END OF HALF-TERM LETTER

END OF HALF-TERM LETTER

 

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope that this letter finds you and your families well, I am writing to share some information with you as the first half term draws to a close.

We have enjoyed having our students back with us since September and are proud of how our community has worked to reconnect relationships and returned to in person learning whilst adapting to what seems, for now at least to be our ’new normal’. It has been pleasing to see students back in classrooms and also engaging in a range of extra-curricular activities which we hope will become a greater feature for students over the coming months.

Heathfield students have entered a regional visual arts competition and we would like to celebrate Ben, 1st in the Photography category, Mychael, 1st and Grace, 2nd in the 2-Dimensional category and Tilly, 3rd in the 3-Dimensional category. They beat off stiff competition from schools and colleges from across the south west. Well done to all who entered. Pictures of the students’ work will be uploaded to our Facebook site.

Well done to all our students involved in the Duke of Edinburgh walks and training activities that have happened this half term. We were also happy that we could provide a version of our annual year 7 trips to the Pinkery outdoor centre on Exmoor, where year 7s have a chance to strengthen their tutor group friendships whilst taking part in a range of outdoor activities. These were a great success and the memories made will last a lifetime.

The Princes Trust group have also been busy making Perspex screens for desks that will help to keep people safe and have also made some smaller portable ones too. This is a really valuable enterprise activity that involves budgeting, planning and creating a new product that is very much appreciated by the people using them. Well done to all involved.

Well done to our stars of the week from this half term, it’s a real joy each week to see the students receive their certificates and to see them gain the recognition they deserve for their hard work. Photos of the winners are on our Facebook site.

Below you will find some further information on a range of topics, which I hope you will find useful.

Video showcase

Look out on Facebook and our website for a video showcase which celebrates some of the fantastic work produced by a range of our hardworking and talented students. The video showcases were popular during lockdown as a way of highlighting great work and we will create one each half term.

Reading

Reading continues to be one of the key activities undertaken in year 7 and 8 tutor times and has been proved time again to have broader beneficial impacts beyond the content of the book itself. Year 11 tutor groups are reading Charles Dickens’ classic book ‘a Christmas Carol’ which as well as being an excellent book, has the added benefit of being one of the set texts for the English GCSE examination.

New staff

We have been busy recruiting additional staff this half term and are pleased to say that we have made several very pleasing appointments. These include 4 additional learning support staff, a member of the site team, 2 Maths teachers and a SENCO. These new colleagues will further strengthen our team and will enable us to provide your child with additional support and learning opportunities. These staff will all have started with us by January 2021.

Uniform

Following the half term break we will be moving to winter uniform which means that students in years 7, 8 and 9 will need to wear shirt and tie rather than the school polo shirt. Years 10 and 11 can continue to wear the Heathfield polo shirts. Thank you for your support with uniform this half term, students are looking very smart.

Covid -19

On our return to school after the half term break, we would ask that students wear a face covering when moving around school within indoor communal areas. We will be asking staff to take the same precautions. We do understand that there are some members of our community who cannot wear a face covering and we would of course not force them to wear one.

We would recommend that students come to school with a warm waterproof coat, preferably with a hood, as the weather will no doubt become colder and wetter over the coming weeks. We will be prioritising ventilation in classrooms which may make them cooler than normal, as a result teachers are likely to allow the wearing of coats inside classrooms at appropriate times. Outside line ups, before entering classrooms will also be more comfortable if your child is wearing a warm coat.

Reporting a positive Covid-19 test result

With school reception closing for half term we would like to share a means of reporting a positive Covid -19 test result within our school community during half term. We have launched a new email address that we would like to share with you. Please email details of any student positive test results to:

ConfirmedCovid@Heathfieldcommunityschool.co.uk

Please only email this address if your child has a positive test result. The senior leadership team will monitor this email throughout the holiday. There are key pieces of information that we would need to share with our colleagues at Public Health, which they use to advise us on the appropriate course of action. We would then contact you to gain this relevant information.

Remote learning

Unfortunately, we do have a number of students who cannot attend school currently due to isolating as a precaution following close contact with a person who has had a positive Covid test result. We miss our Year 11s and the students isolating in other years and look forward to welcoming you all back soon.

Isolating students are supported to continue their learning remotely using one of our online platforms. Years 7,8 and 9 are currently using ePraise and Years 10 and 11 are using Microsoft Teams as their learning environment. The provision of high-quality remote learning is a priority for us and if your child has been isolating, we would like to hear your feedback on their experiences of remote learning so that we can continue to refine our provision.

The link to the feedback survey is here: 

Click here to access the feedback survey

I feel as a school community, we should all reflect with pride upon what has been achieved since our return to school in September. We are still very much learning and working in unprecedented times with challenges to families and schools which no one could have predicted, however between us we will ensure that our young people are supported and can enjoy as much normality and routine as possible.

We have been so impressed by how the whole school community has supported each other during this period and do not take this for granted. Together, we will overcome the challenges that lay ahead, and in the meantime, we send our best wishes to students and colleagues who are away from school unwell for whatever reason and wish them all a speedy recovery.

Thank you also to the students and staff currently isolating, who in doing so, are helping keep our school and wider communities safe.

Wishing you and your families a restful and safe half term break.

Yours sincerely

Karl Husband
 Acting Head

 

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