating a marvellous set of GCSE results which saw strong outcomes in the proportion of students achieving 9-4 grades or equivalent in key performance indicators. For the majority of subjects, this was also the first year of grading on the new 9 to 1 GCSE grade scale. Given the challenge of new specifications and grades, these subjects have demonstrated continued success. We are particularly delighted with our superb English results with a quarter of the cohort achieving top grades (9-7).
These GCSE results, following on from the excellent A level results last week, are evidence that the College has a significant impact on student achievement because, irregardless of their progress that they have made by the time that students join us in year 7, the results clearly show that the College significantly improves their attainment by the time that they sit their GCSEs and, even more so, if these students stay on to study at Post-16. This can be clearly seen by the number of students making extremely good progress over this time in a wide range of subjects.
There were many individual student successes, but in particular special mention goes to Millie Andrews, Holly Harrington, Rebecca Henfrey, Ryan Inman, Chloe Pallett and Bailey Thomas, who all achieved excellent results including multiple 9-7 grades.
We are delighted in congratulating all of our students, parents and staff for their hard work in achieving such an excellent set of results!
Post 16 students at Minsthorpe Community College have achieved a record breaking set of results this summer. College outcomes have once again gone from strength to strength, ensuring the highest quality of education for young people in the area.
The proportion of students achieving the top grades in their A-levels increased dramatically, with the percentage of A*-A grades soaring to 19%. This represents the strongest ever performance for these academic subjects. Large increases were also seen in the percentage of A*-B grades and A*-C grades.
These results mean that 85% of students are able to attend their first choice of university, with 94% of these being the first in their immediate family (first generation) to go on to higher education.
There were numerous individual student successes but in particular special mention goes to Liam Hurdiss (A*A*), Chloe Key (A*AB), Olivia Senior (A*A Merit), Chloe Crisp (A*BB). Carrie Williams achieved Distinction*, Distinction*, Distinction which is an excellent set of results in vocational subjects.
The individual success stories at Minsthorpe Community College continue unabated as we are witnessing an ongoing improvement in sixth form outcomes, giving our students the opportunity to continue with their education or to enter the world of work. This has been achieved as a direct result of the hard work of all our students, parents and staff and we are delighted with their results and proud of their achievements.
To see our headline figures please click here.
We know that many people locally are generously giving to the Crowd Funding site set up for Ben Crawford. Staff and students here wanted to add their donations to the fund and we ran a non-uniform day on Friday July 20th to raise money for Ben’s family. Big hearted staff, students and parents gave over £1,500 and all of the proceeds will go to the fund.
In addition every year at our annual Sports Awards Evening the Head of PE, Michael Mann, always runs a spirited auction of sporting items. Knowing that all of the proceeds of this year’s auction would also go to Ben’s fund, generous parents raised a further £475 that we will add to the proceeds of the non-uniform day.
We pride ourselves on being an extended family at Minsthorpe and, as with all families at a time of tragedy, we try to do what we can to help.
Minsthorpe Community College has been shortlisted by the Careers & Enterprise Company for a £250,000 bid to introduce a programme of careers education that could benefit thousands of students across Yorkshire. The CEC is a company created by the government to inject new life into careers education and is currently setting up a number of Careers Hubs across the country. Minsthorpe is leading a consortium of 5 schools in a bid for money to fund a programme of Personal Guidance that will see every student in each school having at least one individual careers talk with a fully qualified Personal Guidance Professional who will advise and guide them on the many routes that are open to them – be that work with training, apprenticeships, further education or higher education.
"Just getting this far has been a gruelling experience and we have beaten off stiff competition to be shortlisted" said Ray Henshaw, the Principal of Minsthorpe. "We are absolutely committed to giving high quality careers advice and give it at the times when students most need it" added Ray. Minsthorpe prides itself on being there for students in Year 7 to help them get a general idea of where their career aspirations might lie and continue to work with each student in Year 8 as they make their GCSE choices. That support continues in Year 11 as students approach their next key transition point and every Year 13 student is given help and support as they decide what is next – university, apprenticeship or work.
