Headteacher's Weekly Message
Monday 15th November 2021
Dear Parents and Carers
Headteacher's Message Dear Parents, Carers and Students I hope you and your families had a restful half-term and are keeping well. Although last half-term was very busy, we have found it rewarding to be able to teach with fewer COVID restrictions, as well as being able to run educational visits, extra-curricular activities and host visitors. I hope your daughter continues to enjoy all of these opportunities so that we can ‘bring out the gift’ in each one of our students.
Yesterday we held the traditional minute’s silence to commemorate those who have died during the First World War and in conflicts around the world. Thanks to our Global Alliance group, students have been exploring the role of Black Africans and soldiers from the Punjab who made significant contributions to the First World War on behalf of Britain. There are some links below, including an interview with David Lammy, which shows how their contribution has been sidelined in favour of white European soldiers. Rather than allowing their stories to be erased, we need to ask questions about this lack of recognition and learn from this in our lifetime. We will remember them.
Thank you for your continued support in ensuring that your daughter brings a clean mask to school each day. The use of masks and our one way system have helped to keep infection rates low, but I would encourage you to remain vigilant in the following ways:
• Ensure that your daughter tests using the lateral flow tests twice per week – testing has been really crucial in identifying cases, particularly where students are asymptomatic
• Remind your daughter to bring a clean mask to school each day
• Vaccinations are being hosted by the school on November 22nd. If you haven’t already registered, please use the link below:
Students from our WSFG ‘Green Group’ will be attending a climate panel at the town hall to coincide with the final day of COP26. The event will be opened by the Leader of the Council, Cllr Grace Williams and there will be three speakers addressing the question ‘What’s your most ambitious idea for how Waltham Forest can tackle the global climate crisis and protect biodiversity? I am confident that our girls will have a great deal to contribute. In fact, their voice is more important than ever as we have seen in statements made by Malala Yousafzai and others on ‘Women’s Day’ at COP26:
• “Gender equality cannot be treated as a struggle separate from that of arresting climate change” (Malala)
• Vanessa Nakate, a climate justice activist from Uganda, said: "We cannot have climate justice if more than half the world's population is left behind... The girls who are already most likely not going to be able to go to school or to finish school are from the communities that are already on the frontline of the climate crisis".
• Nakate has pointed to issues such as forced marriage, and said that some girls and young women actually volunteered to be married because their families would then receive payments which might mitigate the impact of problems "exacerbated by the climate crisis".
• The Malala Fund estimates the climate events of 2021 will prevent at least 4 million girls from completing their education.
Whilst we know that girls are significantly impacted by climate change, they are also powerful agents of change, capable of strengthening a country’s response to climate change. A prime example of this is 17- year-old Anjali Sharma who led a landmark class action – with seven other teenagers –in the Australian Federal Court against Australian government. The court found that the government has a ‘duty of care to protect young people from the climate crisis’.
I look forward to hearing about the solutions suggested by our WSfG students at the conference today.
School Events We thought it would be helpful to inform you of some of our future school events so that you can be prepared. Autumn Term
• Year 11s starting mocks: Tuesday 16th November
• Year 11 careers dates – now available for all: Wednesday 1st December – Wednesday 15th December
• Year 7 Performing Arts Sharing Evening: Thursday 2nd December
• Christmas Carol Concert: Wednesday 15th December Spring Term
• Year 9 Options Evening: Thursday 27th January
• Year 9 Parents and Carers' Evening: Thursday 10th February
Anti Bullying week
At WSfG, we have started our focus on Anti-Bullying early this year and are planning a month of activities to raise the profile of this important issue.
The focus month started with a Leadership Anti-Bullying assembly addressing "One Kind Word" which is the theme of the Anti-Bullying campaign for 2021/22.
Progress leaders will be delivering further assemblies on Anti-Bullying looking at different aspects of the theme. Activities for Tutors and their groups have been written to deliver in registrations during the National Anti-Bullying week of 15th November.
These activities will give students and Tutors an opportunity to discuss the issues and to strengthen their relationships.
Posters have been prepared for all classrooms and noticeboards called "Talk To Us". The posters show who students can speak with if they are concerned about any issues, including bullying, and are intended to re-assure and strengthen the message that speaking with a member of staff will support students if they have concerns.
Finally, I would like to wish you and your families well for the coming half-term and to thank you for your continued support.
Ms H Marriott
Additional E-Learning Resources