Dear Parents and Carers,
It has been a very calm start to the term. I would like to commend Years 11 and 13 on their determination to do all they can to prepare for the assessments we have scheduled over the next few weeks. They are working hard and deserve to do well.
Everyone else is working hard too. The atmosphere around the school is calm and focussed, exactly as I would expect it to be. It’s good to see students looking a bit less tired in lessons – the break obviously did them good.
After much rearranging due to Covid, we were eventually able to welcome a team of colleagues from the Trust central team and an ex-headteacher, current Ofsted inspector to lead our school review. It was a very interesting day. We’ve got a couple of things to work on, as you’d expect, but the team saw a lot that we can be proud of:
- Every child who was spoken to was warm and welcoming
- Every child who was spoken to said they had been well taught and looked after during remote education
- Every child who was spoken to said they had no concerns about bullying, felt safe and would recommend the school to another child
- The team all agreed that behaviour around the site and between lessons was exemplary
- None of the team saw any disruption in any lessons
- They saw a lot of lively, effective, enthusiastic teaching which demonstrated strong relationships
The Secretary of State for Education has been in the news this week saying that behaviour is out of control in schools following the lockdown. I don’t know what evidence he’s basing that assertion on, but he is welcome to visit us any time and see how excellent behaviour is in what the team leader described as our “lovely school”.
Pastoral Team Changes
There are going to be a few changes to the pastoral team at the end of next week. We wish Miss Powell all the best as she starts her maternity leave. From Monday 26th April Miss Ireland will take over as our senior behaviour lead until Miss Powell returns. Miss Powell’s safeguarding duties will be split between myself and Miss Coe, both of us trained Designated Safeguarding Leaders. Miss Ireland’s role as Head of Year 7 will be covered by Miss Cripps, the Year 7 Inclusion Officer. She will in turn receive support from another inclusion officer. I’m very grateful to all of those people for being so flexible and agreeing to shuffle roles around.
I think we all expected the guidance on masks in classrooms to change at the start of this term but it didn’t. That guidance, that students and teachers should wear masks in lessons when they cannot socially distance, will remain in place until 17th May at the earliest. Teachers will remove their masks when they are two meters or more away from the students so they can be heard more clearly.
Students have been following this guidance without complaint, for which I’m very grateful. No one likes doing it and I’m sure we’ll all be delighted to stop. In the meantime, we have a lot of masks here (literally thousands) which have recently been given to us by Public Health England. If your child needs masks, they only have to ask at the student window.
I would also like to remind you that every student should be performing two lateral flow tests at home each week. Please make sure to record the results on Test Register.
Thank you to those of you who attended the parents’ evening for Year 11 last night. Our sense is that they work much better remotely than they do face to face. Not all of you will have attended a remote parents’ evening yet, but many of you have and feedback we’ve heard has been positive. We’ll run a survey later in the year to gather tour opinions on whether we should continue remotely next year or return to face to face.
I received a message this week from Haverhill Scouts to say that their Cub leader has retired after 30 years of service and that unless they can find a new leader and occasional support leaders, the Cubs will have to close down. That would be an enormous shame. I hope there is someone amongst you, or someone that one of you knows, who would be interested in supporting this excellent activity. Anyone who was willing to step in would receive full support and training. You do not need to have been a Cub or Scout yourself. If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Have a good weekend,