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May 2019



Dear Parents/Carers

I am writing to welcome you to the summer term at St. Mary’s and I hope you all had an enjoyable and restful Easter break.

Last term was an incredibly busy but very positive one at St. Mary’s with not one but two inspections!  As you may remember, we had a three-day Section 48 Inspection by the Archdiocese of Cardiff.  The lead inspector was joined by two others who looked very closely at provision and standards in Religious Education and at the spiritual and Catholic life of the school.  I am delighted to report that for all categories, we received the top grading of ‘Excellent’ and I look forward to sending you a copy of the report very soon for you to read in further detail.  Following the outcome of our Ofsted inspection earlier in the term, we are tremendously proud of the findings within this report.  As a Headteacher, it is wonderful to read that “The school is a truly cohesive community which reflects Gospel values and pupils feel highly valued for everything they achieve.  Pupils are extremely proud to be a pupil at St. Mary’s.  There is a strong sense of belonging and all pupils are welcomed in a spirit of equality, inclusiveness and respect and this is a strength of the school.”  May I thank those of you who took the time to complete the parental questionnaire, the inspectors were incredibly impressed that 397 of you did so and also by your overwhelming support of the school.

To be described as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted and ‘Excellent’ by the Archdiocese, is a real endorsement of all connected to the school and our aim is obviously to maintain such standards.

Those of you who have children in Year 11 will know just how important this term will be and also how hard they have been working in preparation for their GCSE’s. I have been encouraged by not only their approach to lessons but also by how well they have engaged with after school and holiday revision sessions.  We will continue to do everything possible to support Year 11 in the final days leading up to and throughout the course of their exams.  Thank you for all that you are doing, as I know that many of you are tirelessly ‘dropping off’ and ‘picking up’ after these extra classes and it is much appreciated.

Year 9 and 10 have approached their end of year exams really positively as I am sure Year 7 and 8 will later in the term.  I am pleased to report that Mr Hawkesford-Johnson has now joined my Senior Leadership team and has started work in his roles as Assistant Head and SENCO at St. Mary’s.  I have worked with Mr Hawkesford-Johnson previously and I have no doubt he will have a real impact in our school.

There is a lot to look forward to in the summer term not least the trips, sports day and our annual Eisteddfod.

I have very much enjoyed my first year as Headteacher at St. Mary’s and thank you for your ongoing support.

Stuart Wetson