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Parent Bulletin 6/11/20

Please see the weekly bulletin from Mr Solly below...

Dear parents and carers,

It has been very hard to put into words how we have been feeling as a school community this week. The challenges faced so far in 2020 all pale into insignificance following the tragic circumstances of a young person losing their life. I know this week has been so incredibly difficult for many of our students and staff who were close to Jessica and I have been so impressed with the way we have supported each other during such an upsetting time. We have benefited from experts, who are experienced in supporting young people dealing with bereavement and loss, being in school on several occasions this week to work with our students. We will continue to work with these professionals to support our students during such a difficult time.

In the short term, we are organising a couple of tributes to Jessica, in addition to the black ties worn by students on Monday and the message we posted online earlier in the week. On Monday there will be an area where students can lay flowers beside a picture of Jessica; this is located at one of the trees on the grass area adjacent to the astro. Year 11 will be allowed to lay flowers there before school and during registration, with other year groups permitted to do the same during their allocated staggered break slot. Additionally, we are collating a book of remembrance electronically, which will be printed out and a copy given to her family. Students can write a message/tribute by using this link. This link will be open until Friday next week at 3pm. In the long term, there will be other ways in which we want to honour and recognise Jessica's life and we will listen to the views of students and liaise with the Hayes family to organise this in due course. 

The next four weeks sees the nation in a second period of lockdown, but with schools fully open. I have been pleased with how our students have taken the changes to the way we live and work in their stride and they have adapted admirably. We continue to nudge, refine and tweak our systems in school to further enhance safety but also to try and make things as normal as possible so our students can fully benefit from the learning opportunities across the curriculum. One aspect of the new rules, that were introduced for school yesterday and which come into force on Monday, is that extra-curricular activities, including sport, drama, music etc are not allowed. We had planned to relaunch our extra curricular programme from next week, with students remaining in year group bubbles, but this is now not allowed by the guidance. I am extremely disappointed by this and I hope that we see a reversal of this ruling soon so that we can give our young people opportunities outside of the curriculum.

Thank you for your continued support of our school. Have a good weekend.

Take care and stay safe.
Mr Solly.