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So far Faisal Khawaja has created 22 blog entries.

May 2022

Parent Bulletin – 29/04/22

2022-05-01T09:43:13+01:00

EID AL FITR
This religious holiday is celebrated by Muslims worldwide where it marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan.   This will be celebrated by our students and families on Tuesday 3 May.  We would like to wish all of our families celebrating Eid Mubarak, and are pleased to authorise the absence on Tuesday for all our families that will be celebrating, and we expect students to return to school on the Wednesday.

MAY DAY BANK HOLIDAY
Please note that school is closed this Monday 2nd May.

SUMMER WATER SAFETY WEEK
Please see attached posters for more information.

STUDENT COVID PROCEDURES – SUMMER TERM

Preferred Method – LFT TEST

If your child has any of the following symptoms, we advise them to take a lateral flow test.  If you need a pack of LFT tests, please contact your child’s Head of Year.

  • a high temperature or shivering
  • a headache
  • a new continuous cough
  • a sore throat
  • a loss or change to sense of smell or taste
  • a blocked or runny nose
  • shortness of breath
  • a loss of appetite
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • diarrhoea
  • an aching body
  • feeling sick or being sick

 

If your child tests positive on a LFT test, we ask that you advise the Attendance Team via the usual system and keep your child at home for 3 days. If your child is unwell with COVID for longer than 3 days then on occasion, we may ask that you take a PCR to confirm COVID and inform the school of the result.

Alternative Guidance in the case of students having no LFT tests

If it was the case that a family had no access to testing, then the following guidance should be followed;

Children and young people with mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, or slight cough, who are otherwise well, can continue to attend their education setting.

Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, where they can. They can go back to school, college or childcare, and resume normal activities when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend. This should typically be no longer than 3 days.

YEAR 11 AND YEAR 13 STUDENTS COVID GUIDANCE FOR PUBLIC EXAMINATIONS

For those students with examinations in the summer we are awaiting COVID guidance from the government. We will advise parents in due course.

FUNTOPIA POSTER
Poster attached for fun days on 1st May, 2nd July and 11th August at Arrow Valley Country Park.


THS EXTRA CURRICULUM
Please find poster attached.

 

YOUR TURN TO LEARN CAMPAIGN
Adult and Family Community Learning Services Worcestershire ‘Your Turn to Learn’ campaign launched this week – FREE courses for any adult in Worcestershire over the age of 19 years. Delivering a range of courses from:

 

ADULT LEARNING – WORCESTERSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
Welcome to Adult Learning. Discover over 400 courses, ranging from improving your CV, keeping up to date with I.T, and exploring your creative side, learn a new language, improve your health, and much, much more.

www.worcestershire.gov.uk

 

In our drive to broaden our vocabulary, please find our new T2 Workable Word of the week – ‘PERSEVERE’ – If you ‘persevere’ with something, you keep doing it even if it is hard.

This is what life is like, and the Year 11 and 13 students are about to need lots of ‘perseverance’ over the next few months for their external exams! If you have to ‘persevere’ then you can probably assume the challenge is worthwhile. That is WHY it is hard in the first place. We use it as a VERB.

Here are some ways you could use the word:

“The patient persevered with his treatment, even though it was very tough on his body.”

“Persevere and you will win the match!”, the coach called out to his players.

Where does it come from?

Late Middle English: from Old French perseverer, from Latin perseverare ‘abide by strictly’, from perseverus ‘very strict’, from per- ‘thoroughly’ + severus ‘severe’.

 

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

2 May May Day Bank Holiday Monday – school closed
3 May School re-opens to students at 08.45am
16 May GCE & GCSE Exams start
27 May School closes for half-term
30 May – 3 June Half-Term
6 June School re-opens to students at 08.45am
6 June GCE & GCSE Exams resume
27 June Y10 & Y12 End of Year Exams start
Parent Bulletin – 29/04/222022-05-01T09:43:13+01:00

April 2022

Introductory Letter

2022-04-27T11:39:20+01:00

Dear Parents and Carers,

It is my great privilege to write to you for the first time as the new Headteacher of Trinity High School. I am very proud and honoured to have been appointed by the Trustees and Governors. It was very apparent on my first visit to Trinity High School that it is a very special learning community. During the interview process, I witnessed the exceptional relationships between staff and students and the dedication of the staff to ensure students receive an inspirational and memorable education. Everyone who attends Trinity High School to work or to learn are extremely proud of their association with the school and talk about their experiences with passion and it is for these reasons that I can’t wait to join the Trinity High School family.

