Headteacher's Weekly Letter to Parents

Friday 3rd July 2020

I want to begin by reminding everyone that our Spring Raffle organised and run by the Kendrick Parents Society (KPS) which was relaunched a couple of weeks ago, has another week before it ends. I would very much like everyone to try to buy some tickets if they can. Of course the recent situation has made people’s lives and financial circumstances difficult, but if there is a small contribution that people can make it will enable KPS to raise some money for the school given the huge efforts and planning this initiative has taken. Please may I direct you to this LINK here where you can buy your online raffle tickets; every penny counts, and even more now than ever. Thank you in advance for your support.

In the virtual world we now operate in, we have carried out our induction programme for both our prospective Year 7 and Year 12 students. Both events were very well attended and we were able to give the talks and presentations that would usually take place in our school hall, virtually. Our Student LeaderAngelica and a Year 7 student, Paris, once again spoke confidently and enthusiastically about our school, as did staff and governors. Obviously the personal interaction and conversations were missing, but I feel we have communicated with our prospective students and parents very well in the current circumstances. I hope all the students and parents we spoke to feel enthusiastic at the prospect of joining Kendrick in September, just as we are looking forward to welcoming them. The Work Experience online programme is underway and I hope this is useful for students. Year 12 students undertook online assessments last week and Year 10 students will be doing their assessments later in September/October in a more staggered approach which Mr Stride will explain to the students in his twice weekly communications to them. Reports for all students are now being prepared and our usual profiling sessions, one to one conversations between tutors and students as well as subject conversations, will be happening next week, on line. These conversations will feed into the reports which will then be sent to students and parents by the end of term. I am very proud and grateful to the staff not only for the huge amount of work they are doing to support the students’ learning, but also their determination to continue to do as much of what we would have been doing in school at this time of the year, but now carrying out remotely. The students, likewise are responding with a similar determination; thank you to everyone and to parents for your support throughout this difficult time.

We all still have a lot to do before the end of term and even more to do in preparation for September. Firstly the end of term. I would like to remind everyone that the end of term is on Friday 17th July. Teaching will carry on as normal and finish at the end of period 5 on Thursday 16th July .On Friday 17th we will have an assembly where I will endeavour to speak to the whole school from the School Hall. Staff who will be in school on that day will be my audience in person and everyone else will connect via a link that will be sent to all students. The assembly will begin at 9.30am and I do hope all students will be able to join us. Final assemblies are important for everyone as they mark the end of the year and bring closure for all of us. This year, being a particularly different kind of year, makes the end even more important to mark and acknowledge. All students will be expected to ‘attend’ the assembly and I would like to invite Year 11 and 13 to join us although traditionally they have moved on by this time of the year. This will enable us to say thank you and goodbye to them and to the staff that are leaving this year.

The arrangements and guidelines from government regarding the return to school in September 2020 were released yesterday and we have started to read the requirements. The key headline is that the government wishes all students and staff to return to school in September and that schools organise year groups in what is being described as ‘bubbles’ that will keep staff and students safe. Over the next few days me and my senior team and staff will be reading the guidance and planning how we will implement and apply the guidelines to fit our Kendrick setting. In preparation for September 2020, I have made the decision with the support of our governors that the start of next term for students will be delayed by two days. Instead of all students returning on Thursday 3rd September, all students will return to school on Monday 7th September. Our calendars on the website and elsewhere will be amended to reflect this change of the return to school date. Further details about September will follow as we understand the guidance given.

It is two weeks since the tragic events in the Forbury Gardens and I am sure that people are still affected by what happened as the reality of the tragedy on local people in Reading and Wokingham sinks in. Further guidance from Brighter Futures for Children, psychological services might help parents and students affected as conversations of this kind can be difficult. Please read the letter here which offers parents some advice about how to speak with family members about grief and loss.

With further relaxation of lockdown this weekend, perhaps everyone is pleased about being given more freedom. I do hope that families take care as they begin to do things that they have been unable to do for the last few months. The situation in Leicester this week is a stark reminder that the virus is still with us and can reappear at any time. We must not become complacent or too confident that everything is now getting back to normal, it is not. We must still take great care in our social interactions and strictly keeping to the safe routines of social distancing, washing hands regularly and all other recommended safe practices. Click here for the latest government guidance on what you can and cannot do after 4th July 2020.

Wishing everyone a good and safe weekend.

Ms Christine Kattirtzi,