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The Head of School Reports:

Chris Taylor, Head of SchoolWe have completed the first half of the autumn term and are now on the lead up to Christmas. Despite national restrictions just imposed, school life remains very busy and there is, as ever, a lot going on!
Upper school students are hard at work preparing for GCSE/ BTEC mock examinations, some of which will take place just prior to the holidays and others straight after we return in the new year. The importance of these examinations cannot be underestimated as the outcomes might be called upon later in the year to contribute towards any future centre assessed grades; such is the uncertainty surrounding summer examinations, at this stage. Very soon, students will receive an exam timetable to help organise and aid their revision preparations, your support will be vitally important in helping your child achieve their best.
For every student, in every year group, attitude to learning (ATL) and understanding that ‘every lesson counts’ is exceptionally important. Excellent attendance equals maximising potential; please ensure your child attends school regularly and punctually. However, a reminder for everyone, if anyone in your household develops any symptoms directly associated with the COVID-19 virus, all should self-isolate and anyone with symptoms must get tested. Students should not return to school until the outcome of the test is negative or the period of self-isolation is complete.
Although school life has been a little different for students since September, one thing that has not changed, and which I see as I walk around the school each and every day, is the excellent teaching and learning that is happening in lessons. It is an absolute pleasure to see the students so engaged, so many amazing interactions with their teachers, and despite what they may say, it is evident that education is very important to them, and likewise, educating them is very important to us!
This year, many of the extra-curricular and community activities we had planned have not been able to happen. However, we are determined to continue with our annual shoebox appeal to provide gifts for the residents of Holly Court, sheltered accommodation in Clacton. This year we are doing something slightly different, but which still relies upon the generosity and kindness of our students and their parents. Tote bags are replacing shoeboxes! We will supply the tote bags, but we need your help to fill as many as possible. Students can still bring suitable items into school, but this year we are also able to accept donations via Parent Pay, you will find a link on how to do so when you login to your account. We are hoping to ensure that each person in Holly Court receives a bag of gifts and we will use any donations received to purchase appropriate items to fill the tote bags.
Disappointingly, for the first time in over two decades, the Christmas Day lunch organised by the Rotary Club for the elderly and lonely people in Clacton had to be cancelled. The Rotary Club are organising goody bags to deliver to those people that would normally attend. Please rest assured, dependent on the success of our Christmas Tote Bag Appeal, anything that we have in excess will be donated to support the Christmas Day plans of the Rotary Club.
This year, giving and supporting each other is more important than ever, especially as many people are feeling isolated and anxious. We are very PROUD to be able to help and support our community at this time.
It is so important that we follow the guidance issued by the government and wearing masks within social settings and where the 2m distance rule cannot be maintained, will help to mitigate the risks of spreading the virus. Please encourage your child to follow the mandatory guidance by wearing their mask at all times as required including the wider community.
As has been said on so many previous occasions, stay safe and stay well!
Chris Taylor, Head of School

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