Rough Notes – February 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 second for 2021, where does the time go?

On Monday 22nd February, the Prime Minister announced that students would be returning to schools across the country from Monday 8th March. We at The Woodroffe School, recognise the importance of education and that the best place for students to learn is in the classroom with their regular class teacher. We are delighted to be in a position where we have been able to plan towards having all our wonderful students back in school, on a staggered return, from 8th March 2021. However, we also recognise the huge commitment made by parents and carers in supporting the ongoing education of their children whilst the country was in lockdown.

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 have done our best to accommodate those in need. Across the last six weeks, we have averaged over 70 students with us daily. This provision will continue during the staggered return from 8th March, with all students back in school from Friday 12th March. Please see the table below for details of the staggered return:

Year group & Return to school date:

  • Year 11: 8/3/21 – 8:40am
  • Year 13: 8/3/21 – 8:40am
  • Year 10: 9/3/21 – 8:40am
  • Year 12: 9/3/21 – 8:40am
  • Year 7: 10/3/21 – 8:40am
  • Year 8: 11/3/21 – 8:40am
  • Year 9: 12/3/21 – 8:40am

From the return to school date, all students will be in full-time.

Woodroffe will be providing voluntary ‘lateral flow’ testing opportunities for students during their return to school. Three testing opportunities will be provided and will be followed up by the provision of home testing kits for future tests. Please be aware that this process is recommended but completely voluntary.

So far, we have conducted over 800 ‘lateral flow’ tests in school with only 2 void tests being recorded and no positives. Whilst the process is a little uncomfortable, our students have yet again adapted very well.

We are very much aware that there will be some anxiety around the return to school, however, we have worked hard to ensure that we have minimised the risks as much as we are able, within the guidance provided. For further details regarding our wider opening plans, please see the documents emailed to parents and carers on Thursday 25th February or contact the school directly at:

It is important during these challenging times that we are able to celebrate some positives and recognise student effort and achievement.

Our remote learning has provided Woodroffe students with continued access to their learning. Students have received a mixture of remote learning tasks and live/recorded lessons where appropriate. Recently we awarded 270 students with certificates for their continued excellent commitment to learning. In addition, 200 celebratory letters were sent home to students who had excelled during the remote learning period. Finally, 958 out of 1070 students were identified by staff across the school as doing exceptionally well. We are incredibly proud of students and the resilience they have displayed during lockdown.

To ensure that students have had the opportunity to obtain key learning materials and resources during lockdown, we introduced our own ‘click and collect’ service. The service provided access to the school shop for essential learning resources as well as materials for lessons.

Applications for places at our 6th Form have been incredibly strong again this year. By the deadline, we had received over 140 applications for September 2021. Current Year 13 students have been receiving offers for places at a range of institutions. 99% of applicants have now obtained places at institutions including Oxford, Cambridge, St Andrews, Durham, and many, many more.

Despite the restrictions placed upon students due to the pandemic, many have continued to take up opportunities offered. Work experience is an integral part of our careers provision in school and some students have opted to engage with virtual placements. Matilda in Year 11 recently took part in a medical virtual experience where she got to see a real-life surgical procedure recorded the day before. The surgeons were using a sophisticated robot called Davinci to remove a kidney with stage 3 cancer. An amazing experience for a doctor in the making.

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 and Instagram.

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