In terms of my background, I have enjoyed 22 very happy years working in education, 11 of which have been as a senior leader and I have worked in contrasting schools across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. In my life outside school, I am a husband and a father to two very energetic and wonderful young boys. Outside work I still participate in a wide variety of sport and fitness activities and despite retiring from the game of rugby due to aching muscles and joints, I continue to be involved in the sport in the capacity of Head Coach for one of my son’s rugby teams.

Over the next term, the newsletter will be just one of my means of communication as I intend to hold some parent information meetings and coffee mornings which will provide an opportunity to meet you and discuss the building of a successful relationship. Research has shown that a parent’s contribution towards their child’s educational achievement are crucial; often playing a more significant role than that of the school or child. When we have high quality staff at school, supportive parents and motivated students, the results can be truly stunning. The meetings and coffee mornings have been deliberately scheduled in both mornings and evening time slots to allow as many parents/carers as possible to attend. The proposed dates are Thursday 5 May, 10.00am and 4.30pm and Wednesday 11 May, 9.15am and 4.30pm. If you would like to attend on any of these days, please email [email protected] indicating your name, name of child, and the date and time you wish to attend. A confirmation email will be sent back to you with details on how to sign in on arrival.

One of my priorities over the coming weeks is to work with governors, staff and students to establish a shared vision for the next chapter in the school’s journey. As a school, we are extremely proud of our motto Excellence for All, and you will see it everywhere around the school building and in our communications. As the new Headteacher, Excellence for All is what I will strive to ensure that we deliver on a daily basis, as every child that walks through our school gate has enormous potential and deserves the best possible education.

Another key priority for me will be to ensure that the transition in leadership of the school is smooth. I am thrilled that I will be working closely with Adrian Ward who will still be overseeing the work of the school from his new position of Chief Executive Officer of the Bordesley Multi Academy Trust. The trust is highly committed to provide the very best education for all of it’s member schools and am eager to work alongside Adrian and the other leaders in the middle and first schools to provide the highest quality education for the students in our community from three to nineteen years of age. In terms of continuity of approach, Trinity High School will continue to be unrelenting in it’s quest to support students make as much academic progress as possible so they are equipped for the next stages of their education or career. We also believe it is our duty to develop character so students can communicate effectively, have the resilience to persevere when things get difficult, work as part of a team and develop their leadership skills. Finally, we want students who leave us to be kind, honest and good people who are ready to take on the challenges that life will present them and respectful of the people and the situations they encounter. Simply put, we want our students to realise their talents and create their futures.

I really look forward to meeting and working with you. The staff and I are available to discuss any issues or queries that you may have and if you require support or simply have a question, then please don’t hesitate to contact the relevant member of staff in the normal way.

Best wishes to everyone for a very good summer term ahead.

Yours sincerely

Nigel Ford

Introductory Letter2022-04-27T11:39:20+01:00

January 2022

Parental Update – 24th January 2022

2022-01-24T19:26:17+00:00

Dear Parents and Carers

Face Coverings in School
Last Wednesday, the government announced some changes to covid requirements, including the ending of ‘Plan B’. For school, these changes are around the requirements to wear face coverings. As of Thursday 20th January, face coverings are no longer required in classrooms, and from Thursday 27th January they will not be needed in communal areas, such as corridors. However, I also want to make you aware that from a school perspective case numbers have never been as high as they are currently. Since returning after Christmas, there have been 108 students and 13 staff isolating due to positive cases. On this basis, it is clear that the pandemic is far from over, and we need to do all we can to ensure there is as little disruption to education as possible. We will support any students and staff that wish to continue to wear face coverings. This is particularly important for students in Years 11-13 who have public exams this year, and really can not afford any more disruption to school.

January Exams
Since our return after Christmas, Students in Years 11 to 13 have been sitting exams. For most students, these have been mocks, but some have had external exams which count towards their final grades. Given the disruption of the last 20 months, they have approached these exams with maturity and positivity. I would also like to extend my thanks to the staff for the support they have given and continue to give students as we prepare for the exams in the summer.

Uniform and PE kit
Students should be wearing correct school uniform to school, including a blazer. The only exception to this is that they must wear PE kit to school on days when they have PE lessons, but not at any other time. We continue to keep this under review and hope to move back to using the changing rooms once covid numbers have dropped significantly.

