Headteachers Letter – 11th June 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
We have enjoyed a successful first week after the half term break and thank you for ensuring that students arrived in full uniform with all necessary equipment, ready for lessons and learning.
Remembering Mark Wade
Today is the 1 year anniversary of Mark’s tragic passing, and as a school community we have come together to remember him and the positive impact of his life. It continues to be evident what an extraordinary influence Mr Wade had on so many, and our Head students spoke in assembly of their memories of such a warm hearted, generous and funny man. It was great to see so many staff and students wearing bright ties in memory of Mr Wade and thank you again for the £1 donations to the Northampton food bank in Mark’s name – a charity very close to his heart.
During the assembly we spoke of how in remembering those we have lost, we can honour them by letting their memories and values live on. Mr Wade was famed for putting a smile on people’s faces, even on the darkest days, and for filling moments with acts of (sometimes mischievous) kindness. In Mr Wade’s memory, we nominate June 11th as Wollaston Schools’ day of kindness and positivity. We will remember Mr Wade as he lived his life, with joy, optimism, care for others and a love of life.
Farewell to Year 11
Although a large number of students will return to our Sixth Form, today has marked the final day at Wollaston School for our Year 11 as a full cohort. This Year group has performed wonderfully, despite the significant challenges of the Covid pandemic, in addition to all of the usual pressures of working towards examinations, securing Post-16 destinations and coping with being a 15/16 year old!
Thank you to all of our Year 11 students, parents and staff for making all of the above run as smoothly as possible. Our Year 11 have demonstrated fortitude, positivity and determination, and have for the most part managed this with smiles and care for one another. The Wollaston School GCSE class of 2021 will be one remembered in History!
Farewell to Year 13 – Words from Mr Mills
It is with a mix of sadness and pride that we are saying farewell to the Year13s of 2021. They have had an extraordinary Sixth Form and have coped with everything superbly, through lockdowns and remote learning they have remained positive and focused and I am sure that this will have resulted in some excellent grades for them in August. They will have truly earned their grades, the assessment process has been a drawn out and challenging one for them all, yet they have risen to that challenge superbly. As a cohort they has shown true resilience and positivity, they have high expectations of themselves and always strive to achieve the best possible results, which will really stand them in good stead for the future. Their fun loving character has been visible to the end, this week the RAG week has been excellent with a real keenness to be involved and some wonderful fancy dress. As a result we have raised several hundred pounds which will be donated to a mental health charity. I wish everyone of them the best of luck for their futures, whatever direction they are opting for. They are a great group of young people and they deserve the very best of fortune, they will be missed.
Lateral Flow Testing
A reminder that we strongly encourage all students and staff to take lateral flow tests twice weekly. Our recommended schedule is on Wednesday and Sunday evenings. We will continue to distribute test kits as we judge they will be required, but please do contact the school if further test kits are required more quickly.
Please remember to record all test results on the NHS website here: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result
Lateral Flow tests are not to be used if students are suffering with coronavirus symptoms. If your child has a continuous cough, a change in taste or smell or a high temperature, you should self isolate as a household and book a PCR test here: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
Thank you for your continued support with the mass testing programme, this remains vitally important in ensuring that Wollaston School is a safe as possible.
Despite the ongoing difficulties of Covid restrictions, we are determined that all students benefit from a meaningful end to this year across the curriculum. For Years 10 and 12, this means an internal examination series which will commence on the week of 21st June 2021. In all other Year groups assessments will be undertaken across the curriculum and results reported at the end of the year. Of course, because of the disruption to education nationally this year, it will be less easy to assess progress as an “expected” or “target” position. The primary purpose of these examinations and assessments is to give students, teachers and parents an accurate understanding of current grade and performance, in order that we can identify the correct areas of focus and learning for the next academic year, which we greatly hope will be a more “normal” educational provision.
We know that parents and students have been working hard both in school and at home in order to address any lost learning or curriculum areas which may not have been as well understood throughout the remote learning period. In order to support our students over the final half-term, we have published our faculty curriculum maps on the school website. These can be found in the Curriculum section of the WEBSITE These maps will allow you to see the ‘big picture’ for each subject as well as assessment titles and the content that is covered in each term of every year. It is hoped that this will allow you to plan ahead and see what topics and texts your child will cover in their subjects as well as looking at areas taught during the coronavirus disruption. I know that many parents are keen to find ways in which they can help to recover some of the learning lost due to COVID and this is one way of doing just that.
It has been wonderful to see some of our enrichment provision spring back into life with the easing of restrictions. Whilst “the best education possible, in the safest way possible” serves us well in terms of working to a system of controls, it is by necessity a compromised position, and I know that we have all missed those aspects of education which put the “sparkle” into life at school. It is therefore worthy of celebration to see Sports clubs and Sports leadership programmes restarting, Duke of Edinburgh and Public Services expeditions taking place, Gardening clubs and a host of other activities gradually come back to life. We are also pleased to announce that we are again entering the “Dance Live” national Performing Arts festival (formerly known as Rock Challenge) in 2022. Auditions will begin this half term and as ever we expect to assemble an incredible cast of around 100 students and a large number of staff to showcase and celebrate the creativity and artistry of our wonderful students and staff.
Thank you as always for your exceptional support of our school and I hope that you enjoy your weekend in the sunshine.
Mr James Birkett