Update for Parents and Carers (24/11/2021)
Dear parents and carers,
Thank you for your ongoing support as we approach the winter and see a rise in cases of Covid-19 in our local area. We are continuing with the safety measures we already have in place in the academy, including hand sanitising on entry to lessons and the refectory, as well as open windows and doors for ventilation throughout the building and the use of outside spaces for all social time, other than when eating. In addition, we are strongly recommending the wearing of face coverings (unless exempt) inside the building in communal areas, other than when eating/drinking. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and liaise with the local Public Health team.
As it has turned colder, we strongly recommend that all students wear a coat as they will be outside during breaks and lunchtimes. We do have a small supply of pre-loved academy coats available from Student Services, should any students require one.
We will continue to review local rates of Covid-19 as well as the rates within the academy and make a decision in the coming weeks with regards to the events we have planned towards Christmas, including the annual House Shout competition, the Winter Showcase, the DRET Santa Run and the Christmas Business Banquet. We will keep you updated if we do have to cancel or postpone any events.
We are pleased to be able to share the findings of our recent Ofsted monitoring inspection that was held on the 15th October 2021. The report is due to be published on the Ofsted website this week, but in the meantime, we are able to share a summary in this letter. The visit was a monitoring inspection which means that no judgement could be made and no grading given or changed. However the inspector noted that “Leaders and those responsible for governance are taking effective action in order for the school to become a good school.”
The report recognised changes in staffing and governance since the last inspection in 2019 and stated that “the senior leadership team have a united vision for the school, which is supported by the staff.” It recognised strengths in our curriculum across the different year groups, as well as the high expectations for all and the strong work we are doing with the David Ross Education Trust. Other strengths highlighted include the growing reading culture, the clear behaviour system, the support for students with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and the house system.
The two areas for us to focus on are the continuing development of our ambitious curriculum, as well as the need for us to continue to build on relationships with parents and carers to further improve student attendance.
We fully recognise the challenges that face some students with attendance, particularly linked to the current pandemic, and we are keen to work with families and support. Our pastoral form tutors are the first point of contact for all students and parents and we encourage open dialogue. If you ever struggle getting hold of your child’s tutor directly then please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be able to support you in putting you in touch with your child’s tutor. Our Attendance and Safeguarding team will continue to make contact with families where absences are happening and see what support we can offer when needed. Early notification of absences in the morning, via email to the enquiries email address (above) and/or via telephone are very helpful and we would like to thank parents who routinely do this.
It saddens me to be appealing for your support once again in talking to your children about the importance of respectful and safe behaviour in the community. We continue to repeat this message in tutorials, assemblies, at line ups and in other interactions with our students across all year groups but unfortunately a small minority of students are letting down the rest of our school community with unsafe and disrespectful behaviour on the way to or from school. Where we are given clear descriptions or names, we will follow this up with sanctions and making contact with parents. We are also working closely with our local police service. But we would appreciate your support in talking to your children about this, especially with the darker nights being with us.
In our last update letter we also included information for parents about online safety. Thank you to those parents who have signed up for the National Online Safety initiative to support your children with this important area of growing up and staying safe. Parents are still able to sign up for the support at: http://nationalonlinesafety.com/enrol/havelock-academy. Academy staff are always available to provide further information and support should you have any concerns about your child’s online activity. As always, we can be contacted during office hours via telephone, or via email at email@example.com .
The annual DRET Santa Run will take place for those students who are participating on Thursday 16th December. We will be reviewing the arrangements closer to the time to ensure that it is Covid safe for those participating. A separate letter has gone out with details for those wishing to take part. Students can sign up at this link: https://app.investmycommunity.com/DRET-SantaRun-2021
We break up for Christmas on Friday 17th December and will be closing early on the last day of term, with students being dismissed at 1pm. A lunch service will be available before they are dismissed. We reopen for the new term on Wednesday 5th January at 8.20am.
We hope to be able to share details of other Christmas events in the coming weeks, dependent on local Covid-19 rates.
In the meantime, thank you for your ongoing support, and as always, if you have any queries then please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.