Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you are all well as we enter advent and approach the end of the year. This is another long bulletin with a lot of information in it. As ever, if there is anything here that you would like to discuss in more detail, please feel free to contact me at the school.

Progress Checks

Progress check details will be available to see on Go 4 Schools from Monday. Mr Butterworth will be communicating with you directly about that.

GL Assessments

GL assessment data has been in Go 4 Schools for some time but because of an IT quirk wasn’t visible to parents. Apologies for that. GL assessments are now available on Go 4 Schools for all students in Years 7-9.


The guidance for schools has changed since I last wrote to you, but the new regulations don’t include anything that we weren’t already doing. The guidance on isolating is very different now to the way it was last year. If someone in your family has covid, anyone under 18 years and 6 months does not have to isolate unless they have symptoms or test positive themselves. Anyone else in the household does not have to isolate if they are more than 14 days past their second vaccination .  If someone in your household does test positive, it is sensible for the rest of the family to get a PCR test and to take more frequent lateral flow tests. However, we cannot authorise absence while your children are waiting for the results unless they have symptoms. That isn’t my decision – it’s the very clear expectation of the Department of Education. If I could change that I would.

Currently we have thirteen positive cases in Year 7, three in Year 8, seven in Year 9, one in Year 10 and five in Year 11. In Year 7, PHE has suggested that one class in Year 7 take more frequent lateral flow test to enable us to monitor the number of cases more closely.  Those parents have been informed. We also have one case amongst the staff.

If your child tests positive with the new strain of covid, PHE will contact you directly with instructions which may well differ to the arrangements laid out above.

Work for students with covid

Now that the only students isolating are those with a positive test for covid, we are adjusting the way we set work. We will provide work so that students who have tested positive with covid and feel well enough to keep up in their lessons have some support to do so. We will cover the basic content of the lessons but we won’t try to replicate the lessons exactly. It will be left to students and their families to decide how much work, if any, they feel able to complete. Work will be set by 5pm on the first day of confirmed covid absence through Go 4 Schools so students and parents have one point of access. The work might be set lesson by lesson or week by week. That will depend on the nature of the work and will differ from department to department.

If you would like more work for your child isolating with covid, please contact Mr Sumner

Testing in January

We are required to delay the start of term in order to offer an on-site test to every student before the return in January. We want to get as many students as we can into lessons as soon as possible, so on Tuesday 4th January we will invite Years 7, 10, 11 and 13 to come in to be tested. They will then need to go home and return for lessons from Wednesday 5th. Years 8, 9 and 12 will be invited to come in for a test on Wednesday 5th and will begin lessons on Thursday 6th. 

Further details about specific times will be sent out in the very near future.

Parents’ Survey

I mentioned in my last bulletin that I had 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. The response has been quite small - less than thirty parents have completed that survey so far.  I would be very grateful if you would complete the survey which will take a couple of minutes.

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:

Christmas Food Bank Collection

We are inviting students to bring in gifts of non-perishable food which we will donate to Reach Haverhill. If you want to know more about the work of this excellent charity, have a look at their website:

Contributions can be left under the Christmas tree in B Block or at the student window. Thank you to Sturmer Nurseries for their kind donation of that tree.

Christmas Jumper Day

Christmas Jumper Day is next Friday, the 10th December. Students are invited to wear a Christmas jumper instead of a blazer. This is not a non-uniform day – the rest of the uniform rules still apply. Students who wear a Christmas jumper, and I hope lots of them will, are invited to donate £1 to Save the Children. That can be done either through parent pay or in cash on the day.

Cross Country

Four of our students competed in the county cross country event in Ipswich last weekend. I don’t know if you remember the weather last Saturday, but it was very cold and miserable. Just going to that event and running is an achievement in itself. Better still, three of the four runners qualified for the next round. Huge congratulations to Zak Godfrey, Josh Wigmore, Erin Sari and Yasper Korstanje and thanks to Mr Sari for taking them.

Domestic Abuse Champion

We now have a member of staff trained as a domestic abuse champion. If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic abuse and you would like to talk to someone in complete confidence, you can reach them by emailing

End of term

School closes for Christmas on Friday 17th December at 2.50pm.

Have a good weekend,

Andy Hunter