A reminder that no student should come to school with facial piercings of any kind.

Year 9 Options
Year 9 will already be aware that the process for selecting their option preferences for next year has started. Subject videos are now being shown in tutor periods and will also be available to view on the website in the next few days. Students will be able to select their choices using an online form, so keep an eye out for the emails regarding this, which will be sent out next week.

Headteacher Update
As many of you will know, we formed Bordesley Multi Academy Trust in 2019, with Holyoakes Field First School and Birchensale Middle School. Woodfield Academy should be joining in April this year. I have been undertaking a dual role, as Headteacher of Trinity and Chief Executive of the Trust, for the past 3 years. As the Trust expands further this is no longer possible and I will be moving to become full time Chief Executive from Easter. I am delighted that last week we were able to appoint Nigel Ford as the new headteacher of Trinity. Nigel has extensive experience as a school leader as both Assistant and Deputy Headteacher and I know he is going to be an excellent headteacher for our school.

 

Best wishes

Adrian Ward

Parental Update – 24th January 20222022-01-24T19:26:17+00:00

Parent Update 04/01/22

2022-01-04T13:08:07+00:00

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope you have all had a good Christmas and were able to enjoy some time with your friends and families. As you will know, the Omicron variant is now prevalent across the country, and infection rates are at their highest since the start of the pandemic. Although this variant appears to be less severe, it is clearly much more infectious and spreads much more easily. This will be a big issue for schools as we return after the Christmas break. We are therefore, in line with government guidance, asking for your support in keeping school as safe as we can for all of our community.

Testing
Your child will have been given a timeslot for in school testing this week. The schedule for each year group is in the table below, but if you are unsure of your child’s appointment time please email Mr Earles ([email protected]) and he will confirm your slot.

Year Groups Testing Day First Day of lessons
11, 12, 13 Weds 5th Jan Thurs 6th Jan
10 Thurs 6th Jan Fri 7th Jan
9 Fri 7th Jan Mon 10th Jan

We are also asking that ALL students continue to test at home, at least twice each week. School should be notified of any positive cases, and a confirmatory PCR test should then be taken.

Along with all schools we have been told to prepare for high numbers of staff absence due to this variant. I would ask for your understanding and patience while we manage this potentially difficult situation, and students may have cover staff taking some lessons. In the worse case scenario we may need to ask some year groups to work at home but we are doing everything we can to avoid this situation.

Face Coverings
You will also be aware that the government have issued new guidance on face coverings in school. This states that all students should wear face coverings in lessons, as well as in crowded indoor spaces such as corridors. All students will therefore be required to wear a face covering in lessons, unless they have a medical exemption. If they have a medical exemption, please contact Mrs Green ([email protected]), who will then discuss this with you. Any students with an exemption will need to wear a lanyard which school will supply (similar to the exemption lanyards you see people wearing in supermarkets).

Students MUST bring their own face covering to school. We have a very small stock of spare masks which we will make available for students who forget to bring one, but we will be contacting parents if this happens on a regular basis.

The guidance on wearing of face coverings in school will be reviewed by the government on 26th January. I will update you as to any changes when I receive them.

Rules on Self-Isolation
The guidance an the 10 day isolation period have also changed in the past few days. I have copied the guidance we have received on this below.

Information on the changes to the self-isolation period for individuals who test positive for COVID-19
Since Wednesday 22 December, the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason.

Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. This also applies to children under 5, with LFD testing at parental or guardian discretion. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to your education setting from day 8.

Health and social care workers, including those working in education settings, should follow guidance for their sector on taking LFD tests on day 8, 9 and 10. For more information, visit COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings.

Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests will need to complete the full 10 day period of self-isolation. Further information is available in the stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection.

Public Examinations and mock exams
Examinations (both external and mocks) will continue as planned in January. If a student is absent due to covid, school should be aware. For mock exams, these we will rescheduled where necessary. For external exams, we will inform the exam board who are likely to ask that the exam is sat at the next opportunity, which will be in the summer.

 

Thank you for your continued support, and I will update you with any changes if and when these are sent to schools.

