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Headteacher's Blog 12-3-21

School is now fully reopen and all our students are back in school!

This week saw the first phase of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown with the full reopening of schools.  It has been a delight to welcome all of our students back. As I write this piece we have a full school once again and in the corridors and classrooms the purposeful hum of learning abounds. Overwhelmingly the students have adjusted fabulously to being back in school. They have enjoyed seeing their friends, their teachers and to having “proper” lessons once again.

For the most part the students have returned looking very smart. Thank you very much for your support with that. One issue we have had to address is a number of students wearing black trainer style footwear. These are very clearly trainers, are advertised as trainers and are highlighted within our uniform guidance as being unacceptable. If students are wearing these they will be required to change them. If you are in any doubt about whether a pair of shoes is acceptable please use the information on our website here or contact you child’s Head of Year. Thank you in advance for your support with this.  

Whilst I have been impressed with the attitude and focus shown by all year groups, I have been particularly impressed with the maturity and resilience demonstrated by our Year 11 students. They have absolutely hit the ground running; engaging superbly with their teachers, tackling assessments with confidence and determination and doing everything in their power to make a success of the situation they find themselves in. Theirs has been the most disrupted Key Stage 4 imaginable. They are not letting that limit their ambition and are rising to the challenge. We will be doing everything in our power to support them in realising that ambition.

A key part of the plan for the return to school has been the roll out of asymptomatic testing. We have carried out hundreds of tests across all year groups and to date have had no positive cases. Fingers crossed that that remains the case!! I have to commend the students for the mature way in which they have conducted themselves during the testing process. As most of you will know, it is not a particularly pleasant process but we have had no fuss at all and the students have just got on with it.  I am also grateful to the staff who have ensured that every student has had the support needed to make this the case.

Testing has finished for Year 11 who have had their 3 in school tests. For all other year groups it continues next week. The timetable for testing next week can be seen below:











Year 8 (2)

Year 10 (3)

Home tests issued

Year 7 (3)

Home tests issued

Year 8 (3)

Home tests issued

Year 9 (3)

Home tests issued


Year 9 (2)




As you will know, the in-school testing programme will then stop and testing will switch to home testing. The participating students will each be given 2 test kits (each contains 3 tests) with further kits being provided when we have received them from the DfE.  Whilst students will have experience of the testing process through the school tests, students must be supervised by an adult when testing at home. Full instructions are provided with the kits. The tests should be conducted 3 to 5 days apart.  We would suggest testing should ideally be carried out Sunday evening and Wednesday evening. 

The guidance in the NHS information booklet states that the school should also be advised of your child's test result.  Results should only be reported to school if your child has a positive test result.   We do not need to know about negative test results, so we will assume the test is negative unless we hear otherwise. Please email the details of any positive results directly to me using the following email address: If you have queries about the current in-school testing programme or the switch to home testing please email our team on

As school is now operating a full capacity other elements of our provision can begin again. After-school sport will begin in the week beginning 22nd March. The sports will include football, netball and badminton with basketball for Year 10s on a Wednesday also. The activities will run in year group bubbles with days allocated to year groups as follows:

  • Monday - Year 8
  • Tuesday - Year 9
  • Wednesday - Year 10
  • Thursday - Year 7
  • Friday - Year 11

After the Easter holidays the sports will change with athletics, tennis, rounders, cricket and softball on offer for each year. Look out for further details which will be sent out via Parent Mail and the PE Instagram.

We are now at the 'end game' of the Option process. Thursday night saw the last event, the virtual Options Question Evening where questions could be asked regarding the process and several subject specialisms including our Careers and SEND departments were on hand to answer questions. During prep today, students will have had a final reminder of the process and how to complete the form. Monday the 15th March is the deadline for all forms to be returned to school. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your patience with this year’s virtual process and for all the questions, comments, and early returned forms. Students in prep have really engaged with the process including the taster sessions offered and we look forward to sorting out the options subjects in the coming weeks.

We are currently going through our calendar and looking at where we can fit in events that have had to be postponed due to the lockdown. One priority will be to arrange parent evenings for Years 7 – 10 across terms 5 and 6. Exact timings and days are in the process of being finalised with details being sent to parents as soon as this has happened. One change to the calendar we have had make is to the Inset day we had planned for Friday 2nd July. This will now take place on Monday 7th June to enable us to complete key quality assurance activities in preparation for the submission of our Year 11 students centre assessed GCSE grades.

As always, I include 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 have a fabulous weekend

Kind regards


Richard Johnson