Head of School’s Weekly Message

Last week saw all year groups participating in Tutor time activities, overseen by Mr Cooper our DSL, focusing on mental health well-being in the run up to World Mental Health Day Saturday 10 October. We are all aware of the impact Covid-19 has had, including on the mental health of millions of people and we understand that the levels of anxiety, fear, isolation, uncertainty and emotional distress experienced have become widespread. Using resources from the PSHE Association, students and staff looked at a range of topics including: challenging stigma related to mental health, promoting emotional well-being and healthy coping strategies, along with raising awareness of common mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression. Our aim has been to raise awareness and improve understanding amongst our community so we can all support one another during these unprecedented times and moving forward. We wish our school to be a positive environment where students who feel they need extra support with their well-being have a range of resources to access either by themselves, with home or through our Pastoral Team.

The renewed House system has had another successful week, with only twenty house points separating the four houses. This week Tutors will be launching our competition to create a minimalist design for each of the houses to fill the quarter sections of our house shields. Designs need to be aesthetically pleasing and should symbolise the values and qualities of our new house heroes and names. The competition will run across the half term break with a closing date for entries of Monday 9 November.

As we approach half term the school are reviewing all systems and protocols put in place to support
Covid-safety. Part of this review includes our catering provision and we are delighted to be able to extend options further with the addition of bread rolls at lunch time, bread, butter and jam becoming available at breakfast and also break time for those older students scheduled for our later lunch sitting.

Year 11’s focus has been on preparation for their mock examinations, with Art this week and all other subjects commencing as of Monday 2 November. We will be sharing a special edition focus bulletin later this week to support Year 11 with their revision, post-16 planning and achieving a positive balance between their studies, rest, exercise and social time.

Finally, congratulations to Isaac in Year 9 whose essay, completed as part of the Brilliant club Scholars Programme, is to be published in ‘The Scholar 15’. This is a fantastic achievement, given there were 72 nominations in total which were judged by a panel of PhD researchers and Brilliant Club staff. We are pleased to be able to offer further students in our lower years the opportunity to participate in the Scholars Programme once we return from half term.

With best wishes to everyone in our community and their families for a restful, healthy and happy half term break.

Mrs P Parker, Head of School

Mental Health and Well-being links:
• The Mix (https://www.themix.org.uk/)
• Moodwise (https://moodwise.co.uk/)
• Kooth (https://www.kooth.com/)