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Number: 31 | 8 July 2019
Mrs Roberts was unfortunately unable to be at Headstart Day last Wednesday. Here she is talking about Tallis and our aim to educate young people so that they can understand the world and change it for the better.
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Dear Tallis Family 

It has been a week of happy occasions at Tallis. Friday 28th saw the Year 13 Leaving Ceremony, Wednesday 3rd was their party, Thursday 4th the year 11 Prom and today as I write, Friday 5th is the Year 11 Leaving Ceremony followed by tea in the Prom marquee on the concourse!  In between all of that there was Headstart Day for our upcoming year 7s. Beginnings and endings are important to us at Tallis, and if you are involved, I hope you feel that we have done them well.
 
My apologies for not being at the Headstart Day parents’ meeting, however. I am a member of the Department for Education’s Headteacher Standards Review Group which had its first meeting on Wednesday so I saw the children into school then had to leave. I had recorded a video of what I usually say, but circumstances conspired to make that unwatchable!  Mr Tomlin filled in for me, but the video – which is about communication through the trials of adolescence – is on our website.

Thank you for your support. 

Carolyn Roberts, Head
Don't forget to read the latest blog post in Mrs Roberts writes, a regular column about school life.
The final half term of the year provides an opportunity for students (and staff members) to reflect on their habits strengths and further develop those dispositions that need additional extra practice. Each area in school has been looking after a Habit dog (a Tallis Habit is for life, not just for Christmas!) and below you will find some more stories about how these dogs have been nurtured and exercised this year. Look out for the final instalment next week!

Calendar
8 July- 12 July: Week B

Monday 8 July 
13:00-15:15 Year 7 Sutcliff Park Trip

Tuesday 9 July
09:00-16:00 Year 10 Goldsmith University Trip
11:30-13:30 Year 7 Sutcliffe Park Climbing Trip
13:30-15:30 Year 7 Sutcliffe Park Climbing Trip

Wednesday 10 July
08:30-16:00 Year 12 University of Kent Trip

Friday 12 July
09:00-16:00 Year 7, 8 and 9 Leeds Castle  Trip

We put all these trips and visits in by year group so you can see the scope of our activities. 
Your child will know if he or she is involved!

Summer Holiday Screen Time

We have been talking in assemblies this week about how descriptions of the iGen generation (born after 1995) are dominated by negative uses of technology. We have challenged students to look at their screen use and think about how they can make it more balanced. In particular we have suggested two ideas for them to try over the summer holidays.

One hour offline for every hour online:

  • Reading
  • Making stuff 
  • Face to face instead of online
  • Sports and hobbies
  • Going places
  • Homework and revision
One beneficial hour online for every entertainment hour online:
  • Learning more about your school subjects
  • Finding out more about what interests you
  • Being creative using technology
  • Developing a positive digital footprint
  • Follow verified, positive role models
We will be sending out some suggestions in the run up to the summer holidays. Please get in touch with any ideas or tips we could share. In the meantime, I find this to be a great source of ideas and information on screen use and other tech issues. The most recent articles have advice for the summer holidays and examples of family screen time agreements. www.screenagersmovie.com/tech-talk-tuesdays.

Andy Pape
apape@thomastallis.org.uk
Online Safety Coordinator
Year 7 into Year 8

It has been my absolute pleasure to be the Head of the current Year 7 for their transition year into Tallis.  They are a fantastic year group and have had so many successes. These have been in all shapes and sizes: sporting success, charity success, Tallis Character success and just generally fitting into life in our school community.
 
They have been a delight to be around and are funny, intelligent and a caring bunch. They created and solved World Peace in December, took on the rest of Greenwich in sports in the Spring and dominated the spelling bee in Summer. They opened their hearts (and your cupboards) to provide for the food bank collections and they took part in their first Community Days.  
 
They have been to Norway, to temples, to Leeds Castle, to the cinema and climbing. They have guided new parents at open evening and welcomed their successors this week.
 
To say I am proud of them is an understatement (and I have learned every single name). It is a privilege to be the Head of Year 7, but it means that I do have to say goodbye every year, which I find very teary (I have already blubbed in one assembly). I will be handing over this wonderful bunch of human beings to Mr Brunoir, who will be their Head of Year from Year 8 until Year 11.
 
Mr Brunoir and I will be meeting students together and beginning our hand over from next week.  
 
Thank you for all your support this year and I wish you all a restful Summer and the children good luck in their futures at Tallis.
 
