Parent Letter October 2021
- Created: Wednesday, 20 October 2021 10:51
- Written by Vicky Willis
This term seems to have gone so quickly and we are delighted to be back in the swing of some form of ‘normality’. It is a joy to see students fully accessing their learning and using specialist teaching areas again. The atmosphere around the school is very positive and this is reflected in the conduct, enthusiasm and enjoyment seen on the faces of our students and staff.
A warm welcome to all our new families. I do hope your children have settled in and are enjoying school. I am delighted to share the news that we have a new Head of Year 7 – Amy Burridge. Miss Burridge has taught at KES for a number of years and she has already been heavily involved in helping year 7 settle in successfully so I know many year 7 parents will already know her. She is positive and ambitious for the students — we are lucky to have her and I know she is excited to take on her new role.
In September, we opened our doors to welcome a huge number of visitors for our Open Events. It was fantastic to be able to hold these in person again and to be able to show so many families our wonderful school and all that we have to offer. We have received such lovely feedback from so many families about how superb the students were on the evening and how proud they are of their school and the opportunities that they are offered. We also had many visitors throughout the open morning who were able to see first hand the learning in action and the excellent engagement, creative thinking and enjoyment in lessons.
SCHOOLS’ POLICE OFFICER
We are always keen to work in partnership with our community and this term we have been piloting a scheme with the newly appointed Schools’ Police Officers (SPOs). As part of the uplift programme, Kent Police have invested in police officer posts including SPOs to enhance the provision around schools and educational settings across the country. We have been working closely with our SPO in the delivery of intervention and diversion schemes for vulnerable children, working with our students in understanding risk behaviours and raising awareness of ways to stay safe as well as act as a point of contact. Our SPO is a friendly face around the site and at the end of school and we are pleased to be able to shape this partnership to improve the lives of our young people and support their feeling of safety and wellbeing in school.
The latest communications from the DfE/NHS on childhood vaccinations can be found here:
COVID GUIDANCE, LFDs & ATTENDANCE
Whilst we are delighted to be operating with some normality, we are acutely aware of the need to continue to reduce the risk of Covid transmission. Please continue to ensure your child does the lateral flow device tests on a Sunday and Wednesday and the results are submitted through our Test Register app. Please also help us to remind students of the following:
- Wash hands regularly for 20 seconds
- Use the hand sanitiser provided each lesson in each classroom
- Avoid close face to face prolonged conversations with others at under 1 metre, where possible
- Wear a face mask on public transport if you are able
Congratulations to all those students who have so far maintained 100% attendance since starting back in September. Regular and sustained attendance at school is crucial not only to academic success but also to an individual’s wellbeing. Whilst we fully understand that the national advice can seem confusing, for children it can be summarised as follows:
- If you have symptoms of coronavirus please stay at home and get a PCR test, which if negative means you can return to school
- If you have a positive LFD test then stay at home and get a PCR test, which if negative means you can return to school
As you will be aware, track and trace is now operated by the NHS health teams. In addition to regular twice-weekly LFD testing, local health teams may advise additional LFD testing. For example, if a student is identified as a close contact, they may be asked to take daily LFD tests while they wait for their PCR test result. In this scenario, they should continue to attend school as long as their LFD test results remain negative.
We have a clear attendance policy which can be read here http://www.kingethelbert.com/required-information/349-attendance-policy/file
However, for advanced requests of absence for exceptional circumstances, we require a Request for Leave of Absence form to be filled in and submitted to us in good time where we will assess the case and write to you with our outcome. These forms are available at reception.
PPEs and PUBLIC EXAMINATIONS
Thank you to year 11 and year 13 parents for attending our Raising Achievement meetings this term. Whether you were able to attend or not, please take time to review the important information we shared and is attached with this letter.
Please do stay in touch with your child’s form tutor and/or head of year if you have any concerns. Given our year 11 and year 13 students have not experienced formal external examinations before, we are keen to ensure they are fully supported in their preparation, so please do get involved with their revision and encourage and support them by testing and quizzing them on their learning. Year 13 have been doing PPE exams this week and year 11 have theirs immediately after the half term break.
TERM 2 EVENTS:
We have a number of events planned for this term. As always, we are monitoring the local Covid situation carefully prior to any face to face events and will update you accordingly of any changes.
YEAR 11 SIXTH FORM INFORMATION EVENING: Tuesday 9th November 2021 6.00 — 8.00 pm
We are excited to welcome our Year 11s as well as external visitors for our 6th form Open Event which is coming up next term on Tuesday 9th November 2021 starting at 6.00 pm with an information briefing in the main hall. We will be explaining and showcasing the brilliant IBCP offer that we run in the 6th form and explain why our students find such success with this here at KES.
PRESENTATION AFTERNOON – WINTER GARDENS, Margate — Wednesday 17th November 2021 at 2.00 — 3.15 pm
We are hoping we will be able to hold our annual awards ceremony back at the Winter Gardens in Margate on the afternoon of Wednesday 17th November. All students will be taken by coach to the venue and will be dismissed from the Winter Gardens following the ceremony. Further details will follow next term.
YEAR 7 PROGRESS EVENING – Tuesday 23rd November 2021: On Tuesday 23rd November between 2.40 – 6.00 pm we will be holding a progress evening for parents/carers of year 7 to meet with your child’s form tutor and review their first term at school. Year 7 students only will be dismissed at 2.20 pm on that day. Further details of this event will be given to year 7 parents/carers nearer the time, and we look forward to welcoming all year 7 parents/carers on this evening.
YEAR 12/13 SUBJECT EVENING: Thursday 2nd December 2021 – details to follow nearer the time.
STAFF TRAINING : 2021 — 22
In line with many other schools nationally we will, for some of our staff development time this year, be running morning training sessions for staff between 8.00 – 10.15 am – ‘Early Risers’. There are five days throughout the year when these are scheduled:
Wednesday 29th September 2021 8.00 – 10.15 am
Friday 12th November 2021 8.00 – 10.15 am
Friday 14th January 2022 8.00 – 10.15 am
Thursday 17th March 2022 8.00 – 10.15 am
Wednesday 27th April 2022 8.00 – 10.15 am
On these days pupils are not to come into school before 10.30 am. Students should report to their lesson for period 2 at 10.35 am where registration will be undertaken by their subject teacher. Period 3 will follow at 11.35 am and lunch at 12.35 pm. There will be no morning break on these days. The rest of the school day on these occasions will run as normal, with school finishing at 3.20 pm. Please will you ensure that your child does not arrive prematurely to school as staff will be involved in professional development workshops and there will be no staff supervision until 10.30 am.
We will be having four further staff training days during the year and as all staff will be involved in continued professional development, the school will be closed to students. These days are:
- Friday 11th February 2022
- Wednesday/Thursday/Friday 20th, 21st and 22nd July 2022
I wish you all a restful half term break and we look forward to seeing everyone back fully refreshed on Monday 1st November 2021.
Best wishes to you and your families,
Mrs V Willis