Headteacher Update

May 2021

Just as more things start returning to normality, Covid has sent a reminder that we still need to be vigilant and do all that we can to minimise the transmission of the new strain that was originally detected in India. It has been made very clear that the risk is not about the variant making people more ill, but that it is much more transmissible than other variants and as a result the government have put surge testing in place in North Tyneside as there are a number of cases. Full details of this surge testing and other advice from North Tyneside Council can be found here.

To minimise the risk of transmission in school I would ask that you all continue to use the home test kits twice a week so we can detect any asymptomatic cases. A new supply has arrived in school and we will be sending these out late next week. Also, please remind your child to bring a face covering to school and we will continue to remind them of the other measures that we have in place.

Covid is something that will live long in our memory and we are working hard to support the wellbeing of all our students through our social recovery programme on a Wednesday morning as well as through the usual mentoring, activities and home contact that normally takes place. It’s important for students to reflect on this period of their lives and the Art department will be encouraging students to consider the various heroes of the pandemic from relatives who have had to self-isolate for long periods to the frontline workers.  This will be part of a Royal Mail stamp design competition that students can opt to formally enter with their parent’s permission, details of which can be found here.

The competition is open until Friday 28 May 2021. A special panel of judges will select the winners. As with all Special Stamps, the final eight designs will be sent to The Queen before they can be printed and issued as stamps. The winners will be announced in the Autumn. We look forward to seeing how our students choose to honour their heroes on their stamp designs. The past year has been very difficult for everyone, so it is a great opportunity to show the heroes of the pandemic just how much we appreciate what they have done for us. This is also an opportunity for students to work with a ‘live’  brief and gain some understanding of the creative process of design and illustration.

Year 11 are now half way through their final assessment window and we have all been very impressed with the determination they have shown. They need to keep working hard for just a little bit longer so that teachers have the evidence they need to award the grade that each student deserves. As their time with us draws to a close, we are all very much looking forward to the Year 11 festival on Thursday afternoon and thank you to Mr Redpath and Mr Crowe for the organisation.  We hope that it will be a fun and enjoyable event celebrating the time that the year group have had with us. Look out for the pictures on social media!

We have been notified by the LA that once again they will be able to support the families of those children receiving free school meals over the May/June half-term.  A £15 supermarket voucher will be sent to the parents of those in receipt of free school meals next week.  If you have not received the voucher by next Wednesday 26th May, please contact the school office.

Finally, thank you for your support with our push on getting school uniform back to the standards we expect. Whilst students have been wearing coats in classrooms some bad habits have crept back in, but I’m pleased to say that with your support the vast majority of students are now wearing what they should be wearing. You can find a copy of our uniform standards here. We do have access to funding for any family that may struggle with the cost of uniform – please do take us up on this is you need to and do not feel embarrassed, just get in contact with your child’s head of year.

As ever, if you have any queries or concerns then please do get in contact with the school and we will do all that we can to help.

Best wishes

Jonathan