Returning To Normal

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your support since March when your children returned to school.

Initially our return to school was very much around safety - both physically in terms of coming to school and moving around the building but also emotionally in terms of overall well-being and happiness. Please be assured that this remains our priority.  However  we also have to gradually reintroduce the systems and expectations that have been put on hold for almost a year.

Over the past few weeks,  all staff have been gradually re-establishing key rules and expectations.  This has included:

  • the removal of coats in lessons
  • a zero tolerance on hoodies (where students have responded extremely well)
  • reminding students about mobile phone rules (which are well established in school)
  • ensuring that students are in all of their lessons on time and remain in them for the whole time. We want students to use before school, breaks, lunchtimes and between lessons to use the toilets and to fill up water bottles. In terms of lessons we have been emphasisng that “every second counts''

Students have reacted positively to all of these expectations and it is clear that we are now in a position to build on this further.  In particular, we are keen to get students back into as many normal routines as possible, including changing for PE, ready for September.

After half term - from Monday 7 June all students in Years 7 - 10 will be expected to be in full school uniform every day. There will no longer be a need for students to wear their PE kit to school and instead students will have access to changing facilities. Students will however need to bring their PE kit to school to change into on the days when they have PE.

In order to make this change we will be making it clear what our uniform expectations are.  These expectations have not changed but during Covid we had to make temporary practical adjustments.  After half term, we will be in a position to re-open changing facilities and also offer students some limited access to their lockers.  The “bubble” system means that not all students will be able to access lockers during break and lunchtimes but they will all be able to visit their lockers before school, between lessons and after school.

We will be sharing  our expectations on uniform with all students before half term in readiness for June 7th.  We would ask that all parents and carers support us by checking their child’s timetable and ensuring that your child has their PE kit on appropriate days. Please also support us by checking that your child is in appropriate uniform.  To clarify uniform is exactly as it has always been - this can be found in your child’s journal and also on the school website however  I have included some specific points below;

  • Trainers of any description including black ones (Nike Air Force or any other branded black trainer) must not be worn in school other than for PE lessons.  School uniform is black shoes.
  • No Hoodies: Regardless of colour or design, Hoodies are not suitable for school or PE wear.  
  • Face and body piercings: Face and/or body piercing are not allowed except for one discrete stud in each ear.    Any student wearing prohibited piercing (jewellery) will have these confiscated regardless of the healing time required for new piercings.  I would therefore urge all students to avoid getting any new piercing during the academic year.
  • No false nails or nail varnish:  Any forms of false nails, non-natural colours are not allowed and will need to be removed.
  • Rings and bracelets: These are not allowed to be worn in school and any items will be confiscated and held by the school office.

No extreme haircuts:  While it is impossible to identify all styles which are not allowed, any hairstyle which may be deemed inappropriate in a professional setting. 

We are aware that the current climate and time of year may mean that some families will find difficulty in purchasing new uniforms or other essential equipment.  We do however have a range of support networks and would be keen to help; please do not hesitate in getting in touch with the school if you need support and/or advice.

Finally we are also intending to focus on punctuality at the start of the school day. We have made a minor adjustment whereby Period 1 will begin promptly at 8:55am.

Thank you again for your on-going support which is very much appreciated.

Yours sincerely

Elaine Nicklin