Month: August 2020

Letter From The Principal – RE: Face Coverings

Dear Parent/Carer,

RE: Face Coverings

You may be aware that the Department for Education has now advised that secondary school children should wear face coverings in areas of local lockdown where infection rates are high, or where the Principal/Head-teacher decides that this is the safest method of operating. This guidance is based on the following scientific evidence as offered by the Department for Education:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) usually spreads by droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking. These droplets can also be picked up from surfaces, if you touch a surface and then your face without washing your hands first. This is why social distancing, regular hand hygiene, and covering coughs and sneezes is so important in controlling the spread of the virus.
The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others.
This guidance (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-in-education) is specific to communal areas in schools such as corridors and spaces where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. Classrooms have been configured to allow us to achieve an appropriate distance between children, so face coverings will not be required during lesson time.
On the basis of this guidance, we have made the decision to require the use of face coverings for all staff and students when moving around, such as in corridors and in communal areas. Therefore can you ensure your child/children have plain face coverings to bring to school, as well as a plastic, sealable bag to keep them in when not in use. Face coverings should not have any patterns, pictures, logos or words on them but can be any plain colour. It remains the responsibility of the family to ensure that face coverings are washed daily and replaced as necessary; ensuring health and hygiene standards are maintained. Face coverings worn when travelling to the academy will need to be removed prior to entering the building to avoid contamination and replaced with another face covering. We will make sure that all children know how to apply and remove their face coverings safely, and ask that you reinforce these messages at home using the government guidance found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

 

If you believe that your child/children should be exempt from wearing a face covering due to a disability or other concern, please inform their Head of Year in the first instance who will discuss individual cases directly with myself.
If you will have difficulty providing a face covering for your child/children, please inform their Head of Year as soon as possible so that arrangements can be made.
To maintain the high behavioural standards around the academy, we will expect the following in regard to face coverings:
• Face coverings will be plain and not display any patterns, pictures, logos or words on them
• Students are expected to observe the safe and appropriate application and removal of face coverings once this has been explained to them
• If students are using their face coverings in a disruptive manner, this will be dealt with as disruptive behaviour, and dealt with in accordance with our behaviour protocols
• Students must never share face coverings
• Tampering with another students’ face coverings would be classed as a significant health and safety breach and will be dealt with accordingly
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the information above, please contact me directly at jayne.schofield@thistleyhoughacademy.org.uk.
Finally, I would like to thank you once again for your support over the last few months during these unprecedented times. I believe that if we continue to work together, as a community, we can keep transmission rates in our community low and everyone safe.
Looking forward to seeing you all next week to start the academic year 2020-2021.
Yours sincerely

 

Jayne Schofield
Principal

School Equipment: do you know what equipment you need for your classes?

There are always some key essentials you need to get you started. This year, more than ever you’ll need to make sure that you have everything that you need on hand ready to start your learning.

To reduce the chance of students and staff spreading germs between one another, we’re trying to reduce the number of items that students and staff are sharing between themselves. This means all your usual classroom essentials should be your own and you shouldn’t swap or share with other students unless they live in your home with you.

To help you get ready for heading back to the classroom, here are a few essential items we think our students should have with them:

✏ Pens and pencils

✏ Rubber

✏ Ruler

✏ Pencil sharpener

✏ A pencil case to keep it all in one place!

Some students may also need further equipment for a class such as a protractor or calculator for a maths lesson. You can check with your teacher in September if there is any other important equipment you might need for your lessons.

You don’t need to buy anything fancy, unless you want to, and these essentials can be found in a range of supermarkets or high street shops like Tesco or Rymans. Alternatively, if you’re struggling to go out, plenty of shops sell stationery items online such as amazon.com or whsmiths.co.uk.

We ask that you try and remember to bring these in everyday, and so the best place to store your pencil case of equipment is in your school bag. If you need any further assistance in getting yourself ready for classes in September, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the school by emailing, enquiries@thistleyhoughacademy.org.uk.

Uniforms: will we need to wear them and how do we keep them clean and ready for school?

We’re all getting ready to head back into school in just a few weeks, but we all know school will be a little different this year. We’ll let you know of all the changes that are going to be happening but one of the main things we’re being asked about is uniform.

When you all join us again in September you will need to be wearing your school uniform. However, you must make sure that you’re taking plenty of precautions to keep your uniform clean so if any germs are on your uniform, they won’t get spread to others in the school or your family at home.

To help you understand the level of precautions we want you to take to help keep us all safe, here are some tips that UNICEF have put together:

🧼 Remove shoes as soon as you enter your home

🧼 Change into clean clothes as soon as you get home

🧼 Wash your hands with warm soap and water straight away

🧼 Wash your clothes at 60°C with detergent and make sure to dry them completely.

When you’re in school, make sure to minimise touching others as this will reduce you spreading any germs between each other. It’s also important that you keep items such as your bag or blazer away from other people’s belongings as germs can stay on these types of surfaces for longer.

