Headteacher Update 4th December 2020

04/12/20

Dear Parent/Carer,

IT’S CHRISTMAS (NEARLY)

It’s now December so I feel justified in mentioning Christmas. It will no doubt be a very different experience for all of us this year and that includes at school. Normally the Holland household would be laden with Christmas Fair paraphernalia this week in preparation for the PTA event that should have taken place today. There would have been a meeting of Santa’s elves to make tombola presents and Friday afternoon would have seen Heads of House running around like headless chickens as they vied to raise most money…but not this year. We have Christmas trees up in school and we will be able to have a Christmas service in school for Year 7 – 4 separate socially distanced services with no communal singing but plenty of hope and lots to look forward to; with the national (and local) picture regarding infections looking more positive and the roll out of a vaccine potentially starting next week, we can look forward to 2021.

YEAR 11 PARENT EVENING

Last night we held our first virtual Parents’ Evening. We are really pleased with how it went and the feedback from parents and staff has been very positive. No appointments ran over time (impossible because they timed out after 5 minutes!) and over 96% of appointments booked were attended. This will certainly be our approach for other Parents’ Evenings for this academic year. Additionally, this is something else that we clearly have to look at moving forward – we will canvass parents, students and staff about a number of things in the new year.

STUDENT GROUPINGS, ASSESSMENT AND REPORTING

Something I should have shared with you previously is that our School Improvement Plan for this year only has two priorities: Curriculum continuity and catch-up for all students; and support for the well-being of our students and staff. In terms of our curriculum, we have moved to three formal assessments a year instead of 4. We will continue to tweak student groupings where there is a clear evidence base for this. We now have a lot more information/data for the current Year 7 and we are looking very closely at their groupings.

SITE DEVELOPMENTS: SERVICE ROAD, FENCE LINES

Work has been continuing around the site recently and we now have a fully tarmacked service road to serve Veritas and permanent fencing has replaced the temporary fencing on the site of the old East Building. Some unwanted ‘work’ has been carried out by the badgers that reside on the eastern boundary of the school fields. We never actually see these badgers of course, but they have disturbed grass areas around the long jump pits and near the running track where they have been searching for food; I never learned about this when I was going through the extensive qualifications needed to become a Headteacher!

AND FINALLY…

I hope you get the presents you want this Christmas. But a word of advice…if you are getting a new device, please don’t use the pass word ‘beefstew’…it’s just not stroganoff.

Sorry! Enjoy your weekend.

In Caritas et Veritas,

Mike Holland