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Rossett News Update - 11 September 2020

Welcome back

I would like to begin our first Rossett Newsletter of the academic year 2020/21 by thanking you, as parents and carers, for the time that you have obviously taken in helping your children, our students, prepare for a return to school. We were pleased and proud to welcome back our Rossett community to their school and were impressed by the maturity that they all showed in taking on the rules and regulations necessary to keep everyone safe.

This week we have encouraged students to share their experiences of lockdown; their stories and accounts confirm my thoughts – that everyone has had a different experience over the last six months. We have acknowledged this in our pastoral sessions this week and next.

Classrooms have been alive with the sound of lessons returning to normal. For example, Year 11 have been revisiting ‘Macbeth’ in English – our programme of rapid low stakes testing helping staff to identify the next steps for all students – and our ‘recovery’ curriculum is in full swing in every subject area, in every year group. The halls are echoing to the sound of French and Spanish language lessons; exercise books are being ruled and filled; individual activities are starting up for P.E. lessons. It’s good to be back!

Attached to this newsletter here is the ‘September Opening: Essential Information’ email from last week. The detail in this document answers many of the key questions that you may have, and it describes the routines and rules introduced to your child this week. I would also like to remind parents that the school’s most recent risk assessment can be found on the school website. Please take the time to re-read these documents.

In this information sent out last week, there was a helpful section on attendance and an Appendix: APPENDIX 1: Guidance for Parents – Attendance and Covid-19 that contained a helpful table giving guidance on what to do if you think that your child might be exhibiting the symptoms of coronavirus, or have been in touch with someone who has a diagnosis.

We have clear protocols within school that we can follow if a child feels unwell after arriving at school, but I strongly urge all parents to consult this document which explains when you should NOT send your child into school. Over the last week we have had contact from parents seeking clarity over the symptoms of COVID-19.

The most important symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) are a recent onset of any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough;
  • a high temperature;
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia).

For most people, Covid-19 will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above you must stay at home and arrange to have a test to see if you have Covid-19. Please ensure that you inform the school of your concern and again when you have a positive or negative response to any test; this information will allow us at school to support you by recording accurately the time needed for isolation, if at all necessary.

We have a few staff changes to communicate as always at the beginning of term. Dr Claire Reed and Mr Roger Keyworth take on the roles of Head and Deputy Head of Sixth Form this September. We welcome Ms Hannah Thorp-Greenwood as Head of Science and two new teachers of Science, Mrs Laura McQuigg and Ms Tania Hasan. Ms Alba Rodriguez joins our Modern Foreign Languages department as a teacher of Spanish, having spent time here last year as a student teacher. Mrs Vicky Young (previously DoL for Year 11) is stepping up temporarily to cover staff absence as DoL for Year 9. All pastoral enquiries for our Year 9 group should therefore be sent to vyoung@rossettschool.co.uk

I would like to end today by thanking the legions of staff – site team, teachers, support staff, finance team, health and safety colleagues – who have worked tirelessly in the holidays to prepare the school for the start of term I am proud to lead such a fantastic team of committed individuals who have ensured that this first week back has been safe, well-organised and well-practised.

We look forward to week two, next week.

H Woodcock

Headteacher.

 

A message from the Pastoral Team

Well done and thank you to you and your children for working with us and adapting to such an important change to our school routines.  As we move into the second week our focus will return to the Rossett Basics with particular emphasis on our school uniform and the equipment that we require students to bring on a daily basis.  We are also considering the days on which PE Kit is worn to school and how we can maintain our standards whilst at the same time ensuring students comfort throughout the day.

We are really pleased that the vast majority of students who travel on buses are complying with the national requirement to wear face coverings on public/school transport.  We would appreciate your support in reinforcing this key aspect of our school re-opening plans and would be grateful if you could remind your child that masks should be put on prior to boarding the bus and worn for the duration of the journey.

As a reminder we would ask that you do not enter  the school site to drop-off or collect your child/ren to help keep everyone safe.

Welcome to our Year 7 students

Return to schoolMrs Grabham (Director of Learning, Year 7) and Mrs Reynolds (Student Support Officer, Year 7) have been delighted with the enthusiasm and engagement of our new Year 7 students this week.  On Tuesday they undertook a number of transition activities with their Form Tutors which focused on the past, present and future.  This culminated in the students writing a pledge to their commitment to their learning and the 3Rs culture of learning here at Rossett.  Some students presented this in a speech and their excellent attitude and heartfelt commitment was very personal to them.  The students will get the opportunity to review their pledge as the year progresses.

