Dear Parents and Carers,

I wrote to parents of Year 11 and Year 13 students earlier this week to let them know that attendance to live support sessions for those students would be compulsory from Monday 1st February. Any parent of carer who would like to read that letter in full can find it on the website here.

We took that decision because we still have no clear guidance from the government about how they intend to assess GCSEs, A-Levels and other public exams this summer. We think that one way to support our students is to make attendance at lessons compulsory for Years 11 and 13, because we might need them to complete certain tasks under close supervision that can then be used as evidence when we put forward grades.

I still believe that the approach we have taken for the rest of the school is the right one – to offer a mixture of supervision and independence. We will monitor the response to this change closely with a view to possible extending this system. If we do, Years 10 and 12 would be our next priority. I would like to emphasise that our decisions aren’t a reflection of which students’ needs are most important, but rather about whose needs are most urgent.

We have published the details about the remote education we are providing on the website, along with the FAQs document. They can be found here.

Nearly three hundred of you responded to the survey I sent out in the first week of remote learning. That feels like a long time ago now, and we’ve all had a chance to settle into the new routines. There is a new survey here, similar to the last one, to see if you still feel the same way. There are twelve questions, nine of them multiple choice. The free text questions are all optional. It should be quick and easy to complete. I’d be grateful if you would let me know your views. The survey can be found at:

We are sending out a student survey at the same time. I would be grateful if you would encourage the students in your household to complete it.

I’ve been asked by Haverhill Rovers to share details of a new scheme they are running with you.

Haverhill Rovers FC are delighted to be working in partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund and the DCMS after accessing the local connections fund available to support reducing loneliness within our community.

The local connections fund is enabling Haverhill Rovers to extend its current community provision to support everyone within the local community to tackle loneliness and to provide a platform for all ages and genders to stay fit, active and engaged over a one month period between February and March.

Haverhill Rovers FC will be working in partnership with some highly qualified local coaches, teachers, instructors and businesses as we look to provide online activities to strengthen our local community and ultimately improve people’s lives at what is an extremely challenging time for all.

These online sessions will begin on Tuesday, 09 February and be accessible via Zoom on smart phones, iPads and laptops.  The activities included will be Fitness, Yoga, Dance, Boxercise, Netball, Gymnastics in addition to Health and Wellbeing activities.  The sessions will be offered to the following people - Boys, Girls, Male Adults, Female Adults, Seniors (60+) and people with disabilities and further information on all these activities will be readily available via our website and social media channels.”

I think this is an excellent initiative and one that I hope many of you will be able to get some benefit from. You can find more details on their website.

While I was out walking with my family last weekend, taking our permitted once-daily exercise, we saw some snowdrops about to flower. It came as a surprise to me because, I realised, I’ve got so used to winter that I’d forgotten that it will end and spring will come. None of this is going to last forever. I look forward to the day when we can welcome all of your children back to school and resume their face to face education. In the meantime, please use the survey to let me know how we can better meet your children’s needs.

Best wishes,

Andy Hunter