23rd August 2021
I hope this summer update finds you and your family all well. I am pleased to welcome our new year 7 parents to this update too!
We have been busy over the summer holidays with results days, sixth form enrolment days, and continued building work as we upgrade the site and our lovely, but old, buildings. We've also been preparing for our September restart.
It was fantastic to see our year 11s and year 13s back onsite to collect their GCSE and A Level results last week. The girls (and boys at sixth form) have done extremely well and we are very proud of them. Pleasingly, the robust process we created to decide grades meant that the exam boards, after sampling our work, agreed with the grades we awarded and none were asked to be changed.
Sixth Form Enrolment Day
It was also great to see the numbers enrolling for sixth form last week. We have had more apply to our sixth form this year than in at least the last 10 years. More and more students, both from St Anne's and beyond, are appreciating the smaller class sizes, the high quality education, the personalised support from teachers, and the social aspects of such a high-performing and bespoke sixth form. Our recent successful bid for £30,000 to annually take some year 12s to Guadeloupe on an environmental project probably helped some make up their minds too! We look forward to welcoming all our new year 12s in September. Although some classes are now full (by our standards: class sizes are rarely above 15), there is still time for others to join if they would like to. Go to our sixth form website for more information: https://www.stannes6th.uk/
Over the last year, we have successfully bid for over £2.5M to improve the condition of the windows, doors, roofs and internal decorating in many parts of the school. Although this means the scaffolding will continue to be up for the next two terms, underneath it all the building is being refurbished and improved for the next phase of the school's history. We're looking forward to seeing it all finished and having a watertight building again!
September 2021 Arrangements
As we approach the new academic year, I wanted to update you on how we will be operating as a school from September.
We are looking forward to getting back to something equating normality in September. Last year was a year of challenges as we operated under different systems and processes, so we thought a section on our website explaining what is changing between last year and the new year starting in September 2021 would be helpful for parents to have all in one place. Go to: https://st-annes-soton.eschools.co.uk/web/september_2021_arrangements for all the detail.
Much of this is simply reversing what we put in place last year. However, there are some positive working practices we have gained from last year which we are going to keep for next year. We have used the feedback from staff, students and parents that we gathered throughout the year.
For example, parents evenings will remain remote next year after positive feedback from both parents and staff. They will be from 16:30-19:30.
Any other feedback about the changes can be sent to: email@example.com. I read all your messages and they have been very helpful (and supportive! Thank you!).
Testing on return in September
As I explained in my update in July, one of the most important and urgent requirements will be the need for all students to undergo testing on their return in September.
All pupils in years 8-13 are expected to drop off a saliva sample to school on the morning of Thursday, 2nd September between 7:30am and 11am. This can be dropped off by a member of the family if that's easier. All members of staff will be able to drop one off in the same morning.
Pupils in year 7 will be trained how to complete saliva tests on the afternoon of Friday 3rd September and receive their kits then. They will be expected to drop their first sample off as the come in to school at the start of the day on Monday, 6th September.
Mop up: Pupils in years 8-13 who forget to, or are unable to, drop off a sample on Thursday, 2nd September can do so on Monday, 6th September alongside year 7.
Onsite testing: Students who do not drop off any saliva tests will, with parent consent, be asked to complete onsite LFD tests in the first week.
There will then be the expectation that students complete a saliva test once a week or two home LFD tests a week during September. The requirements for pupils to test will then be reviewed nationally by the government at the end of September.
More details on testing can be found at: https://st-annes-soton.eschools.co.uk/web/saliva_testing
St Anne's Catholic School
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