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Headteacher's blog 26-11-20

A festive feel arrives at school

A taste of Christmas arrived at Severn Vale this week as our wonderful receptionist Joy put up our Christmas Tree. This is the 20th year that Joy has decorated the tree at Severn Vale and it certainly brings some festive cheer to school.

Talking of festive cheer, this week saw us begin the collection of donations as part our support for the Salvation Army with their annual gift drive. It was really heartening to see so many gifts donated as we know these donations will make a real difference to the recipients. We know people are finding times tough but the generosity demonstrated by you has been a joy to behold. The Salvation Army will be collecting the donations next week. We will of course be accepting donations at any point up to then.  

On Wednesday, we had the pleasure of welcoming back the 8X students following their period of remote learning. We will be welcoming our Year 11 back on Monday 30th. We are looking forward to having a full complement of students in school once again. This week has seen Covid affect schools up and down the county. We seem to have got off lighter than many others: one local secondary school is closed to six of its seven year groups. Fingers crossed that continues to be the case.  

With lockdown ending next week we are all awaiting news of the tier Gloucestershire will be put in. We should find this out later today. We are also still waiting for updated guidance on how the end of lockdown will affect schools. The DfE has promised to issue new guidance but this hasn’t as yet materialised. We are not expecting any major changes and are not planning for any to our current systems. This means that students will continue to be required to have facemasks with them every day. Please could I ask that you check with your child that they have their facemask with them before they leave for school.

As I mentioned last week, the move to remote learning for Year 8 and Year 11 students has highlighted the need for good quality IT access at home. We have received 19 laptops from the DfE to provide IT access for any student required to work remotely due to Covid. We have purchased some additional laptops to supplement this. We also have access to wireless routers to provide internet access. These are available should your child be required to work remotely and IT access is an issue. Please do contact your child’s Head of Year if you think this might apply to your child. 

Following a successful trial for the Year 7 Tutor-Parent evening earlier this month, we are now preparing for our first full virtual Parents Evening. Parents of Year 11 students will be receiving details of how to sign up and how the evening will operate on Monday. Overwhelmingly the technology worked well for the Year 7 event. Inevitably, there were some glitches and the feedback we received has made it possible to refine some elements of the logistics. This evening will be on a different scale but I have every confidence it will be able to provide a quality experience for all.

Finally, 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.

I hope you and your family have a great weekend.


Richard Johnson

NB Friday 27th November is an Inset Day and school is closed to all students.