Headteacher’s notice – 8 November 2019

Hello,

I do hope that this notice finds you all well and ready to brave the increasingly cold weather. It would seem that winter is well and truly upon us. With that in mind I would be grateful if all parents/carers would impress upon their children the wisdom of wearing a coat, gloves, scarf and a hat at this time of the year. As a parent myself I am well accustomed with the general mantra that ‘no one else does, I will have nowhere to keep it, my coat is too heavy etc.’ but I feel for students at this time of the year when travelling both to and from school with nothing other than their blazer.

We are now well into the month of November. This month holds particular significance for us as a Catholic school as this is the time of year when we remember in particular those who have gone before us. We also follow the national commemoration of the fallen in our Remembrance Service involving all staff and students. In fact you will be able to peruse a selection of images taken today during this most reverent and poignant period of reflection for our school. We were also joined by Fr Craig who led the final blessing amongst our Year 7, 8, 9 and Year 13 students.

Last week was a most busy week, not simply because of our return to school following our half term break but also because we welcomed three Ofsted Inspectors and a HMI inspector into school on Tuesday and Wednesday. Again, your support and encouragement was truly felt and greatly appreciated. We will be able to publish the full report within the next few weeks but suffice to say that as Head teacher, I was tremendously proud of the many positive and complimentary comments made about our students and the body of staff that I am most blessed to be amongst each and every day. I would also like to thank all of you who gave of your time to complete and return the on line questionnaire requesting your opinion and perspective of our school community and all we do.

I am looking forward to welcoming all our Year 7 Parents and Carers in to school this Thursday evening for our Year 7 Pastoral Evening. This is a most significant and important evening as it will allow you as Parents/Carers the opportunity to meet your child’s Form Tutor and to seek clarification as to how they have settled in to life here at St Thomas More. You will also have the opportunity to peruse your child’s exercise books and to leave the a comment about how well you feel they are doing. If you have not yet responded and booked your appointment on line I would encourage you to do so as a matter of urgency. It would be a shame to miss this evening and I know from past experience that our Year 7 children love to welcome their Parents/Carers into school to ‘show off’ all they have accomplished even in this very short space of time.

Equally as important are our Year 11 students. On Monday November 18th, they will commence their first of two sessions of mock exams this year. I know that as Parents/Carers you will want your child to achieve to the best of their potential. With this in mind, I would encourage you to work alongside your child in ensuring that they have a revision timetable in place, that you are querying their progress at different points across the evening, that you are asking them questions or quizzing them on the materials they have learned or revised. Has your child a quiet place within which to work? Do they take regular breaks whilst studying during the evening? We have also launched GCSEpod which is advertised on our website. Thank you to all Parents/Carers who have been proactive in encouraging their child to log in to and use this. We are now done to the last 50/60 students who have yet to do so and are again contacting Parents/Carers and seeking their support in securing this level of engagement.

Lastly – I would like to remind the Parents/Carers of all students in the current Year 12 and 13 and those in Years 10 and 11 who have been nominated for a special award that our annual Carol Service and Presentation Evening will take place on Wednesday December 18th this year. I appreciate that this a very busy time of year for all families and in particular if you have little ones who are involved in Christmas Concerts at their primary schools and elsewhere. However – it is also an important occasion for our older students and whilst at time they may appear ‘too cool for school’, they do enjoy the fuss and recognition that this evening brings and why shouldn’t they and you as their Parents/Carers? After all it is a time to celebrate their hard work, dedication and sense of achievement and accomplishment in all that they have done both academically and otherwise. I would love to see as many of you as possible there.

Until next time,
God bless.