This week marks the start of LGBT+ History Month and in my whole-school assembly today, I talked to the pupils about this year’s theme, which is ‘Politics in Art’ and we looked at five artists who used the medium of Art to highlight the political situation at the time. For example, Keith Haring‘s dancing figures were used to draw attention to the growing AIDS crisis of the early 1980s, and artists, Doris Brabham-Hatt and Fiore de Henriquez, both fought against fascism in Europe in the 1930s.
Next week, we will be marking Safer Internet Day and Mental Health Awareness Week, across both sites. More information from Miss Thompson and Mr Haywood below!
COVID-19 cases in School and Co-curricular Clubs
Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen a small increase in the number of pupils with COVID-19 in school. Stockton Public Health have been notified of all cases, and where advised, we have written to individual forms and year groups. Please be assured that we are doing everything possible in school to reduce transmission, but unfortunately cases are still high in the borough (almost 1100 per 100,000 people in the 7 days up to 29 January 2022). With this in mind, we have made the decision to postpone the start of co-curricular clubs from Monday 7 February until after half term. I know that this will cause some disappointment; however, Stockton Public Health have not released their new recommendations yet and the safety of our Red House family is of the utmost importance to us.
COVID-19 LFD Home Testing and Close-Contact Testing
Given the rise in numbers in our community in recent weeks, please can all pupils in Years 7-11 continue to be tested at home twice a week and any positive results reported to school. Please can I also request that your encourage your child to be sensitive towards pupils who have contracted COVID-19, as a number of parents have expressed that their child is worried about returning to school after their self-isolation ends.
If your child is aged 5-16 years and is identified as a close-contact of someone with COVID-19, you are strongly advised for them to take a LFD test every day for 7 days and continue to attend school as normal, unless they have a positive test result.
COVID-19 Vaccines for 12 to 15 year olds
On Tuesday, a number of our pupils in Years 7-11, received their first or second doses of the vaccine by the Immunisation Team. Please remember that you can also book a vaccine outside of school via the following link: NHS COVID-19 vaccine bookings
Self-isolation Period for those who test Positive for COVID-19
Pupils who are self-isolating with COVID-19 may reduce their isolation period after 5 full days if they test negative with a LFD test on both day 5 and day 6 and they do not have a temperature. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day. All test results should be reported by accessing the following link: Reporting a COVID-19 test result
I hope you all have a lovely weekend with your families. I am very excited, as I am attending ‘Bat out of Hell’ at The Globe this weekend.
With very best wishes
Dr Rebecca Ashcroft
Miss Claire Thompson
Deputy Head & Head of Senior School
Children’s Mental Health Week: Monday 7 to Sunday 13 February 2022
The pupils from Nursery to Year 11 next week are supporting ‘Children’s Mental Health Week’, which takes place nationally from Monday 7 to Sunday 13 February 2022. Supported by Place2Be, the theme for this year is ‘Growing Together’ and the pupils will use Tutor Time and PSHE lessons to complete activities around this theme. To celebrate this event, on Friday 11 February 2022, it will be a non-school uniform day. A £2 donation will be required and the theme is ‘Dress to Express’: pupils may choose to dress in their favourite colour or a colour which expresses how they’re feeling. By raising money for this worthwhile charity, we aim to get closer to a future where every child has easy access to mental health support. A letter is attached with further information, which includes a weblink for parents should you wish to support your child at home.
Safer Internet Day: Tuesday 8 February 2022
On Tuesday 8 February 2022, it is Safer Internet Day. Form 6H and Mr Butterfield have already prepared assemblies on this theme, which will be shared with the pupils in school next week. This year’s theme is ‘Together for a Better Internet’ and the children will be completing activities in school around this theme. As parents and carers, you also play a crucial role in empowering and supporting children and young people to use digital technologies responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. Indeed, parental influence, guidance and education have a significant and long-lasting impact on children’s safety and wellbeing in the online world. There are plenty of ways for you to participate in Safer Internet Day, whether it is by ensuring an open dialogue with your children, educating them to use digital technologies safely and positively, or acting as digital role models. To help you achieve that, you may want to have a look at the SID resource gallery, where you’ll find a range of resources to use with your children, from information sheets on various online opportunities and risks to conversation starters and even games, which are available in a variety of languages and for a variety of age groups.