Best wishes

 

Adrian Ward

Parent Update 04/01/222022-01-04T13:08:07+00:00

December 2021

Parent Update – 12/12/21

2021-12-12T20:15:42+00:00

Dear Parents and Carers

As you will be aware, the Omicron variant of coronavirus is causing great concern and is spreading very quickly. Schools have been issued with limited new advice, but I wanted to share this with you, as well as some other updates. I appreciate that many parents have already agreed to having their children vaccinated. I would encourage those of you that have not yet agreed to discuss this with your GP. It is important that we try to protect our community as a whole and to try to limit the development of new variants, and the disruption that they then bring. Vaccination is a key weapon in this fight.

Face Coverings in Schools
Guidance in this area has been strengthened by government.

Face coverings should be worn by pupils and students in year 7 and above (which would be children who were aged 11 on 31 August 2021), staff and visitors in communal areas, unless exempt. This is a temporary measure. Pupils and students in year 7 and above in these settings must also wear a face covering when travelling on public transport and should wear it on dedicated transport to and from school, college, or higher education provider.

It is therefore essential that ALL students wear a mask in indoor communal areas such as corridors. It is also important that ALL students remember to bring their own mask to school every day. We have a very limited stock of masks in school, and we are rapidly running out due to the number of masks we are having to give out. We can no longer afford to do this as it is costing over £100 per week for us to give masks to students who do not bring their own.

As we run in to the Christmas break, it is vital that we all adhere to these rules. Please remember that anyone who tests positive on or after Wednesday 15th December will be isolating for Christmas Day, and so this will have a huge impact on plans that you may have made. It is important that we also do all we can to protect staff, who are unable to ‘work from home’ like so many others are able to do.

End of Term Arrangements
The last day of school is Friday 17th December. This will be a non-uniform day and students should wear a Christmas jumper as part of this. We are asking for students to contribute £1 for this, and this will help support our chosen charities, including Batchley Support Group and St Basil’s. School will finish early on this day, with students being dismissed at around 12.30pm. Students should go straight home, and must not visit first and middle schools, who will be having their own Christmas celebrations.

Start of Term Arrangements
As part of the fight against the Omicron variant, schools have been asked to test students on their return in January. In order to facilitate this, we will be having a staggered start to the start of term. Please see below for details. Mr Earles will be sending out appointment times next week, along with information regarding consent. On the day of the test students will need to arrive in time for their appointment, wait for the result and then return home.

Year Group Test Day Return to Lessons
11,12, 13 Wednesday 5th January Thursday 6th January
10 Thursday 6th January Friday 7th January
9 Friday 7th January Monday 10th January

 

Finally, I would like to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Best wishes

 

Adrian Ward

Parent Update – 12/12/212021-12-12T20:15:42+00:00

November 2021

Parental Update – 28th November 2021

2021-11-28T19:45:30+00:00

Dear Parents and Carers

With just three weeks to go to the Christmas holidays, I thought it was important to bring some information to your attention.

Covid
I would like to begin by thanking those students who were vaccinated last week for the very mature way they behaved. The vaccination team commented on their excellent behaviour, which is always very pleasing to hear.

You will also be aware that the Prime Minister announced increased precautions due to the new Omicron variant that has recently been discovered. This means that face coverings in shops and on public transport will be compulsory. This means all students will need to wear face coverings if going through the Kingfisher Centre or travelling by bus. This evening, Sunday 28th November, schools have been sent updated guidance from the DfE.

It reads:

Face coverings

Face coverings should be worn in communal areas in all settings by staff, visitors and pupils or students in year 7 and above, unless they are exempt.

Pupils or students (in year 7 or above) should continue to wear face coverings on public and dedicated school transport, unless they are exempt.

Students will therefore be required to wear a face covering when moving around the school, unless they are exempt for medical reasons. Unfortunately, we have experienced far fewer students bringing face covering to school recently. Last week we supplied over 700 masks to students at a cost of £100. This is not sustainable given the pressure on school budgets so I would I ask that ALL students bring a face covering to school every day.

We were also informed on Friday afternoon that schools will be asked to test students on their return from the school Christmas holiday. At this stage we have not been given any further guidance on how this will work, but please be assured that I will update you as soon as I have further information on this.

All students should be continuing to do LFD tests (home tests) at least twice a week. If any student has a positive LTD test result, please advise the school and book a PCR test. Your child needs to isolate and not come to school until you have the PCR result.  You can advise school by MCAS, telephone or by advising Mrs Green on [email protected]

We have seen a recent increase in cases in school, so it is really important that testing is carried out regularly to help protect the whole school and wider community.

