Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope that you have all survived the current flu epidemic unscathed and are still looking forward to longer days with the energy and enthusiasm that New Year and springtime brings with it. It has been a challenging couple of months for a number of reasons, and I would like to thank you for your patience and support during the December snow. My personal apologies that our communication systems let us down and you received an email rather than a text on the first snow day. We are currently reviewing all of our communication systems with our new ICT Network manager, Mr Whordley, who I am very pleased to welcome to the school. Do expect to see some changes and improvements during the course of the next year, as we restructure and upgrade our whole school network.
I would like to thank all of you who have taken the time to respond to our various consultations regarding curriculum and the school day. We are now in formal consultation regarding a 10 minute shorter lunch and later start, and you are invited to a consultation meeting at 7pm in the School Hall on Thursday 8 February, in what would normally be our Parents’ Association meeting time.
I would also like to thank members of Parents’ association for their feedback at our January meeting. You will recently have received communications form the us about school uniform. I won't repeat what has already been said, but simply say that there is no change to school uniform, we are simply enforcing the existing uniform more robustly in response to parental concerns. These included issues such as wearing trainers rather than shoes, jeans or leggings rather than school trousers and inappropriately short skirts. We are already seeing a significant improvement and I would again like to thank you for your support.
Parent’s also fed back their concerns about the impact of mobile phones and social networking, and here we have reverted back to the old rule that phones should be switched off and in a bag throughout the school day, unless with the express permission of a teacher. I have to say that as a parent of five myself I have always taken great care in monitoring access to social network sites as it is so easy for them to become involved in arguments or be exploited, with a wide range of potential risks. Whilst we will help if we can, I must appeal to parents to monitor and control children’s access to social networking sites as this is obviously beyond our control.
In order to ensure we keep all of our pupils and staff safe, please could parents/carers not use the main entrance to the school to drop off or pick up children at the start or end of the day. This area is for staff, school buses and students that have mobility issues. The leisure centre car park can be used to drop off or pick up your child.
I end with some diary dates. As you will recall, we tragically had to cancel our Christmas Concert. Our Music Concert has been rescheduled to Wednesday 14 February at 7pm in the School Hall. I have also sent a separate letter to year 9 parents about our options process. Our current calendar schedules a combined options and parents evening on Tuesday 13th March 2018.Following representations at Parents Association we plan to split this into two evening events:
Options Evening- presentation to parents and students in the Hall - Thursday 1st March, 6.00 - 7.00 pm
Parents' Consultation Evening - opportunity to discuss options with teachers - Tuesday 13th March, 4.15 - 6.30 pm
The detail and schedule of the process will be laid out at our Options Evening on 1 March 2018. We will need all options decisions to be made by Friday 16th March in order to timetable the options blocks, which we plan to start after Easter.
My final piece of news is in relation to our Cairo visit I mentioned some months ago. This was postponed due to a change in Principal at our partner school in Cairo. I am in Jordan immediately before half-term to plan this, and should be able to get back to you with further news in March.