Headteacher Update

September 2021

I’m not sure where this last week has gone, but it has been a good one. The students have returned with a great mindset and have really shown us all that they are ready to get back to normal and focus on their education. This attitude is best typified with their readiness to accept the new policy on mobile phones; only a handful have been confiscated and form tutors report that there was a good understanding from their forms as to why we have adopted the new policy. Year 7 have also had a tremendous week, they have really settled in well and there have been some great reports from class teachers about how engaged and how focused they have been. Just a few quick updates on issues that have arisen as the week has progressed:

School Shoes

Numerous updates and letters have been sent regarding what is and what is not acceptable footwear and the uniform standards on the website are very clear. Shoes should have absolutely no logos other than a very small brand tag like the ones you find on Kickers. This means that amongst others, Nike Airforce are not acceptable as there is a logo on the side of the shoe. There are a number of reasons for these standards, but the overriding one is to reduce the financial cost of footwear with families feeling they have to buy the expensive shoes ‘because others are wearing them’.

On the website you can find a Wyndsor shoe catalogue which shows you the types of shoes that do meet our uniform standards so please do refer to these before buying anything else. The vast majority of students are in correct school shoes, but where this is not the case we have purchased shoes to give to students that they can keep until a time when a new pair can be bought by the family. We will be supplying these shoes from Monday.

Lunchtime

The problems with ParentPay accounts encountered earlier this week have reduced in number, but I am aware that some students are still struggling. Unfortunately, this is beyond our control and any queries need to go to the local authority at the following email address – parentpay@northtyneside.gov.uk . There has also been a little bit of confusion for students on free school meals about what they are entitled to which has led to them being told there are insufficient funds. The FSM allowance is £2.25 and for this they can only get a sandwich/panini or hot meal plus a piece of fruit; the allowance does not include a bottle of water. Please encourage your child to bring a reusable plastic bottle to school that can be refilled from our water fountains.

From Monday we will be operating a pre-order system for Years 7-9 if they are attending a lunchtime club. They will be able to pre-order before registration and collect at break time from the Drama Studio. Please note that the pre-order system will not be for the full menu, but will include hot and cold choices.

New Behaviour Policy

Students have responded very well to the new policy and have understood why it is in place. There have been a very small number of referrals to the Behaviour Centre this week and unfortunately some of those have ended in a Fixed Term Exclusion. So far, the response of those students coming back into school from exclusion and those in the Centre have been superb. If your child is referred to the behaviour Centre, you will receive the following information:

  1. A text message from the Behaviour Centre Manager saying that you child has been referred and that a member of staff will be in touch later with details.
  2. The member of staff who referred your child will contact you as soon as possible to explain the reason for the referral. Please do bear in mind that this may not be until the end of the day as the member of staff may be teaching, have duties and so on.
  3. At the end of the day you will receive a second message from the Manager telling you how well your child has done. The work set in the BC is the same topic as what is being taught in the lesson and students are expected to complete work to a high standard, if they do so they receive a credit.

The purpose of  the Centre is to be a mechanism that support students to get things right in a calm and productive environment.

Face Coverings

We continue to ask students to wear face coverings as they move around the building. Many have got out of the habit of bringing their own to school after the holidays, so can you please ensure your child brings their own face covering to school. Thank you for your support with this measure, it is continually under review and once cases in North Tyneside come down we will hopefully be able to end their use.

Open Evening

We have decided to hold our Open Evening for Year 6 pupils and their parents virtually again and more details will follow early next week. We are also operating a booking system starting next Wednesday and running until the end of this half term for physical visits to the school. Numbers will be strictly limited per visit, but if you know of any parents with children in Year 6, please pass on this information and ask them to look at our website for more details.

Thank you for your ongoing support. I appreciate that when changes occur they are sometimes difficult to keep up with, but please do look at our website where you should be able to find all the answers you need, if not please call!

Best wishes

Jonathan Heath