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Update for parents and carers: Monday 13th July 2020

Student Progress and Wellbeing Reviews:

From 8pm tonight (Monday, July 13th 2020), the school report completed by teachers before the lockdown will be available for Years 7-10 to view. We paused on the release of this at the time, as students and families alike focused on steadying themselves into lockdown and the world of remote learning as well as possible.

We have uploaded this now to allow both students and parents a snapshot of where progress lay in each subject before, we went into partial closure. They have been made accessible, like the new horizontal tutor document was, via ePraise in the documents section:

click on your Profile > Documents > Download – cloud icon

In terms of reviewing the students’ learning and wellbeing since then, tutors are enjoying their conversations with their new tutees as well as anticipating forward to support they may need in September. If your child’s conversation is not completed by the end of the week ahead, they will be concluded in September and published to you by Friday September 18th at the latest.

Curriculum and Timetable – September until October half term 2020:

Mr Hewitt and I wrote to you as below via ePraise on Friday evening to explain our curriculum and timetable decisions for the first half term of the new academic year ahead:

For September, within our plans to welcome back and restore the whole school, we have decided to continue with the 2019-2020 school timetable as faithfully as possible in the first instance. There will be some changes, of course, owing to staff turnover but the current years 7 to 10 will roll into their next academic year with as many of the same teachers as we can achieve.

Our teams are planning how best to deliver the curriculum to maintain the highest levels of engagement and progress possible, which is a subject specific consideration. In some cases, students will be able to consolidate some of the summer term curriculum.  In other areas pupils will move on to the most vital aspects of their learning to best prepare them for the end of Key Stage 4. As things stand, we are planning to run this arrangement until the October half term.

Our rationale for this decision is as follows:

We feel very strongly that for our youngest students, maintaining the continuity of timetable and, where we can, relationships with the same teachers, will support their transition back into full time school.

For our current year 8 it allows us some time to implement well the roll out of the options that they chose for later in the term. There was far less advice available to them and to you as parents/carers when we launched the process.

We feel certain that sorting through issues and clashes will be much better accomplished in person with you all in September.

Year 9 is, at Noadswood, the beginnings of developing approaches to Key Stage 4 learning, so we are confident that a slightly later start to options study will not have an adverse impact on students’ overall attainment at the end of KS4.

Furthermore, from an entitlement and ‘breadth of curriculum’ point of view, March of Year 8 is far too early for students to finish Key Stage 3.

For Year 10 and 11 students, there is no significant impact to this – they will continue their KS4 study as they would have done, with as many of the same teachers as possible. As stated above, this will involve consolidation and pushing on with the curriculum in the ways that our Team Leaders deem most appropriate for the subject and for the individual classes/students. We are also considering closely the consultation with Ofqual as to curriculum and examination content decisions about the Summer 2021 series.

If you or the students have any specific questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Hewitt directly, or myself at headteacher@noadswood.hants.sch.uk

September 2020: zoning of students in ‘year group bubbles’:

As confirmed in last week’s letter, the Government has published its guidance concerning the rules and expectations for the safe opening of schools in September 2020 as things currently stand.

The link for you to explore this guidance in the version created for parents and carers is here (click)

The full guidance for schools can be found here (click)

This guidance includes the requirement for us to create ‘year group bubbles’ accommodated in ‘zones’ around the school site for their timetables, rather than being able to mingle with other year groups and travel around the site together as usual.

We have made plans for the ‘zones’ of rooms for each year group, endeavouring also to protect several of our specialist teaching spaces to minimise the impact on your children’s curriculum as much as we can.

We will publish the details of this to you during the summer break, and we will keep you appraised of any updates to the guidance.

At the same time, we will publish our new risk assessment, including the details of all the other measures we will employ to keep our community safe and to mitigate against risk. These measures will be discussed and shared with our neighbour New Forest and West Hampshire schools, as I have done throughout, and will be endorsed by our Board of Governors, two of whom I have invited to work on the planning alongside the senior team.

First day of term dates for all year groups: September 2020

The restoring of the school community, the risk assessment arrangements and the zoning comprises a great deal for students to get used to as they begin compulsory school attendance once again.

Therefore, we are reflecting the importance of getting this right for each year group in our beginning of term dates for them.

As published last week, the first day of term for Year 7 will be Thursday September 3rd.

Below, please find the expected attendance in school for all year groups:

Thursday September 3rd – Year 7

Friday September 4th – Years 7 and 11 only

Monday September 7th – Years 7, 10 and 11 only

Tuesday September 8th – Years 7, 9 and 11 only

Wednesday September 9th – Years 7, 8 and 11 only

All students will be in school together from Thursday September 10th onwards.

We believe that it is vital to provide each year group with a day during which they can get used to the zone that we have allocated to them and all the logistics with fewer other students on site than normal. We thank you in advance for your support with this gentler, staggered start to the school year.

Arrival and home times and entrance points for each year group:

The school’s ability to zone the year groups in bubbles, thereby limiting potential transmission of the virus, depends on your and their support in terms of their arrival to and departure from our site. If everyone were to arrive and leave as usually they do, the whole premise of year group bubbles would immediately collapse, with potential significant consequences to health and to the consistent opening of the school in the way we all want to see. Therefore, we have created different entrance/exit points at staggered times for each year group.

