This letter covers:
- Covid update
- Community Fundraising – Cycle compound
- A mini virtual school concert
- Colleague news
- Some Noadswood highlights
- Thank yous
- Newsletter from the Year Leader Team – Years 9, 10 and 11
If you make the tactical decision – with the opportunity for a good lie down afterwards – to watch or follow the news, you will know that the situation regarding the much-discussed Omicron variant of Covid-19 is dominating. There are rumours around about schools being asked to move to remote learning at the start of next term – nothing to that effect has been written formally to schools or issued in the guidance as yet, so here’s what we’re going to do:
We will plan for a return of the whole school, which has, according to the guidance, to include all students with permissions testing via an Lateral Flow Device in school before resuming learning.
This testing will take place, according to a rotation which Mr Hewitt will publish later today, on Wednesday January 5th so school will not be open as normal that day – only for testing.
If your child(ren) are in Year 7, and you have no other safe alternative but to send them into school for the whole day on January 5th, please email their Year Leader, Mr Wilkinson or send him an ePraise message and we will arrange for them to be supported in school from 9am – 2.50pm.
We will also set assignments via our Frog Portal for all year groups on that day with important learning for them to ‘get their eye in’ with before the next day.
This means, all else being well, term will start ‘proper’ for all students on Thursday January 6th.
- In terms of contingencies, we will plan for a rotation of year groups needing to learn remotely in case of high numbers of colleagues needing to isolate owing to Covid-19 at the point we return from the break. We will do this as an absolute last resort, but we will publish it for your planning purposes nearer the time.
- As a further contingency, we will plan for the whole school moving to remote learning if this is implemented by Government decision or Hampshire Public Health directive, which will mean live lessons via Teams as before – it would be sensible for all students to ensure they are familiar with their network user name and password should we need to use Teams and Frog from potentially very early in the term – any issues with this, please ask them to ePraise their tutor or their Year Leader.
We will let you know the day we have the need for this announced formally by guidance, and we will endeavour to give the whole Noadswood family a break from speculation and concern about this until then.
Should your child require IT equipment we will make arrangements to do all we can to provide this for you.
Should we need students to collect other materials and stationery packs, we will do as we did before and arrange a rotation for year groups to come to school site in small groupings to collect whatever is required.
We will ensure your child has access to their Free School Meal/equivalent voucher if things go on remotely for a lengthier period, according to eligibility.
- Please continue to use firstname.lastname@example.org your child(ren) test positive for Covid-19 which will enable us to make sure our spreadsheet is up to date when we return, which may also, as a last resort, inform decisions about any tutor or year groups needing to work remotely for a period of time.
- We have been signposted to the date of our allocated slot for those young people eligible and with permissions to receive dose 2 of the C-19 Vaccine: Tuesday 1st February 2022. More information to follow when we receive it (and we have been informed this date could potentially change).
Finally on Covid-19 for now, the flowchart to which there is a link below is one that is very useful in terms of what to do in terms of self-isolation should you or your family test positive for Covid-19 – it helps me to check something visual, so we’re pasting it here in case it helps you, too:
Community Fundraising: Cycle compound
I have written to you before about the fantastic efforts made by three of our Y8 students, one of their parents and a family friend to raise money for a new cycle compound here at the school. We have a funding goal of around £16000 to put in place something that will be permanent and a fitting legacy to the efforts of these boys.
The boys have raised in excess of £2000 and the school will be providing £5000 from our allocated Capital Funding pot that we have to share between a range of statutory, health and safety and site development priorities each year. So we have made it to about half way! We will also be holding a ‘Wear Something Different’ Day for this fundraiser next term, too.
If you, or anyone you know, felt minded to donate to this fundraiser that these boys have done so much to kickstart, please click on the link below, whereupon you will be provided with our bank details to make a donation after you've entered your name and email (click here):
Should you have any suggestions for fundraising ideas or sponsorship/bids/companies we could approach, please do email us at email@example.com and we will explore all ideas – I am determined that we will smash this funding goal in 2022 to provide an excellent cycle compound combined with renewed education and input around safe cycling in our community.
A mini virtual school concert:
As you know, we were so sorry to have to postpone our concert – here’s to Easter 2022 being a time when we can host in the hall!
In the meantime, it’s a big shout out to Mr Campbell-Hill and Mr Watkins, who are doing a mighty job upholding all things Music in Mrs Rees’ absence on her maternity leave, and to the school choir for providing us with these two lovely songs – one festive, one filmic – as a taster of what we have to look forward to in our next concert:
Big congrats and thanks to Lucy, Abi, Cam, Valentina, Livi, Niamh, Chloe, Flo for making my day by doing this and for such great singing.
Our congratulations and love to Mrs Rees and all her family on the birth of their second daughter, Miss West and her family with the birth of their daughter, and also to Mrs Martin and all her family on the birth of their second son – have a lovely holiday break together everyone!
