16 April 2021
Summer Term Dates
Monday 12 April 2021 - Wednesday 21 July 2021
Monday 31 May 2021 – Friday 04 June 2021
Wednesday 21 July 2021
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.
It was a pleasure to welcome back the students after the Easter break. In line with the national easing of restrictions, we have started to take small steps towards resuming a normal timetable for all students. All year groups are now accessing specialist teaching areas, for example science, art and technology. It has been lovely to see Year 7 experience lessons in these specialist areas for the first time.
The Renaissance Block, Technology Block and Music / the Hall have become the new pink zone. This zone will have different year groups using it, but because of its layout, wider corridors and ventilation, the risks are minimal while students move to their allocated classrooms.
The other four zones remain, but students are timetabled to go to different zones after break or lunch. This means that they do not cross or mix on the corridors between Period 1 and 2, 3 and 4 or 5 and 6. All mixing of bubbles will take place outside; this coincides with the national easing of restrictions which will allow people to meet outside.
This week, I had the pleasure of delivering Assemblies to each year group. This is the first set of assemblies we have had since March 2020 - over a year ago! As well as welcoming the students back, I took the opportunity to reinforce my expectations of all students at The Deanes. I have outlined my message below.
Attendance to school is vital. Although we have great success with our Remote Learning during lockdown, nothing can replicate the classroom environment. It is of great importance for all students to attend school each day.
Attendance percentages can be misleading. For example, if we achieve 95% in a test, we would rightfully be very pleased. However, 95% attendance is actually low, as it equates to 10 days of school missed, which is 50 lessons. Research has shown that students who miss 17 days or more achieve on average 1 grade lower per GCSE subject. It is imperative that your child's attendance remains at least above 96% otherwise their success will be hindered.
During this current situation, we must also be very mindful that Covid-19 is still very much a threat to attendance. We must all do what we can to minimise the risks of spreading this virus and, in turn, minimise the risks of being forced to isolate groups of students or even close the school for a period.
There are three preventive measures to which all students must adhere.
Lateral Flow Testing
Students should be testing themselves each Sunday and Thursday, using the Lateral Flow Tests we provide. All students received a new batch of test kits today.
Once the student has conducted the test and obtained their result, they must register the result on https://testregister.co.uk/.
Students must continue wear a face mask in class and in the corridors. Furthermore, they must wear their masks correctly, as shown in the illustration above.
Please ensure your child comes to school with at least one face mask. We do have some spares, but we will be charging £0.50 per face mask if we need to give one to a student. This amount will be automatically debited from the child's Cashless Catering Account.
It must be both the parent’s and the student’s responsibility to ensure that students come to school with the correct equipment, which should include a face mask.
Sanitising Our Hands
Keeping your hands clean is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others from getting sick. Germs from unwashed hands can get into the body through the mouth, nose, and eyes and make people sick. Good hand hygiene – regular handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser, reduces the spread of germs that can cause illness. All classrooms have hand sanitiser available at the door, and students must use it on entering each room.
I used the 'Iceberg Illusion' to explain to the students that Progress and success in lessons is the result of a combination of different factors.
Most of us know two things about icebergs. We know the Titantic did not fare well when it encountered one, and we know that the majority of the iceberg lies beneath the surface.
When we see a student who is making progress and who is successful in lessons, we only really see the results of their efforts - the highest scores, the certificates, the achievements, etc. However, beneath this, are the factors that lead to this success.
All these factors:
have one thing in common. They require no special talent - all students can achieve them. Therefore, all students can make progress and all students can succeed. They are in full control of their success at school.
I reminded the students that at The Deanes we look after each other. As a community, it is very important that we work together in order to ensure that our students succeed. I used the following quote from the American Poet, Maya Angelou to emphasis my point. This quote sums up our 'iMatter' ethos at The Deanes.
And Finally ...
Please find attached the latest monthly newsletter from the Castle Point Community Policing Team.
I hope you all have a very pleasant weekend.