Dear Parents and Carers

This is my first Newsletter as Principal at Wey Valley and I am amazed that even under these circumstances the school community has still managed to engage in so much positive activity.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the teachers, support staff and everyone involved in keeping the academy open for our key worker and vulnerable children and for all they have done to move from students learning in the classroom to learning online. It has been an incredible journey for all of us and we are still improving things every day. This Friday we will pilot a live tutor group lesson and trial some pre-recorded video lessons.

I know many of our families have faced huge challenges with the online learning and are doing great work with limited resources. I have heard remarkable stories of students completing their work while only having access via a mobile phone, I congratulate them for their resilience. However, some students and most concerningly some Year 10 students, are not engaging with the work they are being set. I cannot stress enough that the teachers are setting the  We can provide physical work packs for those who are struggling with the online work and if you would benefit from this please discuss with the Head of Year or Tutor.

The school will be closed to students this half term, having been open and staffed on a continuous basis since February half term. We will be open again for key worker and vulnerable students on Monday June 1st. I would encourage the students to step back from their online learning during half term, recharge and be ready to start again on June 1st.

The Year 8 options process has begun with online options forms being sent to all Year 8 parents. We are hoping to receive all the returns after half term so we can ensure students have the opportunity to study their chosen areas in Year 9. We will not be able to notify them of the final choices until July when the timetable has been organised.

This is a sad time for our Year 11 who should be deep into their examinations and looking forward to the end of their time at Wey Valley. I never met you, but I send you my best wishes for whatever you go on to do in the future. Rest assured your teachers are working hard to ensure you receive the grades you deserve and the year 11 team are looking into ways in which they can celebrate your time at Wey Valley, Mr Salmon will be in touch with you all very soon to explain all of these.

It is my intention to provide all of you with a much clearer picture of ‘what will happen next’, when we return after half term as by then the Government will have reviewed the outcomes of reducing the lockdown measures and decided on the next steps for the UK. Schools will hopefully have received some updated guidance from them by that stage as well. It is still looking like a very slow phased introduction of face to face contact for Year 10 students (1 to 1 or very small groups) to support their online learning is the governments favoured approach with year 7, 8 and 9 returning in September.  As you would expect, we have continued to plan for a variety of possible options and have been risk assessing these. As soon as we have received clear guidance from the government, we will tailor our plans accordingly and I will share these with you. For now, I will repeat the statement I made last week that all four local secondary schools have agreed that they will not be open for students other than key worker children and vulnerable children on the 1st of June. We will open when it is safe to do so and when we have a secure and workable plan in place.

I hope you all have a relaxing half term, stay safe.

 

 

            Rob Russell, Principal

 

 

 

Some Great News

Miss Hampshire’s rescue dog had 12 puppies. All are doing really well and were totally unexpected !

 

Sporting News

Our plans with PE for the summer term before the pandemic included our Annual Sports Presentation Evening in June and the Sports Day in July, but unfortunately these events are likely to be delayed until the new school year. We will however be releasing the names of the winners of this years awards shortly on the school website to recognise the achievements and progress of our students, especially our Year 11 cohort in their final few weeks as Wey Valley students. New developments within PE that are planned for September include new orienteering courses for Outdoor Education lessons, new full size football goals for three football pitches and a tennis coach for racquet sports lessons. A new extra-curricular PE and Sports programme is being planned for students in September that will offer a wide range of competitive and non-competitive sporting activities.  We also have a new member of PE Staff to welcome.

One of the positives from the current crisis is that physical exercise especially in the form of walking, running and cycling has increased dramatically nationally and may well lead to a more healthy way of life in the future that is good for the climate, body and mind.

Active Dorset has some great ideas for staying active and looking after your mental health.
Check out their website and get involved 

Mr Salmon has not wasted all his training this year despite nearly all of his races being cancelled. He took on an endurance challenge at home to raise urgent funds for a little boy called Dan who is in desperate need of a lifesaving operation in the USA. Along with some famous endurance athletes around the UK he undertook a Full Ironman distance race at home. A 10K run took the place of the 3.8km swim, 112 miles on an indoor bike followed by a full marathon in his back yard and garden. Total time 12.50hrs The run was brutal due to the constant turns and short space. As a group we raised £2000

Likewise Mr Mullender has taken on a physical challenge for Weldmar running 26 miles in 26 days.
Visit their website and take part

Very well done to Callum Rowe and his family who took in a marathon relay event raising funds for Dorset mind.
Read the full story here

 

Mental Health Support

CHATHEALTH  is an anonymous text messaging service for young people. Currently accessible Mon to Fri 8.30am – 4.30am any queries around emotional health, physical health, family issues, relationships etc.
Visit their website here

 

The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme

DOE have changed the rules during Covid19 and you can now pass Bronze/Silver without an expedition and progress to the next level. Log in and complete your evidence here. We still hope to run expeditions in the new year but this will depend on National advice.

Sustrans Lockdown Activites

Follow this link to make a cool ORIGAMI Cycling Jersey

Child Care

A reminder of life before lockdown!  Shona from the sling library came into Mrs Bown’s childcare class to give a demonstration in how to use slings to carry babies.  Shona brought in one real baby and some plastic ones.  Can you spot which is which?

 

Science

Theatre of Science on YouTube and Facebook have some great free online science practical lesson.
Go check them out here

Well done to Matt and Billy James who having been doing  diffusion experiments at home as part of their home learning in biology.

 

Year 11 News

It is with great sadness that we have had to cancel the Year 11 Prom due to Covid 19. We do plan to have a celebration event to mark their time at the Academy and also present them with their hard earned GCSE Certificates in the future.

The Exam Results Day will be on the 20th August.

Important Message from Network Rail

Due to the very high level of trespassing on the tracks by young people in the local area, Network Rail in partnership with Learn Live are working to help raise awareness to students across the UK educating them about the dangers of the train tracks.

Network rail would like to share this safety video with parents to show at home during this difficult time, as there have been 1,024 incidents since lockdown began.
Watch the video here

VE Day

The last 8 weeks have been like no other we have ever experienced in our life times.
The resilience and courage of the nation is being tested like no other time since the Second World War.
On the 15th May we celebrated VE Day at home which was for many a time of reflection and thanks to those who gave their all for democracy and peace. The same community spirit has been evident during this International crisis and displayed weekly on a Thursday evening with the Clap for Key Workers.

 

At this time we would like to wish you a very safe half term, please enjoy the stunning area we are lucky enough to live in and look after one another with kindness. Stay Alert control the virus save lives.

 

This is a great article that can give us all hope