Headteacher’s Notice (12 February 2021)

Taken from the latest issue of More News:

Hello, I hope you are all well. As we end for half term I wanted to thank you all for a great many things. In the first place for continuing to encourage and support your child with the many and varied demands regarding home learning. As a Parent I can appreciate how it hard it is to keep on top of that when you are also trying to hold down and attend to all the other demands that come your way. We are truly grateful for all you have done and will unfortunately have to continue to do for a while longer I fear. Thank you also  for your engagement with us as a school in terms of the information you have passed on with regards to what we might or can do to help[ and support you at home in practical ways e.g. technical support, stationary, materials, text books or other forms of help that might be needed.  We are very much encouraged by your receptive approach to the many calls we have made  just to see how things and have been made to feel very welcome, if even through the medium of a phone call and lastly for your participation in our Assemblies across the week. We hope you have enjoyed them and have felt uplifted and encouraged by their message.

When we return after half term we will have entered the Season of Lent. As a school this is a most important time for us as it encourages us to stop and to think of others and the impact of our actions upon the well-being of those in our community. Shrove Tuesday is next week and we would welcome your participation by sending us the photos of your attempts at making pancakes. You will read how to submit your entries in this edition. Information is also available on our Face Book Page advertising a similar event via the St Newman Cluster. Please join Fr Craig and our school as part of the cluster family of schools in celebrating this day.

We will also celebrate Ash Wednesday next week. Again, information will be available on our website with links via our Facebook page as to why this is such an important day for the Christian community and how as individuals we might  engage with the very worthwhile challenge it presents. Linked to that is our school Lenten Campaign of which there are two. We are supporting Cafod’s ‘I am walking for water’ campaign which serves to highlight the disparity of this much needed source within our global community. We are also supporting The Friends of the Holy Land – in conjunction with the St Newman Cluster – who are raising funds to support schooling within the most fractious areas of the Holy Land. Further details are available on the St Newman Cluster website and newsletter.

We have greatly enjoyed the many Praise Assemblies we have held this half term and look forward to hosting them again upon our return. The huge number of names submitted and the variety of reasons for doing so has been tremendous. It has been such a joy to read these out on a daily basis and to see our students recognised for their hard work and endeavour over recent weeks in particular.

Clearly we do not know as yet what exactly this next half term will bring. We await the arrival of February 22nd to see what will be announced with regards to the replacements for both GCSE and A Level exams. We also await greater clarity with regards to who returns on Monday March 8th, if anybody, and if so how. What is clear is that it is important that all students must continue with their remote/virtual learning and that all parts of tasks set need to be completed and submitted. This is especially so for those students in Years 11 and 13 where undoubtedly evidence will be needed to prove any grades awarded. We are monitoring student engagement most carefully and are regularly bringing children in to school to support and encourage their engagement with their learning. We will continue to do so for as long as our students are displaced and are most appreciative of your continued support in doing so.

Headteacher | + posts

Mrs S Bowen is the Headteacher of St Thomas More Catholic School.