Headteacher’s Blog- 23rd April
Happy St Georges’ Day and also happy birthday to William Shakespeare, who is believed to have been born in 1564 and died in 1616 on the same date. This seems like something the great bard would have scripted! I hope you have managed to enjoy some of the better weather and some of the new freedoms. We have had a really positive return to school this week, with students also enjoying the sunshine at social times and looking focused in lessons.
Travel to school
I start most days on the school gate welcoming the students into school. Over recent weeks we have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of students who are being dropped off at school. The reasons for this are understandable, with the pandemic meaning fewer students are using public transport in the morning. However, I would remind families that there are school bus services from both Warwickshire and Solihull that can be used in the morning to get to school. There is further information about bus services on our website:- https://www.thecoleshillschool.org/parents/transport Almost all students get buses, walk or cycle home after school so it would be good to see more students using these means of transport in the morning. For those students living in Solihull and the wider Birmingham area it is important to use the bus to come to school as no students should be crossing the A446, whether on foot or on a bike.
For students who are coming to school from Coleshill and the immediate surrounding Warwickshire area, can I please encourage more students to walk and cycle to school. We do have an increasing number of students cycling to school now, which is pleasing to see. We have had a new bike rack installed this year and it would be great to see this full of bikes. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps recently announced a £18 million investment in cycle training for children families, so we will be seeing how we can use this to further promote cycling to school in the coming weeks and months.
Our bike racks before the arrival of students this morning.
For those families who still need to drop students off in the morning can I please remind you that students should be in school by 8.40am, ready to start at 8.45am. Due to the sheer number of cars dropping off we are getting lots of students who are not dropped off until after 8.45am, which means they are late to their first lesson. Please can families therefore plan for drop off a little earlier.
House Competition – Heroes Stamp Design
During the recent lock down and last half term we have had some great House competitions. Here is the next one, from Miss Tongue.
Make your mark on History! For more than 50 years Royal Mail’s Special Stamp programme has commemorated British history and achievement. Stamps have also been issued to honour the achievements of many British people. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, millions of key workers have kept the country going when most of us were told to stay home for our own safety. As the majority of these people are not famous Royal Mail wants to honour them with a set of 8 stamps, and young designers are invited to design a stamp in their honour. Who has inspired you during this lockdown to help you or people close to you during the difficult time? Help to celebrate them by making them a national treasure and sharing their name and face through your very own stamp design. Not only could your stamp design be created and then published, but you also have the opportunity to win some amazing prizes. Closing date for all entries is the 21st May, and the official entry form can be found here Heroes Stamp Design Competition Official Entry Form (thecoleshillschool.org) Get your colours out and start spreading some appreciation for your own hero.
Year 13 and 11 update
As we prepare for the final rounds of in school assessments and awarding of Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) the following communication will be going to families:
TAG process information and “Current Grades” were emailed to families yesterday are being given to students today.
Assessment Series 2 begins next week for approximately one week, depending on courses studied.
Assessment Series 3 begins on Monday 17th May for approximately two weeks, depending on courses studied.
TAG process information and “Current Grades” will be emailed to families and will be posted home to families on Thursday 29th April.
Assessment Series 2 begins on Monday 17th May for approximately two weeks, depending on courses studied.
Year 11 and Year 13 will finish school on Friday May 28th. There will be the option of Sixth Form preparation classes, on a voluntary basis for Year 11, in early June. Details to follow.
Training Day on Friday 30th April
A reminder that Friday 30th April is a training day and students will not be in school. This means students will return to school on Tuesday 4th May, following the May Day Bank Holiday.
Thanks for your continued support.
3.10 pm Thursday 1st April 2021 - School breaks up
Friday 2nd April to Friday 16th April 2021 - Easter Holiday
8.45 am Monday 19th April - Return to school - Start of Summer Term
Headteacher’ s Blog – 12th March 2021 Successful Return to School
Testing going well
I hope that you and your family are well and adjusting to the new “back to school” routine for the second time this academic year. Let us hope that this is the last time students have to return from a national lockdown.
As I write, Year 10 students are filing into the Testing Centre (Hall) for their second Covid test. So far we have 916 students who have had their first test, 119 have had their second test and 162 Sixth Formers have had their third test. So far all tests have been returned as negative. In addition we had 99 staff return a negative result from the first round of testing, using the home testing kits. So we have had no positive cases so far, which is a really good start.
I want to thank all of the staff who have been involved in the organisation and delivery of the testing process. To have tested over 900 students and managed to get all students back into school within three days is a phenomenal achievement. I also want to thank the students, who have been fantastic and managed the whole situation so well.
I will be writing next week to those families, where the child has had three in school tests, with instructions for home testing. This is a very straight forward process, which I am doing myself twice a week. We will provide full instructions and a short training video for the students.
Year 7s waiting for their tests
Getting back to ‘normal’
Yesterday I spent most of my day in classrooms, watching students getting back to face to face learning with their teachers. The level of focus from the students and the engagement with their teachers was impressive. It was a real pleasure to see the engines of learning in school firing back up. The students have come back to school with a really positive mind set and it is clear they are enjoying being back. The sounds of laughter and chatter in the playground are back and the footballs are out again! All of a sudden school is school and I am looking forward to teaching Year 10 for real in a few minutes, rather than teaching a screen full of emoji faced circles!
So, as we get back to some sense of normality, I need to ask for your support in reminding students of our standards for uniform, which we know may take a little time to get back to, but we will not be compromising on our high standards over the coming weeks and months.
Here is a link to the full uniform list: https://www.thecoleshillschool.org/parents/school-uniform
In particular please can I remind you of the following, ahead of a full uniform sweep on Monday 15th March.
On days when students have PE they must come in official Coleshill branded PE kit, as specified in the uniform list. Hoodies are not allowed at all. Not for PE and not as a substitute for a coat. They will be confiscated from Tuesday 16th Piercings are not allowed beyond one stud earing in each ear. Students will be asked to removed them from Tuesday 16th Coats are needed in school, as windows and doors are open at the moment, but gilets/sleeveless coats are not allowed. Coats are to be worn in addition to, not instead of, a blazer. Gilets will be confiscated from Tuesday 16th False nails and/or coloured nails are not allowed. Students will need a plan to remove false nails. Hair colours that are not natural (eg blue, green, bright red, pink or combinations of unnatural colours such as black and pink) are not allowed. Students will need a plan to return their hair to a natural colour. Shoes should be black polishable leather. Mobile devices, air pods and headphones are only allowed at social time and will be confiscated if seen when students are moving around the school or in lessons, unless the teacher has given permission for them to be used as a learning device for an educational activity.
Year 11 and 13 update letter
Today we will be writing to Year 11 and 13 about the process for awarding Teacher Assessed Grades, so I would urge families of these students to look out for their letter and let us know if there are any queries. We will also be going through this with the students.
Rewarding hard work over lock down
Even while working at home our students have been gaining SPIRIT points for their efforts. Well done and congratulations to the top performers below. The remaining few weeks of this half term provide another opportunity for more students to be rewarded.
Thomas, Ella and Henry Year 9
Louis and Mya, Year 10
Thank you for all of your support for the students and the school during lock down. We can now look forward to the rest of the academic year and achieving great things together.
I wish you a restful weekend.