This update covers:
- Ben Pavitt’s Legacy of Love Fund
- Fundraising cycle ride by three Noadswood students
- Drop offs and pick ups (safety concerns)
- Community concerns
- Some highlights from your children: Noadswood family members present and past
- Covid update
- My thanks to all students and colleagues
Ben Pavitt’s Legacy of Love Fund
This update begins with my sharing with you all formally our heartfelt sorrow at the passing away on 8 October 2021 of former Noadswood student, the truly remarkable and greatly loved Ben Pavitt, following a relapse of his acute T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoblastic lymphoma, aged 16. All our thoughts, love and condolences are with his family and friends – Ben is someone I and we will never forget, embodying as he did the very best of values and approach to everything in his life. As a school, we have begun to consider a host of ways that Ben’s legacy will live on in our school, and there will be more to follow in this respect over the days and months ahead.
But for now, our priority is to support the wishes of Ben and his parents and sister. They have all raised funds in the past for paediatric ICU at Southampton University Hospital and for the Piam Brown children’s cancer ward. However, one of Ben’s dying wishes was that donations would be made to CCLG, which is Piam Brown’s nominated research charity.
The family are also continuing to raise funds for Teenage Cancer Trust (now up to £12,000 for their November push up challenge) but are hoping that community members may feel minded to donate to Ben Pavitt's Legacy of Love Fund at CCLG to fund research into all children's cancers. The link is below where you can read more and make donations (click here):
We also have a ‘wear something different’ day coming up on Friday 22nd October this week, students’ and staff’s donations from which will go to Ben’s Legacy of Love Fund – Ben had a good line in terrific shirts, and so I know he would have enjoyed this day.
Please say to your children there is no pressure to wear full ‘mufti’ – we know this is a stress for some people. Why not say to them to wear one item of something different within their uniform, whilst making a £1 donation to one of the best causes ever? Or maybe they’d like to wear uniform as usual and still donate, or they could be one of those people who love a mufti day in every way – all approaches are fine with us. Donating to Ben’s fund, thinking of him and his family in our hearts and minds and having a good day as we go into the half term break is what it is all about.
Donations can be made on Scopay or by dropping a £1 into a bucket on arrival at school on Friday, and we will all be donating as staff, too, thinking of Ben and his family every minute.
Ben’s funeral will take place on Monday November 1st (the day before we return from the half term break on Tuesday November 2nd) at 12 noon at St Andrews Church. Ben’s family, along with Reverend Peter Toller, have extended a warm invitation to colleagues and students alike to attend to remember Ben and to offer comfort and sympathy to his family and friends at this time. Should you have any ideas or thoughts with respect to Ben’s legacy at Noadswood, do contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fundraising Cycle Ride by three Noadswood students – Saturday 23rd October 2021
I am blown away by the energies and enthusiasm of members of our Noadswood family every day, none more so than by the three students, supported by parents, who will be cycling from our school to Sandbanks on Saturday 23rd October, raising money to improve our school bikeshed provision.
Cameron, Leo and Luca have a funding goal of £5000 to enable us to put a roof on the bike compound, to look after the bikes far better, and, as the boys put it themselves, to prevent cyclists arriving to their bikes at the end of a rainy day only to finish up with a ‘wet bum’! 😊
If you would like to donate to this cause, the Just Giving page the boys have created is below (click here):
We will also be supporting this incredible fundraising idea with our own crowd funding in school in other ways as the year goes on, as well as involving the children and families in the planning for the improvements to the bike compound. I am so proud of these students’ initiative and care for our school site and community, and thankful for the commitment of parents, too - I know the Noadswood family will get behind their efforts.
Drop offs and pick ups: safety concerns:
As every year, we continue to be concerned about the number of cars and sheer volume of vehicles at the crossroads by Nash road, Noads Way and Water Lane. A community member wrote to us today expressing what many of us are scared about when he says, ‘I honestly think there will be an accident soon.’
We understand that some students do little to help the situation by cycling around without due respect for their safety, drivers’ safety and for the roads as a whole, and we acknowledge we need to continue to think creatively about changing the attitudes of some of our young cyclists in this crucial respect.
But if, as drivers, we could pull together to consider dropping off and picking up a little further away from the schools – our own and Orchard Juniors and Infants – it would alleviate some of the undue pressure on these roads. Perhaps you could give that some thought over the break? When we had the staggered exit times around the lockdowns, we did see a benefit in this respect out on the roads – it would be really great to do so again.
Meantime, when I speak next to my headteacher colleagues at Orchard Juniors and Infants, I will discuss with them, as we have done so before, continuing to campaign for some measures on these roads to make them safer for your children.
We often reach out on social media for community members to let us know whenever any members of our school don’t uphold the values we all believe in and the expectations we have for them and for each other when they are out and about or online.
I am very grateful indeed for those people who drop us an email at email@example.com and we follow up every single time this happens. As a leadership team, we head out to any parts of the community where any students haven’t been getting it right, or we head down to Tesco, and we liaise with the PCSOs to work in partnership with them. If the young people concerned don’t belong to our school, we share the info with our friends in other schools but we are never complacent: we know that sometimes a minority of our students get it wrong just the same as some do in the other schools. We are all in this together in the interests of our whole community – keep the information coming directly to the info@ email address.
