Update to Parents - 20 November 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Re: Update letter

I hope that this letter finds you and your families well. I wanted to share some updates with you around a variety of topics.

We continue to be impressed with the focus and application of students in their lessons and it has been a pleasure to celebrate student achievements through the awarding of ePraise points and subject specific ‘stars of the week’.

There have been over 170, 000 points awarded to students since September, with the top tutor groups in each year being, 7A, 8H, 9Y, 10T and 11R. Congratulations to these groups and to everyone who has received points.

Well done also to our stars of the week; Milly, Neave, Lily, Callum, Summer, Emilia, David, Hannah, Chloe, Fenton, Kian, Danielle, Maisie, Karina, Jarryd, Cameron and Zoe, who have been awarded by their subject teachers for their commitment to their studies.

Covid Measures

Face coverings are now mandatory in school when moving in communal areas. We would ask that you ensure that students come to school with a face covering each day. The government has directed schools to implement this additional measure to help reduce the risk of the virus spreading in areas such as corridors and other shared indoor spaces, other than classrooms.

Face coverings are also mandatory on school transport and we would ask that you remind students to wear one before boarding their bus and to keep it on for the duration of their journey to and from school.

We understand that there are students who are medically exempt from wearing a face covering. If your son/daughter falls into this category, please contact their Head of Year to let them know. We are asking students who are exempt to wear a yellow lanyard so that staff can easily identify those who are not required to wear a facial covering, and this will reduce the risk of them being challenged in areas that require one.

We recently had an inspection from the Health and Safety Executive to monitor and advise us about our implementation of the guidance issued to schools regarding Covid-19. I am pleased to share that this visit went well and that concerns were not raised. The visit provided us with a useful opportunity to gain insights into best practice and we are continuing to refine our processes, to ensure we are doing all we can to keep our community safe in these uncertain times.

I would like to thank school staff for all their hard work that they are doing, on top of their normal duties, in order to ensure your child’s learning and our working environments are as safe as they can be.

Year 7 - Head of Year

Mrs White, our Head of Year 7 is returning to us over the coming weeks, following a period of absence and during this time we are pleased that Mrs Farbus has agreed to support Year 7, as acting Head of Year.

Walking and cycling to and from school

We have had some messages of concern from members of our wider community regarding the care which students are taking on their way home from school. It has been brought to our attention that some students are placing themselves and others in danger by not taking the time to cross roads carefully. Reports of students not checking the road for traffic or staring at their phones with headphones in are a concern. Please do remind your son/daughter that they need to remain vigilant when near roads and to cross with care, and to use the crossing points where available.

Similar reports have been received regarding some students cycling in a way that places them at risk. These include sudden changes of direction in the road or sudden entry onto the road from paths in the surrounding area. If your child cycles to school, please do reiterate the need to cycle with care and please also encourage the wearing of a helmet. Many students do wear helmets which is great to see however there are still students who do not, and it cannot be overstated how essential these really are.

Conduct on the way to and from school

The vast majority of our students are a credit to themselves and their families and we are confident that they conduct themselves in a positive way on their way to and from school. We have however had some concerning reports that a small number of students have let themselves down by using inappropriate language on the way to or from school. This was particularly disappointing when we heard that younger students and parents at a local primary school had encountered Heathfield students swearing on their journeys past their school.

We will of course act on any information that identifies individuals, however this is unfortunately not always available. Please could I ask you to remind students of our shared expectations around their conduct and for you to also reiterate our messages encouraging the reporting of any such poor behaviour, so that we can work with parents to stop such incidents.

Assessment points

We are approaching the first main assessment point for each year group and Mr Grant will be sharing further information with you regarding this in the near future.

Year 11 Mocks

This week has seen the start of the Year 11 mock examination period and I would like to thank students for how well they have approached these important assessments. We understand that this is a particularly anxious time for students in examination year groups and for their families. The English government are currently indicating that GCSE and other formal examinations will go ahead at the end of the summer term, and we are preparing students accordingly with this in mind. We will update you with any changes to the government’s guidance in due course.

I hope this information update has been useful and I would like to wish you and your family a restful and safe weekend.

Yours sincerely

Karl Husband
Acting Head

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