Headteacher's Weekly Update - 21st January 2022
I hope this letter finds you and your families well, a Friday update for you as always. Another
Covid-19 dominated week, with relatively high numbers of positive cases in students and staff,
36 positive cases at the time of writing. It has been a real mix of year groups for our positive
cases and a mix of tutor groups too, no patterns or ‘outbreaks’ as such. However, the largest
number of cases in a Year group were seen in Year 8, and as a result, we have been put on
Amber warning by the Borough, as have many other primary and secondary schools.
Under Amber measures, families are asked to test their child every day and where a
household member tests positive for Covid, please do not send your child to school. A
reminder if your child or a household member tests positive, please let us know by messaging
school on the MYEd app as soon as possible. As per my message earlier this week, we will
continue to wear masks, and as always, we will monitor the situation closely and keep families
abreast of any updates to be shared.
As many of you know, the situation with Covid this week has led to a significant staff shortage
which, in turn, has required us to ask years 8, 9 and 10 to remain at home to complete online
learning on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday respectively this week.
I hope this hasn’t been too much of an inconvenience for families and that you’ve managed to
juggle things around to ensure the family logistics work for you all. As I explained in my letter a
number of weeks ago, remote lessons provided were not recorded lessons. I hope that students
managed to engage well with the work provided and had a productive day. There is no register
for students to complete, as they had to for remote learning this time last year either.
A quick reminder of the aim of students being at home working this week... By having Year 10 at
home today, for example, the year 10 lessons that needed covering due to staff absence, did not
need to be covered, as Year 10 were working remotely at home. Additionally, staff in school
who were due to be teaching Year 10, were freed up and used to cover classes for years 7, 8, 9
and 11. This allowed us to get through the week and prevented us from having to send all
students home to work remotely due to staff shortage.
We hope we do not need to take this measure again and that staff, and student absence for
Covid, and other reasons, settles down again. Having spoken to other secondary Headteachers
in the borough, it looks as if most schools have had to take similar measures since Christmas too. It’s interesting to see what a mixed bag it is in terms of Covid numbers across the borough
too, with some schools experiencing very low numbers this week, who are not very far away,
geographically, from us - luck of the draw in many ways perhaps?
If we do have to take this measure again, it is likely that it will be Year 7 who are asked to work
remotely, however, we will check the year group affected most by the staff out on that day first
too, to see what sort of impact this has. I long for a day when we don’t have such things to
consider each day.
A pleasing aspect of the last three days has been how effectively the MyEd app has been used
to communicate with families, which year groups are at home or in school. We had very low
numbers of students turning up for school on a day they were working remotely, for example,
which was pleasing to see. Thank you for engaging so well with this.
The app is becoming more and more pivotal and is being used for Year 7 Parents’ Evening
bookings, as well as Year 9 Options and other school events later in the year. More information
to follow on individual events in due course. Please ensure the telephone numbers we have for
parents and carers is the most up to date to ensure lines of communication remain open with
you at all times.
As you will have seen via a MyEd message yesterday, we will be keeping masks in all indoor
areas of school until further notice. We will look carefully each week at the numbers in school to
help inform our decision. I look forward to masks leaving us in the not too distant future
hopefully, thank you for your ongoing support in the interim.
A huge well done to Adam Ayub Patel in Year 7 on amassing the most rewards points this week
with a noteworthy 27 points - as always, keep up the good work. Until next week, when
hopefully I have more non-Covid related items to share with you all. Have a great weekend
when it gets here.
Mr Sam Jones