Headteacher’s Notice – 4 March 2022

Taken from the latest issue of More News:

Hello, I hope you are well and all at home also. This edition of More News contains a great deal of information for you as parents and carers with regards to varied events taking place or due to take place in the coming weeks for our students. Please do read all of the articles enclosed and of course as always, please  contact us at your earliest convenience should you wish to query of discuss anything further.

As a Catholic school  we joined our local, national and world wide faith community in celebrating Ash Wednesday which marks the start of the Season of Lent. Over the course of the next six weeks we will devote our time and attention to the needs of others both in our school community and those who are vulnerable or in need locally. We will undertake a variety of fund raising activities and gathering products which will be directed to those who need practical support most. We will also spend time each and every morning in prayer reflecting on why we are asked to care for those who are most in need of our support and attention. Please refer to our Face Book page for the full details of each year group’s assigned fundraising duty. I am most grateful to Mrs Cooper, Head of RE, and members of our SVP in drawing this together.

As a school we have also experienced similar queries, concerns, worries and anxieties regarding the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. To support our students’ understanding of the current situation and to address their questions and anxieties in a supportive yet controlled and structured setting, we have spent time across the week listening to our students and discussing matters with them. This has been important to us as a school in any case but has also reflected direction and advice given by external agencies. Commencing Monday we intend to engage with our local Ukrainian church communities to collect practical items such as sanitary products, toiletries, baby products and medical supplies in readiness for donation and transport to Poland. Your support would be greatly appreciated.  

Currently our Year 11 and 13 students are busy preparing for their next and final round of PPEs. It is absolutely essential that all students are energetically and industriously engaged in preparing for these. Your child’s teachers are issuing revision schedules, materials, resources and offering after school intervention sessions to support him/her in securing their success. This is all the more necessary and essential that your child is attending and engaging especially given the protracted disruption experienced over the last two years. This is with particular reference to our current Year 13 who did not sit their GCSE exams in the traditional sense. 

I would like to thank those parents and carers who attend and participate in our virtual Parents’ Evenings. We most recently hosted our Sixth Form Parents’ Evening and will be hosting our Year 10 evening next week. It is important that all parents and carers attend not solely in support of their child’s learning and progress but also in support of what occurs within the classroom and at home with regards to homework additional independent study.

You will know as parents and carers that we are unashamed in maintains our standards, making our expectations clear and addressing them, using appropriate sanctions, when standards seem to slip. Currently we find ourselves sanctioning students for poor uniform, a lack of punctuality, slipping attendance and unfortunately I need to include the use of foul language and damage to school property. This week alone I have excluded students from school and issued bills to parents requesting payment for damage to our building. Whilst bitterly disappointed in these behaviours, I am not afraid to publicly speak about them nor alert you as parents and carers as to our approach as I would like to think that my understanding of your reason to choose our school for your child and the waiting list for each year group indicates your awareness, acceptance and appreciation of this approach in maintaining our standards and securing a safe and well ordered learning environment for your child.

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