Lots to celebrate this week!
It was great to hear the announcement from the Government on Tuesday that they will continue to fund free school meals over the summer. This means that we will be able to provide £15 vouchers throughout July and August to all students eligible for free school meals. Huge credit goes to Marcus Rashford for launching the campaign that forced the PMs’ hand. It was brilliant to hear one of our finest young footballers stating that “the wellbeing of our children should always be a priority.” What a fantastic role model! I only hope he doesn’t ruin it by scoring the winner against the Albion when we play Manchester United on June 30th.
This was followed up by the announcement today that schools in England will receive additional funding for catch-up support through a national tutoring programme that will run for 3 years. This is excellent news for Patcham High because the model for this programme is based on that which we already use in our deployment of Maths, English and Science coaches. It has worked for us over recent years and has been pivotal in driving improvements in GCSE exam grades and closing the gap for disadvantaged students.
But the highlight has been welcoming back our Year 10 students. Each day this week we have invited 20% of the Year Group into school. Although, thanks to a parent survey, we had an indication of how many students might be in, we were blown away by the numbers that turned up each day. Over 70% of our Year 10 students have been in school this week. This is fantastic! The atmosphere was brilliant and the renewed enthusiasm from the kids to be in school was very apparent. We offered them a wellbeing session and some learning in their core subjects … as they left site at the end of the day all assured me that they would be back next week! Like all schools, we have a fair bit of catching-up to do, but we’ve started the journey very positively.
On our Lower Site our numbers continue to increase. Throughout the week we have ben welcoming more and more students into school. Any vulnerable children or children whose parents (or carers) are key workers has a place waiting for them at the school. Please don’t hesitate to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to take up this place.
I continue to closely monitor the news waiting for further announcements from the Government. There appears to be a determination to get schools back to ‘normal’ in September. And having just heard that the UK’s Covid-19 alert level has reduced from four to three, this is looking more and more achievable. I am very much looking forward to getting the go ahead to take the next steps on the road map for easing lockdown measures.
Please can I remind you that you can make an appointment to meet with me on Zoom at one of the ‘Virtual drop-in sessions’ (Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:00-9:30am) by emailing EHolmes@patchamhigh.org.uk
Thank you for your continued support.
Please take care!