Message from the Executive Headteacher

17th December 2021

Dear Parents/Carers,

As we reach the end of the autumn term, it is a time to reflect on the significant challenges we have faced as a school community this year amidst a global pandemic, as well as all the achievements and successes of our students. A particular highlight for me this term was the Year 7 trip to The Kings Theatre to see their pantomime! They all threw themselves into the experience, singing and dancing throughout the show and it was wonderful to see them just being children and enjoying the magic of Christmas.

2022 GCSE and BTEC Exams update

Exams are still scheduled to go ahead this summer so we are preparing our students for these. GCSE exams in England this summer will be adapted to maximise fairness and help students reach their potential. Following a public consultation, the government and Ofqual (30 September) confirmed changes such as a choice of topics in some GCSE exams like English literature and history; advance information on the focus of exams to focus

students’ revision in subjects, where there is not a choice of topics; and support materials like formulae sheets in maths. If exams are cancelled, Year 11 students will receive TAG grades from their teachers based on assessments they have completed in school. Assessments from October half term onwards can be included; students will be informed which assessments might count towards their TAG grade and be given the same amount of time that they would receive in the exam. Every lesson, every day really does count so it is vital your child is in school if they are not self-Isolating.

January return

As you may be aware, the Department for Education has announced that all students will need to complete one COVID-19 test on the school site as part of their return to school process in January. Therefore, we will be testing on Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th January 2022. Years 10 and 11 will then begin school on Wednesday 5th January 2022, with all other year groups back in school on Thursday 6th January 2022. This will help ensure the safety of our school community and lead to a positive start to term. They have also asked that all children continue to do twice weekly lateral flow testing over the Christmas break.

Can I take this opportunity to remind you not to send your children to school before 8.30am as they will be unsupervised before this time, unless they attend our breakfast club. The gates will be opened at 8.30am, the time our staff start their duties.

Free School Meals over the Christmas holiday

If your child qualifies for free school meal vouchers, you will be sent a voucher on Monday 20th December for

£30 per child to cover the two-week period. If you believe we may not have your current email address please contact our student services team urgently so we can rectify this.

Foreign Travel and Activities Week

Many of you have signed your children up for the trips abroad for Activities Week this year. Restrictions are changing daily at the moment but our travel companies are still confident at this stage that our summer residentials will go ahead. We will share further information with you as and when we receive it.

Staffing updates

I am really excited to share with you that we have been asked by the local authority to lead the work on Relational Practice across all schools in the city over the next three years. This is because of the innovative work we do around Inclusion and I’m thrilled this has been recognised locally and nationally. We have hosted visits from many Headteachers, local counsellors, and Directors at PCC representing a broad range of agencies this term and their feedback has been incredible. My favourite quote is:

“I loved how the school felt; the emotional safety was palpable, a calm learning environment and delightful young people”.

In order to support other schools with this important work, Mrs Argyle has been promoted to the position of ‘Director of Relational Practice’ from January and will no longer be Head of Victory House. We have appointed Mr Stokes as the new Head of House who is an experienced pastoral leader and we look forward to him starting with us in January.

Mrs Hammond, our Student Services Manager is retiring today. We are all very sad to see her go but she has lots of exciting plans for her retirement that we are all a bit jealous of! I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for all her hard work over the years and wish her all the best for a wonderful retirement. Mrs Moore has been promoted to this position from January and we have recruited a new Student Services Assistant, Miss Love to support this team. We are also delighted to welcome Mrs Lyons to our admin team from January, too.

Thank you so much for your continued support this year. The autumn term has been particularly challenging but we have pulled together in true Team Trafalgar style to keep the school open to all year groups, despite periods of high staff absence due to Covid.

School re-opens for staff on Tuesday 4th January 2022 and we welcome all students back to school on Thursday 6th January 2022 after their testing.

I wish you all a wonderful, safe and very happy Christmas with your loved ones.

Yours sincerely

Claire Copeland
Executive Headteacher

Arrangements for September 2021

What to do

School closures

No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless directed to do so by Public Health England.

Home Learning – In event of self isolation/school closure

The school has established a Google Classroom for students and a list of other online resources for use at home, in the event of students having to self isolate/school closure. Click Here

How families can cope with self-isolating together

Please see attached article with suggestions on how to structure the days in the event of a school closure. We will keep you fully informed of any changes. BBC: Coronavirus: How families can cope with self-isolating together

Help with food

The Salvation Army can provide up to 3 food parcels without a voucher: Haven Community centre, Lake Road, PO1 4HA: Tuesday 1-3pm, Friday 10am-12pm.

Helpline

The DfE have also launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and students can contact the helpline as follows: 24/3/20: The Universities of Oxford and Reading have put together a resource containing advice around supporting young people at a time when anxiety and worry will likely be high. You can find the resource on the Emerging Minds website here: https://emergingminds.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID19_advice-for-parents-and-carers_20.3_.pdf

Portsmouth School Nursing Service

Portsmouth School Nursing Service continues to provide non-emergency health related advice and support

eg. sleep, bedwetting, healthy weight, soiling, emotional health and wellbeing, additional and long term health conditions.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of your child’s health or development then please contact us by

Telephone –03001236629 or Text us on 07491163276

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and support for parents and carers (NSPCC) The NSPCC has created a number of resources to support parents and carers during this difficult time. Topics include:

  • Talking to a child worried about coronavirus
  • Parents working from home
  • Children staying home alone
  • Lockdown and separated parents
  • How to cope with tantrums and other difficult behaviour
The advice can be found on the NSPCC website here: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/coronavirus-advice-suppport-children-families-parents/

Updates

You can find the latest updates on COVID-19 on the Government page here:

Updated travel advice for travellers returning from Italy

On the 9th March 2020, Public Health England updated their travel advice, recommending that anyone returning from Italy should self-isolate, even if you do not have any symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, call NHS 111. The latest travel guidance can be found here:

The importance of hygiene

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.
Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.
In addition to handwashing before eating and after sneezing, both children and staff should also wash hands after using toilets and after travelling on public transport.

Guidance for Education Settings

They have also released the following guidance for education settings:
Coronavirus_advice_for_educational_settings_poster.pdfDownload You can read the advice given to schools by the Government on the link below, including more information about the Coronavirus which will hopefully help dispel some of the myths that are going around! https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19