Welcome to my weekly blog.
Today is an important one in our slow return to being anything like normal.
We have welcomed the first Year 11s who accepted our invitation to come back to school before the end of term.
It is fantastic to see our students again. We have missed them and missed teaching them.
Hopefully, the communications home, including the video, prepared students for what they faced today.
I am grateful to Assistant Principal Mr Dalowsky and his ‘actors’ for the film and to teaching and non-teaching colleagues for the enormous amount of work that has gone in to ensure everything is ready.
The return of the new Year 11s means changes for those students who have been coming into the academy over the past three months.
They will form their ‘bubble’ and be restricted to an area.
I ask students for their patience. I know they will understand the changes have been made with everybody’s safety in mind.
Another feature returning to normal is, with the increasing numbers on site, students need to purchase food using their cards, topped up online.
Those entitled to free school meals will be in receipt of vouchers.
We have prepared a special recovery curriculum for our returning Year 11s. The first hour-and-a-half will help students come back.
Opportunities will be available to discuss their mental health and wellbeing and for teachers to assess where they are with their learning.
This time will cross over to a period of RE before lessons in English, Maths and Science. These have been designed to reinforce what they have been doing at home.
The Year 11s will be kept in the same groups in the same classrooms as we need to maintain their bubbles.
They will be in Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and leave at 1.15pm. It is important social distancing rules are followed in and out of school.
On Monday and Friday, we have invited into the Academy students in our new Year 11 struggling with internet access at home and who do not meet the Government’s criteria for a new laptop.
You will understand schooling is complex and you may have read about further potential changes as we move towards the new academic year.
All we can do is stick to Government guidelines and wait for further advice.
I would like to reiterate the staff are impressed at the work being undertaken at home via Class Charts. Please keep doing the best you can.
School appreciates this is not always easy and a quick look at how things might have been different puts into context the strange times we are living it.
Last Friday would have been Year 7 and Year 8 Sports Day, the last day of Year 9 examinations in Westaby Hall and day five of Year 10 work experience.
We have all had to adjust and it is crucial we continue to support each other.