Sunday Times North Independent School of the Year

Senior School Weekly Bulletin

10 Sept 2021

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Principal’s message

The GSAL Giggle is back! It has been absolutely fantastic this week to be surrounded again by our gorgeous children and young people. Of course we have seen how smart they look in their uniforms, but we have also heard the sound of their voices, their footsteps and, above all, their laughter! And it is an absolute tonic for everyone as we hope for a more normal school year, with all of its excitement and challenge in life and learning. I am also thrilled to see how our students have shown real generosity of spirit as they have looked after and looked out for new pupils and staff; their sense of community and their happiness to be back at school has been palpable.

As we look back, I want to thank you for your support over these past 18 months and for your patience as you navigated COVID protocols, pupil testing, ever-changing guidance and isolation rules, school uniform orders (with sincere thanks to 2Kit and the PFA for their help here!) and everything else that we have had to encounter. But as we look forward, I want to reassure you of our enthusiasm for and commitment to your children, our delight in working with them and the responsibility we take for their learning in its widest sense, nurturing and supporting them to health and wholeness, as much as we inspire them academically and in their wider school lives. The Chinese proverb tells us,

If you are planning for a year, sow rice.
If you are planning for a decade, plant trees.
If you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.

So we’re back! And it is a happy new academic year to one and all, and Shanah Tovah to our Jewish families on this special week when they have celebrated Rosh Hashanah. Now, we look ahead with a spring in our step, hope in heart and mind, and that GSAL giggle everywhere you turn!

Sue Woodroofe

Please note that to access the downloads in this bulletin you will need to be logged into the school intranet GSAL World. Should you have any difficulty logging in please visit the GSAL World home page and follow the instructions under Password Reset Request.

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Whole school notices

Message from Mr Alex Keech, Chair of the PFA

A warm welcome back to school to all of our parents and an especially warm welcome to those of you who are new to the school. GSAL is a vibrant and active community, and that extends to the PFA (the Parents and Friends’ Association). Along with the rest of the school, we are going through a COVID reset moment with lots of new developments to share with you over the coming weeks about the ways that you can be involved in school life. However, in this first notice of the new year, I want to say a huge thank you to the amazing team from 2Kit, led by Vicky Hart, who have worked tirelessly over recent weeks to run the 2nd hand uniform sales to ensure that as many of our pupils as possible were (literally!) ready to go this week. This is just one example of the way that we can work with school to help parents and we look forward to sharing with you lots of new initiatives to come.

Wishing you all a great school year and I look forward to meeting you all soon – at scouts, on the touchline or at one of our events/activities!

Sport update

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

Hair Apparent: a voyage around my roots, by local author Tina Shingler

Wed 15 Sept 4.30-5.30 pm

UPSoc would like to invite you to an exciting event to celebrate World Afro Day 2021. The talk explores one woman’s experience of diversity, race, identity and self-esteem, and how to grow as resilient and as versatile as your own kinky hair. A funny, poignant, and inspiring journey, in the unforgiving world of Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and the selfie. All pupils welcome to attend in person or families contact for the zoom code.

2Kit pop-up shop

Sat 18 Sept 10.00am-1.00pm

The PFA will be holding a pop-up shop at GSAL selling used uniform.  Please make sure you have donated any items in good time – these can be left in the uniform bin in the car park or with reception.

Flu Vaccinations

Wed 13 – Fri 15 October

If your child is in Y7-11 and you would like them to receive the nasal flu vaccine in school please click here to complete an online consent form before 20 September. Should you have any queries, please DO NOT contact school as we will be unable to help, please contact the School Immunisation Team on 0333 358 3397 (option 2 ext 3). If your child has received the nasal flu vaccine since September 2021 please disregard this message.

GSAL World

We have made some changes to GSAL World, if you have trouble accessing the system please enter your username with at the end.

Pupil reception

Pupil reception is now open to parents therefore please drop any items of forgotten kit or food technology at pupil reception, rather than main reception, to ensure these get to your child as soon as possible.

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Year 7 notices

Outdoor discovery course

The Y7 outdoor discovery course is due to take place this term, information for parents and pupils can be found here.

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Year 8 notices

Parents’ presentation evening

Wed 22 Sept 

The Y8 parents’ presentation evening is a valuable opportunity to ensure that effective partnerships are built and lines of communication opened as soon as possible.

During the course of the evening, you will have the opportunity to meet with your son or daughter’s form tutor, attend a main presentation (which will outline a number of important aspects of academic and pastoral life in Years 8 and 9) and attend additional pastoral presentations which aim to support you as parents of a child in the teenage years. Please save this date to your diary. Additional information will follow next week including when the appointment booking system will be opened for this event.

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Year 12 notices

Parents’ presentation evening

Thu 16 Sept

Please see the attached letter from Mr Harding, Director of Sixth Form, for information and guidance about the Y12 presentation evening on Thursday 16 September.

Outdoor leadership course

The Y12 outdoor leadership course is due to take place this term, information for parents and pupils can be found here.

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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

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