Information from the Head of the Virtual School

Author: The Virtual School

Posted: Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:21

Primary University Experience Day 2018

On Thursday 15th March, 15 young people from Years 5 and 6 took part in the Leicester University Experience Day. The young people were all accompanied by an adult from their school.

Student Ambassadors met us at the foyer of the Charles Wilson Building and took us to our room for the day. Once everyone had arrived and settled the day began!

The Student Ambassadors chatted with students in groups about university life. Following this we all went on a tour of the university. This included a visit to a library which was huge! We also saw the astronomic clock, the Raven rocket and a dinosaur!

During the morning the young people had an opportunity to make a 'dream catcher' and a mortar board.

After lunch students from the Law Department gave a talk and led a role-play activity around a mock trial.

At the end of the day our young people were presented with a souvenir university bear.

Everyone had a lovely day, and all the children said it had helped them to think about their future. In addition 14 of them said that the event had motivated them to do well at school!

Tags: Virtual School, Education, University

Posted: Mon, 26 Mar 2018 09:16

National Association of Virtual School Heads’ annual conference

Last week I attended the National Association of Virtual School Heads' (NAVSH) annual conference in London. Over 200 delegates representing more than 120 local authorities witnessed presentations by Nadhim Zahawi, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, Matthew Brazier, Ofsted Lead for Children, Anne Longfield, Children's Commissioner and representatives from Adoption UK, Coram and the National Consortium of Examination Results (NCER).

It also offered a great opportunity to speak to other Virtual School Heads from local authorities across the country, share some great ideas and discuss issues affecting us all. It was good to talk to representatives from the Department for Education, in particular regarding new statutory guidance and our extended remit for previously looked after children.

It was a very useful two days that left us all feeling inspired, emboldened and enabled; re-invigorated to meet the challenges before us.


Tags: Virtual School, Education, Conference

Posted: Thu, 25 Jan 2018 08:59

Year 8/9 STEM Lab Day at Loughborough University

Just before the Christmas break a group of Year 8 and 9 students from the Virtual School had the chance to visit Loughborough University to find out about STEM (that's Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects. They took part in 3 really interesting activities: protecting rare birds eggs, forensically investigating the theft of fish and experimenting on rocket propulsion (using Newton's Third Law).

One of our young people designed a Sankey diagram to display the results (and tried to explain to Sam what this is!).

"An amazing day" and "A great experience" are just some of the young people's comments. The day was a really good chance to see if university might be a part of their futures!

Tags: Virtual School, Education, Participation, University

Posted: Wed, 24 Jan 2018 08:54

George’s Marvellous Medicine

On Saturday 20th January, the Virtual School organised a visit to Curve Theatre in Leicester to see a brilliant production of George's Marvellous Medicine.

Roald Dahl's tale of George and the potion he made for his grumpy grandma was brought to life in a lively performance with music, dancing, a giant chicken and a few bangs and flashes as the potions were mixed! There was plenty of audience participation and our group of 14 children joined in as we helped George remember the ingredients he needed. The children all really enjoyed the show - and the free ice creams during the interval, saying:

"I liked the bit where the Grandma came in on the motorcycle"

"The play was funny"

"I liked the whoopee cushion bit!"

"I liked the whole thing"

Tags: Virtual School, Education, Participation, Theatre

Posted: Mon, 15 Jan 2018 14:39

Year 8/9 Art and Design University Day

Today some of our Year 8 and 9 students are visiting De Montfort University and finding out what it is like to study art and design. This is what they have done:

We have been doing a fine art sketching project, using a variety of different objects to create a composition which we will then draw. We have also created a 3D set design for a play and then presented it to the whole group. As you can see it involved a lot of work for us all. Our final task has been making circles and spirals out of straight lines.

Our students had lots to say on the day including ... "my favourite activity was making the spirals"; "I didn't like the 'manky mushroom' we had to draw"; "it has made us want to come to uni"; "I like drawing the things in a box" and "I definitely want to come back for the residential in June!".

Tags: Virtual School, Education, University

Posted: Thu, 21 Dec 2017 15:13

Participation Event: Scrooge the Musical

On the 14th December 2017, 12 young people in Years 8 and above attended the Virtual School participation event to see Scrooge the Musical at the Curve.

Scrooge the Musical is based on the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. The show was brought to life with some great singing, acting and dancing. Some young people even spotted a famous celebrity on stage playing the very energetic 'Tom Jenkins' who also has a key role in the BBC show East Enders. Some of the young people who attended the event have their own aspirations to take up drama currently and in the coming new year and this was the perfect event to showcase the involvement of adults, young people and children putting on a performance together.

Feedback from the night was very positive and the young people enjoyed the show and would go to see a musical again. They also came away with more of an understanding about the story of Scrooge the Christmas Carol. Whist the young people were there they all enjoyed a free ice-cream and were given their own copy of A Christmas Carol on behalf of the Virtual School.

Tags: Virtual School, Education, Participation, Music, Theatre

Posted: Thu, 21 Dec 2017 14:53

Looking forward to 2018

Hi Everyone,

It feels like I've only been Virtual School Head for about five minutes, but it's really a full six months!

Since my appointment there have been other changes in the Virtual School team, with Penny Boyd appointed Secondary Team Manager and two new members of staff joining the team in January.

I want to inform you that we are planning lots of exciting participation activities for you to join in with during 2018, so look out for information on the website and updates in the Fox News newsletter. I also welcome your views and suggestions about how we can help to promote your education, and here is our email address:

Let's all look forward to a happy and rewarding New Year.

Best Wishes,

Tony Barnard

Virtual School Head

Tags: Virtual School, Education

Posted: Fri, 14 Jul 2017 11:47

Newly Appointed Virtual School Head

Hello everyone,

This is a post to let you all know the Virtual School has a newly appointed Virtual School Head.

Tony Barnard has been successfully appointed and he is delighted to be in post.

Vicki Taylor will continue in her role as Primary Team Manager, and it is hoped a new Secondary Team Manager will be appointed soon.

You will be informed when this has happened.

Best wishes and have a good summer!

Tags: #Virtual School

Posted: Thu, 30 Mar 2017 16:41

New Virtual School Heads of Fox Academy (Temporary)

Hi Everyone,

For those of you who attended last week's Celebration Events, we hope you enjoyed the occasion! We were pleased to see many of you at the event, and it was great to see so many achievement awards being given out.

We wanted to let you know that since Sally-Ann Harding left her post, Tony Barnard, and Vicki Taylor, are now sharing this position on a temporary basis

This position has now been advertised and a new Virtual School head will be appointed fairly soon. As ever, don't hesitate to get in touch with us about any aspect of your education.

Thanks and best wishes.

Tony Barnard and Vicki Taylor.

Tags: #Education, Fox Academy, #Virtual School

Posted: Wed, 15 Feb 2017 09:45

Goodbye from Virtual Head

Hello everyone,

I hope you have had an enjoyable half term. It's getting a lot lighter now in the evenings and mornings so you'll be able to find lots of great things to fill the additional hours of daylight I hope.

Those of you undertaking exams this year – please contact us if we can be of any help at all and if you would like some additional support or tuition. We also have lots of great activities set up for you so will be in touch about these soon.

I have enjoyed working with you over the last five years as the Head of your Fox Academy. However, I am now moving my job so will be leaving Leicestershire at the end of February. I would like to wish you all well in the future and reassure you that Tony Barnard and Vicki Taylor will be here to help you with your education until a permanent Virtual Head is appointed.

Take care of yourselves.

Good bye everyone.

Sally-Ann Harding.

Tags: #Virtual School