Rough Notes – September 2021

Welcome to the first edition of Rough Notes for the new academic year. Thank you for taking the time to read our monthly publication.

Last year was one disrupted, yet again, by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hoped the situation would improve but found ourselves in new lockdowns and having to make arrangements for a second year without formal summer examinations. Despite this, our students did an amazing job and excelled in both their studies and GCSE, BTEC and A-Level qualifications. The success of our students would not have been possible without the care and support of our fantastic staff and the partnership provided by our parents and carers at home. I am truly grateful to you all for your contributions.

Despite the challenges, last year had many highs and I think these were wonderfully encapsulated in our July edition. If you have not yet looked, I whole heartedly recommend you do so, it’s full of fantastic articles about our wonderful school and the activities of our students and staff.

We have had a very positive start to school this September and despite the national concerns about the current situation, our students made a strong return, demonstrating their resilience. The phased return enabled us to support students more effectively whilst ensuring that they got the time they needed to be able to hit the ground running.

There have been many smiles since students returned. For those who found the transition a little more challenging, our 'Safeguarding and Wellbeing' team have worked hard to support them, ensuring that they are able to return to learning confidently in school as quickly as possible.

I would like to thank our staff for what they have done to ensure that we could welcome all students back as soon as possible and for the way that they have supported students in their return. This has been a real team effort.

The positive return has been boosted by the availability of some fantastic activities provided through our extra-curricular programme. Earlier in the month, year 8 students spent time at Carey Outdoor Education Centre where they participated in lots of fun teambuilding activities and personal challenges, creating some great memories along the way. I particularly enjoyed my visit and had a good time joining the students for some of their activities.

We are extremely proud of our students and their keen interest in the world beyond the school gates. Our students have a strong moral compass, are passionate about exploring and debating the key issues that interest them since they recognise, they have an important part to play in our society in the future.

So, it is important that students are given the space, opportunity, and freedom to engage in all the conversations that matter, whilst learning how to positively shape the future for the benefit of all.

On 14th September 2021, our participation in the ‘Generation on Trial’ event aimed to do just that. Twelve of our year 13 students (aged 17/18) attended along with students from other institutions. This event was organised and run by prominent human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith OBE, through his charity, the 3DCentre.

As well as collecting an excellent set of GCSE examination results this summer, Charlotte (now in our 6th Form) also recently qualified as a solo pilot. It is fantastic to be able to celebrate and share the wider successes of our students, should you have a good news story to share, we would love to hear from you.

Finally, next month, we will again be participating in the national ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ event, look out for further details coming soon.

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:

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

Best wishes,

Dan Watts