Michaelmas Term 2020 No 8

Michaelmas Term 2020
Letter from the Headmistress

No 8

Disappointment, The Online Calendar, Dates To Remember, 12 Days of Lessons until Exams, Effort Grades, Our Targets Talks, Assemblies, The Final Week, A Christmas Slide Show, A Christmas Performance, The Prefects

Dear Parents,


With our disappointment still very much central to our thoughts and our heavy hearts I thought I should write to you and try to reset the situation and refocus our minds on the time and priorities that lie ahead.

The Online Calendar

I attach the online calendar below for you to consider. Please make a note that there are only 12 days of lessons until the exams begin. Even though we have the week’s break between now and then time is very short. Please do click on the calendar below. It will open as if by magic and you can then really consider and plan for the weeks ahead before we break up.

The Calendar
Please click

Dates to Remember

The Break
The week’s break will begin on Monday 9th November

Exams begin on Monday 23rd November

Parent/Tutor Meetings
These will begin on Monday 7th December.
Your child’s tutor will be in touch nearer the time to arrange these.

Final week
During this week we will have our final assembly and a Christmas performance.

End of term
The End of term will be on Friday 11th December


As with everything, the crux of the lessons with each teacher is that every child should arrive in the lesson on time and prepared, they should understand and engage with the work that is covered and they should be able to express themselves clearly. For each child the priority must be to accomplish every task set, to the best of their ability and to speak out if they need help. Please do encourage your children to take heed of this advice. Should you sense a problem then please do reach out to your child’s tutor and explain where you feel problems might lie.

Year 8s.

The Year 8s will have a slightly different exam timetable to the rest of the school and they will also be writing their assessments with pen and ink as opposed to being online. The exams will be sent via Wells Fargo and we will manage matters so that these papers prepare the children as much as possible for their mock CE exams next term and then the real thing later on in the Trinity term. I have sent a separate letter to the Year 8s to inform them of the details.

Effort Grades

This may be the time to remind you about effort grades. Whilst grades indicating attainment are very important, the effort grades ultimately outstrip grades of attainment. The attitude to learning and the level of energy and real effort that your child puts into their lessons and life in general will have a great deal more influence on how their future unfolds than any other single indicator that we can give them.

The Target

All children at Pembroke House are expected to receive a ‘3’ - a ‘good’ for effort. A 2 is unsatisfactory and a 4 is very good. A 4* is outstanding. There is a tendency for effort grades to become slightly inflated as time goes by. Understandably, teachers wish to encourage children by urging them on, rather than being overly critical. Having discussed effort grades as a team we feel we should slightly reset matters and teachers will be mindful of being as candid as possible when indicating their understanding of a child’s level of effort. That said, there is a process to this and if a teacher feels a child is only giving a ‘2’ for effort they should talk to that child’s tutor. The tutor is then responsible for guiding and mentoring their tutee and a concern of this nature should be raised with you, preferably with a phone call. The aim is to engage with each child so that they all contribute and try their hardest and a 3 is the level of effort expected.


On Friday 6th November at 12.30, just before lunch, Steph Dioniak has kindly agreed to talk to all the children and of course all of us online. Steph is a conservationist and her talk will be centred around nature and what we can learn by understanding more about everything to do with the natural world. I would like to thank Steph very much in advance for very kindly agreeing to talk to us all.

We have one more talk scheduled for later on in the term and I will pass on the details nearer the time.

The Final Week
Parent/ Tutor Meetings

During the final week there will be Parent Tutor meetings with you and your child to discuss the progress from this term and to focus on the priorities for the months ahead. Your child’s tutor will be in touch nearer the time to arrange these meetings.


The topic for the remaining assemblies this term is ‘The Environment’ and for this coming Monday we can look forward to 8S and everything they will teach us. After the break we will have 8P on Monday 16th November and then 8M will be on Monday 30th November.

The Final week
Final Assembly

Our assembly in the final week will be like usual, with a focus on Housepoints and awards. We will then have a slideshow from this term and hopefully all the children will feature having sent in a photo. Mrs Wheeler will be in touch soon to arrange this.


Afternoon lessons in this final week will be filled with quizzes, creative ideas and films and will be more light hearted as we count down to the end of term and the Christmas holiday.

A Christmas Performance

Ms Shoukry and her team are very kindly putting together a Christmas performance for us all to enjoy online. The performance will be part Nativity and part Carol Service with the usual readings from the Bible from our Prefects.

The Prefects

I have been so impressed by our Prefects this term; they have clearly enunciated each word in their weekly assembly readings. They have taken note of the punctuation and they have incorporated poise, inflection and courage as they present to over 100 people online. Very well done, Prefects!

I think this brings me to the end of Letter No 8. I hope you can begin to turn your attention and focus to the busy time ahead and please do continue to support and encourage your children as we move closer to exam time.

As always please get in touch and ask for help over anything at all and we will do our best to respond and address any matters which need attention or further thought.

With very best wishes,


Mrs Deborah Boyd Moss MA (Cantab) PGCE
Pembroke House
+ 254 (0) 720 602 483