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Headteacher Updates

Messages from the Headteacher

Headteacher message 



Dear Parents,


What a busy week!   School life is beginning to feel much more normal and we are very grateful for this! 


We were delighted to welcome some visitors from the Lancaster Avenue Bowls club this week.  They very kindly chose to give their charitable donations for this year to the school.  They presented us with a total of £392.83.   You can find out more about the club on their website. 


Today we have been celebrating Jeans for Genes day and raising some money for this charity to continue to carry out its research into rare genetic conditions.  We will inform you next week of how much has been raised.  We value any contributions for these types of charitable events and want to reinforce that everyone can join in regardless of their ability to financially contribute.


Have a great weekend,



School dinners

We will be sending home paper copies of medical information forms for those students who have school dinners and require a specialist diet or allergies.  The accompanying letter explains what needs to be done.  Please ensure you post the form directly to the address at the bottom.  (See letter attached)


Luton Parent Carer Voice event – 20th September

Luton Parent Care Voice have arranged a meeting for parents to meet professionals to discuss issues with SEN provision.   The event is being held on Monday 20th September, between 10.00 – 12.00 at Futures House, The Moakes, Luton, LU3 3QB.  Further information can be found on the Luton Parent Carer Voice website


Macmillan Bake-a-long - Bake it, Capture it, Eat it!

If you would like to join in at home, we are currently having a Bakealong competition where we are asking you to bake with your child at home. You will then need to take a picture and send it to your class email address by Wednesday 22nd September.

The cakes can then be enjoyed and eaten at home with all the family.


The photos will be judged on Friday 24th September and the Best Baker will win a cake based prize!


Macmillan Coffee morning arrangements - Friday 24th September

We are holding a Macmillan Coffee Morning on Friday 24th September from 9am till 2pm.

Parents are invited to come and join us in the school cafe for cake and coffee.   All monies raised from cake sales will be donated to the Macmillan charity.

In addition, classes should have the opportunity to join in with some baking and cake eating during the week.

If you would like your child to purchase a treat from the cafe on Friday, as part of the Macmillan Coffee morning, please send in some money.  Staff will support them to visit the cafe and make their purchase.  Cakes cost £1.20.


Flu Immunisations - Friday 24th September

Flu Immunisations will be taking place on Friday 24th September. This will just be the nasal spray vaccine. Injections will be carried out at a later date.

The Family workers will contact you early next week to provide you with a time slot.

Please contact the family workers if you have not received a time slot by Wednesday 22nd September.

All parents will need to attend at the time slot provided.  We cannot administer the nasal spray if parents do not attend. Please come directly to the cafe car park on the day where a member of staff will meet you.


Consultation meetings - weeks beginning 27th September and 4th October

During the week beginning 27th September parents of students in the Pathways department, the PMLD department and the BASE will be contacted by their child’s teachers to have a conversation about how the students are settling in and to share any relevant beginning of year information.

Your class teacher will be in touch to confirm the time of your appointment. Please check your emails

KS3, KS4 , FE and the LOFT appointments will be in the week beginning 4th October.


Transitions Fair - Pathways, PMLD and BASE Monday 27th October

Parents of students in Year 11, Year 12 and Year 13 who are in Pathways, PMLD or the BASE are invited to attend our Transitions Fair on Monday 27th September between 4.00 - 7.00pm, in the school hall.  

This is a really important opportunity to find out information about post school options.


Upcoming - Harvest Assembly - Friday 1st October

We will be celebrating our Harvest assembly on 1st October.  We will be accepting donations for Luton Foodbank from now until Friday 1st October.

High priority items include: Tinned rice pudding, Tinned custard, Bajked beans, Tinned fruit, single packets of biscuits, UHT milk and sugar

Donations will be going to Luton Foodbank after the assembly.


Advance notice: Internet Safety Training for Parents - Friday 8th October

It is everyone’s role to try to ensure young people are doing all they can to stay safe on the internet. Online Safety is not about stopping your children from exploring the internet; it’s about giving them the appropriate tools to explore confidently and safely.

Ashley Rolfe from Child First Consultants is coming  to deliver a training session for parents about keeping your children safe online.

This training session will be held on Friday 8th October at 10.00am – 11.30am at Woodlands Secondary School. We kindly request all parents to carry out a lateral flow test prior to attending this training.

Letters will be sent home with your child today, please make sure you complete the form and return it back to the school by Friday 24th September.


Headteacher message   


Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been brilliant to have more students back in school this week and we are working with families to ensure that all who can return to school as soon as possible.

I hope you find the information below useful.

Have a lovely weekend.



Revamped school website

Our school website has been revamped and we are in the process of updating all the content.  We hope you will visit the website and that you will find the content useful. The Who’s Who section will hopefully help you work out who some key staff members are.  

We welcome your feedback on the content.


