24 September 2021 Letter to Parents
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24 September 2021
Dear parents and carers
Your children are showing superb commitment to learning and staff have been very impressed this term. We know this because your children have collectively earned over 10,500 House points since the start of term! This is a fantastic achievement. Results by House are as follows:
- Avalon (blue) – 2404
- Butterfield (yellow) – 2917
- Dorchester(green) – 3007
- Wisley (red)– 2235
Please ask your child if they received a ‘1’ this week - we are very proud of them!
Our Open Evening is on Tuesday 28th September. A reminder that on this day students will leave school 10 minutes earlier, and there is no Year 11 Prep or Homework Club.
To ensure we keep Covid aware, we are asking families to book a place at an agreed time. If you have a Year 6 child and you’d like to look around the school, please follow this link: Book Open Evening or phone our Reception team on 0117 377 2000 who can book you in directly. We have had to increase the number of booking slots available, due to high demand, so if you were struggling to get a place at a suitable time, please be reassured we have more slots available now.
European Day of Languages
We are excited to be celebrating the European Day of Languages again this year. The Languages staff team have organised competitions and activities for the students to enjoy, which promote different languages and cultural diversity. It’s the 20th year marking this day, and we hope students will enjoy using their languages skills to take part. Our Catering provider is joining in by offering paella for a Spanish Food day in the Dining Hall.
Staff are now offering the following after school clubs to year groups which we encourage your children to attend:
- Boys Basketball – Mondays (Y7), Tuesdays (Y8/9/10)
- Girls Basketball – Thursdays all year groups
- Netball – Tuesdays (Y7)
- Boys Rugby – Tuesdays (Y7), Wednesdays (Y8)
- Science Club – Wednesdays (Y7, Y8)
- Dungeons & Dragons – Fridays all year groups
- Creative Writing – Mondays (Y8, Y9 and Y10)
- Music Club – Mondays (Y7, Y8)
- Piano and Keyboard Club – Wednesdays (Y9)
- Homework Club – every day after school, all year groups
Students have been informed where the clubs are run together with timings, so please do encourage them to attend a club.
We have received further information about Covid vaccinations, but currently the healthcare providers are prioritising vaccinating children in special schools. I want to share with you the information I have received to date:
Who is eligible for the Covid vaccine?
Young people who are aged 12 and over on the day the vaccine is administered are eligible.
Which vaccine would they receive?
A single dose of the Pfizer vaccine (also called ‘Comirnaty’). Currently young people will not receive a second dose. The intention is also that children will receive the Flu vaccine at the same time. The flu vaccine is already offered to primary-age children and this year is being extended to secondary aged children too.
Do children have to have both vaccines?
No. They are two separate vaccines and therefore it will be possible to receive one and not the other (ie, a student/family can decide to have the flu and not Covid vaccine, or vice versa). The consent form sent to families will be clear about which vaccines you are consenting for your child to receive (or neither if that is the preference).
When is the vaccination date?
We have not received specific dates yet. The Government’s aim is for eligible children who have consent to get their vaccines by the end of Term 1.
Who can give consent?
Only a parent can give consent. Sirona will not allow students to self-consent or override parental consent. Where students wish to be vaccinated but parents have withheld consent then Sirona staff will advise the student to attend a community-based vaccination centre and to engage in further conversation with their parents. If a parent gives consent, but the child states they do not wish to be vaccinated, the child’s wish will prevail. No student will be vaccinated on site at Orchard School if they do not want to be. Parents will be informed in these cases and advised to attend a community vaccination centre if their child changes their mind.
Who is organising the vaccination programme?
Sirona Healthcare are organising the programme as they are the School Age Immunisation Service in the South West. As trained healthcare professionals, they already carry out the vaccination that children already have at school (eg DTP, HPV), so are experienced at vaccinating young people.
Why is the school involved in this?
We have been asked to provide a venue for the vaccinations, and to send out consent forms to families. We will release students from lessons so they can get their vaccination. We will not have access to who has/hasn’t given consent or who has/hasn’t received their vaccination. This is the job of Sirona Healthcare.
Where can I read more about this?
The Government have provided a link to a page for parents/carers which you can see by clicking here: COVID-19_parents_leaflet
I look forward to seeing some of you at the Open Evening on Tuesday and I hope you all have a lovely weekend.
With best wishes
Julia Hinchliffe, Headteacher