Rough Notes – November 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of Rough Notes. Thank you for taking the time to read our monthly publication, I am sure you will enjoy the content.

Despite the ongoing national concerns about student wellbeing and anxiety, and the new ‘national lockdown’, our students continue to remain strong, demonstrating their resilience and desire to consistently be in school.

Recently, The Department for Education published a figure showing how many schools were only partially open because of having to send home groups of students, this figure currently sits at around 21%. Additionally, around 13% of schools have sent home 30 or more students and overall, around 5% (400,000 students) are out of school because of Covid-19 outbreaks. Around 0.3% of schools are completely closed.

Despite the national picture, Woodroffe attendance has consistently remained at around 95% for the term to date. Our highest weekly attendance figure for a single year group sits at a staggering 97.7%, congratulations Year 9! I would like to thank our parents and carers for their support in helping us to ensure that our students continue to attend education consistently during this period.

As time moves on, and despite the restrictions in place, it is important to take a moment to recognise what often goes unnoticed. The other day, I was watching a Year 7 PE lesson where the students were enjoying some small-sided gameplay. When the lesson came to an end, one of the boys turned to a player on the opposite team and simply said “well played, thank you!”. Whilst not a significant moment in itself, that act of kindness and recognition of another, speaks volumes about the character of the students at our school, a wonderful example of camaraderie and sportsmanship.

Whilst walking down from my lunch duty on ‘top pitch’, I noticed this little garden visitor:

The unplanned mixture of the wild and human habitats coming together to make a lovely seasonal photograph. Taking a minute to notice what would have been easy to walk by, was a lovely peaceful moment in an otherwise jam-packed day.

There have been many smiles since the students return. For those who have found the transition a little more challenging, our Safeguarding and Wellbeing team have worked hard to support these students, ensuring that they feel able to return to learning confidently in school as quickly as possible. So far, the team have supported 127 students in all year groups, demonstrating the value and need of the service provided. We are dedicated to ensuring that our students return to school is positive and want to ensure that everyone has the support needed to be successful.

This first term would normally have included many school events but, due to the Covid-19 restrictions in place, many of these have required amendment or postponement until the time arises where we can safely run these events again. That said, we have provided prospective students, parents, and carers with the opportunity to get a flavour of our fantastic school through a virtual 6th Form Open Day. The resources, including videos, can be viewed by following the link attached below:

Virtual Open Day – The Woodroffe School

Woodroffe students took an active part in recognising the service of our fallen armed forces members on the 11th November. Whilst Remembrance Day looked very different this year, it was of significant importance, that despite the restrictions, we marked this day appropriately. Students participated in events both within school and at the memorial in Lyme Regis.

On Friday 13th November we participated in the BBC Children in Need campaign. It was great to see so many individuals joining the cause and helping to raise money in support of the charity along the way. On the day, we managed to raise a staggering £917. Thank you very much to all those who took part and supported the event, much appreciated.

We want to ensure that our school remains open for as many students as possible, educating our young people for as long as possible, whilst we do what we can to ensure that all remain safe. Information has been regularly and consistently shared with students and home about the measures taken by the school to ensure a smooth and safe reopening. Please help us to remain open for as long as is possible by reinforcing these messages at home and ensuring that your children are well prepared and follow the plans in place.

  1. Please ensure that your child attends school each day with a face covering. These are mandatory whilst moving around the school, between lessons and in communal spaces.
    For students who are unable to wear a face-covering for genuine reasons, parents must contact the Head of Year directly.
  2. Please ensure that your child attends school each day with their bottle of hand sanitiser. All students and staff were reissued with a new bottle on Monday 5th November.
  3. Please ensure that your child is prepared for inclement weather as we head into the colder months.

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 Feeds:

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

Best wishes,

Dan Watts