Headteachers News – 2022 01 28
Dear Parents and Carers,
I have spent some time this week going through the initial responses to the parent survey that went out last week; it has been extremely informative and while the results are very positive, there are clear actions for the school to improve further. I appreciate the time that parents have taken to fill it in, though I am keen to ensure we have as much coverage of the parent body as possible. I have included the link again, below, and would be very grateful if you could find time to fill it in, if you haven’t already:
One area that has been identified by a number of parents, as a strength of the school in the survey, is the advice and guidance given to students to ensure they make the best choices at each stage of their journey. For Year 11 students, we recently had Sixth Form Taster Day, which enabled students to sample the subjects on offer, both here and at Windsor Girls’ School. The next step for them will be our IAP (Individual Action Plan) Day on Thursday 10th February, where all students in Year 11 will be given a one to one interview with a member of Senior or Pastoral staff to discuss their post-16 options. Students who want to stay on at TWBS will also be able to make their applications at this time, using the online tool, Applica. This is a hugely important exercise, which helps students understand their choices and provides focus and structure in the build up to the GCSE exam period. To run this in the most effective way, and ensure students are given the support they need, Year 11 will be required to study from home on Thursday 10th February. This means that staff will be able to offer their support fully to this impactful and important process. Year 11 parents will receive a letter next week providing more detail.
As in any school, the health and safety of students is always a priority, and I would like to ask parents of any students that cycle to school not to park in the car park at the Maidenhead Road gate. Not only is this unsafe, it risks damage to bikes (and cars) when cars are reversing into or out of spaces; there is plenty of room in the biked sheds, which is where we require students to leave their bikes, safely locked, during the day.
Lastly, I must take this opportunity to thank the staff for their efforts over the last four weeks. While we have been fortunate with staff absence through the pandemic, we have a significant number of staff who have had to isolate since Christmas. While this was inevitable immediately after Christmas, we had hoped it would have settled back to ‘normal’ (remember that?!) by now, but staff absence remains high. There are several options when this happens; to collapse classes and teach large groups in bigger spaces (which are not always available), to send year groups home, or to try and keep the school functioning and provide students with their regular timetable of lessons, albeit with cover staff in more lessons than is desirable. I feel, very strongly, that after the last 2 years, it is vital to keep school open where possible and to ensure that the routine of school continues to offer support and certainty; I hope you, as parents, support this. However, to do this, it requires a huge effort from our staff to go above and beyond, to cover duties and lessons where necessary, and to do all they can to support our students. I am so proud to work in a school where staff are so committed, and I thank them for everything they have done; it has been a tough few weeks, but they have worked incredibly hard.
Another key element of keeping school functioning, is to ensure that students are testing twice a week. All students received a new box of kits last week via their tutors, and I would urge you to ensure that students are testing regularly to keep everybody safe.
As ever, thank you for your support, and have a great weekend.