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Head's Update 7th June

School update including a reminder to carry out twice weekly Covid testing at home and confirmation of school day timings from September 2021.

Dear Parents and Carers,

Isn’t it great to see some warm weather? Last week, especially the bank holiday weekend, truly felt like summer had arrived. I’m hoping that your children had a well-earned rest and feel ready and invigorated for final push towards the summer holidays.

Year 11 and year 13 had a particularly busy last half-term. They completed many assessments in order to inform their  grading. For the second year running we have had to follow a different process to award students their grades. I am hopeful that next year we will be returning to the exam system that we know so well.

Today we launched the one-way system around school. The students have responded to it exceptionally well. Like all one-way systems it sometimes feels that you must go a long way around to get to your classroom, but the emphasis is upon using the outside routes and students all travelling in the same direction. I know that it will soon become second nature but for now we are working with the students to direct them where needed. A benefit of this has seen teachers regaining ownership of their classrooms and students accessing all the specialist rooms. This creates a positive and purposeful working environment where students can flourish in their studies. Since I arrived at The Minster School, I have felt that a one-way system would benefit the flow of students around the corridors and ease congestion. If the system works effectively then it is something that we will look to maintain in the future.

Alongside the one-way system we continue to use hand sanitising and wipes on entry to classrooms. We are conscious that we want to minimise the risk of infection, and this is an important control measure. It is also important that students continue to carry out lateral flow Covid-19 testing twice a week. These have the potential to identify asymptomatic cases and reduce the chances of the virus being transmitted in school.

Before the holidays I shared the plan to change the timings of the school day, particularly the change to Wednesday in line with the rest of the week. I received ten responses to this and having considered those responses carefully. I am now able to confirm that from September, Wednesdays will be in line with the other days of the week. The timings of these are 8:50am start (onsite for 8:47am) and finish at 3pm. These timings may vary due to Covid operations – particularly a staggered end to the day.

I appreciate your efforts to ensure that your children are wearing their full uniform when they come to school. In the hot weather there can be the temptation to leave blazers at home. These are an important part of our uniform and should be worn to school. Students are able to remove them in lessons and place them on their chairs but should wear them when moving around the site. If the buildings get too hot then we do inform students that they can remove their blazers for the day, but this is taken on a day by day basis.

Many thanks for your continued support

Ben Chaloner