Headteacher’s Notice (20 January 2021)

Taken from the latest issue of More News:

Hello, well what a return the last few weeks has turned out to be, but as is the usual case, that true STM grit and determination has risen to the fore and here we all are whether in school or at home, teacher, TA, support staff, student or Parents and Carers getting on with it and giving it our best shot. I am most grateful for the many positive comments sent to school recognising the endeavours of our teaching staff and TAs in providing a wide variety of engaging live learning lessons and additional remote learning tasks for your children. It has also been most encouraging to receive the equally positive comments concerning the efforts of our pastoral teams, reception and admin staff, our Bursar team, ICT technicians and Student Support officer in providing a wide range of additional support for our students and yourselves as families.

However, I am equally as appreciative of those comments or observations that have allowed us to stand back and reflect upon our current practice with a view to amending it for the better.

As Parents and Carers you will be aware from talking to your child or children or from keeping a close eye on their Teams calendar containing their daily timetable that we have adapted the start of the day to include two additional assemblies, one being a Praise assembly and the other a Pastoral Assembly, alongside two Form periods. This will allow for our school community to gather together whilst displaced and even better, that those of you working from home, shielding or isolating to join us also.

We know that this period of lockdown and ‘home schooling’ is not an easy task to undertake, not least because as staff many of us are parents and carers and are also engaged in encouraging our own children to engage with their ‘school work’ whilst working from home ourselves. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you are experiencing any difficulties or obstacles to your child’s ability to engage. It is our pleasure to do whatever we can to help and support you in any way possible.

As a Catholic school and community the celebration of our faith remains central to all we do. Miss McPhee, our school Chaplain, places our weekly worship resources on our website. Miss McPhee is also commencing work with those children currently in school by providing opportunities for spiritual reflection. Our SVP group is now meeting virtually on a Thursday morning and the resources for our weekly Wednesday morning Staff Prayer is distributed for staff use. We continue to participate in and support parish events and will this week contribute to the preparations for Thursday morning Mass within the St Newman Cluster.

Ongoing our plan is to look at how we might best organise and conduct virtual Parents’ Evenings and other opportunities to support and engage with yourselves as Parents and Carers regarding a wide range of issues. I am hopeful that we will be able to issue all relevant details for you shortly.

As part of these virtual opportunities and in an effort to adapt to our current situation we will be holding our Year 11 Sixth Form Meetings starting week commencing January 25th. Again, all relevant details will be issued shortly.

Headteacher | + posts

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