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London School Update: October half term, 2023

September marked the beginning on a busy half term with all staff completing Level 3 Paediatric First Aid Training to allow us to run more trips and extend the opportunities available to our students outside of the school building. Continuing professional development (CPD) is an important part of working at In Toto Ed and across the organisation, we have several staff completing a range of qualifications from a Diploma in Photography to an NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Headship). We also welcomed new staff to the team: Darren (Maths), Hugh (Music), Mondelle (English), Aaron (Sport) and Nicola (Teaching Assistant).

The students have made a strong start, and we are delighted we are now working with The John Roan School and have recently welcomed some of their students to In Toto Ed London. We have students travelling to us from across London due to the broad and balanced curriculum we have on offer, as well as our ability to deliver Level 3 qualifications. There have been lots of meetings about access arrangements for our students as we look ahead to entering them for their GCSEs and vocational qualifications, and putting together plans to support our young people at what can be a very challenging time. As always, we are working hard to support our students as they take their next steps, with visits to local colleges planned in the coming weeks.

As an organisation, we have recently gained accreditation with UAL and are now delivering their Level 2 and 3 Music qualifications, which offer an excellent mixture of live music and music production options. Alongside lessons within class, we have taken student to watch Wicked as part of their Silver Arts Award, with another trip to the Natural History Museum planned for after Half Term.

Nadine - our Head of School Operations and Pastoral - has done a brilliant job of working with our students to ensure they feel supported pastorally. She has spear-headed lots of new initiatives and is pushing PSHE and Employability to the forefront of the curriculum. We have celebrated World Mental Health Day and Anti-Bullying Day as well as starting the audition process for ‘In Toto’s Got Talent’, which will be taking place at the end of term.

ICT continues to be a priority, with all students now having access to iPads in every lesson and gaining proficiency in accessing our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Firefly. We are working hard to populate Firefly with revision resources to ensure our students have access to high-quality content from home.

As a team we always hold onto the words of Anatole France, ‘Nine-tenths of education is encouragement’ and with that, we look forward to continuing with our journey after half term.

Emily Gunton, Director of Learning & Development and Head of School, London

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