Sounds of sleigh bells!
We have reached the last week of the Autumn term and prepare ourselves to wave goodbye to 2021 and welcome 2022. There are faint sounds of sleigh bells in the air!
2021 has been a challenging year, not too dissimilar to 2020 - though at least we have had the joy of having our students with us in school and not delivering learning remotely. Who knows, 2022 may be a magnificent year!
In the meantime, I implore our families to send their children to school with a face mask. We all (staff, students, parents) deserve a healthy, happy Christmas and we have been disappointed with the numbers of students arriving at school without a mask. This national expectation is to keep us all safe from the virus - Delta or Omicron variant.
On Friday, staff came to school in their Christmas jumpers to raise money for Save the Children charity. Our fundraising will continue on our last day with our new tradition of a Santa run to raise money for our sister school in Kenya - Kolweny Kingsway.
Return to school
As mentioned in last week’s blog, students will be following a staggered return to school to ensure that we have tested all consenting students prior to the start of the Spring term. The details are as follows:
COVID Testing Schedule - January 2022
N.B. ~ Years 11 and 10 will attend their test, and then go home. They start school at 8:30am the next day following their timetable as normal.
Years 7, 8 and 9 will attend at their scheduled time and remain in school following their normal timetable.
Year 11 exams
Our Year 11 students have reached the end of their PPE examinations. As yet, we are still unsure if this cohort will be sitting their GCSE examinations in the summer, so these PPE exams could be an important factor of their GCSE outcome. They will be receiving their results of these PPE exams in a mock results day on Thursday 6th January 2022.
Protecting our students
We have been made aware of some reports of males acting suspiciously in cars. Their behaviour has left children feeling unsafe. The local authority has sent us some information to remind parents, and young people about steps they can take to keep safe when out and about.
Statistics show that crime against young children by strangers is rare. Even so, there are steps you can take to help to protect your child:
- stay alert, and keep personal media devices turned off, so they can hear what's going on around them- earphones can be distracting and limit awareness of surroundings
- stick to busy, well-lit roads, and avoid short cuts
- if your child thinks someone is following them, they should cross the road or go to a place with lots of people around, like a bus stop or shop
- when travelling by bus, your child should try to use bus stops on busy roads, sit near to others and near the driver when possible
- if someone tries to take something from your child, tell them never to fight
- tell them to keep mobile phones and other valuables out of sight
- if your child has to use a lift – tell them to try to use them with friends, and not to feel worried about getting out if they are uncomfortable about someone else being in there
- encourage your child to speak up if they are being bullied or feel they might be in danger
Check list for young people
- Think - before you go out
- Where are you going?
- How are you getting there?
- Who are you going with?
- Who needs to know?
- Take only the money you need and keep it in a safe place.
- How are you getting home?
- Is your mobile charged and have you got credit?
- Keep your mobile handy but out of sight
- Keep valuables such as devices, jewellery and items of expensive clothing out of sight
- Who will you contact in an emergency?
The NSPCC have produced this guide to help parents decide if their child is ready to travel alone/ stay home alone.
Please encourage your families to report incidents of concern to the police via 101 or to use the GMP chat facility. In emergencies always use 999.
Once all the students have returned in full in January, we will be trialling our canteen opening for breakfast from 8:00 until 8:15 on the Foxland Campus only. We hope this will help our students to have a great start to the day with a range of hot and cold food and drinks on offer to purchase. Students must not come into the main building at this time but are welcome to eat inside the dining hall. We will review this after the February half term.
Dates for your diary
Finally, I would like to wish our families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Mrs J. Lowe