Uniform and Attendance May 2021
Uniform and Attendance
I am very pleased to report that the students have returned to school after the Easter holidays in a positive mind set. I do feel that they are taking on board the advice and guidance from staff and as a result the majority of students are positively engaging in all aspects of school life.
In order to ensure we maintain and improve upon students positive experiences, we collectively and consistently need to apply certain expectations. Please can I ask for your support in two key areas:
It is important that students adhere to our uniform policy (as highlighted on the school website) in helping reduce unnecessary conflict. The school uniform has many subtle positives which I hope you can relate to. I have outlined some of the reasons below:
- It serves to make students feel part of school. A sense of belonging which builds a person’s self-esteem.
- An opportunity to help reduce incidents of ‘bullying’ based upon a person’s appearance.
- Students are more receptive to learning as a uniform outwardly represents a readiness and willingness to be part of school life.
- Preparation for the work place. Regardless of the working environment all of us are expected to adhere to a dress code of some description. In time, all students will be part of the working population. The school uniform is therefore good preparation for working life.
The second and probably most important area of support is based around attendance. Good attendance as we know enhances a student’s future prospects. The correlation between good attendance and outcomes is clearly an area of school life which we need to promote. Students attending school regularly will stand a better chance of reaching their potential academically, are socially more adept and better equipped in dealing with the stresses of daily school life.
In order to raise attendance levels both individually and as a whole school we are working with the local authority in setting attendance benchmarks, which, we hope, will increase engagement and participation levels going forward. It has been agreed that the school will adopt the same attendance expectations when compared with any school nationally. Therefore, if your child’s attendance is below 95% the school is required to intervene with the support of the local authority, to ensure attendance improves.
Please can I remind you that both short-term and long-term absence is monitored. It is important that medical certificates and appointment letters are to be handed in to reception as soon as possible. The safeguarding of our students is at the heart of these interventions. It is therefore imperative that we investigate any illness absence after the third episode in an academic year. If evidence cannot be provided then this and subsequent absences will be recorded as unauthorised. If you are planning to take your child out of school during term time, I would also ask you to refer to the “Request for Holidays” document on our website as this may also be classed as an unauthorised absence and could incur a fixed penalty notice.
I would like to acknowledge that the vast majority of pupils have returned to school life with a renewed vigour, after what has been such a challenging year. I do hope that this letter highlights our commitment to improving our students’ life chances and help reinforce the positive relationships that continue to develop.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
New gate April 2021
New driveway gate
In an effort to improve the security on our large rural site, we have had a new gate installed on our drive.
This will be closed and locked for the majority of the school day. This is, among other things
- to ensure pupil and staff safety during transition and non-contact times
- to prevent large vehicles accessing the playground
- to prevent pupils accessing car park and the road hazards immediately beyond our boundary
- to better manage vehicular access, including taxis during the school day
- to act as a deterrent for absconding
- to prevent intruder access
- to further improve the management of visitor access including contractors.
As a result of this, any visitor or delivery needing access to the school must first call reception on 01435 812278. This number is also displayed on a sign on the gate. A member of staff will then meet you and unlock the gate to escort you onto the school site.
Parents and visitors should use the allocated visitor parking at the start of the drive and in the spaces shown here in front of the pupil entrance. Please call ahead for the safety of our school community. Thank you.
St Mary's Standards July 2019
In an effort to further improve standards in teaching and learning we have been working collaboratively with all members of the community in devising our new ‘St Mary’s Standards’ policy. Attached is an example of the posters which are now displayed across the school. Please can you take the time to go through these expectations with your child so that we are all able to provide the learners with a consistent approach in helping them manage their behaviour. It will also allow us all to become familiar with the subtle changes in language relating to the tiered support structure. Further information and guidance in relation to our behaviour policy can also be found on our website.
I am extremely confident that this fresh approach, curriculum changes and new pastoral system will further improve the positive learning experience for all our pupils.