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Letter from the Headteacher - Spark UK continues to Sparkle

Dear Parents and Carers


As we move towards the end of term, with just over two weeks to go, we have a shared sense of excitement but continue the need to be vigilant at all times. I am pleased to report that the vast majority of students that aren’t exempt are choosing to wear their face coverings. This is important as we are currently managing to buck the trend seen in a number of other local schools where some students are moving to remote education due to a lack of staff. I therefore, encourage all parents to talk to their children about wearing face coverings unless they are exempt and to complete LFD testing on Sundays and Wednesdays each week.

Below are a few points that I would like to make parents/carers aware of in readiness for our return on Monday 6th December.


Spark UK All Star Advent Calendar

Here at the Academy, we could not be prouder of the achievements of our students. None more so than Conor W, Bridie D and Joe C, the founders of the Spark UK mental health charity. This week they launched their All Star Advent Calendar. Every day contains a positive message about mental health from a whole range of stars. The team appeared on both BBC Spotlight and Sky News to promote their calendar and to highlight the importance of mental health. So far, we have had messages from Jon Courteney, Stephen Fry and Chris Stark – Radio 1 presenter. Conor is keeping the final message on 24th December under very tight wraps so we’ll have to wait to see who it is! Click the link below to open the All Star Advent Calendar. All Star Advent Calendar | Spark UK Site


The High and Lows of Sport


Netball Success

On Tuesday night, the Year 8 girls competed in their second netball league night of the year. Again, the girls performed extremely well and showed courage, respect and resilience in each match. They were able to build on the knowledge and experience that they gained last time in some extremely competitive games.


Impressively, the girls won two of their games beating South Molton Community College and Chulmleigh Community College! Every member of the team played a huge role in creating these wins: the defensive players did a fantastic job at intercepting the ball and the attackers were able to get the ball into the D quickly and sharply. The students’ accuracy when shooting meant that we were able to gain an advantage in these games by half time.


Despite the rain, the team had a great time and were able to see the improvements which they have made this half term. Miss Nash was extremely proud of all of the students!

Netball club is on every Tuesday evening 3:30pm-4:30pm and is open to ALL students in ALL year groups. After the Christmas break, matches for all year groups will be starting. If

you would like to take part in netball club, just come along on a Tuesday evening or talk to Miss Nash or Mrs Norris in the PE office.


Year 7 Football

Unfortunately, the Year 7 football team lost their final against Braunton 3 – 1. This is a huge disappointment for them after beating the same team 5 – 0 earlier in the season. Despite this, the PE department, wider staff and students are all really proud about the way our students have played and represented their school so well. Hopefully, some of those results can be converted into trophies next year.


Virtual Christmas Celebration

We would like to invite you to join us to watch this year’s Virtual Christmas Concert. The Christmas Concert is normally one of our biggest events with a large number of our students performing music and drama in front of a live audience of their family and friends. Due to the developing Covid situation, this year’s Christmas Concert will be a bit different, and will be recorded in advance. The online event will showcase performances from students across all year groups and messages from our community partners. This year’s Virtual Christmas Concert will be available to watch via the school website on Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st December. We hope that this is also an opportunity for your wider family to come together and celebrate. It is our intention our students will have a chance to perform live in front of different year groups on Tuesday 21st as part of our Christmas celebrations in school.


Theft from PE Changing Rooms

Unfortunately, we have been made aware of some theft from the PE changing rooms this week which is distressing for students and staff involved. We have completed an investigation and issued an appropriate sanction. Students are reminded that we discourage bringing valuables to school but if they do bring any, that they are responsible for them throughout the school day. We also discourage students from bringing money to school as we are lucky enough to have a cashless payment system. We strongly suggest that students take the opportunity to hand valuables to their PE teachers so they can be secured during the lesson.


Rewards and Behaviour Review

At The Ilfracombe Academy we are always looking to improve our school so the students get the best experience; make expected progress and achieve our vision for education - ‘Life in All its Fullness’. Over the course of the academic year, we are conducting a full behaviour review with all stakeholders, our students, staff and parents. The outline of the review is as follows:

Stage 1 – The current situation (Autumn Term)

Stage 2 – Planning (Spring Term)

Stage 3 – Consultation and Amendments (Summer Term)


Below is the link for your say on what the current situation is on behaviour. We really value your input. It may be wise to have a conversation with your child before participating:


Behaviour Survey - Parents (office.com)


Thank you for the ongoing support with your child’s education. We are really looking forward to making improvements in our practice.


Measures that help to stop COVID-19 spreading

There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19; please

speak with your child to support these measures at school.


Do:

  • Ensure LFD tests are taken twice weekly; we advise Sunday and Wednesday evenings, please report results to school

  • Please also make sure that a phone call is made to the school reception (01271 863427) for any positive cases.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. Clean surfaces often, paying particular attention to surfaces touched often (e.g. light switches or electronic devices)

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of tissues into a rubbish bag immediately and wash your hands

  • Wear a face covering in indoor, out of classroom, communal spaces at school and on public transport

  • Keep indoor spaces as well ventilated as possible – let the fresh air in, even if for a short period a day

Link to Covid 19 guidance is available here - What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Public Health England has updated its parental guidance. Please see this link: COVID-19 vaccination programme for young people: guidance for parents - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


The guidance offers with answers to some frequently asked questions and includes NHS leaflets which explain the vaccine, including how it works and what to expect after having the vaccine. Accessible versions and translations are also available.



I hope our students and their parents/carers have a lovely weekend.


Yours sincerely




Steve Rogers

Headteacher

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