Half Term Update from Mr Day 22/10/2021

Dear Parents/Carers,


I hope you and your families have remained safe and well this half term.


The Autumn term has seen us grow further in size as we welcomed our new Year 7 students who have settled in exceptionally well, following the disruption of the last two years for everyone. Our students have demonstrated excellent attitudes in their studies and our values of being Calm, Creative, Engaged and Respectful on their return. This has been noted with exceptional feedback received after visits from the Directors of Education of both the Yare Trust and Boudica Schools Trust, alongside Senior Advisors from the Regional Schools Commissioners office.


Some personal highlights have been the volume of students volunteering to support at our Open Evening to showcase the school they are proud of and what they have achieved. This, alongside the return to external trips with our Year 7 and 8 students visiting the Cathedral to see Dippy and our Year 11 students winning a Future Forward presentation at the UEA against opposition from other high schools and sixth form colleges. Not to mention Mr Merry’s Liverpool Art trip reaching capacity within 24 hours - so he kindly volunteered to run it twice! All of the students deserve credit for their efforts this half term.


Although COVID cases have continued to rise across the country and particularly in school settings, the conduct and efforts of staff, students and yourselves have meant that Sewell Park has maintained a safe and healthy environment, with low case levels. However, prior to the half term, I wanted to update you on this and other key areas.


1. COVID safety and provisions

Our practical arrangements at Sewell Park have continued to help keep everyone safe and these will continue next half term. However, please be aware of the following:

  1. Students and staff should continue to test themselves with the provided LFD tests twice weekly (Sunday and Wednesday) and report the results

  2. If a student has symptoms of COVID, they must remain off school until the result of a PCR test

  3. A positive PCR test will trigger a 10 day isolation period from the day of the test. As per Government guidance, a student cannot return earlier than this, even if they then test negative on either a PCR or LFD test

  4. Students may wear face masks inside buildings. These are not currently mandated, however, if necessary this may change due to a continued rise in cases nationally and locally

  5. As per Government guidance, we would encourage parents to engage with the vaccine programme for both themselves and their children. The Immunisation Service will be at Sewell Park on Thursday November 4th to vaccinate those children with consent between the ages of 12-15 years. If you have not already done so, please complete the online form whether you consent or do not consent

  6. Students should continue to wash and sanitise their hands regularly

  7. We would request that parents only visit the school if necessary and communication cannot take place over the phone. Visitors will also be asked to kindly wear masks when on the school site

  8. The pandemic has placed added pressure on our students and school community. There is help available for anyone feeling as though they are struggling for whatever reason - in particular the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust are running several webinars aimed at those parents whose children are struggling with anxiety, low mood, self-harm, challenging behaviour, exam stress and sleep difficulties. A link to sign up can be found here and also in the attached newsletter along with other useful information and links.


2. Year 11 PPEs & Period 6

Our Year 11 students have made a fantastic start back to the year and shown great determination in their studies, given the impact of the lockdowns of the previous two years on their GCSEs. The first week and a half back will be the Pre-Public Examinations (PPEs), to support them towards the summer.


For our Year 11 students, it is vital they maintain their revision, little and often, over the half term to embed the knowledge they have learnt. I know the rest of the school will support them during this time. To help support our Year 11 students during these times, we will be postponing their P6 sessions during the PPE period, so they have a balance of work, exams and rest. They will restart P6 on Wednesday 10th November. However, we will ensure that there are ICT facilities available for those students who wish to stay in school and use this time for revision.

The Year 10 Period 6 sessions will run as usual from Thursday 4th November.


3. Uniform & standards


We have been very impressed with the presentation of our students this term in fully following our expectations and routines in lessons, and also in regards to uniform. Their presentation in uniform, which demonstrates professional dress, has been excellent overall. We would ask you to continue to support and ensure that half term is used to address any aspects which are required. If you are unsure if any items conform to the uniform expectations, please contact Mr Gannon or our pastoral Year Leaders who will be able to confirm.


Following half term, due to the need to continue with levels of ventilation as COVID precautions, we will be allowing students to wear coats in certain areas of the school if it is cold, for example within the Science block. This will be under the direction of the class teacher if required due to the weather. We would like to remind students that hoodies are not acceptable in place of an outdoor coat. We would also recommend that students wear appropriate outdoor coats to and from school and at lunch and break.


4. Community Awards


One aspect we are keen to develop is to learn more about the excellent work and conduct of our students within the local community. Next half term we will be developing community awards in recognition and will be asking you to let us know examples of the amazing work our students do outside of the school gates.


Thank you all for your continued support of Sewell Park Academy. The partnership between students, school and home is vital for the development of the outstanding young people we work with. We are very proud of the students at Sewell Park and what they have achieved already this year, and this is in a large part down to the continued support of you all.


I wish you all a safe and restful half term break.


Best wishes,


David Day

Headteacher

Sewell Park Academy



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