A new term!

(Posted on 10/09/20)

It’s been a great start to a very unusual Autumn term.

Year 7 have settled in really well. Any fears we had over their lack of access to school in the summer term have been quickly laid to rest. They have responded brilliantly to the restrictions in place, and I think that having one classroom for all their lessons has eased the process – at least they are not getting lost!

Our focus in this early part of term, is to get students settled back into routines and study habits. Schemes of learning have been adapted and learning is picking up pace. We have plans for diagnostic assessments with all Year groups over the coming weeks, and this will allow us to gauge the progress of every student. The vast majority of our students worked really well with the online remote learning we had in place during lockdown; the needs of every child is therefore different and we will put plans in place to address these. However, it will not happen overnight. Recovery plans, so called ‘catch-up’ will be done at a planned pace, methodically and with the needs of each child taken into account.

The issue of face coverings, has divided parents and students, like no other I can recall! It’s probably the one issue that we have had most ‘phone calls and emails about since the start of term. Since the national lockdown on 20th March, we have consistently followed the guidelines from the Department for Education and Public Health England. We will continue to do so. All staff are wearing masks whilst on corridors and in communal areas and some are wearing visors in classrooms. I again strongly recommend that all students wear face coverings; masks or visors, whilst in corridors and indoor communal areas and I urge parents and carers to support us in this and engage in conversations with their children over the weekend.

We are doing our bit to keep everyone safe. There are hand sanitiser stations in all corridors and communal areas as well as in every classroom. Staff will routinely remind students to put on masks and use sanitisers or wash hands as they leave the classroom. We have clear signage and directions throughout the school. We have altered the school day and re-written the timetable to ensure that Year bubbles stay apart as far as they can. We are doing what we can to keep everyone safe and we need parents and students to do what they can. If students have to go home because they display symptoms, there is more disruption to learning. If staff have to go home for the same reason, it may not be possible to keep school fully open. There are very few schools that have made face coverings mandatory at this stage, they are, like us, following the government guidelines. However, we really need the use of face coverings to increase – to protect everyone.

From Monday, new restrictions come into place regarding the number of people who can meet together – a limit of 6. We have had reports of students meeting up after school, with students from other local high schools. Please speak to your children and ensure that they go straight home after school and keep themselves safe.

The current situation is putting relationships under strain. I ask all parents and carers to continue to work with us; we will not always get things right, we cannot please everyone all the time, but by working together and listening to each other, we can ensure that we all come through this difficult time. Thank you for the understanding and patience you have shown as we adjust to the restrictions on us.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

DP Jones







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