Issue 950: 10th December 2021


On-Site Testing – Plan B

As I mentioned in last week’s edition of Sweyne Park Times, the Department for Education (DfE) guidance is for all pupils and students to receive an on-site test before they return to school in January 2022.  However, following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Wednesday evening, and as we continue to learn more about the impact of the Omicron variant, we have been told to prepare for any possible changes in Public Health advice. This may well mean that we have to make last minute changes to our planned testing programme on 4th January 2022.  I will be sending a letter before the end of next week with further details, all of which, will also, no doubt, be subject to change!

COVID-19 Update – Omicron

You may be aware from the press, that there are different rules in place relating to self-isolation due to the new Omicron variant and Essex County Council has asked us to share the following information. If your child is identified as a close contact of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant, irrespective of their vaccination status and age, you will be contacted directly by NHS Test and Trace. they will be required to self-isolate immediately, and asked to take a PCR test. The 10-day isolation period will need to be observed regardless of the result of the PCR test and further testing will need to be carried out on days two and eight; NHS Test and Trace will arrange this for you.

Face Coverings

Since the reintroduction of the requirement to wear face coverings in communal areas, we have issued over 2,000 masks to pupils who have not brought their own in to school!  Whilst we are happy to provide masks in an emergency, please could you remind your son/daughter of the need to bring their own mask into school. Thank you for your support.

Last Day of Term

As we approach the end of term, I wanted to let you know that we will be finishing at 12.30pm on the last day of the term, Friday 17th December.  That day will also be Christmas Jumper/Non-School Uniform day, with £1 donations going to help support local charities.

Jack Petchey – Rewards Events

We are delighted that the pupils and students listed below have received a Jack Petchey Award, for their contribution to various aspects of school life. This week they attended an online Awards Ceremony, and received a gold medal in celebration of their achievements.  We are incredibly proud of all of them for their hard work and such wonderful accomplishments – congratulations!

Owen (Year8) – during lockdown Owen raised £450 for Stand Up For Cancer.

 Charlie (Year 9) – Charlie was nominated by a friend because he recognised how hard Charlie was working, having gone through several operations to help with his hearing and visual impairment

Phoebe (Year 11) – Phoebe is one of the key pupils within the Year Group who regularly updates and refreshes the numerous display boards around the school.

Ella (Year 13) – Ella was the founder of a new student group at Sweyne Park called “SPS Pride”.

Mitchell (Year 13) – Mitchell is a great LGBTQ+ ambassador, and has been inspirational in the running of the SPS Pride group, which supports pupils and students throughout the school.

Isabella (Year 13) – Isabella was instrumental in starting a discussion-based support group for the school.

Aliha (Year 11) – Aliha has to deal with gradual sight loss and now has a severe sight impairment. She is a great role model to her fellow pupils and the entire school community.

Katie (Year 11) – Katie has assisted with the Year 7 & 8 netball teams during her time in Years 10 & 11.

Zoe (Year 12) – Zoe has just recently set up an Eco-Group, and is spreading the important message of re-cycling and improving the litter situation both around the school and in the wider community.

And Finally …

Enjoy your weekend.

Official Judging Panel for the Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize 2021

Michelle Waghorn, Librarian, reporting

Our Year 7 and Year 8 Book Club members (picture shows Year 8 Book clubbers) were again given the responsibility of being an Official Judging Panel for the Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize.

They have spent this term reading, reviewing and discussing the six short-listed books to determine their favourites.

Last week, after reviewing scores, we narrowed it down to our Top 3 and the pupils then held a debate to decide which will be the Sweyne Park official winner.

The pupils were excellent debaters; calm, well- researched, well-informed, articulate and raised so many good points. 

And the result? Our official Sweyne Park winner is

Under the Stars: Astrophysics for Everyone by Lisa Harvey-Smith


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We will be holding our annual Open Evening on Tuesday 27th September 2022