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Orchard School Bristol

  • 23 February 2024 - Letter to Parents


    To translate this letter, please use the translate function at the top of this page, above the Orchard School Logo 

    23 February 2024


    Dear Parents and Carers,

    I hope that you and your families have had a great half term week.

    As I noted earlier in the week, this is an incredibly challenging time for our city and we know that you will have concerns, especially with the tragic events of 14 February coming so soon after the terrible events in Knowle West. Now, more than ever, is the time for us to come together to support each other and our children and to do so from a place of respect, positivity and hope.

    As part of this effort, please continue to check on your child’s social media activity. There are unhelpful social media posts going round, which are sharing misinformation or rumours. Our children are not the cause of this but it is really important that they do not share, like or comment on such posts. We also strongly recommend that they leave any groups where such posts are being shared.

    Local agencies continue to work closely with all educational settings to ensure young people remain safe across our city and we will continue to pass on any relevant advice and information for parents/carers as and when it is made available to us.


    Key Dates for Term 4

    Year 9 Parent Subject Consultation & Options Evening - Thursday 29 February

    SEND coffee morning – Friday 1 March

    World Book Day - Thursday 7 March

    Year 8 Trip to London – Thursday 7 March


    SEND Coffee Morning

    Come along to our SEND Coffee morning, on Friday 1 March from 9.30am-10.30am, which is hosted in partnership with Bristol Parent Carer Forum. You can find out more information on what support is available locally for your child with special educational needs and disabilities. It doesn't matter if you don't have a diagnosis; they are here to support every family in Bristol and are parents themselves.

    There is no need to book, but if you would like to register your interest then click the link click the link here.



    It has been great welcoming back students this week. There have been some very wet mornings, and we want to remind you that we bring students straight into the building from 8.25 when it is wet outside, so please do ensure students arrive on time (by 8.20am), regardless of the weather. Thank you!

    Please look out for a letter from our attendance team in the next couple of weeks, which will arrive in your email inbox. The letter has your child’s attendance across terms 1-3, and it also tells you your child’s attendance on each day of the week. We are really focusing on these patterns and want to work with parents and carers if there are any barriers to attendance on certain days. Please get in touch with your child’s Pastoral Manager if you need any support at all. Every moment at school really matters, and attendance counts!


    Childcare Choices

    Please read the information from Childcare Choices, which is a campaign to make more parents aware of the financial support on offer to help them with the costs of childcare. https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/


    Careers Update

    4 – 9 March is National Careers Week and we will be celebrating this by having a careers focus in lessons and tutor time as well as hosting a Careers and Apprenticeships Fair on Friday 8 March. We are lucky to have a number of employers attending from a wide range of sectors, and students in Years 8-11 will have the opportunity to engage with visitors and find out about the variety of career opportunities and pathways.

    NCW have also produced a useful guide for parents and carers which contains information about post 16 qualifications and pathways as well as useful tips about how to talk to your child about their plans for the future.



    Extra-curricular events

    Please see the Term 4 Clubs timetable below for an overview of our co-curricular opportunities this term. Key Stage 3 Enrichment Round 3 also begins on Monday 26 February, with students in Years 7-9 starting a new round of fun afternoon activities!

    Clubs and Enrichment (Curriculum menu tab)

    Community Information

    For any keen walkers, the Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust has spaces left on their free Walk Leader Training at the Cameron Centre on Wednesday 20 March. Email info@lockleazent.co.uk or pop into The Hub for more details.

    All members of the community are invited to join their Wellbeing Walks, running until May.


    Wishing you a restful weekend.

    Melanie Sweet, Headteacher