We have now reached the end of our first term in 2020/2021. I would like to praise our staff who have shown an unbelievable commitment throughout the many hurdles and hazards which have presented themselves since September. Similarly the majority of our students have epitomised our core ethos of ‘Manners, Determination and Teamwork’ throughout the term. Operating within a Covid framework means minimising risk as much as is practically possible. Most of our students have adapted to the inconveniences of this new structure, followed instructions politely and generally tried to help as much as they can.
There are so many positives from this first term with a number of students achieving over 1000 positive points. Additionally our Holgate Achievers’ cohort has been rewarded for consistently demonstrating manners, determination and teamwork. Ask your child if they have made it onto the list and if they haven’t challenge them to do so by the end of next term.
To coincide with the start of the second term we have updated our behaviour policy and will be focusing on core expectations for all our students to make our academy the best environment for academic progress, wellbeing and most importantly enjoyment. I strongly believe that when our students enjoy attending school and feel the sense of citizenship from belonging to our community they will make the greatest gains in knowledge, skills and personal development. Mr Diamond will be leading on these core expectations which centre around Manners, Determination and Teamwork. He will be communicating with parents/carers, students and staff so that everyone understands their roles.
Our policy emphasises the role of parents/carers. We look forward to enhancing links with home and I would ask that parents/carers trust that all our staff want the best for every student and that this will sometimes mean holding students to account. Although staff will try to make reasonable adjustments to reduce anxiety it is vital that all students understand that any failure of Manners, Determination or Teamwork will not be ignored so that the academy can operate safely and meet the needs of all our students as best as it can.
The September newsletter clarified our uniform expectations as below:
Students are expected to wear full school uniform at all times. Please refer to other uniform documentation and the uniform policy for further clarification. This also contains details related to PE kit, make up, nail varnish, jewellery and hair styles. The general approach is one of a traditional business wear. In brief the uniform is:
- Black polishable shoes (all leather upper or imitation leather upper)
- Black socks or tights
- Black trousers or black skirt
- A general rule for trousers is that they should be suitable for ironing (jeggings are not a suitable alternative)
- A general rule for skirts is that they should be ‘A’ line and on the knee
- White shirt or blouse
- Optional black jumper with Holgate badge
- Holgate Academy blazer
- Holgate Academy clip-on tie
- Optional coat (no hoodies)
Uniform is included in the core expectations within the behaviour policy. As an academy we are very aware that uniform can be expensive. Students on the Pupil Premium register are entitled to support with uniform. Parents/carers should be aware that registering for Free School Meals, even if you are only eligible literally for just one day, means that the student is added to the Pupil Premium register for the next six years and is therefore eligible for financial support with uniform, equipment and a range of other costs.
From January unless there are exceptional circumstances students arriving in incorrect uniform will be expected to accept support from student services or will be sent home to change.
There is an exclusive toilet for boys and girls in each year group zone. Whilst we would encourage students to use the toilets at break and lunch we have some supervised toilets so that there is provision during lessons. We expect all students to treat the facilities with respect at all times.
We have been supplying masks for free when students have not got one. To discourage repeated need for new masks and to cover the cost of the masks we will be charging 40p for each mask when we return in January.
Free School Meals
Vouchers for use in the major supermarkets have been issued to the parents/carers of any students eligible for Free School Meals to cover the Christmas holidays. Please contact the academy using firstname.lastname@example.org email address if there are any queries.
Remote learning update
Use of assignments
During term one we made the transition to the use of Teams as a medium to set remote learning work. From January 2021 we will now be making further use of the features which Teams has to offer to reduce the number of platforms that students are working from.
Homework will now be set via the assignment function in teams. This can be accessed by selecting the team that you require and then selecting the assignments tab in the general channel.
Work to be completed during periods of isolation will mirror the curriculum and also be submitted on the assignments channel. Please note to support students and parents distinguishing between the 2 tasks the following codes with precede each assigned task:
- Homework – HWK
- Remote learning task – RLT.
Parents will automatically receive a weekly e-mail on Sunday informing them of tasks which have been set.
Message from academy governors
The governors would like to thank all parents and carers for their support with home learning in what has been a truly difficult time for us all. Thank you for sending your child to the academy and supporting them through the changes in their education.
We have been following social media updates, have regular meetings with the academy and are particularly proud of the students who have gone above and beyond what is expected.
We hope that as things get back to some sort of normality that we will get the chance to meet with you all, especially the new year 7 parents and to hear of your experiences with the school.
Kate Turner and Paul Saint – Chair and Vice Chair of governors
Final message from principal
Staff and students are extremely disappointed to have missed the opportunity to mark the Christmas period but this will make next year an even greater celebration. With a general hope of positivity moving into the new year may I wish you all a Merry Christmas.
We are Holgate!