Christmas Concert
On more positive news, we are holding a Christmas Concert on Wednesday 8th December. I am delighted that we are able to do this ‘in person’ and I look forward to seeing some of you there. The last time we were able to celebrate together was in 2019 and I think it is really important that we are able, despite our concerns around covid, to give the students opportunities to celebrate together. Details about how to book tickets, and our covid protocols, have been sent out separately.

End of Term Arrangements
On the last day of term, Friday 17th December, we will be asking staff and students to pay £1 to wear a Christmas jumper. This will help the school support our local charities, in particular St Basil’s and our local food bank. We will also be finishing at lunchtime and arrangements for this will be sent our nearer the time.

Student Update
I wrote to you earlier in the term to ask you to let us know immediately if a member of your family contracts chicken pox or measles. It is really important that this continues to happen as we do have a student who is undergoing chemotherapy, and we need to ensure they are protected from these diseases while his immune system is under such strain.

I have also been asked to draw to your attention that we do have some children at the school who have Tourette’s syndrome. This means that they will, at times, make involuntary sounds or movements (known as tics). This can be distressing for both the students concerned and for those around them but the school is supporting those affected.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Best wishes

Adrian Ward

Parental Update – 28th November 20212021-11-28T19:45:30+00:00

May 2021

Parental Update – Covid Variant

2021-05-14T16:27:36+01:00

Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been a difficult week for many of us. For me this started on Sunday afternoon when I received a call from Public Health regarding a possible variant situation in the area. Since then I have attended numerous meetings and briefings. As you will appreciate the situation across the town has been developing by the hour. As a result, some of our plans had to be changed, often at the last minute. This is particularly relevant to those students who have had their isolations extended twice during this time. Please be assured that these were decisions beyond our control.

As you will now know, there have been several cases of the South African variant detected in certain areas of the town. Residents in these areas are being encouraged to have a PCR test, and a mobile testing unit has been set up for this purpose at The Abbey Stadium. There are different arrangements for students at the school, which are outlined below.


Year 9
All students in Year 9 should have received a PCR test delivered to their home address. This should be completed, as per the instructions that come with the test. Please remember to complete any personal information that may be required. These should be posted back using the envelope provided with the test.

Any year 9 students who have been learning from home over the last two weeks should return to school as normal on Monday, unless they have a positive test result or have Covid symptoms.


Year 10-13
This afternoon, we have had a number of PCR tests delivered to school.  On Monday these will be distributed to students in Years 10-13. These should be completed at home. Please remember to complete the information that goes with the test (name, address etc). DO NOT RETURN YOUR TEST BY POST. There will be collection bins in school into which students should put the completed tests. For Years 10 and 11, this will under the canopies at the start of the school day, so students should drop them off on their way into school. For Years 12 and 13, a collection bin will be located in the Sixth Form Centre. We are asking that these tests are returned on Tuesday, but there will be further collections during the week for students who forget.

It is really important that all students complete a test so that we can help eradicate this particular variant from our community. Staff will also be taking these tests. Thank you to all our students and families who have already taken the PCR tests sent to them or attended ‘surge testing’ at The Abbey Stadium. If test results (positive or negative) come back over the weekend please can we ask that they are emailed to [email protected]. Thank you for your support.


Face Coverings
On Monday 17th May, the nation moves to the next phase of returning to normal. For our community this has not come at a good time. Given the presence of the variant, and the measures being taken to control it, I have decided that students must continue to wear face coverings in corridors and indoor communal areas. This decision is supported by Public Health. I will review this at half term, in consultation with my colleagues in the public health team. My overriding priority is the health and wellbeing of the whole school community. I thank you for your support with this.

Thank you again for your continued support.

 

Best Wishes
Adrian Ward

Parental Update – Covid Variant2021-05-14T16:27:36+01:00

Confirmed cases of Covid-19

2021-05-02T11:08:10+01:00

Dear Parents and carers

We have been informed of two confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the school. Identified close contacts will have been contacted separately as these students need to isolate themselves, up to and including Sunday 9th May 2021. As a precautionary measure, we have decided to close the Y band of Year 9. Lessons will be taught on Teams, as they were throughout lockdown.  If students do not have access to a computer for remote learning, please contact Mrs Green. School will then try and provide a laptop.

Please can I remind you that students should be having two Lateral Flow Device Tests each week. This will help protect themselves, their families and the wider community. Should they have a positive test then we request this is reported immediately to the school, and that this is followed up with a confirmatory PCR test.