Please see below the arrival and home times and entrance/exit points for each year group:

In order to protect the year group bubbles and zones, it is important that the following is observed:

  • Students cannot arrive earlier than the times identified on the pictures above, and will need to go directly to their tutor rooms, which will be confirmed to them during the summer break,
  • The canteen will not be open before school and the hall will not be open in the mornings, to avoid a gathering of students across year groups,
  • As many students as possible should walk or cycle to school to limit congestion of cars and students across year groups arriving in close proximity with each other to the extent we are able,
  • Parents and carers should endeavour to collect students (where this is needed) further away from the school grounds than usual to help groups of students from across year groups disperse more gradually and in less proximity to one another wherever possible,
  • Parents and carers need to give good, reinforcing messages to students about coming straight in to school and getting straight home, so that year group bubbles are protected as much as possible in the community too – this sort of pulling together will mean that school life will really take good shape again for all students, despite the restrictions we need to work to.

We will be depending on your support and our students’ support, as much as on our own control measures, to enable our adherence to public health guidance and therefore things to go as smoothly as they can. 

Worries about returning to compulsory on site education from September:

It is to be expected and entirely understandable that some of you, or your child, or both will have some concerns about a return to on site education from September.

The Government are currently very clear that attendance will once more be compulsory and that usual statutory procedures for monitoring and following up on non-attendance should be followed. However, we are a strong and mutually supportive community – never more so than in the past five months – and so I am keen that you get in touch with me to discuss any worries that you or your children have so that we can put plans and support in place to address them.

I will involve Mrs Loveday, your child’s House Leaders, tutor and teachers, and Miss Robinson, and we can put together a plan that will help them return to school, to be reviewed regularly. The plan will be all about looking after your child, really listening to and understanding what the concerns are, and, together, doing what’s necessary to help.

So please reach out to health@noadswood.hants.sch.uk with these worries – we are here for you.

Uniform September 2020:

The Government guidance referenced above includes the expectation that schools will reintroduce their usual uniforms where they have these from September. Please see below our uniform requirements, but note, however, that until further notice, there is one significant change:

Students need only have EITHER the Noadswood blazer OR the Noadswood jumper with the badge. This has come from our reflecting with parents and governors on the financial outlay of full school uniform in the current times we are living through, combined with the need in current guidance to wash clothes more frequently and with quicker turn around than we would normally need to do. (Usually, all students must wear a blazer and the jumper is optional.)

Students will need to bring PE kit as normal when they have PE on their timetables – we will run outdoor activities, safely, as much as the weather allows us to. We will also make provision for changing in larger spaces than the changing rooms which we will confirm in our risk assessment and an update during the summer break.

Free School Meals

If you have any questions regarding eligibility for Free School Meals or financial support for uniform, please email our finance team at finance@noadswood.hants.sch.uk

Farewells

We say goodbye to some truly awesome members of the Noadswood family at the end of this term:

Year 11 – the class of 2020 – Some of the mightiest, bravest students in the world. We can’t wait to see you on Results Day!

Jane Lancaster – Our Health and Social Care, Careers and PSHE lead and rock of the PE Department for many years

Hilary Phillips – Our mighty Maths Team Leader 

Elizabeth Stratford – Music maestro!

Florence Trodd – Maths teacher, Careers lead, D of E Award lead

Connor Finn – Media lead and English teacher

Nikki Fleming – Emotional Literacy Support worker

Clare Collins – Science teacher

Vanessa Scott – D and T teacher

Kevin O’Brien – Chair of the board of governors (Successor to be elected September 2020)

Jane Hodgson – Clerk to the board of governors

I would like to thank all of my colleagues above for their superb commitment, hard work and expertise, in some cases over many years, and in all cases with a strong sense of team and good heartedness that we will miss very much indeed. It is genuinely hard to imagine Noadswood without this particular cast of characters, and I wish every one of them the very best in life.

Pebble Painting – help to restore our school!

Over the weekend I saw displays of pebbles at both Barton and Milford on Sea that include uplifting messages to the community and words that describe how we might want life to be. I would love you and your children to work on designing pebbles that capture how you and they would like Noadswood to be when we restore our school from September 2020.

This is because as much as we need to re-establish structure, the familiar and a sense of routine, we also need to capture that things are not the same as they were: they can and need to be even better. We can work together to restore our school and our community as richer in trust, creativity and challenge than it’s ever been as we make an unexpected but incredibly welcome fresh start in September.

If you and/or your children would like to get involved with this particular activity, please ask your child to bring the pebble in to their tutor time on their first day in school, and to send me a photo of designs during the summer to headteacher@noadswood.hants.sch.uk

There will be a host of other ways for you and your children to get involved with restoring our school brilliantly well when we come back together.

I need to conclude by thanking you all for the boundless support that you have extended to me and our school during the past five months. The community as a whole has dealt with what has been thrown at us with terrific fortitude. Many of you have thanked us and boosted us when we have been at our best, and then you have challenged us and pushed us when there has been more or better we could have done. We have learnt a great deal from you and your children whilst many of us have been apart, and your children have blown us away with their hard work, resilience and fun. I can’t wait to go forward in exactly this spirit and still better from September.

With all good wishes for a happy and safe summer,

Kathryn Marshall and the Noadswood Leadership Team

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