14 March 2021

Good afternoon,

It has been a week of mingled joy and sadness.  It has been lovely to see students back in school (despite the shocking weather) and to see them chatting to their friends again.  Most of them have settled back very well indeed.  Our happiness in seeing students back has been overshadowed by the sudden loss of Mrs Carrigan, our very well-liked and respected attendance manager, which has shocked and saddened our whole school community.  Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Mrs Carrigan's family at this very sad time.  I am very grateful to the whole staff who have kept the school running normally and positively despite our sadness, supporting our students and each other.

Funeral arrangements:  Subject to confirmation, we are planning to close school at 2pm on Monday 22nd March to allow staff, along with those students who wish, to pay their respects as Mrs Carrigan's funeral cortege passes the school.  This is complex to organise given the constraints of the pandemic so we will send out detailed arrangements in the next couple of days.

COVID testing:  This has run very smoothly indeed.  Around 70% of students have had consent from their families and have been tested.  We have had 1 asymptomatic case in Year 11, 2 in Year 10 and none in Years 9, 8 or 7.  A very small number of close contacts have had to self-isolate in each case.  We are required to test students twice more in the same cycle.  If positive cases are detected this week then it is highly likely that larger numbers of students will need to self-isolate as we have to trace contacts for 2 days before the positive test.  If you wish to give consent for your son or daughter to be tested and have not done so already, please complete this online form.  Once we have completed the three tests required then we will be providing home testing kits for each student for whom we have consent to be tested.

Face masks:  Please remember to complete this online form if your son or daughter is exempt from wearing a face covering.  Please remember that all forms of transport, including the school buses, require the wearing of face masks unless exempt throughout the journey.

Year 11 Parents' and Carers' evening:  Please remember to book appointments if you have not done so already.  The event is on Wednesday this week.  Please also remember to check your appointments list carefully - if you have used the option to book all teachers automatically you will find that you have appointments with myself, Mr Howarth (Deputy Headteacher) and Miss Mayor (SENCO) that you may not want or need!  Please remove any unwanted appointments so that slots are available for people who do want to see one of us.  Mrs Withers (Assistant Headteacher) will be sending out information before the event telling you what we know so far about how grades will be assessed so that your discussions can focus on the progress of your son or daughter rather than asking about methods of assessment this year. 

Calendar change: Please note that, in the next academic year, the governing body have approved the move of one of the INSET days from Monday 24 January 2022 to Monday 20 September 2021.  The updated calendar is at https://www.waltonledale.lancs.sch.uk/term-dates.  This move enables us to run a Teaching and Learning Conference to start the new academic year, involving a major national speaker.

Best wishes to you and all those for whom you care,

James Harris

Headteacher

Posted by James Harris

Category: WLD Updates