Our Manor 8-12 March 2021

Message from the Principal

What a fantastic feeling it is to have a school full of students and staff with the low hum of brains whirring during lesson time and the excited chatter and laughter drifting across the site between lessons. I hope too that if you have been at home supervising home schooling then there is also a sense of relief for you too that schools have returned and you can get some sense of normality back.

Full reopening of school

We have been fully open to all students since Monday and the in-school testing regime has been fully completed. We shouldn’t underestimate the enormity of the task for an educational institution to set up and run a fully functioning public health provision, enabling us to safely and effectively carry out 3000+ rapid lateral flow tests over 2 weeks.

It is true to say that Tom Hatton and his team, made up of Manor Sports and Leisure staff, school administrators and cleaners, governors, parents and off-duty ambulance responders, have done a huge amount of work and have been incredible. Their adherence to and compliance with the guidelines has been total but not at the expense of the care and support we would expect for our students and staff. Thank you to you all.

However, this doesn’t happen by chance or by one person or group of people independently of each other. We have all played our part. Parents and students have followed the communications brilliantly. School staff have supported individuals and worked through the logistics to ensure a smooth and efficient process. Together we have managed to complete this most extraordinary task.

We discovered one positive case throughout those thousands of testing procedures and so it feels as though it was all worth it as we have now been able to make sure that the student and their close contacts are okay, as well as isolate and contain any further spread across the school, with minimal further disruption.

So, now it is over to you as parents and carers. We have distributed home testing kits to all students and staff. From my experience of completing these for myself and my own children, I advise that you make the time and a specific clean, level space for this procedure to be completed. Whilst not unmanageable, the instructions do take some concentration to follow, particularly the first couple of times, as there are multi-step processes involved.

A tribute to our students and staff

I want to pay tribute to the students who have been remarkable. You can see the relief for many of being able to see their friends and get back to the routines of school life and the joy of learning alongside other people!

We should also recognise the resilience of the 100 or so children of keyworkers and our vulnerable students who have been in every school day since January. In this respect the cover supervisor team have provided care and help for this group throughout that time.

This week has also seen the return of all of our teaching staff and some of our associate staff who have been working from home. It really has been impressive to see them pivot and adapt to whole new ways of working, utilising emerging technology to support this process. Overall, I think the provision has been excellent.

The rich fabric of life at Manor goes on

Throughout the lockdown period we have tried to provide students with a range of activities and provision beyond their lessons including talks, challenges and competitions.

However, now we are back fully and testing is complete we can really start to return to some of the activities we know and love. Music lessons have started and extra-curricular sports clubs begin on Monday 15 March as the latest guidance allows this to happen.

This week we were proud to work in partnership with Raunds Town Council to bring a live webinar panel together to celebrate International Women’s Day. The full story can be read later in this issue of Our Manor.

Our new cohort

Finally, on 1 March our newest cohort – those students currently in Year 6 and joining us in September – found out if they had been successful in gaining a place at Manor School. We hope that they are all as excited as we are to start the process of transition over the coming months.

Although there is still much to be done to get through this period safely, I am hopeful that next week’s newsletter may be completely COVID-free in terms of the news that we can bring! We sincerely hope that we have seen the back of the lengthy whole-school disruptions to being able to attend. Do not worry about words like ‘catch up’ - we ask that you look forward to the future and celebrating all that your children will achieve; we will ensure that our students are where they need to be.

Thank you so much for all your support - the emails and messages we have received reflecting this have been truly appreciated. Stay safe.

Jay Davenport, Principal

Extra-curricular clubs

PE extra-curricular clubs are starting from Monday 15 March.

