Thank you for the flexibility, adaptability and care that you have shown over the last couple of weeks as we experienced a Covid wave in college. The people impacted were predominantly staff and the vast majority are now back at work and I am glad to see all of the classes back in college.
We are moving to the next stage of the management of the pandemic soon and this will start to see the restrictions on availability of testing. At this point we have tests available to issue in college but I am expecting us not to be able to order any more. This is a very silly decision in my view as we are still experiencing most people who test positive as being unwell and feeling unwell. It also reduces our risk of taking appropriate action when there are cases.
The impact of Covid on the learning of students and the opportunities they have had has been significant and we will continue to do everything we can to mitigate this. We now have an additional tutor to support students in small groups, focussing on English and Maths targets alongside the existing tutor and additional counselling support.
Those in the Lion King Jr will get the opportunity to perform over the coming fortnight and we have been in contact with those who booked tickets to reallocate them.
I am really grateful to families and staff for their flexibility in this and we hope the show will get to go on. Obviously everything depends on Covid cases at the time so there could be last minute changes.
Please ensure that we have your up to date contact details (mobile numbers and email addresses) as this is the quickest and easiest way for us to communicate with you. I would ask that you also check for emails regularly.
At the end of this letter there is lots of information about on line safety. We regularly publish information about this and there is a section on our website about this. It is also taught in college in IT and PD lessons.
We cannot manage the actions of people outside of college in relation to social media and online use. We can support when things go wrong but it is really important that students do not have unsupervised access to the internet, restrictions and monitoring is happening and students and families adhere to the age limits for games and social media profiles. Instagram has a minimum age of 13. WhatsApp a minimum age of 16. There are reasons for this and it is important that these are followed.
It is easy for people to create fake accounts, it is easy for people to say things that they regret and it is important that the same rules of “Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Respectful” are embedded in all aspects of young people’s lives. All social media functions have block functions and they should be used and all social media devices have an off switch. My honest professional advice is that most of the time they should be on “OFF”.
Please read the online information we send out and act upon it. As adults we are all responsible for setting the boundaries around this and setting positive role models in the use of social media.
Mental Health – From Place2Be
The ability of young people to cope is influenced by their teachers, parents, carers and other important adults in their lives. It is important that you look after your own mental health and seek support if you feel overwhelmed.
- Shout Text Helpline, text CONNECT to 85258 to contact Shout for free, 24/7.
- Education Support Partnership Helpline, call 08000 562 561 or text 07909 341229 for free, 24/7.
- The Young Minds Parents Helpline, call for free on 0808 802 5544 (9.30am – 4pm, Monday-Friday, UK).
Training for parents/ carers can be booked through here:
|Parental Awareness of Self-Harm – Creative Education
Self-harm is really not discussed enough within our society and it effects more young people than we might think. It can be anything from nail biting to hair pulling right through to some more serious actions. Within this session, we will take a look at some of the triggers, some of the signs to look for and have an open conversation about ways to support young people to break the cycle of self-harm.
Thank you to everyone for your great donations to go to Ukraine. The amount donated in such a short time was huge. Astra, our textiles recycling partners, have shipped it out and it is already making a difference.