Dear Parents and Carers,
Most of you will never visit us during the school day, and for the moment even fewer than usual will as we are restricted to essential visitors only. To find out what happens at school you are largely reliant on your children telling you and, if they are anything like my children, that account will be mainly about what their friends have said and what everyone had for lunch. I want you to know that as I walk around this morning, the whole school feels good. Dr Coulson, CEO of the Unity Schools Partnership, visited one morning last week and told me that he was struck by the warmth and friendliness of our students, and by the calm and mature way that they go about their days. When I go into lessons, I’m struck by how attentive and engaged the students are and how our teachers are choosing their approaches with deliberate precision to make sure the lesson provides just the right balance of stretch and support. I doubt your children go into that level of detail with you.
If you would like to come and see what the school is like during a normal working day, I’d be delighted to show you around once we are allowed to welcome visitors onto site again.
Children in Need
The top story this week has to be Children in Need. We normally hold a non-uniform day which normally raises around £1000. This year we aimed a bit higher. We held a swimathon at the Haverhill Leisure Centre this week. Over one hundred students took part and between them swam an amazing 5590 lengths, covering 97 miles and raising over £2000 for the appeal. Thanks to Abbeycroft for allowing us to use the pool and to all the staff involved in making it happen.
It’s always a pleasure to come to school on a charity day because the atmosphere is even nicer than usual. Lessons carry on as they always do, but there is a different feel in the air. Children have been making donations for the non-uniform, bring-a-bear day and we held a number of activities at lunchtime too. Compassion and responsibility are two of our school values and events like this show me that our students take those things seriously. I hope you will feel as proud as I do that we have raised a fantastic £3491 for this excellent cause.
The huge majority of your children will be using smartphones. If you would like to better informed about some of the apps they use and the risks that they might carry, you can find a lot of very helpful information here:
For more information on how to help keep your child safe online, you can look here:
There is also some excellent age appropriate support for both pre-teens and 14+ available here:
It was good to see some of our students participating in the Remembrance Day parade as cadets, scouts, guides and no doubt in other roles too. That commitment to citizenship is another reason to be proud of our students.
Those students in year 7 who were struggling to adapt to secondary school after such a disrupted last two years in primary school are now much more settled. They have worked hard to grow up quickly and they should be congratulated on the progress they have made.
It is the time of year when I start asking people their opinions on the school. We have recently completed a staff survey on culture and climate. Next week I’m going to ask students to feedback to me on their feelings about the school. Staff and students are two of the three key parts of a school, and parents make up the final crucial part of the structure. I have made a survey using the questions from the Ofsted parent View website, with the slight amendment that there are spaces for comments at the bottom. I want this school to be the best it can possibly be, and your feedback is vital in bringing that about. I would be very grateful if you would complete the survey. As I say every time I launch a parent survey, these things tend to attract those with the strongest opinions – either positive or negative. I also want to capture the thoughts and feelings of the huge majority of people in the middle of that spectrum, so please be assured that whatever your opinion, it is valued. The survey can be found here: https://forms.office.com/r/eguwDJZ7da
Our numbers are still encouragingly low. Thank you to all of our students for their wearing of masks around the buildings; I’m sure it is making a difference.
There are currently two students in Year 7 who have tested positive, three in Year 8, two in Year 10 and two in Year 11.
As you are aware the 12 to 15 year old vaccinations are taking place in school on Monday 22nd. If your child has had Covid-19 in the last 12 weeks or they have had the vaccine elsewhere, please click this link COVID-19 consent and complete the form for COVID-19. There is an option for non-consent at the end.
You will need this unique code number EE136322 which identifies our school. The electronic link will close at midday on Sunday
I’d like to remind parents and carers (and students, for that matter) that we will be closed for a staff training day on Friday 26th November. School will not be open to any student on that day.
Have a good weekend,