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Head of School Let­ter June 2020

23rd June 2020placeholder 150x150px

Dear Par­ents and Carers

I hope you and your fam­i­lies are keep­ing well. I just wanted to write to you with a bit of an update. I know many of you are stay­ing in touch with our key staff — form tutors, heads of year, DSL, SENCO, key work­ers or via the MyEd app — with any queries or updates, ques­tions and mes­sages of sup­port. Thank you for your on-​going sup­port and com­mu­ni­ca­tions dur­ing these strange times.

After Easter, we wel­comed two new mem­bers of staff; despite a strange start for them, we are delighted to wel­come them both to the staff team! Our new SENCO, Mrs Ellie Eales, has already been in touch with many of you, I know, and is work­ing hard with the SEN team to sup­port and track the progress of our stu­dents. Ms Kay John­son is our new Learn­ing Zone Man­ager and we are excited to have her exper­tise to sup­port stu­dent learn­ing too.

Well done to our stu­dents for all their hard work and efforts with their remote learn­ing. Staff con­tinue to work hard to pro­vide the right work to keep them on track. We have val­ued stu­dents and par­ent feed­back — it is a learn­ing curve for us too — and we will con­tinue to mon­i­tor and lis­ten to ensure we sup­port you as best we can. Staff are set­ting work that is released in line with your child’s timetable in order to help man­age the struc­ture of their day and the time spent on each sub­ject. Whilst depart­ments use a num­ber of dif­fer­ent resources and learn­ing plat­forms, we will con­tinue to sign­post all work through Show My Home­work to help stu­dents and par­ents nav­i­gate it all. Do con­tact your child’s sub­ject teacher or form tutor if you have any wor­ries or ques­tions, via the MyEd app or by email directly, or leave a tele­phone mes­sage with the school.

The school has remained open for pri­or­ity stu­dents (chil­dren of key work­ers and our most vul­ner­a­ble stu­dents) and we send our thanks to those par­ents and car­ers for keep­ing in reg­u­lar con­tact about which days their child needs to be in school, which allows us to plan accordingly.

We have loved wel­com­ing back Y10 stu­dents for some face to face sup­port which started last week. A con­sid­er­able amount of work has gone into prepar­ing for this; risk assess­ments, site and room prepa­ra­tion, clean­ing, sani­tis­ing equip­ment, 2m mark­ers, sig­nage, staffing, com­mu­ni­ca­tions and much more. The stu­dents have responded bril­liantly, fol­low­ing the new safety rules sen­si­bly and engag­ing well with their teach­ers and the learn­ing. We have been run­ning remote tuto­ri­als with Y12 for their IB sub­jects and these have also been going well. We look for­ward to wel­com­ing Y12 back for some face to face sup­port from next week.

We have con­tin­ued to track the next steps of Year 11 and Year 13 stu­dents and make con­tact to offer sup­port when it is needed. We look for­ward to see­ing many Y11 back in Sep­tem­ber in the 6th form here at KES to study the excit­ing IBCP. We hope that stu­dents have found the pack of pro­gres­sion prepa­ra­tion work and tasks use­ful in prepar­ing them for their next steps. 70% of Y13 have suc­cess­fully applied to Uni­ver­sity and have accepted their offers and oth­ers are con­firm­ing higher level appren­tice­ships, employ­ment or have secured places in the British Forces. If any Y11 or Y13 stu­dents are wor­ried or have ques­tions, or just need a chat about their plans, please do not hes­i­tate to con­tact us and we can set up a call from our Pro­gres­sions Men­tor, Mrs Cather­ine Edwards, or from our inde­pen­dent Careers Advisor.

Safe­guard­ing remains a pri­or­ity to all our stu­dents and our Des­ig­nated Safe­guard­ing Team have been work­ing hard keep­ing in con­tact with all those who need our sup­port. Please remem­ber we have the ‘Whis­per but­ton’ on the online safety page of our school web­site so you or stu­dents can report any con­cerns (the reports can be anony­mous). You can also email the DSL, Mr. Dan Ben­nett, or con­tact the school if you have a safe­guard­ing con­cern. Please also use the well­be­ing book­let we sent out for any addi­tional support.

After some teething prob­lems, the free school meal voucher sys­tem is work­ing well. In the cur­rent chang­ing cir­cum­stances, some fam­i­lies who have pre­vi­ously not been eli­gi­ble, may now qual­ify for free school meals and we would encour­age you to check https://​www​.kent​.gov​.uk/​e​d​u​c​a​t​i​o​n​-​a​n​d​-​c​h​i​l​d​r​e​n​/​s​c​h​o​o​l​s​/​f​r​e​e​-​s​c​h​o​o​l​-​m​e​a​l​s​#​t​a​b​-​1

Lastly, I would like to pub­licly thank the amaz­ing whole staff team at King Ethel­bert School. The way that our staff have responded to the incred­i­ble chal­lenges we cur­rently face has been noth­ing short of remark­able. Their hard work behind the scenes in so many ways, to ensure our stu­dents are sup­ported so well, to keep the school run­ning and to be so pos­i­tive and proac­tive has been superb. Along with our fan­tas­tic stu­dents, their team work, good spirit and friend­ship make King Ethel­bert the won­der­ful school that it is and I feel priv­i­leged to work with them all.

With very best wishes to you all,

Vicky Willis

Head of School