30 April 2021

The Deanes


Summer Term Dates  



Monday 12 April 2021 - Wednesday 21 July 2021 


Half Term:


Monday 31 May 2021 – Friday 04 June 2021


Non-Pupil Days:

Wednesday 21 July 2021


Contact Us

Our new Contact Form is on our website under the 'Contact Us' menu item, or it can be accessed by clicking here. This is the best way to communicate directly with us.



Year 11 Assessments

I want to express my praise for Year 11 students on their commitment and resilience whilst they are preparing for and sitting the assessments which will form their grades for their GCSE and BTEC qualifications.  


From Monday 10 May - Monday 24 May, these assessments will be in the form of examinations.  The timetable is below:


Student will only be expected to attend school for the examinations they are required to take in the subjects they study.  They should remain at home and revise when not in school sitting an examination.


I would also like to thank our Year 11 teachers who working extremely hard to assess Year 11 students while continuing to perform all their normal duties. This process has caused huge time pressures for staff and we owe them a debt of gratitude. 


Year 11 Year Book

As announced during Tutor time on Wednesday, our yearbook for this year is currently being designed and we need to get all of the quotes for the book. I have attached a link below which will allow you to access the google form that has been set up. Please remember that your quote should be appropriate.


Respect Project

On Monday of this week, 22 Year 9 students took part in this year's 'Respect Project' Intervention. This is a project run by Essex Boys and Girls clubs. We have run it successfully for a number of years. It is designed to help young people increase their ability to deal with life’s problems, and for participants to become more resilient. I cannot think of a time when this has been more pertinent.


One of the core objectives of the project is to help participants to view crisis situations in a less daunting way by re-framing adversities. A series of challenges and coping strategies develop positive self-esteem and self-confidence.


The Project usually takes place over a four month period, during term time. Some elements happen during school time and others are at evenings and weekends. This year of course, the organisers have had to adapt the environments that they work in; thankfully, we have been able to set aside outdoor and indoor areas for the project to run.


15 of the students who took part have been selected to move onto the next stage of the project - Life Skills - with a core group being further selected to take part in a week-long trip to the Lake District in Cumbria, where they will have the opportunity to tryout some of their newly developed skills in a beautiful but challenging environment.


This is what Keane (Year 9) said about the day:

"The Respect Project was something I had never heard of before I was chosen to participate.  I was willing to try it as being outdoors is a thing I love.   

I was very surprised to know how fun the day was.  My group started off learning how to survive for nights if we ever got lost.  It then led on to learning different ways of starting fires without using the obvious ways.  Soon after finishing bushcraft, we went on to do teamwork games with people in my year I have never spoken to before.  It made us a team.  

After being picked to do more sessions, I can’t wait for it."


Congratulations to all the students who have been chosen to continue with the project, based on their attitude and engagement during Monday's session.

Covid-19 Testing

Home Testing

Just a reminder that students should be testing themselves each Sunday and Thursday, using the Lateral Flow Test which we are providing.  Once they have conducted the test and obtained their result, you must register the result on


Testing for Families

Everyone in Essex is now able to collect self-test kits from participating libraries and pharmacies. Regular self-testing among school communities will help keep all children and their families safe as we move along the roadmap out of lockdown.


I encourage you to collect free packs of self-test kits for your family. Alternatively, they can order them online. Find out where you can collect self-test kits near you on the Essex County Council website, or order self-test kits online from GOV.UK.


For your information, there is financial support available if they need to self-isolate. The criteria has recently been extended so that parents and guardians are eligible if they need to take time off work to look after a child or young person who is self-isolating.


The Brilliant Club

On Thursday and Friday of this week, 6 of our Year 9 and 6 of our Year 10 students took part in 'The Scholars Programme', run by The Brilliant Club.  This is a programme designed to support young people to develop skills and knowledge to make ambitious and successful applications to universities, should that be what they decide they want to do. At the same time, students develop great academic skills to support their school work.


Our students are currently working with a PhD researcher on a university style module, based on the researcher's world-leading expertise on "What Makes Us Human?". Our students will develop valuable skills such as, written and verbal communication, critical thinking and metacognition.


Further sessions will take place before the end of term.

Mobile Phones

At Deanes we have a ‘no mobile phone’ policy.  This means that students are not allowed to have their mobile phones out and in use in any part of the school building and grounds at any time.  This includes walking into and out of school and at any times prior to the school day starting or ending when students may still be on the school site.  


The rationale for this policy is firstly, we want to remove the temptation for students to check their mobile phones. Students often feel compelled to check their phones for messages or posts, especially when they receive an alert.  If they know that their phone, and that of their peers, is switched off, it will reduce this distraction, allowing students to focus more fully on learning. 


In addition, we are concerned about the excessive use of mobilephones and social media on students’ wellbeing and mental health. By ensuring that during the school day students have switched off their mobile phones, they can avoid all social media for a few hours. We hope this will reduce some of the pressure social media places upon our students and they can focus better on their learning.


You may be interested to know that there is a growing body of evidence to show that mobile phone use is linked with lower academic achievement and  a decrease in wellbeing. Here's some of the available evidence.

  • In Spain, banning mobile phones has been shown to increase students’ scores in maths and science. Researchers also documented a decrease in incidences of bullying.
  • In Norway, banning phones significantly increased middle school students’ academic achievement. It also decreased incidents of bullying.
  • In China students who used mobile phone 2 hours/day on weekdays and 5 hours/day on weekends were significantly more likely to report poor overall academic performance.
  • In Brazil, every 100 min spent using a phone per day corresponded to a reduction in a student's position at the school's ranking of 6.3 points. When used in class the effect was almost twice as high.
  • Screen time is associated with lower psychological well-being, including less curiosity, lower self-control, more distractibility, more difficulty making friends, less emotional stability, being more difficult to care for, and inability to finish tasks.
  • Even if the phone is turned off and in a bag it reduces working memory and problem-solving skills.
  • Just having a phone with you in a lecture impairs attention and learning. (Most noticeably after 15 mins)
  • Teens who use a computer or mobile phone in the last hour before bed sleep a lot worse. 

If you are interested in any f these pieces of research, please contact us and we will send you a link to the report.


Parents on the School Site

Access for parents and visitors to the school site is restricted to essential purposes at the moment.  Parents must not arrive at reception without an appointment.  Not only is this in breach of our Risk Assessment, but parents must remember that teachers will not as be available as we all have teaching commitments.  Please use the 'Contact Form' if you wish to speak to a member of staff.


Invitation For Parents: Success Beyond School

Please see the message below from InvestIn, who run career focused workshops and experiences for students.


"We are delighted to announce the latest in our Success Beyond School series; free-of-charge, 'Live Online' seminars designed to help parents supercharge their children's career potential.
Tuesday 11th May: Own The Room
Power up your child's public speaking skills; vital for any career

Wednesday 9th June: Success in the City
How to land a top job in the City: law, finance, consultancy and more

These events are for parents of students aged 12-18 and free to attend."



I hope you all have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend.





Desi McKeown