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Our Ref: DWt/LPu

1st July 2020

Dear Parent/Carers,

Sending you my best thoughts and wishes and I very much hope all are safe and well. I wanted to take this opportunity to firstly thank the outgoing Head Boy, Girl and Deputies for their outstanding work, albeit sadly cut short. Finlay, Lucy, Paul and Maliha did a wonderful job and I thoroughly enjoyed working with all four of them; they are already very much missed. I have written to them all individually to express my and the school’s gratitude.

It is with great pleasure to share with your our new Head Boy, Girl and Deputies, but before I do particular thanks goes to Miss Willmot for her expert organisation and communication in ensuring that the prefect selection as well as the following appointments went very well in quite unique circumstances.

After a long and challenging selection process the following have been appointed:

Head Boy – Jake B

Head Girl – Carlie D

Deputy Head Boy – Cole M

Deputy Head Girl – Kacey O’S

All four thoroughly deserve their positions and they were incredibly excited when I spoke to them along with their parents’ yesterday afternoon. It made quite a refreshing change to be delivering some good news to some of our youngsters during a time like this. There will be a number of our youngsters who will of course be disappointed but all who were interviewed did very well. They had to face questioning through an interview with Miss Willmot and I after school hours on Thursday and Friday last week; all performed admirably.

It has once again been a real treat to see our numbers in school increasing again this week and some really fantastic one to one teaching going on with our Year 10 youngsters who have and will be taking full advantage of that offer all week.

Looking ahead to next week I felt it important to go through the logistics with everyone so there is clarity around how it will happen. The process is as follows for the week beginning Monday 6th July and it will be the same each school day until the end of the academic year with our last day being Friday 17th July at 13.00pm for all of our young people accept our Learning Development youngsters who have been and will continue to finish at 12.30pm.

Those attending the three hours of teaching in Maths, English and Science from 10.00am to 13.00pm in school uniform each school day will receive an email informing them of what group number they are in and which room they will be based (classrooms being used will be G11 – 20 and M11 – 20). This will be emailed out on Friday July 3rd once we have confirmed numbers who are attending; the cut-off point is Thursday 2nd July at 12.00pm. All that is needed to be brought to school is a refillable water bottle, no food or writing equipment will be necessary as we will supply pens and pencils etc. Books will also be supplied and kept in the classrooms to avoid any possible cross-contamination.

Upon entry to the front school gates they will be greeted by Heads of Year and a Resilience Coach who will remind them of which group they are in and where to stand. They will be directed along the main path, passed the table tennis tables and onto the school field. Where each group stands will be clearly marked out on the grass of the school field and our youngsters are to stand on the dots, one metre apart, in a line with the rest of their group. The class teacher of the first lesson is to meet pupils on the field by the group number. Resilience Coaches will also be on duty for additional support. Once classes are ready, a class at a time will be walked into their classroom by the subject teacher. Our youngsters in the Maths rooms are to use external doors by the Performance Hall and those in the languages rooms are to use external doors by the far end of the Maths’ corridor.
Once in the class they are to remain in their seats and this will be their classroom and seat for the next two weeks from 10.00am to 13.00pm. During lesson if somebody needs to leave a classroom the class teacher calls for a Resilience Coach who will be situated in each of the two corridors; to escort the young person to the toilet for instance.

At the end of lesson 3 at 13.00pm the Resilience Coach allocated to each corridor will dismiss each class one at a time, maintaining social distancing, to avoid overcrowding of communal areas within the school building. The subject teacher of the period 3 lesson is to lead their class out of their room and escort them in single line following the one metre social distance guidance to the school front gate; please note that for logistical and safety purposes the rear school gate is not to be used and will be locked. Classes based in the Maths corridor are to leave the building from the same doors which they entered and the same for those in the languages rooms.

The Senior Leadership Team will be on duty at the front school gate and car park, Heads of Year and Resilience Coaches will carry out community walks to ensure our young people are not congregating within the local community and continue their journeys safely home.

