Rossett News Update - 5 February 2021
Welcome to Rossett News
We find ourselves now in the traditional, snow-day season; we have managed to keep going with our on-site provision for students, and I would like to thank our local staff who have kept Rossett going during these days. With approximately 60 students in school this week we have coordinated their online learning, meals and physical activity with socially distanced interaction at break and lunchtimes.
We await the outcomes of the Ofqual consultation - which closed last Friday - to inform our response to national plans for awarding qualifications at Key Stage 4 and post-16. We are awaiting confirmation of the dates for reopening secondary schools, the current situation is that 8th March is still quoted as the earliest date that schools can resume on-site education.
The Senior Leadership Team and I have been working behind the scenes to ensure that we are ready to open as soon as we have a firm date. Preparations at school range from a maintenance programme led by Mr Cracknell and the Site Team to ensure that the school has been repainted and refreshed, ready for our students to return, to exciting planning of new schemes of learning for this and next year - everything being underwritten by our robust health and safety standard operating procedures.
Whilst we are really looking forward to opening, we know the importance of continuing everyone's efforts to make sure that attendance and engagement in online learning continue.We hope that you have seen evidence of our recent staff CPD in further improving our excellent live lessons.
Next week, the Deputies and I will be speaking directly to students in an online assembly to give them a flavour of what we have done so far in terms of preparing for their return. It will also provide us with an opportunity to summarise student feedback to us, regarding the quality of our online offer.
With thanks for your continued good wishes and support.
Children's Mental Health Week
Learning about mental health is not just about learning about how people may become unwell, it is about building good mental health and resilience and using strategies when challenges arise. We are very proud of our students and their attitude towards mental health. Their caring, empathetic approach to others is a strong part of what it means to be a Rossett student.
Student Welfare Committee
Our Student Welfare Committee consists of a group made up of student representatives from each of our year groups. They have been appointed on the strength of their excellent applications they wrote as part of the student survey. The Committee had their first meeting with Mr Saunders and Ms Mooney on Wednesday, where they discussed their ideas of how to continue to motivate, inspire and support our students during the school closure, and beyond. The meeting was a great success - and many of their innovative, student-led ideas will be put into action soon. Thank you to all of our students who took part. If you are a student and want to share your ideas, please email your year group representative - check your personal email to find out a list of who they are.
Free School Meals
Families eligible for free school meals will receive a voucher for the half term holiday. This will be sent to your email - please look out for an email from Wonde next week. If you are struggling to access your Edenred vouchers during term time, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pen Pal Exchange with Le collège Les Chalais
As a 'British Council International Schools Gold Award' school, Rossett is proud to continue its tradition of international co-operation and engagement with schools across the world, including Japan, the USA, France and Spain. Students in Madame Clarkson and Madame Normand's Year 10 group have, this six-week half term, been communicating with fellow students in Rennes, France via the traditional pen pal route. Students have exchanged letters, through their teachers, and have discussed their different hobbies, likes and dislikes, as well as describing what life has been like in lockdown in their respective countries. We are so pleased to be able to continue to offer students the opportunity to engage with the wider world and put into practise their language skills acquired here at Rossett.
We are aware that some parents have set up regular monthly/weekly payments on SCOPAY to put money on their child’s lunch accounts.
As the majority of our students are not at school at the moment, if you wish to cancel the regular payment please email email@example.com with your child’s name and, if possible, the agreement number which will have been sent to you when you set it up.
Sixth Form Update
We have included a lot of information for our Sixth Form (Year 13) students and parents this week which has also been sent by email. If you have any further queries after reading this bulletin, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The deadline for UCAS applications has now closed and many of our students have started to receive offers from their institutions.
Responding to Offers from Universities
Students will make a firm (first choice) and an insurance (second choice) decision. Typically, the insurance choice would have lower entry requirements than the firm choice. The deadline for responding to university offers depends upon when your child received all five of the universities’ decisions. UCAS Track will display the deadlines for your child. However, below is a list outlining the typical process.
- If your child receives their last decision on or before 20 May 2021, their reply date is 10 June 2021 (except if using Extra to find a place).
- If your child receives their last decision on or before 13 July 2021, their reply date is 14 July 2021 (including Extra choices)
If your child has used all five choices in their initial application, but they are not holding any offers by 25 February, they can add another choice using Extra. Extra is another chance to gain a place at university or college. If your child is eligible, during this period they will be able to apply to additional universities, one at a time.
Student Finance for University
The University of Leicester has produced support for parents/carers, which is useful for all applications at any institution. They are hosting a live talk on 25 February, to discuss student finance - click here.
Many universities offer students the opportunity to apply for scholarships and bursaries, for their academic achievements, as well as musical, sporting and extracurricular accomplishments. It is highly advised that your child looks to see what is available at the institutions to which they have applied, as they may be eligible for a financial award.
Increasingly Sixth Form students are being contacted by universities regarding the selection of accommodation, before they have responded to their offers. Heads of Sixth Form across the country are advising their students not to feel pressurised into making decisions about their choices before they are ready, based upon this contact.
Unlike UCAS, apprenticeship offers appear on different platforms at different times as they are in response to employer demand, much like the real workplace. Therefore, it is advised that your child actively looks at and registers on the following sites:
National Apprenticeship Week, 8 - 14 February 2021
If you are in Years 10 or 11 this information is important for you!
Next week is National Apprenticeship Week. The aim of National Apprenticeship Week is to help students find out more about apprenticeships and what they have to offer . These events are ideal for students to explore their future career options and the routes they might take to get there.
