13 November 2020

Some key information to update you with today, covering a wide range of topics ….


Included here: Anti-Bullying week;  Beacon Counselling Service; Year 11 mock examinations and special arrangements; Remote Learning; Parental Contact for Home Learning; online Parents’ Consultation Events; Year 7 library visits; up-to-date contact details for parents; Year 7 flu vaccinations 



As parents and carers, we all want our children to be happy and safe and it is natural to worry about bullying - particularly if we have experienced bullying ourselves, or we think our child may be more vulnerable to bullying. The good news is you are not alone! The Anti-Bullying Alliance and its members are here to work with children, families and schools to help keep children safe. Every November schools throughout the United Kingdom take part in Anti-Bullying Week. This is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on bullying and consider the steps we can take together to stop it. Anti-Bullying Week 2020 is taking place from Monday 16th to Friday 20th November this year and it has the theme ‘United Against Bullying’. As a parent or carer, you are a vital piece of the puzzle in tackling bullying. You have a unique role to play in guiding and supporting your child through their school years and there are lots of positive steps you can take to help keep your child safe from bullying and harm. One of the steps is knowing when to ask for support. Please see the link below, which includes details of organisations like Kidscape who can help. The linked tool was written by Kidscape and designed to give you information about bullying, tips about what to do if you’re worried about bullying, and the tools to help you talk to your children about bullying.  



A letter to parents and carers from the BEACON COUNSELLING SERVICE:  You may be aware that Beacon Counselling works within your school offering a counselling service to support pupils. COVID-19 is impacting everyone, and there has been a large increase in children and young people needing support with their mental health and well-being. We know you will be aware of the impact the pandemic is having on your children, and I am sure you will appreciate that your school is keen to provide support to any child who needs it. Beacon are working with schools every week and we have developed measures to ensure that should your school setting be closed or your child has to remain at home due to self-isolation, then they can continue to receive support from Beacon. This can be organised with little support required from the school to facilitate the remote support. The options available are: 

1. Continued support: any young person currently having sessions with Beacon in your school will receive a consent form this week. They will decide if they wish to continue via remote sessions should the school close or they have to self-isolate. If they agree to remote sessions the Beacon Counsellor will discuss with them the best possible method, this will either be online (Zoom or Teams) or on the phone. 

2. Pause support: The young person decides they do not wish to continue via remote sessions they will continue appointments at school when possible. They will not lose their place with their Beacon Counsellor. 

3. Waiting List: If a young person is waiting for assessment the counsellor may contact them remotely to do this 
At Beacon we have seen first-hand the impact the pandemic is having on mental health on our community and therefore we would like to ensure that in any given situation we are able to provide the best support for the children in your school community. 


Year 11 Mock Examinations.  Although GCSE examinations are currently still scheduled for the summer, we need to prepare for a possibility that they may not go ahead and therefore teacher assessments are more crucial than ever.  A significant milestone for our Year 11s is therefore the GCSE Mock Examinations which are taking place very soon.  They start on Monday 23rd November, and run through until 11th December.  Our Year 11s did not have the opportunity to sit examinations under exam conditions in the exam hall last year, so this opportunity is vital.  It presents us of course with additional challenges this year around the COVID situation and therefore we are creating a new set of “COVID rules” for Year 11 around this 3 week period.  Year 11 parents/carers will receive a letter next week from Mrs Foy, Deputy Headteacher, outlining these special arrangements for the three week period.  Year 11s should be preparing for these examinations - they will be important further down the track!  It was good to see so many of you attending Revision Sessions this week.  

All Year 11 students have been provided with a mock examination timetable, and emails have been sent to all parents with a link.  Year 11 students who are isolating at the start of the mock examinations will have an alternative timetable produced. 


Other school matters:

  • Well done to Clara Wilson (year 11) who - whilst isolated - recorded a performance of The Last Post. This was then used as part of our Remembrance assemblies during form times this week.  The school also held an impeccable 2 minutes silence at 11am on Wednesday to remember our war heroes.
  •  Just before half term, the Manchester United Foundation awarded Year 11 students a free pair of Adidas football boots each, for students who achieved their target grade or higher in a recent PE Theory exam, Well done to the students involved!
  •   Please have a look at the section on our website about Supporting your child to attend through lockdown https://www.wernethschool.com/parents/attendance
  • Our Senior Student team have put together a blog to introduce themselves, and to highlight some of their forthcoming work in school.  https://wernethschool.com/blog/2020-11-13-12-07-13-werneth-leadership-academy-blog-13-11
  • In the North West, headteachers expect that the remainder of term will continue to be a challenge in terms of isolated COVID cases that impact on children then being sent home.  A reminder: if your child isolates as part of a group you will be following our Remote Learning package through the Google Classroom.  However, if your child isolates alone, the package that we offer is more complex and tailored to the individual child.  If you are unsure about any part of the Remote Learning work, or wish for work to be organised for your isolating child, first point of contact is our newly appointed Remote Learning Coordinator Mrs Smith: contact her on kersty.smith@wernethschool.com if you need any support.
  • Reminder of central contact for COVID issues: Medical Needs Officer Mrs Rothwell -  megan.rothwell@wernethschool.com
  • With no immediate end in sight to COVID - though the vaccines look hopeful! - we are concerned that we haven’t been able to offer Parents’ Consultation Evenings in school.  We have been researching online packages, and we are investing in one that looks really good.  It books parents a 5 minute virtual call - similar to Zoom - with teachers, and you are automatically connected for the booked period.  We are currently setting this up, and we hope therefore that we can start to reorganise our Parents Evenings very soon using this device.
  • The library is now open again on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes to year 7s. We have activities and competitions, a quiet reading corner and the laptops are available for homework. The year 7 students will have their lunch in their own bubble and then be escorted upstairs to the library so that all guidelines are followed regarding social distancing.
  • With the possibility of school having to send students home at short notice due to COVID, it is vital that we have up-to-date contact details for your child.  Please ensure that we have 2 current phone numbers/contacts and an up-to-date address.   Details can be updated via Edulink or by contacting the school office directly.
  • Year 7 nasal flu vaccinations will take place on Thursday 10th December by Intrahealth.  An E-consent form was emailed via Edulink to parents/carers this week. Please complete this asap - the link will close on 27th November 2020.

Enjoy your weekend!



Posted by cmurphy

Category: Headteacher's Blog