Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

I hope you all had a restful half term with your families and managed to see relatives before Lockdown 2.0 on Thursday.

The engineers managed to fix the burst water pipe and now the science, maths, MFL blocks are warm again alongside the main hall, the café and library.  We welcome back our students and staff today after two days of remote learning from home.  For Year 7 and Year 12, this was a new experience and along with all the other year groups they coped really well.  Students attended lessons as on their timetable, with live teaching and although intense, lessons on the hour kept up the pace during the day.  We need to tweak the settings so that cameras and mics work for all students.  It was good to note that nearly all students were able to access MS Teams on a laptop and the last two days highlight the need for every student to have access to a laptop during the school day if we did have to close the school.  Using a phone or tablet doesn’t work for students when they need to upload work or write on documents.  If you are struggling to provide your daughter/son with a laptop, please contact her/his Head of Year.

During half term, following PHE and Local Authority  advice, we contacted staff and students who needed to self-isolate following a couple of positive Covid cases that emerged over the first weekend of half term.  Both the PHE and LA were very helpful and we appreciate the support from parents.   Students must wear masks as they walk to and from lessons, they are given hand sanitizer as they enter the classroom and their desks are cleaned too.  We are keeping classrooms well ventilated and students will continue to have breaks in the marquees and as a result, they might be a bit chiller than usual.  Students are allowed to keep their coats on in lessons and it may be a good idea to introduce your daughter/son to the concept of a warm vest!

On the Friday before half term, the Head girl and the deputy head girl team organised a non-uniform day #wearitpink to raise money for the charity Breast Cancer Now.  The students raised £944.50.

Miss Harris and the Heads of Houses are planning more charity events run by students of all year groups over the next half term.  The events will be held in the year group marquees on a Tuesday … ‘Charity Tuesdays’.  Students need to buy their plastic coins through the café via wisepay and they can be bought in 50p and £1 denominations.  We are hoping for bake sales, tombolas, craft sales and so on….they will be featured in the blogs for sure!

To add to wearing pink, Year 11 enjoyed homemade cakes in their ‘bake off’ marquee last Friday too….girls shared their cakes amongst friends.

Thank you to Miss Shephard and Ms Heron for organising the tulip planting in memory of Mr Furlong that staff attended last Friday.  Mrs Smith is coordinating a memorial committee made up of staff and students and they have some lovely ideas to remember Mr Furlong, whom we truly miss and she will be in touch with details of the memorial fund and plans for the memorial over the next few months.

Finally, I would like to wish Year 13 all the best in their PPEs this week and to Year 11 for next week when they sit their three PPEs for maths. Good luck!

Finally, we must all remember

Take care

Anne Kennedy