School hours

A reminder that the school day is 8.45am – 3.15pm.  Students should be dropped off between 8.45am and 9.00am and picked up between 3.00 – 3.15pm. We understand that a small number of families may have difficulties with this due to juggling ‘drop offs’ and ‘pick ups’ for other children – please contact the school if this is an issue and we will work with you to resolve the issue.


Appointments during school time.

If your child has a medical appointment, please send in a copy of the appointment letter.  A paper version can be sent in with your child or a photograph can be sent by email to your child’s class teacher.

As we all know, students have had a lot of time off school due to Covid. We all recognise that it is better for students’ wellbeing and for their learning, to have them in school.

We request that where students have medical appointments in Luton, that students attend school for as much of the day as they can.  If the appointment is in the morning, they should return to school afterwards, or if it is in the afternoon, they should attend school in the morning. 

We understand that if appointments are further afield e.g. Addenbrookes, GOSH, etc. then partial attendance may not be possible on that day.


Contact details

The majority of our school communications take place via email.  Please keep school up to date with your current email address to ensure that you are receiving information from you class teacher and other communications.   If you are not receiving emails, please check your spam box.  If there is still a problem, please notify your class teacher.


16 – 19 Bursary letter – for students in Years 12 and 13

Attached to this communication is a letter about the 16 – 19 Bursary and the application; some students may be eligible to apply for this fund.   The closing date for completed applications is 1st October 2021. Please contact the family workers if you require help with the application process.


TA Appreciation Day – Thursday 16th September

Special Schools like Woodlands employ large numbers of teaching assistants in order to ensure our students are kept safe, are well supported and encouraged to make progress with their learning.  We are very proud of this amazing team of people and want them to know that their contribution is appreciated and they are valued by the leadership team, their class teachers, students and parents too.   If you and your child would like to make a card or send a supportive message to the TAs in their class, I am sure that would raise a few smiles.


Jeans for Genes Day – Friday 17th September

On Friday 17th September we will be supporting ‘Jeans for Genes’ day.  Students and staff are encouraged to wear their denim to school. We do understand that some children may still wish to wear uniform to school, that is ok too.

For those who can, we suggest a donation of £2 towards the work of this charity.  If making a contribution is difficult, please do not feel under pressure to contribute; students can still participate.


Luton Parent Carer Voice event – 20th September

Luton Parent Care Voice have arranged a meeting for parents to meet professionals to discuss issues with SEN provision.

The event is being held on Monday 20th September, between 10.00 – 12.00 at Futures House, The Moakes, Luton, LU3 3QB.

Further information can be found on the Luton Parent Carer Voice website


Consultation meetings

We have scheduled to hold this term’s consultation meetings remotely via telephone or Zoom.  Consultations for students in Pathways, PMLD and the BASE will take place during the week beginning 27th September.  Key Stage 3, 4, FE and LOFT consultations will take place in the week beginning 4th October.

Your class teacher will be in touch next week in order to arrange a time for your child’s consultation.


Transitions Fairs – for students in Years 11, 12 and 13

We have previously held a Transitions Fair in the autumn tern to provide an opportunity for parents and students to meet with staff from the local authority Transitions Team and to meet providers from some post school placements.  It is a great opportunity to begin or to continue your research into potential post school options for your child.  

This is a key time in your child’s life and we strongly encourage your attendance.  Parents need to be proactive in seeking and sourcing the best possible post school option for their child.  For students in Year 11, 12 and 13, transition discussions are a major element of your child’s Annual Review meeting.

On 27th September between 4.00 – 6.00pm we will be hosting a Transitions Fair aimed at parents of Y11, 12 and 13 students in Pathways Upper, PMLD and the BASE

On 4th October between 4.00 – 6.00pm we will be hosting a Transitions Fair aimed at parents of Y11, 12 and 13 students in Key Stage 4 and FE.

Letters will be sent home requesting that you confirm your attendance.



Headteacher message



The staff team have worked hard over the two training days to ensure they were prepared to welcome former students back to school and to ensure new students were made to feel safe and to settle into their new environments. 

A school is not a school without the students and we were delighted to see so many students here today.  We are expecting all students back on Monday.


Asymptomatic testing in school

We will be offering two lateral flow tests to students in their first full week back at school. Testing will take place in school on Monday 6th September and Thursday 9th September.  After this we will no longer be testing students in school and they will revert back to home testing. (Home testing kits will be handed to students on Friday 10th September). 


In school testing will only happen with students for whom we have gained consent and for students who can do the test by themselves. The test will involve nasal swabbing only. 


Covid vaccinations for 12 – 17 year olds – in school

The Schools’ Immunisations Team have been in touch.  They will be in school on Thursday 9th September to offer the Pfizer vaccination to students aged between 12 – 17 years.  In order to have the vaccine, parents must give written consent and the student must not already have received a dose of the vaccination.

