Dear Parents and Carers,
As this most unusual year approaches the final half term, we’re planning for some students to leave us and other to join. We’re also looking to the future to and considering not only how we can grow and develop as a school, but also how we can support the wider community.
I met with our architects today to discuss the rapidly advancing plan for the new sixth form centre and renovated theatre. I’d like a theatre so good that it’s used in the evenings and weekends as a professional theatre, bringing more shows to the town, as well as being a suitably high standard setting for our own very high standard productions. I can picture parents having a coffee in the café while their children are at their evening or weekend dance, art or sports clubs. And most of all, I want a sixth form so good that it isn’t just first choice for students in Haverhill, but from other local towns and villages too. My ambition is that young people would come from Cambridge to here on the bus each day, rather than the other way around, because they want to access our excellence in the performing arts or engineering as well as the other post-16 courses we offer. I’ll keep you updated.
Years 11 and 13
Year 13 will be leaving Haverhill Community Sixth Form on Friday 28 May. The sixth from student leadership team are working with Mr Hogg to plan that day which will very likely be a shorter day than usual and will be devoted entirely to activities relating to the end of their time with us.
Year 11 will stop attending on site after Friday 28th but will still be set work after half term for the courses they are intending to follow in September. They will not leave early on that Friday, but will have a relatively normal day. We will make some time available in the afternoon for shirt signing and saying goodbye, but we’ll save the majority of our leavers activities for Year 11 for their official leaving day on June 25th.
After half term, Year 11 will have a few options. For the three weeks until the 25th June, we will set work for those students who are joining Haverhill Community Sixth Form. We anticipate that students going to Long Road, Hills Road, West Suffolk College or any other post 16 centre will have work set by that centre, but if they don’t for any reason, we will happily let them have access to the work we are setting. Obviously, we won’t be able to set work for subjects we don’t teach in the sixth form.
While students are still on our roll for those three weeks, we will hold a registration session every morning with their normal tutors on Teams. That will enable us to support students as they access their work, advise them on any issues they have, work together to plan the leavers event and prom, and continue to offer information, advice and guidance on next steps for those that need it. For a small number of students, it will be important to come onto the school site on some days or for some of everyday, and we’ll be happy to make sure that happens.
Thank you to those students in Year 11 who have accepted their offers to HC6. In the absence of a Sixth Form Open Evening this year, we’re putting on a week of taster sessions so that students can see for themselves what it is like to attend a sixth form lesson. Those taster sessions can all be accessed from a padlet which can be found here. If you don’t know what a padlet is, neither did I until I was shown this. We’ve certainly learnt a lot this year. You can watch the video explaining how it all works here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksdGJCtnJIk
Students who want to attend the taster sessions, including any who aren’t planning to join us at HC6 but are curious about sixth from lessons in general, can sign up here: https://forms.office.com/r/r36UPdTdS3
We are planning a summer school for Year 6 students who are joining us in September. Many of them will have siblings in the school, so their parents will be reading this. We will write directly to Year 6 parents with details of that soon.
Our staff development offer is in two broad parts. Firstly, there is the opt-in offer for those teachers who most want to talk about their practice and to explore approaches to teaching and learning. Between fifteen and twenty-five teachers a week join our CPD breakfast session to listen to a short presentation from a colleague, then join a discussion. This serves as our research and development group.
The other part of the offer is the universal part that everyone does. This year that has largely been in departments as the specific challenges of this year have necessitated more department training. However, we are now looking to move beyond that and to continue the trajectory of improvement we have been on in recent years. Every staff briefing ends with a Take-away teaching slot, and for the foreseeable future we will be using the excellent book Teaching Walkthrus as a staff development text book. Every member of staff who has a role in the classroom has been given a copy and we will use them to explore different approaches to teaching together. If you’re interested to see what that’s all about, you can get a taste of it on the website that accompanies the book here: WALKTHRUs
There is a worrying rise in cases of covid in Haverhill at the moment. I would be very grateful if you could encourage your children to continue with their lateral flow tests until further notice.
Have a good weekend,