Message from Mrs O’Neill

News from Mrs O'Neill

I would like to wish you all a happy new year and trust that the first week back to work has been kind to you.  To everyone who has started with a new year’s resolution I hope that you have managed to stick to it.  Apparently, week 3 is the make-or-break week, although I imagine the first weekend is also particular challenging if you have chosen to do Dry January!  I did toy with the idea of doing Veganuary but broke that on the first day reheating the pepperoni pizza from New Year’s Eve.  As a staff we completed our ‘run the world’ challenge last year and Mr Hodgkinson has a host of challenges for us to get involved with this year. 

Our first week back has been relatively calm, all things considered.  The students did really well with the mass testing on Tuesday and once again, they have been really respectful and compliant with the reintroduction of wearing face coverings.  The guidance regarding self-isolation is ever evolving and there are more changes starting on January 11th.  I will share the key ones with you next week in case things change over the weekend.  A reminder that we are bound to the decisions made by the local Director of Public Health, rather than the DfE and central government, which is why some of our guidance does differ to the national guidance. 

Year 11 received their mock exam results on Thursday.  We aim to replicate the results day that they will have in August.  Emotions are powerful and trigger change.  For those who feel pleased they want to ensure they have that same feeling of elation in summer so continue to work hard, and for those who are disappointed, they still have plenty of time to turn things around.

Next week we will be launching the Duke of Edinburgh for students in Y9 and Y10.  Miss Brittain is our DofE lead and has assemblies planned to share the information.  We will also share letters via parent mail so keep an eye out for that and do encourage your child to take part.  It is really exciting.

In order to make booking parents’ evening appointments easier, we have introduced a new system which allows parents/carers to make the booking online.  We are confident that this will be an improvement to the previous system.  Year 9 parents/carers have been the first to trial it for us; we have had some positive feedback so far and are aware of some initial teething problems, but please do get in touch if you are experiencing any difficulties.  Parents’ evenings are still virtual but again, we have made improvements, and all will take place by video link.  For any parents who do not have access to a laptop/suitable device, please contact your child’s Head of College.  Feedback from last year’s parents’ evenings was that it was great not to have to scramble for a carpark space and dash between teachers and classrooms, but it would be great if we can actually see the teacher rather than just hear a voice.  Hopefully this system will address that. 

January can be a hard month.  If your child is finding it difficult to get motivated, have a look at our extracurricular offer to see if there is something happening outside of the classroom to get them re-engaged.  Mr Potts is starting a First Aid club on Tuesday; a great way to meet new people and learn a lifesaving skill.

Our sixth form student leadership team are also starting a magazine which will be distributed every half term.  ‘Our Voice’ will be written by the students for the students.  The student leadership team will be asking for contributions from the students but if you know that your child is a budding journalist, please do encourage them to get involved.  Our Head Girl, Abi Jones and Head Boy, Rodney Moyo, would love to hear from them.

Please continue to let me know of your child’s achievements outside of school.  I love to find out about what they are doing.

Have a lovely weekend and as always, thank you for your continued support. 

“There is a certain kind of dignity we admire, and to which we aspire, in the person who refuses to meet anger with anger, violence with violence, or hatred with hatred.”

(Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

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