July 16th 2021

posted 16 Jul 2021, 07:53 by Liz Pattinson   [ updated 16 Jul 2021, 08:04 ]

Dear Students/Parents/Carers,                                                                                                               

I hope this letter finds you and your family well.

School day consultation and feedback

Following my last letter on 2 July 2021, I would like to thank all parents and stakeholders who provided feedback about our proposal to start the school day at 8.40am rather than 8.45am from September 2021. The rationale for this is that it will provide us with a 20-minute registration period where we can deliver a high quality, effective Personal Development programme to all year groups without affecting the rest of the curriculum. I am extremely pleased to say that the vast majority of our parents agree that the benefits of the extended day in developing well-rounded young people far outweighs any negative impacts of the proposal with the most frequently asked questions being around the timings of buses getting to school in the morning. I can confirm that all of the school buses will be on-site in time so the school day will begin at 8.40am from the first day back in September (see details below above first day).

 Another query that was raised by parents was related to the absence of Parents’ Evenings during the past academic year. I’m sure all parents understand and agree with our decisions not to hold face to face parents evenings this year but it is something that we will be reinstating on our return in September.

 Step 4 Covid precautions

We are unsure about the Covid situation we will face in the Autumn, so we want to be prepared for all scenarios. Unless students are attending an educational provision over the summer holidays (e.g. Summer School) they are not required to continue with the LFD tests during the holidays. We have provided all students with a test kit for them to continue to test, twice a week for the first half of the summer holidays if they wish to and more test kits are available from your local library, pharmacy or can be ordered online via GOV.UK.

As you will no doubt will be aware, the ‘bubble’ system currently operating, will not exist in schools from September as this has led to a high level of absence in some schools due to bubbles being isolated when they have had a positive Covid case. Schools are now instructed to test all students twice on their return with a gap of 3-5 days between tests before continuing regular testing at home. This is the most effective way to reduce the risk of transmission and support the continuation of face-to-face education. We recognise, however, the need to minimise any disruption to education and to continue to support your child’s mental wellbeing. The government will continue to review the future need for testing in light of any changes to the public health situation.

 On-site Lateral Flow Device testing

Government guidelines on students returning to school in the Autumn term stipulates that all secondary age students must be tested twice on-site, 3-5 days apart. In order to test all students prior to them returning to classrooms, we have changed the arrangements for our start back in September. The rationale behind the testing is as follows:

  • Testing will only be carried out for students where we have received parental consent. We will assume that if consent was given for testing in January 2021 that the consent still applies. If this has changed please inform us at school or contact me using the email address at the end of this letter
  • For our new Year 7 students and parents who have not previously given consent, please do so by using the following link: https://forms.gle/vyybYBzPncuQBjT28
  • Testing will be carried out for all students before they start back at school
  • Students will be tested and will wait for the results before being allowed to return home on that day
  •  If there is a positive result, parents will be contacted to collect the student
  • Students who travel to school on a bus will be brought into school at approximately 8.30am and the bus will collect them for the return journey at approximately 11.00am
  • Students who don’t catch a bus will attend school for their test in the afternoon at an allocated time
  • The second test will be carried out 5 days later whilst the students are in school
  • We are conscious that the government guidance is extremely likely to change in the coming weeks. The following preliminary plan has been created to provide you with some information but further details of timings and arrangements will be communicated closer to the start of the new term. An updated Risk Assessment and guidance around other Covid precautions (face masks etc.) will also be sent.

 Preliminary plan for the return to school in September



1st  September


2nd September


3rd September


6th September


7th September


 8th September


PD Day

Testing for:

Year 7 – All students


Year 9 – Local students


Year 11 – All students

Testing for:

Year 8 – All students


Year 9 – Bus students


Year 10 – All students






Year 7 and Year 11 students return to school

Year 8, Year 9 and Year 10 students return to school






Second test in school:

Year 7

Year 11

Second test in school:

Year 8

Year 9

Second test in school:

Year 10


This plan means that the return to school has only been delayed by one day due to Step 4 requirements and all of our students will be tested twice within the first week of the students’ return.


A number of students have hired lockers this term in order to avoid carrying their possessions around school all day. The £5 deposit will be returned to the students when the key is returned in September. Can I ask that all keys are returned by Friday 9 September so that we can re-allocate the lockers for the new school year.


At Alde Valley Academy we have very high expectations with our uniform and we are very proud of our students carrying the Alde Valley Academy identity through the community. As we move into the new academic year, please can I take this opportunity to remind you of some of our uniform expectations:


  • The new Alde Valley Academy navy sweatshirt is for PE use only and should not be worn underneath the school blazer
  •  A black knitted, v neck jumper can be worn under the Alde Valley Academy blazer
  • Black tailored trousers (with waistband, not denim, tracksuits, jeggings, leggings, cord or lycra). Trousers must be loose fitting and not a “skinny fit” and ankles must be covered by the trouser 
  • Black leather or leather look sensible shoes (not trainers, canvas shoes, boots or plimsolls)


Our full uniform policy can be found on our school website as an addition to these key reminders. 

 Key Staff Contact details

Due to personal circumstances Mr Kelsall has decided to step down as KS3 Manager. In order to allow you to get the support and communication required in a timely matter, please see the names and contact details of key members of staff who will have pastoral and academic responsibility for your child:

 Year 7 - Miss K Moore:                                               k.moore@aldevalley.suffolk.sch.uk

 Year 8 - Mr D Mayhew:                                               d.mayhew@aldevalley.suffolk.sch.uk

 Year 9 - Mr N Ketteringham:                                       n.ketteringham@aldevalley.suffolk.sch.uk

 KS3 Pastoral support – Ms J DeBelgeonne                 j.debelgeonne@aldevalley.suffolk.sch.uk

 KS4 Manager – Mr R Battle:                                       r.battle@aldevalley.suffolk.sch.uk

 KS4 Pastoral support – Mrs A Betts                           a.betts@aldevalley.suffolk.sch.uk

 SENDCO – Mrs C Wills                                                 c.wills@aldevalley.suffolk.sch.uk

Once again, may I take this opportunity to thank you for your support and resilience during this difficult year. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any feedback about any aspect of Alde Valley Academy. I hope you have a restful and safe summer and we look forward to seeing you again in September

Yours faithfully,

Dan Mayhew