Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope you are all well.

There are many important and different pieces of information in this letter. I hope that you have all seen my video message from earlier in the week too.

Thrive Federation: Changes to governance arrangements:

The Thrive Federation (Oak Grove, Palatine, Herons Dale and Cornfield School) is changing the governance arrangements to enable us to be more effective in terms of governance and leadership and ultimately to be better able to serve the college community.

As of the 1st April 2021 the Governing Body will move from being the Governing Body of all four schools. What is currently the Management Committee will be the Governing Body.

The Thrive Federation will still be a group of schools working together that do so through a strategic group. This change does not preclude us from any current work or future work as a group of schools.


We are delighted with the new cycle circuit that was put in over half term. Our grateful thanks to HSBC for funding this and to Pentagon for doing such a great job.


Some artwork that many students have helped produce has also been put up in the playground. I am sure you will agree it looks fantastic. Thank you to Sarah and Dee for leading this work.

This wonderful work was produced by Animus students and staff and is on display in class CA. Well done to all of them!

Return to full face to face operation for college:

Following the announcements on 22nd February and the publication of guidance around this, there have been a number of clarifications of the guidance from the DfE. These have informed our planning.

The government is clear that the week beginning 8th March for secondary aged students is a phased return and that testing is a part of this process where students opt in and can take part in it.

Our proposal is for a staggered return of classes and one that will happen rapidly. We aim for all students to be in college by Thursday 11th March.

From Monday 8th March we will provide for children of key workers in their normal classes. We will have discussions with families of students who have been in college who are not key workers about their return. Ideally it should be with their class during the week as this will enable the testing programme to go smoothly.

Timetable for return:

Year group/ area of college Day for first Covid test (families will need to bring students in for this 10am -1pm) Return to college
Year 7 Thursday 4th March Monday 8th March
Year 8 Friday 5th March Tuesday 9th March
Year 9 Wednesday 10th March Thursday 11th March
Year 10 Wednesday 10th March Thursday 11th March
Year 11 Thursday 4th March Monday 8th March
Year 7 Koa Thursday 4th March Monday 8th March
Koa Tuesday 9th March Wednesday 10th March
Sixth Form Monday 8th March Wednesday 10th March
Animus Friday 5th March Tuesday 9th March

The timetable will change if the risk and guidance changes.

Operational issues for the return to college:

There are a number of points that have changed compared to the last time when all students were in college:

  • Sixth form lunch time to move 12.30pm with use of back field from 1pm.
  • No off site visits
  • No extra curriculum activities are able to be provided to enable us to do the cleaning required and to maintain discreet groups of students.
  • Masks should be worn in college (including classes) and around college by students who can tolerate this
  • Masks should be worn in classes where this does not impact on communication in class by staff
  • Visitors to college can only be by appointment.

Testing in college;

Testing in college remains a voluntary element for students. Staff are having tests twice weekly. As part of the return to school programme, the government wants all those who consent to testing to have three lateral flow tests.

If you wish to take part in this then ideally students will come in with you from 10am-1 pm on the allocated day in the timetable for return and have their first test. Students will be shown how to carry out the test themselves and will have their second and third tests after they have returned to college (at least three days apart). Only attend for your allocated session and we must have received your consent forms in advance (these will be resent next week).

Home testing kits will then be available for those students taking part in the testing programme.

National Careers Week 1st – 6th March 2021

National Careers Week (NCW) is a celebration of careers guidance and free resources in education across the UK. The aim is to provide a focus for careers guidance activity at an important stage in the academic calendar to help support young people leaving education.

To mark NCW, we have included activities on our website to help older students in thinking about their next steps and to develop their CV writing skills. To encourage younger students to focus on the world of work, there is an A-Z of job roles research activity which students can develop further by finding out more details about a job of interest to them.

Our Plant Sale army is growing!! Be part of it!

Thank you to everyone who has been in touch and offered to help us in our efforts to keep the Plant Sale going this year. However we still need more volunteers. Can you…..

  • Grow some extra plants in your allotment/greenhouse/garden to donate to us to sell?
  • Contact local allotments / local nurseries to ask for donations?
  • Donate spare seeds for us to grow?
  • Receive plants to sell from your driveway / front garden in May?
  • Receive a growing pack and sell what you grow on to friends and family?
  • Ask friends and family for plant orders that can be delivered to them?

Please get in touch with Carol, Mike or Adrian to let us know what you can do:

World Book Day

World Book Day is next week and we would like students to choose either a voucher or a book which we will arrange to be delivered to college.

Please click on the link below to let us know what your child would like:

Next week we will be in touch with all families to discuss the return to college plan and to have specific conversations about this.  Well done for all of the great home learning that I have seen this week and those doing so well with the Koa challenges, sports challenges and the Kahoot! Maths quizzes.

Thank you for your hard work, support, perseverance and flexibility.

Yours sincerely,


Phillip Potter


update to families 210226



Skip to content