In addition the National Apprenticeship Show takes place on Wednesday 10th February, going live from 11.00am and finishing 6.00pm. There are many employers who students will have the opportunity to talk to by voice or text chat as well as being able to download useful information and view online video content. However, if students have a scheduled live lesson for school, and they are not able to attend the live event, they can return to the website for 30 days after the event and they will be able to download information and view content. There is also a Workshop timetable, these are pre-recorded with live Q&A sessions following the recorded sessions. Some of the workshop providers include: AstraZenica, SKY, the RAF, the Metropolitan Police and the NHS.
Additional Mobile Data
We would like to remind you about a government initiative to provide additional mobile data or 4G routers to families who do not have fixed broadband at home. Please find details of this offer below. Please note that O2 and Vodaphone have been recently added to the list of mobile phone providers. 4G routers are now also available to students in Year 12 and 13, as well as students in Years 7-11.
To support some students during this latest lockdown, the government have offered an increase of data allowances on their mobile devices. This scheme temporarily increases data allowances for mobile phone users on certain networks. This is so that children and young people can access remote education if their face-to-face education is disrupted. This scheme is available for students who:
- Do not have fixed broadband at home
- Cannot afford additional data
- Have access to a mobile device that uses a participating network
- Cannot access face-to-face education
This is currently on offer to mobile phone users on these networks:
- Virgin Mobile
- Tesco Mobile
- Sky mobile
- Other providers may join the scheme at a later stage.
If an increase in mobile data isn’t a suitable solution for your family, the government are also offering the opportunity for families to request a 4G router for those students who are eligible for free school meals or pupil premium funding, and who don’t have access to the internet. If you would like us to apply for a 4G router on your behalf, please complete this form.
Safer Internet Day - 'Ask the Experts' Tuesday 9th February 2021, 7.00pm-9.00pm
Tuesday 9th February 2021 is national and international ‘Safer Internet Day’. With more people working from home and children now having their school lessons online, the need to use the internet more safely and securely has never been greater. North Yorkshire Police are hosting another ’Ask the Experts’ evening to support Safer Internet Day. This online event will consist of several presentations from officers from their Cyber Crime Unit and Online Abuse and Safeguarding Unit. Richard De Vere from the Anti-Social Engineer will give an insight into the tricks scammers use to manipulate their victims. There will be the opportunity to ask questions of their panel of experts.
Outstanding Home Learning
Inspired by nature and with hopes of a better world to come, James Elsworth-Nesbitt (Year 7), has committed his thoughts of hope and faith in nature, to paper this week. Beautiful sentiments and a thoughtful pause for us all! Well done to James and thank you to his English teacher, Mrs Brown, for sharing a selection of James' poems with us.
Dawn of the Day
As trees blossomed in the sweet spring air,
Silence could be whispered all around.
The sown webs of the world,
Ready to take these shattered pieces,
And build a better one…
Not one for pollution,
Or a litter-scattered land;
But one for peace
And tranquillity-to outstand.
Earth's sown beauty
With so many layers,
The complex design
Of the earth's sown beauty.
From the murky depths of the Grand Canyon,
To the snow-dusted tops of the Himalayas
It’s time to dust away the unwanted cobwebs,
And let Mother Nature shine through the whiskers of the sun.
To take this
And rebuild it.
To make peace and love outlast
The war and envy in this world
And create an indestructible community.
The Midnight Moon
The reflection of everything that is,
The very essence of a person
Without a smile
Just a shape.
The Shape of the Midnight Moon.
Also in Year 7, Amos Tytymce has been busy refining his drawing skills over lockdown and is pleased for us to share this picture with you.
Although there is disruption to examinations this year for our Year 13 students, our priority is still to ensure all students acquire the knowledge needed to succeed next year in Higher Education. Miss Reynolds offered her class an additional optional assignment this week, courtesy of Mr Dyke, aimed at assessing mastery of Coordinate Geometry.
The question is designed as an assessment question from a Year 1 university course and we were pleased that three students: Sam Gilmartin, Karthik Krishnan and Max Davies were able to submit confident, well thought through solutions to the problem. Below is an example of the type of pre-university work our students have been trailling. Although our students have had to cope with the adversity of multiple lockdowns, we are confident they are going to be successful in their next steps.
Tips for home learning
- Where possible have a quiet space away from distractions;
- Be organised - have a routine based around the school day including break and lunchtime;
- Leave your mobile phone in another room and turn off notifications while you are home learning;
- Stay safe on-line - only use trusted websites, follow the school's online protocols in our Acceptable Use Policy;
- Remember you can contact your teachers with any queries via Teams and the Network Team with any IT queries. at: studentIThelp@rossettschool.co.uk
Mental Health and Wellbeing
We would like to remind you of the support groups, websites and text-based helplines that exist to help students combat feelings of anxiety that may result from worrying about future examinations or the current national coverage of the pandemic.
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.
For those students who remain in school we would like to remind you of the reporting procedures and symptom checker before attending each day:
If your child has any of the symptoms described in the attached parental letter from Public Health England here, they must stay at home and arrangements need to be made to have a test. You must call the school absence line (01423 564 444) and leave a voicemail informing us about the situation and the reason your child is not in school.
We would remind you that you should only book a test if your child has any of these three coronavirus symptoms:
- A high temperature: any new high temperature where your child feels hot to touch on their chest or back (you do not need to measure the temperature);
- A new continuous cough: coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours;
- A loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste: a noticeable loss of smell or taste or things smell and taste different to normal.
If your child has been off school for a reason related to Covid-19, it is vital that you contact us before they return and give us the reason they are returning e.g. a negative test result.
- Public Health England has asked us to emphasise with our parents/carers that the NHS Track and Trace App is not applicable to students under the age of 16, and therefore should not be installed on the phones of students who are under 16. If any parent has to inform the school regarding a positive Covid case please email https://rossett.school/positive and complete the form.
With every best wish from all at Rossett,