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Headteachers Letter 13 January 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

What a beautiful week – and long may these sunny days and blue skies reign! We are now fully back into the swing of things with one parent and teacher consultation (PTC) (Year 11), and a university visit already completed – with the Year 13 PTC, next Thursday 20 January. Extra-curricular activities have also resumed and this includes our fantastic Extra-Time programme as well. The GAP revision programme is also underway for our year 11s and I ask that parents and carers of students in year 11 look out for further communication on this next week, including a summary of the various lunchtime and afterschool booster sessions that are planned in the weeks and months ahead.

RSE Consultation

A school’s relationships and sex education programme is one of the most carefully planned and sensitively delivered parts of the curriculum. RSE includes a wide variety of topics, including mental and physical health and digital literacy – with the aim of building character and resilience amongst our students for the present and the future. Some of the core elements are delivered through the Active Tutorial programme with tutors, but also in some science lessons. There are also less formal connections in subjects like health and social care, philosophy and ethics, sociology, psychology, or even English, history and art. Like all schools, we think carefully about what is delivered, but also when and how it is delivered.

Next week you will receive a letter from Ms Skill (Head of Character Education). She and others have been updating our RSE curriculum and programme. They are ready to share this with you and consult you on its content, timing and delivery.

The consultation will include an opportunity to provide anonymous feedback via a Google Form (survey), or to have a conversation with one of my colleagues in the weeks ahead. We would like as many responses as possible as to better understand our community’s perspective on this integral part of our curriculum.

Vaccination Programme Update

Starting with the vaccination programme for 12-15 year olds, all students in years 8 to 11 (only) will be offered the opportunity to have their first or second vaccination. The school age immunisation service (SIAS) will be sending out information and consent forms to families next week. Our school nurse, Beth Llewellyn, is happy to answer any question if you email her directly on [email protected].

In the meantime, parents and carers are able to book out of school vaccinations, if aged 12 or over, through the NHS booking system. This includes 12 year olds who are in year 7.

The benefits of the vaccine are summarised by the Department for Education as follows:

  • “It is estimated that a 60% vaccine uptake among healthy 12 to 15 year olds will reduce confirmed cases of COVID-19 in this group in the period up to 31 March 2022 by 33%. This equates to a reduction of 110,000 school days absent in this age group due to confirmed COVID-19 cases.”
  • “Research shows that those who do become infected 3 weeks after receiving one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or AstraZeneca vaccine are between 38% and 49% less likely to pass the virus on to their household contacts than those who are unvaccinated.”

Please take a look at: ‘COVID-19 vaccination: resources for schools and parents’ – for further information and resources on the vaccination programme.

Meanwhile, please continue with twice-weekly home testing followed by uploading your results to our Google Form.

I wish you all a lovely weekend!

Yours faithfully
Barry Doherty

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