Dear Parent and Carers
Thank you for enabling us to have such a successful start to term. Our students are dressed smartly, learning well and are a pleasure to speak to in lessons and around the school. Now the whole school is moving around together it is also heartwarming to see the care shown by students to each other as they find their way around the school again.
Here are a few updates for this week.
As per previous communication, students wear full school uniform to school every day and then change for PE, bringing their PE kit with them. In response to feedback from students and staff, if students have PE in period 5 (the last lesson of the day), they can leave to go home in their PE kit and do not need to change back into their uniform.
In response to a parent query here is more information on how our setting works:
In year 7 all students are currently in tutor groups which are broadly set based on the teacher assessment from primary school.
In years 8, 9 and 10 students are set in English, Maths and Science as follows: We have two “Q” groups which are our accelerated groups and then the year group is split in two with five groups on each side (or four in year 9). These are numbered with 9X1 and 9Y1 being the highest sets on each side. In year 11 there are no Q groups, with the year group just split in two in a similar way to younger year groups.
In years 10 and 11 students have selected option subjects and are not set for these. In years 7 to 9 students are also set for non core subjects.
In years 8 to 11, tutor groups are mixed ability.
The demand on our food service has been very high as students have enjoyed the return to the most wonderful food produced by our catering team. As always, our year 7 students take some time to get used to the system but are getting quicker.
To help speed up the service please can you check your child has remembered their catering card each day and check they still have credit on their card each morning. If your child forgets their card or does not have their card topped up they will only be able to purchase a sandwich lunch which will be charged back to you. Students will be issued with a slip for this but will be the last served as this significantly slows down the service.
The breaktime food service will be delayed until Monday 20th September to give our catering team time to adjust to the increased demand and plan a break service that will not then impact the lunch service.
Lateral flow testing
Thank you for supporting us with ensuring we tested children on return to school. We had only one student test positive in this testing and this was confirmed on a PCR test.
Separate to the in school test centre, we have had 6 students out of our 1800 students test positive within 48 hours of being in school. Under the new guidelines we do not complete tracing of students, this is completed by Essex Test and Trace. Those identified do not need to isolate (as they are under 18) but will be requested to access a PCR test. We are only asked to review the school arrangements if we have 5 linked cases across 2 weeks after the initial in school testing. We are not in that situation but keep records of all cases so we know when we have any concerns arising.
Please ensure your test child is testing twice weekly and the results are being posted on the government website. It is preferable if all of your household, over the age of 11, test twice weekly.
The local authority has produced a letter to parents and a helpful flow chart – you can find these below:
Clubs and events
Lots of our clubs and activities are restarting – here is some information on those already underway with links in the text to more details:
PE zero hour starts next week – aerobic exercise before school and during tutor time. Students can attend every day except their assembly day or just on some days.
PE extra curricular clubs start next week and the details are on this link.
Auditions are taking place for our full school Grease production in February, please encourage your child to audition. These are a highlight of our year and we are delighted to be able to do this again.
We are holding our year 7 meet the tutor evening on Tuesday 14th September and a separate letter has been sent to year 7 parents regarding this.
Our open evening for new parents with children looking to join us in September 2022 takes place on Thursday 23rd September with a week of open tours in the week of the 20th September.
More information can be found on our website
Thank you again for supporting a smooth return to school which has involved many changes to move forward from our previous restrictions. We all look forward to a successful term ahead.
Mr Holder Mrs Neill
Executive Headteacher Head of School