Headteacher End of Term letter - December 2020
18 December 2020
Headteacher End of Term letter
This has been another challenging term for The Henry Beaufort School and in ways that we would never have anticipated this time last year or indeed at the start of the term.
Once again the remarkable resilience of our young people combined with the dedication of my colleagues right across the school, has ensured that this has been a proactive and positive term in many, many ways.
Most importantly our young people have continued to be taught and to learn in school. This has taken a remarkable effort from colleagues and none more so than our cleaning and caretaking team who have worked tirelessly to keep the school environment clean and safe for us all. We have maintained a 95% attendance rate throughout the Autumn term giving Year 11 that vital stability in their final exam year and working with Years 7 to 10 to close the learning gaps caused by 5 months out of school during the first Lockdown.
It is clear from the Year Group Student Voice forums that I have held this term that our students are really pleased to be back in school and learning. Year 9 have also talked very positively about their first term studying for their GCSE exams, focusing on the additional time as giving them the opportunity get to grips with topics in an in-depth way. Although they were not so keen on the increase in home learning!! Year 11 have embraced the opportunity to attend clinic and the attendance rate has been high. These will continue to be of importance in the spring. If your child has said they don’t need to go please make sure you check this when you meet with your child’s teachers at the Year 11 Progress Evening on the 14th of January 2021.
It is important that we maintain the vigilance around hygiene and face masks and social bubbling when we return in January. I do appreciate that it is hard to have to factor in all these additional measures, none of which are fun for any of us, but it makes such a positive difference to what we can achieve in school.
I am delighted with the number of postcards that have been sent home for excellent work and contribution to school life. Recognition and rewards for our young people is such an important part of our school life. There have been an overwhelming number of positive reports sent home in the last few weeks. Well done to all of our students who have worked so hard this term.
Mrs Briggs launched our HBX Christmas challenge at the start of December and there might be a few challenges in the run up to Christmas which may be of support to you as well!
I hope you have been following us on our new social media account on Facebook. As someone who often has to deal with the negative impact of social media I am delighted that we have been able to use this online platform for the benefit of our wider community. Thank you to Mrs Goodwill and Mr Janes for making this happen.
Our end of term celebrations have been somewhat curtailed this term but we have made sure that our year group Rewards afternoons have taken place, as well as a shortened and hopefully entertaining final whole school assembly over Microsoft teams on the final day. Christmas dinner was served in the Bistro and there was some rather strange festive headgear to be found adorning the members of staff on duty!
Students will remain in Year group bubbles and Year group tutors for the Spring term. If you need to speak to someone at school please make contact in the first instance through the year group tutor if you have a pastoral concern, or through your child’s teacher for individual subject concerns.
We have made a few changes to the order of lunch so that it is fair on as many year groups as it can be and this will be gone through with the students. We will review this at half term to make sure all year groups get a chance to be first in the Bistro queue for lunch break.
I sincerely hope that we will be able to transition back to Vertical Tutor groups before the end of the academic year. We have missed the community spirit in our school that results from all year groups intermingling, as well as the positive role modelling that our older students provide for the younger year groups.
We have been asked to share the following message with you:
Winchester City Council is sharing proposals to revitalise the city centre, which include creating a mixed-use development with new homes, creative and flexible workspaces, a vibrant night-time economy and improved public spaces. We are keen to hear from families living in Winchester and encourage all parents to visit the virtual exhibition room which is open until 12th January 2021 here: www.virtualengage.arup.com/CWR. There is also a direct link to the feedback form here: https://winchester.citizenspace.com/policy/cwr-development-proposals
As you may be aware the school will be 50 years old in the Academic Year 21-22. We had intended to recognise this achievement with a special dedicated evensong service in Winchester Cathedral in the October of 2021. As we are unable to start preparations for such an event because of Covid-19 restrictions, we have decided to push this back to the Summer term of 2022 in the hope that we will be able to celebrate the first 50 years of the school without any such restrictions on the celebration.
Thank you for your continued support of the school and in particular the way you are working with the regulations regarding the national track and trace guidance. Together we will continue to keep your children and my colleagues safe. I look forward to a brighter 2021 and I hope, a return to our normal way of working by the beginning of the Autumn Term 2021, if not before.
With my very best wishes for the festive season and the new year,