Dear parents, carers and families,
As we reach the half term break I am writing to update you on some of the things we have done this term, as well as plans for the final half term of the academy year. This year has been unlike any other but despite the challenges we have faced as a result of the pandemic, we are incredibly proud of the hard work of our young people.
I am delighted to report that we are looking forward to welcoming a full cohort into the new Year 7 in September. This is the first time for some years that we will be full in Year 7 and we are very excited to see the school growing in this way. As a result, we will be welcoming some new teachers to our team in September and we look forward to welcoming them also.
This term saw the introduction of the DRET Reads programme, where tutors read to their tutor groups each afternoon and students follow along in their own copy of the novel. It has been wonderful to see all students so engaged in a range of literature and we are excited about the next set of books that will be arriving over half term. The result of the DRET Reads programme has brought a number of visitors to the school, following Covid safety measures, to look at what we are doing. All of the feedback has been very positive.
We have also been delighted to welcome the DRET Teaching School team to our site, with the new DRET Teaching School Hub being based at Havelock, so providing our teachers with the very best quality professional development and training right on our doorstep, whilst also recognising the talents of our teachers and allowing them to share their work with others from across the wider county area.
Our Covid safety measures are still in place in school, including the year group bubbles and staggered times for arrival, departure, breaks and lunchtimes. We have had very little disruption over this last term in terms of bubble closures and students having to isolate and we would like to thank you for your support in reminding students why we continue to have the safety measures in place. We continue to ask students to have a “no physical contact” approach, even when playing at breaks, and we continue to strongly recommend the wearing of face coverings when moving around the academy. We are eagerly awaiting the next updates from the government to allow us to plan for the new academic year. Some of the additional safety measures that we have put in place as a result of Covid-19 have further improved life in the academy and we will continue with them next year. These include the one way systems, walking on the left, and some different sittings at lunchtimes to keep queues down. But we are very much looking forward to being able to relax the year group bubbles, hopefully by September, so that students from different year groups can mix. We also hope to be able to reintroduce the use of the changing facilities for PE lessons and sports activities, as well as reintroducing a full range of after school enrichment activities.
We have had a big focus over the last month on the importance of looking after our full community. It saddened me to receive a number of complaints of unsafe or poor behaviour from some of our students in the community and we have identified students involved where possible and put sanctions in place. We are very proud of our students and want them to feel proud of themselves, but it is important that they all understand that their behaviour reflects on the whole academy, inside and out of school. This includes the importance of safety on the roads, not just for our students who cycle to school, but also those on foot. Drivers have reported to us that some students step out into the roads without looking, and similar concerns along these lines. Please talk to your children about the importance of positive and safe behaviour at all times, including near to and on roads. We do have staff on duty where possible before and after school and we continue to reiterate the messages about positive behaviour in the community. If you do have any concerns, then as always, please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thank you to all families who have been participating in the Covid Lateral Flow home testing. This is an important strategy across our nation and we welcome your support with this. Please continue to do so, reporting the results, and requesting more kits when needed. If your child tests positive towards the start of the holidays, within 48 hours of being in school, then we request that you notify us immediately on the email@example.com email address so that we can activate our track and trace procedures and let families know if someone needs to isolate as an identified contact of a positive case. We thank you in advance for your support with this.
We say a sad farewell to our Year 13 students today and only have a short while left with our Year 11 students, who leave us on the 25th June. We are very proud of our exam year group students, the majority of them tackling the final assessments with hard work, dedication and a really positive attitude after a difficult year. We look forward to celebrating their results with them in August.
As we approach the summer, we are delighted to share our plans for a summer school, open to students in the present Year 7 and Year 8, which will include four nights away in West Yorkshire, covering a range of indoor and outdoor activities, planned around a literacy, numeracy and science curriculum. We will be sharing further details shortly with those families who have signed up following our earlier letter that went out to Year 7 and 8 students.
We have reviewed our inclusion offer throughout this year, partly as a result of Covid bubbles, but also to ensure that we are providing the best possible provision for all students. From September we will be launching The Hive Centre for a small number of students who have struggled to cope in mainstream lessons this year. We will be working very closely with those students and their families in advance of September to ensure that everyone involved is ready for a positive start as we begin the new school year.
Our website continues to be the best place to go initially for accessing information and we will continue to update this regularly. If you have any feedback on our website then please do get in touch to let us know.
I will write to you again after half term with any further updates regarding the Covid safety measures, as well as updating you on achievements from this year and plans for the new school year ahead.
In the meantime, we wish you and your families a safe and relaxing half term.
Very best wishes,