Weekly News Bulletin: 22 July 2021

Dear Parents/Carers,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all so much for your support, understanding and cooperation this year.

I think we all came back in September with the belief (or at least the hope) that it couldn’t be any more challenging than the previous year. The reality was very different. This year the school has been transformed by a wide range of operational changes, we have undergone a further period of extended lockdown, we have established ourselves as a testing centre, become an examination board, and we have had to act as a branch of the test and trace system. With the rapid increases in cases, both nationally and locally, this final half term has probably been the most challenging of all.

Throughout this period, most importantly, we have maintained our focus on providing our students with a high-quality education, a sense of normality, and an environment in which they are cared for and nurtured.

I would like to pay tribute to the team at HRS who have been relentless in their commitment to support our students. They continue to ‘go the extra mile’ and could not have done more this year. I am very proud to lead such a team.

As for our students, there is probably one word to best sum them up this year- unflappable. They have taken everything in their stride, tried to look for the best in the situation and showed true resilience. It has been a challenge for them too, but they have risen to it and will have learned lifelong lessons from the last 18 months.

We move into next year with a sense of cautious optimism. We are very much looking forward to welcoming our new and existing cohorts of students back into a world that will be closer to normal. We are also excited to become an all-through school from September and to welcome our first Reception class.

I hope you have an enjoyable summer.

Daniel Gee
Headteacher

Sixth Form
I am delighted to announce that Oliver Brinkley has been appointed to the role of Head Boy and Kristina Hougham to the role of Head Girl following our annual “hustings event” where applicants for the role canvass the votes of their peers after which staff are invited to cast their votes.

Oliver and Kristina have been at HRS for six years and fully embrace the honesty, respect and success ethos of the school. Their academic, emotional and social personal qualities beautifully complement each other.
The Sixth Form Leadership Team look forward to working with Oliver and Kristina in our endeavour to constantly improve the sixth form experience for students, staff and the Dunmow community.
Mrs D Wright, Head of Sixth Form

Year 8 Certificates
This Wednesday Mr Gee met with four outstanding Year 8 students to present them with a certificate and badge to celebrate their fantastic achievements this year. The students have excelled and their progress has been incredible in what has been another very difficult and unsettled year. A huge Well done to Sam, Isabel, Sophie and Ruby!
Mrs L Cook – Head of Year 8

Physical Education Faculty
Can we thank students and parents/carers for their support over the past academic year. We know it’s not been ideal with the disruptions but the manner in which students have engaged in Physical Education and coped with the changes we made in light of the pandemic has been great to see.

Year 7 and 8 have completed their activities and once again finished with their interform competition this half term in cricket and rounders.

It has been wonderful to see so many students attending extra-curricular clubs this half term. We will be starting the autumn clubs straight away on our return in September and hopefully fixtures (COVID protocols permitting).

Please remember students will need their full PE kit on our return in September including shin pads and gum shields for hockey, football and rugby.

We wish you all a restful and enjoyable summer break, take care and stay safe.
Physical Education Faculty

Jack Petchey Foundation Summer Competition
To celebrate their founder Sir Jack Petchey turning 96 this summer, the Jack Petchey Foundation is asking young people to look ahead to the next 96 years! They want 11-19 year olds to send them a creative piece that shows their hopes and dreams for life in the year 2117.

There is huge scope for what the young people could submit! Their submission could be a painting, drawing, photograph, short video, collage, a piece of creative writing – and anything they can come up with that can be digitally submitted. They have asked that the submissions have a positive outlook on the future.

Entry Requirements:
• Entrants must be 11 – 19 Years old and live in London or Essex
• Must be able to submit their work (or a photo of it) digitally via our online entry form, or via WeTransfer
• Submissions must be made by 5 PM on Thursday 30th September

To find out more about the competition and submit an entry, young people should visit:
https://www.jackpetcheyfoundation.org.uk/forward-to-the-future-competition/

Uttlesford Clothing Bank
The Uttlesford Clothing Bank is able to provide non logo school uniform, school shoes, trainers, wellies and coats for families who are struggling to afford them. Please see the attached flyer for further information.

News from the Learning Zone
This year students in Years 7 & 8 have read a total of 29,771,328 words which is fantastic. Special mention goes to the only multimillionaire reader this year, Elliot Willis with 3,005,302 words read. Emily Keen also in Year 8 read 1,106,719 words that she could quiz on but I know Emily also read a number of Non Fiction books which did not have quizzes.

In Year 7 there are three students who have read over one million words. Molly Bennett 1,538,430, Olivia Reeve 1,194,528 and Abigail O’Rorke with 1,014,349 words. Well done it is an amazing achievement. We hope to have a celebration breakfast for our millionaires when we return to school in September.

This school year we saw an increase in the number of our ‘Shelf Help’ books being borrowed, subjects including meditation, dealing with stress and mindfulness have proved popular with students and staff alike.

We are looking forward to a new school year with initiatives in Literacy for form time, Bookbuzz for Year 7 and lots of new books to share with students.

Wishing you all a relaxing summer, the local libraries are open and I hope many students and parents alike will borrow something to read for the holidays.
Mrs S Bird – Learning Zone Manager