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Parent Bulletin 10/09/21

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

Dear UCC families

Whilst we have experienced a challenging week in school, with over 50 positive cases (not all have been PCR confirmed yet) in our student population, and 3 members of staff, Covid aside, it has been a really great week. I have been so impressed with the way students have applied themselves in lessons and I have really enjoyed observing students enjoy their social time in school responsibly.

Open Evening

Next week, we host our Open Evening event, which is an important part of us recruiting Year 7 students, who will start at UCC in September 2022. However, due to the rise in cases within our school community, I have had to amend our Open Evening plans. Below are the changes that we will be making, in order to make this event safer for colleagues, students and visitors:

  • The main talk from me and Head Students will take place on the astroturf (weather permitting), as bringing over 150 people together in the drama studio for a half hour period is not sensible, given the current situation.
  • We are unfortunately not going to have student volunteers in departments, therefore all of those students who have already kindly volunteered need to stand down (apart from Y11). This is because having more students on site would add to the volume of people in the buildings and the vast majority of our positive cases have come from the student population. This measure makes the event safer for colleagues and visitors.
  • Our subject displays will still go ahead, but just with colleagues, rather than students. The rooms will be well ventilated, and colleagues will stay 2m away from visitors. There will be activities for the young people visiting to complete in each department, and colleagues will be available to talk to parents about the opportunities in the subject from a safe distance. 
  • We will only have the Y11 student leadership team on site. These will be spread out around the building to give directions and talk to families from a safe 2m distance.

This is always a crucial event for us, so we want it to be successful. If we were to plough ahead with the original plan, I feel it would be irresponsible. Equally, a completely virtual event does not allow us to showcase the school, nor does it enable families to experience the UCC 'feel', and this is probably one of our greatest attributes. This hybrid model enables us to run the event in a safer way and I will continue to monitor the situation throughout next week, updating you as necessary.

Covid update

A large part of my week has been spent liaising with the local authority and various Public Health England and Health Protection Team departments. I have discovered that many headteachers across Rutland and Leicestershire (where schools have returned a week before the rest of the country) have had a similar experience. The advice to step up our safety measures and reintroduce the request for students and colleagues to wear face coverings was not a decision that was taken lightly and we will review it over the next fortnight, in consultation with the appropriate advisory bodies. I produced an assembly for our students to watch, which explains our position and expectations with regard to keeping people safe, so they could better understand the reasons for and implications of our decisions. 

Rebuilding project

You will be pleased to hear that the building compound is being removed this weekend and the vast majority of the rebuilding works will be completed by Sunday evening. The only remaining works will be the snagging issues, which will be addressed throughout the half term, and the installation of the fitness suite flooring, which is still drying out. It really looks superb and I cannot wait to see our students enjoying their lessons in all the new spaces. In the newsletter next week we will have some photos to showcase the excellent new facilities we have established. 

Year 7 Satchel:One and Assessment for Learning

Year 7 should all be set up on Satchel: One by Thursday 16th September at which point teachers will begin to set work online for them to complete. Please encourage your child to turn on notifications so they can see when new work is posted. You will receive a separate email detailing full instructions on how to use Satchel: One. Homework is usually set once or twice a fortnight by most subjects with a variety of activity types dependent on the subject. For example, homework may be a written task, reading, drawing, research or watching something ready for the next lesson. We ask our teachers to acknowledge all homework that is completed but feedback on this can be in a number of ways. Our feedback for learning approach can be viewed here. This explains how we use a variety of assessment techniques in the classroom to ensure our students progress in their learning.

I hope you have a great weekend. 
Mr Solly