Sunday Times North Independent School of the Year

Senior School Weekly Bulletin

1 October 2021

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Vice Principal & Head of Senior School’s message

We go in to teaching because we are passionate. We are passionate about children, about their education, and about making their lives better.  We want to give the very best opportunities we can to as many pupils as possible. And those of us who are fortunate enough to work at GSAL have the resources to fulfil those passions with some truly wonderful young people.

It is great to see the opportunities we present being fully embraced. Mrs Woodroofe mentioned last week the U13 hockey players, and their fantastic sense of sportsmanship. It was wonderful to see that this week our U14s became county champions. Every bit as pleasing was the fact that for the first time we had U13 C and D teams playing their first Leeds League fixtures, giving more of our pupils the opportunity to participate and represent the school.

Of course, you all know that we have had to communicate the ruling from PHE that two of our senior school year groups have to work from home next week, and that we have had to change the plans for a number of our trips and visits which pupils and staff have been looking forward to for so long. This is difficult for all of us, and not something we ever want to do; however, when given such a decision from a public health body, we have to comply with it.  We are so grateful and proud of the way our pupils have responded to all of the COVID measures we have had to bring in at different times, including this week. We are also grateful for the support we have had from so many families who have taken difficult decisions to change family plans and celebrations to help ensure that these steps can be as effective as possible, and so hopefully reduce the chance of further, similar restrictions being imposed on us in the future.

Today marks the start of Black History Month in the UK, and we have a fantastic series of events lined up to educate and inspire pupils and colleagues throughout the coming weeks.

Our primary school pupils are celebrating diversity today with a Proud to be me day. They are all showing their own individuality, celebrating themselves and what is important to them, through their chosen outfits. By the time I got to my desk this morning, I had seen everything from: dinosaur onesies; motocross riders; Pokémon trainers; unicorns; nature lovers; and 70s guitar rock fans!

Dr Graham Purves
Vice Principal & Head of Senior School

Accessing links in the bulletin

Please be aware that in order to access GSAL World you will need to login with your GSAL email address and password, if you have forgotten these details please email your year group administrator.

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Whole school notices

Black History Month

Due to unforeseen circumstances, some of our Black History Month programme for 2021 has been postponed:

  • A Hidden Histories walking tour of Leeds city centre – Saturday 2 October
  • A workshop with Marvina Newton, ‘My Leeds, My Culture’ – Monday 4 October

The following events will be going ahead:

  • A workshop with dance company Toussaintomove – Wednesday 6 October
  • A workshop with acclaimed author and BBC presenter Jeffery Boakye, ‘Black, Listed: Exploring race and identity’ – Thursday 7 October

Please contact for more details.

Non-uniform day fundraiser

Monday 11 October

Y13 students are organising a non-uniform day in memory of the passing of their friend Naina Krishna. All students and staff are promoted to participate in wear ‘purple themed’ home clothes to school on Monday 11 October.  There will be a £1 minimum donation to support the Educate the Kids charity which was very close to Naina and her family’s heart.

Encouraging good behaviour

Please see the attached message from Dr Purves, Vice Principal & Head of Senior School.

Sport update

Please see the attached update from Mr O’Brien, Director of Sport.

Mary’s Meals

We are inviting all GSAL students to support the Mary’s Meals backpack project, helping students in parts of the world where access to the most basic educational resources is not guaranteed. We would be so grateful for your help and participation in the next few weeks. Please click here for all of the specific practical details.

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Year 7 notices

Outdoor discovery course

There have been changes to the Y7 outdoor discovery course due to take place this term. Further information for parents and pupils can be found here.

Parents’ presentation evening

Monday 4 October

This event will be run remotely. The original timings of tutor appointments will stand, with these now all taking place via SchoolCloud video calls. Reminder emails for these calls will be shared one hour ahead of each appointment via email. Videos of the pastoral presentations, and the presentations from members of the school leadership team, and Mr Gibbin, the head of year, will be shared later next week.

If you have not yet booked an appointment with your child’s form tutor please follow this link to the school cloud parent booking system.

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Key dates

Fri 15 Oct – school closes for half term

Mon 1 Nov – school re-opens

Fri 17 Dec – term ends

Thu 6 Jan – term begins

Fri 21 Jan – entrance exam (school closed)

Fri 11 Feb – school closes for half-term

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