Headteacher’s Notice – 16 July 2021

Taken from the latest issue of More News:

Hello, I hope this edition of More News finds you all well. It has certainly been a very strange time over recent weeks as we seemed to move towards restrictions being lifted to then find they would not and of course the significant rise of the Delta variant and the worry and concern that this has caused both nationally and locally. As parents and carers you will know first-hand how this has affected school, especially over these last two weeks, as we move ever nearer to our summer holidays, given the number of children that have been asked to remain at home to self-isolate. It is for that very reason that I must start by recognising and thanking you for your ongoing support. This has been a very difficult year for us all. I am aware as Head teacher that many of you have endured long and arduous hours at work. Many of you have taken on extra responsibilities to ensure that both work and home can run smoothly. Many of you have experienced great loss and personal pain as those nearest to you have been affected by this illness and yet throughout all of it you continued to give of your best to our school family. This is something that I will certainly never forget and not just because of the pandemic but for the interest and concern you showed as parents and carers for the welfare of our school, the children who attend here and the staff who arrive every day to look after, teach and care for your children. It has been greatly appreciated.

Enclosed in this edition are a great many items of note and significance. Please read about the amazing art work completed by a number of our students. It is both inspirational and breath taking. For someone who cannot draw a straight line I am in awe of the talent demonstrated. Equally as moving are the prayers and pledges displayed in Mrs Edge’s Form Room. I have been up to the Year 10 Learning Hub to have a sneaky peek and I came away very much humbled by the outpouring of compassion and understanding contained within the words used by the children in Mrs Edge’s care. You will also see a great deal of information identifying a wide variety of schemes and activities that you might like to avail of over the summer months. Included in this is the detail posted by Mr Howell offering his services to our students should they need additional emotional or wellbeing support whilst away from school.

An important aspect of your preparations prior to your child’s return to or commencement with us will that much loved activity, uniform shopping. How many hours of joy and pleasure does this provide for us long suffering parents and carers. That being said, may I ask that you cast your eye over the detail enclosed re uniform before committing to a particular style of trouser, skirt, shoe or hair style. Very often what you are told as to what everyone else is doing or what someone else’s parents allow them to do is pure fantasy and furthest from the truth.

You will have heard of course over recent weeks a great deal in the media with regards to the testing of children upon their return to school. I have ensured that all relevant detail concerning return dates, which years will attend on what days, times required and information regarding the procedures and schedules for testing is enclosed. Please note that we will not nor ever would test any child without the permission of their parent or carer.

One of the may positives that has arisen from the manner in which we managed the pandemic in school has been our split breaks and lunches. This has been very well received by students, staff and our catering team. It has allowed for a calmer, less busy time during breaks and lunches which has made these important times for children a more enjoyable experience. With that in mind and on the basis of some discussion with our newly renamed school council, Utopia, we have decided to have two break times and two lunch times. Year groups will be grouped together and provided with specific yards to ensure that this calm and positive approach continues.

A much less enjoyable aspect of this time of year is when we need to say good bye to members of staff who are moving to pastures new. Included here is the list of those members of staff who are taking their leave from us. As always we wish them well and ask that God blesses them as they move on to newer ventures.

Miss Carr – promotion to Head of Music
Miss Hubble – taking up a post nearer to home
Mrs Kaur – promotion to Head of English
Miss Leslie – taking up a position nearer to home
Miss Owen – commencing teacher training
Mrs Blue – retiring
Mr Knowles – taking up a position nearer to home
Mrs Newell – taking up a position nearer to home
Mr Bissett – returning to teaching in Special Educational Needs

We wish them all the best and every good luck for the future and thank them for their dedication and commitment to the wellbeing of our children.

Headteacher | + posts

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