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Letter To Parents 18th February 2022

Dear Parents and Carers,


Our Ofsted Letter


I am delighted to share our Ofsted letter with you. As you will see, the inspectors experienced just how special a place to learn Ferndown Upper School really is.
As this was a Section 8 Inspection, our grading could not change, but the inspectors fed back upon how excellent they found our extra-curricular and pastoral provision.
In terms of the two actions that were identified, the SEND point focused upon practical experiments in science and I am pleased to say that the faculty have already been working upon an exciting new initiative called ‘slow practicals’ to really emphasise the learning that is taking place.
However, with regard to the second target, while I understand that the DfE are still promoting the eBacc; sitting a GCSE in English, maths, science, Geography or History and a language, this initiative was first introduced back in 2011 and Ferndown Upper has moved on in the last eleven years. We have designed a really ambitious curriculum, which includes triple science for all (being the first non-selective state school in the UK to do this), we offer a Foundation Art course (usually delivered by universities), we are the first deliverer of T Levels in Dorset and BCP and most importantly we allow choice and personalisation. We are extremely proud of our four completely free option choices (the most comprehensive offer of any local school) and my vision is that it is the students themselves who are best placed to decide upon what courses are relevant to them and their future aspirations and we will continue to pursue this.


Parents’ Evenings


Please could we have your opinion upon how you are finding our virtual Parents’ Evenings? https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=eYQCv0bJkUe72J8CexEqpbhG4i_aoj5IlnRHwstYbZFUNFQxVzEySE1CQlI1VjBVWk5GWUdaREJFVi4u
COVID Update
Since removing the requirement to wear masks, we have seen a rise in the number of student cases in school, so we are monitoring this situation and if the numbers continue to rise when we return after half term, we will re-introduce masks into the classrooms.
Students Feeling Unwell
Now that we have a school Nurse again (Christy) may I request that you reinforce with your child that they do not contact you directly to come and collect them from school when they feel ill but instead visit Christy first so that she can assess them. She will then call you to come and collect them if she feels that they need to go home.


Returning To No Coats


Although it did not seem like it today, I am anticipating that the weather will now start to improve as we move towards spring and therefore, we are returning to no coats to be worn inside the school building. The students may still wear a school jumper under their blazer if they choose to.


Final Day of Term


Due to the additional Jubilee Bank Holiday falling on Friday 3rd June, during our half-term holiday, we have been instructed by Dorset to allocate an additional day in the school term. We have therefore decided to take this on Friday 22nd July, which means that we will break up for summer holiday at 12.10pm on Thursday 21st July.
INSET Days for 2022-2023
Thursday 1st Sept
Friday 2nd Sept
Friday 30th Sept
Friday 25th November
Tuesday 3rd January


Yours faithfully,

Philip Jones