Last week, we launched a new attendance reward initiative in school. For each week of perfect attendance (no lates, no absences) achieved by your daughter, she will receive one ‘I Attend’ voucher. Students will be able to collect these vouchers and exchange them for benefits that include chip day queue jumpers, tickets to lunchtime movie screenings, purchases of stationary from our new school shop or discounts on special items / events, e.g. year books and prom tickets.
We know that success in school, whether that is success in sports, music, art or in exams, starts with great attendance. Secure research also shows that school absence can a be major contributor to a number of emotional, health and wellbeing challenges, including low mood and feelings of isolation/loneliness.
We also appreciate that Covid temporarily changed the attendance equation, with parents understandably airing on the side of caution when their daughter’s felt unwell. However, with now over two-thirds of our school population either vaccinated or Covid-recovered, transmission rates amongst our students are expected to fall. Of course, we will also continue to apply transition control measures, such as mask wearing, for as long as is necessary.
School has been in full Covid-recovery mode since September, with revised schemes of work aimed at tackling any home learning gaps. A new personal development calendar has also been introduced, to ensure our students get to enjoy and benefit from the wider cultural and social aspects of school life, culminating last term with our first ‘Literature and Language Festival’. Our GCSE intervention programme is up and running, with a calendar of targeted small group support sessions timetabled to begin post November. Clearly, students are only benefitting from these actions if they are in school.
If you have any good ideas of affordable rewards which you believe will encourage full attendance, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Assistant Headteacher and SLT Attendance Lead.