Lessons will return to normal. In school, from Monday 10th May 2021.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support. We appreciate this is not an ideal situation but the safety and welfare of students is our top priority.

 

Best wishes

Adrian Ward

Confirmed cases of Covid-192021-05-02T11:08:10+01:00

March 2021

Parental Update 3rd March 2021

2021-03-03T16:28:43+00:00

 

Dear Parents, Carers and Students

As outlined in my letter last week, we have been working to ensure a safe return to face-to-face teaching in school next week. This update includes important information about how various aspects of school will work over the coming weeks. Please ensure you familiarise yourself with this. At the heart of the measures outlined below is a desire to protect the entire school community: students, staff and families. We have already lost some members of our community and it is the responsibility of all of us to try and avoid spreading the virus to other people.

LFD Testing
We are strongly encouraging all students to consent to Lateral Flow Device Tests (LFD) on their return to school. This will help protect the entire school community. Unfortunately, we have not received a reply from around 30{0fa29e37a5ff5b819bc9d205477dcf2080d55da20457d57d8c85d351a6dec1cb} of families, which we are following up with phone calls. This has delayed the publication of our testing timetable. However, 6th Form students were tested yesterday, and will be tested again on Friday before their return to lessons in school on Monday. The table below outlines the testing timetable and return to school dates for the other year groups. Individual emails will be sent to students having tests later this week, giving a time that they need to come to school. After the test is complete students will be sent home again. Each year group will then start face to face lessons in school on the day following the tests.

Year Group Day of first LFD test Day of return to lessons in school
11 Monday 8th March Tuesday 9th March
10 Tuesday 9th March Wednesday 10th March
9 Wednesday 10th March Thursday 11th March

Students who have consented to tests will then receive two more tests during the following two- week period. We hope that all tests will be completed by Thursday 18th March. After this, students will receive test kits to allow them to test at home. We will send more information regarding this next week. Parents and other family members of school aged children are also entitled to home test kits, although we are unable to supply these. Again, more information regarding this will follow.

We appreciate that some students are nervous about having a test, especially if they have not had one previously. Mrs Stephenson has kindly put together a video walkthrough of the process explain each stage and what to expect. Please see the video here.

If you are bringing your child into school on their testing day and wish to wait for them, please use the overflow carpark to park and wait.  This is through the Grove Street gates, turn right and go down the ramp, continue across the lower car park onto the overflow carpark.  There will be signposts showing the way.  Please do not use the top or bottom carparks and please wait in your car and do not come up to the testing station with your child.

Vulnerable and Critical Worker Provision
Onsite provision for vulnerable and critical worker students will stop on Friday 5th March. Students should then attend for testing and normal lessons with the rest of their year group.

On-line Learning
On-line remote lessons will continue for Year 10 students on Monday and Year 9 students on Monday and Tuesday.  During the testing days consolidated lessons will be uploaded and available to those students who are not being tested.

Face Coverings
You will no doubt have read much comment about the advice for high school students to wear face coverings in the classroom. I am extraordinarily disappointed in the government over the stance they have taken on this. When I wrote to you last week, our understanding was that this was compulsory.  Since then, ministers have been interviewed on a number of news outlets and said this is ‘strongly recommended’, leaving schools such as ours in a very difficult position. Although we are now unable to make this compulsory, we are asking students to do this. In order to make the school as safe as we can for the entire community, including the adults that work here, we are ‘strongly recommending’ students adhere to this guidance. Unfortunately, where parents and carers do not support this, the rest of the community (including other parents and carers) will have to accept this. It is not for the school to enforce a rule on which government is not prepared to be decisive.

However, the wearing of face coverings in all corridors and communal areas continues to be mandatory and we expect all students (unless they have an agreed exemption) to adhere to this.

Guidance on exemptions can be found here.

I would also remind students that wearing face coverings is mandatory in shops and on buses.

Uniform
We are expecting students to return to school in full uniform.  However, we appreciate that at the current time obtaining new uniform may be difficult.  If you have any difficulties obtaining uniform, please email or telephone your child’s head of year.  A reminder that vivid coloured hair is not permitted, and neither are nose piercings.  This is particularly important in the Covid pandemic with potential transmission of Covid droplets.  We do not want children touching their noses.   We will accept a clear stud.

PE kit needs to worn on PE days.  Black tracksuit, sports leggings or jogging bottoms can we worn.  We would recommend wearing a coat, as windows and doors will be open in classrooms.  Hoodies are not permitted.