Senior School Co-curricular Clubs (Years 5-11)
Thank you to those who have signed up so far. There are still some places available in some clubs. If you would like to secure a place for your child to take place in a club after February half-term, please email me before Friday 11 February. Senior School Co-curricular Club information can be found here.
Year 6 Parent-Teacher Consultations: Tuesday 15 – Thursday 17 February 2022
On Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 February 2022, our Year 6 parents have the opportunity to speak to the Year 6 form teachers (Mr Heaton and Mrs Coverdale). On Thursday 17 February 2022, parents have the opportunity to speak to our Year 6 Senior School staff. This will be done via Teams to discuss your child’s academic work and progress. The sign-up letter is attached. Please follow the instructions on the letter carefully and sign up with your child’s name.
Year 9 and 11 Parents’ Evening Dates 2022
A reminder of our other Parents’ Evening dates this term (sign-up letters will follow nearer the date):
- Year 9: Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 March
- Year 11: Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 March
Years 4-6 PTA Cinema Night: Friday 18 February
A reminder to please sign up for this by Tuesday 15 February. Requests made after this date will unfortunately not be accepted due to catering and staffing arrangements.
The children have been reminded in school today that they must not bring chewing gum into school. It sadly does not degrade over time, sticks firmly to objects and is very difficult to remove. It is also set out in our Behaviour Policy that chewing gum is not allowed in school. We would really appreciate your support in reinforcing this message with the children.
Mr Simon Haywood
Head of Junior School
As we head into February, there is the sense that the lighter nights are just around the corner. This has been reflected in Nursery pupils making suncatchers and sunglasses for their sunny day’s topic! There have been many other highlights at the Junior school this week; Reception pupils have been busy celebrating Chinese New Year and have made some wonderful lanterns. Year 1 have been working hard at their story writing, thinking about settings and trying to be descriptive. In Year 2 in Science lessons, the children have been learning about different materials and their properties. They have been finding out why objects are made of certain materials and what might happen if they were made of unsuitable materials, such as a concrete mattress or a paper umbrella! Dr Ashcroft has challenged Year 3 to investigate which type of rock would be most suitable for building an exterior wall. The children enjoyed testing rocks and sharing the findings in a letter to Dr Ashcroft. Year 4 have been looking closely at animal and human teeth. They are carrying out an experiment to see how different liquids cause decay to tooth enamel. Year 5 have been learning about the Holocaust in their History lessons. They have also finished reading their class novel, Kensuke’s Kingdom, and are developing their use of higher-level punctuation. Year 5 have also been fascinated by Brian Cox’s ‘The Planets’ series and in particular the episode entitled ‘Two Sisters’, exploring the link between Earth and Mars.
What a fantastic turnout we had at the Junior School for Open Morning last week. Our visitors were incredibly impressed by the quality and standard of the pupil’s work on display. We hope that as a result, many will make the decision to join the Red House family in the near future.
Many thanks to you all for confirming your child’s preferred club choices so promptly. Unfortunately, the decision has been made to put back restarting co-curricular clubs until the second half term. However, I am delighted to extend the deadline to sign up for clubs until next Friday 11 February. Junior School Co-curricular Club information can be found here.
Sports Camp and Holiday club
Once again, a reminder that places for February’s Holiday club and Sports Camp are steadily beginning to fill up. Should you wish to secure a place for your child, please could you complete the booking forms and return to me as soon as possible.
Children’s Mental Wellbeing Week
Children’s mental health and well-being is extremely important to us at Red House Junior school. Next week we will be celebrating wellbeing week in school. This will culminate with a non-uniform day on Friday, with a theme entitled ‘Dress to Express’! Please refer to the letter attached for more information.
Many of you may have be aware that parking around the Green has been a hot topic on social media in recent weeks. We completely understand that parking can be difficult at the beginning and end of the day, due to the limited space. Please continue to park with thought and consideration for others when collecting your children. Also, unless you are waiting for siblings, please would you leave the school premises as soon as your child has been collected, to allow for other parents to enter the school grounds.
Please may I also remind you that the school car park is for staff only. Please do not use this car park when dropping off or picking up pupils, unless you require the disabled parking space. Please may I also ask parents to avoid parking in the church car park at drop off and pick up times.
Whole School (Nursery – Year 11) ‘Dress To Express’ Day: Friday 11 February 2022
Year 6 Parent-Teacher Consultations via Microsoft Teams: Tuesday 15, Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 February 2022 – Miss C Thompson
Junior School World Book Day: 3 March 2022 – Mr I Barnbrook-McKay