As a school community we are all incredibly pleased to be welcoming all our students and staff back on site from the 8th of March. As I type, staff are busily making the final preparations for the safe return of all year groups over the coming days, and ensuring systems are in place to conduct over 3000 Lateral Flow Tests. As I am sure you can imagine this has been some challenge, but staff as always, have worked relentlessly to ensure that we are able to keep students, staff and the wider community safe.
Our critical worker/vulnerable provision will remain in place during the phased return as we recognise the importance of these young people being accommodated in school.
Regarding mask wearing and the Lateral Flow Test consent, I wanted to thank the vast majority of parents for your support. By consenting to these safety measures we are collectively helping to drive down rates of COVID-19 in our community, enabling us to keep Huxlow open and providing the quality education our young people deserve.
During LORIC time there will be a programme of support in place to ensure student transition to face-to-face learning is as smooth as possible. Wellbeing and safety remain our priority and we will be reiterating the school safety measures regularly and ensuring students receive any additional support they may need.
The focus of this newsletter is information sharing prior to full reopening and I am confident our next edition will showcase the great work going on at Huxlow over the coming two weeks!
A huge thank you to the entire Huxlow community for pulling together at this time to keep everyone safe and our students learning.
Return to School
We will be staggering the return of students in the week commencing 8th March 2021. Remote Learning will continue for all year groups until they are back in school and it is expected that all students access these lessons.
- Year 12 & 13 - Monday 8th March
- Year 10 & 11 - Tuesday 9th March
- Year 8 & 9 - Wednesday 10th March
- Year 7 - Thursday 11th March
Exam year groups have been prioritised in line with government guidelines.
Critical Worker Provision
The critical worker/vulnerable provision will still be available during the staggered return and students will be placed back with their bubbles on the dates they return to school.
We will be following our usual procedures if we have a confirmed positive case. Close contacts will be identified and will be sent home, where they will be required to self-isolated for 10 days from their last close contact.
- All students will be expected to return in full school uniform.
- All students should wear PE kit on days where they have core PE or BTEC Sport lessons.
- Any uniform issues should be reported to your son/daughter’s Form Tutor who will issue a uniform slip.
- Huxlow hoodies can be worn in school and will remain on our order form.
Return to School Plan
As infection rates remain high and the new strain of COVID-19 is reported to be up to 70% more transmissible, we have decided to return to bubbles for the rest of the term. This will completely minimise students interacting with other bubbles for the next 3 weeks, even outside. This will be reviewed at the end of term as it was previously.
Sharing of stationery will not be permitted, students should come to school with full stationery. As a reminder, all Huxlow students have the following items checked in LORIC time each day:
- Full School Uniform
- Reading Book
- Mask (plain/no branding)
Break times, lunch times and the end of the school day will be staggered.
We will also be maintaining our one-way system around the school site.
Following the government guidance, attendance will be mandatory from Monday 8th March. Our aim is promote 100% attendance for every child.
- If your child is unwell and cannot attend school, please contact us on the first day of their absence.
- If the absence is due to COVID-19, please follow the guidance from the government and contact us.
- We will resume the use of our pre-lockdown attendance policy and procedures to monitor absences, following up with any actions started prior to Christmas.
Please contact Mrs Huchet with any questions or concerns.
The canteen will be open as usual from Monday 8th March. It would also be advisable for the students to bring a refillable water bottle with them. Please ensure you have topped up your childs Wise Pay account.
Asymptomatic Testing Programme
- All consenting students will have three lateral flow tests on their return to school. There must be 3-5 days between each test.
- Once students have been tested three times in school, they will be issued with tests to take at home.
- Students and staff will be expected to complete two home tests per week every week.
- Full instructions will be provided in due course. This will considerably reduce the burden on staff in school and will ensure students and staff are tested before they come on site.
Sixth Form Plans
- Students across all three TENC schools are being offered Lateral Flow Tests in their home schools on Friday 5th March
- Students will not be permitted to go to Rushden Academy or The Ferrers School if they intend to have a test but did not have it on Friday 5th March. These students should attend Huxlow where they will need to access lessons remotely. Please be advised of the following testing details.
Lateral Flow Tests are not compulsory, and students will not be prevented from accessing their education if consent has not been given. However, we strongly advise that you give consent for these students to access this programme. It is an additional layer of protection to enable us to keep staff, students, and our community safe and to keep the school open for learning. There is a supportive team of staff on hand to reassure and guide students through the process. Staff on site have also been tested twice every week.
Students in the Sixth Form can provide their own consent.
