Rough Notes – January 2021

Dear Parents, Carers and friends of The Woodroffe School,

Thank you for taking the time to read through our latest edition of ‘Rough Notes’ and the first for 2021, a year all of us hope will be considerably better than the previous.

It has been a very strange start to the Spring term and one which has proven to be quite different to what we had planned for. At this point, I would like to apologise for the Christmas emails and the rapid changes to the arrangements for the start of term, this was however, out of our hands.

As it stands, students are not expected back to school until after the February half-term break at the earliest. There has been much said about the reopening of schools in the media, including the possibility of some schools returning before others in more hard-hit areas. The DfE has committed to providing schools with advanced warning relating to any potential return, so please watch this space.

Our school has remained open for the children of critical workers and those deemed to be vulnerable. We have had many more requests for support this time round and are doing our best to accommodate those in need. Assistant Head, Miss Hutchings, is doing a fantastic job in coordinating our onsite provision. If you are in need of support, please contact her or your child’s Head of Year.

Our remote learning continues to develop under the guidance of Assistant Head, Mr Vincent. Students will be receiving a mixture of remote learning tasks and live/recorded lessons where appropriate. Recently our tutor team completed their home calls, making contact with students, as part of our welfare support. Should you need assistance with technology and/or internet access, Mr Vincent will be able to help following contact with your child’s tutor. We have supplied lots of laptop devices for home learning and supported families with access to increased data, please ask if you need some support.

I am sure, you will have seen some of the work being completed by our Wellbeing team. They have recently launched Twitter and Instagram accounts to offer support to students and families. The team are in school daily and are on hand to support those in need. Please refer to the documents shared on social media and through direct email home for further information.

Our staff continue to do a fantastic job and have produced some wonderful activities for students to complete during the latest lockdown. It is important our students continue to engage with their remote learning, sticking to good routines and submitting their work through Teams. Mr Walker and Mrs Thompson, joint Head of Year 11, produced a great visual guide to support both students and parents/carers.

It is really important during these challenging times that we are able to celebrate some positives. I am extremely pleased to report that student offers for places at university are beginning to flood in. Yet again, our students are gaining places at some of the top universities across the country and have chosen to study some fascinating courses. We wish them all the best for their future studies. Miss Keaney and her team in the 6th Form continue to do a great job in supporting students with their options for post 18 education and employment. Should you need any further support here, please contact the team directly.

On Monday 18th January, West Dorset MP, Chris Loder spoke in the House of Commons, offering his gratitude to the way that those in education had consistently adapted to the ever-changing situation regarding educational provision. It was particularly pleasing for Woodroffe to get a special mention as one of the schools that has “totally gone above and beyond in delivering education to our children”. A particularly encouraging message and one which means a lot to all those at Woodroffe. We would like to extend our thanks to Chris for his continued support of our school since his appointment.

Last term, we made some additions to our Senior Leadership Team. I am not quite sure that this was the start they had expected but, this will undoubtedly be a great leadership experience. We welcome to the team:

  • Mrs Welzel as Associate Assistant Headteacher – SENDCO (Permanent)
  • Mrs Lemon as Associate Assistant Headteacher – Curriculum (Temporary)
  • Mr Loveland as Associate Assistant Headteacher – Assessment (Temporary)
  • Mr Ransome-Williams as Associate Assistant Headteacher – Timetable (Temporary)

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 social media outlets:

Woodroffe can be found on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

The Woodroffe School Headteacher can be found on Twitter - @HeadteacherTws
The Woodroffe School can be found on Twitter - @WoodroffeSchool
The Woodroffe School on Instagram – woodroffeschooldorset

Finally, I would like to thank you all for your support, your messages and kind words mean a lot to the staff at Woodroffe and help during these challenging times.

Take care and stay safe,

Dan Watts