Christmas 2020 Letter from the Executive Headteacher

Dec 20
2020

Dear all

Another year ends at JCSC, and I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you for your unwavering support throughout what’s turned out to be a very different 2020 to the one we anticipated this time last year… Although we have had lots of disruption to normal school life, it’s also been a year that has so much to look back on, to be proud of and to celebrate.

Firstly I’d like to highlight the resilience, stoicism and determination of our students and their communities. I have to admit to being a little anxious when we fully reopened the school back in September. Would the zoning of the school work? How would the children react to being back in such large numbers when many of them had not been in the school building for almost six months? Would the staff remember how to teach? And would the students remember how to learn in the classroom?

I needn’t have worried because our entire school pulled together as one team and despite the many changes and difficulties we’ve had to overcome, to be honest, lots of things are actually working better than we ever dreamed they would.

Thank you to parents and carers for your unwavering support, thank you to our dedicated team of governors, thank you to our focused and caring staff team and, most importantly, thank you to our students who make our school the special place it is.

Resilience, stoicism and determination has been shown in abundance by our year 11 students this week. Having postponed their mock exams at very short notice a few weeks back, they have been taking them this week instead. Their attitude and application has been absolutely impeccable and I could not be more proud of them. I know that they will build upon this positivity in January and work with their teachers to ensure they get the very best GCSE grades in the summer, despite the relentless disruption they’ve faced in 2020.

Talking about the disruption, we are all very aware of the fact that coronavirus continues to be a very high profile part of our everyday lives. As a school we are given the task of working with the health authorities to ‘track and trace’ close contacts to any positive case of covid-19 within our school community.

Although the school is closed from 3.10pm this afternoon, should the answer to all of the following questions, be “yes”, you must contact us by emailing enquiries@jcsc.co.uk or calling us on 01665 710636 and selecting option 5. Someone will get back to you and collate all the necessary details.

1. Has your child tested positive for covid-19?

2. Was your child at school during the last week of term?

3. Did their coronavirus symptoms start before Sunday 20th December?

Mr McCudden wrote to all parents back in the summer term to inform you of the temporary changes to our uniform policy, changes that we introduced as a response to the coronavirus guidance at the time. More recently, he has contacted you again to update you on the changes we have made to the policy that come into force when we return in January. The details are:

Shoes

In line with previous communications in June, September and October 2020, we are returning to the expectation of school shoes from the start of term in January 2021. From this time, we will expect all our students to be wearing black polishable school shoes of a formal/dress style as per our uniform policy in previous academic years. No trainers or footwear with clear branding will be allowed. Therefore, Converse, Vans, TOMS, Stan Smiths, Nike (e.g. Air Force 1s), etc. will not be accepted along with black plimsoll style shoes. This is not an exhaustive list and I would urge you to contact your child’s Pastoral Support Officer with any questions or queries you may have. These may include difficulties in meeting these expectations or exceptions that can be supported with medical evidence.

Hoodies

Only school branded hoodies will be permitted inside the school building from January 5th 2021. These are available from our usual suppliers.

Layers

Although we have been relatively fortunate with the weather to date, it is likely that we will see more spells of colder weather in the new year. Therefore, as our precautions aimed at reducing the risk of the transmission of COVID 19 will leave us with colder classrooms, I would suggest again that our young people come to school wearing a suitable number of layers eg vests, base layers, white polo tops or T-shirts, jumpers and/or hoodies embroidered with the school logo.

Can I also take this opportunity to remind parents/carers that nose piercings are not allowed in school, nor are leggings and jeans as part of school uniform. There are no exceptions to this rule. Finally, we still plan to return to the wearing of school blazers and clip on ties for all children from September 2021 but there is no expectation for these from January 2021.

In addition to complying with our updated uniform policy, we expect the students to arrive on time, every day, fully equipped to learn. We would ask you to support us in encouraging them to bring the essential equipment necessary to learn:

· Reading book, planner and pencil case

· Black or blue pen

· Green pen

· Pencil, rubber and sharpener

· Ruler

· Protractor

· Calculator and compass [upper school only]

If you’re looking for last minute stocking fillers – any [or all] of the above would be ideal!

A reminder to parents that, in addition to tomorrow’s training day, we also have another in our school calendar for Monday 4th January 2021.

We had, therefore, planned that all students would return to school on Tuesday 5th January but, at the time of writing this letter, I am expecting an announcement from the government about a ‘staggered return to school’ for secondary age students.

This means that, some students in years 7 and above may be asked to access online learning and work from home at the start of next term. It is disappointing that we have no firm details at 2pm on the last day of term but, as soon as a formal announcement is made, I will contact you again with definitive arrangements for January.

Can I take this opportunity to wish you a restful, enjoyable Christmas break and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

See you in 2021!

Best wishes,

Neil Rodgers

Executive Headteacher

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