I am pleased to report really high levels of engagement with online learning across all year groups. It appears as if the morning registration for all students followed up by contact from the pastoral team as needed as well as students knowing that their teachers are available to support them throughout each lesson (all be it in different ways) has contributed to this positive start to the term. I realise the demands of supporting home schooling are significant so I thank families for their ongoing support. Please remember that at any time you have any issues or questions relating to accessing Google Classroom please do not hesitate to be in touch with school.

The Education Minister, Gavin Williamson, today set out brief plans for how students will be assessed in Summer 2021. Currently, the plan is that a form of teacher assessed grades will be used, with training given to staff to ensure these are fair.  We await further information from the DFE, but can gladly confirm that all teaching will continue, in line with plans for the academic year, to ensure that all students complete the full programmes of study in both GCSE and Post 16 courses.  We are confident that our students will be in no way disadvantaged by the announcement today and look forward to continuing to build momentum in their studies in the final two terms of the academic year. Specifically to Year 11 this will include releasing mock results to students this half term and facilitating an online parents’ evening prior to February half term.   We will of course communicate with parents as soon as we have further details, in the meantime, it remains vitally important that students continue to attend online lessons, continue to engage positively with these and continue to work towards securing the best possible outcomes in the Summer.

As parents are aware as well as my role as Headteacher at Archbishop’s I also lead the Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust which also comprises of nine primary schools throughout the city. As you can imagine this has been an equally challenging time for our primary schools and families across the city and I know that my colleagues are working extremely hard to support the 4000 children across our Trust. I have attached for information the letter I sent to primary families yesterday.

Wellbeing – We know that another lockdown is going to be hard on students for a variety of reasons, but we are committed to providing students with tasks and strategies to help them with their wellbeing. On each year group Google Classroom students can access optional Wellbeing Resources which currently includes:

  • A positive quote or fact for each day this may be nice thing for students to look at before their first lesson to set them up for the day.
  • A mindfulness booklet which includes lots of activities to help students focus on the here and now from places to track their mood to opportunities to complete puzzles
  • A mindful menu which provides students with 5 optional activities they can complete each week. These are based on our wellbeing themed days; Mindful Monday, Thought-provoking Tuesday, Wonderful Wednesday, Thankful Thursday, and Feel-good Friday.

There are also fantastic websites and Apps (see below) that students can download to help them with their wellbeing.

https://www.themix.org.uk/  https://www.childline.org.uk/ https://youngminds.org.uk/ https://www.kooth.com/ https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/thinkninja/

In addition the Happy News have released some free downloadable well-being resources packs for children (and adults), focussing on all things positive in the world  https://thehappynewspaper.com/product-category/education/

School Buses – We are very sorry, but from Monday 11th January the following school buses will not be running until all students return to school:

  • A41        Bishop Wilton/Fangfoss/Full Sutton – Archbishop Holgate’s School
  • A42        East Cottingwith – Pocklington – Sutton on Derwent – Archbishop Holgate’s School
  • A43        City Centre – Heworth – Archbishop Holgate’s School

All other buses are outside of the schools control and we have not been told they will not be operating as normal.

Head of Year Update – Today it’s Miss Turvey and the Year 10 team…
Welcome to Lockdown 3 from team ten. If we were the third part of a film franchise we would add a cool moniker to the title such as ‘Mission: Impossible III’ or ‘Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome’ or ‘Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines’ or even ‘Toy Story 3’. My personal favourite trilogy is ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ which is not me making a political statement about the current government but part of the Clint Eastwood Dollars films.

 How are you all coping? I only ask because your children are doing fantastically. Attendance is great, enthusiasm is high and effort is focussed. The team receive emails when your young people are struggling with access and some of us have even received lovely messages of thanks for the on line live lessons.

 Some answers to the questions you’ve asked (please send in more questions)

PE lesson: either Monday p1 or Monday p5 or Tuesday p4 your young person will have a timetabled PE lesson. This is not being taught live via a google meet, but there are resources in the PE classroom available to all. I would advise that during this hour Y10 step away from ALL screens and get some fresh air as they are sitting for the rest of the week hunched over a computer.

Registration: at the moment this is happening via the Year 10 Classroom; students go into classwork and open the folder called Registers and answer the question. Any students who have not done this by 8.45am every morning will receive a phone call.

 Afternoon Form Tutor time: the resources for this are in the Year 10 Classroom in the folder called PM registration resources. Some form tutors will hold a live goggle meet with their tutor group during pm registration once a fortnight just to touch base with them.

 Lessons: all lessons (except PE) will be taught live.

 At 8.30am for this first week at least I will be holding an live goggle meet chat with any Y10 students who would like to, but it is not compulsory and google limit the number of participants to 100 people so if your young person is denied access to this meeting then that will be the reason.

 Thank you for your continued support during these bonkers times and as always please email reception@archbishopholgates.org or phone 01904 411341 during office hours. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Yay!

 Best wishes Miss T.

Collective Worship
This week our Form Tutor Collective Worship focuses on the question of How can we have Hope for tomorrow? This is especially relevant as not all students return in person to school this week. The Biblical story of Jesus healing the woman with severe bleeding enables us to look at how for some people hope for the future can come from faith.

Thought for the day – “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller; blind and deaf American author, disability campaigner and lecturer

Kind Regards

Andrew Daly