I would like to offer congratulations to Mrs Harrison on the successful completion of her NQT year, and to our four other Early Careers Teachers on their hard work and success in their first term. Not to mention our mighty trainees – top work has been done by them all. Our school is enriched by their energy and enthusiasm. These are far from easy times to begin life in this profession and I salute and thank them all.
I would also like to thank Mrs Hartley for her hard work in our Design and Technology team this term, and to all those who have worked with us in the absence of other colleagues isolating with Covid. It is no small thing to walk into a school and hit the ground running – we are grateful to them all.
Finally, I would like to thank the indomitable, simply awesome Mrs Dossett for her magnificent reign as Assistant Headteacher here at Noadswood which ends today. She has been an incredible colleague to work with for me since I have been here, and I know so many people feel exactly the same. Fortunately she remains part of the Noadswood family, teaching PE and Maths and joining the ranks of the tutor teams, so it is by no means a goodbye. Thankfully!
More news about the Leadership Team as a result of this after the break, but I will often be thinking, ‘What would Mrs Dossett do?’ about many a situation, and I am so lucky I will still be able to ask her. 😉
Some Noadswood Highlights:
It has been a genuine pleasure for me and us to see the superb efforts your children and our staff have been making with all things learning and enrichment this long term.
This is an important moment to stop and reflect on the 100s of successes every member of this school family has had, and I reminded the students of this in my recorded (unfortunately!) assembly to them all this morning.
100s and 100s and 100s of them have:
- Worked really hard, with real focus all term – 35% of our students have received no demerits all term, 88% with 10 or below and 92% with just 15 or below,
- Shown a terrific attitude, helping out in lessons, with tours, in our hall, corridors and outdoor spaces at breaks and lunches, and on the way home – they have made us laugh and made us proud every day,
- Joined in with clubs, which has been so superb to see and hear as I have gone around this site after school hours – music, sports, biscuits and books, Pride club… the list goes on. The students and staff have been brilliant and we’ve sustained that sense of ‘normal’, all important in such tough times,
- Provided ideas to make their school better – the student leadership team have met with me around fortnightly, having met with reps from across our school to bring together ideas from our eco club, about our curriculum, about inclusivity … the list goes on and we have begun to implement some of them already. I will publish a table of ‘They said… We did’ after the break,
- Played beautiful music in their instrumental lessons and sung their little hearts out at choir – one of us has also succeeded in the Voice: Kids auditions – more to follow,
- Gone out on fixtures galore and competed brilliantly in our school’s name,
- Celebrated successes at Hot Chocs with me – I have met with loads of Y7s and begun to meet Y9s – looking forward to more in January,
- Reached out for help when they have needed it, to their tutors, their Year Leaders, our ELSA, other colleagues, me and we are overjoyed when they do this – schools are intense places, never more so than right now in this world, and we want to respond to each individual’s needs, and look into anything they are worried about, unhappy about or they feel we or someone else is getting wrong,
The whole team and I would like to thank you for the support you have provided us with this whole term – the info to health@, the openness and transparency about your worries re Covid, the expressions of thanks for all that the whole staff team have done and the feedback you’ve given us when something we have done hasn’t landed well with you or your children. I said to the children in my assembly, the ability to listen, reflect and reach partnership so everyone can move forward positively is something we want to instil in them and that is how we want always to work with all of you. I feel thankful that we do. If you think we don’t, in your case, drop someone a line – whether it’s a Year Leader, a member of my team or me. Let’s make 2022 the year when we all work together in that spirit.
I shared with the students the following lines from a guy who writes about how to form good habits and stick to them, James Clear:
‘The difference between good and great is often an extra round of revision. The person who looks things over a second time will appear smarter or more talented, but actually it is just polishing things a bit more’
I said to them, this doesn’t just apply to revising for tests/assessments – it applies to revising our thinking, refreshing it and dusting it down, then polishing it to be better for the future. Your feedback, perspectives and suggestions, and those of the children enable us to do that (even if, initially, we think we don’t agree!), and I am so thankful.
I will end the thank yous by thanking in writing, as I have done verbally, every single member of the staff team here, every Trustee, our Chair and Vice-Chair, and every member of our Leadership Team – I simply couldn’t do this without the contribution that every single person makes and you are all of huge value to me and all the students.
There follows now, for Year 9, 10 and 11 parents a return of the Noadswood Blazer – the newsletter from the Year Leader Teams. In January, our Year 7 and 8 parents and carers will receive one from their Year Leader Teams. We want to give you a flavour of their work and their highlights on a termly basis too.
- Noadswood Blazer - Year 9 (click here)
- Noadswood Blazer - Year 10 (click here)
- Noadswood Blazer - Year 11 (click here)
Wishing everyone, one and all, a happy and safe festive break and I am looking forward to our ongoing adventures together in 2022.
Kathryn Marshall and the Noadswood Leadership Team