Whilst we have only been physically back in school a short time, it is no surprise that both students and staff report feeling fatigued. The school day is intense, the demands on our young people to concentrate and challenge their thinking are high. Although in many ways I am disappointed to only have three days left this term, I can see that this offers an opportunity for us all to recharge and prepare for the Trinity term ahead.
As school teachers we do all we can within the classroom to facilitate successful learning for our students. I see this on a daily basis as I circulate our school, I see teachers delivering engaging lessons, stretching and supporting our students. I see students reflecting on their learning and understanding, feeling safe to ask for support and guidance.
There are many educational and psychological theories which indicate that children learn best when they take responsibility for their own learning. For a student to own their learning it starts before they enter the classroom. It starts with how they perceive themselves as a student and as a member of the school community. A student who is fully prepared, both mentally and practically for their day in school is more likely to succeed than a student who is not. Being prepared helps a young person feel confident, that they have the tools for the tasks ahead, making school feel achievable.
With this in mind we are going to expect our students to address three aspects of school which they have full control of: punctuality, uniform and equipment and finally food! As a school and Trust we fundamentally believe in all three of these components.
Punctuality:
Learning time is precious, this is the primary purpose of school for our young people. What seems like only a few minutes to a teenager quickly adds up. Five minutes late to all six lessons equates to 30 minutes of lost learning a day, this is a shocking two and a half hours a week! We have reviewed movement around school and are confident that there is rarely a legitimate reason to be late. On our return after Easter, we will be recording all lateness and students will be expected to make up lost learning time in after school learning sessions.
Uniform and equipment:
The debate over school uniform has been present for many years, I remember as a student myself questioning the purpose and indeed the style of my own school’s uniform. As a school we believe that uniform sets a tone, it offers our students an identity, they are part of our SET Beccles community and we are proud to be in this together. Uniform allows a sense of equality, there are no judgements or social prejudices between students when we are united. For me though, it is also about mindset, when a student puts on their uniform in the morning they become a student, they become ready to learn, they become open to the challenges and tasks of the day ahead. I feel proud when I see our students, they too need to feel this pride.
As I have previously mentioned, I do appreciate that many of our students have had a growth spurt during lockdown, please use the Easter holiday to ensure your child has the correct uniform which is comfortable and meets our school expectations. Please do contact the school office if you have any issues or need support with uniform.
As the weather warms, we will no longer be allowing students to wear a hoodie in or around school. Students may wear an outside coat at break and lunchtime.
Expectation for Trinity Term:
• Black or grey trousers – NO leggings or jeans
• Black or grey skirt – this must be knee length
• White shirt – tucked in
• School tie
• Black leather shoes (no logos)
• School blazer
• School hoodie for PE ONLY
Likewise, a key part of being prepared is having the right equipment, please use the Easter break to replenish pencil cases with the essential equipment to help your child feel ready and prepared to learn.
Food:
As you are all aware Seckford Education Trust prides itself on offering our students wholesome and nutritious meals. Lockdown has created some barriers which our catering team have overcome as best they can. Our Head Chef, Sonia Rodwell is very supportive and accommodating, meeting individual student’s dietary needs on a daily basis. We do appreciate that during lockdown students have had more freedom both in terms of what they choose to eat and when. I have two teenagers at home myself so am very aware of the frequency, quantity and dietary choices our young people make! As both a teacher and a mother, I do believe that food is an essential ingredient in enabling a young person to be emotionally and physically balanced and healthy. Our Trust approach, which parents and students understand when they join us, is that we provide all food for our students during the school day. Students are not permitted to bring additional food or drinks onto the school site. Water is available throughout the day, we have spare bottles for those students who may have accidentally mislaid theirs as keeping hydrated is a vital component of being able to concentrate and learn.
Pick-up and drop-off arrangements:
We would like to inform you that after the Easter holiday we will no longer be opening our school playground for parents who currently either dropped off their children in the morning by car or collected them at the end of the day. We appreciate this may cause some inconvenience but have decided to make this change in line with both our safeguarding and fire safety policies. Please speak with your children to make arrangements for where you will collect them after Easter. Please can I also urge you to be mindful of our neighbours and local community when waiting at the end of the day.
I wish you all a very safe and happy Easter break and look forward to welcoming our smart and prepared students back on Tuesday 20th April.

Many thanks for your continued support,

Mrs H Philpott
Head of School

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