Sunday, 17 July 2016

Last Baraza Blog of 2015-16 Academic Year -15th July 2016

What went well (WWW) and EBI (Even Better if)....

This week was meant to be a review of the year, however, as so often happens in Baraza, the students took it to where they wanted it to go!

Q: Can we have a bigger space for drama next year and have  more drama lessons?
A: We will have a large dedicated drama room and will also have other large spaces for performances. Regarding drama lessons, year 8 have 1/2 period less of drama next year but it can still be chosen as an option from the enrichment menu. there will also be drama club on offer.

Q: Will we have space for our bags at Leigh Court?
A: Lockers are a popular question for Baraza! We will have about 100 lockers and they will be distributed on a first come first served basis. We will hopefully be able to sort these out in the first half term.

Q: We have really enjoyed doing projects and particularly projects related to trips e.g. The Castles Project. Could we do more of that next year?

A: Yes - teachers were asked to investigate this for next year

Q: Will the building have blocks like at Finham Park?
A: No, there will be Leigh Court which is the main building and The Sports Hall. Hopefully if we have an opportunity to develop our other building- Edward's Keep- that will also keep its name. 

Q: Can we have some double lessons next year, for example for food?
A: We won't be able to next year, but we can explore this for future years.

Once again there were still lots of hands up, so we asked the students to feed their comments back to their mentors. A reminder that we will also have Baraza Boxes in mentor rooms next year for students to drop items they would like to raise for Baraza.

Also we gave out a lot of certificates and badges...more to come at the end of term!

Finally, on behalf of everyone at Finham Park 2, we hope you have enjoyed reading our Baraza Blog and hope you will be back to read more next year. In the meantime have a great summer!

End of Term Arrangements

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Special Edition year 6 Transition Baraza Blog

At the end of our very successful transition day on 6th July our new year 7s had their very first experience of Baraza. We asked them to feedback about what went well and areas for improvement for next year's transition. We were extremely impressed with the maturity of the responses, how positive they were and the sheer number of students who wanted to speak up in front of 120 other students and their teachers!

Here's what they said:

What went well:

- I enjoyed science because I enjoyed blowing up bubbles and learning how to do experiments
- I really enjoyed the team building activities
- I enjoyed the whole day- everyone really made me feel welcome
- the teachers and the students were really friendly
- I really enjoyed the History lesson
- I liked the 'Welcome' mural that the Arts & Crafts club had made for us

Even better if: 

- we could have some more team building and different types as well

As you can see the responses were very positive!

We then asked the new year 7s what they are most looking forward to about starting at Finham Park 2. This is what they said:

- OOSHL (out of school hours learning)
- Everything!
- the new building
- Product Design, PE, Art, Music, Rugby, Tennis, Science (experiments), (girls) football
- wearing the new uniform- "it's really smart"
- trips
- representing the school in teams and as a student leader
- getting stickers and badges
- starting school- "can we start tomorrow?"

Roll on September! A huge thank you to Mrs Brake and Mrs Rose for organising the day and all the staff for their dedication and hard work.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Baraza Blog 1st July 2016

Open Baraza.... looking towards the end of the school year

Students seem to love the open Baraza as this is where they can ask or suggest anything about how to improve our school . Here's what they said this week:

Q: "Can we have an end of year disco?"
A: As we only have 2 weeks until the end of term that will be difficult to organise now, however, it would be a possibility at the end of one of the terms next year.

Q: "Can we have a photography club?"
A: Our new art teacher also teaches photography so this is very likely

Q: "Can we watch a film in mentor time on the last day?
A: Absolutely! We will be having a 'FP2 goes to the movies' time after break on the last day of term. Students can choose a film and even buy sweets/ popcorn, so don't forget to bring some spare change for Friends of Finham 2

Q: "Can we have an archery club?"
A: This may be something to investigate next year. However, we may be able to invite in an archer who can teach archery on one of our cross curricular days next year

Q: "Can we have a water day at the end of term"
A: This kind of thing is more appropriate if we go to a specialised water park or swimming baths rather than doing this in school

Q: " Can we have a non-uniform day on the last day of term"
A: Sorry, but no! We have planned non-uniform days throughout the year to raise money for charities and the school.

Q: "Can we build motorbikes in enrichment?"
A: Currently we don't have the staff that could do that, however this may be a possibility in the future either for enrichment or OOSHL

Q: "Can we have activities at the end of term"
A: Yes, we will be having FP2's Got Talent, Teambuilding, Cinema and then summer!

Q: "Is there a summer school this year?"
A: I'm afraid not for 2 reasons: 1. There are no government funds this year to run a summer school; 2. Leigh Court is still in development. We may look at this for future years.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Baraza Blog 10th June 2016

Baraza with special guest Friends of Finham 2!

Friends of Finham Park 2 (FOF2) , our school PTA introduced us to the idea of 'Grow a Pound'. The idea is for students to donate £1 of their own money, invest it and make more money. In total over £604 was raised in 3 weeks with a large number of students getting involved. It was a great idea with excellent whole-school results.

Mrs Wallace and Mrs Borrell from FOF2 came in to listen to students ideas on how to spend the money on things that would benefit their education. 

Some of the ideas from the students were good but would cost thousands/ millions rather than hundreds- great to have big ideas but we've kept the ideas on this blog to ones that could be considered by FOF2.

Also awards were given out to the biggest fund raisers and anyone who took part will receive a 'goody bag' at the end of term. Finally as the students had so many good ideas we ran out of time, so we have asked the students to let mentors know of any further suggestions for the money.

