Emailed to parents/carers on 02/06/21
Principal’s Half Term Update
I recall that one of the arguments over the years to rethink the summer exam season was because of the sheer heat or humidity of those weeks. This has at least been one less demand on our Year 11 students, with May being the coldest in 25 years! Thankfully, the summer weather has arrived for the half term holiday.
As ever, it is a bittersweet time for them all, and I am grateful to Mr Hawkes and Mrs Pepper for leading the plans to ensure last week was, and is, as traditional and enjoyable as possible. Our staff have been incredible in providing some invaluable experiences during the final week of this half term. In terms of the volume of internal assessments, this has been the most demanding few weeks for those students, right up until 21 May. Nevertheless, they have risen to the occasion, and it is clear that they can now see light at the end of the tunnel – and soon look forward to a period of rest!
However, before then, details of the remote learning and face-to-face induction days have been shared with students and we will maintain regular contact until their final day on 25 June. This will be followed by the prom, which will take place at Wherstead Park on Friday 2 July.
In the coming half term our eldest remaining year group will then commence their own end of year internal examinations. These are important milestones for them and for us, in understanding how much progress they have made this year, and to help inform curriculum plans and individual student’s goals for the next academic year.
We are planning to hold a Year 10 ‘virtual’ parent consultation evening on Thursday 15 July; this may change to a face-to-face event nearer the time. The times are 16:00 – 19:00 in either case and parents will be told when they can begin booking appointments, usually a fortnight before the event.
Exciting times for our Year 9 students, as they have recently chosen their KS4 courses for study next year. In this respect, and in preparation for their GCSE English speaking and listening exam in Year 10, we have engaged an external public speaking tutor to spend a day with each Year 9 class, teaching them the necessary skills and techniques. Speaking and listening is an essential life skill that is part of the English exam curriculum. Learning to do this confidently and well will be beneficial throughout the remainder of your child’s secondary education, as well as in further education and eventually the world of work. Students will also experience sitting maths and science exams in the Sports Hall during the latter part of June.
We are arranging a Year 9 ‘virtual’ parent consultation evening on Thursday 24 June between 16:00 – 19:00. Parents will be told when they can begin booking appointments, usually a fortnight before the event.
Years 7 and 8
The normal cycle of class assessments will continue and feed into our wider planning for next year. Students will also experience sitting maths and science exams in the Sports Hall in late June. Along with the rest of the academy, students in Years 7 and 8 will be taking part in their first sports day.
‘Virtual’ parent consultation evenings for Years 7 and 8 are being held on Thursday 17 June and Thursday 1st July respectively. The times are 16:00 – 19:00 and parents will be told when they can begin booking appointments. Year 7 parents can book appointments now for 17 June.
Changes next half term
Although the year group break-time zones will continue, we will be making a few adjustments to allow us to reduce the number of break times and also allow uninterrupted lessons for Year 7 students.
- Year 10 will be moving into the area currently used by Year 11.
- Year 7 students will now have their break and lunch at the same time as Year 10, albeit in different locations (10:40 and 13:00 respectively).
- Assuming there are no government restrictions introduced during this final half term of the academic year, no face coverings will need to be worn in the academy by students, unless they choose to do so.
At the end of half term, we sadly said goodbye to Miss Angilletta who has been teaching English at Westbourne and who has decided to return to Australia. On Monday, we are delighted to welcome a new colleague to the academy, Mrs Green,, who joins us an Assistant Principal and teacher of English.
June is expected to herald the arrival of warmer weather and, as a consequence, coats will not be allowed to be worn indoors. School jumpers will not need to be worn during the final half term – they are optional – but students will still need to wear their PE kit to school on the days they have PE lessons.
Finally, I wish you and your families a wonderful break and thank you again for your support.
Mr M Bouckley
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