Headteacher's Blog 14-1-22
It's been a normal week in school which is a blessing in the current circumstances; long may that continue!
The second week of term has flown by. Fortunately it has been a “normal” week which is a blessing in the current circumstances.
Indeed given the figures we are seeing nationally – the most recent ONS data suggested 1 in 15 people had Covid across the UK last week – the picture at school currently is relatively encouraging. We do of course have cases across all year groups but as I type, the numbers are not that high. On the staff front we are also in the very fortunate position of having only a very few staff absent. We did have a high number of cases in term two and I am hopeful that we are now seeing the benefit of that with high levels of immunity present in the school community. I have my fingers crossed that this remains the case.
Yesterday’s announcement of the change to the number of days of self-isolation is another piece of good news. You will be aware that as of Monday, people who test positive will be able to leave isolation after negative LFD tests on days 5 and 6. The tests on days 5 and 6 need to be taken 24 hours apart and as long as they are in the morning, a student testing negative would be able to return to school on day 6. This means less disruption and fewer lessons missed which has to be welcomed.
One of the reasons for the relatively low level of cases currently is the high take-up of LFD tests across all year groups. I would strongly encourage all students who can to continue to take advantage of the opportunity for twice-weekly LFD tests. Undoubtedly these tests are picking up asymptomatic cases and as such are helping to reduce in-school transmission. We really want to minimise any disruption in school and this is an absolutely vital element in ensuring that. If you have any questions regarding the LFD tests please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for your support with this.
In non-Covid news… this week saw our Year 11 parents evening. As is now the custom, it was a virtual event. I have been pleased with the attitude Year 11 have demonstrated in their lessons since they returned after Christmas. Their first set of formal assessments have been fed back to them and they now have an even better idea of what they know and what they need to do next to ensure they realise their undoubted potential. The timing of the parents evening was extremely useful as it has allowed parents to hear that information and to know how they can support their child through what is an incredibly important 4 months leading up to the GCSE exam season. The next set of assessments for Year 11 begin on 31st January. I know they will be busily preparing for these.
For our KS3 students, the next intervention cycles have begun in English, Maths and Science. These are an important part of our work to ensure that students whose performance in the recent order A assessments were below expectation can have the support needed to rectify that position. Results from previous cycles show that these interventions can really help students make up ground. If you do have any questions about this work please do contact Mr Ball.
I am sure this will not come as a huge surprise that, due to the current Covid situation, we have taken the incredibly difficult decision of postponing the ‘We Will Rock You’ musical to later in the academic year. I would like to stress that this is a postponement NOT a cancellation. Due to the restrictions within school regarding face coverings in classrooms it would have been extremely difficult to carry out any rehearsals during January and we feel students would not have had the opportunity to fully prepare for the performances in March. We are asking the cast to “Hang On In There” and keep practising their lines until rehearsals can restart and we hope to be able to “Rock It” later in the year… new dates to be announced shortly.
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.