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Headteacher's End of Term Letter - May 24

Dear Parents/Carers,

As the end of this half-term approaches, I wanted to write to express my thanks for your ongoing support of all that we do at St Mary’s.

It has been another very busy half-term both in and outside of school.  The past few weeks have been dominated by the Y11s starting their GCSE exams and at the time of writing, they are about half way through.  It is such an important time for them and I would ask that you continue to keep the year group in your thoughts and prayers as they work through 6 weeks of examinations.   I am very proud of the way they have approached them so far and I wish them every success with the outcomes.  They have worked hard and I am sure their results will reflect this.

On Friday 24th May we say goodbye to Year 11 on their Leavers’ Day, and despite the rigours of exams, I am sure we can have a day of celebration.  The final part of the day will be their Leavers’ Mass, a fitting way to mark the end of their time at St Mary’s.

We have also enjoyed unprecedented representation in the district football finals with 4 of our 5 year groups making it through to Edgar Street.  Year 7, 8, 9 and 11 all made it to the final and Year 10 only narrowly missed out with marginal defeat in the semi-finals.  Year 11 went on to win on penalties to be crowned county champions and despite valiant efforts, year 7, 8 and 9s fell at the final hurdle.  All teams received excellent coaching and support and are a credit to our school.

Homework on Edulink One – New approaches to setting and recording homework

In response to your feedback across our various parents’ evenings earlier in the year, we are implementing a new way of setting and recording homework which will no longer include the pupil planner.  Following half-term, teachers have been asked to pilot and trial this new approach which uses the Edulink One app and should be quick, easy and reliable for parents to see what has been set, when it is due in and whether it was submitted.  This new system will be fully launched in September and pupils will no longer be issued with a planner.

Instead of a planner, all pupils will be issued with a small A6 blazer pocket-sized timetable in a plastic pouch, and 2x paper copies of their timetable, one for their locker and a copy for home.  Whilst this new approach is app based, our policy on mobile phone use in school has not changed.  Indeed, pupils will still need to switch off their phones and put them in lockers.  Their teachers will inform them of what homework is being set with deadlines, etc. and they, like you, will be able to check and respond to this at home.  We feel this system will be more streamlined and consistent, and hopefully more informative and helpful to parents.  This facility will be live from June 3rd 2024, and whilst it is being trialled during the second half of the summer term, do not hesitate to contact your child’s HOY or our Edulink One administrator should you have any queries or feedback.  The links below should give you an ‘at a glance’ look at how this will look and how to view the homework your child has been set.

For further guidance, please watch the following brief video which outlines how to use Edulink One Homework:  Homework: For Parents & Pupils

If you are not registered with Edulink One or have any problems accessing the app please contact us on

To prepare for the pilot/trial starting on June 3rd after half-term, all pupils in years 7-10 have had an assembly explaining our new approach to setting homework and reminding them of our mobile phone policy in school.

Thanks again for your feedback and we hope that this new way of working will help everyone be better equipped about homework.

Next term we look forward to the Eisteddfod and Sports Day, two events which really bring our school community together.  I would encourage all pupils to get involved in some capacity in what promises to be highlights of the school year.

We will also be appointing prefects (after 102 Year 10’s applied for this responsibility) and senior pupil positions in conjunction with our plans to really develop student leadership opportunities at St Mary’s.

Thanks again for your support and cooperation with attendance.  Local data published last week shows that we maintain our position as the secondary school in Herefordshire with the highest attendance and lowest persistent absenteeism.  This is significant and exemplifies the strength of relationship that we have with you.

Please can I ask for your support in ensuring that all pupils return to school after half-term in full school uniform.  We will of course make adaptations in accordance with warm weather, but we do expect all pupils to wear their uniform including their school blazer.

I will update you on our progress later in the summer, but in the meantime, I would like to wish you a restful and enjoyable half-term break when it arrives.

Yours faithfully


Stuart Wetson