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Orchard School Bristol

1st October 2021 - Letter to Parents


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01 October 2021

I hope this email finds you well. We have had another good week at school, with some lovely events to share with you.

Open Evening

We had a very successful Open Evening this week, where our students absolutely shone – whether as ambassadors, touring, cooking, or taking part in the drama, music, sports, art and other activities around the school. A very big thank you to all involved.

Blues Music Event

Last Friday afternoon Year 8 students took part in “An evening with Big Bill Broonzy” Workshop exploring the history and evolution of Blues Music, led by Will Grealish. Students are studying the Blues in Music lessons, and this added some deeper cultural understanding to texts being studied in Year 8 English lessons too.

Space Event

This week Year 8 have started a 3-session project on “Our Space - Our Future” including a Curiosity Show, the Explorer Dome and Meet the Scientist events. This is being followed up in Science lessons as an opportunity to encourage young people to consider careers in STEM (science, technology engineering and maths).

Independent Study Room

I want to update you about the ISR. This is a room where children go to study independently if they have received a ‘4’ in class – ie they have broken two of our expected rules for calm behaviour in one lesson. It is very unusual for a child to be sent to the ISR. We have a school of well over 900 children and only 12 spaces in the room. We have averaged around 6 or 7 students in the room each day. This number shows you that our high expectations of behaviour are being adhered to well in lessons.

As a school our staff work very hard to include everyone, and to find ways to support each and every student. If a child goes to the ISR once, this is a serious incident. For further visits to the ISR, the child will need additional pastoral input and a Behaviour Support Plan is put in place with parents informed all the way. If the child fails to manage this, we move to a Behaviour Intervention Plan. The final stage is a managed move to another education setting. I hope this helps you understand our processes for managing a very small number of children with dysregulated behaviour.

Covid Testing

I have been asked to remind all parents and carers about Lateral Flow Testing and to continue to log results, whether positive or negative, to the NHS Report Covid site: Report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test result - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) Any positive tests need to be reported to school (absence line 0117 377 2021) so we can make sure your child’s attendance is accurately marked.

Vaccination Programme

We have received no further information about vaccinations from Sirona to date for children at Orchard. We are aware that there are some fake leaflets being sent around which look to be from the NHS but are not. This includes requests for personal information to complete a form to get a vaccination, and also concerning information about vaccinations. Can I urge you please to be cautious and fact-check carefully before acting on guidance you may receive. When we do receive legitimate information from Sirona, we will send it to you from the school email address. I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

With best wishes

Julia Hinchliffe, Headteacher