Mrs Grabham, who was previously a Deputy Director of Sixth Form at Rossett School, was delighted to introduce (at a social distance) our current Head Girl, Sophie Jones and Head Boy, Oliver Houseman to a group of Year 7 students today.  During the previous academic year, our Sixth Form students received training on how to become  'Listeners' and over the coming weeks they will be introduced 'virtually' to our Year 7 students.  Year 7 students will then be able to  email all of our Sixth Form Listener team for advice and support throughout the year.

Student Welbeing

We have taken great care to consider the wellbeing of our returning students and have made this a focus of our reopening plans.  This week, in PSHE, all students had the opportunity to reflect on their time at home, how to build resilience and how to manage any worries they have about returning to school. The pastoral teams also continue to provide a high level of support for our students, enhanced by additional training they have received.  The following links may be helpful in signposting your child to further support should they need it. 

The Go-To – www.thegoto.org.uk – is a portal or ‘single point of information’ for the wide range of mental health support services available to help children and young people in the county address their social and emotional health needs.

https://www.kooth.com/

https://www.minded.org.uk/

BooksLearning Resource Centre (LRC)

We are making arrangements for the safe return of our school library books that are currently out on loan and would ask that you assist your child in locating these books at home and having them ready for return.  Our Learning Resource Centre Manager, Mrs Huett,  will be emailing students with details of books that they currently have on loan that need to be returned. In addition, we will shortly be setting up a book ‘reserve and delivery’ system so that students still have the opportunity to access our extensive library stock during this period of 'bubble' schools, where the Learning Resource Centre is working differently.  Reading a variety of texts is integral to our culture of learning here at Rossett and the ability for our students to access our library is of paramount importance.

School Catering Arrangements - update

New Meal Deal Prices for Academic Year 2020-2021

We are very proud of our talented and hardworking catering team at Rossett School who continue to provide the best quality nutritious meals to our students.

Due to the continuing rise in the costs from our suppliers we have introduced a slight increase in the price of our main meal.  We have worked hard to keep this cost to a minimum and believe our prices remain competitive and offer excellent value for money.

A hot main meal is now £2.35 and a pudding is £0.90 with the offer of a ‘Meal Deal’ for £3.00 (main meal and any pudding/fruit/yoghurt/traybake).

Please note – the Free School Meal Allowance has also been increased to match the meal deal price.

Before and after school food sales

Whilst the students are settling into their new routines, food will not be available for sale either before or after school.  However, we are hopeful these options will be reinstated over the coming weeks.

Pre-ordering sandwiches

To prevent the need for queuing, a selection of sandwiches and salads are available to pre-order before 10.30am each day using the following link: https://rossett.school/lunch

This food can then be collected at lunchtime from your child’s year bubble dining area.

Ways to Pay

In the present circumstances, funds should be transferred to the student’s account via SCOPAY Online. Please contact the school Finance Office if you do not have a link or if you have difficulty accessing this service: finance@rossettschool.co.uk .

Purchasing lunch

We have changed our ‘thumbprint’ system for payment at the school catering outlets to a system where students receive a unique code that can be given verbally to the till operator. These pin numbers will be issued today and will be sent to your child’s school email address. We will be issuing cards to students to show at the till to speed the process, next week.

 

Adult Learning ProgrammeRossett Adult Learning Autumn Programme 2020

We are delighted to share with you our Rossett Adult Learning new Autumn Programme for 2020 here.  Many of our adult education courses are currently online so learners from any location can take part. We are also featuring a limited number of in-house 'socially distanced' learning opportunities.

In response to the current rules about social distancing and meeting in groups, Rossett Adult Learning have developed an exciting range of interesting and thought-provoking classes to stimulate and occupy you, or simply because you might like to learn new skills.

These include, new languages courses such as Japanese, Greek and Latin for beginners. There are also  new exercise classes online and in-house, and general interest courses including' Introduction to Philosophy', Psychology, and Family History. 

We also have a guide to Inheritance Tax, Wills and Powers of Attorney led by a qualified solicitor; the History of England - Magna Carta to The Battle of Bosworth, and the USA from Abraham Lincoln to Franklin D. Roosevelt.   We are sure you will agree there really is something for everyone - we even have a Gardening course on a Saturday morning!

