Dear Parents and Carers,
Our remembrance activities were led this year again by the History Department. In addition to the two -minute silence, we had a lecture by a visiting speaker, which students attended remotely. The lecture by Dr Andre Keil was on 'Remembrance and the First World War'. At the beginning of December Dr George Gilbert will be presenting a lecture on ‘The Russian Revolution of 1917'. We are hoping to hold more of these events in the new year.
Students were invited to mark the day creatively, which many did. This image below was painted by Oliver Singleton in Year 8 and is now on display in T Block.
Students in Year 11 are in the process of applying to sixth form colleges, including HC6. We have a number of events planned for after the mocks to allow those students to get a better taste of the high quality post-16 education we can offer here, and I’ll share more details of those closer to the time. In the meantime, it’s worth considering that students who choose to get a bus to Cambridge will not only have to pay a lot for it, but will spend around 320 hours on the bus over the course of one school year – the equivalent of 53 full days of college. The virtual open day event can be found on the HC6 website here.
School is running smoothly with all of the updated restrictions in place, but like many schools, staff absence is a challenge for us. When you take out any Covid related absence, staff sickness absence is lower than it generally is at this time of year; but if you are told to isolate, you need to isolate. We have several supply staff in at the moment and that situation will probably continue as the pandemic gains pace in Suffolk. We do all we can to support those teachers and try to make long term arrangements wherever possible. Please be patient with us as we try to ensure an uninterrupted education for your children. I am always happy to hear feedback, so if you hear that something isn’t going well, please tell me.
I made an offer of the loan of IT equipment in my last bulletin. It has taken longer than I expected to have that equipment ready because the government issued laptops came to us without any software at all installed, even an operating system. The IT department have been working hard to get those machines up and running and we now have a good supply. If you need help with one to enable your child to complete their school work from home, please ask.
I’ll also repeat a wider offer I made last time. During the last lockdown, we were able to help a number of families who needed us, not only with IT equipment but with all sorts of other things too. If there is anything we can do over the next four weeks, however small, do please get in touch and ask.
One of the main ways we reduce risk to students is by not allowing them to share equipment from each other’s pencil cases. Everyone started the year well supplied with their own equipment, but as the weeks have passed things have broken or been lost and now a significant number of students don’t have everything they need. I would be grateful if you would check your child’s equipment and make sure they have the necessary basics. It would also be helpful if students who have run out of wipes could re-stock.
What your children learn
I showed you a section of the new maths curriculum last time I wrote. Here is a similar section from science – this time for Y9. You can find all the curriculum guides on the website.
Children in Need
We held an optional non-uniform day for Children in Need last Friday and raised over £1000. Thank you for your support with that. I’ve worked in other schools where a non-uniform day was sometimes interpreted by the students as a non-hard-work day as well, but I’m pleased that we don’t suffer from that error here. Standards of behaviour and effort remained high as always.
Many of you attended the school show on You Tube. We managed to squeeze the performances in just before the new lockdown requirements which would have prohibited them. I was astonished to see that it has been viewed thirty thousand times. That’s quite extraordinary. My thanks and congratulations go to all those staff, students and parents who have made it possible.
The field will be closed from next week. If students wish to use the MUGAs to play football, they may do so on the days allotted to them. They will need to bring trainers to wear to protect those surfaces.
Picking up students at the end of the day
We’re experiencing quite heavy traffic in the turning circle at 2.50pm every day. It is especially disruptive when people arrive early and park there so that the buses which arrive later can’t get around them. It would be helpful if parents could arrange to pick students up from another spot nearby and avoid coming onto the school grounds.