Update: Uniform and Communications
Dear Parents and Carers,
Reflecting on the last 11 weeks of the Spring term I am filled with pride in our young people as well as our staff for everything we have achieved together. Our students have moved to remote learning, learnt new processes, and engaged in their learning either in college as a Critical Worker or Vulnerable student or from home. They have returned to College, adapted to wearing facemasks all day, and reviewing their learning in lessons all whilst in lockdown with all the pressures and challenges that presents in itself. Our staff have rewritten schemes of work, learnt new processes and systems to deliver lessons online, supported students in college, built and delivered laptops to those students who need them, arranged support in the 1000s of phone calls that were made home to all of our students over the remote learning period, supported students in their return to college and adapted their teaching to meet the needs of our students after weeks of learning at home. All this followed by a visit from OfSTED last week. It certainly feels that everyone has earned a rest over the Easter holidays.
For those year 11 and 13 students who will be in college or on TEAMS with their teachers over the holidays for additional support for Assessment Awarded Grades, please ensure you make time to switch off and relax too.
Before the holidays begin, I wanted to write to inform you of some updates that will take effect from the start of the Summer Term.
Since returning to face to face learning on the 8th March, our priority has been to settle students back into their day to day routines whilst ensuring staff are able to support students in their wellbeing, and also through the implementation of our “Retrieve, Review and Record Curriculum” which I outlined in the last Parent and Carer update.
Along with the support systems we have put in place, Deputy Principal Mr Turner has updated our Behaviour Systems to ensure they are clear and consistent across the College. You can read more about the update in the letter and presentation sent to all parents, carers and students, available on our website: https://www.exmouthcollege.devon.sch.uk/news-and-events/mass-testing-of-students/behaviour-attendance-and-teaching-and-learning-information-on-return-to-full-opening-of-the-college
The introduction of ‘The ECC WAY’ started on the 8th March and tied in with our priorities for welcoming students back by focussing on our routines. We have been extremely impressed with the maturity students have shown and how quickly they have welcomed the refresher of our College expectations around routines. This has included, arriving on time for College and to lessons, waiting calmly and lining up in collection points and following our Covid protocols, to name but a few. Thank you to all students for returning and adapting so positively.
After the Easter Holiday we will be re focussing on students’ uniform and appearance which is addressed through our routines but also our expectation Be Prepared. As a College we are proud of our uniform and strongly believe in the benefits of setting high standards for uniform and appearance across the College which the large majority of our students meet seamlessly every day. There is a lot of research confirming the importance of uniform which forms the basis of our ECC way. We believe that wearing the correct uniform;
- Promotes learning: we believe students’ focus should be on what they are learning and not on what they are wearing. Having a ‘uniform’ removes distractions.
- Nourishes a sense of equality: when students are asked to wear the same uniform, unhealthy competitive feelings about their looks are reduced. Students can stand out because of their character, not because of what they are wearing.
- Promotes community: our dress code compliments our learning culture. We are preparing our students for success beyond College, and in doing so believe that students should have clear expectations of professionalism. When our students wear a uniform they feel included. They are part of a team and are proud to be recognised as such.
- Makes the morning rush less stressful! No indecisions about what to wear in the morning!
- Improves safety: Our safeguarding systems are rigorous. The College uniform forms an important part of safeguarding. Students are quickly identifiable outside of the College gates and intruders are instantly recognised within.
- Does not eliminate individuality: the character of our individual students are our focus. Our students stand out because of who they are and the positive impact they make, not how they look.
Our expectations for College uniform have not changed, and are clearly explained on our website: https://www.exmouthcollege.devon.sch.uk/parents-and-students/parent-/-carer-quick-guide/uniform-and-personal-appearance
We do appreciate that uniform has been more difficult to purchase due to lockdown and as students have spent more time outside, or in well ventilated classrooms, they have wanted to wear additional layers. As we head into the Summer term, with warmer weather, we are now insisting that students follow our uniform expectations.
Please ensure that you familiarise yourself with our uniform policy. Students are very aware and reminded frequently about what is expected for uniform. Please note only ECC hooded jumpers on the new zip tops are to be worn in PE, and no hooded jumpers are allowed over the top of uniform. Only one small stud may be worn in each ear, rings and bracelets are not to be worn. Additional piercings are not allowed and will be asked to be removed straight away. This includes nose piercings. Only black socks are to be worn please, or tights, not both. All staff will be checking students’ uniform at the start of every lesson.
Having spoken to our Uniform suppliers (ProServe and ShipShape) we are aware that there is a wait on some items of uniform. Both suppliers have explained that if uniform is ordered and unavailable, then an email to evidence the order is easily available to you on request. Both stores are offering online ordering up until the 12th April when they will be open under normal working hours.
Thank you for your continued support, if you do have any questions or need help with buying uniform, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s Tutor or Head of Year.
In keeping with our commitment to improve communication channels with parents, carers and students we will be making two updates to start from the beginning of the Summer term.
We have always used ClassCharts to track students’ positive and negative points. The positive points have always been available for parents and carers to view through their own ClassCharts login. This is important as it encourages families to discuss their child’s progress, awards and praise. As our behaviour system has been updated we will be streamlining the praise and negative buttons on ClassCharts to match our ECC Way. Students will now be awarded for:
- Being Prepared (uniform, equipment, ready to learn)
- Being Engaged (on task in lesson, trying their best, listening etc)
- Being Kind
- Being Respectful
Equally students may receive a negative point if they do not meet our College expectations in these four areas. Parents and carers will now be able to view any negative points students receive in College via their ClassCharts login. We are trailing this for the Summer term. Please do discuss any points awarded, both positive and negative, with your child to encourage conversations around how they are meeting the expectations of the College and yourselves within College.
If you do not have access to ClassCharts please contact Ms Beaumont firstname.lastname@example.org
The Student Bulletin
We know that as a large College there is a huge amount of information that is being given to you as parents and carers and to students also. We want to make communications as accessible and streamlined as possible for all staff, students, parents and carers. We have therefore created a Student Bulletin page on our website.
The front page of the Student Bulletin will have general information for the week or month ahead for the whole College. To the right there are quick links to the Daily Bulletin pages for each Key Stage and a Lost Property page.
The Daily Bulletin pages will be updated every day for information that needs to be communicated for that day or the next. This page will be the ‘landing’ page for staff and students whenever they log onto the internet in College. They will check these pages daily in tutor time.
We strongly recommend that parents and carers get into a habit of checking the Bulletin regularly to ensure you are up to date on events and information. The Bulletin will not replace key information being sent home via email and text. We are hopeful that this will help parents and carers to continue to be up to date.
As this is a new format for communication, we would be really grateful to hear your feedback on this once it is up and running. If you would like to make any comments please email Mrs Rowe on Philippa.email@example.com
As always if you have any questions or need support, please do not hesitate to contact us in college. I would like to sign off by wishing you a happy and peaceful holiday. We look forward to welcoming our students back into college on Monday 19th April