Announcements from the Headteacher
I would like to say a huge thank you for your support during this first half-term. These are challenging times for us all, and you have supported your children and our staff, while embracing the way that education now looks due to Covid-19.
Our students have made a strong start to the academic year and they understand how important it is that they work with us to ‘plug the gaps’ in their learning. They have embraced the extra help and support from our pastoral staff, which has enabled them to settle back in, during what could be a stressful time.
I aim to build a strong relationship with the community as we move forward together and I will always attempt, where I am able, to keep you informed. As a parent myself, I appreciate how hard it can be to plan childcare, especially at the moment with social distancing rules in place. At Newhouse Academy, we are fully prepared to return following a one week break for half-term. However, with decisions being made to extend the half-term in Wales and Northern Ireland, there is a possibility that Government may decide to put the same rules in place for England. Consequently, I would ask that you keep this in mind during half-term and also that you talk to your children about the online learning provision we have in place.
If we do have to close for an additional week, we have made arrangements for students to work online at home. We have already supplied students with the technology, where necessary, and there is a full suite of lessons available via the school website. It is essential that students access their work and continue to learn from home. Our staff will work hard to provide feedback and support where they can, in an attempt to make this as easy as possible for you and your child/ren.
So far, you have supported us through the small number of positive Covid cases at the academy. We have unfortunately had to make some difficult decisions this half-term where we have sent home two Year 10 cohorts, one Year 11 cohort and the whole of Year 9. These decisions were made in an attempt to keep other students and staff safe. Each time we have sent students home, we have followed Government guidelines, advice from the Department for Education and Rochdale Council, as well as following our own risk assessment plan.
Despite all of this, I am delighted that our school has consistently figured around the top of the attendance charts for Rochdale. We will celebrate all of our students who have 100% attendance in a special assembly tomorrow. It is a shame that we haven’t been able to invite families in to share in this and we all hope this can happen again soon. Thank you for your support on what has been one of our main priorities. High attendance levels show that our students have aspirations to be successful at the academy.
I hope our students and staff have a well-earned rest in the coming week and that the half term break is enjoyable and safe for you all.
Mr A Burnham