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Headteacher's Update

Dear all,

I hope this communication finds you well despite the many challenges that we are all currently faced with.

Recent government announcements have confirmed that schools in England will not reopen after the February half-term which was sadly looking inevitable, and this of course means further time for our pupils working at home.

I cannot thank you enough for your support and cooperation with this and for the incredible way in which our pupils have engaged with the home learning provision.

Through our ongoing monitoring, it has been hugely encouraging to see so many pupils across all year groups logging on to their Teams sessions and following their timetables.  Rates of submission for work have also been really pleasing, as it enables us to keep as close a check on their progress as possible and provided the opportunity for our teachers to highlight areas for development and next steps in learning.

We aim to provide a blended curriculum with the time and scope for your children to balance ‘screen time’ with opportunities for application of skills and knowledge independently, although we are aware that this is not always easy.

Thank you so much for your positivity and messages of appreciation which I have indeed passed on to the staff team.  They too want to have your children back with us but are working very hard in the meantime to minimise any gaps in their knowledge and course content.

I understand that Mr Coyne (Head of Year 9) has organised some sessions on Friday 29th January based on building resilience for Years 7-9, which I hope they will find useful and we will also look to make sure that Y10 and 11 receive additional tailored support going forward.

Heads of Year and Pastoral Managers are focused on making contact to ‘check in’ with your children and to see how they are getting on.  This may be via email or phone call so don’t be alarmed, it is simply a way of trying to keep in touch.

As I have said in previous communications, there is a well-being ‘Team’ which may be of interest and could help in offering your child some support and reassurance in these uncertain times.  Equally, please do get in touch with Louisa Andrews our lay chaplain who will offer remote support should your child require it.

At school we have also got our Covid test centre fully up and running, and to date we have successfully conducted over 400 lateral flow tests – all of which have been negative.  In line with government guidance, we are currently testing those staff who are in school twice a week together with our vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers.  We envisage having the test centre in place for the return of all pupils whenever that may be and unless guidance around testing changes in the interim.

I will keep in regular contact with you, but for now I would just like to thank you again for the fantastic support you continue to give your children and the school in such difficult circumstances.

Best wishes

Stuart Wetson