Welcome back and I hope you all had a lovely Christmas this year, despite the ongoing complications with Covid.
Staff had an excellent training day on Wednesday, focussing on relationships and how these are key to delivering effective learning. The evaluations reflect how highly staff valued the various sessions and I am sure these will further strengthen the quality of teaching and support provided to all students.
Throughout the day on Thursday, we tested 1100 students thanks to a large team of volunteers and staff who spent the day delivering the testing programme. There were around 35 initial positives, and these students had to be sent home for further testing. We do know that the in-school tests are very sensitive, and that children who have had Covid within 90 days can now be part of the testing programme which may have affected the outcomes. However, it is good to know that the vast majority of students were clear of the virus at the time of testing. I would like to congratulate the students who were wonderful and participated without fuss, helping the process go smoothly and thank Mr Nicholls and all the volunteers for their work. A reminder that this is simply a snap-shot on one day of the current situation, and that it is vital students test twice weekly. If you need further testing kits, then these are available from the school. We will continue to provide these to students on a regular basis.
We have reviewed all of the events for this half term and made some adjustments in light of the latest Covid outbreak, whilst being mindful to keeping the highest quality of activities as possible. The first of these is next Tuesday evening, our Into the Sixth Open Evening for all Year 11 students. Detailed information about this evening has been sent to all Year 11 students, and is available on the school web site. If you prefer not to attend in person, then all of the information can be accessed on-line on our web site during the evening. We look forward to helping students with their future choices and preparing for the next steps in their learning.
To finish, I thought I would include a photograph of a lovely new initiative called "Paired Reading" which started today. Twenty nine Year 12 students have been trained and paired with Year 7 students to spend 30 minutes reading together every Friday. This is an excellent mentoring opportunity for the Year 12 students and helps to foster a love of reading for all age groups whilst building relationships across the school. We are sure that all of the students will gain a lot from this experience and thank you to Ms Bulbeck for organising.
I look forward to working with everyone this term, and hope that it is as exciting and enjoyable as always.
Mr A Gray