Year 6 to Year 7 Transition

Letter from the headteacher

May 2022

Dear Parent/Carer

Firstly, I would like to introduce myself to you as your child’s new Head Teacher and secondly, I would like to take this opportunity to both thank you for choosing our school as your choice of secondary school for your child and to welcome both you and your child to our very special community.

As Head Teacher, I am very much aware of how lucky and blessed I am to be Headteacher of this vibrant and caring school community. I am also immensely proud of the work that we do in collaboration with our parents and carers to secure the very best for our children, be that spiritually, academically, socially or emotionally.

I am sure you will appreciate that whilst very protective of our Ofsted (November 2020) grading as “Good”, that as a Catholic school we do not seek to serve Ofsted, or league tables. Instead, we aim to support the children who are members of our school in developing their relationship with God, their relationships with other people and to provide them with an excellent standard of education, and in doing so to prepare them for their future lives once they have left our school.

Based upon my continued experience as a school leader of many years standing, I know that success in the larger areas of life – relationships, sporting achievements, extra-curricular activities and lessons – is formed by concentrating on those smaller but no less important areas, such as manners, punctuality and appearance. I am only too well aware that at times it may appear to some of our parents and carers that we tend to ‘nit-pick’ or concentrate upon issues which, at first sight, may appear to be of minor significance, such as hair style (length or colour), style of shoe or type of school skirt or trousers.  However, without these basic or ‘small things’ in place, the larger (and seemingly more important) will not follow. I am both unashamed and unapologetic in my belief that standards are essential and traditions are things to be proud of. We are therefore exceptionally proud of the standing we have in our local community regarding our children’s appearance, behaviour and giving nature, especially so when on their way to and from school

Therefore, I would ask you as our students’ parents and carers to work with us, informing your child’s tutor of any issues we need to know about promptly, and supporting us by abiding by our school rules especially those applying to appearance, attendance, punctuality and being prepared for school and for lessons.  As a parent of two children, one a teenager about to start Year 10 and one about to start his third year at University, and as an experienced teacher, I know at times this can be difficult. However, please be aware that if your child claims “that everyone else is allowed” to break the rules, I can assure you that this will not be the case and certainly not at St Thomas More.

We would strongly advocate that you continue to support your child’s education by attending your child’s Pastoral Evening in the autumn term and Progress Evening later on in the academic year and such other events in school by regularly reading our online school newsletter MN (More News), and using your unique access code to view Show My Homework (SMH) daily and of course the various documentation posted by school published across the year.

I am extremely appreciative of how unsettling the move from primary to secondary can be for you as a family and as parents and carers. As a parent myself, I am acutely aware of the necessity and importance of routine for our children in allowing this move to be as settled and as calm as possible. To support you as a family in this important move we will hold our Pastoral and Curriculum or Induction Evening on Tuesday July 5th. This evening provides you with the opportunity to meet your child’s Form Tutor and other important Pastoral and support staff. The details of your invitation are enclosed in this pack. We truly hope you will attend and encourage you to attend this evening

We are truly delighted to run our annual Induction Day for our new Year 7 on Wednesday July 6th. This is an agreed date across Walsall Primary and Secondary schools. Students will follow a sample timetable which will allow them to experience a typical Year 7 lesson and break and lunchtime. It will also allow our new Year 7 students to experience our standards and expectations regarding our prayer life, uniform, behaviour and values i.e. the STM way.

I am aware of how precious your child is to you as parents and carers, and I assure you that St Thomas More Catholic School is truly a place where each child is known and valued as an individual.  The level of pastoral care and teaching and learning which is absolutely fit for purpose, is only possible through the commitment of our experienced and caring staff and through the support we, as a school, receive from you.  In partnership we can achieve anything.

I look forward to meeting you in the coming weeks.

Yours faithfully

Mrs S M Bowen

Hello Summer School

How to tie your school tie

Please note this video is for instructional purposes only, to demonstrate how students can practice tying their ties. The tie in the video is not representative of our Year 7 school ties, which are gold, this year. Ties will be distributed along with our summer activities pack in the next few weeks.