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Parent Bulletin 12/02/21

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

Dear Parents and Carers,
We have reached the end of a very challenging half term for everyone. As a school community we have worked hard collectively, all with the common goal of supporting our young people to navigate their way through an unsettling time. It has been a complex process, but I am very proud of our staff, our students and our parent community for the collective response we have shown during this time. 
There will be significant developments for us to consider after half term. The outcomes of the Ofqual consultation will be published and there will be a great deal of planning for us to do following this. We will also be planning the re-opening of school, based on national decisions as lockdown restrictions are eased. We are writing to Year 11 parents with a specific focus on how will intend to structure assessments when we do return to school. We had planned to run a mock exam season in the Spring Term, but this is now inappropriate, so we have had to re-think how we will assess students. 
There has been a lot of talk in the press about 'catch up' and the perceived damage that lockdown will have had on young people's learning, wellbeing and even future earnings! I think a lot of this has been deeply unhelpful and we must maintain perspective and balance to support our students during what is unquestionably a difficult period for them. There is no substitute for an effective teacher, delivering lessons face-to-face in the classroom, regardless of how well we are delivering remote teaching. When we return, I will be asking us to adopt the same mantra as when we returned previously - teach, teach, teach. Re-engaging students with the structure and routine of learning each day will be a crucial piece of work. We did this brilliantly in the autumn term and I have no doubt we will do it again. We will evaluate the wellbeing needs of our students on a case by case basis and support them as individuals, rather than making assumptions based on media headlines or government rhetoric. I want us to bring fun and enjoyment back for our students. I want us to provide them with opportunities to re-connect with their friends and trusted adults in school, without being behind a screen. I want us, when it is safe, to re-ignite our extra-curricular offer across all subjects and provide students with opportunities to learn, develop and grow outside the confides of a classroom. Performing arts, sport, D of E, subject based clubs will provide a much needed injection of joy, which many of our students will have been starved off during lockdown. Whatever we do, we will do it for the right reasons, based on the principles that have always served us so well.  
Resilient Rutland have launched the Rutland Parent Chat.  During this current climate MHWB is a real focus of our community and I would like to signpost parents to this valuable resource.  Please see their important message below:
We are delighted to have launched Rutland Parent Chat  a group for Parents & Carers in Rutland and our local area. A positive community on Facebook to share friendship, support and MHWB resources. This will include coffee and chat sessions, resources and opportunity for webinars and workshops as they develop. Our next coffee and chat session over zoom is in half term on Wednesday 17th February at 11:30 am. Parents can search for the group on Facebook   or click on the Group & membership request link here
Rutland Parent/Carer Chat has 54 members. A positive community of Parents and Carers
in Rutland and the local area. Offering friendship and support. Sharing resources and
opportunities to support...
Throughout the pandemic, we have worked hard to strike the right balance between setting ambitious and challenging work for our students, that is in line with our curriculum plans, alongside an understanding approach that acknowledges that all family circumstances are different and everyone in society is facing significant challenges. The outcomes of our Spring Term surveys have suggested that we are getting the balance right and we will continue to reflect on the feedback we receive to tweak and refine our approaches. 
I hope you are all able to enjoy a restful half term break and spend valuable time together as a family.
Take care and stay safe,
Mr Solly.