Changes to School Day

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Dear Parents and Carers,

I write to you at the start of the new term with some updates, and to make you aware of changes we are planning to the school day which will come into effect after the February Half Term 2024.

Changes to the School Day – lunchtime arrangements

Since moving into the new school, we have kept under review all the routines and systems that we have in school. The new school building and site functions very differently to our old site, in so many ways it is more efficient. Specifically, we have been keeping under review the timings of the school day. Based on how the site is currently operating, we feel it is necessary to make a slight alteration to the lunchtime arrangements. Currently lunchtime is 45 minutes long, after the February Half Term we intend to reduce lunchtime to 40 minutes. This is because since moving into the new school and having adopted facial recognition software, service in the canteen has speeded up significantly which in turn leaves the students with far more unstructured social times than is necessary. 40 minutes is more than enough time for all students to eat their lunch and enjoy some social time before their final lesson of the day.

This change means that from Monday 26th February, lunch will run from 1:20 to 2:00 and school will subsequently finish at 3:00 as opposed to 3:05pm.

During the course of this half term, we will start to regain access to more external areas of our site which in turn will allow us to review the current zoning arrangements for students and the lunchtime sittings. Year 7 and Year 10 both currently have the first sitting at lunchtime, but this will be reviewed over the next few weeks. I will of course keep you updated on any more changes that we need to make.

Celebrating Excellence

As a school we make it a priority to celebrate excellence and reward students whenever possible. In lessons, staff will routinely issue reward points for excellent work and participation. As parents you will see these reward points on your child’s Satchel. As students accumulate points we issue rewards in school, with special rewards going to students with 50+, 100+, 150+ and 200+ reward points achieved. Every two weeks we also have what we call Freddie’s Focus on the Stars which is shared with all forms during form time. Each fortnight, each subject area will nominate a student in each year group whose work or positive attitude has stood out over that time period. Each student who is mentioned on Freddie’s Focus on the Stars will receive a special subject badge. Heads of Year also nominate students who have stood out over the fortnight, and they receive the Head of Year Award as part of Freddie’s Focus. I also ask staff to nominate students for the Headteacher Award, when a child receives a nomination for this, they receive a postcard home and a badge. This week I have had 15 nominations from staff. Rewards can be given for any of the following:

  • Outstanding commitment to extra-curricular activities in school.
  • Outstanding participation for activities outside of school.
  • Showing excellent resilience and determination in their studies.
  • Outstanding academic achievement.
  • Outstanding demonstration of our BEST values.

If your child receives any reward in school, please praise them and reward them at home.

Uniform and personal appearance

The standard of uniform so far this year has been very good and our students look smart. Please keep in mind our policies on uniform, haircuts, jewellery and make up. Remember false eyelashes, false nails and fake tan are not allowed in school. Hoodies should also not be worn as an alternative to a coat. Our full uniform policy can be accessed here.

Attendance and child sickness

We appreciate that at this time of year various illnesses can circulate; however, if your child has mild symptoms, this does not necessarily mean that they have to remain off school. To help determine if your child needs to remain off school or not, the NHS have provided useful guidance for parents on a range of common conditions. A link to it can be found here.

Excellent attendance to school is critical and it may be useful to consider the following information. 90% in an exam would be celebrated as excellent but in terms of attendance, it means a child is missing 19 school days per year.

I’d like to thank-you for your continued support.

Yours sincerely,

Mr P Davies