Our Manor 8-12 February 2021

Message from the Principal

Another half term in this extraordinary year passes and it feels like there may be some light at the end of the tunnel as the vaccine continues to be rolled out and the picture painted by the data seems to be improving. We are desperate to welcome all of our students back into school and experience the vibrancy that this brings to our daily lives.

We are hopeful that the good news messages continue to come immediately after half term. We anticipate that we will receive the OFQUAL consultation outcome on Monday 22 February which will provide some much needed clarity on the landscape and timeline of the summer assessment series. We know that the government have articulated that they would like students to return on 8 March if at all possible – so, with the promised two-week preparation window in place, this would also be announced on 22 February.

This week, the Senior Leadership team met for our annual school development conference. This usually takes place in late March, however, we brought it forward to this half term to take advantage and cause less disruption with the students currently being out of school. Following a year of necessary operational focus, it was wonderful to be able to get our heads up and focus on the future.

Our discussions were aspirational and forward thinking, whilst being conscious of maintaining all the things that are currently great about Manor School. The framework for the discussions were restart, reframe, recast.


This element focused on all the elements we want to keep and restart. We are very conscious that in September, the whole of KS3 will not have experienced a full academic year of normality at Manor School. Similarly, we are sensitive to the fact that students beginning or part way through exam courses have also experienced disruption. We will take the necessary time to ensure that we communicate our standards, routines and expectations clearly and often so that our whole school community has the opportunity to make a smooth transition back into in school learning.


We are determined to take the positives out of our experience over the last year. It would be easy to just focus on the negatives and things that have made life and schooling more difficult. However, we have also learnt so much and by describing our situation in a new light it enables us to embrace huge opportunities for growth and development, challenge assumptions, and identify and understand different perspectives. We fully intend to use the lessons learned to be better.


Finally, we may have been out of school but that does not mean that the world has stopped. Many elements of our work - for example remote learning - have moved on, therefore, we may have to take aspects of what we used to do and reshape them into a new form. Indeed, the very role of schools and how we contribute to society and community may have been recast by this experience. We truly believe that we can capture the really positive relationships made and come back better and stronger than we were before.

Therefore, we are very much looking forward. Looking forward to the opportunities that lay before us. Looking forward to welcoming everyone back into school safely. Looking forward to hearing the buildings filled with the hustle, bustle and laughter of school life. In conjunction with this, we have some very exciting news to share after half term that we believe will set our school up brilliantly for the next stage of our journey and development, so watch this space.

Thank you for your support as always and have a fantastic half term break.

Jay Davenport, Principal

Parents' Evening

Thank you to our Year 9 students and their parents/carers for their impressive turnout at the Year 9 Virtual Parents' Evening last night. The feedback received so far has been positive and we look forward to continuing to work on the processes around these as the system use is increased.

We are really keen to understand what is working well with these events and what could be further improved. Please fill out the feedback form to share your views.

The next virtual Parents' Evening takes place on Thursday 25 February for Year 11 and 13. A letter with full booking details will be sent via SchoolComms shortly.

Free School Meals – National Voucher Scheme

For those families in receipt of Free School Meals we have already purchased vouchers through the National Voucher Scheme for the next three school weeks, starting from Monday 8 February 2021 (not inclusive of half term). Families will receive a voucher worth £15 per child per week. Those families with more than one child at Manor School will receive a combined total in one communication rather than separate ones for each child. You should have received your communication from Edenred by now.

Families are eligible for Free School Meals if they receive any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

You can apply via the following link - https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals

If you have any queries relating to Free School Meals, please contact nbannard@manor.school.

International Women's Day and Careers Week

We are pleased to be working alongside Raunds Town Council to celebrate International Women’s Day 2021. As you can see from the invitation below, there will be six notable Influential Women from diverse backgrounds, who all work within a range of industries.

Click to enlarge

As part of the programme and within Careers Week (week commencing 1 March), Manor School will deliver to all students a short film recorded by the women, focusing on how their chosen industries support the progression of women and what their career path looked like.

The following week will see us celebrate International Women’s Day. On 8 March, Raunds Town Council will host the virtual conference as detailed in the invitation. All students at Manor School will have the opportunity to pose a question to each one of the delegates via our Student Executive who will have a presence at the conference.

Humanity in action

A sixth form student who was due to travel on the Camps International trip to Borneo this summer before it was cancelled due to the pandemic has shown incredible humanity. Zantay continued fundraising even after her visit was unfortunately cancelled and has donated money that she raised to Thrapston FoodBank, the Rotary Shoebox appeal, Macmillan and many others including mental health and animal shelters.

Now in her latest act of incredible humanity, Zantay has donated three laptops to Manor School to be used by students and families in the school who are less fortunate and don't have the access to technology that they need for remote education. We are very proud of Zantay and incredibly grateful for her kind contribution. Mr Davenport was pleased to present her Principal's commendation when she came into school this week.

Online working tips

To help students look after their body and mind whilst working online, we recommend they follow the tips in the following document:

Wellbeing webinar

Is your child finding lockdown and home learning a real strain? We know we are living in strange times which is constantly challenging all of us on many levels, including our mental and physical wellbeing. Finding new ways to improve how we feel and achieve more is so important and that is where Aspire Higher’s ‘Keep Calm and Stress Less’ event can help.

The event, through a combination of interactive sessions and information from motivational speakers and field experts will give students some top tips and advice on many areas including:

  • Self confidence
  • Physical activity on wellbeing
  • Mindfulness
  • Stress and how to cope with it
  • Study skills

Details of the event are as follows:

  • Date: Wednesday 3 March
  • When: Morning session 10am to 12.30pm, or afternoon session 4pm to 6.30pm
  • Where: Aspire Higher YouTube Live Stream
  • Who: Year 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13

To register for the event, click on the link below, enter the PIN A3ID and complete the form.

Lockdown League update

Unfortunately it was another loss against Huxlow Science College last week in Nsport's Lockdown League, but it's not over yet as we're in the runners up contest against three other schools in the county. This is the final week of the League, so let's finish on a high note by coming out on top!

Students have until 5pm on Sunday 14 February to log their active minutes on the Lockdown League website.

Maternity leave

Mrs Howes (RHO) will be going on maternity leave from 19 February. Miss Knight (RKN) will be returning to Manor as maternity cover, and therefore if you have any questions regarding tutor or dance/drama lessons, Miss Knight will be the point of contact.

We wish Mrs Howes and her family all the very best as she goes on maternity leave.

NASA’s Mars rover landing

NASA's Mars Perseverance rover will touch down on the Red Planet on Thursday 18 February. There will be lots of programming you can tune in for in the run-up to the event, with the landing itself streamed live via multiple channels.

For a schedule of the online events plus details of what the mission entails, please click the links below.

Manor Maths Challenges

It's all about maths in the wider world in Mrs Radd's blog this week. Half term presents a great opportunity to consider how maths is involved in activities that can be done away from a screen. Think crochet, baking and journalling - maths is all around us if we look close enough.

Weekly REACH Champions