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  • Should students wish to attend one of the clubs on their allocated evening, they must wait in their outdoor pod area for a member of the PE team to come and collect them.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that parents/carers are informed of attendance. There will be no requirement to ‘sign up’ in advance.
  • All teachers will have a radio and personal phones on them should there be a need to contact them from main reception.
  • All COVID-secure procedures must continue to be adhered to i.e. distancing, hand washing/sanitising, and equipment sanitising.
  • All school expectations regarding behaviour are to be adhered to at all times; should behaviour be deemed inappropriate the student will be asked to be escorted to the school gate and not participate any further.
  • Each member of staff will take a register via the app for each of their activities, as well as keep a paper record of attendance.
  • Students must not leave the area until escorted off site by their teacher.
  • Students are strongly advised to bring shin pads and a gum shield for hockey; any personal equipment such as own sticks or football boots are the students responsibility throughout the school day.
  • Students do not come to school in their PE kit if they don’t already have PE during the day; changing space will be available should it be needed.
  • All clubs will finish by 4.30pm.

Home testing

The school does not need to be notified of a negative rapid lateral flow test. However, in the case of a positive test please email nway@manor.school or contact the absence line on 01933 627020.

International Women's Day

Year 12 student and Chair of the Student Executive Beth B took part in a conference organised by Raunds Town Council in collaboration with Manor School to celebrate International Women's Day on Monday 8 March.

There were over 40 attendees from the local community plus delegates invited from a range of industries and sports. Women from the RAF, NHS, local businesses, University of Northampton and International Rugby shared their experiences and offered advice on how to overcome gender bias in our society.

The event was very well received within the community and we look forward to welcoming Rocky Clarke MBE (England International Rugby/Saracens) to speak to the girls in our school as soon as restrictions allow.

Beth eloquently posed some of the questions submitted by our student body and was an excellent representative for our school; it won’t be long before she is asked to be a keynote speaker herself at such an event! One of the conference candidates also commented that if Beth is representative of our student body then our future is in good hands.

Borrowed IT equipment

May we remind any families who borrowed laptops, wireless dongles or other IT devices over lockdown to return their equipment safely to school. These devices will then be cleaned, reset and prepared for any students to use for any individual periods of isolation as well as used in school with small groups as an extra resource. Devices can be returned to any teacher for delivery back to IT Support.

Manor Maths Challenges

Mathematical riddles are the topic of this week's challenges courtesy of Mrs Radd. There are nine riddles so get your thinking caps on.

Soccer Schools

Northampton Town Football Club's Soccer Schools start on Monday 29 March and are open to young people in the local area. They are only accepting 40 participants per day so all registrations will be taken on a first come first served basis.

Please see the flyer below for the schedule and details of how to register.


You will now have received your first weekly REACH email. We look forward to your support in celebrating your child’s successes.

Our Manor School REACH values and personal characteristics are Resilience, Empathy, Aspiration, Curiosity and Humanity. These are significant in our organisation because it is these that we hope you see in our young people five years after they have left Manor School. Our Work. World. Wellness. curriculum and enrichment offer are designed in order to enhance these values and personal characteristics in our students.

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We reward students who earn a defined amount of points (fifteen) in each value. If a student earns fifteen points in all five REACH aspects then they will be rewarded with their School Colours. Fifteen points is set so that it challenges students to be aspirational and therefore makes the reward worthwhile.

We also reward students for the total number of REACH points they earn, in any combination. We encourage students to ‘Go for Gold!”.

  • Bronze Award = 30 REACH points
  • Silver Award = 45 REACH points
  • Gold Award = 60 REACH points

The total number of REACH points is reset each academic year.

As well as your child’s weekly REACH email you should look out for the following:

  • Daily REACH Champions - these are nominated by staff and are celebrated in the school newsletter and on the Manor School twitter account
  • Termly Excellence awards – we celebrate excellence in effort, attainment and attendance, sharing this in the school newsletter and around the school site

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your continued support and encouragement of your child in developing these values and personal characteristics, which we know will help to prepare them for life way beyond school.

Hayleigh King, Strategic Lead for Praise and Rewards

Weekly REACH Champions