Released On 9th Nov 2020

Important Letter from Mr Peter Elliott

9 November 2020

Dear Parent

I am sure you are aware that Stanchester Academy is part of the Bridgwater and Taunton College Multi-Academy Trust. Amy Joynes, Headteacher at Stanchester Academy, is presently absent from work unwell. She is likely to be absent for several weeks. Therefore, in the coming weeks, myself and Tamsin Grainger, Director of Education for the Trust, will base ourselves at Stanchester Academy to support the leadership team and oversee the running of the Academy. Between 2004 and 2009 I was the Deputy Headteacher at Stanchester Academy so understand the school and it’s community well. It is a great pleasure for me to be back at the school full time, albeit for just a couple of weeks.

I am writing to you today to update you on some changes that will be taking place at Stanchester Academy in the short term.

With a change to Government/Department for Education guidance about school children aged over 11 needing to wear face coverings as they move around a school, we have taken the time and opportunity to reflect upon the present arrangements and how they are working. As you are aware, we have multiple short lessons and staggered breaks in place at the moment which has resulted in some compromises with lessons and groupings. From Monday 16 November we will be reverting to a timetable that greater reflects how we used to work pre-pandemic with teachers based in one classroom, children being supervised as they transition from one location to another and a cleaning routine that ensures each classroom is cleaned between different ‘bubbles’ using it. This means that your son or daughter (unless they are in Year 7) will have a school day that is very similar to how it used to feel. A copy of the school day is shown below.

• Registration & Drop and Read: 8:20 – 9:00

• Period 1: 9:00 – 10:00 • Period 2: 10:00 – 11:00

• Lunch 1 20mins: 11:00 – 11:20 - Year 7 and 8

• Period 3: 11:20 – 12:20 • Period 4: 12:20 – 13:20

• Lunch 2 30mins 13:20 – 13:50 - Years 9, 10 and 11

• Period 5: 13:50 – 14:50

These changes will also impact on our arrangements for students to purchase food at the school. Our preference, for the time being, is that you send your child to school with a packed lunch and sufficient water for the day which they will be able to eat in their designated social space of just one year group. This will help to reduce the number of students that need to visit the refectory. Each year group will only be able to visit the refectory once per day to purchase food. Year 7 at 11am. Year 8 at 11:10am. (During first break.) Year 9 at 1:00pm. Year 10 at 1:10pm. Year 11 at 1:20pm. (During the second break.) I do recognise that this is not ideal and we will review it after the first week to see if there are any obvious changes and improvements we can make however our overriding priorities are to keep students apart as much as possible and to have a high quality learning experience. Hot food will be available to purchase in both breaks and this will be ‘grab and go’.

Since the start of term we have noticed that with the ‘Covid’ arrangements in place, some aspects of how children behave around the campus is not as good as it used to be. On Monday 23 November we will be launching a new behaviour policy across the whole school that aims to ensure that all teaching and learning is free from any disruption and that social times are calm, quiet and orderly. I will be in a position to include a copy of this policy in my letter to you on Friday which will show you our expectations moving forwards. Please do share this with your child and discuss this with them. We will be looking to you as parents and carers to support us in our actions to ensure every child is able to attend Stanchester Academy and be successful. Between now and Monday 23 November we will ensure, via assemblies and tutor time, that your child is clear about how they are expected to behave at all times.

You will be aware that PE lessons have recently resumed in school. You will also know that we allow students to travel to/from school in their PE kit on the days when PE lessons take place to avoid changing clothes. By way of a polite reminder the acceptable PE kit at Stanchester Academy is:  

  • White Stanchester Academy Polo Top
  • Black Shorts, Skirts, Leggings or Jogging Bottoms
  • Stanchester Academy Jacket, Rugby Top or Fleece
  • Stanchester Academy Football Socks or White Ankle Socks
  • Trainers
  • Base layers or Skins under Shorts/Skirts/Polo Tops
  • Black Sweatshirt (not hoodie)
  • Football Boots for activity (not to be worn around school)

Thank you in advance for not sending your child into school in any other clothes other than their school uniform or their School PE kit. If you have any problems sourcing the correct uniform or need any financial support, please do get in touch through the email below so that we can help you. If you have any questions or comments relating to the changes set out above, please do get in touch so that we can listen to your feedback. The quickest route is via email and the following account is monitored for me daily so I should see all correspondence within 24 hours and I aim to get back to you promptly. Office2501@educ.somerset.gov.uk.

Yours sincerely

Mr Peter Elliott

CEO Bridgwater & Taunton College Trust