Headteachers Letter – 20th November 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Thanks again for all of your support with another really busy week of work at Wollaston School.  as you will be aware, positive cases result in the need for flexible and fast moving adaptations, so particular thanks to parents and students who have coped so well with such changeable circumstances.   Thank you also to all parents for your support of those parts of our work which remain absolutely consistent. We value greatly high standards of uniform and ensuring that students arrive fully equipped and ready to learn. We will be having a focus on this in the days and weeks ahead as we believe in ensuring that our core standards do not slip, despite the pandemic.

I would also like to formally welcome the following new staff  to Wollaston School. Mrs Qazi has joined our Cover Supervisor team and is already working with classes in all year groups.  Ms Lucas joins the cleaning team.  I know that we will give a warm but socially distanced welcome to our school community.


Positive Coronavirus Cases in the Sixth Form

Although the advice we have had from Public Health has been excellent – we have had a concern about how this links into the more personal test and trace system.  We are aware that in our most recent case, the advice we have been given as a school (direct from a PHE clinician) is different from that which the family have been given personally by test and trace.  We have of course fed this back to PHE as it is clearly incredibly unhelpful and we are currently awaiting their response.    In terms of actions arising from this, there remains no further action from our point of view, but the possibility that some students may be contacted directly by test and trace. Please note  that if students are contacted directly by test and trace, they should follow any isolation instructions and inform us of this as soon as possible.

I would also like to thank all students, parents and staff who are teaching and learning in such unusual circumstances, some from home and some at school. In whatever context and methods you are working, we are proud of being able to continue our education provision and thank you for somehow making all of this work so well. I know that school staff, parents and students are incredibly appreciative of each other for this work and for ensuring that education remains a consistent priority throughout so much other uncertainty.

I would also like to thank the Sixth Form leadership and mentor team for their tireless work on contact tracing, parental communication and contingency planning.  We have managed the mock exams effectively in unparalleled circumstances and thanks to everyone who has helped  this run so smoothly.  In order to ensure that we complete all mock exams in good time – we are also innovating a world first (for us at least) of remote zoomed invigilation! This will mean that we will aim to ensure all exams are completed as soon as possible and ensure that teaching groups are able to move forward together following the mocks.


ZOE Covid-19 Symptom Tracking App

You may be aware that there are a number of Covid studies – one of which ZOE,  is already well used nationally.  Please do note that the use of this app is for research purposes and will of course never be used to influence Wollaston School, Public Health or Department for Education decision making. It is also not a replacement for the NHS Covid -19 Test and Trace app and is not a replacement for contacting Wollaston School if you child is unwell or has received a positive test result.  However, if you would like to take part in the study, or require more information, this can be found HERE


Children in Need

Thank you for your incredible generosity to support the non-uniform day on Friday 13th November 2020. All monies will go to the national Children in Need Campaign. Wollaston School managed to raise ….£1,215.35!  Thank you to everyone who so generously donated.


School Governor Opportunities

We have now filled the vacancies on the Wollaston School Governing Board, thanks to your response to our last request for new members.  One of our partner primary schools  (Bozeat Community Primary School and Nursery are also recruiting for new Governing Board members. If you would like to know more, please contact Clerk to the Governors, Liz Procter by email proctere@nenevalleypartnership.com


Anti-Bullying Poster Competition

Mr Anderson and the pastoral staff are working this half term to promote anti-bullying throughout the school. We are particularly keen to run with a student designed poster and have launched a competition for students to have their artwork selected as the Wollaston School campaign.

Further details are available from Mr Anderson AndersonS@wollaston-school.net – and the aim is to design an eye catching poster which captures the idea that we all have a responsibility to look out for one another and help those we think may need our assistance. We are a member of the Diana award anti-bullying programme and one of their tag lines is: “Be upstanding – not  bystanding”, so designs alongside this theme may prove a useful starting point.

Posters can be submitted to Mr Anderson via his email address or handed directly to Heads of Year. Submissions should be made by Friday 27th November 2020. Thank you to those students who have submitted entries already!


Sixth Form Open Evening

We have launched our applications window for the Sixth Form in September 2021. As with admissions to Year 7 this is an entirely virtual process and features videos directed and produced by our amazing Sixth Formers themselves.   We are incredibly proud of our Post 16 provision and offer an inspiring range of subjects and courses, which has led to the increasing growth and academic success of our Sixth Form. To find out more, please see the main page of school website HERE


Parking and Picking up Students on the school site

It has probably been some time since I have written regarding parking, so thank you for you acre and considerations when parking and waiting to pick up students. As always we appreciate you parking considerately in the local residential area. We would also be greatly appreciative if when waiting for students, you could ensure that the disabled parking spaces are always accessible. We do have students who need to access transport from these parking spaces and thank you in advance for your co-operation.


Community Donation of Washable Face Coverings

Thank you so much for all of the generous donations to our school of washable face coverings for students who may have difficulty accessing these.   We now have a stock of around 70 face coverings, which have been hand sewn and come in a plastic bag for hygienic storage, alongside care instructions. Thank you to everyone who has been busy sewing and creating these in a number of different sizes. All face coverings have been quarantined to ensure no risk of inadvertent virus transmission.

If finances or practical reasons make it difficult for your son or daughter to access a face covering, please email the relevant Head of Year and we will arrange for them to be discretely provided with one of these face coverings.

Year 7 – GuineyT@wollaston-school.net or CootesA@wollaston-school.net

Year 8 – JacksonM@wollaston-school.net or MartinK@wollaston-school.net

Year 9 – ReesM@wollaston-school.net or RatledgeM@wollaston-school.net

Year 10 – BevanP@wollaston-school.net or BurgessC@wollaston-school.net

Year 11 – WalkerA@wollaston-school.net or Weir-smithM@wollaston-school.net

Year 12 & 13 – MillsT@wollaston-school.net or MeliaJ@wollaston-school.net

Thank you again for the donations and for ensuring that the community support of one another remains so active in the current crisis.


Thanks again for all of your support of Wollaston School and please get in contact with Jade Fitzhugh (PA to CEO & Headteacher) Fitzhughj@wollaston-school.net if there is any aspect of our work which you would like to discuss.

Yours Sincerely

Mr James Birkett