February Half Term Letter

12 February 2021

Dear parents /carers

As we reach the end of this half term we want to thank every member of Team Durrington; students, staff, parents, carers and families for your continued support during these times. Once again, we have all risen to the challenges faced and, despite it not being the term we had planned for, ensured we have had a very successful first term of 2021.

We are so proud of the excellent online learning opportunities our dedicated and hardworking staff team provide; constantly learning new skills themselves, evaluating and reviewing their distance teaching and learning. We are in awe of the approach of the vast majority of our students who continue to produce fantastic pieces of work as they engage with their lessons remotely. We are grateful to you, our wonderful parents/carers, who offer support and encouragement to both your children and our staff team. Every phone call, email or comment on social media is so warmly received and really spurs us on to continue to work hard to provide the best for our students.

Not only have we been able to continue our excellent teaching and learning remotely, but the response to our virtual KAPP aspiration challenge has been brilliant. Students and staff have embraced the varying tasks and we have been delighted to see the results. From incredible bakes, beautiful photographs and impressive upcycle projects, to detailed career presentations, history quizzes and 1000s of Hegarty Maths questions answered, and much more in-between. We are so proud to see so many go beyond their best. We have also still been able to award students with kindness, aspiration, perseverance and pride badges following parental nominations and we are so looking forward to giving those students their badges when they return to school.

Our year 11 students continue to amaze us with their maturity, dedication and positive attitude to all that they face. We were so impressed with their mock exam results and so glad we could utilise technology that allowed us to meet with them in their tutor groups, hear and see their responses to their mock exam results and offer support. We know they are all working so hard to put themselves in the best position and we will continue to work with them to ensure they achieve the best they can.

The wellbeing of our students is a priority for us and we have support systems in place; company tutor, company team, wellbeing staff and subject teachers. Please utilise these and encourage your child to get in touch with us, or indeed contact us yourself if you/they would like to speak with us. We are also keen to get a general overview of our students’ wellbeing, with a view to ensuring we respond to this. We are asking all students to complete this form, please make sure your child contributes to this important survey.

As we look towards the second half of the spring term we are ready for whatever it may bring. We will continue to provide high quality learning for those working at home and those in school. Our school is not merely bricks and mortar, far from it, our school is made up of the people who make it the brilliant community it is; Team Durrington. So, whilst that enables us to make the most of this current time, we are all looking forward to welcoming our students back to school when we are able to.

We wish you a happy and safe half term.

Sue Marooney Chris Woodcock

Executive Headteacher/CEO Head of School

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