It is really important that we know which of our youngsters in Year 10 are re-joining us on Monday 6th July by no later than 12.00pm on Thursday 2nd July through the online booking system. Given the great logistical effort it has taken to put this together, factoring in social distancing and clear safety guidelines (I have also attached the Risk Assessment) it will not be possible to accept more of our young people in who just turn up on the day or let us know after the deadline.

I am very aware that for some it will be difficult to return but all need to be ready to learn; it is a later start and earlier finish and also only for two weeks. Staff are really looking forward to getting back into the classroom to do some face to face teaching of groups of no more than twelve. I know our youngsters who have signed up are excited too, although they’d probably never admit as much. It is the same expectations with regards to work ethic and behaviour as any normal school day. We are here to teach and our youngsters here to learn; I hate to put a negative into any letter but if any of our young people are preventing the learning of others they will not be invited back the next day.

Over the last week the senior leaders and I have been working hard on a recovery plan for the school to ensure that key areas of the curriculum are caught up on for all year groups come September; next week is another big step towards us imparting knowledge in the best way I know and we need to all pull together to make up for lost time. I have been humbled and rejuvenated by the efforts of each and every member of our Woodlands School community; all have played their part and I am grateful to all for being behind what we have been trying to do. I know we will come out of this stronger together and the big plans we as a staff have for our youngsters will come off and lives will change for the better as a result.

I am also very appreciative of those of you that have got into contact via Microsoft Teams to discuss any concerns that you have and to pose any questions where there was some doubt. The weekly newsletter which you all receive sets out details of how all year groups can get in touch.

Mrs Wykes our Head of Year 7 and I had the great pleasure to host a live question and answer session via YouTube yesterday evening for our new youngsters that will be joining us at Woodlands in September. A first for both of us and I am pleased to say that we survived. It was a real honour to sit there as Head Teacher and listen to all the positive feedback and anticipation of more young people joining us.

Our community at Woodlands School is second to none, from each staff member, to each youngster to each parent and carer, I could not wish to lead a better group of people and I am so proud of what we are going to achieve and have achieved already.

I will be writing again next week with details on what September is going to look like. I have seen some leaked documents in the press and I do hope they are not the final proposals as even though I do like a challenge there is a limit. I have spoken to our MP Stephen Metcalfe and he was very sympathetic to our cause; I will be speaking to him once all announcements are made.

I am aware that this letter has been quite Year 10 focused but I felt it important that you all get to see what is going on; after all it is our school. As ever please do come back to me with any issues at all.

The very kindest of regards to all.

Yours sincerely,

Mr D Wright
Head Teacher

Click Here For  COVID 19 Risk Assessment

COVID 19 Risk Assessment Year 10 Sessions

 COVID 19 Risk Assessment_SEND_Pupils


We are continuing to follow advice from Public Health England in respect of Coronavirus.

At Woodlands School, every pupil will have the foundations laid for a lifelong love of learning, through a fully inclusive and appropriately challenging curriculum, taught by outstanding and highly qualified teachers. Pupils will have all barriers to learning removed, ensuring a safe and stimulating learning environment where all make outstanding progress, allowing them the opportunity to be excellent.

Academic excellence for all is sought to allow each pupil to fully engage in Higher and Further Education. We expect every pupil to work hard and be focused on leading their own learning, motivated by high aspirations and being mentally and physically fit to learn, having built up the resilience to cope with anything.

Through our extensive extra-curricula program we provide opportunities for each young person to enrich and extend their learning, developing confidence through enjoyment.

Pupils are expected to listen, try their best and never give up in their pursuit of excellence. To thrive at Woodlands all must be hard-working, polite and self-disciplined. We have clear boundaries which support all pupils ensuring that they maintain the highest standards in their own behaviour for learning.

We are incredibly proud of our school and as a learning community we work with all stakeholders to allow our pupils to have the highest aspirations, be resilient and seek out all opportunities to be excellent.

David Wright – Head Teacher


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