8 November 2020

Good afternoon,

National lockdown:  As we were already in local "Tier 3" lockdown, the new national lockdown guidance for schools makes very few changes to our current operation.  An unfortunate consequence of the lockdown, coupled with the rise in cases causing instability in staffing, is that we are having to cancel the Hothersall Lodge trip for Year 7, which was due to take place in the next couple of weeks.  All money will be refunded shortly.  

Student independence:  As I have said since this started, the current arrangements mean that students have to be much more independent and responsible than used to be the case - they have to take some responsibility for their own safety, their own equipment, their own books and their own work.  We are trying to make sure that parents & carers have all the information that you need to assist your children with this - for example sending additional messages home about equipment and uniform, encouraging the use of Classcharts so you can see the rewards and sanctions for your child, and also using Classcharts to see what homework has been set so that you can encourage your son or daughter to complete it.  Many students have "stepped up" remarkably well and the more that all of us can do to encourage all of our young people to work and study independently the better.  Please email classcharts@waltonledale.lancs.sch.uk with any issues that you have relating to homework, independent study, rewards or sanctions and we will do our best to support you in encouraging your son or daughter to work independently and responsibly.

Reading:  We are aware that, for many students, this pandemic has meant that they have done much less reading than they usually would - partly because of the safety issues around lending books and other printed materials.  This is something that we will be continuing to address over the coming days and weeks.  We all know that reading is essential to learning. 

Staff training days:  We have almost all our staff training days for this year during this first term, as shown on the school term dates page.  Please be aware that school will be closed to students during the 2 days of Thursday 26th and Friday 27th November.  

Ofsted:  Thank you for the supportive messages received from parents and carers about our Ofsted visit on Thursday.  We were part of a random sample of schools selected for Ofsted to find out about provision during the pandemic.  They looked at our curriculum, provision for remote learning, impact on safeguarding, attendance and behaviour as well as the general impact on students and staff.  A letter will be published with their findings in a few weeks and it contributes towards a national report. It has no effect on our overall Ofsted grade.  At this time the main issue was the impact on our day to day operations which are very carefully planned to keep everyone safe and the school running smoothly.  I am very grateful to the large number of staff who stepped in and covered for those of us involved in talking to the inspectors.  I am, as always, impressed by the commitment and mutual support of the team of staff at WLD.

Communications:  Please remember to register for Classcharts (email classcharts@waltonledale.lancs.sch.uk with any issues) and School Gateway to keep up to date with information from school.  If you use social media, please keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.  There have been several messages sent out this week:

  • Email to Mrs Lo's year 9 history class re consent to watch 1917 on Tuesday, 10th November - please email Mrs Hodgson at l.hodgson@waltonledale.lancs.sch.uk to indicate whether or not you give permission. Thank you if you have already responded.
  • The email notification to families of 43 year 8 students to self-isolate and the email to all other parents for information.
  • Email notification from the NHS re Emergency Department at Chorley and South Ribble District Hospital - link here: https://www.waltonledale.lancs.sch.uk/news/2020-11-03-information-about-the-emergency-department-at-chorley-hospital 
  • Email to all parents re the Ofsted Visit.
  • Email notification to all year 7 parents that football training will be cancelled during this national lockdown

Have a good week....


Best wishes

James Harris



Posted by James Harris

Category: WLD Updates