Headteacher's Weekly Update - 22nd April 2022
I hope this letter finds you and your families well; a Friday update for you as always. I hope you
all managed a relaxing holiday and that the period of Sawm and Iftar is going well for our
Muslim families during Ramadan.
You will have no doubt seen that the Covid-19 guidance has now changed. There is no more
testing, and we are no longer required, as a school, to report cases to the Local Authority or to
issue the warn and inform letters. If your child does test positive for Covid-19 the new advice
stipulates a minimum of three days, after the day they took the test, away from school. I have
to be honest and say that I have some concerns that this isn’t long enough. I’m sure families
will adopt a common-sense approach though and, like any respiratory infection, if your child is
unwell with a high temperature, keep your child at home. Our advice for any respiratory
infection, including Covid-19, is that students should only return once their temperature has
lowered and when they feel well enough in themselves, to return to school.
We welcomed two new teaching members of staff to Kelmscott this week. Mr Caceres has
joined us as the new Head of Business Studies and Economics. He has been straight into the
thick of it, helping prepare our Year 11 students for their forthcoming exams. We also
welcomed Ms Begum to the English department, she has taken over from Ms Morgan who
retired at Easter. Ms Morgan was a wonderful and long-standing member of staff who has
contributed so much to the school over the years. I’m sure you join me in thanking her and
wishing her a long and happy retirement.
The new Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) is now in effect in the Leisure Centre car
park, a little sooner than we had anticipated, if I’m honest. I know this will be an inconvenience
to many of you, who drop off students to school in the mornings. I have written many times
about my safety concerns when dropping off students at, or near the school and, clearly, this
new measure will not help that. I hope that you’re able to plan a new, safe drop-off point
though, perhaps on one of the quieter side roads off of Markhouse Road or off of Queens Road
to facilitate a safe drop-off.
Thanks to those of you who have got in to contact either with ourselves or the Leisure Centre
directly, to talk through a particular issue with your child that requires them to continue to be
dropped off at the front of school e.g. a mobility issue. The Leisure Centre is doing all that they
can to support here. Please get in contact if you have any further queries.
Just a brief note on trip payments; if you have a trip or event payment due, you will find this by
logging into your cashless account via the Payment button in the Student section of MyEd, then
tapping on Payments to Pay. Prompt payment of trips is very much appreciated to ensure our
processes remain efficient and cost-effective. Thank you for your co-operation here.
Some advance warning for Year 10 families, the Year 10 exams begin on Monday 9th May for two weeks, these exams will take place in the classroom. Year 10 should be revising for these to
give them the best possible chance of success, as well as working hard in class, as always.
Accompanying this letter is an Examinations Information Booklet for students taking their GCSE
exams this summer. If your child is taking their GCSEs shortly, please ensure they read through
this important information.
Today is Stephen Lawrence Day, something I have spoken about in my assemblies this week. I
have always followed his story with interest because of the crucial lessons that have hopefully
been learned from his tragic death, but also because myself and Stephen were born just one
day apart. Stephen Lawrence Day was created to celebrate his life and legacy, to inspire a more
equal and inclusive society, and to foster opportunities for marginalised young people in the UK.
This is very much in keeping with the culture that we hold dear here at Kelmscott.
In assembly, I have asked students to consider our motto this year “Speak Up, Speak Out”, and
challenged them to reflect on what they are doing to live and breathe that motto. Have they
heard racist, or indeed homophobic or sexist language being used in school or the wider
community, and are they speaking up and out about it, to a trusted member of staff or family
member in order that it can be dealt with? It is vital that we all do our bit to build a safer, fairer,
and more equitable society for all. This will always remain a priority for us here in school.
Finally, well done to Sehar Malik in 10S who amassed the most rewards points in the final week
of last term, with an impressive 35 – not the first time she has topped this chart – keep up the
Mr Sam Jones