Headteacher’s notice (13 November)

Taken from the latest issue of More News:

Hello, I hope this edition of More News finds you well. As a school and as families we are all experiencing the impact of the current lockdown. We have spent time in school reminding all students as to why it is so very important that we comply with all the regulations and restrictions – especially if we are to keep everyone safe and well and in doing so maintaining an open and fully working school.

Enclosed in this edition is the information that all Form Tutors and class teachers spent time emphasising and reminding our students about. I appreciate that you might think that some of the points made may seem somewhat obvious but as they are closely connected to ensuring the safety and health of everyone in addition to the smooth running and organisation of school I felt they could not be clarified strongly enough. I would be most grateful if you would support us at home by taking the time to discuss each point and how and why your child should comply with and adhere to them.

It is important that students arrive at school each and every morning adequately prepared for their day at work. Alongside wearing their uniform correctly, bringing all their equipment and having their homework completed on time, it is absolutely essential that they bring and wear a mask. We are not able to provide masks on an ongoing basis and so it is important that they are sent to school with one. We are in daily communication with Public Health Walsall and their most frequently asked and searching question is whether our families and students are complying with all regulations and, if not, we are required to provide all relevant contact details so that they might discuss this further with the families concerned.

We have explained to students and have made you aware via social media that in concordance with recent regulations we must continue to ventilate our school as an attempt to combat the rise of infection. This will mean that all classroom windows are kept open during the day. It is important therefore that students are sent to school wearing additional layers under their shirts and PE kit or indeed our school jumper. It is essential however that they do not wear additional fleeces, non uniform jumpers, hoodies or coats inside the building and lessons.

As a staff we have completed our training in remote learning. It was important to us that this was attended to in a timely and methodical manner so that once ready to deliver we could do so in an effective and efficient way. Students are in the process of being ‘up skilled’ in engaging with this learning platform and as Parents and Carers you will be equipped with all relevant information to support your engagement also. As always, you are more than welcome to approach school if there are any concerns or issues you would like further information on. Please direct your queries to either myself, Mr. Bishell (Assistant Headteacher), Mrs Atterbury (Deputy Headteacher), Mr. Dawson (Head of Key Stage 4) or Mr. O’Connor (Head of Key Stage 3).

We are now well and truly in to the month of November and as such as a Catholic school we are commemorating our departed members of our school, parish and global communities. Masses are being said by Fr Craig to remember those who have died. We have decorated our Reception and Hub area as appropriate at this time of the year with poppies. We held our Service of Remembrance albeit it in a virtual manner, and also viewed that put together for the Royal British Legion in Willenhall.

Our Year 11 and 13 students are busy preparing for their PPE or Pre Public Exams. Year 11 will commence theirs on Monday November 28th and Year 13 Monday December 7th. It is essential as Parents and Carers that you encourage your child’s full engagement with and preparation for these exams as we will need to be ready should plans change, exams are not held either fully or in part this summer and we are again asked to provide Centre Assessed Grades.

Lastly, it is important that I reiterate our zero tolerance policy and position regarding any student who either brings in or participates/ supports the bringing in to school of a dangerous implement and/or banned substance. The well being and safety of our entire school community is of upper most importance and as such we will have no option as a school to investigate and most likely exercise permanent exclusion.

God bless….

Headteacher | + posts

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