If you’re worried about germs coming in and out of your home, then there are extra precautions that you can take such as antibacterial clothing sprays or using steam cleaning methods. However, clothing should be fully dried as a damp environment can encourage germs to increase in numbers.

When handling unclean uniform either wear gloves or wash your hand immediately after handling. It is also good practice to shower before changing into clean clothes to ensure you have no germs on your body.

If you need to get new uniform ready to start the new school year then Smart School Uniform is open for appointments and walk-ins or you can order online at www.smartuniform.co.uk. Smart School Uniform can be found opposite the bus station in Newcastle.

We look forward to seeing you in September and if you have any further questions or worries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the school by emailing enquiries@thistleyhoughacademy.org.uk.

Year 11 Results Day Information 2020

 

Dear Parent/Carer

Year 11 Results Day Thursday 20th August 2020

 Following the publication of updated guidance from the Department for Education and in light of the recent increases in community transmission of COVID-19 we have made the decision to simplify arrangements for Year 11 Results Day 2020.

In order to comply with the current social distancing guidelines, we will be operating an appointment-based collection system, based on student surname, in order to minimise the number of students inside the academy building. On arrival at the academy you will line up at main reception, and will be invited in to collect your results in the library.  It is important that you arrive at the academy, as outlined in the table below and if at all possible that family members and/or friends do not accompany you.  If you are accompanied for transport or support purposes please ensure that the person accompanying you remains in their vehicle or a safe distance from the building.

 

Surname Time
A 9:00 am
B 9:20 am
C-E 9:40 am
F-H 10:00 am
I-L 10:20 am
M-N 10:40 am
O-S 11:00 am
T-Z 11:20 am

 

Once students have collected their results, there will be members of the leadership team available to discuss post 16 pathways and next steps. Due to the guidelines, we will not be able to have any post 16 providers in the academy on results day.

 

For students who are unable to collect their results in person, alternative arrangements can be made to ensure you receive your results. For example, a member of your family can collect on your behalf, or a member of academy staff can call you directly on the day (only if you are currently in the UK). If you require an alternative arrangement, please email enquires@thistleyhoughacademy.org.uk. The email must come from you, rather than a family member and a member of academy staff will call you for confirmation.

 

We are all aware how challenging the last few months have been for everyone, but particularly the Class 2020.  Rest assured that the leadership team, together with Mrs Greenhalgh will be available on results day and in the coming days to support your transition onto the next phase.  We will endeavour, if and when guidelines allow, to celebrate you successes and achievements with you, as a year group.

 

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on results day. Remember to contact us if you have any concerns that are not outlined above and particularly if you have college appointments earlier than your allotted results collection time.

 

 

With best wishes

 

Jayne Schofield

Principal

Why Year 6 transitions are important

As a student, joining us from primary means having to adapt to a new school environment. We encounter this every September and have many years’ experience in creating smooth transitions for our students.

Usually great activities such as orientation days and transition days are set up to give you the opportunity to make new friends, get to know your teachers and learn your way around the school to cut out stress on those first few days.

Unfortunately, Coronavirus has put a spanner in the works meaning no orientation days and no chance to experience the school before your September start date. Don’t worry though, we’ve put a great new plan in place to get you ready for your first day at Thistley Hough Academy.

We’ve been planning how we can prepare you for your new journey with us and we decided to take your transition period online by creating a Year 6 Transition Hub on our website. The Year 6 Transition Hub is there to help you feel supported by us and emotionally prepared for starting in September, which is what a transition period should be all about.

A one-stop-shop for everything you’ll need to get ready for secondary school, the Year 6 Transition Hub will have:

  • Go Virtual: Virtual sessions that we’ll be uploading to the Hub include Meet and Greet Sessions, School Tour and example lessons. These sessions will provide an opportunity for you to meet key staff members, learn the layout of the school and experience what a typical Thistley Hough Academy lesson will look like. This means you can ask questions, explore your way around the Academy and get to grips with the differences in secondary education.
  • Get Learning: We’ll be rolling out webinars that explain what secondary education is like and how you can prepare for this next step. We’ll also be hosting Q&A sessions with our current Year 7 students, who can tell you all about what your move to Thistley Hough will be like.
  • Get Creative: We’ve added a range of resources onto the Hub to help keep your minds active while preparing to move up to Thistley Hough Academy. One of these resources is an ‘All About Me’ pack. The pack will help your teachers to understand who you are as a person; all you need to do is fill it in and send it back over to us! Another great activity you’ll find is our challenge activity, work your way through all the challenges and then bring the completed activity in with you on your first day.

Why transition is so important

Transition is important because as you grow up and mature your body and mind start to go through a lot of changes. This means we want to make sure you’re feeling confident and happy at school so you know you can ask for any support and advice while you’re here.

The best way to do that is to give you plenty of opportunities to make friends, make sure you know who your teachers are and who you can go to for help and to make sure your teachers know who you are so they can make sure they’re helping you too.

You can explore our Transition Hub as you get ready to join us in September here.