Headteachers Letter -30th April 2021
Dear parents and carers,
I trust that you are looking forward to a relaxing bank holiday weekend, hopefully in the sunshine! In advance of that, there are some important points to note below, in addition to some great news regarding the achievements of two of our students.
A reminder for students to continue testing on a twice weekly basis. We recommend Wednesday and Sunday evenings for all staff and students. The testing programme is crucial in maintaining a safe environment and I am pleased to inform parents that we have had no positive lateral flow tests to report this week.
Discriminatory Language and Behaviour
Wollaston School is proud of our tradition as “a place where you can be yourself”, as one student put it to me when discussing what they valued about our school. We are a school which values diversity, equality and respect for one another, regardless of age, race, gender, ability, sexuality or faith. Every student and adult at Wollaston deserves to work and learn in an environment free of discrimination. It has therefore been distressing to deal with a small but significant number of incidents in which discriminatory language has been used. We will always deal with such incidents seriously and we have no tolerance of discriminatory language and behaviour. Significant sanctions will be issued where required to ensure that we remain a safe and inclusive school community. All students receive pastoral input through assemblies and tutor times regarding discrimination and why using discriminatory language will be tackled so seriously. I would also be grateful if parents and carers could re-enforce this message at home and discuss with our students their responsibilities when attending our school; an inclusive and respectful community in which we can all be free to be ourselves, without fear of comment, insult or derision.
In order to ensure that we have a means to tackle any issues of this kind quickly and appropriately, we have established a dedicated email address for staff, parents and students to report any concerns or issues.
Students can also report any issues through the physical drop boxes in every bubble, or by talking to Heads of Year or indeed any member of staff. We will ensure that every incident is dealt with and work towards a school which is free from any form of discrimination.
Behaviour and Conduct Post Lockdown
Although the overwhelming majority of students behave incredibly well for the overwhelming majority of the time, our behaviour monitoring indicates an increase in both low level negative classroom conduct as well as an increase in more serious disruption. Whilst there has undoubtedly been a post lockdown effect, as some students re-acclimatise to being part of a large and dynamic bubble of 240 students and others are re-learning how to cope with a more formal structured routine, now that we are well established in the summer term, we do need to ensure that our positive learning habits and conduct are fully restored across every year group.
You are likely to be aware that Mr Anderson has led on a revised behaviour system, full details of which were sent prior to the full return of students in late March and this has also been widely promoted with students in all year groups. This system continues to tackle any form of disruptive or negative behaviour and our staff are empowered to ensure that all students are able to learn in an atmosphere free from disruption. Both repeated behaviour issues or more serious incidents will always incur a significant sanction, and both fixed term and permanent exclusions can and have been employed to secure the standards of behaviour which we expect at Wollaston School.
We do of course recognise the profound impact that lockdowns have had on some of our students, and we also recognise that some behaviour issues have been thoughtless rather than malicious. Nevertheless, any incidents of poor behaviour does negatively impact on the learning and enjoyment of others, and no individual has the right to do that. As in all aspects of education, we believe in working in partnership with parents, and I would be grateful if you could spend some time discussing at home the importance of excellent behaviour at school and the responsibility that every student has to ensure that we continue to work in a climate in which learning can flourish. Following this, if you have any concerns about your child’s behaviour, please do contact the relevant year team who can provide appropriate further advice and support.
With lockdowns easing, our students are once again able to take part in sporting events, with two notable successes already!
Jensen in Year 7 is competing on the national stage in the Fab Racing Mini Moto Championship, and is currently in 8th position following really strong first and second rounds at the Lydd race track. The next rounds will take place in Wales in June, and we will of course look out for further successes.
Hannah in Year 9 has succeeded in gaining the categorisation of an Elite British gymnast, and has qualified for the National Championships to be held in November in Surrey. We look forward to learning of her accomplishments in the months and years ahead.
On behalf of the entire school community – congratulations to Hannah and Jensen.
We are of course always delighted to celebrate the achievements of our students both within school and in their wider activities. If you do have any achievements to share, please contact Jade Fitzhugh email@example.com and we will be pleased to include in future letters.
Year 7 Parents Evening
The parents evening will be held online on Thursday 6th May between 3.45pm & 7.45pm. All students have been given appointment booking sheets, however copies can be downloaded and printed HERE
Thank you for your continued support of our school and please do get in contact if there is any aspect of our provision which you would like to discuss.
Mr James Birkett