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Headteacher's Blog 30-9-22

The DofE expedition took place last weekend with some beautiful weather for the Bronze group

Another week has flown by.  

Our new Year 7 students are settling in well. They are finding their way around school with increasing confidence and most importantly settling into their studies effectively. A reminder to the parents of Year 7 students that next week sees the Tutor-Parent Evening. Please do ensure you have a booking for this. Please contact Ryan Jordan-Steele if you have any questions about the process.  

Next week also sees homework start for Year 7. All details of homework can be found on Satchel One. Your child has an individual log-in and you should have received a parental log-in. This means you can view details of all homework set and work with your child to ensure they can keep on top of it. Remember also that school facilities are available to complete homework both before school (Getting Ready 8.00 – 8.40am) and after-school (Getting It Done - 3.15 – 4.30pm) every day. Free toast is available in the Getting Ready sessions as well!! 

Over the past 3 school years students have missed far too much school; overwhelmingly for reasons beyond their control. It’s why attendance now is so important. For our students to make up for those lost learning opportunities every lesson really does count. Missing school can have a hugely detrimental impact on outcomes. Our students performed really well in their GCSEs last summer but we know that some students fell short, in some cases well short, of their potential because they missed too many days of school. This year attendance started really well and was back to levels last seen before the pandemic. Over the past week and a half though we have seen levels of attendance fall quite significantly. We know that there will be occasions when students do need to miss school. Please do encourage your child to do all they can to attend every day; it really will make a difference in both the short term and the long term. Thank you in advance for your support with this.   

On Thursday evening we held our KS4 Helping Your Child Succeed Evening for parents of Year 10 and Year 11 students. For our Year 10 parents it was an opportunity to hear from our Maths, English and Science departments regarding expectations in these core subjects as well as to hear from our Careers Lead about Work Experience. For Year 11 parents it was an opportunity to get key information about revision and the expectations of and for our Year 11 students in what is such a critical year from Mr Horton and Mrs Prescott. They also heard from our Careers Lead regarding post-16 destinations and how to make the most of the opportunities available locally. It was lovely to see so many parents back for the evening after a couple of years of Covid related absence / online only events. They were appreciative and complimentary about the information they received. 

We had our first walkround on Tuesday with over 120 parents and Year 6 students in attendance. It was a delight to take them on tours and for them to see our school on a normal working day. I am always very proud to take visitors on tours of the school and to show them the calm and purposeful working atmosphere that exists. It was a pleasure to hear the positive feedback from the visitors and we hope that they will choose Severn Vale as their secondary school of choice. A huge thank you also to the fabulous Year 8 students who helped show parents around. They represented our school superbly! 

Last weekend saw the previously postponed expedition for the 21-22 DofE cohort finally take place. The weather was kind for the Saturday and Sunday with lots of sunshine. However, the Silver group had to endure heavy rain during the Sunday night and Monday. The Bronze cohort did really well after initially all deciding that the route took them out of the car park in different directions. They all successfully navigated their way to the campsite, set up camp, cooked an evening meal and breakfast the next morning and found their way back to the starting point. The first day saw the student walk 12km with the second day being slightly less at 9.5km. The Silver group had slightly more of a challenge with a route of 12 km on the first day and 13km on the second and third days. Once the assessor reports for the expedition are received then about half of the 21-22 cohort will complete their Bronze or Silver awards with many more only one section away from completion. 

Sporting fixtures are back underway with a number this week including: 

  • Year 8 rugby – the Year 8 boys played Barnwood Park this week. A strong performance saw the boys win 65-15. This was their first competitive match in a Severn Vale Jersey and what a way to start. Player of the match was Jayden Davis for his overall work rate and controlled aggression on the pitch; he led by example!! 

  • Year 10 rugby – the Year 10 boys also played Barnwood Park. In a game against a huge Barnwood team, Severn Vale fought back from 10 down to draw a really competitive game 10-10. There were outstanding performances all around but particular mention must go to Josh James, Ethan Ash-Tighe and Jaiden Cornock 

  • Year 11 football – the Year 11 boys played their ESFA 1st round cup match versus a strong Bourneside team. It was a tight game for most of the match but in the second half Severn Vale couldn’t find the back of the net despite some great chance whereas Bourneside could. The final score was 6-2 in their favour. Well done to Rudy Kyffin for being chosen as our player of the match. 

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 do hope you have a great weekend. 

Kind regards 

Richard Johnson