Positive half term for Woodroffe despite COVID challenges

Woodroffe School students pictured on Wear Red Day – part of an anti-racism campaign

THE Woodroffe School in Lyme Regis has reported on a positive first half term following the coronavirus lockdown. 

Having returned in September after five months off for most pupils, the Woodroffe students are said to have demonstrated their resilience and desire to consistently be in school, despite the ongoing national concerns about student wellbeing and anxiety.

Nationally, school attendance at secondary level has remained at 88% but Woodroffe has consistently remained well above 94% for the whole of the half term. Its highest daily attendance figure reached a staggering 99.03%.

Headteacher Dan Watts said: “I would like to thank our parents and carers for their support in helping us to ensure that our students made such a fantastic start to the new academic year.

“It has been great to see our school alive again, with students learning in classrooms amongst their peers and teachers and gradually beginning to participate in more of the additional activities that make Woodroffe such a special place.

“The lunchtime inter-tutor group competition within year group bubbles has been a particular favourite with large number participating daily.

“There have been many smiles on the student return. For those who have found the transition a little more challenging, our new ‘Safeguarding and Wellbeing’ team have worked hard to support these students, ensuring that they able to return to learning confidently in school as quickly as possible.”

This first half-term would normally have included many school events but, due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place, many of these have required amendment or postponement.

One of the events affected was the school’s annual open day, which could not be held, but prospective parents and carers were given the opportunity to get a flavour of the school through a ‘virtual open day’.

The resources, including videos, can still be viewed online at www.woodroffe.dorset.sch.uk/virtual-open-day/

On Friday, October 16 students participated in the Wear Red Day campaign in an attempt to ‘show racism the red card’, swapping their usual navy blue blazers for red clothing.

During October, they also engaged in activities in support of Black History Month including a digital whole school assembly led by Mr Watts on privilege and the work of John Amaechi, based around developing young people’s understanding of how white privilege and indeed, any privilege, can have an impact on an individual’s life.

Mr Watts added: “I would like to thank our staff for what they have done to ensure that we could welcome all students back as soon as possible and for the way that they have supported students during the first half-term.

“This has been a real team effort and despite the challenges faced, the team has done an incredible job. Thank you.”

Woodmead Halls

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