Laptops
During the pandemic we have loaned laptops to students who needed them.  If your child has been loaned a laptop or wi-fi dongle then this needs to be returned to the school on the first day they attend face to face lessons.  Students can hand over the laptop before school to an ICT technician located in the Dining Hall or during registration in the Library. 

Bubbles, Timings and Entrances
As I outlined last week, we will be resuming the arrangements we had before Christmas. This means that students need to arrive at school at the same times as the Autumn Term and use the same entrances to school. We will continue to keep students in bubbles and with separate break/ lunchtimes until at least Easter.

I look forward to seeing all the students back in school next week. At last, it feels like there is some light at the end of the tunnel, so let’s make ensure we all play our part in making sure we don’t end up in yet another lockdown.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes

Adrian Ward

Parental Update 3rd March 20212021-03-03T16:28:43+00:00

February 2021

UPDATE ON RETURN TO SCHOOL 8th MARCH 2021

2021-02-26T12:04:33+00:00

Dear Parents and Carers

The Prime Minister announced on Monday that, as expected, schools would return to face to face teaching from 8th March 2021. I am sure this is a huge relief to you and your families. Staff are also very pleased to be returning to some kind of ‘normal’ having done a tremendous job of teaching remotely since the start of term. Mr Johnson did not go into much detail in his announcement, and this detail has become apparent over the past 24 hours, so I think it important to draw a number of issues to your attention.

Testing
As you know we were planning to test students in school from the start of January, but this did not happen due to lockdown. There is now an expectation that secondary aged students (Years 7-13) will be tested THREE TIMES in the first two weeks on their return to school. This is not only a huge logistical exercise (around 3000 tests for our school) but also relies on parents and carers agreeing to this. Unfortunately we only received responses from around 40{0fa29e37a5ff5b819bc9d205477dcf2080d55da20457d57d8c85d351a6dec1cb} of families when we asked for this consent in January. In order to make the testing effective we need a much higher take up. If you have not responded, the link for consent is here.

We will be starting the testing next week for years 12 and 13 in order to get a head start. Sixth formers will have received an email regarding this, so please respond to Mr Petit by Friday 26th February at 3pm.

We will be contacting families over the coming days where we have not received a response regarding consent. Once the three tests have been carried out in school there is an expectation that students will then carry out tests at home. Again, we have very few details on this at present and I will write to you once we know more about how this will work.

Staggered Start
Given the huge number of tests that are potentially needed, we will be phasing the return of students during the week of the 8th March. Details about this will be sent out next week. I should also point out that as there is a need to test students three times during the first two weeks, lessons will inevitably be disrupted during this time.

Face Coverings
Revised guidance this week is that face coverings are now mandatory in all indoor spaces where a distance of two metres cannot be maintained (this will be in place until at least Easter). This means that face coverings will be required in lessons as well as in corridors. The exceptions to this are in practical PE lessons or when students are eating. We expect all students to adhere to this in order to maintain the safety of the whole school community. Staff will not necessarily wear a face covering when teaching at the front of the class but will do so when working more closely with students. This guidance will be reviewed by the government during the Easter holiday, so I will update as to whether this will need to continue in the longer term.

Bubbles and zones
We will be maintaining the same arrangements  (bubbles, zones, staggered breaks/lunchtimes) that we had in place last term, at least until the Easter holiday. We will also be continuing with our Covid mitigation measures in school. These include hand sanitising on entry and exit to rooms, social distancing whenever possible and ventilation of rooms.

I appreciate that students have limited access to some specialist facilities due to the zoning of the school, and so we will review this as soon as it is safe to do so. I hope to be able to move to a more ‘normal’ timetable for all students in the summer term.

Year 11 and 13 examinations
It was announced in January that examinations, as we know them, will not be taking place this year. We expect to hear the results of the consultation regarding the arrangements later this week, but it is likely that students will still need to sit some assessments in their subjects in order to support the grades teachers are giving them. It is vital, therefore, that students return to school with a real focus and purpose so that they are able to work with their teachers in the most productive ways possible over the final few months of this year.

I will write to you again next week with more details on how the testing and phased return of students will work.

Thank you for your continued support and I look forward to seeing the students in just a few days’ time.

 

Best wishes

Adrian Ward

UPDATE ON RETURN TO SCHOOL 8th MARCH 20212021-02-26T12:04:33+00:00
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