Here are some of the ideas (mentioned in the Baraza and at other points during Baraza day!):

  • to pay for or support trips
  • to go towards more lockers
  • to purchase good quality headphones for ICT or other lessons
  • to buy science lab coats or food technology chef's whites
  • to purchase additional ICT for the library
  • to save for another canopy for students to have outside if it rains
  • to purchase USB sticks for all students to save their work on
  • to make sure we have enough musical instruments e.g. guitars, drums etc
  • to buy a class set of ukuleles
  • to buy more books for the library

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Baraza Blog 10th June 2016

You said, we did....

Today's Baraza was a review of the main points students have made over the past term and what the school has done about it!

You said
We did
New building:
Can we make a video of the new building to show the next year 7?
Can we find out more about the new building?

Student ambassadors are planning the video now
Our last Baraza was an assembly on the new building and visits are taking place over the next few weeks
Can we have more project homework/ takeaway homework/ creative homework?
Can we have more than 1 day to complete hwk?

Yes- this has been shared with staff and should be happening now
Yes- see above
School code:
Can we have positive postcards sent home?

Can we have more praise awards?

Can we have a college badge

These will available for each subject to send home from September
The diamond badges have been distributed. We are now waiting for the World Class badges to be produced.
These have been designed and are now available to buy for £2 from the office
Mentor time:
More regular equipment checks?
More show and tell? More Maths quizzes? Weekly challenge? End of term activities?
Can we celebrate birthdays?
Can we have more mentor competitions?

Can we have end of term activities in mentor time?
Can we have mentor  trips?

This should now be happening
This has been shared with mentors and at least some of these should be happening
Mr Hartshorn has been looking into this…
Mentor board competition took place before February half term; inter-college dodgeball competition took place amongst others
Yes- teambuilding and cinema!
Trips to Leigh Court will be taking place over the next few weeks
Can we have more information for lessons on Frog?

Teachers are currently working on this and will be in place for September.
Can we have metal cutlery again- it has run out!
Can the laptops be sped up?

Can we have student leadership badges?
If we don’t get chance to ask a question in Baraza can we have Baraza Boxes?

This was replaced within 3 days of the request!
The week after the request the IT team came over to T block and speeded up the laptops. However now all laptops have Windows 10 on so this process needs to take place again!
These have arrived and distributed.
These will be ordered for mentor rooms for next year.
Can we go on a year 8 residential?

Can we do more charity work?

Can we have a running club (and other sports)?
Photography club?
Drama club?
More music and drama?
Can we choose our enrichment next year?
Can we have a summer FP2’s got talent?

Mrs Brake is currently investigating/planning for this.
Today is Route to Rio; we have recently had ‘grow a £1’; and Maya is raising money for a scoliosis charity.

These will be planned for next year now.

Yes and OOSHL via Google forms.
Yes- this will take place on the 18th July

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Baraza Blog 27th May 2016

Open Baraza

Today there were lots more excellent discussions and questions about OOSHL alongside other interesting ideas. 

Q: Can we have more music clubs next year?
A: Yes- we will speak to the Music Service when we next meet them

Q: Can we have revision clubs?
A: Yes, teachers in different subjects will offer these when tests or exams are due

Q: Can we have suggestions boxes?
A: We plan to have 'Baraza Boxes' next year to ensure everyone has 'a voice'

Q: Will mentor time be shorter next year? 
Q: Can mentor time be longer?
A: We are not currently planning to change the length of mentor time

Q: Can we have more sports OOSHL e.g. football and gymnastics?
A: Yes we can- we will ask PE to provide this
finham_blazer1Q: Can we use cash in the Refectory next year?
A: No, Finham Park 2 is a 'cashless school' the same as Finham Park

Q: Can we leave our blazers at home?
A: No, the blazer is an important part of our uniform. If the weather is ever extremely hot we will make a decision about school uniform and let students and parents know

Q: Can we have OOSHL in the morning as well?
A: Yes in certain subjects- we will advertise early in September.

Q: Can we have a longer break and lunchtime?
A: Only if we extend the school day further, but we have no plans to do this at the moment.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Baraza Blog 13th May 2016

Teaching and Learning

Students had lots to say about their learning in today's Baraza- unfortunately we didn't manage to get to everyone, but asked if mentors could pick these questions up and feedback next time.

Also we still fail to be amazed by the number of students that want to share their thoughts with all the staff and the whole of the school- it's brilliant!!

Q: Can we have more drama in lessons?
A: Even though lots of students enjoy drama at Finham Park 2- it's not for everyone so we try to balance the activities throughout all lessons. However, we do have a number of staff who are experienced drama teachers so this could be a possibility if students enjoy it.

Q: Can we have all tables in classrooms set out in groups?
A: Mr Plester explained that different teachers and students prefer different classroom layouts. Also different activities require a change in table layouts. What we currently have is a variety based on sound educational research so we will continue with this for the time being.

Q: Have the student leadership badges arrived?
A: Yes and once students have passed their Student Leader Apprenticeship they will be awarded (we are hoping by half term at the latest)

Q: Can we do a variety of activities in Geography?
A: There is already a variety of activities which have led to excellent progress being made. However, we will look at this to see what else can be done.

Q: Can we have more ICT?
A: In year 7 & 8 there is a set amount of ICT/ computing. However, our new Computing teacher is keen to offer other opportunities to experience computing.

Q: Can we have more history?
A: Possibly in enrichment next year along with other subjects.

 Thank you to Monika for minuting.