Headteacher Weekly Bulletin 13th March 2020

Good afternoon

Just in case you didn’t receive my earlier email to all parents / carers, here is the latest message with regard to Coronavirus:

Following the latest (Thursday 12th March) announcement from the Prime Minister, the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser and advice received subsequently from the Department for Education and Public Health England, I can confirm that School will remain open until further notice.  The principal change, evidently, is that anyone suffering from a persistent cough or high temperature (regardless of whether they have travelled from one of the restricted areas abroad) should self-isolate for 7 days.  Clearly, we would want to avoid any unnecessary absence from School but I would ask that parents / carers adhere to this guidance should the symptoms manifest themselves in their child.  It would be advisable to ring 111 if in doubt.

Behind the scenes, we are of course planning for any potential closure and particularly for its effect on our GCSE and A level students.  One must remember that we are not existing in isolation and will work with the authorities and other institutions to mitigate the impact on this important period in a young person’s education.  Thankfully, we are approaching (or in many cases have already reached) the end of the delivery stage of course content and so should we be forced to close, we are well placed to guide students with their revision.

Anyway, that’s for another time; for now it’s (pretty much) business as usual (with lots of hand-washing) and for goodness sake, let’s ‘keep calm and carry on.’  I’ll update you as and when there are any relevant developments.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch should you have any further concerns or questions.

So, what news do we have from the past week at Wellington? Well, it’s been another full-on five days with, seemingly, even more to report than ever. 

Tuesday was undoubtedly my favourite day this week.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t make the Year 11 Performing Arts assessed performances in the morning but Ms Bennett reports that she was impressed with the students’ efforts.  I did, however, go across to the Year 13 mock results morning to hear Mr Cropper and Mrs Shelley address the nervously excited students.  I thought my colleagues got the message spot on and this morning always serves as a perfect catalyst to kick-start the final push towards the summer.  Year 11 will ‘enjoy’ the same experience next Thursday.

I also made it to the Food Tech room period 5, where the GCSE students were showing off their culinary masterpieces to their parents.  Mrs Ryan has obviously done a fine job honing the skills of her Year 11’s, and had it not been straight after lunch I could have done some serious damage to the delicious fare on offer.  Well done to all involved and now let’s make sure we smash that theory exam!

Tuesday evening saw the first two of the four Year 7 Homework Project Showcases and, my goodness, as organiser-in-chief Mrs Shelley stated to parents on the night, we were blown away!  The quality of both the projects and the presentations was truly outstanding from the students.  Topics covered included plastics, the brain, the moon landings, prime numbers, medieval castles and churches, plus other history, geography and music inspired creations.  Inevitably, there were lots of justifiably proud parents and teachers in the Adshead Hall.  I have to say, I was extremely impressed with the parents too; they showed real enthusiasm and interest in all the children’s projects, not just their own child’s, asking some brilliant questions and showing their genuine appreciation. 

All four sessions were of the same high standard so a massive well done to all our fabulous Year 7’s and to the teachers and parents who may have helped out a little!

Tuesday was the day that just kept giving and so it was straight from the Adshead Hall to the Vale for Miss Jones’ ‘Re-love Our Stuff’ second-hand goods sale.  Miss Jones, who (sadly for us but great for her) goes off on maternity leave today, has done an excellent job getting the Eco committee off the ground.  I’m sure Miss Rostron and Mrs Ramsumair will carry on her great work.  Miss Jones would doubtless want me to mention the absolutely superb Year 8 and Year 10 girls who helped set up and act as stallholders throughout the event.  Furthermore, it was great to see the colleagues I’ve already mentioned joined by Business & Finance Director, Miss Tunstall, and Miss Crump from REP; colleagues united in a great cause.  I haven’t yet heard the final amount raised (which we will invest back into the work of the Eco Committee) but it was at least a couple of hundred pounds.  Not a bad start and we will definitely run a similar sale later in the year.

On the subject of fundraising, our Sponsored Walk total stands at just under £23,000 as of today.  An incredible effort, so thank you! With two weeks until Easter and a good number of students yet to return their money, I do think we can go beyond the £30k mark.  Please, please, please get the money in next week if you possibly can.  Any additional donations / sponsorship gratefully received. 

Continuing with the charitable theme, I was approached by Evie Needham in Year 9 last week, who is volunteering as part of her Duke of Edinburgh award with The Hygiene Bank (a Manchester-based charity). Their aim is to collect ‘hygiene’ products for distribution to families in the region who, in many cases, have to choose between eating and buying items that most of us take for granted.  Form tutors have now delivered Evie’s presentation (link below) to their tutees so you may well already have got wind of this initiative and been harassed at home.  There will be collection points around School or tutors will happily receive items and pass to Mrs Roberts and me.  There are potentially some tough times ahead and it is always the most vulnerable families and communities that our hit hardest at these times; I’m sure we could all think to chuck an extra tube of toothpaste, some shower gel, sanitary products or something else off the list provided into our shopping trolleys each week.  Thank you again in advance for your support.

History trip to London, Careers in Health and Social Care visit to Trafford Town Hall, Mechanics conference at the University of Manchester, GCSE and A level masterclasses, a Fair Trade cake sale and the annual Year 7 Science trip to Chester Zoo are just some of the events and activities to fill the diary this past week.

As always, there was also the usual healthy dose of sporting activity this week, the highlight inevitably being the Year 7 rugby fixture at St Ambrose last night, where my 14 little warriors were outstanding and fought to … well, we’re not entirely sure of the outcome quite honestly.  It was either an 8-try-a-piece draw or a 9-8 victory to us.  Inevitably, the boys are claiming the latter but I never bother counting and on this occasion, the ref seemed somewhat unsure too. 

Actually, I’m probably doing a huge disservice to the Year 8 girls by claiming this as the sporting highlight of the week.  I happened to be out of school on Wednesday when a very excited group of them came to tell me they’d won the Trafford Dance Festival, under the guidance of Miss Kelly.  I think this was something of an unexpected victory but an accolade the girls will receive quite gladly.  Well done, ladies.  I have to say there is a core of this group (I won’t start naming names as I’ll miss someone out) who seem to be involved in absolutely everything in School.  Great to see and their contribution will serve to be of huge mutual benefit to both the School and  the individuals concerned, but then it’s such a shame when we see others not appreciating or making the most of the opportunities we provide here at Wellington.

A number of other sports reports for you to peruse so I won’t spoil it by disclosing too much.  Enjoy it while you can as there is evidently a pending suspension of fixtures as we enter the ‘delay’ phase of the Coronavirus response. One must not make light of such matters but weekends are clearly going to be a little different for a while without televised live sport.  As one colleague, who will remain nameless, suggested earlier, “I’m going to have to speak to my wife and children now!”  I can’t possibly condone this attitude but I rather get where he is coming from.  I can picture Mrs Beeley relishing the compiling of a jobs’ list for me.

Anyway, enjoy your (sport-free / discovering a new hobby) weekend and I hope you all stay well.

S Beeley

The Hygiene Bank