Dear parents and carers,

Thank you again for all of the final donations and contributions to the Re:store foodbank and for your incredible tributes to Mark Wade for inclusion in the book of condolence. Mark’s funeral took place this week and colleagues were are to join remotely. Mark’s loss has been devastating for his family and this was a terribly sad and emotional occasion. There were however, also moments of Mark’s humour in the service as well as an overwhelming sense of a life well lived, to do some good in the world. This is a powerful legacy for Mr Wade to leave us all with.  On behalf of Mark’s family, I would like to pass on their thanks for all the kind words, generosity and support which you have given – to them and to each other. Thanks to your donations on the go fund me page we will also install a bench dedicated to Mark which will be placed in our memorial garden. This will enable students and staff alike to enjoy some quiet reflection when this is needed, in memory of a great teacher and a wonderful man – Mark Wade, we will miss you more than words can say.

In School Provision

Continued thanks to students, parents and staff for ensuring that classes for Years 10, 12 and LAW school (provision for children of critical workers and those needing additional support) have continued to function so effectively and have been so well attended. Each day we operate 4 separate ‘bubbles’ in LAW school, 4 bubbles in year 10, and between 2 and 4 bubbles in year 12. Our attendance rates are very high with excess of 80% of eligible students attending each day. We do not have full comparable data yet, but our understanding is that because not all schools are offering provision, the national figure is only about 15%.

As we have promised throughout, we will always open to the maximum number of students allowed at the earliest opportunity that we are able to do so. This of course requires a huge amount of work to ensure that all operates as per the national guidelines. It is the entirety of the team at Wollaston that makes this possible and I would to thank again, all of our support and teaching staff, parents and students for following the new arrangements so carefully.

Planning for September

I am aware that it can feel slightly confusing and disconcerting to hear and read so may conflicting reports in the media regarding what a return to school in September may look like. As I write, there is no detailed national guidance regarding September opening, but we are working on the assumption that the new academic year will see all students in all year groups return to Wollaston School – and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone back!

We don’t yet know the expectations regarding practical arrangement for this return – and of course a full return of over 1450 students and nearly 200 staff would mean that social distancing would not be possible. However, there may be different protective measures in place and we will as always follow all guidance carefully and continue to provide the best education possible in the safest way possible.

You may also have seen that the government is proposing to pause the shielding scheme for those students and staff who are classified as extremely clinically vulnerable or clinically vulnerable which will then enable their return to school – and we are looking forward to welcoming them back with any safety and social distancing protocols which are recommended.

Full Guidance can be found HERE

Term dates 2020

As we have not been permitted to host students on site for transition days this term, we are proposing to amend our term dates to allow for effective transition arrangements as detailed below. In order to achieve this as quickly as possible we have postponed one of the staff professional development days, to be replaced later in the year. This means that the return to school in September will be as follows (subject to government and department for education guidance and approval)

Tuesday 1st September – Staff Professional Development Day

Wednesday 2nd September – Year 7 & 12 only

Thursday 3rd September – Year 7 & 12 only

Friday 4th September – Year 7, 11 , 12 & 13

Monday 7th September – Full school return


Summer holiday plans

We are pleased that the government have changed their original position and will now release funding to schools to enable us to support children entitled to free school meals over the summer break. We will continue to distribute funds to families via supermarket vouchers, using the system that we have established previously. If  you have any queries please contact Wayne Taylor TaylorW@wollaston-school.net

The priorities between now and September will be to ensure that:

  • Students in Years 11 & 13 receive their GCSE, A-level and BTEC results and are supported with gaining entry to their chosen path at education, employment or training.
  • The site is prepared and ready for September in accordance with guidance received.
  • Revised programmes of learning are in place for September to ensure that students are able to return to school in a way which supports continued good progress and achievement.
  • Catch-up plans are developed for implementation in the autumn term, for all students as well as additional help for small groups and individuals who require this. We will utilise additional funding issued by the government and all catch up activities will be additional to their normal scheduled time in school.

We are not planning to run any provision in the summer holidays. Although the idea of summer camps have been reported in the media we do not believe this would be the most effective way of using additional funding to ensure that schools catch up with work missed.

We believe that planned organised learning which is integrated with lesson provision for September will be the most effective approach.

Thank you for your on-going support, particularly at this difficult time. It is clear that kindness positivity and purpose are values which are flourishing through our school community and we will ensure that these endure as we plan for Wollaston school coming back stronger than ever in September.

Mr J Birkett