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Headteacher's blog 5-2-21

The words and deeds of Captain Sir Tom Moore can inspire us this week

This week has seen a flurry of media attention given to the potential impact of the pandemic on educational outcomes and then in turn on potential lifetime earnings. Apocalyptic headlines have been written following the publication of an IFS report on this topic. I have a real concern when the media engages in such talk and the general catastrophising about the current situation. Clearly it is right to be concerned. However, if we persist in telling young people that their situation is so dire then we run the risk of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

We know the disruption will have had a detrimental effect on some of our young people so let’s focus on dealing with that when schools return. I was pleased to see the appointment of Sir Kevan Collins to head up the Government’s work in this area. He is an experienced educator with a real expertise on what is impactful following his work with the Education Endowment Foundation. I was also pleased to see the promise of funding to support this work.

Let’s also remember that young people are resilient and by encouraging resilience and positive attitudes our young people will cope and will have the potential to regain any “lost” learning. I am drawn to the words of Captain Sir Tom Moore who sadly passed away this week. He said of the current pandemic: “We will get through it in the end but it might take time, but at the end of the day we shall all be OK again… the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away.” Wise words from an inspirational figure.

It’s also worth keeping in mind a number of positives. As I write this piece the UK has crossed the 10 million threshold in terms of Covid vaccinations. That is a phenomenal achievement and one that fills me with hope that there is genuine light at the end of the tunnel. There’s also the news from Scotland regarding the reopening of their schools. With the data nationally reflecting positive trends, I am hopeful that 8th March will signal the return to school we all hope to see and that we will get the chance to welcome back all of our students.

Of course, the best way to minimise losses in learning is for our students to engage fully with their home learning. Those that are doing this are ensuring that their learning is progressing well. Clearly as the time away from school increases it does become harder to stay motivated. As we approach half-term it is really important to continue to encourage your son / daughter to make a big effort to finish the term strongly in terms of their learning. Thank you for all you are doing to cajole, encourage and support your children at this time.

One group of students who have gone over and above in terms of their maths work were those that took part in the UK Maths Trust’s Mathematical Challenge which was still able to operate this year despite the lockdown.  The Mathematical Challenge is a 60-minute, multiple-choice competition aimed at students across the UK which aims to encourage mathematical reasoning, precision of thought, and fluency in using basic mathematical techniques to solve interesting problems. Congratulations go to Jude Cockin, Archie Hall, Kristian Jones, Kiana Male, Sophie Nicholls, Jack Osborne, Laela Paine, Keira Penrith, Thomas Wager, Evie Windridge and Shania Young and Anja Brotherston who have completed the Intermediate challenge aimed at students in Years 9 and 10.

Last week I celebrated the achievements of some of our students completing work towards their DofE awards. I was delighted this week to hear about the efforts of Year 9 student Keira Wood. As part of her volunteering module, Keira has been supporting the Gloucester City Missions project. She has been collecting toiletries that can then be passed on to homeless people in the city. This is such a wonderful example of a student living the values we cherish and promote at Severn Vale School.

On Wednesday 10th February our Independent Careers Adviser, Georgie Blackburn, is delivering a webinar for our Year 11 parents and carers to enable you to better support your child with their options after year 11 and future career choices. This is a great opportunity for you to hear about:

  • The options available for your child and local provision in Gloucestershire

  • The differences between types of courses and qualifications and learning environments

  • How to learn more about sixth forms/colleges/apprenticeships and the application process

  • Positive ways to support your child with career and education choices

  • A chance for questions and answers about any concerns

Georgie will run 2 sessions at 4.30 pm and 6.30 pm. The webinar will take place via Zoom. If you would like to attend, please email Mrs Lauren Hart at by Monday 8th February, stating your preferred time. She will reply by sending out a Zoom link to enable you to access the live webinar.

Last week saw the beginning of the options process for our Year 9 students. All Year 9 parents should now have a copy of the options booklet which provides basic information on each subject offered. On Monday a new section on the school’s website will go live with subject videos to provide key information on each subject to supplement that provided by the options booklet. There will also be an introductory video outlining how the process works. I hope parents and students find both useful.

Even though 8th March does not seem that far off, I know that the continuing lockdown is posing a real challenge for some students.  Please remember that our staff remain available to support the students. The best points of contact are always the Tutors or the Heads of Year. There is also a wealth of well-being material and links on the school website here.

As always, I include my weekly reminder about Free School Meals eligibility. 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.

To end, some more Zoom stars identified by our staff over the past week. These are a selection of the students who have absolutely excelled in terms of their engagement and work produced. This week’s Zoom stars are:


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Year 10

Year 11

Abbie Nicholls

Ava Clare

Alicia Adams

Adele Smith

Amy Hobbs

Aiden Sangster-Rice

Cerys Jones

Elliott Thompson

Archie Hall

Ayesha Diallo

Aiden Skinner

Daniel Packer

Emma Loomes

Charlie Llewellyn 

Daniel Robbins

Annabelle England

Francis Minett

Jamie Fear

Danny Daniels

Elizabeth Salami

Barnaby Lawson-Davis   

Immy Sapseed

Jamie Weir

Ellie Cockings

Faye Chisholm

Charlie Ward

Jaiden Cornock

Laela Paine

Emily Wadley

Holly Evans

Chloe Webb

Kaitlin Cave

Logan Evans

Eve Rasdell

Jago Symons

Corben Merrett       

Lily Gardner

Melanie Torres

Faris Nouria

Jake Hipwood

Elizabeth Moroney 

Luize Rubene

Zunairah Cross

Finley Williams

Lydia Matumba

Emily Foster

Maddie Woodger


Jack Osborne

Megan Gibbs

Ethan Redding

Millie Darke


Millie Maycock

Morgan Hickman

Euan Espach

Oliver Leonard


Millie-Rose Smith

Olivia Long

Grace Grimmett

Peyton Kerridge


Molly-May Newman

Ryan Hunt

Isabel Hay

Pheobe Adshead


Riley Barnes 

Sam Seville

Jack Sidorowicz

Thomas Adams


Sameen Sonoury

Sebastian Leach

Joe Amankwah

Zara Luter


Shana Walsh

Wania Imran

Keana Barnes 

Ziggy Bielecki


Sienna Smith


Konrad Branka



Skye Clarke


Macy Holland



Summer Evans


Maisie Harlock  





Makayla Goddard





Megan Lewis





Nadia Lazar





Naveah Ryder





Nicole Walker





Rebecca Clay





Ryan Sands





Sam Rod





Sasha Ridler





Sophia Lamb 





Sophia Meadows





Sydney Folley






Have a safe and a healthy weekend!

Kind regards


Richard Johnson