Message from Mr Clarke – 13 Feb

Dear parent / carer,

As we reach the halfway point of the year, it is a genuine pleasure to be able to look back on the last six months and reflect positively on the wide range of achievements and improvements we have seen within school in spite of the inevitable challenges. As a school staff, we have placed significant emphasis on the development of our curriculum since September, including how to support students who have undoubtedly experienced disruption ahead of their examinations, as well as developing our teaching and learning strategies to help all students learn effectively.

As a result of the Omicron variant, we have faced ongoing pressures this half term that have continued to impact our daily routines, most notably in relation to staff absence. However, we have managed to collectively find a way to offer solutions and sincerely hope that the educational landscape will be more predictable in the coming weeks and months. With covid cases declining in school as each week passes, we want to continue to return to the routines and expectations we know are vital in daily school life and that contribute positively to students’ experiences and outcomes.

It is fair to say that the overwhelming majority of students have responded exceptionally well on returning to school this year, with a small number finding this transition more challenging than their peers. Whilst we remain committed to supporting any student where they are finding this return to school genuinely difficult, we are equally determined to ensure that all students can work and learn without unnecessary disruption from students who may not be following safe and reasonable instructions in the manner we would hope.

On our return after half term, we will be placing significant emphasis on the four expectations and the standards in relation to attitude to learning, uniform and appearance. I have attached a link to the uniform policy for your reference and politely ask for your continued support to make sure we have a positive and purposeful return to school on Monday 21 February. We would also greatly appreciate your support in discussing the expectations relating to mobile phones and ask that you remind your child that mobile phones should not be seen or heard anywhere on the school site. This helps to keep all students safe in school and avoids any unnecessary disruption to learning. We have approximately 40 telephones in school and students can ask to use these to contact home and similarly, we would also urge parents to only contact children via the main reception during the course of the school day.

Finally, and most importantly, please can I thank you for your continued support. It has certainly been a challenging start to my time as Headteacher but made a great deal easier by your positive engagement with the school. I hope the half term is a peaceful and productive one for you and your families and I am delighted that it is the first one in two years where I am not anticipating a government announcement part way through the break.

Very best wishes

Russell Clarke, Headteacher