w.c. 13 September 2021
Dear Parents, Carers and Students,
At the risk of sounding like a song by Crowded House, our return to school has seemed at times like “four seasons in one day”! Beautiful warm sunrises, morning mists, torrential downpours and everything in between! But perhaps that sums up how the past year has been during the pandemic? I hope this picture will foretell the dawning of a wonderful school year for staff and students alike, and also for all of you! We are making sure we start the year with hope, optimism and positivity and will be encouraging all our young people to do the same, whilst supporting those who are struggling.
First Week Fabulous-ness!
It was wonderful to see everyone returning looking smart in their uniforms (thank you parents/carers!) with smiles on their faces. I think the prospect of some ‘normality’ in their education was the main reason why, boosted by the excitement of our new students starting with us. New year, new beginnings. As usual, my thoughts whilst standing at the gates ran along the lines of marvelling at how much students had grown over the summer, how they had matured in their behaviour and I also had to remember what they looked like without a face mask on! We had new staff starting with us too and all commented on the manners and behaviour of the students they taught. A great start to the school year!
We have new areas of school for students to learn in…well, not brand new but certainly for Years 7 and 8, parts of school they had never seen due to the pandemic. Students enjoyed moving from room to room again for their different subjects, using specialist equipment and could finally fully express themselves in the Arts! We have added Dance to our curricular offer this year and we are looking forward to auditions starting soon for “Bugsy Malone” – watch this space for further news on this!
The roof repairs are well underway and we will soon be starting on the makeover for main school Reception. Once this work begins I will write to you with more information but the main entrance will temporarily move to the Sixth Form entrance.
Open Evening will be taking place on site in school next week (23rd September). Please don’t forget your child will finish school at 2.15pm on this day, after a grab and go lunch.
However, following highly positive feedback from you last year, Parents’ Evenings will remain online via School Cloud.
Sports Fixtures are underway again as well as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and we are soon to launch our new and exciting Enrichment Programme of after-school activities to ensure your child can learn outside the curriculum and meet new people of all ages.
Last Wednesday our Sixth Form Art students went to Salford to see the unveiling of sculptor Emma Rodgers’ work “Salford Firsts”. You may have seen this on the local TV news.
Our aim to educate the whole child has started apace and we hope it will continue for the rest of the school year.
Of course, we haven’t forgotten about the Covid guidelines at this time and our updated Risk Assessment can be found on our website. We continue to follow Government and Public Health guidance, as we have done since March 2020. Please ensure your child tests at home twice weekly and the results are reported (even if negative or void) to the Gov UK website; if this guidance changes I will let you know.
My assemblies last week reminded students in all year groups of the need to act responsibly and to maintain regular hand-washing and/or sanitising during the school day. Our Site Team and cleaning staff are doing all they can to maintain a safe environment for everyone.
Please can I remind you that if your child is Clinically Extremely Vulnerable then you should contact Ms Bruckshaw (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will complete an individual risk assessment for them.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
This is still a high priority from me as we move forward, both for students and staff. You may have seen on social media or in the local news that we have a new recruit, Otis, the Therapy Dog!
This little cutey is trained and owned by Jude, one of our counsellors, and he supports the work with our students who feel upset or anxious. Studies show that human-animal interaction increases oxytocin levels in the brain, resulting in a sense of calm, comfort and focus. Welcome to Altrincham College Otis!
Thank you for your continued support of our school!
Ms K Earle