5 March 2021
Parental Update - Friday 5th March
As we say goodbye to remote learning, I am sure all of us are looking towards next week as Stage 1 of removing lockdown for our country. The return to schools is very important in that government strategy, and none of us want it to fail. With that in mind, I want to start with some crucial messages to everyone about the way we approach our return to school:
- We are still “in lockdown” as a country, and this return to schools is a measured approach. We need to get it right!
- It could delay the end of lockdown if schools aren’t all careful and we don’t all play our part in making it a success. We can do that if we follow item 3.
- 3 key ways that we can all help to make sure that doesn’t happen
- Sign up for the tests - we now have test kits for families ready in school to distribute once the 3 in-school tests are completed.
- Wear your mask, in school and on public transport to and from school
- Maintain social distancing rules around school
These messages are all explained in the video that we created this week for students, to give key messages before they return. Stockport Borough Council have also written a parental letter and guidance sheet for parents which goes into further detail about the return to schools, and support they can offer.
Thank you so much for your support in ensuring your child is tested … we had over 1000 consent forms received from you, which is fantastic support. Most of our young people were tested on Thursday and Friday in our testing centre [ see pic to right ], and it all went extremely well. I know that many schools start testing on Monday, but we are very pleased that we have one test under our belts already for Years 8 to 11. There will of course be two further tests over the next fortnight.
Our main risk assessment in school is mostly unchanged from the measures in place before Christmas. School is as safe as we can make it, and we take that responsibility very seriously. Split entrances, break and lunchtime spaces and staircases for each bubble remain. The key change this time is that the government want us to enforce masks in classrooms as well as around school up to Christmas. This is to ensure that the school return is successful, and we ask you to co-operate with this please by ensuring every young person has a well fitting plain mask. This will be reviewed at Easter.
A reminder that - if any member of our school community were to test positive - we will still need to contact trace and isolate. We really want to avoid that if we can do so, and the tests realy help with that. The same communication between parents and school around positive cases will of course continue to be vital. If in doubt about any COVID-related matter, contact Mrs Rothwell, our Medical Needs Officer in school. firstname.lastname@example.org who can offer our support. A reminder that you can contact our attendance team by ringing them in school or emailing email@example.com if you have any concerns or questions.
So, school returns on Monday. Same times, full school uniform and your child will follow their normal curriculum. A full bus timetable is operating. Next week is a blue week.
A few other notes about our return to school:
- Don’t forget to top up your money for lunchtime
- Please remember that parental visits to reception and school are by invitation only at the moment, and that masks must be worn at all times when visiting.
- Year 7: if you catch an early bus on Monday, we will get you tested asap and into lessons, so don’t worry about getting on that early bus
- PE lessons. PE lessons start from Monday for year 7,8 and 9 classes. Please ensure your son/daughter has checked their timetable and has their kit ready. Students may wish to bring a black jumper to wear over their PE top if they wish. For the majority of lessons students will be outside and we will be focusing on rebuilding fitness levels as well as enjoying playing some small sided games. Sports being covered until Easter will be football, netball, badminton and some orienteering/ fitness. Miss Sloane says that she is “looking forward to having Active and enjoyable lessons back on the timetable”
- Dance lessons: students returning to dance lessons will require their kit and appropriate footwear (clean trainers, pumps or dance shoes) ready for the return of practical lessons. Miss Hibbert says that she is “looking forward to doing some dance fitness as we return to school”.
Year 11 GCSE Grading: You will no doubt have heard that the government do not intend to hold GCSE examinations this year, and that teachers will be involved in a new system. We haven’t yet had the details from the examination boards about how this will work in practice. However, we are gearing up to do that. Some key messages for Year 11 and Year 11 parents/carers:
- There is still very much a need to be in school and engaged, as we now will need to complete your GCSE teaching, test and gain evidence. Your engagement and involvement Year 11 has never been more important.
- We will hold a Year 11 virtual Parents’ Evening on Thursday 15th April.
- Stockport Secondary headteachers are currently discussing having a standard Year 11 leaving date across the borough. We need to leave sufficient time to be able to finish courses, have our internal tests with Year 11 and submit any evidence to the exam board. I will finalise that leaving date in the next few weeks. We anticipate that the GCSE evidence trail for Year 11 will finish at some stage in mid June, but we can’t confirm that yet. So watch this space and don’t book any holidays yet.
- Prom: we really don’t know if this can happen at this stage. Please don’t invest in expensive dresses or other items that you may not be able to use. Our priority at this stage is to get your GCSE grades sorted out.
Year 10. It’s easy to forget that you too have missed vital time from your GCSE courses. Your full attendance and hard work will be essential as we move forward and make sure you are GCSE ready.
Year 9 Options. Lots of excellent work going on with this at the moment, with key subject talks this week. You should have all of the information that you need for this, and Mrs Kennedy is your central point of contact in school about options. Year 9 Parents’ Evening on the 11th March is now live for parents to make appointments. Information has been sent out via edulink to parents and this is also on our website: https://wernethschool.com/events/2021-03-11-year-9-parents-evening-11th-march
And in other news ...
WORLD BOOK DAY - READING NEWS
Like everything else this year, we have had to celebrate World Book Day a little differently this week here at Werneth. We have had to come up with some unusual and creative ways to celebrate. Here are just a few…
1. Masked Reader: Members of staff have been reading their favourite texts aloud to you from behind a mask. We have been asking the pupils to see if they can identify the staff member behind the mask, for the chance to win prizes!
2. Re-create a Famous Book Cover: Pupils from years 7 and 8 have been asked to use any materials at their disposal to re-create their favourite book cover. All entries must be sent to the English team via firstname.lastname@example.org and be submitted before the 15th March to be in with a chance of winning some prizes.
3. The Werneth School Virtual Library: We have recently launched our virtual library. Here you will find free books to read and listen to while you are learning from home and even when you return back to school. You can browse the library shelves and click on the book you would like to read. The library will regularly be updated with new books throughout the year. Here is the link - Click here
Thank you all for your involvement and Happy World Book Day from us all here at Werneth.
Book Tokens: The lovely people at the World Book Day Association have shared their £1 book tokens digitally this year - https://www.worldbookday.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/booktoken_SecondaryUK.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0cmlBBeyAk4t5JIKzOw07us29UlSR5sSzUO-WhAR-VDWeY-A_Rb3NhFdc
We will also be handing out physical copies to pupils when they return.
“Omegle” app: It has come to our attention in Stockport that a number of our young people are using a free online chat service called "Omegle". Omegle is a free online chat service which pairs random strangers into an online video call or text conversation, without the need to register or create an account. According to Omegle, the service is a great way to meet new friends while staying safe and anonymous, but openly admits that ‘predators have been known to use Omegle’.
We would strongly advise parents and careers to deter their child from using this chat service as there is evidence of increasingly sexually explicit content on the site and young people being targeted by online predators. The NOS (National Online Safety) have put together a really helpful parent guide giving some excellent tips on how to help your child stay safe whilst using this site. It is here. If you have any questions or concerns about Omegle then please do not hesitate to contact our safeguarding lead Ms Jo Dee on or your child's YAL or YIM.
Posted by cmurphy
Category: Parental Update