Headteachers Letter – 7th May 2021
Dear parents and carers,
Thank you for your continuing support over this week, and also for the positive feedback following my previous letter, regarding our work to improve behaviour. We know that the pandemic has affected every individual and every family in different ways, and appreciate that most of our student population have approached school with focus and positivity. However, it is also clear that we will need to be robust and resolute in ensuring that every single student is able to re-adapt to formal school routines and embrace the social responsibility of being a part of a large, diverse and successful school community.
We will continue to ensure that consistently good behaviour is of the highest possible priority and we appreciate working in partnership with parents to support our students to achieve all that they are capable of in school, thanks to their excellent behaviour for learning. We have already seen a reduction in the number of negative behaviour points this week, because of this renewed focus and we appreciate you taking the time to discuss the importance of good behaviour with students to ensure that this trend is continued.
Thank you also for your support in ensuring that all students arrive in correct uniform or PE kit and have all of the equipment required for a successful day at school.
Positive Coronavirus Result in Year 9 Bubble
Thank you to all affected parents who acted so quickly and efficiently in arranging to collect from school a number of close contact isolations in the Year 9 bubble following a positive lateral flow test result. This test result has now been confirmed as negative through a subsequent PCR test and the self -isolating students have been cleared to return to school.
Obviously this is a continuing relief regarding lower numbers of positive cases, but we probably do need to be braced to expect the occasional false positive lateral flow test result. We are now in excess of 10,000 home tests taken, and we have a total of 5 false positive results recorded ( a rate of around 0.05%) which seems a reasonable and manageable return, although I do appreciate that every case and accompanying self isolation does of course lead to inconvenience.
We do appreciate students, staff and parents continued support of all of our covid safety measures and the mass home testing programme, in addition to coping with emergency isolations, such as the case above. I am not sure that pride is the correct word to use about how effective we are in dealing with Covid related issues, but we certainly should recognise that as a school community we have operated at an excellent level in adhering to all safety guidance and keeping ourselves and each other as safe as possible. A reminder that students and staff will continue to test twice weekly, and we suggest that this is undertaken on a Wednesday and Friday evening. All positive lateral flow test results should be reported to email@example.com and a confirmatory PCR test booked as soon as practicably possible.
Year 7 Parents Evening
Thank you for another successful virtual parents evening with Year 7. This has been the most unusual of years to begin secondary education, but we are proud that our Year 7 students have not only coped, but have flourished, despite being confined to bubbles for the year. I know that staff appreciated the dialogue with parents and we are greatly looking forward to the easing of restrictions, when our Year 7 students can enjoy the full resources and specialist accommodation available at our school.
It is pleasing to hear that students in year 11 and year 13 are preparing well for their next stages of their life. Apprenticeships are becoming an option that are considered by many. Mia in Year 13 recently gained a project management role with Unilever and Katie, also in Year 13 , was successful in securing a health care role with the NHS. These roles were offered to them after a series of interviews , online assessment day , maths and English tests and the presentation of a business proposal. Therefore , it is appropriate to remind parents of the careers support offered by Dale Willis of My Great First Job. This forthcoming Monday he is offering a session on interviews. The relevant link is below :
A reminder that Mr Myers is our careers lead and should you have any questions about provision or for support for your son or daughter, please contact Myersb@wollaston-school.net
Parental Support with Quality of Work undertaken in lessons.
As you are likely to be aware, as part of coronavirus restrictions, staff are advised to avoid shared touch points and to maintain a social distance from students and colleagues where this is possible. One of the effects of this is that teaching and learning support staff are less well placed to monitor, correct and mark classwork in lessons as it is being produced. Despite this, we remain determined to ensure that students continue to produce the best quality of work possible in every lesson.
Mr Litt (Assistant Headteacher) leads our academic Faculty structure and through the message below, we would like to enlist parental support to ensure that students in all year groups are encouraged to continue to produce work to the very highest standard possible.
All of our teachers really appreciated the support that parents and carers gave us during the period of enforced school closure. Most of our students engaged really well with remote learning and this was due, in no small part, to the perseverance of parents in ensuring that students were logged on and ready to learn.
Now that things are getting back to normal, can we ask that parents continue to offer this vital support? Please take the time, each week, to look at your child’s exercise books and ensure that they are showing pride in their work. Are they using their neatest handwriting? Are they writing in a pen? Is there a clear date and title for each task? Does it seem like they are writing enough for the tasks set?
If you have any questions about what is expected, or how you might be able to support them further in achieving the best possible outcomes, then please do not hesitate their class teacher or Head of Faculty. We are always happy to field questions – no matter how big or small they might seem.
I hope that you enjoy a good weekend and we look forward to continuing our work with students from Monday.
Mr James Birkett