Head's Bulletin June 2021
I trust that families are enjoying a great half term together with the added bonus of lovely weather and I would particularly like to thank the whole school community for their ongoing support over these past weeks. We are grateful that we have not had any pupils or staff off with Covid-19 or needing to isolate as a result of close contacts. Please continue twice weekly testing over the holidays (staff and years 7-11) and let us know by email if your children have symptoms or test positive. This is going to be an ongoing requirement as restrictions ease and will be especially important if numbers of positive cases increase in the community.
School reopens for pupils on Wednesday 9th June, after INSET days on Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th June.
In this bulletin, I would like to highlight a number of items of information for your consideration:
- Uniform: we still have a lot of children who are wearing PE shoes to school. Please make sure that all children from years 7-11 are in school shoes by the beginning of next half term unless they have a medical reason for wearing PE shoes.
- Safe travel to and from school: for those who use buses and trains, please be advised that the city council safeguarding team have recently informed us that some young people have been approached inappropriately by adults in the Kensington and Newsham Park areas. Please make sure that your child takes well-used and popular routes for walking or travelling home and that they are well rehearsed about what to do if they are unsure about someone approaching them.
- School Parking: you will remember that we emailed you a couple of weeks ago to let you know about some roadworks which will be starting at the top of Overbury Street for up to 12 weeks. We are very pleased that pedestrian crossings are going to be installed here which will make things much safer for us all in the long term. However, in the short term, the roadworks will cause delay and disruption. Please allow extra time to arrive at school in the mornings and to collect your children in the afternoons. Please do not park on Overbury Street by school. We are not allowed to leave cars unattended even for a quick pick up.
- After School pick up: we would like to remind parents about two issues that regularly occur at collection time in the afternoon. The first is prompt collection as there is a direct impact on teacher time at the end of the day if children are not collected promptly. The second is that we do not allow children, including toddlers, to play on the grass hill to the side of the building. There is a real risk of fall and injury and the children themselves know not to play on the hill during school break times. We would really appreciate parents making sure all their children are supervised at the end of the day and do not play on the grassy hill.
- School trips: we are planning a range of school trips for all classes over the final half term of the academic year. We are very aware that children have missed out on these kinds of enrichment activities and have tried to plan trips that will address important areas of curriculum and will also have an element of fun and adventure. You will hear separately from class teachers or trip organisers about these in due course. Please send money into school promptly, ideally in an envelope marked with the child’s name and trip. We are still trying to minimise parents coming into the school, so please send these in with your children to be passed to the form teacher, or use our bank details to transfer money for bigger amounts. These details will be made available on individual trips letters.
- School Events: we are planning for in-person parents' evenings next half term. The Lower School and Middle School parents' evening will take place on Tuesday 29th June, and the Upper School parents' evening for Years 9 & 10 on Wednesday 14th July. We are also having our Year 8 Celebration Evening on Monday 21st June, and our Reception Welcome Afternoon on Wednesday 7th July. Please note that our first parent event is the Year 3 Transition for parents on Wednesday 16th June at 2pm in the school hall. All these events are permitted at the moment according to Covid guidance, which we will continue to observe in terms of maintaining distance, hand washing and ventilation, although these restrictions may have been relaxed by the time the meetings take place.
In addition, we would really value your prayers and understanding during the two weeks to 18th June, as I undertake the important task of internal quality assuring the GCSE Teacher Assessed Grades in my role as Head of Upper School and Exams Officer. This is a hugely time-consuming task, which now falls to schools rather than exam boards, and has to be done to a high standard, prior to external Quality Assurance in the second half of June.
Finally, there are two main events which we are working and planning towards at the end of the School year, as mentioned previously. The first is a family picnic on Thursday 1st July straight after school; this is however weather dependent. The second is our long-awaited school play ‘Little Women’ over four evenings from Tuesday 6th July to Friday 9th July. At the moment we are planning audience seating for socially distanced family groups and therefore our ticket capacity is quite reduced. We will be in touch shortly after half term with more details. If restrictions are relaxed we may be able to release more tickets.
As you can see, the next half term is looking very busy, so do pray for strength, health and stamina for us all and that we will know God's protection and blessing.