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Dear Parents/Carers

Year 9 End of Autumn Term and Spring Term arrangements

Students have had a really positive start to Year 9 and this is reflected in the number of positives that have been awarded to the year group so far.  Since September, Year 9 students have amassed an impressive 27,000 points.  They have been recognised for demonstrating Respect and Pride, Accepting a Challenge and Exceptional Work, so well done.

Next term I will be hoping for more kindness points to be awarded as students develop their communication skills and appreciation for others points of view. If I can ask parents to monitor their child’s social media usage over the break and ensure it remains positive and respectful, I would appreciate it.

Students have also continued to work on gathering evidence for their Character Award and this will be an ongoing focus into next term.  I ask that you encourage your child to participate with this award and discuss it with them on a regular basis.

Next term will be a busy but exciting term for Year 9 as they start their GCSE option pathway process.  A few dates for your diary would be their Year 9 Parents Evening on Thursday 20 January and then the GCSE options evening on Thursday 27 January, these are planned to be online events due to the continuing risk of COVID-19.

Further details in respect to options will be shared next term. I would strongly urge you to take time to discuss future options with your child and take the opportunity to discuss ideas with their classroom teacher at Parents Evening.


Ensuring that your child has the correct uniform, equipment and attends school on a regular basis ensures that your child can be as successful as possible at school and in support of our school ethos. We ask that you resolve any issues you identify with your child’s uniform in readiness for the start of term so we are all ready to get back to routines promptly.

We are aware that many students have outgrown or have broken their school shoes and we have worked with families to support them, so please ensure that these are replaced in time. If students are without the correct uniform then we ask that you provide them with a dated and signed note and that the issue is rectified within three days. Students attending school without the correct uniform and without a qualifying note will have break and lunch time removed until the issue has been resolved.  Replacement ties can be purchased for £7.15 via ParentPay, students can collect ties from Raising Standards.  Any false nail sets, acrylics or gels need to be removed before the return to school and jewellery needs to be appropriate following our policy, a copy of which is available on the website.

Students are also expected to be fully equipped for learning every day.  A personal reading book, their own water bottle and a fully stocked pencil case is needed to fully engage with the curriculum.  Upon their return to school, we will provide students with a student handbook and a place to write their timetable in. The handbook also has useful information such as their Personal Development curriculum for the term.

If equipment needs replacing, please take the opportunity to replenish stocks over the break in preparation for the new term.  Replacement handbooks and stationery equipment can be purchased via your ParentPay account.


We will continue working in partnership with WPA Education Welfare Services, in promoting a positive approach to attendance.  Could I please remind parents to contact the school before 8.00 am if your child is unable to attend for any reason. The telephone number of our student absence line is 01344 304567 option 1 or 01344 390824 (direct line) and the e-mail address is  It is likely that you will receive a telephone call or text message from the school if your child does not arrive and you have not informed us of the reason.

Return to school – Spring Term 

In January, and in line with Government guidance, we will be offering onsite COVID-19 LFD testing for all students prior to their return to school. This testing will take place on Tuesday 4 January in the Downshire Theatre.  Students will enter and leave by the lower playground.  They do not have to be in uniform and I would encourage as many students as possible to attend so we can be reassured we can have a safe return to school.  Masks are encouraged in busy areas and are currently optional in classrooms.  Remember your child will need hand sanitizer and a packet of tissues as part of their ‘catch it bin it kill it’ preparedness kit.

The arrangements for testing are as follows:

Year 7  9:00am – 9.45am 
Year 8  9:45am – 10:30am 
Year 9 11:15am – 11:45am
Year 10  11:45am – 12.15pm
Year 11  10:30am – 11:00am 
Year 12 and 13  12.15pm – 12.45pm

As a result, the school will not reopen for normal lessons until Wednesday 5 January. 

Teachers will set work or activities for students to complete on Tuesday 4 January via Google Classroom.  As you would expect we will encourage the students to access the subject specific online learning tools we subscribe to including Tassomai, MyMaths, GCSEPod and Dr Frost Maths and for KS3, Bedrock Literacy.

COVID-19 Contingency Planning 

As part of our COVID-19 contingency planning; arrangements are in place to implement partial opening to certain year groups, on specific days if necessary.  Such a decision would only be taken if we were unable to maintain adequate supervision of all pupils on health and safety grounds and the priority will be to teach live online lessons wherever possible.  Parents and Carers will be informed if this plan was to be implemented.

Extreme Weather

In the event of closure due to extreme weather, e.g. one-off snow days, it would be highly likely that other local schools and nursery provision would also be closed resulting in childcare issues for some staff.  Therefore, work would be set on Google Classroom following the normal lesson timetable and we would not be able to prioritise live lessons.

We communicate with you on a weekly basis via our Respect and Pride slide, so we ask that you continue to check this for events and notices happening every week.

All students will return on Wednesday 5 January at 8.40am for a normal school day and it will be Week A. 

I would like to wish all the Year 9 students a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to embarking on their Foundations Pathway journey with them in January 2022.  Stay safe and well.

Yours faithfully

Miss L Preston

Head of Year 9

Year 9 End of Autumn Term ltr 14.12.2021