Headteacher’s Notice (27 November 2020)

Taken from the latest issue of More News:

Hello, as we return on Monday we will enter the season of Advent. This is a most important and special time of year for us as a Catholic school as it provides us with both the structure and much needed time to reflect upon what the idea of Christmas means for us as individuals and as a community. This is all the more significant at the current moment and time as so much else remains uncertain and unsettling. As a school we have already commenced our preparations somewhat. We have provided materials for use in the St Newman Cluster to be used for reflection and prayer. We have supported the cluster alongside Holy Trinity Catholic Primary School with their launch of their cluster Christmas Card both in card and virtual form. We have identified our Advent charities and will be actively collecting for those over the coming three weeks. These include collecting donations of non-perishable food stuffs for local food banks, toiletry items for those who are homeless, special treats for the elderly, chocolates and other goodies for our nurses and doctors in both New Cross and the Manor Hospitals and new pyjamas for children who may need them if they are in hospital over the Christmas holidays. I mean Santa Claus must need some help surely? He can’t be expected to bring everything can he?

Our Advent wreaths are ready to be placed on display in our Reception area. We will soon put up our Nativity scene and Christmas tree and are also recording our carol for both The Walsall Catholic School’s Cluster Carol Service and the St Newman Cluster Carol Service, both of which will be held virtually. In addition to this we are also preparing for our own Christmas Carol Service in school which will be delivered by members of our St Vincent de Paul group and will again be delivered virtually.

There is a great deal of information in this edition and I would ask all Parents and Carers to read all details for important updates. You will find information on our virtual learning hub and how to access it. There is also information pertinent to both our Year 11 PPEs or Pre Public Exams which start on Monday and our Year 13 PPEs which commence on Monday December 7th. Year 11 have been ably supported by their class teachers’ use of Teams whilst at home on study leave and have been able to participate in activities to support their revision by joining on line sessions. This will continue where possible around their PPE timetable over the coming two weeks. We would ask that you keep all our Year 11 and 13 students in your prayers as they commence their exams.

I would ask that you also pay particular attention to the information enclosed re Safeguarding. Again, this is a most important aspect of the work we do in school and a responsibility that we treat with the upmost seriousness. We would be grateful if you would take the time to discuss the detail enclosed with your child/children and impress upon them the need to be mindful of what they do, who they mix with, interact with and respond to in any way, especially in this era of increased social media usage. Enclosed also is some information regarding those West Midlands Police Officers who form part of our local Community Police Officer Hub. We are greatly appreciative of the support advice and assistance they provide for us in ensuring that concerns are swiftly attended to and that at all times the needs of our children remains at the heart of all  we do.

Of course the big news over recent days has been to end of lockdown on Dec 2nd and our entry into Tier 3 as a local area. We continue to be most grateful to all Parents and Carers for your vigilance on the home front and your patience and support for all we are trying to do as a school. It does not sit easy at all when we are faced with having to send any individual or group of students home because they are displaying symptoms or due to staffing issues at present. We continue to be in daily communication with Public Health Walsall and are frequently asked as to the general compliance of our students and families in actively adhering to current regulations. I would therefore ask that as we end lockdown  and approach our Christmas holidays that as a school and home community we adhere with endeavour to all regulations and expectations so that on our return to school in January we are fit, healthy and ready to go.

Please do spend some time looking at and reading through the information enclosed regarding our Careers provision. Despite all that is happening this provision is continuing and with a flourish I might add. I am most appreciative of the ongoing efforts of both Mrs Prior and Ms Rasmin in ensuring that Career appointments and discussions take place and that all kinds of virtual experiences are provided for students across school.

God bless,

Headteacher | + posts

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