Headteachers Letter – 2nd October 2020

Dear Parents and carers,

This is a fairly lengthy half term, and we set ourselves the target of having bubble routines and processes well established by the end of the September.  We have managed to do this successfully and this is down to the hard and support of every member of our school community. Thank you for discussing the routines with your son or daughter and for ensuring that they have all of the equipment required for their time in school. As the weather is changing this is also likely to include the need for water proofs, coats and umbrellas! Please note that students always need to wear full school uniform and a school jumper should be worn at all times (this can be removed in lessons if the classroom is overly warm).


Open Evening Video 2020

We have now seen a first edit of the virtual tour – and this promises to capture a real flavour of our school and the dynamism of our usual Open Evenings, which I hope as you remember, showcases our enthusiasm, confidence, creativity and warmth. We are awaiting final edits of this video and of the recorded speeches and I will let parents know when they are available online as I know these will be of interest to current parents as well as prospective parents. Perfect family viewing for a rainy day!  We now have over 350 families signed up to our eventbrite admissions information system and this is growing by the day. Thanks to all of the students and staff who took part and a reminder that if you have a son or daughter in Year 6, you can sign up for admissions information HERE


Arrangements for Wet Breaks / Lunchtimes

We have been fairly fortunate with the weather, although that has certainly changed as of today!  We have had to change from our traditional wet break provision – as we can no longer  have large numbers of students in the Sports Hall, Gym or Main Hall.  In order to provide indoor areas, students are allowed into certain classrooms in their bubble to eat and socialise. This places considerable trust and responsibility onto every student to ensure that they are sensible and considerate during these times. We would be grateful if you could discuss this with your child and re-enforce the need to take any food waste with them (or place in the bin) and leave classrooms neat and tidy. We will of course explain the rules to students carefully and ensure that everyone lives up to the trust placed in them.


Face Coverings on the School Bus and Dismissal Arrangements

Thank you  for discussing with your child the recommendation that  face coverings are worn on the school bus.  This does seem to have had a significant impact and more students are now wearing face coverings.  Our advice will remain consistent – that face coverings are recommended and encouraged – and we will continue to repeat these reminders at the end of  the school day and whilst on bus duty.  Your help in ensuring that students have face coverings available is much appreciated.


Whole School Fire Evacuation Drill

We held our full emergency evacuation drill this week and I would like to recognise the calm maturity shown across the school in ensuring that we are all well prepared in case of an emergency. The bubble arrangements have meant entirely different protocols and logistical difficulties  this year and all year groups followed the new process calmly and effectively. The full evacuation was carried out within the target time allocated to us by the fire authorities. Obviously, we hope this is a system we do not have to use, but we will ensure that as a school we are well  prepared for any eventuality.


Year 11 Subject Consultation Evening

We will retain the date of the 22nd October 2020 for the Year 11 parents evening and further details will follow from Mrs Walker next week. We wish to use this evening to provide largely formative feedback and ensure that students are building up to the mock exams as a significant benchmark for working towards success at GCSE. We will focus on specific advice for each subject and the identification of work which needs to be undertaken both in lessons and at home.

Of course current restrictions mean that we will have to operate very differently than in usual years and consultations will be undertaken either by telephone or on Zoom.  Full information to follow next week from the Year 11 team.


Year 7 Tutor Evenings

Thank you to all Year 7 parents for joining Mr Beeby and your child’s form tutor for a virtual meet the tutor evening this week.  We are delighted with how Year 7 have begun their Wollaston School journey and they are a Year group to be incredibly proud of, having begun secondary school in such unusual circumstances. Thank you for all of your support as parents in making this process as smooth and successful as it has been and if you have any questions about life in Year 7, please contact Mr Beeby Beebyk@wollaston-school.net or Mrs Cootes Cootesa@wollaston-school.net 


Year 13 Early Applications

We have a record number of students in Year 13 making early applications for Oxbridge, Medicine and Veterinary Science undergraduate degree courses. Nine students are applying to Oxbridge across a range of different subjects and a further six for Medicine or Veterinary Science. This is the highest number that we have ever had making these applications and it is of great credit to our excellent Sixth Form and the students who study with us. We currently have our largest ever Post- 16 cohort and enjoy a growing reputation for excellence and curriculum breadth in our A Level and BTEC provision. Thanks to all in the Sixth Form Leadership, teaching  and mentoring teams –  and most importantly, congratulations to the students themselves!


Virtual Routes into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

Please find HERE details of a course for students interested in exploring a career in Engineering. This is run by the Engineering Development Trust. Please contact Mr Myers Myersb@wollaston-school.net for further information – if your son or daughter is eligible for Pupil Premium funding, we may also be able to help with the cost of the course.


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 Fitzhughj@wollaston-school.net

Yours sincerely,

Mr James Birkett