Our Manor 26-30 April 2021

Message from the Principal

Welcome to the latest edition of Our Manor. Students continue to impress us with their attitude and resilience. As I visit lessons across the school, what I see is students who are attentive and engaged in the high-quality teaching that they are receiving. It has also been a busy week for Year 11 and 13 who have been completing their assessments with maturity and conscientiousness. While teaching, learning and assessment form the centre of our core purpose and it is vital that we continue to get this right, it has also been wonderful this week to feel like we have been able to see some progress in our plans as we start to look ahead.

Head Students

One of these wonderful aspects has been the appointment of our new Head Students. You can read more about the process below; there will also be the chance to hear from them in future editions of Our Manor. However, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate George, Alex and Aimee for their outstanding campaigns and their election to these prestigious roles.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing Head Students - Beth, Rhys, Harry and Lewis - and the rest of the Student Executive committee for the outstanding work that that they have completed during such an extraordinary period of time. Their legacy is the positive impact they have had on how student voice is represented in our school. Through their commitment, maturity and open mindedness the student viewpoint has helped shape the agenda and ensure that the student voice is one that will be listened to and heard. Thank you for your service and you have set an excellent foundation on which George, Alex and Aimee can build.

A return to normality?

Not quite yet. Even though there are relaxations of procedures in the community, the government guidance for schools remains as it was and in place. This includes our pod system, handwashing and line-ups, and facemasks. It also includes the continuation of the lateral flow testing at home, twice a week for students and staff. Please continue to do this relentlessly. By doing so and reporting positive results immediately to the school we can continue to minimise any further disruption to learning.

In truth, I don’t think we will ever return to exactly how it was pre-COVID and in some areas this will be a great thing, as we have learned some lessons and made some changes that we will want to keep. However, there are some elements where it is good to return to the familiar and the proud school we had established before the pandemic.


We are all glad that as the better weather approaches and restrictions lift, we can see our lives gradually return towards something we recognise as normal. This is no different for us in school.

In the autumn term the government COVID guidance was updated to include room ventilation though keeping windows open to enable the through flow of air. As this was approaching the winter months, we made a temporary change to our uniform policy through our COVID risk assessment to enable students to wear jumpers/hoodies under their blazers.

From Tuesday 4 May we will be returning to our regular uniform policy, now that we are approaching the summer months. This policy can be downloaded from our website using this link.

As per our policy, there remains an acceptable additional layer, which is the Manor School jumper. Coats can still be worn as an external layer but must be removed when entering the buildings. The normal school inclusion strategy procedures will be in place for non-compliance.

Students should continue to wear their Manor School PE kit along with their blazer, on the days that they have PE. This continues to help us minimise movement and changing as we continue to maintain the processes to keep us COVID free on site.

This has been communicated to all students and parents through multiple channels and we thank you in advance for supporting us in this. Students were, rightly, very quick to take advantage of the temporary change to keep themselves warm. We are expecting a similar speediness of compliance as we return to our regular policy.

Ramadan Mubarak

I would like to extend my thanks to Mr Ahmin who presented this week's assembly to our student body and staff. He shared with us his first-hand experiences of fasting during Ramadan as well the reasons behind this religious festival. Many students were surprised to hear of the commitment and dedication required from those taking part in the festival during this month.

As a school, we aim to celebrate diversity and shine a light on the experiences of others through our assembly programme. This is also underpinned by our REACH values and the work we do in promoting these throughout the school. We are equally proud of our unique Work. World. Wellness. curriculum, which provides all of our students a platform to learn about the experiences of others and celebrate diversity.

Jay Davenport, Principal

Head Students

One of the highlights of the academic year is the appointment of our new Head Students. We believe that all our sixth formers are role models for the younger year groups. The most visible role models are our Head Students.

Over the past week, five incredible candidates battled it out to win the votes of the entire school community. They were set a gruelling list of challenges that all followed each other in quick succession. Task one was to prepare a video to be shown in Work. World. Wellness. lessons. With social distancing restrictions, these videos were vital in communicating their message to the lower school. Task two required candidates to prepare a presentation, outlining their vision for the new House structure and deliver this in a virtual meeting to the Senior Leadership Team. Finally, task three was to prepare a speech to deliver in front of the sixth form community. The speeches were delivered on Wednesday afternoon and students in all year groups were asked to vote straight after.

Our dedicated team of Year 13 counters, led brilliantly by Miss O’Brien, ensured all votes were accurately counted and processed by 3pm. At 3:05pm, Beth – one of our outgoing Head Students – announced to the school community in a live Teams call that our new Head Students were George, Alex and Aimee.

We now look forward to holding the lower school parliament elections and seeing the impact that they can have, led by our new Head Students.

Heroes Stamp Design Competition

Our school is taking part in Royal Mail’s Heroes Stamp Design Competition, to honour our heroes during the coronavirus pandemic.

All entries will be submitted to the national competition, but we will also select a winner whose House will be awarded House points, as well as the House with the most entries. The competition is open to students aged 14 and under.

Possible inspiration for the stamp could be: Captain Sir Tom Moore, the NHS, teachers, refuse collectors, cleaning staff, the emergency services, delivery drivers, supermarket workers, public transport workers.

Eight winning stamps will be chosen and approved by the Queen before being put into production.

There are also 120 great prizes on offer for area winners and runners up, plus cash prizes for the winning schools.

Students should complete their design on the official entry form and hand it in to their art teacher. The school will submit all entries.

The closing date for the competition is Wednesday 19 May.

All details are on the school website, along with the official entry form. If you have any questions please contact Miss McDowell (emcdowell@manor.school) or House@manor.school.

Year 10 Musical Theatre Group

Our performing arts department is looking at starting a Musical Theatre Group for Year 10 students. If any students are interested they should email Mr McGuinness (dmcguinness@manor.school) by Friday 7 May.

Manor Maths Challenges

Mrs Radd has chosen a QUIBANS (question inspired by a news story) for this week's blog. Based on an article published by Cambridge News in October 2020, there are five questions related to the numbers used in the article.

Manor Sports & Leisure

Manor Sports & Leisure (based on the school site) provides the community of Raunds and the surrounding area with access to excellent, high quality and low cost hospitality and sports & leisure services, ensuring that all profits are reinvested to continually improve their provision.

To find out what they have to offer, please download their brochure below.

Premier League Kicks

Northampton Town FC Community Trust run established Premier League Kicks programmes at sites in Northampton and Wellingborough. Rushden is the newest site, offering free weekly football sessions for young people as a positive activity. Anyone aged 11-18 is welcome to attend, and the programme also targets young people at risk of anti-social behaviour.

Premier League Kicks inspires children and young people to achieve their potential and improve their wellbeing; working together to build stronger, safer and more inclusive communities.

In setting up and running the sessions at the Pemberton Centre, Rushden site, the NTFC Community Trust are working in partnership with Northamptonshire Sport, Freedom Leisure and North Northants Council. In June, a disability session will start running at the same site.

To find out more or for young people to register, please visit: ntfccommunity.co.uk/pl-kicks

Extra-curricular timetable update

Please find below the extra-curricular timetable commencing 3 May. Please note that some activities have changed for some year groups: volleyball for Years 8 and 10, rounders for Years 9 and 10, and a new sprint running club for Year 7 being led by Mr Austen.

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Weekly REACH Champions