Mr Walker’s Update21 August 2020
Please see Mr Walker’s latest update below:
Good afternoon. I hope you have had a good summer and that you and your family are well. A warm welcome to parents and carers of our new Year 7 students who are joining us in September. I fully intend to continue a regular update this term to ensure we keep our communication as clear and as regular as possible.
GCSE Results Day
We were delighted to be able to stage our GCSE Results Day on Thursday. We are so proud of everybody who was involved in this, and the grades that have been achieved are a credit to the hard work of those young people, their families, and the staff. It was wonderful to see Year 11 bring the school to life, and we are looking forward to seeing students in September!
We have spent a long time planning and preparing for a start to school in September, and we are currently finalising those plans with all staff. We provided our outline plans in our end of term update, which can be found here (Year 8, 9, 10 and 11) and here (Year 7). Originally, we planned to provide full details today (Friday 21 August); however, we still have some details to iron out after the government announcement, which we expect to be delivered before the beginning of the term. Therefore, we now intend to communicate our detailed plans on Tuesday 1 September.
We have, however, received feedback on the details included in our end of term update, which may be useful to address in advance:
The current Department for Education guidelines state that face coverings are advised for students travelling on buses. We will, of course, work with students to prepare and support them to adhere to this rule, but they will need to take responsibility for this. Bus transport is a service run by the local authority and operated by private bus companies, and is, therefore, covered by their rules and operating procedures. Appropriate sanitising facilities will be available when students exit buses. As you may know, passengers must wear face coverings when travelling on trains.
Moulded boots for use on our new synthetic turf pitch (STP) and grass
This has caused some concern, so we will try to clarify this. We are currently having a brand–new synthetic turf football and rugby pitch installed. It is a state–of–the–art facility worth over £600,000, but does need a little looking after.
Use of flat shoes on the surface presses down the artificial grass and significantly reduces the lifespan of the pitch, and we fear that we will not receive funding again in the near future. Therefore, the manufacturer’s advice is to wear moulded or standard football boots on the pitch. We know some students will already own moulded or standard football boots, but for some, this may be an additional piece of equipment. As a result of your feedback, we intend to have a stock of spare boots (which will be sanitised after use) available for PE lessons, so that no student misses out. We hope this will take the pressure off of everyone at the beginning of the term. PE teachers will provide more information at the start of the term regarding activities and times when boots will be needed as part of the curriculum.
This document (click here to access) provides important details and some useful advice. If you have any further concerns, please contact Mr Tucker (Head of PE) or Miss Blackburn (Assistant Headteacher).
Guest Tutor Groups
This change will only impact students in Years 8, 9, 10 and 11. We have described how we will have to move students into Guest Year Group Tutor Groups at the beginning of the term, so that we retain distinct year groups in the school as far as possible. They will stay in their house groups and still retain a Head of House; we will allocate them to one of two ‘year’ Tutor Groups within that house. Students will be informed of their Guest Tutor Group during the week beginning 31 August. There will be very little scope to change these groups, but if you have any queries, please contact your child’s Head of House.
Additionally, there will be some changes to our Head of House teachers. Mr Holmes (Pendennis) and Mr Tomlinson (Killigrew) have both stepped back from their duties after many successful years. We really appreciate all of their hard work and care for students, and now look forward to welcoming Mr Oates, who will lead Killigrew, and Dr Van Veen, who will lead Pendennis.
Please see a list of our Head of House/Year group leaders below:
- Year 7: Mrs Walker
- Arwenack: Mr Parekh
- Gluvias: Mr Herring
- Killigrew: Mr Oates
- Pendennis: Dr Van Veen
Term start dates
We would like to confirm our current plan to welcome the following year groups into school on the following days at the beginning of the term:
- Monday 7 September– Year 11
- Tuesday 8 September– Years 11 and 7
- Wednesday 9 September– Years 11, 10 and 7
- Thursday 10 September – Years 11, 10, 8 and 7
- Friday 11 September – Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11
Helping with a smooth start
We know these areas may need some planning, and thank you in advance, but we really need get off to a calm, stress-free start, and keep things safe, so:
- Transport to school: We would ask you not to enter the school site in a vehicle unless your child is an ARB student, or you are a Blue Badge holder. Our student access path around the building runs alongside the access road to the car park; therefore, we need to reduce the number of vehicles on the school site to keep our students safe.
- Uniform: Please make sure uniform is purchased and is correct. Please remember that shoes should be traditional leather school shoes. We do not allow nose studs; they should be replaced by a clear spacer. Please also make sure your child brings in a good waterproof jacket, as they will be outside more often than usual!
- Lunches and snacks: If you are able to provide packed lunches for your child, please consider doing so. We know this will be challenging, but it will reduce the pressure and queuing for catered food. If your child is using the catering option at school, please ensure they have their card and it has money on it. Please note that there will be significantly reduced options on the menu. Students in receipt of free school meals will have these provided by the catering company.
- Equipment: Please ensure your child has a pencil case with the correct equipment, so they can take part in lessons without needing to borrow equipment. Students will need to bring their own water bottles into school, which they can refill at our water fountains.
- Contact numbers: Please ensure we have your up-to-date contact details so we can contact you promptly if your child is poorly, or shows any coronavirus-related symptoms.
As always, thank you for your support. If you have any feedback or questions, please contact me.
Have a lovely weekend.