26th March 2021

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

Firstly, I would like to thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation.  You may have seen the recent article in the online news for Sutton schools, which is linked below.

https://suttonschoollife.co.uk/2021/03/25/teamwork-behind-plantsbrooks-covid-testing-success-says-headteacher/

In this article I expressed my gratitude to you, the Plantsbrook families, because you have genuinely been a source of encouragement, challenge and inspiration during recent months.  I thank you all for your understanding, your communication and your engagement.  You are an incredibly important part of our school and your honest feedback helps us to do what we are here to do, but better.  Your comments are always welcome and if you wish to express your views please contact us at enquiry@plantsbrookschool.co.uk or take 2 minutes to fill in the Ofsted parent view questionnaire, which is linked below.

https://parentview.ofsted.gov.uk/login?destination=/give-your-views

I begin by letting you know that once again I have had to take the difficult decision to deactivate our student email accounts.  We have had another breach of our system by a hacker who is attempting to disrupt the lives of our students.  Behind the scenes we are working to prevent this from happening and until we can be assured that it is resolved we have no choice but to protect our students from the malicious content that is being circulated.  Please be assured that we are consulting with the Police on this matter and if you receive any content personally we ask that you report it.  We will get through this. If your child has been affected and wants to talk please let us know.

Covid Testing

I also wanted to give you an update on the Covid home testing that started last week. My sincere thanks to those of you who have started to test at home and who are continuing with the twice weekly request. Students have been issued with enough tests for the Easter holidays, if your child is yet to collect their tests please ask them to speak to their form tutor.  For those who have yet to record a test, could I remind you to insert the result onto the school website, this allows us to keep track of the success of the scheme and to offer help where it is needed.  For those who are having difficulty with testing at home, please fill in the form on the link below, we may be able to help with testing at school and/or taking the student through the process again.  You should also record results on the NHS test and trace website, which is very simple to use.

  • The link to the test reporting page is 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfIg-Hj9PS1ZLFmKaTANd7hO7gqsR1VWk18e8AO9NtSmRleWg/viewform

  • The link to the request for help with at school testing is 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfIg-Hj9PS1ZLFmKaTANd7hO7gqsR1VWk18e8AO9NtSmRleWg/viewform

The home testing process is proving successful in identifying asymptomatic cases and has already identified a small number of positive results at Plantsbrook. It also helps us to protect close contacts in school and to continue to provide the education our students need, having lost so much time already.  Students who do have to self-isolate should access the remote education resources provided by our subject leaders, which is signposted on Show My Homework.

 

Additionally, it is important to let you know that families are eligible for home testing kits from the NHS.  This initiative is not well publicised but we thoroughly encourage you to take advantage of it.  Please see the link below for more information.

 

https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2021/03/09/covid-testing-in-schools-who-will-get-tested-how-and-where-will-they-be-tested-who-has-to-isolate-after-a-positive-test-these-questions-and-more-answered/

 

Parent Resources

You may already be aware that our website contains lots of useful links to resources that can offer help and advice.  We have recently added to these resources in response to some requests for help so please take the time to refer to this list if you are in need.  

https://plantsbrookschool.co.uk/resources-to-support-parents/

Canteen

Our catering manager has informed me this week that we have recently had an increasing number of students attempting to buy food at the canteen with insufficient funds in their cashless accounts.  Whilst we will always do our best to ensure our students are well fed, if they consistently present without adequate funds our catering contractors will not be able to provide them with food or drink. Can you please ensure that if your child does use the canteen that their account is kept topped up, if you experience difficulties with this then please do let us know.  It is also worth reminding your child that they should not be purchasing items for friends, there seems to be a number of students who are doing so at the moment.  If there are any concerns regarding school meals then please contact us on the enquiry email.  Similarly, if your financial situation has changed and you are in need of some help and support then please use the link below.  There is help available.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1p19-cUYjmnUpSmlqq6Ehta6qKhAxnupb/view

Year 11 & 13

If you are a parent of a student in Year 11 or 13 then you will no doubt know that the mini-assessments have started this week.  These will help our teachers source the evidence that is required to make the judgements on teacher assessed grades.  Our staff and students will be working hard over the coming weeks to build this evidence in line with guidance from the DfE.  We will also be developing our policy in the coming weeks on the quality assurance of these assessments and in due course we will share this with you.  I have absolute confidence in the ability of our staff to manage this process as calmly and sensitively as possible.  However, if your child is finding the process difficult then please let us know, we will do our best to reassure and support them.

Finally, as many schools across the country break up for their Easter holidays we look ahead to four more days and also look back at a year since the first lockdown.  What a turbulent and challenging year it has been for all of us.  As the lockdown restrictions slowly lift,  I hope you all get some time to catch up with family and close friends over the Easter break.

Stay safe, take care and enjoy your weekend.

Mr Farr

Headteacher

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