Weekly News Bulletin: 15 October 2018

Urgent Medical Information Regarding Epi-pens
We have been advised by the Department of Health that there is a national shortage of epi-pens. If your child has allergies which may require an epi-pen, please be aware that if you are unable to obtain a spare one for us to keep in school for your child, they must always carry one on their person when in school.
Thank you for your cooperation.
First Aid

Holiday Dates 2019-20
We have received several enquiries from parents asking for the dates of our holidays for 2019-20. Please be aware that these dates will not be agreed and set until the Full Governing Body meeting on Tuesday 11th December. Parents will then be notified of the dates before we break up for Christmas.

Please may we ask parents to not book any holidays for the next academic year until these dates have been agreed.

Taking holidays in term time will affect your child’s schooling as much as any other absence and we expect parents to help us by not taking children away in school time. Remember that any savings you think you may make by taking a holiday in school time are offset by the cost to your child’s education. There is no automatic entitlement in law to time off in school time to go on holiday.

Leave will only be authorised in the most exceptional of circumstances.
Mr S Knight – Headteacher

News from the Learning Zone
Following the Scholastic Book Fair last week the Learning Zone was able to buy several books to add to their stock, thank you to everyone who supported us.

Next week we welcome Kate Wiseman, author of Gangster School (Books 1 & 2). Kate will be talking to Year 7s during assembly and running workshops during the day. Year 7s have the opportunity to purchase copies of her books which will be signed by her during break time on the 18th October. If you would like to purchase a copy of the books they are available on Parent Pay for £6.99 each. Please order by Monday evening so we can advise the publisher of the number of books required.
Mrs S Bird – Learning Zone Manager

Jack Petchey Award – September
Congratulations to Charlotte Clayden who is our September Jack Petchey Award winner! Charlotte was nominated for her award by Mrs Gordon, DoL for Year 8, for her act of kindness in the community. While walking to school one morning in June Charlotte came across an elderly lady who had fallen over and whose arm was bleeding. Charlotte stopped and called an ambulance, gave the lady some water and put her blazer around her to make her comfortable and keep her warm. She rang the lady’s relation and informed them of what had happened and then stayed with her until the ambulance came.

Charlotte has nominated the Maths Faculty to receive the £250 contribution.
Mrs K Hennessy – Admin Services and SIMS Manager

Use of Translators in Modern Foreign Languages
It has become apparent from the style of homework some students have produced in French and Spanish that translation websites are being used. Most of the time, the purpose of homework is to consolidate what has been learnt in class. We therefore advise to base writing tasks on students’ notes or vocabulary lists provided in the textbook. We recommend a website called “wordreference.com” or a Collins dictionary. Most students purchase a dictionary at the start of Year 7.

Please note that in cases where we think a translator has been used, we consider the homework not to be the child’s work. We will ask him/her to redo the task.
Thank you for your understanding.

Year 11 French
To support your child with his/her studies, I run intervention classes every Wednesday lunch time in D 206.

Please also note that your child should have in his/her exercise book a yellow booklet called “my emergency kit”. The booklet is very useful for speaking and writing tasks. Please encourage your child to use the writing frames and verb tables provided in there.
Thank you for your support.
Mrs S Roy – Head of French

Kit Check – GCSE Dance
If you are taking a GCSE Dance course please be advised that a letter will be going home to parents regarding kit expectations and with an order form to order new t-shirts (compulsory) and hooded sweatshirts (optional) from our suppliers.

In the meantime if students are without an HRS Dance t-shirt they should wear a black or dark coloured top until their new one arrives.

All Dance students are required to wear black leggings (tracksuit bottoms for boys) for dance lessons which can be obtained cheaply and easily from most sportswear and fashion shops.

A limited amount of spare kit items are available for loan during lessons by request to the teacher. These must not be taken home under any circumstances.

Jewellery is not allowed to be worn in dance lessons and hair should be tied back with the student’s own hairband – please ensure your son/daughter brings one from home if their hair is not tied back at the start of the day.

‘A’ Level Dancers – a new t-shirt and hooded sweatshirt design will be available to order using the same letter and order form.

If you have any questions about Dance kit, please ask your son/daughter to come and see me before the end of this half term.

Please note: kit checks will start next week.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Mrs L Warnock – Dance

Dear Parent/Carer,

Sexual and criminal exploitation of children – will you spot the signs?

The exploitation of children is, sadly, a growing problem and has a devastating impact on those directly affected and their families. It happens, and it happens here, in Essex. This is not just involving older children, even primary age children are being drawn into exploitation. It is never too soon for our children to learn how to keep themselves safe.

Essex Police is working hard to tackle these awful crimes but we cannot do it alone. As a parent or carer with responsibility for a child I am asking for your help. Please be aware of the warning signs together with the help and advice available to you.

Exploitation – what is it?
Sexual exploitation involves a child being manipulated, forced or deceived into sexual activity often for financial gain or to build status or control.
Criminal exploitation involves a child being coerced to commit criminal activity. This is often associated with gangs and the selling of illegal drugs.

The warning signs
Is your child regularly going missing, coming home late or persistently absent from school?
Do they have new or older friends different to their normal social group?
Do they have money, expensive-looking clothes or a new phone you didn’t buy for them?
Are they being secretive when using their phone or the internet or perhaps making / receiving lots of calls and texts?
Has their mood changed or have they become withdrawn or aggressive?
Are they harming themselves or displaying inappropriate sexualised behaviour?

These are indicators. They do not always mean a child is being exploited, but, please see them as a potential ‘warning sign’.

A new hotline number – 01245 452058
If you are worried, please call us. You will not be wasting our time. A team of Essex Police officers and staff are on standby to listen, help and offer advice. The line is open Monday to Friday 08:00-16:00 with a voicemail facility outside of these hours.
As a parent of school age children myself I would encourage you to talk to your child / children about these potential dangers. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.
Yours sincerely,
Andy Prophet
Assistant Chief Constable
Essex Police
You can more information and advice about child exploitation on the Essex Police website https://www.essex.police.uk/advice/child-sexual-exploitation


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