Headteachers Letter – 18th September 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
Thank you for all of your continued support with ensuring a successful full time education for all students. The changes in structures and organisation may make day to day life at Wollaston a little different, but the atmosphere remains warm, positive and purposeful in each year group.
We all appreciate the high levels of parental support in ensuring that your children are well prepared for both the academic and practical demands of school life. Uniform has been largely positive, but we have had reports of some footwear and trousers which are not in line with school policy. For further clarification, please see the uniform booklet which can be found HERE Heads of Year can also provide advice and guidance if required.
We are also extremely grateful for your support for the uniform / PE kit arrangements which have enabled a return to more normal PE lessons. This system is working well practically and students and staff are enjoying the increased levels of physical activity.
Year 12 Virtual Meet the Tutor Evening
Our first online parent’s evening took place on Thursday evening and proved a great success. Tutors hosted parent questions as well as providing information regarding the early weeks of Sixth Form life. Whilst attendance was a little lower than similar in -person events, we do appreciate the efforts to adapt to these new ways of communicating as we may need to operate in this way for some time. Mr Mills also led a virtual session regarding how to prepare for UCAS applications. For any follow up questions, or indeed any queries regarding UCAS or Sixth Form provision, please contact Mr Mills Assistant Headteacher firstname.lastname@example.org or Mrs Melia VI form centre manager email@example.com
The first ever Careers Zoom session was held today when Northampton College staff spoke to all Year 11 students about the opportunities that they can offer for the 2021 academic year. More events of this nature are planned in the forthcoming weeks as initial feedback from staff and students was positive.
It is also pleasing to report that the Wednesday lunch time careers drop in service has proved to be most popular. This is available for all Year 11 students in the main hall (this is part of the Year 11 bubble) every Wednesday lunch time. Mr Myers leads all of our careers work and “virtual” provision will be rolled out to all year groups in the coming months. Mr Myers can be contacted by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Illness: When to self-isolate and arrange a Covid-19 Test
You will be aware from the media that there are local and national concerns that the testing system is becoming overloaded, and there are reports that some people are trying to book “precautionary” tests, when they don’t actually have any symptoms.
There is national concern about this issue and I have been asked to remind parents that students and families should only self- isolate and book a test if they have any of the following symptoms.
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
We have been fortunate that staff, students and families have been incredibly sensible in taking these decisions. It is essential that all with the above symptoms do self- isolate and book a test, and those who may be unwell, but who do not have Covid-19 symptoms treat these illnesses in the usual way, taking medical advice where needed.
If you do have Coronavirus symptoms, tests can be booked HERE
What will happen if a member of the school community tests positive for Coronavirus
You may be aware that a number of schools, both locally and nationally, have either fully or partially closed after being made aware of positive test results. Firstly – a reminder that we will always inform parents in the event of a positive test result (whilst maintaining confidentiality over that person’s identity).
We have had several requests regarding what would happen in the event of a positive test result, and it is important to note that there is no pre-ordained course of action. Depending on the number of cases, their spread throughout bubbles, the local situation, the last time those with a positive test have been in school etc….the combination of these factors may facilitate different responses.
The Department for Education (DfE) guidance changed again yesterday in a quite a significant way – in that the DfE will now be the initial decision maker before referring on to local Health Protection teams if they deem this to be necessary. Of course, we will always act in line with the advice that we are given and in the event of any required action, I will communicate our plans as early as is possible.
Our bubble arrangements and protective measures are working extremely well at Wollaston School, and we are a school community who are enjoying the ability to learn in a secure and happy atmosphere which is as safe as possible. However, it is also important that we do not become complacent to the risks of transmission.
Please could you remind all students that wearing of face coverings is recommended and encouraged on all school transport. Face coverings are also optional when moving around the bubble and in all communal areas. Even within bubbles, social distancing is recommended where possible, including at break and lunchtime. As a school we remind students to avoid physical contact with others where possible and we would be grateful if you could re-enforce this message at home.
Open Evening 2020
We have written to all partner primary school regarding the arrangements for our virtual Open Evening in 2020. Full details can also be found on our website HERE
A number of students will assist with filming in the coming days and thank you in advance to all who will participate in showing off Wollaston School to our Year 7 intake of 2021!
Parking in Residential Areas
As mentioned last week, parking has become a significant concern for local residents. I have attached the LETTER from Northampton police regarding this issue and we are aware that they may take enforcement action where they deem this to be necessary. We would be grateful if parents can helps us to be good neighbours to local residents and park considerately and legally. We do recognise that congestion on site is significant and there is no easy answer to this. However – please again do note that the site is very quiet from 3.20pm onwards and collecting after this time is a much more relaxing experience! Thank you in advance for your support in this matter.
Thank you, as always for your support and cooperation in these matters and of Wollaston School. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us via email on email@example.com
Mr James Birkett