23rd June 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
I hope you and your families are keeping well. I just wanted to write to you with a bit of an update. I know many of you are staying in touch with our key staff — form tutors, heads of year, DSL, SENCO, key workers or via the MyEd app — with any queries or updates, questions and messages of support. Thank you for your on-going support and communications during these strange times.
After Easter, we welcomed two new members of staff; despite a strange start for them, we are delighted to welcome them both to the staff team! Our new SENCO, Mrs Ellie Eales, has already been in touch with many of you, I know, and is working hard with the SEN team to support and track the progress of our students. Ms Kay Johnson is our new Learning Zone Manager and we are excited to have her expertise to support student learning too.
Well done to our students for all their hard work and efforts with their remote learning. Staff continue to work hard to provide the right work to keep them on track. We have valued students and parent feedback — it is a learning curve for us too — and we will continue to monitor and listen to ensure we support you as best we can. Staff are setting work that is released in line with your child’s timetable in order to help manage the structure of their day and the time spent on each subject. Whilst departments use a number of different resources and learning platforms, we will continue to signpost all work through Show My Homework to help students and parents navigate it all. Do contact your child’s subject teacher or form tutor if you have any worries or questions, via the MyEd app or by email directly, or leave a telephone message with the school.
The school has remained open for priority students (children of key workers and our most vulnerable students) and we send our thanks to those parents and carers for keeping in regular contact about which days their child needs to be in school, which allows us to plan accordingly.
We have loved welcoming back Y10 students for some face to face support which started last week. A considerable amount of work has gone into preparing for this; risk assessments, site and room preparation, cleaning, sanitising equipment, 2m markers, signage, staffing, communications and much more. The students have responded brilliantly, following the new safety rules sensibly and engaging well with their teachers and the learning. We have been running remote tutorials with Y12 for their IB subjects and these have also been going well. We look forward to welcoming Y12 back for some face to face support from next week.
We have continued to track the next steps of Year 11 and Year 13 students and make contact to offer support when it is needed. We look forward to seeing many Y11 back in September in the 6th form here at KES to study the exciting IBCP. We hope that students have found the pack of progression preparation work and tasks useful in preparing them for their next steps. 70% of Y13 have successfully applied to University and have accepted their offers and others are confirming higher level apprenticeships, employment or have secured places in the British Forces. If any Y11 or Y13 students are worried or have questions, or just need a chat about their plans, please do not hesitate to contact us and we can set up a call from our Progressions Mentor, Mrs Catherine Edwards, or from our independent Careers Advisor.
Safeguarding remains a priority to all our students and our Designated Safeguarding Team have been working hard keeping in contact with all those who need our support. Please remember we have the ‘Whisper button’ on the online safety page of our school website so you or students can report any concerns (the reports can be anonymous). You can also email the DSL, Mr. Dan Bennett, or contact the school if you have a safeguarding concern. Please also use the wellbeing booklet we sent out for any additional support.
After some teething problems, the free school meal voucher system is working well. In the current changing circumstances, some families who have previously not been eligible, may now qualify for free school meals and we would encourage you to check https://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/schools/free-school-meals#tab-1
Lastly, I would like to publicly thank the amazing whole staff team at King Ethelbert School. The way that our staff have responded to the incredible challenges we currently face has been nothing short of remarkable. Their hard work behind the scenes in so many ways, to ensure our students are supported so well, to keep the school running and to be so positive and proactive has been superb. Along with our fantastic students, their team work, good spirit and friendship make King Ethelbert the wonderful school that it is and I feel privileged to work with them all.
With very best wishes to you all,
Head of School