New School ChaplainI am delighted that the school has appointed a new school Chaplain, Fr Martin. This is wonderful news for our Catholic community, allowing us to have more regular masses within school. Fr Martin is very enthusiastic about spending more time in school and we hope that he will be involved in worship, Religious Education and charity events on a weekly basis, further enhancing the spiritual life of St Thomas More Catholic School. I am delighted that the students have responded so well and participated fully in the day retreats held at the school and led by Soli House. It was also an excellent opportunity for our students to get to know Fr Martin, as he said masses for our students on both days of the retreat.
As a Catholic school, we also get inspected by the Diocese. We are having our Diocesan inspection at the end of this month, the inspectors will focus on the spiritual life of the school and Religious Education but may go anywhere within the school and will speak to our staff and students throughout the two days. I will give you more details in due course but we are hoping that we can show the team what a good school we have at St Thomas More. Please say a prayer for us!.
During our Ofsted inspection we were given a few areas to improve, including attendance. The government target for students’ attendance is ideally 100%, but good attendance is considered to be 95% or above for individual students and the school as a whole. In order to meet Ofsted’s expectations we have implemented a number of measures, which include;
• Reward trips for students who have 95% attendance or above.
• Letters sent to parents whose child does not have good attendance, in order that they know the situation will be monitored. This has been done in partnership with Walsall Local Authority.
• Strict rules regarding authorised absence. Whilst we await the government’s guidance on holidays during school time they will only be authorised in the strictest of circumstances.
These measures are used consistently to try and improve attendance at our school. Ultimately every lesson counts and the best way for students to succeed is by being present and therefore learning
Dr Hatfield, Headteacher