Dear parents and carers,
Thank you for another week supporting a completely different type of education. We continue to be inspired and heartened by the incredible effort of students, staff and parents to make this difficult situation work as well as possible for our young people and our community.
I will start with plenty of the good news and actions which have been so prevalent during recent weeks – and in closing, I have included an amazing poem from Lody in year 7. A reminder also that the whole school writing competition remains open and we look forward to receiving further inspiring entries!
The spirit of how we are approaching education in the current climate is ably demonstrated by some of our Year 7 students who now take pride of place on our website front page – please click HERE to see the photo.
As we become familiar with remote learning, we continue to be highly impressed with the quality of work produced by our students in all year groups – as parents may be aware, we have traditionally celebrated exceptional work by displaying in my office with an accompanying letter of commendation. We have had to alter this approach in the current environment – and there is now a corner of the website devoted to exhibiting the work received for Headteacher commendations. This can be found HERE. Congratulations to all who have received a commendation since the return to school after Easter.
Supporting Willen Hospice
Many will be aware of reports in the media regarding the supplies of PPE in healthcare. In addition to our donation of goggles, aprons and gloves to Northampton General Hospital, we have also made a donation to Willen Hospice in Milton Keynes. This consisted of supplies of plastic acetates which the hospice has used to make 30 visors for staff to wear, protecting both themselves and those that they care for. Thank you to our staff for sourcing this material and arranging the practicalities of the donation.
BBC Radio Northampton: Project to support elderly and vulnerable people
Families will know that at a time of isolation, it is vital that we encourage new ways to make connections with friends, family and loved ones. However, there are so many people that do not have these connections or a functioning support network.
We are therefore pleased to be working with BBC Northampton and Greatwell Homes in Wellingborough to try and reach the elderly or vulnerable who may not have wider support systems available.
The aim is for children and / or families to write a letter, which will be initially returned to Wollaston for checking and which will then be distributed by Greatwell homes to some of their residents. The aim is to provide a great conversational letter, detailing how families are coping with the current situation and check on the wellbeing of residents and sending best wishes.
Full details and further guidance will be sent out through heads of year in a separate communication with details of how to get involved. Thanks in advance for your letters – I am sure these will make a significant difference to the lives of those most in need of social connection.
If students want to video themselves reading out their letter – this would be much appreciated as BBC Northampton will then run social media and radio broadcasts to publicise the project.
Meals for families and individuals in need.
The Victoria Centre in Wellingborough and Glamis Hall are working together to provide a range of services to those in need, including production and delivery of freshly prepared frozen meals.
The group will also provide a service where volunteers will do food shopping, dog walking and phone conversations for those who may be struggling with a lack of support at the current time.
If you would like to take advantage of these services, know someone who would find this useful, or simply for more information please email email@example.com or call 01933 277400. The project is titled ‘One Wellingborough’
Recruitment for September 2020
We continue to focus on providing the best remote education possible during this period of school closures, and will of course prepare to be ready to re-open when safe to do so. We are also working to ensure we are prepared to start the 2020 academic year in the best manner possible. To this end, we are continuing our recruitment activities and are currently advertising for a number of positions. We are conducting interviews and tasks remotely, which is a new experience and we have already made some excellent appointments. Please see below details of current vacancies and we look forward to welcoming new members of staff to the Wollaston team.
I would also like to formally welcome Jade Fitzhugh to the Wollaston team, who has recent taken up her post as my PA. Any contact with myself can be made through Jade firstname.lastname@example.org and I know that parents, staff and students will make her feel very welcome. Louisa Nixon has now taken up her promoted post at Wollaston to lead our HR and operations functions. I am sure that they will both be very successful in their new roles.
Wollaston School story writing competition
Please see below for a link to our whole school story writing completion. We know that creativity and the arts are proving vital in helping all children and adults cope with isolation and explaining their thoughts and ideas about the virus, the current situation as well as expressing their hopes for the future. So we hope that many will enter the competition and we look forward to reading the entries and will show them on our website once the competition closes at the end of May.
We are pleased with the feedback that the quantity of work has been more manageable and that a sense of routine is ensuring that education from home works as well as it possibly can.
We are currently looking at ways to ensure that submission and feedback is a little more structured as we know that this is greatly valued by parents and students alike. We hope that we will be able to provide greater clarity and service and feedback in the days and weeks ahead. A reminder that for any questions regarding working from home, please contact Tony Mills Assistant Headteacher email@example.com Mr Mills has also prepared a letter which communicates some of the current provision. Please click HERE to view the letter.
Government guidance on Coronavirus
A reminder that all information regarding Coronavirus can be found on the website www.gov.uk/coronavirus there is a special section regarding education and childcare.
I would also like to bring your attention to the updated guidance for households with possible Coronavirus infection https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance
This document has recently been updated and includes a new section on what to do in homes in which grandparents, parents and children live together, or in which there is someone in a household who is at increased risk. I am aware that there is an incredible amount of information available through various media and the government sources and I do not want to overwhelm, but I will continue to publicise any significant changes and new guidance.
Please do remember that although schools are closed to the majority of students, if you need us, we are here for you, and a reminder of how we have split the leadership of key areas, so that you know who to contact.
- Whole School Leadership & Communications – Mr J Birkett (Headteacher).
- Remote working & Go4Schools – Mr Tony Mills (Assistant Headteacher) & Mr J Cunningham (Assistant Headteacher).
- Exams & Qualifications – Mrs S Lydon (Deputy Headteacher) & Mrs E Stevenson (Associate Assistant Headteacher).
- Safeguarding, Additional Needs & Student Support – Mr K Beeby (Deputy Headteacher) & Mrs C Barton (Assistant Headteacher).
- In-School Provision for children of Critical Workers & Children requiring additional support – Mrs K Worger (Senior Assistant Headteacher), Mr J Litt (Associate Assistant Headteacher) & Mrs Z Correa-Humphries (Associate Assistant Headteacher).
- Free School Meals Provision – Mr W Taylor (School Business Manager).
We have staff working in school and remotely, so if you have any questions or concerns please do get in touch. Heads of year and student managers are available for pastoral support and we are only too happy to help where we can.
Thanks as always for your continued support and I hope that your families and loved ones remain well, safe and are looking after each other.
With all best wishes – and I hope that you take comfort and feel inspired by Lody’s poem below .
Mr J Birkett
This year hasn’t gone quite as planned,
Because as you know everything is banned,
Busy capitals around the world now close
As life comes to a stop,
The pandemic grows.
You may feel hopeless,
You may feel sad,
But if you look closer it’s not too bad.
Share your kindness,
or help someone in need,
you can do it if you just believe.
Spend more time with your family,
Contact your close friends,
Make sure you stay safe,
And soon it will all end.
Although the days feel long,
Together we will stand strong,
Now is the time to come as one,
And fight for everyone old or young.
The sacrifice we need to make,
Is one everyone needs to take,
And although the virus has made an attack,
The NHS has got our back.
The selfless nurses, doctors and GPs,
All risk their lives for us so please,
Stay at home don’t make a mistake,
Keep safe and isolate.