17 November 2023
Dear parents and families,
I hope you have had a good week. Thank you for taking the time to read these updates from the school.
In this letter:
· Moving to online letters
· Contacting the school
· House ties
· Car parking
· Staff training and early closure on 06 December 2023
· Upcoming events, for your diaries
Moving to online letters
This will be our last newsletter to be sent to families as a PDF file. Going forward, our letters will be available online, on our new and fully accessible website. Families will receive a link via email, which will take you directly to the letter. You will also be able to see previous newsletters in the same section of our website.
Contacting the school
You may be aware that the school are already using our new email addresses, hosted by the Cabot Learning Federation. This was a planned change which was already underway when the delay to our conversion was communicated to us. The email address for the school office is becoming [email protected] Emails sent to our existing Heathfield office email address are still being automatically forwarded to our new account. Our phone number remains unchanged.
If you would like to speak to a member of staff about your child, please do telephone or email the office and ask to speak to their tutor or year team in the first instance. If you would like to speak to the SENCO, please note that the SENCO for children in Y7-Y9 is Mr Moncur, and the SENCO for children in Y10 and Y11 is Mrs Harrell.
Whilst parents and carers are always welcome in the school, if you would like to speak to a member of staff in person, please do contact us to arrange an appointment. It can be very frustrating for parents to have to wait, if the member of staff they wish to see is teaching or otherwise unavailable.
We are expecting to take delivery of our new house ties later this term. More details will follow, but in the shorter term if your child loses their tie, please do contact their tutor to arrange for a loan, rather than purchasing a new, but soon-to-be obsolete HCS tie.
Please can we ask parents and carers to consider the safety of our school site, when collecting children, by not waiting inside the car park except in a designated parking bay. If the car park is full, please do exit immediately and either try again later, or make arrangements to collect your child elsewhere. We thank you also for not blocking our neighbours’ driveways when you are waiting. Our large school and the no-through road do make for a challenging traffic situation, and we recommend making plans to meet your children a little further away from our site.
Staff training and early closure
As members of the Cabot Learning Federation (CLF) trust, our teachers will be able to participate in a wide range of professional development activities. This includes attending subject network meetings, where all the teachers of a subject from across the trust gather for training opportunities. Heathfield staff (or Monkton Wood, as we will be by then) will travel to Weston-Super-Mare for our network meetings. We will therefore be ending the school day at 2:30pm on Wednesday 06 December 2023, to allow staff to make the journey. The school buses will depart at 2:45pm instead of 3:45pm. Since the training event is for the teaching staff only, our professional services and education support staff will be available until 3:30pm as usual. If you would prefer your child to remain in school until then, they may do so. Further information will follow nearer the time about arrangements for children not leaving at 2:30pm.
Upcoming events, for your diaries
On Thursday 30 November at 5:30pm we will be holding our next Parent Forum. The topic for this forum is school uniform. We would like to receive feedback from our families and to see if there is an appetite to review the current uniform. I would like to reassure parents again that – even if we decide to undertake a review – the timescales for implementing any change are long, and that we will not be asking parents to purchase new items within the next year. If you would like to attend the forum, please could you email the office on [email protected] to let us know, and we will ensure we have enough space, tea and biscuits for all.
Our Christmas Concert will be taking place this year on Thursday 14 December. We hope that we will also be celebrating the opening of Monkton Wood Academy at this event. Further details will follow in due course.
Our last day of term is Friday 15 December. As usual, the school day will end at 1:30pm for students, with buses collecting at that time. The school will fully close at 3:30pm and will remain closed for the duration of the school holiday. The first day back for students is Wednesday 03 January 2024.
We thank you for your continuing support, as always.
Mrs H Jones