Headteachers Letter – 3rd December 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
It is difficult to believe that we are already in December, and the final two weeks of term are going to be packed with activity – and a return to some of our traditional Christmas celebrations as well as continuing hard work and learning in lessons.
Thank you for your support in ensuring that all students (except those who are exempt) are provided with face coverings. As with previous situations when these have been compulsory the overwhelming majority of students are very mindful of the need to protect themselves and others, and take care to remind themselves to wear masks in corridors and indoor communal areas. We do understand that sometimes both children and adults may forget, so our approach is to be relentless and positive with reminders as well as re-iterating the purpose of face coverings. We are also grateful if parents and carers can continue to promote these messages at home. We do have a stock of some spare face coverings (as we know these can break or get lost!) Students can pick up spares from Student Services.
Testing in January: Phased Return
The Government and DfE have again asked schools to operate on-site testing on day one of their return to school at the start of the Spring Term. In order to facilitate this, the DfE have asked schools to arrange testing in conjunction with a staggered start to term. Thanks to the incredible efforts (and by now – vast experience) of our on site testing team, we are going to accomplish this task very quickly and avoid an elongated start to the new year. The arrangements are as follows:
Wednesday 5th January 2022: Return to school for students in Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 ONLY. All students with consent in these Year groups will be tested during the school day.
Thursday 6th January: All Year groups return to school. All students with consent in Years 7, 8 and 9 will be tested during the school day.
Please find a link to the testing consent form HERE
Request for Volunteers for On-site testing
We have been able to operate such an effective on-site testing provision, thanks to an amazing team of volunteers and staff. We would again appreciate the help of any parents who are available to volunteer. Full training is provided for those who may not have volunteered previously as well as plenty of coffee, biscuits, lunch and the opportunity to work with a happy and positive testing team! If you are available to help on the 5th or 6th January please contact Jade Fitzhugh FitzhughJ@wollaston-school.net
Home Test Kits
If students require additional home testing kits for the next 10 days, these can be collected from Student Services. Please note this should only be used for immediate demand, as we will be distributing testing kits in bulk before the Christmas break. A reminder also that tests should not be taken within 90 days of a previous positive Covid -19 test result.
Edulink: School Communication Platform
We have taken the decision to introduce a new software platform which will be of significant benefit in a range of home school communications. The Edulink One app is available on all smart phones and log in details are in the process of being sent out to all families. We have trialled this software with students during the Year 11 mock examinations, as it provides exam details including specific seating plans, which will be of great benefit in the summer exams series. We will also be using Edulink to schedule all parents evening appointments and the app includes a direct link to the video meeting waiting room. This will be utilised for the first time for Year 13 Parents Evening which takes place on Thursday 9th December.
We look forward to using Edulink for a range of communications and have been impressed by the functionality to date in trial events. We hope that parents, students and families find this of equal benefit in the months and years ahead.
Mock Examinations and Christmas Homework
Our Year 11 mock examinations have now concluded and teaching staff are busy marking papers and ensuring that students have feedback as early as possible. The aim is to give an idea of current academic levels, but more importantly, to identify areas of strength and areas for development in the weeks and months ahead. Teaching staff will be setting Years 11 and 13 some Christmas homework based on these identified priorities. The aim is not to overload students during the festive period, but we do think that it will be of significant benefit to set some learning activities which will further aid students on their return in January.
We have been delighted with how students have approached the exams and indeed all of their studies since September and we are looking forward to working with Year 11 and Year 13 to make the exams in 2022 as successful as ever!
Many Congratulations to four of our Year 9 students who have been selected to join the Northampton Saints Under 14 Developing Player Programme. Ollie, Yogi, Arlo and Matthew all play Rugby with the Old Northamptonians and their selection is testament to their hard work and positive approach to all aspects of their training and development. I am sure that the school community will join me in celebrating this achievement and we wish our Four Year 9 students every success on the programme alongside their continued great work at Wollaston School.
We are always keen to celebrate and share the achievements of our students, so if you have any news to share, please contact FitzhughJ@wollaston-school.net and we will be delighted to publish details in the newsletter.
School Health Survey
A selection of students have been chosen to take part in the Northamptonshire health survey of Young People. This is an anonymous survey which aims to capture the views ad experiences of young people and assists the NHS and Local Authority to devise health strategy to tackle any emerging issues. Further details will be sent directly to the parents of children who have been selected at random to take part and on behalf of the Local Authority thank you to students for their assistance with this.
Christmas in the Wollaston Kitchen!
We have begun the countdown to Christmas in our ever popular kitchen and canteen. Pictures can be found on the school website here – and students and staff alike have enjoyed the amazing decorations and Christmas specials available. Full Christmas lunch and all the trimmings will be served on Wednesday 8th December 2021 for the price of £3.50. This is always an incredibly popular meal and we will set up the dining area ready for a traditional Christmas Dinner!
A wide range of events to be aware of in the final two weeks of term and a welcome return of some charitable activities. We are resuming our full Christmas hamper competition, with all donations going to the Salvation Army and Wollaston and Bozeat is kind, in order to support families in need at Christmas. Donations are organised in form groups, and there is a competitive element as each form has to design, build and decorate their own Christmas hamper. This always results in some amazing work and we run the event as a House competition with points available for the most creative and inspiring hamper designs! As usual we will place photos of the winners on the school website – and thank you in advance for the donations provided to fill the hampers with Christmas goodies to go to the charities above for distribution in the community.
Tuesday 7th December : 12.55- 13,25 – I’m a Wollaston Celebrity – GET ME OUT OF HERE!!
Wednesday 8th December : 12.45-13.45 – Student Christmas Lunch
Wednesday 8th December : 7pm – Christmas Concert
Thursday 9th December : Year 13 Parents Evening
Wednesday 15th December : OAP Christmas Party
Wednesday 15th December : Christmas hamper Competition Judging
Wednesday 15th December : 12.55 – Festive Relay
Thursday 16th December : Sixth Form Presentation Evening
Friday 17th December : Christmas Jumper Day & Last Day of Term
As always, thank you for your continued support. Please do get in touch if there is any aspect of our provision which you would like to discuss.
Mr James Birkett