Important: If your son/daughter has had a positive covid test in the past 90 days and you have given consent for the testing, please ensure you inform us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . These students will not be tested until 90 days from their positive test result as they may still test positive and this will mean they and family members will need to isolate unnecessarily. Please also include evidence of the positive test result. Thank you.
As per government guidelines face masks will be required wherever 2-metre social distancing cannot be adhered to, including classrooms.
- Students will be required to always have an appropriate supply of masks (plain in colour and without branding – snoods and face shields are not permitted).
- We will issue all students with a mask at the start of their first day, but it will be your responsibility to ensure students have these each day thereafter.
- Masks will need to be worn inside classrooms, inside any building and when transitioning between lessons outside.
- Masks will not be required outside at lunch and breaktime, or when eating/drinking in the hall.
- Masks will not be worn during PE lessons.
Mask wearing in classrooms will be reviewed at Easter by the Government. We have three weeks to comply with these regulations and we appreciate your support with this to keep everyone safe currently.
Afternoon Tea Winners
- Year 7 - Bailey WL
- Year 8 - Precious F
- Year 9 - Grace S
- Year 10 - Jessica W
- Year 11 - Zoe B
- Year 7 - Dylan T
- Year 8 - Caiden W
- KS4 - Lacey M
Samsung Tablet Winners
- Year 7 - Cerys R
- Year 8 - Autumn H
- Year 9 - Leon X
- Year 10 - Ashleigh J
- Year 11- Aimee P
World Book Day -The Masked Reader - can you guess who is reading and win house points. Take a look and complete the form below.
All students will receive a World Book Day voucher from their form tutors when they return to school.
These can be used in either of the following ways:
- To buy one of the World Book Day £1 books
- As a £1 book voucher for any book over £2.99
If you enjoyed reading books written by Jeff Kinney, such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Diary of a Awesome Friendly Kid
Then why not try...
Thirteen-year-old schoolboy, Dirk Lloyd, has a dark secret - in fact he is a dark secret. Dirk - according to his own account - is the earthly incarnation of a Dark Lord, supreme ruler of the Darklands and leader of great armies of orcs and warriors, intent on destruction and bloody devastation. Following a colossal final battle between the forces of good and evil, the Dark Lord was defeated and hurled by his arch-foe's spells into the Pit of Uttermost Despair. At the bottom of the Pit lies...a supermarket car park in the municipal town of Whiteshields, somewhere in modern day England. And when he is found, and tries to explain that he is the Dark Lord, people think he means Dirk Lloyd. The fact that he's trapped in the puny body of a schoolboy doesn't help.
And so begins Dirk's battle to recover his dignity, his power, and his lands... Along the way he faces the inconvenience of being fostered by a do-gooding family, the Purejoies; the torture of endless hours of drudgery at the Whiteshields Brainwashing Centre (aka school); a vengeful Headmaster; two interfering Psychotic Persecutors (psychotherapists); and constant laughter and disrespect when he attempts to marshall his lackeys and lickspittles (friends) to do what he wants them to.
Dirk makes friends with the son of his foster family, Christopher, and the local Goth Girl, Sooz, and together they attempt to cast a spell that will transport Dirk back to his homeland. Inevitably, not everything goes to plan..
Abducted by aliens, Harry wakes up on his birthday marooned on a spaceship. His only companions: two freaky princess clones, a weird alien-fish-kangaroo hybrid with delusions of grandeur and a ship's computer with a serious attitude problem. It's the worst birthday ever.
How is he ever going to get back to Earth now?
From a smelly watering hole deep in the heart of the Serengeti to the ferocious clamour of the Colosseum, join Julius Zebra and his motley menagerie of friends as they gear up to be ... gladiators! Only if they win the love of the Roman crowds will they win back their freedom. But do Julius and his pals have what it takes to succeed in a world where only the meanest and toughest survive? Madagascar meets Gladiator in this exciting, action-packed and hysterically funny story brimming with entertaining Roman facts.
A day in the life of Derek the Sheep is no forage in the field. Oh no. It's flippin' hard work, what with all those other pesky animals on the farm! Wherever Derek might be or whatever he might be up to, you can be sure there's something for him to get his wool in a twist about. But the cantankerous Derek is also not one to miss an opportunity - especially if it means more juicy grass - and brought here are a collection of some of Derek's most heroically daft adventures to be enjoyed time and again by one and all.
Let Mrs Porter know if you have any other reccomendations.
Call the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) helpline for support and advice if you have a concern for your own or another child’s safety on 0808 800 5000.
Online child safety
It is important for children and teenagers to stay safe online, especially as they will be spending more time online than usual, whether that be in the classroom or at home. Parents and carers may be particularly concerned about the safety of their children online.
