Rough Notes – May 2020

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Dear Parents, Carers and friends of The Woodroffe School,

Thank you for taking the time to read through our latest edition of ‘Rough Notes’.

Whilst the school has only been open to the children of key workers and our vulnerable students, we have done our very best to ensure that all our regular methods of communication remain open. As a result, welcome to our slightly different May edition. Thank you all for the positive feedback received after our last publication, it was much appreciated.

Let me take this opportunity to thank you again for the support you have given the school during this difficult time. We have worked incredibly hard to ensure that we have supported the ongoing education of our students, whilst the school remains closed.

On Wednesday 20th June, we celebrated National Thank a Teacher Day. I am very grateful for the way our staff have adapted to this new way of working. It has been an incredible team effort, and everyone has played their part. The students are very fortunate to have such a dedicated team, focusing on their educational success and individual well-being.

In addition to our teaching staff, I would also like to thank our wider staff body for what they have done and continue to do to ensure that school can function effectively during the lockdown period.

What have we been doing as a school to support the school community?

During the school closure period, we have continued to ensure that those in need have been supported. Our free school meals programme has continued and has allowed for weekly collections, local deliveries for those with mobility issues, vouchers and in school meals for those attending our provision for vulnerable children.

For the past three weeks our partnership with LymeForward, the Lyme Regis foodbank, has enabled us to provide locally prepared and locally cooked frozen meals to families in need. I am extremely grateful for their support during this time.

Having moved to an online learning platform to ensure the continued education of our students, there has been a need, where possible, to support those without access. As a result, we have loaned school devices to those most in need of our support. Despite the government announcement of computer equipment for disadvantaged students almost two months ago, we are still waiting for them to arrive. The knowledge of our support programme led to one anonymous local donor giving five new laptops to the school, no strings attached. It is amazing to see how communities have come together during this difficult time to support those in need.

Some good news to share. At the planning committee meeting held on Thursday 7th May, the new block to be built at Woodroffe (WD/D/20/000109) was approved, with the conditions set out in the report. The new build was granted with unanimous approval. We now look forward to the commencement of the building work on site. Once complete, the new learning and teaching block will improve provision for all students. Further details can be found by following the link below:

https://planning.dorset.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=DCAPR_140544&activeTab=summary

During the lockdown, I have shared repeated messages and information about the support available for those experiencing mental health-related issues. As a reminder to what is available to students FREE of charge, please see the extract taken from a recent letter to parents and carers below:

Mental Health 1:

All students at The Woodroffe School have access to Kooth. This is a FREE online counselling service available to our young people. Please take a look at the information opposite, which may be of help to you.

So, what have I been doing this month?

Last month, I shared some of the things I had been doing during the lockdown, in-between the setting of work on Teams for my teaching groups and the supervising of in-school learning for the children of key workers and our vulnerable students.

This month, I have managed to take advantage of some of the recent stunning weather and the greater freedom to enjoy the coast for the first time in nine weeks. The photos below show some of the stunning local scenery enjoyed on an evening stroll with our dogs, Henry and Rupert.

I hope you enjoy our latest edition of ‘Rough Notes’. Should you wish to find out more about our school, news or events, please visit the school website which I am sure you will find useful. In addition, for regular updates, why not look at our Twitter outlets:

The Woodroffe School Headteacher: @HeadteacherTws
The Woodroffe School: @WoodroffeSchool

Best wishes,

Dan Watts
Headteacher