Year 11 End of Autumn Term and Spring Term arrangements
It is a pleasure to write to you as another successful term comes to a close. The past term has been filled with many curriculum learning journeys for the students, who have demonstrated self ambition and risen to the challenges of their final year of GCSEs. Subject staff have worked hard to provide students with the right curriculum content and strategies to be successful and this combined with regular practice at home will mean students are well prepared for the last two terms of study.
By far the vast majority are adhering to our motto of Class of 2022 ‘Simply the Best’, and have amassed 16,800 positive points since September alone. Next term I will be hoping for more kindness points to be awarded as students develop their communication skills and appreciation for others points of view. If I can ask parents to monitor their child’s social media usage over the break and ensure it remains positive and respectful, I would appreciate it.
I have had numerous positive reports from subject teachers around the school regarding our Year 11s. The period 5 lessons have allowed an additional 3300+ minutes of learning which all adds up to support a year group with a real drive to succeed. As a year group, their approach and attitude towards their education demonstrates that they, as well as you and the school, have high hopes for their success.
Being Christmas, I would like to see the Year 11 students have some well-deserved time for relaxation, they have had a long term and have just completed assessments across a number of subjects. That said, with just five months to go until their final exams, students should ensure they do not completely neglect their studies either. A number of students have already sat external elements of GCSE exams this term and others will be during January 2022. Regular practice covering topics completed at the start of their courses will help content stick and be able to be recalled. We have provided your child with apps in order to facilitate this and I hope you will continue to encourage them to access them regularly.
Ensuring that your child has the correct uniform, equipment and attends school on a regular basis ensures that your child can be as successful as possible at school and in support of our school ethos. We ask that you resolve any issues you identify with your child’s uniform in readiness for the start of term so we are all ready to get back to routines promptly.
We are aware that many students have outgrown or have broken their school shoes and we have worked with families to support them, so please ensure that these are replaced in time. If students are without the correct uniform then we ask that you provide them with a dated and signed note and that the issue is rectified within three days. Students attending school without the correct uniform and without a qualifying note will have break and lunch time removed until the issue has been resolved. Replacement ties can be purchased for £7.15 via ParentPay, students can collect ties from Raising Standards. Any false nail sets, acrylics or gels need to be removed before the return to school and jewellery needs to be appropriate following our policy, a copy of which is available on the website.
Students are also expected to be fully equipped for learning every day. A personal reading book, their own water bottle and a fully stocked pencil case is needed to fully engage with the curriculum. Upon their return to school, we will provide students with a student handbook and a place to write their timetable in. The handbook also has useful information such as their Personal Development curriculum for the term.
If equipment needs replacing, please take the opportunity to replenish stocks over the break in preparation for the new term. Replacement handbooks and stationery equipment can be purchased via your ParentPay account.
We will continue working in partnership with WPA Education Welfare Services, in promoting a positive approach to attendance. Could I please remind parents to contact the school before 8.00 am if your child is unable to attend for any reason. The telephone number of our student absence line is 01344 304567 option 1 or 01344 390824 (direct line) and the e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. It is likely that you will receive a telephone call or text message from the school if your child does not arrive and you have not informed us of the reason.
Return to school – Spring Term
In January, and in line with Government guidance, we will be offering onsite COVID-19 LFD testing for all students prior to their return to school. This testing will take place on Tuesday 4 January in the Downshire Theatre. Students will enter and leave by the lower playground. They do not have to be in uniform and I would encourage as many students as possible to attend so we can be reassured we can have a safe return to school. Masks are encouraged in busy areas and are currently optional in classrooms. Remember your child will need hand sanitizer and a packet of tissues as part of their ‘catch it bin it kill it’ preparedness kit.
The arrangements for testing are as follows:
|Year 7||9:00am – 9.45am|
|Year 8||9:45am – 10:30am|
|Year 9||11:15am – 11:45am|
|Year 10||11:45am – 12.15pm|
|Year 11||10:30am – 11:00am|
|Year 12 and 13||12.15pm – 12.45pm|
As a result, the school will not reopen for normal lessons until Wednesday 5 January.
Teachers will set work or activities for students to complete on Tuesday 4 January via Google Classroom. As you would expect we will encourage the students to access the subject specific online learning tools we subscribe to including Tassomai, MyMaths, GCSEPod and Dr Frost Maths and for KS3, Bedrock Literacy.
COVID-19 Contingency Planning
As part of our COVID-19 contingency planning; arrangements are in place to implement partial opening to certain year groups, on specific days if necessary. Such a decision would only be taken if we were unable to maintain adequate supervision of all pupils on health and safety grounds and the priority will be to teach live online lessons wherever possible. Parents and Carers will be informed if this plan was to be implemented.
In the event of closure due to extreme weather, e.g. one-off snow days, it would be highly likely that other local schools and nursery provision would also be closed resulting in childcare issues for some staff. Therefore, work would be set on Google Classroom following the normal lesson timetable and we would not be able to prioritise live lessons.
We communicate with you on a weekly basis via our Respect and Pride slide, so we ask that you continue to check this for events and notices happening every week.
All students will return on Wednesday 5 January at 8.40am for a normal school day and it will be Week A.
I hope our students have a lovely Christmas break and I look forward to seeing them all safe and well in January 2022.
Mr S Puttick
Head of Year 11