Released On 3rd Aug 2020
Parent Update Letter 3 August
3 August 2020
I hope this summer update finds you well and that you and your family have been able to enjoy the first two weeks of the summer break. For those of you who have been shielding I sincerely hope that you have now been able to enjoy a bit more freedom and to spend time with loved ones.
The summer in school is always a busy one and this year particularly, is of course no exception.
Year 7 Induction
Miss Priest (Head of Year 7) and her Year 7 tutor team were delighted to welcome our new Year 7 onsite on Monday 20 July and Tuesday 21 July. Students attended in groups with the chance to meet their tutor, look at the new classroom and ‘bubble’ and have a walk around the site as well as completing some activities with their tutor and members of their group. 145 students attended during these first two days of the holidays which was superb. We look forward to seeing the whole year group on Monday 7 September.
I would like to congratulate Year 7 student Zoe Siegle for a superb article that was published on the Kooth website during mental health awareness month. Zoe, I was really impressed with your article, not only the writing but the way in which you covered a sensitive and emotive topic so eloquently – well done. To view Zoe’s article look in the magazine section on www.Kooth.com
Last week I toured the site to look at the work our site team have undertaken in preparing the school for a full return in September. You will have received a personalised letter before we broke up for the summer detailing your child’s tutor room and ‘bubble’ area. I am pleased to confirm that all tutor rooms are now ready with all desks facing forwards in line with the guidance from the DfE. Hand sanitizer has been arriving in school and wall dispensers have been put in place around the site. These will be in addition to the hand sanitizer that will be in every classroom.
The team are also setting up the gym to enable us to cater for joined classes from within a bubble. With very clear stipulations about staff not attending school if they are feeling at all unwell, we are making preparations to ensure ‘bubbles’ and our revised timetable can continue to operate even with the expected increase in staff absence as we progress through the term. The gym will have the new screen and integrated computer from the hall to enable it to operate as a teaching space – similar to a lecture hall style.
Roofing and Heating works
The work we are able to complete due to our successful Government bids has commenced. A full site survey has been completed, welfare units have been installed in the sports centre car park and we expect roofing to commence imminently. As explained in the last update, this work will continue for most of the coming academic year though the vast majority of it will take place outside of school hours. Myself and our site manager, along with staff from the central team at the Trust are meeting regularly to ensure not only that the work gets undertaken efficiently and safely but that there is no
disruption to our systems to prevent the spread of any infection and that we are able to plan around the work to ensure our September opening plans are unaffected.
A reminder that all our IT systems will be undergoing a migration and staff will not be able to access their email or other systems from this Wednesday (5 August) until they receive new passwords the week beginning Monday 17 August. It is expected that myself, the front office team, Mr Clinkard (designated safeguarding lead) and the finance team will be able to log into the system soon after the Tuesday 11 August.
The emergency numbers will be unaffected.
Mr Clinkard, the designated safeguarding lead (07503 636863), Mrs Joynes, Headteacher (07503 671088). These numbers are for emergencies only and will be checked regularly but not switched on all the time. Texting to these numbers and leaving details and contact information is usually the most effective way to communicate with us should an emergency arise.
Our new website has been launched and I hope you will agree it looks fresher and is much easier to navigate. You can find your parent updates under ‘News’ along the top menu. Under parents you will find links to epraise and wisepay. Today we are updating the calendar on the website with key events for the year, though these will not run as they usually would and we will be dependent upon most recent guidance to plan for these.
All the summer vouchers for families in receipt of free school meals were issued last week. The vouchers cover the full summer period and also included Year 11 students who have left us. These vouchers are for the use of the named person only. Should any parent pass this voucher to someone else in exchange for payment we will be able to trace this and the relevant authorities will be contacted.
You may have seen in the media that the flu vaccination scheme has been extended this year and will include all Year 7 students. As yet we do not have the detail or dates for these but we will keep you informed as we receive further information.
GCSE Results Day
We will be running our GCSE results day on Thursday 20 August by inviting our year 11 to school to collect their results. We will not be able to run this as we normally would but it is an important event for the year group and we would not want them to miss out on this. Each tutor group will be allocated a one hour time slot. Students will need to attend with their ‘responsible adult’, preferably parent. Parents will need to come on site with their child as we cannot risk ‘gatherings’ of parents at the front of school. Weather permitting, students will come with their parent to the field to collect results from their tutor (where possible). We ask that parents remain responsible for their child’s distancing but we hope that this will also give students an opportunity to see and ‘catch up’ with some of their teachers, their Head of Year and the senior team.
10am – 11am: 11LB – Mrs Bond / Mr Barrow
11am – 12pm: 11NA – Mr Auger
12pm – 1pm: 11HS – Mrs Symonds Jones / Mr Hext
1pm – 2pm: 11RB – Mrs Bartlett
Any results not collected by the student will be posted home on Thursday 20 August. This year we are not able to issue results to anyone other than the actual student. Students will only be allowed on site within their allocated time slot to ensure we keep our numbers within manageable and safe levels.
On results day we will also issue students with information about the possibility of sitting exams in the autumn term should they wish to. We expect our careers advisor to also be available to students.
We continue to receive a number of requests for information regarding the Yeovil Bus. At present I am in discussion with the Trust regarding the cost of the bus to ensure any increase in cost is not unmanageable. Please rest assured that your child will be able to travel from the start of term and that we will support payment planning, particularly given the lateness of information being given to you regarding the cost – nobody will be penalised or not allowed to travel if payments are made later than usual.
During the course of the last week there has been some media speculation with regards to the opening of schools in September. We take our guidance directly from the Government and will continue to plan according to this. When central government announced the full re-opening of schools they stated that confirmation will be given on Tuesday 11 August. Your next update will be uploaded on Friday 21 August and we expect then to have further information and completed any amendments to our planning should there have been any changes announced this month. If there are significant changes prior to your next scheduled update we will of course let you know.
Finally, I hope you and your family continue to enjoy a summer break. Please stay safe and well and we look forward to welcoming you all back in just four weeks.
Mrs A Joynes