From the Headmaster - 6 November 2020
Posted by MM - Friday 6 November 2020
It has been good to welcome students back in to school this week, and I am sure this term will be as busy and productive as ever. Our virtual Christmas Concert is something to look forward to; more details will follow over the next few weeks. Also I wish Year 12 students sitting exams from now until 11 November the very best of luck – I am sure their hard work will pay off.
Well done to Charlie Rule in Year 11, who competed in the Bath Duathlon last weekend and came third in his category. No mean feat as the event took place in very poor weather conditions, with many top competitors taking part in one of just a few events available this year. Charlie has had to train hard over lockdown for the event, often on his own, and his focus and determination bore results; a true Richian.
Update on face coverings
You may be aware that this week the Government has issued further statutory guidance on the wearing of face coverings in education settings. As a result, we are now asking students and staff (unless they are exempt) to wear face coverings when moving around all areas of the School. This now includes the corridor in the Veale Block, the corridor in the new block and the corridor in the Sixth Form Block. We will also ask Sixth Formers to wear face coverings in the Year 12 supervised study space and the LRC. Face coverings will not be required in the Hall, Old Gym and Year 12 Private study space during break and lunchtimes* as these areas are primarily used for eating and drinking (*at this time).
For the avoidance of doubt, from Monday 9 November:
Unless they are exempt, students must wear a face covering when:
- entering and exiting the school premises at the start and end of the day
- moving to different classrooms within their year group bubble or inside school corridors
- queuing for food in the cafeteria or other food outlets.
Face coverings are not required:
- in lessons (including tutor time)
- when eating (including inside the cafeteria and Sixth Form Cafe)
- if using an outdoor route to move around the school site
- when outdoors during social times.
I would be grateful if parents could reinforce to students that face coverings must be worn on school buses, on public transport and in shops, to ensure we keep everyone safe in both our immediate and wider communities.
Remote learning offer
A number of our students and staff have been self-isolating and I would like to take this opportunity to clarify our remote learning offer. The Senior Management Team, Heads of Department and subject teachers have been working hard over the last few weeks to ensure that classwork and homework is posted regularly on Satchel One in order that students who are absent from school due to Covid-19 can access their learning online. In addition, teachers are offering Teams sessions for class groups.
- Where a year group or class bubble is isolating, students will be asked to follow their usual school timetable and teachers will set work and aim to deliver Teams sessions from the classroom. Students will take part in these Teams sessions from home, as a whole class.
- Where a teacher is isolating, work will be set on Satchel One and the teacher will also deliver Teams sessions from home if they feel well enough to do so.
Mental health and well-being
A reminder that there is a CAMHS helpline available for children, young people and families who may require support and advice from the NHS: Telephone 01452 894300 (9am-5pm Monday to Friday). Additionally, TiC+ counselling services can offer counselling remotely, details at www.ticplus.org.uk.
We are fortunate to be part of the Young Minds Matters (the name for the Mental Health Support Team in Gloucestershire), and we have been supported this term by mental health professionals Catrin and Marienne, who have been able to help a number of our students. The team have now launched a free, confidential text chat service for students – I would encourage them to use this service: YMM Chat 07480 635723
Ventilation and extra layers of clothes
As I am sure you will know, increased ventilation is a key control measure in schools for reducing the risk of transmission of Covid-19. Classrooms may be colder than usual as we enter the winter months, so we are advising parents and students that extra layers of clothing would be a sensible precaution to avoid becoming cold in lessons.
In practice this means:
- wearing school jumpers under blazers
- wearing a white vest or white t-shirt under school shirts.
Non-uniform hoodies or jumpers are not permitted to be worn under blazers. Students should also make sure they bring a waterproof, warm coat to school every day. Additionally, coats may be worn in the classroom when a member of staff assesses that this is appropriate.
The NHS is currently running two public consultations in Gloucestershire, which parents and students may be interested in taking part in. Running until 17 December, one consultation focuses on hospital services at Gloucester Royal and Cheltenham General hospitals, and the other on a planned new community hospital for the Forest of Dean.
House Art Competition
A reminder the House Art Competition is still open; students can enter artworks until 13 November. Please contact Miss Parry for further details: email@example.com
Careers webinars and virtual lectures
Mrs Morris has a number of careers activities planned which students in Years 12 and 13, as well as other year groups, may find of interest:
- Tuesday 10 November, University of Law lecture – those students interested in studying law can register for a virtual lecture on ‘What are the main issues when policing protests?’ at 4.30pm: www.law.ac.uk/events/booking. The lecture would be of interest to Year 12 and 13 students, to give greater depth to their current study and to give an insight into studying law at degree level.
- Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 November – Reading University has two webinars coming up on medical and biological sciences degrees:
- 11 November – Subject Spotlight: Medical Sciences, 15.30-16.30,
- 12 November – Subject Spotlight: Biological and Health Sciences, 15.30-16.30, https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1618046119439072272?dm_i=4R68,DYHB,1OVP7I,1PFII,1
- 11 November – Subject Spotlight: Medical Sciences, 15.30-16.30,
- Thursday 19 November – find out about careers in the RAF. An immersive, virtual hangar tour with the opportunity to speak live with an RAF recruiter. 6pm and 8pm. Book at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/raf-virtual-event-access-all-areas-thursday-19th-november-2020-tickets-123205233169?aff=INFO.
- Students considering studying an environmental degree, or an engineering, physics or product-related subject, can access a number of useful videos by Dassault Systemes at https://events.3ds.com/science-age-of-experience-2019 all of which, Mrs Morris advises, will provide useful information for UCAS personal statements.
The Education and Skills Team, Gloucestershire, would like students’ help in finding out what your wishes and concerns are about Careers Education and your future career. If students have a spare few minutes, they can complete the survey here: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/3JPHL9S
Latest issue of The Richian
The latest issue of the school magazine, The Richian, is now available online at https://strschool.co.uk/parents/newsletters/2020-11-Autumn%202020.pdf.
To avoid unnecessary handling of materials in school we haven’t printed our usual number of copies, but all pupils in Year 7 will receive a copy in the post over the next week or so, mailed directly from our printers. I do hope you enjoy reading the issue, as there is much to celebrate about our achievements over the last few months.
As ever, if you require any assistance or further clarification about our COVID-19 protocols, please don’t hesitate to contact Heads of Year or Key Stage, details below.
With best wishes for the weekend
|Contact details for Heads of Year|
|Year 7||Mrs Jennifer Robinsonfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Year 8||Mr Zak Hindsemail@example.com|
|Year 9||Mr Nick O’Neilfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Year 10||Mr David Tilleyemail@example.com|
|Year 11||Mr Neil Stewartfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Year 12||Miss Ellen Jaunceyemail@example.com|
|Year 13||Mr Barry O’Neillfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Contact details for Heads of Key Stage
|Head of Key Stage 3||Rhys Daviesemail@example.com|
|Head of Upper School||Peter Daniellfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Head of Sixth Form||Matthew Lynchemail@example.com|