Headteacher's Weekly Message
Dear Parents and Carers,
It is astonishing to consider that this is my end of year letter, when we have not had all of our students in schools since March 20th. It truly has been an extraordinary year for our school, with the whole of our final term, including the end of our spring term, being taught at home, rather than here at school.
Whilst our final week is usually filled with events and activities, showcasing and rewarding our students’ talents, including sports day and the Summer Concert, this year is very different. It has been a somewhat muted end to the year knowing that our Year 11 students were unable to finish their last year of secondary school with their Leavers’ Day and Prom, and without the excitement of other year groups on the final Friday, leaving for their summer breaks. However, it was so good to see Year 11 come back to school yesterday to return their text books. We also saw a range of hair colours and facial piercings - signalling the end of their time with us at WSfG.
We have continued to teach our Year 10 students, who have been coming into school for lessons since half term, we have run a busy and happy keyworker children group, as well as offering catch up time for students who have not been accessing any of the work set. In addition to that, we were very pleased to offer classrooms in school to enable all of St Mary’s Primary School Year 6 and some of their Year 5 students to continue with their education on our school site - whilst maintaining safe social distancing.
It has, without a doubt, been a most challenging time for schools, students and their parents - and a very sad time for many.
But these challenges have led to outcomes to make us proud and are reflected in our GREEN values of Growth, Resilience, Energy, Empathy and Newness. Our teachers and students have adapted to this new world of remote teaching and learning, and we are continuing to strengthen this, so that should there be another lockdown, our remote provision will be of an even higher standard.
Our 1:1 device programme in the lower years, and focus on harnessing skills to enable independent learning, were both in place at our school prior to the pandemic. In many ways, this has aided the transition we all had to make in March. We moved to the Microsoft Office 365 platform in September which enabled us all to communicate via Teams, as well as share resources and student assignments.
Whilst staff will be in school for training during the first week of September, students will not be expected back until the week beginning September 7th. There will be further information issued separately detailing the start of the new academic year, in addition to information regarding the timetable and organisational adaptations we have had to make following government guidance just issued. Please expect this information pertaining to your child’s year group nearer to the start of term.
We will also have temporary classrooms on site due to building works on the roof of one of our teaching blocks so one year group ‘bubble’ will be accommodated in this new block.
In this week's Greensheet, you will see information from Transport for London. Given capacity limitations on local buses, it is important that you plan with your daughter her journey to and from school. The local authority is encouraging school students to make the journey either by foot or bicycle and have asked parents/carers and students to fill out this survey, so they are aware of the typical transport and routes used by students. Some parents/carers have reported difficulties accessing the survey, which we have reported to the authority. If you cannot access the survey, please try on a different device should you have one.
Waltham Forest is also offering support to those who want to travel around the borough by bike with cycle skills training. Should you wish to purchase a bike for your child, there is an interest free monthly repayment ‘try before you bike’ scheme, which can be found here.
Finally, on behalf of all our staff and the Governing Body, I wish you and your families a safe and healthy summer break and look forward to seeing your child back in school with us in September.
Ms M Davies
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