Released On 8th Apr 2022

Headteacher End of Term Letter Friday 8 April

Friday 8 April 2022

Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been a truly lovely end to the term at Stanchester, the sun has been out, the field has been open, the enrichment sessions have been well attended and so far we have raised £1103.64 for our Ukraine fund. I really look forward to the summer term and celebrating the successes we have seen across the school, from our sporting achievements and academic outcomes to beautiful works of Art, Craft and Design.

We have invested in new tables and chairs across the school which will be replaced over the Easter break and will help to improve the experiences for students in class and the appearance of the school environment. Alongside this we have renewed the displays with photographs and canvases of students working, socialising and celebrating their achievements. When students return there will also be an increase in positive messaging across the site as we move into the focus of the next half term: students well-being and happiness.

Remote learning days

Thank you to those parents who have contacted the school regarding remote learning days, I want to reassure you that this is only ever used as a last resort for us, after we have explored all supply options and adapted the school provision by collapsing classes. For transparency there is parity between year groups; years 8, 9 and 10 have all had four remote learning days this academic year (not including the storm day when the whole school was required to close). Year 7 and 11 has been used less frequently to account for upcoming exams and to hopefully reduce the impact on parents needing to stay at home with our youngest students. Should we have to go to remote learning in the summer term, having considered feedback from parents, we will ensure that any year group will have increased live elements of teaching throughout the day. The tutor time will also remain as a live session with the Head of Year (where possible).

To ensure that remote learning is good quality and beneficial to students, we use quality resources which have a clear link to the topics and objectives students are studying in school. Work set will provide an opportunity for students to further practice topics or knowledge already learned as well as practising skills they have been building. We ask students to submit their work online. This is so that teachers can give feedback on this work in their next lesson back in school with that subject teacher. If you would like more information about how our remote learning is checked and monitored please contact Mrs Wellfair, Assistant Headteacher Rachel.Wellfair@stanchester.co.uk

Curriculum Enrichment week (CEW)

At Stanchester Academy, we believe in life-long learning: a state of mind to help young people thrive in an ever-changing world. For us, learning extends beyond the academic curriculum. We are thrilled to be able to offer a range of activities, trips and experiences over the 21st and 22nd July which will challenge students to:

  • Experience new situations outside of the classroom
  • Develop cultural capital and widen their horizons
  • Learn new skills and meet new people
  • Develop their resilience, independence and confidence
  • Develop their spiritual, moral, cultural, social and physical development

We are beyond delighted to be able to reintroduce this in 2022. Please click here to see a detailed proposal for the offers we have been able to set up so far and once again, thank you to our staff team for planning these fabulous activities, which will bring so many benefits beyond the traditional academic curriculum to our young people. Booking all activities, including those which are free of charge, must be completed via ScoPay.

New staff

This term we are delighted to be increasing the support team with the addition of two HLTAs, one in English and one in Maths who will be starting to work in small groups with some of our students furthest away from their academic potential. Mrs Barton is joining us as our new Head of Art, Photography, 3D Design and Food. Mrs Barton has been kindly supporting students over the last few weeks with their 3D outcomes in DT. Mr Winter our new Deputy Head for Inclusion also starts on Monday 25 April. Mr Winter is a highly experienced colleague with 8 years’ experience on the senior team at Brymore Academy and he will be overseeing whole school behaviour and safeguarding. Mr Winter will also be our Mental Health lead and is implementing a programme of training for the pastoral support team to ensure our support staff have up to date mental health training in the summer term and our students gain more access to these services.

Using the buses

A polite reminder that in the summer term students will not be able to get off the bus and use the Co-op across the road. Once students are brought on site they need to remain on site as this is part of our safeguarding agreement with the bus companies. The road to the Co-op does not have safe crossing spaces and is not staffed which means crossing the road in the morning traffic creates an increased risk to students. 

It is also worth noting that we have several new bus drivers and students are required to carry their bus passes. If your child has lost theirs these can be replaced by contacting School Transport at Somerset County Council via this link Home to school transport (somerset.gov.uk) or telephone 0300 123 2224.  Somerset County Council can also offer short- and longer-term bus bans to students who display anti-social behaviour on their routes. Please help by reminding your child about their conduct on the buses as without this mode of transport your child may struggle to attend school.

Keep us in the loop

We have previously communicated that we have seen an increase in anti-social behaviour on site following periods of school holidays. Regretfully this has now led to the permanent exclusion of four students over the course of the academic year, who have chosen to bring outside tensions onto the school site. Permanent exclusion is a last resort and not a decision I make lightly. However your child’s safety is my priority and I refuse to allow violent behaviours on site. I urge you as parents to make us aware of anything which you think could affect our school community on your child’s return.

Please help us to keep your young people safe by encouraging healthy use of social media over the holidays.  Ask your child to tell you who they talking to and if they have any concerns related to content or communication online. Please report concerns you may have to us via the Head of Year team

Year 11 Vicki Cornish            vicki.cornish@stanchester.co.uk

Year 10 Andy Meadows         Andrew.meadows@stanchester.co.uk

Year 9 Tom Howchin              Tom.Howchin@stanchester.co.uk

Year 8 Julie Butler                  Julie.Butler@stanchester.co.uk

Year 7 Teresa Priest               Teresa.Priest@stanchester.co.uk

From the team at Stanchester we sincerely wish you the very best Easter break, let’s hope the sun stays out and we can all enjoy the benefits of springtime in Somerset.

Yours sincerely

Ellie Forward

Headteacher