Jo Rawlings, Head of Year 7 
England U14 Basketball Team

Congratulations to Jayden Baldie 9FA who represented England U14 Basketball team in Copenhagen last week. Jayden’s basketball team, who he captains, had an undefeated season and made the play offs where England scouts picked him to represent his country. Here at Tallis we are all so proud of his hard work and achievements.

Jodie Leslie, PE
Collaboration - training students for Tallis life

Year 7 is a year of transition - students arrive here the oldest and suddenly are surrounded by older (and bigger) people who seem quite daunting and maybe a little scary.

They're not and Year 7 students learn that quickly. The first lesson they have about collaboration is that it involves operating and people co-operate with new students and help them find their way around.  Considering the size of the school, very few students actually get lost because of the co-operation of their peers.

Once their navigation is sorted, we start to encourage and develop ways for students to work together and collaborate - an essential life skill and one that benefits all.

In December, Year 7 students collaborated to  produce fantastic hampers that were delivered to Greenwich Foodbank. They worked as form groups to supply items that were in great need.  The generosity and kindness of spirit were remarkable - they made us all very proud.

The collaboration continued with Year 7 students solving problems and working together on their first Community Day. They built tall towers from paper and straws, sharing their products and congratulating successes.  They also made friendship bracelets and shared these with their new peers.  In November, they collaborated on marking the centenary of the end of the First World War - marking our Remembrance and reflecting on the world.  The final Community Day saw Year 7s collaborating with their elder peers, working on and creating flags that marked 70 years since the Declaration of Human Rights was drawn up.   

Sports Day was marked by phenomenal levels of engagement, with all races completely filled with competitors and a fierce competition in the fun relay race at the end (Mr Bertin being pipped at the post by Mr Manning was a highlight). The students gave each other encouragement and spurred one another on - sharing their success and showing excellent teamwork.

Collaboration in Year 7 is rife.  As it should be and students work really well together.

Jo Rawlings, Head of Year 7
Disciplined in Design Technology

The students studying Design and Technology subjects have been disciplined this year. The theme for students being reflective, learning from mistakes and developing new techniques has been instrumental in the progress and quality outcomes they have produced. Our Year 9 students have been looking after disciplined dog this year. In Product design they overcame the fear of creating an accurate and levelled stool, using the pillar drill, the router and laser cutter to create mini stools.

Our current year 11 students were challenged by the context: Addressing the needs of the disabled. We discussed the various disabilities and the impact it creates on lives of others. Below are a few practical responses that highlights how disciplined they were from concept to production.

Our Food and Nutrition year 10 students interpreted the theme discipline through the various dishes that they designed and made in lessons. Below are pictures of the completed dishes made by Orville Scarlett-Russell (Caramel chocolate tarts and Ozan Kokcu Vegetarian Lasagne)

Year 12 students were not to be left out as the research that they completed as part of the course outline highlighted the theme as seen in the images below.

Doric Sinclair, Head of Design Technology
Imaginative in PE

PE requires students to be imaginative in that they should try to explore new possibilities and experiences and when they are playing should come up with tactics and strategies in order outwit opponents.

In PE we offer a wide range of extra-curricular clubs and teams which are available for all students to attend. We hope students will try these clubs in order be active, help to maintain a healthy lifestyle and try activities which they may not usually have the chance to experience. As well as offering the extra-curricular activities in the traditionally most popular sports, for example football, athletics, basketball, badminton and table tennis we have sought to extend the range of opportunities and offer new clubs in other activities.

Netball has become very popular with training well attended and the girls have entered a league with a good deal of success. We also have the Sabina netball club coming in to promote their club and run trial sessions so as our girls have the opportunity to take up and play netball outside school.

Rugby for girls and boys has also proved popular with the girls receiving coaching in their PE lessons and having the opportunity to further their playing experience by attending girls rugby at Old Colfeans RFC. The sixth form girls also entered a rugby 8’s tournament hosted by Old Colfean’s, and the boys went on to represent Greenwich in the London Youth Games in the new Rugby 9‘s tournament which is an introduction to the rules of rugby league.

We have also introduced new clubs for Mixed Martial Art’s (MMA) and most recently yoga which although in their early stages are also proving popular with our students. We hope to be able to continue to offer this extensive range of activities to our students so as they can experience a range of new activities.
Physics and Collaboration – visit to the Royal Observatory, Greenwich
 
This recent Year 12 trip to the Royal Observatory demonstrated the way in which scientists collaborate on a global scale to analyse new cosmological phenomena. You might of heard recently how the first picture of a black hole was taken by imaging the radio signals received by a network of global radio telescopes that were synchronised using atomic clocks. Well….  our day together at the Royal Observatory might not have had such a global impact but the students learned how telescopes function and carried out a series of workshops on starlight. They had to collaborate together to analyse the starlight from a collection of stars and use the Doppler Shift Method to calculate the rotational velocity of the Sun – a staggering 2 km/s.