Please visit the Adult Learning website here for further information.

Rossett School PTA

Welcome back to the new school year at Rossett School, especially to those parents who are joining the Rossett School Community for the first time.  I just wanted to take a couple of minutes to introduce the Rossett School PTA, and also let you know about a number of ways that we would like to help you and also the school.

Rossett PTA organises a number of events throughout the school year, these include school discos, a quiz night and also providing support for other school events when they take place. Our primary focus is to raise funds for Rossett School to aid with purchasing of additional equipment and resources that would not normally fall within the standard school budget. Recent activities include the organisation of a ‘Book Bus’ to allow students to select a range of additional books for the school Learning Resource Centre (LRC) which were then purchased by the PTA. In addition, we also funded the purchase of a number of chairs for the LRC in order to create more reading space. We have also purchased items for the school ‘Sensory Garden’ to provide a space where students can enjoy the outdoors and the calming environment of the garden.

In addition to the events arranged within the school, the PTA has a number of schemes that are beneficial to both ourselves and the school, the key schemes are below:

Your School Lottery

LotteryThis is a national lottery scheme, run by an independent service, that allows you a chance to win a prize every week. Rossett School has a weekly draw in which there is a guaranteed winner from the school – the exact prize each week varies depending on the number of ticket holders, the more people who take part then the bigger the prizes. We do not restrict this lottery to Parents/Carers so feel free to pass details onto friends/relatives that may also like to join in. Tickets cost just £1 each, you can have as may or as few as you like. A proportion of the ticket sales assists Rossett School through the PTA. In addition to the weekly, guaranteed, Rossett School prize, there is also a chance for each entrant to win a weekly jackpot prize of £25,000!

To find more information about the current special offers and to purchase tickets, please visit the website -

https://www.yourschoollottery.co.uk/lottery/school/rossett-school

Easy Fundraising

easyfundraising-logo.e8b445bd (002)Rossett PTA are also sighned up to a number of affiliate schemes which help raise funds for the school.The first of these is Easyfundrising which  allows you to shop and purchase online as usual, and the retailer will provide a donation to Rossett School PTA for every purchase you make. Retailers include many of the well known high street names including Amazon, uSwitch, GoCompare, Carphone Warehouse, AXA, Virgin Media, Sky, EE, O2, Three, Vodafone, RAC, John Lewis, Argos, M&S, eBay and many more. Just follow the instructions on their website to find out how you can help:

https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/rossettschoolharrogate/?utm_campaign=raise-more&utm_content=gs-e1

 

Smile Amazon

WelcomeLogo-slice._CB485924359_ (002)Our second affiliate partner is Amazon – you can help Rossett PTA every time you shop at Amazon. Just browse to https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ instead of your usual Amazon address and select Rossett Parent Teacher Association (Charity Number 516693) as your chosen charity. Amazon will then make a donation to Rossett School PTA every time you make an eligible purchase.

Stamptastic

StamptasticLogoDo you hate having to label school uniform? We have found a quick and easy alternative to the usual methods of sewing in name tags – take a look at the Stamptastic product - https://stamptastic.co.uk/pages/school-welcome#a_aid=5f1754b9e8c76

 

School Uniform Recycling

Reduction of waste, recycling and re-use of items is a key concern for Rossett School and also the PTA. In light of this we would like to start a School Uniform Recycling Scheme. This is something that we were just about to launch in March of this year, however, events and circumstances meant that it was not possible to proceed with this.

The scheme is still in it’s infancy, however, if you have any uniform you would like to pass onto the PTA so that it may be placed into this scheme, please contact us via our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/rossettschoolpta or email uniform@rossettpta.co.uk – we are also looking for assistance with running the service on an ongoing basis; if you can help please drop us a line.

Join us!

Rossett PTA are always looking for new members to help with existing activities and also come forward with ideas for new ways to help the school, we are not a formal organisation but just a group of people who want to help the school as best we can. Please drop us a line if you would like more information, you don’t need to commit large amounts of time in order to make a difference, even making cups of tea or coffee at a school event can make a big difference. It’s a great way to meet other parents and carers at the school and also meet and get to know the school staff.

We look forward to hearing from you and meeting you all when circumstances permit.

Andrew Kirkby, PTA Chair.

akirkby@rossettpta.co.uk