Information from the Head of the Virtual School

Author: The Virtual School

Posted: Fri, 08 Jun 2018 14:08

Tall Ships 2018 - Pre-trip Meeting

Last night's meeting was arranged so that the group could meet each other and find out more about the Tall Ships week in July. Penny (Virtual School) and Kate (Residential Support Worker) will be going on the trip. They started by congratulating the young people on being chosen to go on the trip as a result of their achievements this year.

Kerry (Youth Worker) and our Y12 mentor gave the group lots of information including what to bring (e.g. a sleeping bag) and what not to bring (e.g. high heels). They were shown photos from last year's trip which looked amazing!

At the end of the meeting, there was a lot of excitement in the room and we are all looking forward to setting sail in July!

Tags: Virtual School, Education, Participation, Year 11

Posted: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 16:28

Participation Event - An Officer and a Gentleman

On the 19th April staff from the Virtual School took a group of young people to see An Officer and a Gentleman at Curve theatre in Leicester.

An Officer and a Gentleman, the Musical is a stage musical based on the, original movie written by Douglas Day Stewart.

We had the privilege of watching the new version of the musical at Curve before it tours the UK. The show was enriched with some 80's favorites such as "Up Where We Belong", "Girls Just Want to Have Fun", "Toy Soldiers", "Alone", "Don't Cry Out loud" and "Material Girl".

The youngsters who attended the show behaved brilliantly. They were enthralled by the fast pace and never uttered a word during the show. They enjoyed the free ice cream and it was great to watch them chat to each other during the interval. They were an absolute joy to take to the theatre .

It was a great night enjoyed by all who attended including virtual school and corporate parenting staff and carers.

Tags: Virtual School, Education, Theatre, Participation

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