I hope that you and your families remain safe and well.
As we make our way closer to the spring half-term it comes as no surprise that our Year 11 & 13 students are working hard in lessons to respond to the results of their mock exams and to prepare for their summer exams. Today, more information has been released from the awarding organisations about the changes that we can expect to the exams this year. We will ensure that once our teachers have had the opportunity to fully understand the impact of these announcements that they share them with students and build it into their ongoing preparation schedule. Similarly, there will be further information published shortly regarding additional opportunities for students to support their revision and exam preparation. The details of these interventions are still being finalised but we hope to have a clear overview very soon.
Over the Christmas holiday we migrated our information systems to Arbor, a new online platform. You will not yet have seen the benefit of this, but after half-term we will be launching our new parent app, which is part of the Arbor system. This will be a very powerful tool that will enable us to keep you closely informed of your child’s attendance amongst other useful information and functions. These functions will develop, so that in time you can be kept up to date with live information about your child and receive notifications and emails about behaviour achievements and punctuality. We will give you further information once we officially launch in the coming weeks.
It has been a real pleasure this week to see our student wellbeing ambassadors supporting our school community with a variety of wellbeing activities. They are preparing for a much broader range of events for Children’s Mental Health Week, which commenced today. If you are interested in keeping up to date, then please follow them on Twitter using the address below. They will be posting updates on their activities throughout the week.
There will be more detail and photos to follow in the half-term newsletter.
Since we returned to school this term the numbers of staff and students who have been absent as a result of a positive covid test have remained relatively low. We are pleased to say that the impact has been much less significant than in many schools. As a result of the low figures and in line with government recommendations we are no longer insisting on the wearing of face coverings. If staff and students still wish to wear them then they will be permitted to do so, but this will be down to personal choice from this point forward. This new guidance will commence from tomorrow, Tuesday 8th February.
I would like to ask parents for your support in reminding your children of the importance of arriving at school on time. The vast majority of our students have excellent punctuality but there are a small percentage who are causing us some concern. As a reminder, we open the school doors every morning at 8.25am and students should be moving to their tutor rooms at 8.35am when the warning bell rings. The second bell rings at 8.40am to signify the start of the school day, at this point students should be in tutorial. Any student who is not is marked late. We have a number of students who are persistently arriving at school at 8.40am or shortly after. If this applies to your child I would very much value your support in helping us to get them to school on time. We will be monitoring the data over the next few weeks and any students who are persistently late will be placed in detention. Once the Arbor parent app is launched you will be able to see this information for your child on a daily basis.
Finally, if you get the chance to have a spare 5 minutes at any point over the next few weeks we would really appreciate it if you could offer us some parent feedback using the parent view Ofsted questionnaire. I have provided the link for you below.
Stay safe, take care and thank you for your continued support. It is most appreciated