Headteacher's Weekly Update - 16th September 2022
I hope this letter finds you and your families well; a Friday update for you as always.
The end of our second week proper, with staff and students now having completed their two-week timetable, by and large. It continues to be an impressive start to the new school year, with staff impressed with the attitude and commitment of students to their studies.
It has been pleasing to see our co-curricular opportunities begin again too. A big moment for our Year 7 students, as the first Year 7 football squad was announced this week, congratulations to the boys and girls who made that squad. I know fixtures are in the diary for our teams, across Year 7 to 10. I hope to make it down to a number of games later this term, all things being well. Staff proposals for trips and visits are coming in to the senior team, thick and fast too, with a Year 10 British Museum trip next week and a Geography trip for Year 7 just a week or so away.
We are recording and tracking which students engage in our co-curricular offer this year and plan to talk to parents about this, in more detail, at our Tutor Parent Day in November. This will be an individual appointment with your child’s form-tutor; more information to follow on that day, in due course. In the meantime, please encourage your child to get involved in such activities. A full timetable, for each year group, is being finalised as we speak and will be with you very soon. A link to the PE Sports Clubs timetable accompanies this letter and is also available on MyEd.
As you will have seen in an additional letter I wrote this week, Monday is a Bank Holiday for schools as it is the Queen’s funeral. Students have spent time in tutor groups this week, writing a message for our book of condolence. They were given support as to typical contributions to such books, to provide a better understanding of this area. Staff too will contribute to the book of condolence. If any parents would like to contribute, the book will be in reception next week, you are most welcome to come to the school to write your addition.
It was lovely to see many of you at our EAL Information Evening last night. This was an evening targeted at our families who do not speak English as a first language. This was predominantly Year 7 families, but also some other targeted families who were unable to attend the inaugural EAL Information Evening during the summer term, last academic year.
A busy week next week as we welcome our Year 11 parents and carers for an Preparation for Excellence Evening on Tuesday 20th September from 5.30pm until 6.30pm. An evening designed to help families best support their child, during this critical examination year. We then welcome our Year 7 parents and carers for an Information Evening on Thursday 22nd September from 5.00pm until 6.30pm. We very much look forward to seeing you.
A polite reminder about our expectations around punctuality. We recommend students arrive on-site no later than 8.30am to ensure they reach their tutor room in time for registration.
We do take a strict line on lateness with a one-hour detention for any students late to school. As a result of this, our lates have dramatically reduced from nearly 80 a day, before my Headship, to less than 8 a day. Students applying to colleges have exemplary punctuality records, as well as ensuring students are in good habits more generally, as they enter their adult lives. We thank you for your support here, as a reliable and timely morning routine is essential to ensure your child arrives on time, especially given the busy roads we have to endure in Waltham Forest and London as a whole. Of course, if there are exceptional circumstances for lateness, we will take those into account. We pride ourselves on a common sense approach to all issues. You are most welcome to call, or pop in to reception if you would like to make us aware of exceptional circumstances.
The Director of Public Health at Waltham Forest Council, Joe McDonnell, wrote to all Secondary School Headteachers this week concerning the decrease in vaccination rates for school-aged children (from 80% down to 55%) across Waltham Forest. This means that there are currently many more school-aged children in Waltham Forest who are not fully protected against life threatening diseases such as Meningitis, Polio and cancer arising from HPV, in comparison to previous years. Public Health advises that vaccination remains the best and safest way of protecting children against these serious diseases. Please look out for more information about the vaccination programme at Kelmscott School. I ask that when you are sent vaccination information and consent forms that you take time to consider it, and return the form promptly clearly stating your wishes (it is important that the form is returned please).
Finally, congratulations to Love Ogundipe in 7O who topped the charts for rewards points across the school last week with twenty, what a great start she has made to her Kelmscott life. Over five thousand reward points were given out last week, to students in all year groups, with just three hundred consequences points, confirming the good start I have referenced in my letter this week, and last. A reminder that you can look at the rewards and consequences points issued to your child, by tapping the Achievements and Behaviour button in the Student section of the MyEd app.
Mr Sam Jones