Dear Parents and carers,
As we reach the end of another fairly extraordinary academic year and I would like to thank all of our staff, students, parents and the wider community for such exceptional support and positivity in these most challenging of circumstances. This has been a period of time in education like no other and despite all of the many challenges, it is by working together that we have been able to provide the best education possible in the safest way possible.
We have operated an incredibly strict bubble system throughout this academic year, which of course has had a significant impact on the delivery of education. However, the priority has been safety first, and the efficacy of our approach has been borne out in the comparatively low levels of disruption we have suffered compared to some other schools and areas. This is perhaps most clearly see in our attendance levels, which have remained around 94-95% throughout. The latest Government national data shows an attendance rate of 80%, so we appreciate your trust and support in ensuring that students have attended Wollaston School and adhered to a system of controls which has made our school as safe as possible a place to learn and work in.
I would also like to thank Mr Anderson for stepping in to write the last couple of newsletters whilst I have been unwell. I am thankfully now returning to full health and will lead the professional development days next week and am also looking forward to seeing our 2021 Year 7 students in their summer school on Wednesday and Thursday of next week – enjoying some amazing educational and personal development activities as well as hopefully enjoying some wonderful weather!
Plans for the 2021/22 Academic Year
Mr Anderson will write with full operational guidance in due course, but the good news is that the latest Government guidance will see a return to a far more “normal” approach to education in Secondary Schools in September. We are delighted with this decision, as we have effectively been operating in crisis conditions for a significant period of time, and this will allow us to resume our mission to provide excellence in education throughout the curriculum.
We will once again return to faculty bases, with all students enjoying the benefits of moving around the school to study in specialist accommodation, with specialist resources and being able to participate in the full range of learning activities, with almost all restrictions on teaching and learning approaches having been removed. This will be a moment of real celebration as we can re-invigorate and re-inspire students with all that a Wollaston School education has to offer.
You may also be aware that routine close contact isolations will cease as part of the return to school in September. This also gives students, parents and staff the necessary surety regarding continuity of education and the ability to plan in the longer term for excellent progress, learning and qualifications.
One crucial facet does of course remain for all students, staff and visitors. If any individual does have any coronavirus symptoms, the must not attend school, book a PCR test at the earliest opportunity and self isolate according to the guidance if the test is positive.
We will of course give full information in advance of September and the Government have published a guide to the changes for parents, which can be found HERE
Students do not need to routinely test using the lateral flow devices over the summer break, and schools are not being asked to provide LFT kits over the summer. However, please do be aware that lateral flow devices are available through a network of pick up points, as well as for home delivery. Details can be found HERE
On the return to school, all students (for whom we have consent) will be tested on site twice during their first week back. We are writing to new Year 7 parents to request consent for testing. For all other students and parents, current permissions remain valid. If you would like to change your consent status for regular testing or ask for further information, please contact Jade Fitzhugh: firstname.lastname@example.org After this date, twice weekly home testing (we will supply the testing kits) will be recommended at least until the end of September.
The schedule for testing in September is below:
|Thursday 2nd September||1st test Year 7 & 8|
|Friday 3rd September||1st test Year 11 & Sixth Form|
|Monday 6th September||1st Test Year 9 & 10|
|Tuesday 7th September||2nd Test Year 7 & 8|
|Wednesday 8th September||2nd Test Year 11 & Sixth Form|
|Thursday 9th September||2nd Test Year 9 & 10|
In addition to the schedule above, and as an extra safety measure, we would be grateful if all students could undertake a test at home in the 48 hours before they return to school. Results should be uploaded to the NHS website HERE . Positive results should be then confirmed with a PCR test and reported to the school using these email addresses. email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you in advance for your support.
Qualifications in 2021 and 2022
We have submitted to the exam boards all of our school data as well as the moderation samples which they requested. The two results days will take place on the 10th August (Sixth Form) and 12th August (Year 11). In line with new national guidance, students will be able to receive their results in school, and we will also make provision for results to be available remotely for those who are away or who choose not to attend. Although this has been a qualifications series like no other, we remain exceptionally proud of our Year 11 and Year 13 students who have demonstrated incredible resilience and positivity alongside their academic accomplishments.
For students and their parents in current Year 10 and 12, whilst we are expecting a more normal approach to examinations next year, the Government is consulting on possible amendments to this process. This is an open consultation so all stakeholders can contribute. If you would like to do so, your views can be shared HERE
Staggered Return to School in September
A reminder that following the requirement to cancel this year’s transition days, we want to ensure that all year groups are able to enjoy a full transition to a more usual Wollaston School experience. The start dates for each year group can be found below:
|Date||Year groups required in school|
|Thursday September 2nd||Year 7|
|Friday September 3rd||Year 7|
|Monday September 6th||All year groups in school|
The end of the academic year is always a sad time as we say farewell to a number of much valued and respected staff. A number of staff are retiring and other moving on to promoted posts elsewhere. We wish all staff every success in whatever they are moving on to next, and on behalf of the entire school community – thank you for everything that you have achieved with us at Wollaston School. The full list of staff who are leaving can be found below:
|John Cunningham||Asst Head / Head of Maths|
|Christine Bailey||HLTA – Maths|
|Dawn Stewart||Support Staff|
|Tom Guiney||PE and Head of Year 7|
|Tanya Henning||Support Staff|
|Alison Layram||Support Staff|
|Alex Klinkenberg||DT & Art|
From September we will also have a number of new staff joining us and we are pleased to have recruited so successfully over the course of this year. We know that parents, students and colleagues will welcome new staff to Wollaston School with the warmth and friendship which is so characteristic of our school. The new staff joining are as follows:
|Harry Atherton||Head of Year 7 and Teacher of Maths|
|Maria Elmes||Head of Year 11 and Teacher of PE|
|Anna Gracey||Teacher of French|
|Joshua Cecil||Teacher of Physics|
|Chloe Dixon||Asst Head of English|
|Megan Bishop||Teacher of English|
|Claire Jones||Teacher of Computing|
|James Logan||Head of Year 8 and teacher of PE|
|Katie Sullivan||Teacher of Geography|
|Andrew Litchfield||Head of Geography|
The Last week of Term
Please click on the links below to read about the experiences of our students this week
I do hope that you and your families enjoy a wonderful summer break. Thank you for your fortitude, enthusiasm and messages of support throughout this incredibly difficult year. We look forward to brighter days ahead from September and continuing to achieve great outcomes for every student no matter what is thrown at us!