Tuesday 20th July 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
The final day of term for our students has arrived amidst glorious sunshine and the easing of Covid restrictions! I hope you and your families are looking forward to a lovely break!
Sadly, I have been unable to join in the end of term celebrations as I am currently self-isolating due to my son having contracted Covid – not the end to the academic year I might have wanted or foretold! He is thankfully not too badly affected but it’s so difficult being a Mum and not being able to go near your child when all you want to do is give them a big hug! I know many of you have gone through similar situations already and am keeping everything crossed that the summer and next academic year bring new hope that all will be better in time.
As a Headteacher I know how much the pandemic has affected young people’s learning over the last 16 months and I know this as a Mum too. At Altrincham College, we will do our absolute best to ensure a happy end of term, some fun summer home-learning and a new term in September that hits the ground running so that your child’s education can pick up again at full tilt. We are planning many extra-curricular activities as we aim to ensure that we educate the WHOLE child, allowing them freedom to learn in varied ways, to find their talent, their ‘Billy Elliott’ moment!
Next term we will be asking you to help us with a curriculum review – we want to know your thoughts on the subjects we currently offer and your ideas for what else we might consider introducing. We will also be asking the students and staff and will send out surveys in September. If you’re interested in helping us run activities on an extra-curricular basis, that would also be a good time to let us know!
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Our support of the mental health and wellbeing of all our students and staff will also be a priority moving into the new school year. We have helped so many young people throughout this time; for example, by increasing our counsellors from two to five and increasing the programmes we put in place for students to follow both inside and outside our curricular offer. This will continue for the foreseeable future; we have no plans to reduce this in any way. I hope you are reassured by this and will continue to support us in helping your child as best we can.
Mobile Phones: from September
A reminder that, to assist with students' mental health and to encourage behaviour for learning, mobile phones will NOT be allowed in school next year. If you have not already read this, Mr Keegan's letter (sent home on 9 July) is here.
Our Parents’ Association started really well a couple of years ago but all the plans for raising funds for the school through events like a school fair and car boot sale, were scuppered by Covid restrictions. We hope we can resurrect the PA as soon as possible next year and welcome any parents or carers who might be willing to give their time in this way. I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to existing ‘members’ of the PA (although we don’t have ‘membership’!) for their continued support.
Work will start in earnest on the school roof from 26th July. The earliest it will all be completed is Christmas therefore we are keeping the mobile toilets and classrooms we created from the staff room and DT workshop for the time being. I am very excited about how that part of school will look once everything is complete and will keep you updated on progress in my bulletins next year.
We are also hoping to improve our main school reception area to make more space for our support staff to work altogether. We are awaiting planning permission to improve the front of school and, once we have this, will start the refurbishment. Again, more information to follow in the new term as we try to future-proof our school environment for generations to come!
Student and Staff Stars of the Week
Having come through another year of disruption I would like to award ALL students and staff at Altrincham College the awards for Stars of the Week! I think everyone deserves it!!
The Rewards Days for most year groups went ahead last week and were a great success! Unfortunately, Y8 missed out due to nearly all the year group having to self-isolate but they will have their celebration in the autumn term! Great fun was had, the weather was kind and Mr Hughes’ BBQ skills were put to the test! This was a lovely end of term for our students, on a much smaller scale than previous years however, everyone enjoyed themselves immensely!
We awarded a new award this summer to commemorate the life of student Abdulla Hasan who sadly passed away this time last year. Abdulla was a wonderfully kind young man who was polite and respectful and always tried to help in any way he could. The Abdulla Hasan Award is given to a student who shows incredible kindness and consideration of others; this year it has been given to Lilly in Year 8!
Staff, students and Lilly’s family all commented on her kindness and willingness to do things for others. She is a credit to her family and our school! Many congratulations Lilly from everyone at Altrincham College!
We say a fond farewell to staff leaving us this term to follow new and exciting paths. On behalf of Altrincham College, I would like to say a massive THANK YOU for all they have done to support our students, several of them for many, many years (Mr Brennan and Mrs Bradley may even have taught some of our parents and carers!).
I think it is fair to say that the pandemic has made every one of us re-evaluate what we do at some point over the past year and a half and some big life-changing decisions have been made by our staff as in all organisations. It’s important that we take time to reflect and look back on all we have achieved in order to move on with energy and determination. Good endings make good beginnings!
Altrincham College will keep moving onwards and upwards! We will of course be welcoming amazing new staff in September and for students, some exciting learning experiences are coming their way thanks to the talents of all our staff!
On that note I would like to wish you all a…
I look forward to seeing everyone in September (check emails for details of the staggered re-entry to school to allow for testing) and hopefully seeing parents and carers ‘in real life’ as the new academic year progresses!
Thank you for your continued support of our wonderful school!
Stop the spread! Stay safe!
Have a wonderful break!