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The new academic year begins

School reopening begins in earnest

It is an absolute pleasure to be writing this blog as we are welcoming our students back to school as part of our full reopening. It is over 5 ½ months since school entered lockdown; in some ways it feels even longer. It’s great to know that finally we’ve got our school back!

I have written previously with the plans that detail how school will operate in these new times. These are available to view on the school’s website here. Thank you in advance for going through these with your children so that they understand how school will operate. We will be going through these instructions with each year group and reminding them of the new ways of operating regularly.

We have had the opportunity to test those plans with Year 7 and Year 11 and they have worked well. The students have responded brilliantly and have understood the need for the changes we have had to introduce. What has been most encouraging is the way in which the students have just settled into their new routines. Children are incredibly resilient. Speaking to them in school, the overwhelming response is that they are glad to be back in school. 

Of course, some students have found and will find the return more challenging. Our Heads of Year, Tutors and Safeguarding Team will continue to offer pastoral care to all students. For students especially nervous about coming into school, extra support is available. If you feel this applies to your child, please do contact their Head of Year. I would also like to signpost advice available on our website which provides details of support parents might wish to use. It is available here

I am pleased to report that our new Year 7s have made a fabulous start to the new year. I know the staff have been hugely impressed by the way they have conducted themselves. Particularly impressive has been the way the students have demonstrated the values we promote at Severn Vale. I have seen many examples in just the 3 days we have seen the students so far. The staff are all looking forward to working with this group over the next 5 years and taking them on the next part of their learning journey. 

We are now readying ourselves for the return of our final 3 year groups. By Wednesday, we will have all of our students back in school and learning. I know I speak for all of the staff when I say this is a moment we have been looking forward to for a long time. 

I will conclude with two pieces of specific information / guidance:

  1. The Government have published an updated version of “What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term”. A link to this is available here.
  2. Free School Meals eligibility - please remember, if your financial circumstances have changed, your child may be eligible for Free School Meals. If you click on this link you will find guidance on the eligibility criteria and the application process. It's a quick process and we are notified of all FSM entitlements by Gloucestershire County Council each Monday. I would urge you to take a look if you think you may benefit from financial assistance.

Have a great weekend.

Richard Johnson