"What is normal for us does not necessarily happen in other schools as education cuts have sometimes led to careers education becoming less of a priority" Ray explained. "If we are successful in this bid we will train 15 new Personal Guidance Professionals who will work with young people across the five partner schools and then each school will develop a further network of five extra schools each, training staff in those schools on how to give effective careers advice and guidance. Within two years we hope to have improved the advice that students get in at least thirty schools across West Yorkshire" said Ray "and then use the new Careers Hubs to show other schools the impact that this can have and how to do it themselves."
Ray has to present the idea to a Management Board from the CEC next Thursday and will need to show that the proposal is sustainable and offers good value for money.
All students in Year 7 to 10 will attend a Summer Safety Lesson on the morning of Friday 20th July.
We will be delivering our usual safety reminders but this year we have managed to secure 2 guest speakers from West Yorkshire Police.
Please be advised that they will be presenting information about Child Sexual Exploitation and the dangers of young people going missing. The content will be very hard hitting and real life case studies will be used to exemplify the risks to children.
During the input students will be monitored closely and in-school support will be given if needed. However, can we please ask that you speak with your child following the morning and ensure that any worries they may have can be discussed.
If you feel that your child will struggle to attend this input can you please contact the Head of Year as a matter of urgency.
Assistant Principal for Student Safety and Wellbeing
You will all be aware of the tragic death of a former Minsthorpe student, Ben Crawford, whilst on holiday with friends in Ibiza. Ben was one of our own and we are saddened by his loss.
At Minsthorpe, we are an extended family and we do what all family members do at times like this – we help out. The College intends to have an extra non-uniform day on Friday July 20th and all of the proceeds raised from donations will go to Ben’s family. Whilst the normal donations fees will apply I know that the staff and students of Minsthorpe have big hearts and always stand up to be counted when the going gets tough and that, those who can afford to, will pay more than the minimum donation on this occasion knowing that his family will appreciate our thoughts and kindness.
The charge for all students attending College in non-uniform is £1.00 however students who want to contribute more are welcome to do so.
We must stress the following:
- No fancy dress
- No hats for students in Key Stage 3 and 4
- No extremes of fashion including clothing which has slogans/offensive writing or innuendo
- No excessively high heels
- No jewellery other than simple stud earrings
- No tops that expose the student’s midriff
- No inappropriate length shorts
Thank you once again for assisting your child and the College in supporting such worthy causes.
Mr D Lloyd
(Associate Assistant Principal)
On behalf of the College and the Student Council
Staff and students at Minsthorpe Community College have been devastated to learn of the death of our former student, Ben Crawford, whilst on holiday with friends in Ibiza. Our thoughts, condolences and love go out to his family and friends.
Ben was a lovely young man who touched the lives of all who knew him. He was a great sportsman and boxed at the College for 5 years. He was also an extraordinary rugby player and played for the College rugby team from Year 8 when we first discovered the huge talent that he had. He was always so tough, funny and a great lad and his scholarship at Castleford Tigers showed his character and the calibre of player he had become. The last match he played for the College was as part of the team that was victorious in the Yorkshire final.
Ben had an infectious personality and was always in high spirits, great to be around and loved to laugh, joke and have fun with his friends. Ben had a very large friendship group in which he will be dearly missed. Further to this, an even closer bond with his rugby mates, more so a brotherhood. Ben was a naturally talented athlete with a tough and strong exterior on the field. Off the field a caring lad who looked out for his family and loved spending time with his mates who shared the same interests in rugby, socialising and music.
He was thoughtful and kind and had a cheeky side that always made others smile. He was also full of fun and had a zest for life – we will never forget the time the year when he dressed up as Wonder Woman for Sports Day!
Ben was respectful, he always treated others well and was highly thought of by everyone that met him. He made a huge impact on his local community, many of whom will keenly feel his loss.
We have created spaces in the College today for staff and students who have been affected by the sad news to go and talk and, tomorrow, our KOOTH counsellor will also be available to listen and to talk.
No words are enough to express our sadness at the loss of such a young life, one that was so full of promise and potential.