The Christmas Bumper Edition
Dear Parents and Carers,
Christmas is fast approaching and at school we are doing all we can to ensure our students and staff have as good an end to term as we can manage. Christmas trees are lit in our two Reception areas and in main school crush hall so that all can enjoy! Sadly, we have a couple of students who are unwell and will miss the festivities this week. We send them our thoughts and well wishes; we can’t wait to see them next term!
Further to the Department for Education announcement that schools can finish this Thursday and take Friday as an INSET day, I would like to confirm that Altrincham College will not be doing this but will still finish at 12.30pm on Friday 18th December. We took the extra INSET day that all schools were offered in September so that we could phase students back in.
During the Christmas holiday, if your child tests positive for Coronavirus and they have been in school in the 48 hours before they developed symptoms, then you should notify the school immediately by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org in the usual way. We will trace close contacts from those days in school. Parents/carers will be notified if their child is a close contact via email. The student concerned must then follow the instructions to self-isolate provided in the email. If they test positive for Coronavirus and have not been in school in the 48 hours before they developed symptoms, please notify school in January if their self-isolation will affect their attendance. In these cases, NHS Test and Trace will be responsible for notifying contacts.
Our Risk Assessment has been updated today in light of the change to the self-isolation period from 14 days to 10 days. Please take a look on our website.
Please also see accompanying letter from Trafford Public Health (bottom of this page).
Forms for Yr 9 DTP and Men ACWY vaccinations will be going out shortly. Forms should be returned to form teachers by 17.12.20 please. The vaccinations will be on 7th and 8th Jan.
The Yr 9 second HPV vaccination has yet to be scheduled.
The Department for Education announced last week what their plans are for exams and other assessments next year, the key points to note are:
- They will go ahead and, as previously communicated, they will start and end later. The official last exam date is 2nd July. With this in mind please ensure no holidays are booked until after that date. Even if your child’s own exams are scheduled to finish before this date there is the possibility that some rescheduling might take place, perhaps with short notice, so please be available.
- The DfE recognise that those taking exams have had a disrupted, and uneven experience. They intend to account for this by:
- Releasing some information on the exam content in January
- Making some non-core units in BTECs optional
- Setting up a ‘panel of experts’ to look into regional and institutional levels of disruption and try to account for this
- Maintaining the higher grade profile of 2020.
I do not think there is a perfect solution to the current situation but so long as the ‘panel of experts’ are able to deal with situations of significant disparity then this is probably a reasonable way forward. The key to accepting this approach is the appreciation that there cannot be a perfect solution in such unprecedented times.
Inclusion Coffee Morning
Last year, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we hosted our first Inclusion Coffee Morning at Altrincham College, which was a huge success and very well attended. Following this success, we would like to hold our first Remote Inclusion Coffee Morning. We aim to invite external specialists to present at our coffee events based on the needs of our families. Last year we had a representative from the local authority as well as the Educational Psychologist who works with us at Altrincham College, Tracey Woodley-Hume.
Below is a link to a short survey put together by our SENDCo, Mrs Noonan, which will help us to identify external agencies that you would like to hear present and SEND needs that you would like to learn more about. Once we have collated the results of the survey, we will send out an invite to our first Remote Inclusion Coffee Morning via this Bulletin.
Several of our staff decided to embrace ‘Movember’ this year and grew moustaches! They raised £500 in sponsorship and we are incredibly proud of them! Mr Larkin also created a display of shoes outside under the canopy to highlight men’s mental health which engaged great interest from students and other staff. Well done to all who took part in supporting such a worthwhile cause!
Nath the Cameraman
Last week, Nathan Bartley (a freelance cameraman) delivered an online careers talk to all students during their form period. Nathan has worked with us before and created our videos for our Open Evenings this year. They can be seen on the school website.
Nathan talked about how he became a cameraman from school right through to now – he was very inspirational! He gave some insider secrets to his most recent work on “I’m a Celebrity…” and shared some wonderful images from that production, as can be seen here:
Last year festivities were curtailed due to English Centre roof problems and the necessity to completely close that section of the school building. This year, we are constrained by Covid regulations but we are determined to make the end of term Christmassy! Three students won a competition to design a Christmas pizza and two of these (one was a runner-up) will be made ready for sale on Thursday alongside the rest of this mouth-watering menu. One pizza is vegetarian, the other meat. The winners were DG in 9.5, SS in 8.5 and ID-H in 7.6. Many congratulations to all of you!
Architect/interior designer help
Do we have any parents/carers who are architects or interior designers please? I would like some help with ideas for improving some areas of school as funding will not allow major refurbishment at this time.
If you can help, please email my PA Mrs Shields (email@example.com) and I will be in touch in the New Year! Thank you in advance.
Claim to Fame
Last year to celebrate Black History Month, a group of Y8 students worked with the artist Faith Bebbington to create three-dimensional figures representing all people coming together. This is currently on display in the Hall. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but the ITV ident which comes up before a programme (usually ‘Coronation Street’!) has for the last two years, been a short clip of a reindeer made out of white ‘fur’ with ITV as its antlers. This was created by Faith Bebbington so several of our current Y9s can say “I know her!”. Look out for it! You can also see it on YouTube:
Student Star of the Week
This week our winner is LM in form 7.1who has been nominated by Mrs Eastwood who tells me that ‘everything she does is above and beyond’! Well done LM – a certificate is winging its way too you! Keep up the great work!
Staff Star of the Week
This week’s winner is Mr Larkin, as nominated by his colleagues for his charitable work and support of our Student Leaders! Well done Mr Larkin!
Sadly, at the end of a term we can see some staff leaving us to move to pastures new. This term we say goodbye to Mrs Houghton (Head of Business) – who is moving to a school closer to home and Mrs Eastwood (Head of Food and Nutrition) who is taking up a Head of Faculty post at Helsby High School.
We wish them both every success in their new jobs and would like to thank them sincerely for all they have done for the students at Altrincham College.
In January, we are therefore welcoming two new staff: Mr Samulewski as our new Head of Business and Mrs South (an ex-pupil of AC) who will join us as Head of Food and Nutrition.
A reminder that we are due back for the start of the new term on Monday 4th January 2021. Full school uniform will be expected and students will be changing into PE kits in school so should ensure these are brought with them on the correct days. Changing will be facilitated under Covid regulations.
I genuinely want to pay tribute to the wonderful students of our school. They have shown extraordinary resilience, adaptability and good humour throughout these very different times.
I am pleased to report that despite all the hurdles that have been put in our way we have had a near 93-96% level of attendance this term, which is amazing! Well done to all. I also want to extend my thanks to all parents and carers; you have been very supportive throughout this term.
My final words must go to the staff at Altrincham College; they have hardly missed a beat in adapting to the new system and ways of working. We will continue in this positive way as we move into the New Year and towards normality. Our staff are dedicated to doing what is right, not what is easy, and we know that this is how we will all get to the other side of this pandemic brilliantly. I have every confidence! Thank you staff!
Stop the Spread! Stay safe!
Thank you for your continued support of our school.
May I wish you and your families a happy and safe Christmas and New Year. Here’s to better things to come!