Working as a team is an essential part of science and no single discovery can ever be attributed to one person. Newton famously said he ‘stood on the shoulders of giants’ such as Galileo and Kepler to formulate his law of universal gravity. I hope the students appreciated this fundamental way of working as they solved the astrophysical problems they were presented with.

We also used an H-alpha filter to look through a telescope at the Sun to witness solar filaments and we visited the ‘Astro-photographer of the Year’ exhibition in the Maritime Museum.

Don’t forget it’s 50 years since man visited the Moon on 16th July! Great exhibition opening at the Maritime Museum on the Moon landings. Catch it over the summer!
 
Photos below show one of our student’s feet being imaged through a black bin-liner using an infra-red camera (an analogy to how you can image exoplanets and stars through dust clouds), the H-alpha telescopes and the group work at the Observatory.
 
Andy Smythe, Director of Science
Persistence in Modern Foreign Languages
Collaborative in English

Throughout the year, Year 8 students have been practising their debating skills in English lessons. This has involved effective collaboration between team members in order to construct an engaging and developed argument. Students competed in their English classes and then we had a whole year final between our two top teams. The winners represented us in the Greenwich Borough Final a few weeks ago. They were mentored by last year’s winning team, who have continued to support with our debating programme. We have also been working closely with Invicta Primary School, supporting them with a debating programme they are setting up this year.
 
On Wednesday 3rd July, our Year 9 debating team - Ellie, Aine, Bella and Lily - visited Invicta Deptford to work with students in Years 1 – 3 on their debating skills. It was a fantastic example of collaboration: the Year 9 students spoke confidently and enthusiastically with Invicta students about the importance of debating and supported them with their own speeches. We can’t wait to welcome Invicta students to Tallis during w/c 8th July as they use our main hall for their own debates. 
 
Lizzie Church, English Faculty
Imaginative in Photography

The ability to be imaginative - to trust in intuition, to make connections and play with possibilities - is a key habit of mind in photography. On Friday, Year 10 students worked with artist Bill Leslie to explore the relationship between making, performing and photographing. Bill's practice is rooted in intuitive explorations of materials and on the idea of uncertainty. He encouraged the students to play seriously and use their cameras without looking through the viewfinders, almost as extensions of their bodies. He brought in a telephoto camera obscura which renders the world upside down. The students made an abstract cityscape from upcycled materials, lit it with torches in a darkened room and photographed the results. These images and videos were then turned into large projections on the back wall of the classroom and re-photographed. The students were also encouraged to 'catch' parts of the projected videos with large sheets of paper. Following Friday's session, Bill write a message for the students:

"Thanks again for all your hard work on Friday. Lots of really exciting things happened. I thought one really interesting thing that was said was that play can be a serious business. It's 6 o'clock on Saturday morning and I'm watching my daughter play with some clothes pegs and a basket. She's 18 months old (cute) and she's picking out the pegs one by one and taking them over to a little space under the table and making a pile. She's concentrating really hard on what she's doing. She's playing but she's so serious! I think I do a lot of this as an artist, or try to, and I saw some of it on Friday when you were all working together. We don't get to play much as we get older. Some people play sports but these games have rules already so it's not quite the same. My daughter is finding out the rules of her game by playing it and it changes as things take her by surprise or she has a new idea. We have to do this all the time as artists. We have to work out what it is we're doing as we go along. This is one of the best things about being an artist but also one of the hardest."

Thanks to Bill and his organisation Leap Then Look for his inspiration and imagination.

Jon Nicholls, Director of Arts & Creativity
Invicta Debating Mentoring
 
A huge well done and thank you to the five Year 8 students who volunteered to support Invicta students from Years 1 - 6 with their debating preparation on Wednesday 26th June. Zion, Melissa, Finley, Astrid and Matty spent 30 minutes in each class, answering questions on their debating experience and sharing top tips. They were absolutely brilliant, and presented confidently and enthusiastically – a real credit to our school.
 
Invicta students will be using our main hall for their debates during the week of 10th July. We can’t wait to see how their hard work has paid off!
Word of the Week – PROGRESS
 
Our next Word of the Week is PROGRESS.
Word of the Week
Elizabeth Church, English 
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