Dear Parents and Carers
I am writing to update you on the start of term and our procedures.
First of all, on behalf of all of the staff we would like to thank you for your support in ensuring that the start of term has gone extremely smoothly. We have all enjoyed welcoming our students back into school after such a lengthy period of closure and their response has been outstanding. They have listened carefully to our explanations of new procedures and adapted extremely quickly to new ways of working. This includes those areas which we have reviewed at the start of term and made slight changes to. Their cooperation and support in this has been very noticeable and has allowed everyone to settle well to full time learning again.
I would also like to recognise the work of staff who have done a great job of getting school ready for the start of term. There was a lot to do over the summer holidays and staff have also had to adapt to very different ways of working. Their willing contributions have been vital in allowing us to make such a smooth start and are much appreciated.
Our approach at the start of term was to keep things as simple as we possibly could in the first instance and to look to develop provision from there. Because students have responded so well, we are now able to introduce practical PE lessons from next week, along with using specialist rooms for technology, computing and creative arts. Some of these will be on a rota basis, and where necessary we will prioritise time for exam groups, but it means that we can meet our aim of continuing to deliver the full curriculum. We will also shortly be reintroducing peripatetic music lessons.
This has been a particularly unusual start to secondary school for our new Year 7 cohort, but they have adapted extremely well both to a new school and curriculum and a return to full time learning. I have the pleasure of teaching two classes myself this year, and my positive impression of the year group has been echoed by many colleagues.
Whilst students in Years 10, 12 and 13 didn’t have the opportunity to sit their final exams this summer, they have nevertheless received their results. We send our congratulations to all of them and wish them the very best on the next stage of their learning journey. It has also been a pleasure to welcome many of our Year 11 students into the Sixth Form and to see them make a positive start to their A Level studies.
Our aim in school is always to celebrate students’ achievement and success as much as we possibly can. We continued to do this during closure and awarded 75 000 rewards points during this period. This was a reflection of the excellent response by so many youngsters. Their start to the year has continued in the same vein. Due to current circumstances we have slightly modified our Rewards and Engagement policy and a summary is appended at the end of this letter.
We continue to live in uncertain times and the current trend in rising infections is of concern to everyone. We have taken all of the steps required of us in school to meet guidelines and to try to keep our students and staff as safe as possible and want to play our part in keeping rates as low as possible. Our students’ understanding of the need for what happens inside school to be different to some of the things that happen outside of school has been very mature and we urge them to continue to follow all guidelines outside of school as well as during the school day.
We are looking forward to another extremely positive school year and are grateful for your support in enabling this.
Behaviour for learning and Rewards and Engagement Policy
Our priorities are to ensure that everyone is both safe and making the most of their learning in lesson. The Rewards and Engagement Policy has been developed to reflect both our aims and values as a school and the current situation; we want to make sure that, whatever the circumstances, the experiences and learning encountered by everyone on site, students and staff alike, are as positive as possible.
As before, parents and students can view the behaviour log on mobile devices through the ClassCharts app. Should you require any help at all in setting that up, please speak to your child’s Progress and Achievement Manager (PAM) in the first instance. It is worth noting that a significant proportion of students start this year with a good number of accrued reward points from their work during the closure period. As a result, many students are already ‘buying’ rewards and these will start to be distributed from next week.
In terms of day to day practicalities, before lockdown, almost 85% of all points awarded were for positive behaviours. That picture will continue, and hopefully become even more dominant, given how well our students have returned this year. However, where issues do occur, specifically in classrooms, we will follow the procedure below;
We will then require that a responsible adult come to school to collect the student in question at 3.50 p.m. We want to ensure that we work with families to ensure that behaviour is as strong as it can be to create the most effective and safe learning environment. The conversation at that point will focus on how the next day will be better.
Given what we have seen so far, we hope that the higher levels of this ‘ladder’ will not need to be used very often at all. Our students are generally fantastic; they are caring, respectful, happy and keen to learn. With those attitudes, the above only serves as a reminder of how we ensure that we effectively serve the needs of the vast majority of our school community.
Swanwick Hall School are are currently recruiting for a Teaching Assistant with BSL Level 2 (or willing to work towards) to support a student fully access classroom learning.
Post Edited: Selston High School Seeks Governors to join their local governing body. http://www.twocountiestrust.co.uk/2020/05/21/selston-high-school-seeks-governors-to-join-their-local-governing-body/