20th November 2021

I hope that you and your families remain safe and well.

I want to start by thanking parents for your ongoing support this half-term.  We are grateful for the sensible way in which you and your children have dealt with the challenge of Covid vaccinations and more recently with your messages of support and actions regarding the awful content appearing on Tik-tok.  It really is emboldening to know that the vast majority of our parents are supportive of the work we are doing.  Additionally, the quality of school uniform from the overwhelming majority of students is smart and professional, I know this is often down to you.  So, thank you.

Recently, we have revived our process of monitoring and evaluating the quality of education in a more formal manner, now that Covid restrictions permit us to do so.  I must say this has been a warming and reassuring experience to visit lessons, talk to students, scrutinise books and generally take the temperature of the teaching and learning experience at Plantsbrook.  My leadership team, middle leaders and I have been impressed with what is going on in the departments we have visited so far.  We have plans to get into all departments over the course of the year and if we see as much positivity as we have done so far from staff and students then I think we are doing a fantastic job, all things considered.  

In a similar fashion, this week we have the pleasure of welcoming some colleagues, led by an external consultant, from the two other schools within Broadleaf Partnership Trust.  They will be conducting an external review to check how we are doing after the ravages of Covid, including our progress since the last Ofsted inspection.  This will mean a busy couple of days next Tuesday and Wednesday and your children may well tell you that they have spoken to visitors in lessons or in meetings during this review.  I will be delivering a virtual assembly to all students on Monday morning to inform them of the visit.  We will let you know how it all goes once we have received some feedback.

Unfortunately, Covid does continue to cause us some issues and whilst student attendance is below what it would be in normal circumstances it remains on balance relatively positive when compared to local and regional schools.  Please remember to keep testing your children to protect our school community as best as we can.  Staff absence has also fluctuated but remained relatively low and we have done our best to ensure students have a qualified member of staff in front of them at all times delivering the best lessons possible.  We also have the benefit of a small number of good quality teacher trainees working with us this year, to help our teaching staff in the classroom.

Finally, I would like to update you on our Local Academy Committee situation.  I am very pleased that we had such a positive response from some of our parents in responding to the request for parent governors.  We are delighted that there has been such a wealth of talent put forward on your behalf and we are genuinely grateful and excited for the prospects moving forward.  Once we get through the interview stages and confirm the new personnel we will ensure we communicate with you who the members are and what work they plan on doing.

Stay safe, take care and thank you for your continued support.

Kind regards,


Mr Farr