And if you notice something online that isn’t right, whether it directly involves your child or not, again please let us know. Your intel is vital in keeping our young people safe and healthy online and we will not give you the ‘brush off’ that we won’t be on to it because it didn’t happen within the school day. You can contact your child’s Year Leader team about something like this, or Assistant Head, Helen Loveday or myself at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can guarantee that every day, someone is struggling with something online – let’s do our all for it not to go unnoticed or become normalised for them.
Some highlights: Noadswood family members, present and past.
It’s been a joy to meet many Year 7s throughout this half term, who’ve been nominated by their tutors for how well they have adjusted to secondary school life in these most challenging of times. Today, I met the 5 children you see below, who entertained me so much with their hobbies, passions and celebrity encounters that I didn’t have time to discuss their pets with them, something I usually do like to get to! I hope you know I am extremely proud of every child who has been nominated, as I am of the whole year group for the start they have made, as much as I am of all our returning students, doing so well in this Autumn Term that feels so much more ‘normal’ than when we were all trapped in zones this time last year.
We enjoyed discussing their successes out of school as well as within, something I love to do, to share in their achievements right across this community of ours. If you would like to have us celebrate successes of this sort with your child, just drop your child’s year leader and me an ePraise or an email – we love to hear about it so much.
A fine example is the achievement of Lucy, in Year 11, who competed in the British nationals in the Hampshire Academy Teams during the summer break, and also in the Junior New Forest pony team at the nationals which they went on to win, so she has been a member of the national show jumping riding club junior champions. What a superstar and role model to others, like so many of your children. Why not celebrate your children’s achievements with us – just drop us a line. It can be all too easy to focus on what goes wrong, but when literally tens and tens of things go right every day because of the efforts our young people make, I reckon we owe it to them to unashamedly shout about it.
Finally for this letter, we heard today a fantastic update about former student, Kimi Barnes and her ongoing success in Taekwondo.
We learnt the incredible news that Kimi now has her sights set on the 2024 Olympics in Paris after being selected for the GB squad. In the newspaper article celebrating her progress, Kimi is quoted as saying, ‘I am hoping to gain experience and improve my taekwondo skills by training with the senior GB Squad, including double Olympic champion Jade Jones.’ We believe you will do it, Kimi – we remember you so fondly and we salute your ongoing success!
Our continued thanks to everyone for making brilliant use of our email@example.com email address that David Crowley, Helen Loveday and I sit behind. We know how hard all of you are trying to follow the guidance as best you can. We know the efforts you make to work with us openheartedly when your children present any symptoms that could be Covid, as well as supporting us by ensuring twice weekly LFD testing and the inevitable PCRs that then have to follow when there is a positive LFD. We’re particularly grateful for those students and colleagues who have tested daily when there has been Covid within a household or a particular group of students.
Please do keep the information and the queries coming as you do so we can continue to work through this together as openly as always we have, and always in partnership. I know we are all doing our utmost in these respects.
We continue to review case numbers every week, in liaison with the DfE and Public Health England when we need to, and will share with you should we need to adjust our Covid contingency measures. We liaise regularly with other local schools, and we all continue to share and learn from each others’ experiences and efforts.
Today, we hosted the local immunisation team for those children for whom consent had been given for them to receive the Covid 19 vaccination. I would like to thank them all for the way they conducted themselves today, as well as Nicci Dossett, Matthew Hewitt, David Crowley and Helen Loveday who worked tirelessly throughout the day managing the logistics. I would particularly like to pay tribute to our parent volunteers who also supported us today – you guys are incredible! As all schools have experienced, it has proved difficult for the immunisation team to administer the vaccines for an entire community of those for whom consent has been given in one day….
Unfortunately the health care team carrying out our vaccinations did not have the resources or capacity yesterday to complete the whole programme in the time they allotted for us, and as such Year 10 did not receive their Covid vaccinations. We will hold onto the consent forms you have provided and will let you know as soon as the NHS team provides us with a new date for the Year 10 group to receive their vaccination. We have been informed that there will also be walk in sessions, running at Oakley Road vaccination centre, Southampton during half term (25th October 2021 - 31st October 2021 between 10am and 6pm). Oakley Road will be sending out information directly to schools on how to book an appointment and we'll pass this on as soon as it is received. We'll also update you as soon as we're informed about further sessions being held at Noadswood. If you have any questions about this, please direct them to the NHS team via: firstname.lastname@example.org
My thanks to all students and colleagues:
I want to end this letter by thanking the entire Noadswood family for their support and partnership this half term in all they have done in their learning, in our clubs, in their support of our values and in their team spirit. We have flung open our doors for some six Open Mornings and an Open Evening, during which our prefects and student leaders have done us proud as tour guides and speakers, but all of that would come to nothing if the rest of the school didn’t give of its best – they all should be extremely proud of their efforts on those days and on all days. These remain difficult times, don’t they, but we remain steadfastly proud of all the good days and first class moments we have, making us only more committed to getting it right, together, when something goes wrong.
I wish every student and colleague a super and much deserved half term break when we get there, thanking as I do so those colleagues who will work throughout that week, too. I am grateful to one and all.
All our best,
Kathryn Marshall and the Noadswood Leadership Team