Dear Parents and Carers,
As we are now three weeks into the new term, I wanted to write to you in order to share some important information regarding school life here at All Saints’. You will notice as you read the letter that there are a number of different sections and topics which have been included into one document which I hope you will find easier to read and digest. Please may I remind you that a parent bulletin is sent out to you every week which is also a very useful source of information.
In terms of the vitally important Catholic Life here at All Saints’, we are delighted to inform you that Luke Potter who is currently training as an apprentice chaplain is working with us every Thursday. Luke is an ex-student of All Saints’ and his main remit is to work with our Chaplaincy team as well as support Mr Sheehan with his second role as Chaplain.
Over the summer, a great deal of building work took place including the replacement of the Astro turf with a new 4G pitch. New ‘open plan’ toilets were built for Years 9 and 11 students and a new Maths/Computing suite was created in the PA block. The site team also repainted many areas of the school and the refurbishment to the Sixth Form area was completed.
We have continued to revise our Rewards procedures and this year there are many opportunities for students to receive rewards. As well as achievement points, conduct certificates, commendation ceremonies and rewards days, we have also scheduled praise postcard weeks when staff will recognise students’ hard work and effort in class. There will be a focus on rewarding good attendance and punctuality, plus we have calendared another rewards day in February for students who show dedication to their studies. Interform competitions will run throughout the year, as we look forward to celebrating these events with the students.
May we remind you that the current school uniform policy is as follows:
School trousers should be-:
- Black only
- Straight leg or boot cut
- Loose around the ankles and leg (not skin tight)
- Not jersey / stretchy material
Secondly, we would like to reiterate the expectations regarding the days when students arrive in PE uniform. Students should ensure that the PE uniform is worn as smartly as the full school uniform. Students are still representing All Saints’ when wearing this attire. This includes:
Black joggers or leggings, which should be plain with only a small logo (approx. 5cm in width).
If shorts are chosen to be worn, they must be black and knee length. Hot pants are not allowed in school. The Blue PE top or GCSE black PE top with the school logo should also be worn whenever applicable as well as the black hoodie embossed with the school’s logo.
As you know, All Saints’ prides itself on extremely high standards. Where uniform issues occur, we will always endeavour to work with parents and carers to rectify them. The School does have a stock of new uniform and uniform items donated by parents and carers who have left the School. During these financially difficult times, please do not hesitate to contact the school, if you need support with your child’s uniform.
Moving to the important topic of the Curriculum, at this stage in the academic year, students have begun their respective studies in earnest. Our Year 7s are becoming increasingly familiar with their range of subjects and the independent study required for success in their classroom retrieval activities. Year 8 students continue to study a broad and balanced curriculum, which is very important this year as they will be selecting their GCSE options and will find conversations with parents and carers about their curriculum strengths and areas for development very valuable. Some of our students in Year 7 and 8 will have been selected for additional support in English and Maths and this will be to strengthen their core skills so they can be successful in their secondary subjects. To assist parents/ carers of Year 7/8 students, all curriculum areas have mapped out their homework requirements for the first term and this is on the school website, under Curriculum/ Homework and revision/ Homework Maps. Our Year 9 students have started their GCSE courses and therefore parents/ carers should see an increase in the amount of time Year 9 students are spending on their homework to ensure early GCSE success.
Our Year 10 students will continue with their GCSE courses and benefit from support outside of school to space the retrieval of information they learned right from the beginning of Year 9 and will need up to their GCSE exams in Year 11. Finally, our Year 11 students have started their final GCSE year; their mock examinations will begin on 7th November and students have received an assembly explaining that they should be preparing for those examinations now. Any parental support in terms of getting our Year 11 students into disciplined revision habits is appreciated and will serve the students well as this year intensifies and asks more and more of our students. On the weekly parental bulletin, Curriculum areas will be sending out key messages about upcoming deadlines and assessments so that parents are fully informed about the work being completed throughout Year 11. All of our KS4 students have received their GCSE Knowledge Organisers; parents and carers can be really supportive by quizzing students on the content of those organisers throughout the academic year.
To support our students in their organisation and preparation for lessons, you may have noticed that we have provided every child in Year 7 to 11 with the everyday resources they need for school including pens, mini-whiteboards and a display file to keep their knowledge organisers in. As mentioned previously, a significant proportion of the homework that your child receives will focus on self-quizzing, using the knowledge organisers (All Saints’ Absolutes), to allow students to secure the base knowledge needed to succeed in lessons. After training students in a number of techniques to retrieve information last year, including look, cover, say, write, check, brain dumps, Cornell note taking and the use of flashcards, we have produced a study skills booklet that will reinforce these approaches in the coming term. Once more, parents and carers have a key role in supporting our students with homework, from the checking of organisers to ensure that homework is recorded, through to the testing of students on their self-quizzing notes, to allow knowledge to be embedded. Should you wish to understand a little more about the techniques we are encouraging your child to use to support their revision and self-quizzing, you can access the school study skills booklet through this link How to revise v2.docx
We are sure that your child will have a successful start to the academic year but should you have any questions about issues from homework to extra support available for students in certain subjects, please contact either your child’s class teacher, or the Curriculum Leader for the subject in question. We will be happy to offer you any guidance we can in relation to how you can support us in helping your child maximise their potential.
Finally, we are looking forward to another successful year and as ever we will do our very best to ensure that your child receives a high-quality Catholic education whilst continuing to nurture them spiritually and morally.
My very best wishes to you all.