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Headteachers Letter 18 February 2022

Dear Parents and Carers

Welcome to my final letter of the term, as we all head into a well-earned rest…

Book Week at CNS

Wouldn’t it be great if every student at CNS read for at least 4 or 5 hours each week? If your son or daughter is in key stages 3 or 4 then this is already happening (!) because we start every lesson with a period of silent reading. Reading thought-provoking and challenging articles is also part of our tutorial programme as teachers are increasing the frequency with which students are exposed to extended reading activities as well.

Meanwhile, throughout the first week back we will be building up to World Book Day (Thursday 3 March). There will be online videos with authors; a visit, talks and creative writing workshops from bestselling author Christopher Edge; and a book treasure hunt. To coincide with World Book Day (Thursday 3 March) we shall also be having a non-uniform day to support Chippy Theatre, with students (and staff) invited to dress up as a character from a favourite book. On the same day, there will be a chocolate coated ‘pass it on’ book event – plus a book quiz event between all of the RLT secondary schools.

Exam Guidance

I am sure you are aware that whilst this year’s examinations are going ahead as planned, there are a number of temporary adjustments in place to acknowledge the fact that this year’s national cohorts have experienced the worst disruption in living memory. Back in October, we received confirmation of a more generous grading system and advance information for GCSE English literature, art, history and geography and A level art. Earlier this month, all schools were also provided with advance information for all other courses. Mr Trainer will be contacting all year 11 and 13 families about this today, whilst teachers have already begun the valuable process of amending plans and focussing on the key areas for the summer examinations.

Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) Consultation on SEND Provision

All parents, carers and young people are invited to take part in OCC’s consultation on the support given to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The link to the consultation is here and submissions are welcomed up to 10 March 2022.

Alongside our RLT partners, we have been meeting to discuss the consultation and to submit our collected responses. We very much welcome this consultation and encourage you to participate, particularly if you have children with special educational needs or disabilities.

We recognise the consultation is more about principles than detail and as such, you may wish to include in your responses not just your view of the proposed principles but also some suggestions as to what these principles might deliver in practical terms and how this might be done – if you have views on this. My colleagues and I are equally happy to arrange conversations with you about those principles within the consultation, and then feed that back on your behalf.

Vaccinations at Walk-In Centres

Apologies on behalf of the vaccination team who were due on site today. Once they have set a new date we shall share that with you.  Nevertheless, you will be aware that you are able to book your own vaccinations at one of the walk-in centres in the county. Please follow this link for: first and second doses if aged 12 years old and over; boosters if aged 16 years old and over; third doses and boosters (4th doses) for those with a severely weakened immune system; first and second doses for at-risk children aged 5 to 11; and boosters for at-risk young people aged 12 to 15.

RLT Trust Member Vacancy

The River Learning Trust is seeking to appoint a new Member. The Members normally meet once or twice a year, and spend time throughout the year reviewing the work of the RLT Board and developing an understanding of all aspects of the work of the Trust.  They are supported by the Trust’s Head of Governance and Compliance (Louise Askew). If you are interested in applying for this role please contact Louise Askew, Head of Governance and Compliance, by email, or telephone 07970 678962, for further details. Alternatively, you can review the RLT’s website and download an information pack from the recruitment page.

And finally, today we say farewell to two wonderful colleagues: Mrs Hargrave and Mr Jarvis. Mrs Hargrave, pastoral leader, is very well known to our year 11s, whereas Mr Jarvis is well known to just about everyone in his role as cover supervisor and coach! On behalf of students and colleagues, we wish them both great happiness in their next adventures. Meanwhile, we welcome back Dr Pattison from her maternity leave after half term and know her tutees and classes will be really pleased to see her again.

That is it for another term. School opens as normal for all on Monday 28 February. Take care and have a lovely break.

Yours faithfully
Barry Doherty

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