Headteacher’s Letter to Parents
At the time of writing to you, I can’t quite believe that the end of the first half term is nearly upon us. It really has been a great start to the new academic year at St Mary’s and I am sure that the rest of it will be equally positive.
The first few weeks back have been very focused on ensuring that Year 7 got off to a strong start and for all other year groups to hit the ground running. I have been particularly impressed by the manner in which Year 11 have begun their final year. The vast majority of them have been working very hard and taking advantage of the additional support we offer at lunchtimes and after school. If you are a parent of a Year 11 pupil, we really appreciate the support you give us in enabling your sons and daughters to attend. After half term, we are introducing study skills sessions to focus on revision strategies and techniques, in addition to the subject specific sessions that run most nights (see the Exam Revision & Study Skills section of the school website for full details).
At the other end of the school, Year 7 continue to settle into life at secondary school. It was lovely to meet many of the Year 7 parents at the Welcome Mass last month and I thought the occasion was a fitting way to mark their first few weeks with us.
I have visited many lessons to see the Years 8, 9 and 10 and I am pleased to report that lots of good learning is taking place and plenty of progress being made.
Recruitment into our school has also dominated this first half term. Our recent Open Evening was very well attended indeed and an excellent advert for what we represent at St Mary’s. Your children made the occasion quite special in the way that they carried out their guiding and departmental duties; they really are our best form of advertising and make my job quite straightforward. I lost track of the amount of feedback I received from prospective parents about how good, helpful and polite our pupil volunteers were! The evening was followed by three Open Mornings which were also very well attended, so we are hopeful that we will take our full quota of pupils again next September.
Outside of the classroom, it has been equally busy and productive. Congratulations to our Year 11 netball team who were recently crowned County Champions and to all of our other sports teams who have competed so well.
I have also had the pleasure of taking a number of our pupils with me to Hereford Sixth Form College for a Q&A session with the Archbishop of Canterbury. It was a really interesting insight into his life, ministry and views on issues facing the children and our environment. Opportunities such as this are rare and our pupils made the most of it asking their own questions.
I am looking forward to hearing how our Year 11’s got on at their various work experience placements, even if they don’t end up perusing that particular line of work or employment, I have no doubt that the skills they will have picked up will be invaluable for later in life.
We are all looking forward to a half term break but also to what the next one brings.
Thank you for your ongoing support.