Headteacher's Blog 18-6-21
Next week sees students across all year groups tackle key assessments
It will have come as no surprise to anybody when on Monday the Government announced that it would not be proceeding to step 4 of the Roadmap out of lockdown on 21st June and that existing restrictions would remain in place for another 4 weeks. The data presented made the case for further relaxation much more difficult to justify and caution on this occasion will hopefully be rewarded with a safer summer.
The data locally remains a significant concern. Most schools locally have been affected. We currently have 6 staff isolating following positive cases in their families. The messages we are receiving from the public health authorities are stressing the important role that asymptomatic testing via Lateral Flow Devices can play in reducing the further spread of the virus. We have excellent stocks of LFD tests and I would encourage all students to be testing themselves twice a week. If you have any questions about the LFD testing programme please email the school at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The decision not to proceed to step 4 of the Roadmap has had some significant impacts on plans we had for this term. Unfortunately our Year 11 Prom has been cancelled and we are working furiously on alternatives. As soon as we have been able to confirm plans we will be in contact with Year 11. We have also had to take the very difficult decision to cancel our in-person transition events for the Year 6 students who will be joining us in September that were due to take place this term.
Given we have had to cancel this important element of our transition activities, we have been busy making alternative arrangements that will enable us to ensure that the transition to Severn Vale for these students can be smooth and effective. One element of this plan will have a whole-school impact. The start of the new academic year for students is on Thursday 2nd September. Both Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd will now be Year 7 only days. This means we can effectively run these as transition days and can ensure that the students have the opportunity to get to know the school and how it operates with the space afforded by being the only year group in the school. Whilst I know that will have an impact on other year groups, I hope you can understand the need to make special arrangements for the new Year 7s in the circumstances.
The next two weeks will be busy for the students as Year 10 complete their end of year exams and our KS3 students begin their second part of their end of year assessments. For Year 10 students these exams are an important staging post on their GCSE journey. It is amazing to think that in 12 months time they will be nearing the end of their actual GCSEs. These Year 10 exams give the students a really good idea of where they are and what they need to do to make sure they deliver on their considerable potential. Full details have been sent already but if you do have any questions please contact Mr Ball.
This week saw the last of our online parent evenings with the rearranged Year 9 event taking place. This was the fourth year group to use the new online system. Overwhelmingly the feedback I have had from parents and staff has been positive. As with all technological solutions there have been some minor glitches. These have been outweighed by the very significant advantages most parents have reported. Given the positive feedback we will be maintaining the online system next academic year. We do hope that the new academic year does afford us with a range of other opportunities for parents to visit the school and to meet the staff.
Following the announcement that Severn Vale will be putting on a production of We Will Rock You in March next year, preparations are now starting in earnest. Round 1 of auditions are taking place on Thursday 24th June from 3.20 - 5.00pm in the Drama Studio. These auditions are open to every year group and we hope students from Years 7 - 10 will take part. Students are required to prepare a substantial section of a 'Queen' song of their choice (e.g. verse & chorus) which will be performed a cappella and from memory plus they will be asked to read at sight a section of dialogue from the show. Good luck to everyone auditioning; auditions are meant to be fun and so I hope nobody feels 'Under Pressure'......
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.
Have a great weekend.