End Of Term Letter to Parents From The Principal
Dear Parents/ Carers,
School closes for the summer holiday today. It has been a long and difficult year with many challenges still remaining from the pandemic and I want to praise staff and students for their resilience and dedication over the course of the year.
The overwhelming majority of our students have tried their best and shown great fortitude in keeping up with their studies. Students have faced the challenge of the first public exams since 2019 and staff and students have dealt with this challenge incredibly well. At Harris Academy Battersea we are incredibly proud of the students and all their efforts this academic year.
The new academic year
Our vision around the new academic year remains to ensure ‘we develop aspirational young people who thrive in a changing world’. By this we mean providing the very best academic and extra-curricular curriculum for our students. We want all students to be engaged with the extra-curricular programme we will offer and to really participate fully in the life of the school.
Changes to the school day
All year groups will arrive to school at the same time. Students are expected to be in school for 8:40am so that we can complete uniform and equipment checks so that they are organised for the day. When they arrive early, it allows us time to address any queries they might have before their first lesson begins. Students who fail to arrive at the school gates at 8.40am will receive a 45-minute detention the same day.
8:40 - arrival to school
8:50 - 10:05 - period one
10:05 - 11:25 - period two
11:25 - 11:45 - break for all
11:45 - 13:00 - period three
13:00 - 13:40 - lunch/PSHE
13:40 - 14:20 - lunch/PSHE
14:20 - 15:35 - period four
Entrances and exits
To ensure a safe entry into school, students will arrive and exit through the following gates:
- Year 7 - side gate
- Years 8, 9 and 10 - front gate
- Year 11-13 - back gate
Start of the academic year 2022-23
Thursday 1st September – staff training day. No pupils are in school.
Friday 2nd September – Year 7 and Year 12 only attend school.
Monday 5th September – all year groups attend school.
To ensure the smooth running of the school, we will be unable to facilitate a meeting if a parent/carer attends without an appointment. Please call Reception or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an appointment and the relevant person will get back to you to arrange a suitable time.
Changes to uniform
Thank you to all those who completed the survey regarding students wearing durags/bonnets to school. Following a staff and parent consultation, all students will no longer be permitted to wear these items to school from 2nd September 2022. Headwear worn for religious reasons is not affected by this change and will still be permitted.
Students will be required to wear full school uniform every day and bring their P.E. kit with them to change into on the days they have P.E. Please ensure that your child has everything they need ready for the school year, including the correct P.E. uniform: https://www.harrisbattersea.org.uk/727/uniform?search=uniform
Mobile phone policy
Mobile phones will still be banned in September 2022. They are not to be visible or heard at any time during the school day and must remain in bags switched off at all times. Any phone that is seen or heard at any point whilst students are on site, including in the playground or corridors, will be confiscated and parents/carers will need to come to the school to collect the phone the following school day after 15:30. Phones will remain within the academy until a parent/carer collects it. No mobile phones will be handed back to the child once they are confiscated. To avoid any inconvenience, please discuss this with your child so that their phone is not visible or heard in the academy. If you would prefer that your child hands in their phone to avoid the risk of confiscation, they can hand the phone in to Reception at the start of the school day where it will be locked in the school safe. It can be handed back to your child the same day.
We are firm on our stance on this for the following reasons:
- The dangerous link between the use of social media and a child’s mental health.
- Research shows that even if you have a mobile phone in your pocket, it reduces concentration levels.
- The number of disagreements between students that start on social media.
- The disruption that is sometimes caused in lessons, detentions and in the corridors through mobile phone usage.
Further to the above, the negative impact of social media cannot be underestimated. We would encourage all parents/carers to limit your child’s access to social media in the following ways:
- Do not allow your child to have social media apps such as Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok.
- If this is not possible, provide clear cut-off points for mobile phone usage and regularly check their social media apps.
- Confiscate the mobile phone before your child goes to bed. The blue light emitted by a mobile phone screen restrains the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls the sleep-wake cycle. This makes it even more difficult to fall asleep and wake up the next day which will have a significant impact on your child’s ability to focus in lessons.
Keeping safe in the community
The pandemic has further highlighted safeguarding issues for our young people. With the extended break, students are more at risk of negative influences. Please continue to provide structured activities for your child and be extra vigilant during the holidays. If you have any concerns, please get in touch with our Designated Safeguarding Lead: email@example.com
Students must bring their own equipment with them to school each day. They will need to have the following equipment for September: pencil case; black pen; red pen; ruler; glue stick; pencil and a rubber.
Equipment will be checked at the start of school each day and a 45 minute detention issued if students do not bring the correct equipment. This is so that students are well-equipped for their learning and lesson time is maximised.
From September there will be no self-top-up facilities on site. Please ensure your child’s account has been topped up at home using your ParentPay account (https://www.parentpay.com/). Please allow 24 hours for this to reach their accounts.
Students starting in September will receive a ParentPay login via email by the start of the new academic year. If your child already attends HABs, but you are unable to access your login, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have forgotten your password, please follow the instructions from the ParentPay sign-in page to reset your password.
There will be a number of changes to the school behaviour system to encourage students to reflect on their behaviour, and to promote positive relationships between staff and students. These changes will encourage students to act with the integrity required to continue to develop into aspirational young people who thrive in a changing world. All changes will be communicated to students, parents and carers through a series of training sessions for students and letters and videos in the new academic year.
Holidays during term time
A reminder that family holidays must not be booked outside of the school holidays. We have very few problems with this - thank you for parents/carers for being so supportive and ensuring that your child’s learning is of prime importance. We will follow the borough guidelines very closely and issue fixed penalty notices to parents who do not comply with this. Any requests for leave need to be made directly to the Principal.
Thank you to our staff, governors and to you, our parents/carers, for your excellent support of the academy and our community.
We hope you and your family have a great summer. We look forward to the return of our young people in September so that they can continue to thrive in this changing world.
Paula Leigh, Principal