The vaccinations will be administered in school between 9.30am and 2.15pm.   Parents will need to attend the vaccination with their child. Between 3 and 5 people can be vaccinated at the same time.   The vaccinations will be administered on a drop in basis and parents need to be aware there may be some waiting time, depending on how many people turn up.   The school café will be open that day and any parents who come to support their child will be entitled to a free drink in the café.  Parking will be available in the café car park – at the back of the school.  The entrance to the café car park is next to the FE college building.

Vaccination consent forms and letters will be sent home on Monday 6th September with students and need to be returned on Tuesday 7th or Wednesday 8th September.


Covid vaccinations in the community – for family members

Attached is a leaflet about how you may get a vaccination in Luton, this weekend.


Upcoming events – Autumn term

Please find attached a copy of this half term’s events.  A paper copy will also be sent home with your child. We hope that some parents events can happen on site, but this will be subject to the Covid situation at the time.  We will provide further information regarding individual events, closer to the time.


Travel Assistance

If you applied for travel assistance and have not had this confirmed – please contact the travel assistance team on

If you have a place on transport and there are issues or if your child is going to be absent, please contact PTU (Passenger Transport Unit) on 01582 547219.

If your child has an operation or accident which results in them needing to use a wheelchair, or, if they are a wheelchair user and they need a different chair or if their leg needs to be in a straight leg plaster, for example, you need to notify school and PTU of the change.  Due to the demands on the local authority transport service, they may not be able to accommodate your child immediately.  However, once they are informed of the change of circumstance, they can arrange for an assessment and plans can be put in place to support you.


Social media

Keep up to date on what is happening at school by following our Facebook page - or search for Official Woodlands Secondary School 


And finally…

The weather is due to improve over the weekend and next week we are expecting some very hot weather.  Please ensure your child is dressed appropriately for the conditions next week and enjoy the fine weather.


Have a lovely weekend.


Headteacher message



I hope you have all managed to have a lovely summer break and hope that you enjoy the remaining holiday time together.


Although I will be sad for the summer holidays to end, I am very exciting to be returning to Woodlands as the new Headteacher.  Having worked here as Deputy Head, for the past 9 years, I know what a wonderful place it is; I am proud of the fantastic students who attend the school and it is a privilege to work with the creative, professional and ambitious staff team.  


Our first priority is to ensure that staff and students return to school safely, in order that we can continue to provide a high quality education for the students and we can work towards extend the range of available learning opportunities.


Start of term


All students should return to school on Friday 3rd September.  


The school doors open to students at 8.45am and students will leave the site at 3.15pm.


All students are expected back to school unless they have a letter from a clinician or specialist.   If your child has one of these letters, please contact the school.


Student absences should be reported to the school office by 9.00am.

Please call 01582 572880


If students have medical appointments, copies of appointments should be sent to school.


As students have missed so much time at school over the past 18 months, we request that if medical appointments are in Luton, students attend school before or after their appointment.  For example if they have a 10.00am appointment, they return to school after the appointment.  If the appointment is later in the day, they attend school and get collected to attend their appointment. 


Transport and parental drop offs


If your child receives travel assistance and gets a local authority bus or taxi to school and you have any queries about arrangements, please contact PTU directly on 01582 547219.


The school buses will be arriving on site from 8.30am.  The gates will close at 8.45am.  The buses will leave the site once all the children have entered the building.


Traffic outside the school will be busier at this time.


If you are dropping your child to school, by car, please follow the one way system and please follow directions and requests from staff who will be on duty.   Cars should enter the one way system opposite the bus stop on Northwell Drive, near the Café car park. 


If traffic is heavy and the waiting area is full, please do not block Northwell Drive.  Please drive around the block and try again.


Parents should aim to arrive at the school after 8.40am and before 9.00am.


Covid 19 update


Staff and students are required to take two Lateral Flow tests required by before returning to school.

Students are requested to take two Lateral Flow tests prior to returning to school.  These should be taken on Monday 30th August and Thursday 2nd September.


Free Lateral Flow tests can be collected from most pharmacies.  This link lists places in Luton where you can collect free test kits.


If the test results are negative, we look forward to seeing your child in school on Friday 3rd September.


If the tests are positive you will need to arrange for your child to have a PCR test.  They should only attend school if the result of the PCR test is negative.  If the PCR test is positive your child will need to self-isolate.


If your child needs to self-isolate you need to inform school of their absence and the reason AND inform PTU, it they travel by bus.


Asymptomatic testing in school


We will be offering two tests to students in their first week back at school. Testing will take place in school on Monday 6th September and Thursday 9th September.  After this we will no longer be testing students in school and they will revert back to home testing. (Home testing kits will be handed to students on Friday 10th August.). 


If you have previously provided consent for your child to have tests in school, your child can be tested in school.


If you wish for your child to take the lateral flow tests in school then please complete the attached consent form and return via email to the school office,  or the print the form out and send it in with your child on their first day back. (the form is attached to the Parentmail email sent to families)


We look forward to seeing you all soon,



Student Holiday Request Form