Headteacher’s Blog – 10th September 2021

Friday 10th September, 2021

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to all our students and their families at the start of a new academic year.  I do hope that you managed to have some quality family time over the summer break and that students are looking forward to the new school year with optimism as we begin this year with a real sense of hope.  I looked back at this time last year and the ‘Rule of 6’ had just been introduced, Birmingham was on the national watch list with the threat of national lock downs in the air.  The last 18 months have been the most challenging in education of my 22 years in education and we will not be underestimating the challenges in ensuring our students are able to recover any lost learning and that the curriculum meets their needs.  However, Ofsted’s praise for our focus on personal development, when they visited in March 2020, has never been more important and we will approaching this term with the aim to ensure students can enjoy the clubs and activities that make our school such a special place.

A warm welcome to our new Year 7 students!

Year 7 have made a fabulous start to their time at Coleshill School.  They are a very confident and happy group of students and have coped with all the challenges of secondary school life very well, even having covid tests!  We wish them all every success in their time with us.

Year 12 looking the business!

We have welcomed over 100 Year 12 students into Sixth Form, with the vast majority returning Coleshill students.  This year we have introduced a more business wear approach for students and our students are looking smart and ready for learning and the opportunities that life in the Sixth Form brings.  We are excited at the range of new applied courses on offer this year including the CTEC in Business Studies, Level 3 BTEC in Performing Arts and Level 3 BTEC in Art and Design, with students studying a combination of art and photography.

High expectations means high standards

We believe having the highest expectations of our students is an important part of ensuring that Coleshill Learners are the best they can be.  The vast majority of students have returned with perfect uniform, equipment and a positive approach to school and getting to lessons on time (punctuality).  Now that we have got the teething issues of the new term out of the way it will very much be ‘business as usual’ from Monday 13th September 2021 and we will expect the highest standards throughout the day, every day. 

Key reminders for students that apply ALL DAY, EVERY DAY

  • Blazers must be worn
  • Shirts must be tucked in
  • Ties must be worn
  • Girls trousers should be tailored with the school badge
  • Gilets and hoodies are not allowed, students should wear a waterproof coat
  • Shoes should be black shoes – no trainers, visibly branded or logoed shoes. They should be made from polishable leather, no canvas allowed.
  • Facial piercings are not allowed, only one plain earlobe studs (where students have had piercings over the summer these need to be removed and replaced with a see through plastic piercing or covered with a plaster).
  • Hair should be a natural colour, neat and conservative
  • Nails must be short and of a neutral design / colour.  Excessively long nails must be filed and any necessary appointments made to shorten the length.
  • Eyelashes should be natural in length (not excessive and any appointments made to rectify them).

Please check our website for the latest uniform policy if unsure.  From Monday we will be informing families of uniform infringements and applying sanctions if the issue is not rectified within a reasonable time frame.   If there is an issue with your child’s uniform, for example you are awaiting an item to arrive, please write a note to your child’s tutor.

Covid -19 Update

By the end of today the vast majority of students, who have consented to a covid test, will have had two lateral flow tests.  So far we have only had 4 positive LFDs amongst students, which is a very positive sign.  As per the DFE guidance it is now the responsibility of families to contact NHS Track and Trace if your child tests positive on lateral flow test and is then confirmed with a PCR test.  Track and trace will inform close contacts of what they need to do.  We are of course here to support families with any questions or concerns that they may have.

We ask that students continue to test twice a week using the LFD home testing kits, which are available for students to collect from Student Support.

In school we have maintained the following preventative measures to try to prevent cases from spreading:

  • Students have social areas in their phases
  • Break time is available to Phase 1 and 2 alternately in the dining room, with Phase 3 every day in Wilson Café
  • Students are encouraged to wear masks if they wish to, especially at movement times
  • Staff are ensuring ventilation where possible
  • Hand sanitizer is available for when students enter a classroom
  • Staff are testing twice a week using their LFD home test kits

We will be monitoring the covid situation very closely and will communicate any changes.  Should cases rise we may need to reinstate additional measures, as set out in our Outbreak Management Plan.  This will always be following advice from Public Health England.

A huge thank you to our testing team, who have worked tirelessly over the last 7 school days to get all of the students tested.

I hope you have a good weekend.

Ian Smith-Childs