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Headteacher's Blog 25-6-21

The first auditions for We Will Rock You have taken place this week

Having believed we were beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel, we are having to deal with a positive Covid case amongst our school community for the first time since December. This has resulted in 30 students having to self-isolate for a period of 10 days. I understand how frustrating this is for all concerned, however our response in situations like this is very much driven by the Public Health authorities.

Having spoken to heads across the county this morning, I am aware that there is a clear spike in cases that has seen students being forced to self-isolate in most schools. In many ways we have seen a low impact compared to a lot of other schools. I very much hope that continues. Our major impact at the moment seems to be staff being required to isolate following cases in their children’s schools. I fear we may be on the cusp of a bumpy few weeks.

In school our students have been tackling their assessments with real maturity and application. Year 10 have had a very busy week with their Year 10 exams. Their behaviour throughout has been exemplary. Year 7 and Year 8 have taken their Order C Maths and Science assessments. Once again, I have been very impressed with the mature way they have tackled these papers.

Auditions for our production of We Will Rock You started in earnest this week with over 30 students from Year 7 to Year 10 taking part in Round One. Students were asked to perform a song from Queen and to read a section of script. It is testament to how talented our students are that such a wide selection of Queen’s back catalogue was covered. It was a pleasure to walk across the courtyard and hear joyful singing and I could not be prouder of those few students who were initially struck with stage nerves before rallying to give strong performances. Our Director Miss Evans and Musical Director Mr Khokher, now face a difficult choice of who to put through to the next round, as “In Only Severn Days” it will be time for Round Two.  

This week we have been celebrating diversity week which is Just Like Us' annual celebration of LGBTQ+ equality in education. To show support for this celebration, the LGBTQ group at Severn Vale have spent the week creating posters for a display; discussed influential figures in the community; considered strategies to promote inclusivity and helped organise the flying of the pride flag outside of the school. It has been wonderful to see the group so engaged and enthusiastic about LGBTQ+ rights. I am sure these passionate and articulate students will go on to make a huge difference at Severn Vale. A massive thank you to all the staff and students who have shown their support this week!

I am really pleased to announce that through the support of generous local sponsorship we have been able to purchase athletic vests for our students. Each year our students compete in District Athletics at Prince of Wales Cheltenham which is a fantastic day. This year we were taking possibly our strongest team of 48 students to compete in track and field events but unfortunately due to Covid numbers, this year has been postponed. As a school we have taken the decision to hold our own internal Sports Afternoon for each individual year group on separate days in July. Not only will our athletes get to perform but they will all be wearing our new athletics vests; it promises to be a fantastic three days. I would like to thank Anna Hawrot at Hardwicke based Spinavita for her kind donation.

I am also delighted to announce that the school are the beneficiaries of a new scheme launched by the Sedbury Trust, a charitable association, that sets out to increase access to technology for young people in Gloucestershire. The trust has kindly donated 15 laptops to the school for our young people to use. The students selected to receive these laptops will benefit enormously and are looking forward to get start using them. I would like to place on record our thanks to the Sedbury Trust for their kind donation and the excellent initiative that they have launched. I very much look forward to working with them again in the future.

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.

Have a great weekend. 

Kind regards

Richard Johnson