25 September 2020

Headteacher blog, 25/09/20


This week:

Coronavirus update; remote learning; year 7 and 10 photographs; post 16 options video; year 8 vaccinations; parents’ consultation evenings; jobs on our website


In a week when the country commences enhanced precautions against Coronavirus, schools carry on with the business of educating young people.  We have had four secondary schools in Stockport with year groups isolating this week in a pattern that is repeating itself across the country, and we are prepared for this to be a possibility for the weeks and months ahead.  I was very pleased with the way school responded to our positive case this week, and I was impressed with the immediate support and response we received from the medical professionals at the NHS to allow us to make the quick - and correct - decisions.  Thank you for the support from you as parents too - we appreciate your positive messages.


One of the learning points from this virus has been our ability to use technology in a new way that enhances communication.  This week I created a video for our students aimed at reminding them of the need to wear a mask around school, on the way home and on school buses.  It’s a message we keep on giving!


I was disappointed with a social media post this week showing a crowded corridor at Werneth during lesson changeover, and some very incorrect assumptions made by some people based on that post.  I felt no need to defend our school procedures. However, to clarify …  we have 1200 people in our building every day and corridors can be crowded at key changeover points.   Our staff manage that every hour of every day, and manage it well.  Our risk assessment more than conforms with the government requirements about movement around school.  When students are moving around school in mixed “bubbles”, that’s why they wear their masks.  We have given out 3500 masks to our young people so far this term as they arrive at school every morning.  Everything we do in school starts with minimising the risk, and we are doing that well every day.  It saddens me that a small number of people assume we aren’t.  Equally thanks to the vast majority of parents and carers who continue to be massively supportive.  I am proud of all of our staff and students who are focused on keeping education at the forefront for our young people.


At this time, I think going out of our way to help each other is so important: it was great this week to hear of positive messages from members of the public with regard to the kind actions of our students …. Congratulations to Aiden in Year 11 who  - with a calm head - went out of his way to help a lady catch her runaway puppy in Romiley on his way to school.  Also to Imogen in Year 8 who noticed an elderly gentleman struggling to carry some shopping and went out of her way to carry it home for him.  We really are privileged to have so many lovely young people here at Werneth School.  I caught up with them both this week to thank them for their kind actions.


Remote Learning

In the weeks and months ahead, it has never been more important for a school to have a set of learning resources ready to support students who need to work at home for whatever reason.  At Werneth School, we are working hard with every Subject Leader to create a bank of resources using Google Classroom.   These will be activated for any child who is forced to work from home. For those students who are working from home as part of a bubble, there will be lessons provided from Monday 28th September where students will be able to interact with their teachers during their timetabled lessons through Google Classroom.  That applies to our 80 students in Year 7 who are currently isolating.

There is a new section on our school website for Remote Learning under the “Key Information” tab.  It would be really useful for parents to understand how Google Classroom works, to enable your child to be set up to use it at home.  So we have created a video - hosted by our own Mr Liffen - to enable that. 


If you don’t have access to technology from home, we will send out workpacks instead, should the need arise.  We will also organise free school meals vouchers in the event of isolation.


Year 7 and Year 10 Photographs - Tuesday 29th September

Y7 and Y10 Individual portrait photographs will be taken on Tuesday morning. Full school uniform must be worn please.  Social distancing will be observed.

Students in 7W, 7E, 7R and 7N will be taken at a later date (to be confirmed)

Students will be issued with a ticket with a unique QR code to take home to parents/carers.  Parents/carers will be notified when images are available to view via the parent portal.   School will no longer be issued with proofs - photographs can be viewed/ordered online.   Our annual group photograph for Year 11 is postponed until it becomes possible.


Post-16 Information - Parents of Year 10 and Year 11 particularly

As we weren’t able to host a live event this week, we have a wealth of material on the website with regards to college open days, what an apprenticeship is and future pathways. Please take a look with your child at all of the information available to help inform them of their next steps.  Understanding your future pathway has never been more important in these challenging times...



Wednesday 30th September - HPV Vaccinations - Y8 boys

Thursday 1st October - HPV vaccinations - Y8 girls

Please return your child's signed Consent Forms, if you have not already done so.


Parents’ Consultation Evenings

We are acutely aware of the need for a whole variety of parental meetings - our new Year 7 parents, new Year 8 ( who didn’t get a Year 7 parents’ evening during lockdown ) and our Year 11s are the top priority.  Obviously we can’t host any at the moment and that’s likely to be the case for at least the first half of the academic year, but we will be working across the secondary schools to look at ways that we can make it happen when we can.  More to come.


Finally, we do have a number of jobs advertised or about to be advertised.  Keep an eye on our vacancies section on the website.  Remote Learning Co-ordinator, Learning Support Assistant and Reprographics Technician.


Have a good, safe weekend!



Posted by cmurphy

Category: Headteacher's Blog