Dear Parents & Carers

As our first full week comes to an end, we have begun to change our focus in school. Inevitably, the first few days were always going to be about learning the new rules and systems against a backdrop of Covid. However, I am delighted with the speed with which students have understood what is required of them and how quickly staff have adapted teaching to better suit running around school from room to room. This doesn’t mean we are finished tweaking our measures, we’re not (look out for a letter from me next week), but it does mean that an atmosphere of routine has settled in school and I am glad of it.

The focus must be on learning. I’ve mentioned before, the extensive study in America that demonstrated the boost in progress for young people who were sat down by their parents each evening and spent 15 minutes discussing what they had learnt that day. In our case that is just 3 minutes for each hour of lessons. As a father, I am all too aware that this 15 minutes may well feel like pulling teeth as you desperately try to coax from your child more than a few grunted responses to your questions.

However, the benefits are clear and furthermore, you will start to see a picture of where your child’s leaning gaps are. This year, that is vital. We will publish our catch-up strategy at some point this half term, using the money promised by the Government to ensure students catch up on any lost learning. Our own assessments will obviously lead this strategy, however the goal in any school is for students to know their own learning needs and take responsibility for catching up. This process is made more effective if parents and carers are able to understand what their child has and hasn’t learned each day.

In the meantime, please pass on my thanks to your children for their start to this year. They have proven their resilience by getting back into the swing of things faster than I expected.

Best wishes

Andy Perry – Head Teacher

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