December is upon us already, and we are certainly feeling festive at MCS as Advent starts. Our Christmas tree will be up next week, and plans are afoot for Christmas lunches, raffles and events - details below for all of these.
The build up of the festive season is a wonderful lift for us all as the days get shorter and the weather gets colder. It's at this point in this lengthy term that at times energy dips; everyone at school will at times feel more tired. This is where our Wellbeing Team really come into their own, supporting students when things go wrong, providing additional support when it is needed and ensuring that our inclusive learning environment is a calm, safe and happy place to be for everyone.
Our established student routines and processes, which we call Ready To Learn, are also a particular benefit at this stage of the term. They give students certainty about what is required, and the expectations on equipment, punctuality to lessons and uniform become habit. This frees up their attention (their 'cognitive load') to be able to focus on their lessons. This consistency also supports students in their learning by ensuring they maximise learning time and are properly equipped. We have been speaking to students about this in assemblies and Form time this week.
We know that no-one gets it right all the time, and so support is available at school if a student needs it. We can lend equipment or uniform for the day - the Ready To Learn support room is located in the corridor behind reception in room 002. If a student needs a longer-term loan then they can speak to any member of the Wellbeing Team or their Form tutor.
For a reminder of uniform or equipment requirements, please click these links:
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you'd like to discuss any of these aspects, or indeed any other aspect of your child's education. A reminder also that we have now included contact details for a wide range of staff, including all Form tutors, on the school website HERE.
All the best for a restful weekend.
There's still time to enter for a chance to win the iPad! Entries will close at midnight on Wednesday 14th December and the draw will take place at school using a number generator on Thursday 15th December. This will be videoed for transparency.
Charity Committee Christmas Collection
This year, once again, MCS Charity Committee is collecting for The Wallich in Newport. Students have been so generous in previous years and we know that the items collected this year will be so greatly appreciated. As usual, we are asking each Year group, where able, to bring in a certain item(s) but we are also asking this year for donations of gift bags or old shoe boxes that we could use to pack the items into. We are collecting from Monday 5th December to Friday 16th December. Students should bring any items into Form tutors or directly to Miss Barnes in the LRC.
Year 7 – Adult hats, gloves and scarves
Year 8 – Adult warm socks
Year 9 – Tea, coffee and biscuits
Year 10 – Female toiletries
Year 11 – Male toiletries
Year 12/13 – Colouring, mindfulness activity books
Thank you very much for your support.
Catching up with D&T Textiles
Y11 textiles students are well underway with their NEA work, designing for a wide range of diverse opportunities suitable for a catwalk or social events. Students have researched global issues and amongst the ideas are areas to raise awareness of, and campaign for, moral, ethical and social worldwide issues from Pollution in the oceans and Sexual assault on woman in India to deforestation and cultural festivals.
Students are currently in the early stages of modelling ideas with fabrics and techniques before finalising their final piece with their chosen materials. We hope for this to be displayed in the Summer at a Design Show within the school.
Y12 Textile students have been inspired by Issey Miyake, the late Japanese fashion designer, and taken inspiration from his Pleats Please collection.
From a rectangular piece of Calico, students have learnt to drape, a technique used to make a 3-dimensional dress pattern with the aid of a dress form figure by pinning and placing fabric against the form to create a garment.
Tree Nursery at Monmouth Comprehensive School
Transition Monmouth has been working in partnership with Monmouthshire County Council on preparing an area in the grounds of MCS to create a tree nursery. Eighteen months later, and the first 20 sapling trees were planted by a small working group. These have been grown from locally collected seeds by visitors to various public events over the last two years, including Chepstow’s popular Apple Day. Saplings planted include oak, sweet chestnut, blackthorn, willow, cherry, hazel and crab apple.
Once grown to a ‘standard’ size in three or four years, the trees will be planted out into public sites to help meet Monmouthshire’s tree planting target. The remainder of the area will accommodate saplings grown as part of the Trees from Seed project whereby, in 2020, 15 schools were provided with raised beds for the pupils to plant tree seeds (pips, nuts and berries) and grow the next generation of trees.
Catrin Maby Cabinet Member for the Environment said “we are very grateful to Transition Monmouth for their work in establishing this tree nursery area. It is a very special project with school children gathering seeds from trees during the autumn, and growing trees which will ultimately be planted out in the County’s green spaces. In a time of climate anxiety, it is important for local people to feel that there is something they can do about climate change. I would like to thank Transition Monmouth for creating the bed and for their future care of these saplings.”
Pop Up Book Shop
We’re having a pop-up bookshop from Rossiter Books on the 12th and 13th December in the Atrium.
This is an opportunity for KS3 and KS4 students to use a £7 book voucher provided by Schools Love Reading. More information on that scheme may be found here: https://tinyurl.com/2d5c75wz
Victoria and Andy Rossiter will be bringing in a wide selection of books, with some special Christmas titles, for students to peruse and buy with their voucher.
They have also set up an online shop ‘window’ for students to browse – if they see a book they like that isn’t in their display, they will order this in for them once they have filled in an order form. This can be useful for Year 10 and Year 11 if they are in important GCSE lessons and can’t make it down, as we definitely want every student to be able to use their voucher!
Monday 12th December will be for Years 7 & 8
Tuesday 13th December will before Years 9, 10 &11
Student Christmas Lunch
Bus journeys in Monmouthshire will be free every weekend in December, as well as parking in selected car parks, Monmouthshire County Council has announced.
The scheme, funded by the Welsh Government, aims to encourage shoppers and commuters to use public transport to help combat the climate emergency, as well as supporting local businesses.
Any bus journey with a start and end point within Monmouthshire will be free.
This comes alongside the return of free parking on weekends in council-owned car parks across the borough.
24/7 Absence Line
Reporting an absence
Please note that the direct number to report your child's absence is 01600 775284. Please note this is an answerphone which is available 24/7 for you to leave a message.