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Headteacher's Update

Dear parent/carer

I hope you had an enjoyable half term and have been able to enjoy the unseasonably, but very welcome, warm weather. It’s hard to believe that we are over halfway through our academic year and as usual we have been busy at Lawnswood School.

Maths magic!

Yesterday we hosted one of the regional finals of the UK Maths Challenge and it was a great success. It was wonderful to see so many students from so many schools, including GSAL Abbey Grange, Leeds City, Garforth Academy, Giggleswick, to name the most far flung, using their brains to successfully solve mathematical challenges.

The challenge comprised four rounds including the cross number, a rather complex maths crossword puzzle completed in pairs answering either only the across or down clues, then combining the answers to fill the cross number puzzle; and a shuttle where the students work in pairs to complete a set of linked questions and the last round was a relay where each pair completes a question then collects the next question for the next pair!

The winners were Roundhay School, second place went to Carr Manor and, in our best finish for some years, Lawnswood School achieved third place.

Many thanks to Mr Smith for his organisation and congratulations to Jamie Hayter and Bobbi Walker in Year 9 and Matthew Burnell and Flora Martin in Year 8 for representing Lawnswood School so well and for their success in the challenge.

Students have also been showing off their mathematical knowledge and skills in the Intermediate Maths Challenge and the  results are  now in!  In Year  11, there  were 2 gold and 9 silver awards. In Year 10, there were 3 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze; and Year 9 achieved 1 gold, 4 silver and 1 bronze. I’m sure you will join me in congratulating Usmaan Ramzan, Safwaan Ramzan and Eryk Mocniak who were ‘best in year’ for their year group and in offering special congratulations to Eryk who was ‘best in school’.

Other gold winners are Louie Dunsford, Ethan Meskin and Ruby Paechter and other silver winners are Jamie Hayter, Phuong Vo, Bobbi Walker, Wiktoria Handzlik, Jude Stainton, Alex Daykin, James Pike, Bradley Simpson, Leszek Cygan, Billy Garman, Maisie Sansoya, Charlie Hoole and Tom Burkill.

Finally, from the maths department, the following students have got through to the next level, the ‘Kangaroos’, which take place in school on 21 March - Usmaan Ramzan, Safwaan Ramzan, Eryk Mocniak and Ethan Meskin.

Loving Lawnswood Library

Following our successful fund-raiser for classroom visualisers (which are now on order), we have a new crowd-funding opportunity. This time it's focused on developing our library to support our reading focus. We would love your support to make our library that little bit more appealing for your child.

We want to buy some resources to enhance the students' experience whilst visiting the library. Our aim is to develop it as an inspirational space to encourage more and more students to engage actively in reading. Every donation will make a difference: from £1 upwards. Please visit https://spsr.me/GMTZ to see more details about the project and to make a donation. Thank you in advance for your support.

Lawnswood School Book Week

We have a number of reading related activities to enable our school community to celebrate a love of reading and World Book Day. Students have been issued with World Book Day vouchers, worth £1.00, which are to be spent at high street bookshops where they may be exchanged for £1.00 World Book Day books or put towards any book priced £2.99 or over. After the success of our Community Read ‘Friedrich’ last year, we are again engaging in a Lawnswood School Community Read next week. This year, we are reading ‘The Fastest Boy in the World’ by Elizabeth Laird. Each lesson, excluding period 1 when there will be a non- fiction theme to give the book some context, staff will read a section of the book to the students. Students should be able to give you an update on the story each day and we look forward to taking the time to read for pleasure with our students during their lessons.

On World Book Day itself, Year 8 and 9 will be involved in a poetry workshop and our staff will be dressing up as a book character – check Twitter and our website for photos and stories from the day.

Momo Challenge

You may be aware that recently, the Momo Challenge has been covered extensively in the news and the disfigured avatar has been popping up all over the internet. A lot of what is reported in the tabloids may be adding to the hysteria as there’s currently not much evidence of the game itself harming children. The Momo Challenge is a game played over WhatsApp where participants contact the character Momo and are then told to do a series of challenges, with the final challenge allegedly being suicide.

There have been media reports of hackers ‘inserting’ Momo into Fortnite and YouTube videos but we understand that there is not any evidence that supports this. Although a lot of the information about the Momo Challenge is rather concerning, the number of reported cases of children harming themselves because of the game is extremely low.

As a school, we have kept staff up to date about this hysteria and reminded them how  to support students who are worried about it. In line with all online safety advice we would encourage you as parents/carers to:

  • ensure you know what your child can access online;
  • ensure your child understands the importance of not giving personal information to anyone they do not know;
  • remind your child that no-one has the right to make them do anything they do not want to do; and
  • use parental controls to keep children

As a parent/carer, it is also important that you ensure you are confident that your child is not being put at harm through the use of the internet or social media. If your child engages in any  of the following behaviours, you should closely monitor their activity online and if necessary take action to keep them safe:

  • becomes very secretive, especially about what they are doing online;
  • is spending a lot of time on the internet and social media;
  • is switching screens on their device when approached;
  • is withdrawn or angry after using the internet or sending text messages; and
  • has lots of new phone numbers or email addresses on their devices

Senior Leadership Team surgery

In our efforts to improve communication between parents/carers and the school, we  are  offering a senior leadership team drop-in surgery at our Parent Consultation Evenings. Our  Year 10 Parent Consultation Evening is on Thursday 14 March from 5.00pm until 7.00pm and our Year 8 Parent Consultation Evening is on Wednesday 27 March between 4.30pm and 7.00pm. There will be a member of the senior leadership team available for you to see in the Conference Room during both of these evenings.

National Careers Week 4 – 8 March

To raise the profile of this week at Lawnswood School, all assemblies will ask students to focus on their future and give them advice about how to start doing this. In addition, staff have been asked to explicitly reference different potential careers within their subject field and or the skills that their subject area develops for the world of work. As we like to work in partnership with you as parents/carers, we ask that you take this opportunity to talk to your child about your own career or simply ask them about their ideas for theirs - this would support our focus during this week.

Improving our school community

We constantly strive to ensure our school is the best that it can be in terms of quality of  teaching and learning; opportunities we offer to students; and ensuring a calm and purposeful learning environment with a sense of community cohesion and collaboration.  With this in  mind, we are taking some time to remind our students of the 11 rules of social times. Students will have an opportunity to give their thoughts on these rules during their tutor period on Tuesday and, on Monday 11 March, we will re-launch the rules and the  associated  sanctions for non-compliance. Please take some time to look at these with your child and talk to them about the importance of rules in society and give your child any feedback you may have for them to contribute during their tutor period.

Dates for your diary

  • Week beginning 4 March – Year 11 Core mock exams Thursday 7 March – World Book Day
  • Week beginning 11 March – Confidence Week
  • Week beginning 11 March – Holocaust exhibition in the school hall
  • Monday 11 March and Tuesday 12 March – Year 11 GCSE Food practical assessments
  • Thursday 14 March – Year 10 Parent Consultation Evening 5.00pm – 7.00pm in the main school hall

I hope my update shares with you some of the events that have been taking place and informs you about upcoming events and opportunities for our students. For further new updates, please follow us on Twitter and visit the latest news section of our website.

Yours faithfully

Mrs J Bell, Headteacher

Lawnswood School continues to be a good school!

See our recent Ofsted feedback here >>