Thinkuknow by the National Crime Agency - Child Exploitation and Online Protection command (NCA-CEOP) - resources for parents and carers and children of all ages to help keep children safe online
Childnet has developed guidance for parents and carers to begin a conversation about online safety, as well as guidance on keeping under-fives safe online
Parent Info is a collaboration between Parent Zone and NCA-CEOP - support and guidance for parents and carers related to the digital world from leading experts and organisations
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) - guidance for parents and carers to help keep children safe online
UK Safer Internet Centre - tips and advice for parents and carers to keep children safe online - you can also report any harmful content found online through the UK Safer Internet Centre
Inclusive Digital Safety Hub and Online Safety Hub, created by South West Grid for Learning in partnership with Internet Matters - support and tailored advice for young people with additional learning needs and their parents or carers
Parents’ Guide to Age Ratings explains how the British Board of Film Classification rates content, and gives parents advice on choosing online content well
Plans to Support Wellbeing
All students will be, at least, a little concerned about the return to school at this time and whole-school measures are in place to support the return of all students with the return to school. There will be a programme of wellbeing support delivered during LORIC time. If you feel that your child is particularly anxious about the return to school, please contact their Pastoral Leader who will be able to put additional supportive measures in place to support their return.
Y12 and Y13 students will be encouraged to bring any concerns to their mentor sessions or via the wellbeing survey so that additional support can be put in place.
The Samaritans have provided us with some tools to help look after our emotional health and wellbeing. Check out the videos below.
Remember, whatever you are going through The Samaritans are available 24/7 - call 116 123 (free from any phone) or email email@example.com
Well Ahead is our online platform in partnership with Bupa Foundation to help young people look after their mental wellbeing, especially in these extraordinary times.
GCSE & A Level Update
The formal response to the consultation process for assessing and awarding GCSE and A Level was published at the end of last week. Ofqual have outlined the following key guidance and dates:
- Teachers will award a Teacher Assessed Grade (TAGs) for GCSE and A Level results this year
- Teachers will be able to draw on a range of evidence when determining GCSE, AS/A level grades, including the optional use of questions provided by exam boards, as well as mock exams, coursework, or other work completed as part of a pupil’s course, such as essays or in-class tests.
- Teachers will receive guidance and optional groups of GCSE, AS/A level questions from exam boards to support them in determining grades
- Students studying vocational qualifications that are often taught alongside GCSEs and A levels on one or two year courses, will also receive grades assessed by teachers rather than sitting exams.
- Results days for GCSE, A level and some vocational qualifications will take place in the week of 9 August:
Tuesday 10th August 2021 - A Level results day
Thursday 12th August 2021 - GCSE results day
We will be finalising our plans on how we will be awarding the Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) using the criteria above. As soon as we have worked through how the process will work, we will share this with students and parents.
Not sure of your options - take a look at the link below. Speak to your tutors if you need any advice - they are always happy to help.
A reminder the all students have a Unifrog account. Interactions have been set for all year groups to coincide with National Careers Week. Sign in here - if you have forgotton your login details, use the forgot password option. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries.
Mr Letts - Learning Leader of PE
Mr Letts is Learning Leader of PE at Huxlow Science College. He has taught at Huxlow for 16 years - he is hoping we will name the Sports Hall after him soon! Alongside teaching PE, he has also been in charge of Careers and Work related Learning, and has been a Pastoral Leader for 9 years.
He is 38 years old (his birthday is next week!) and is married with 2 children (3 if you include Mrs Letts!)
He loves to spend time with his family, being outdoors, travelling abroad, running, cycling, swimming and playing football.
His passion is teaching, working with children and seeing them develop into decent young people.
Huxlow is in my blood, the students, the staff and the parents are the reason why I'll be here when I am 90!
- Where did you grow up? Northampton
- What did you want to be when you were younger? 1) Professional Footballer 2) Fireman 3) Wildlife Photographer
- Who would play you in a movie? In my mind - Hugh Jackman. In everyone else's mind - Mr Bean
- Who is your biggest role model? My dad - sporty family guy. (Also a teacher so it's his fault)
- Which food is your guilty pleasure? Crisps (any will do but never leave Salt and Vinegar Pringles or Chilli Heatwave Doritos open near me!)
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? New Zealand (amazing scenery, outdoor sports and great people)
- Describe yourself in 3 words. Fun-loving, Active, Dedicated
- Last book you read? Ashes to Ashes- Tami Haog
- What piece of advice would you give to 15 year old Mr Letts? Stop talking to girls and concentrate on your studies