Update for parents and carers: Thursday 9th December 2021:
Your last update will be lengthy as this also covers a key update from our Academy.
Our school motto inspires us to ‘Learn to Love’ all people made in equal in the image and likeness of God. We follow the commands of God and love everybody as equals.
On Sunday, the Catholic Church continued its preparations for the coming of Christ, through celebrating the second Sunday of ‘Advent’. Advent is the season of ‘arrival’, the arrival of Christ in our hearts and in our world. The second purple candle on the Advent Wreath was lit on Sunday. This candle symbolises ‘hope’. In our current fractured and challenging world, ‘hope’ is something that is needed by so many people. We pray that all will receive the light of Christ’s ‘hope’ in this Advent season.
Please read this update that I have written for dissemination across all six schools in the St Teresa of Calcutta Multi-Academy Catholic Company:
Dear Parents and Community Stakeholders,
I hope this message finds you well.
The very challenging context that we continue to all live through, makes our ‘Advent’ messages of ‘hope’ and ‘faith’ especially important this year. During this special season, we seek reassurance and strength in these words from the prophet Isaiah: ‘Look, our God is coming to save us’ (Isa 35:4).
Schools in the St Teresa of Calcutta MAC, are busy preparing for the end of term and very much looking forward to the Christmas break!
Here are some examples of the many successes enjoyed in our family of schools during this term:
Well-done to the following pupils in St Joseph’s who have won the ‘King Edwards School, Sports Partnership Girls’ football Tournament’: Eliana Year 3 , Yodit Year 4, Rebecca Year 5 and Zevannah, Eldana, Sara and Evelina, all in Year 6! All of the girls and their very proud Headteacher, Mrs Ashley, are delighted at winning this very prestigious annual tournament!
Well-done to the Holy Souls ‘Climate Hero Team’ of Maribel Jobin, Pippa Winterman and Edward McSharry! The team have provided many ideas about how the school can be more eco-friendly, and are very passionate about how we can help to save our world!
Well-done to the ‘Pentathlon Team’ in The Rosary! Children have attended this additional club every Tuesday without fail to prepare for a regional event and gave their very best in competition! Pupil dedication and commitment was humbling and despite not winning and coming 4th in the competition, pupils returned to school as if they had won the trophy!
Well-done to the following pupils at Archbishop Ilsley who have been working with Ms McLaughlin, as part of a ‘Black History Focus Group’ within school: Ketia Mipro, Acemea Harris, Katelyn Ezikle, Alexia Jones and Wankunda Silungwe. Pupils have been instrumental in leading conversations about how we learn about and celebrate the heritages of all students within school.
Well-done to the following Year 10 pupils at Holy Trinity who achieved ‘Gold’ in the ‘Next Generation Citizenship Award’: Ella Boulton, Samya Stephens and Bella Sandher. Pupils presented an idea called ‘Helping Hands’ to a distinguished external audience which included Local MPS.
A wonderful and diverse range of achievements and it just unfortunate that limited space will not allow for me to celebrate more! We are very proud of all of our youngsters, who are inspired to achieve through our MAC motto ‘Dream’ ‘Believe’ ‘Achieve’.
We are very much looking forward to viewing our second annual ‘MAC Virtual Carol Concert’ at 2.15 on Thursday 16th December. Just like last year, we would love you to join us in this celebration of talent and an opportunity for us all together to experience some festive cheer! Please access the concert next Thursday via our Academy Website at http://saintteresaofcalcutta.org.uk.
I will conclude by taking this opportunity to thank you all for your wonderful support of me and our MAC over these past 12 months. As stated previously, I will be stepping aside from my current MAC Leadership Responsibility on December 31st and very much welcome Professor Paul Ryan, who will be leading from January 1st. I look forward to supporting Paul through my Headteacher responsibility at Holy Trinity, as our MAC looks to develop further and positively in the months and years ahead.
On behalf of everyone associated with the St Teresa of Calcutta MAC, I wish you and all of your families, a very peaceful, restful, blessed and happy Christmas season!
With every best wish,
Interim Accounting Officer
9th December 2021
Now back to Holy Trinity specific information!
Here is a reminder of some key Covid Safety Practices in school:
· Children should isolate if they have tested positive for Covid19. If children have been identified as a ‘close contact’ of someone who has tested positive, they will not be required to isolate but will be ‘advised’ to take a PCR test by NHS Track and Trace. * However, it is important to note that this will now change if pupils have come into contact with someone who has tested positive with the new variant. Irrespective of vaccine status, pupils and staff would now be required to isolate for 10 days.
· Staff and pupils are still expected to remain off from school if they are displaying main Covid symptoms and are advised to book a PCR test. Main symptoms remain; a new or continuous cough, a loss of or change to taste or smell and a high temperature / fever.
· Schools are encouraged to maintain established and strong practices regarding ventilation and hygiene. Pupils and staff to still regularly wash and sanitise their hands. Classroom doors and windows to remain open during lessons.
* Pupils, staff, parents and visitors, to wear a face covering in all communal areas in school.
* Thank you for your continued diligence and support, in maintaining regular and twice weekly, Covid tests at home for your children.
* School to carry out one ‘on site’ Covid test during the first week back after the Christmas break.
* School to keep up to date with all information provided by the Department for Education and Public Health England and will inform parents immediately if there are any changes.
We pray for all people who continue to be affected by this Coronavirus pandemic.
Lord in your mercy.
Hear our pray.
Additional key updates:
Senior Leaders and our Head of Year 8, have been very impressed with ‘Attitudes to Learning’ in Year 8, following a series of visits to lessons last week. Nearly 50 lessons were visited and it is clear that Year 8 pupils have responded positively to a full integration back into school since September.
With thanks to Year 11 Pupils and Parents, for a very strong attendance to Progress Meetings via ‘School Cloud’ last Wednesday (1st Dec) and Thursday (2nd Dec). Overall attendance has now surpassed 80% and we hope that continued ‘catch ups’ in the coming days, will push this figure up even higher. We continue to operate in challenging times and hope to be in a position later in the year, when we can have these meetings ‘face to face’ in school again.
It is our planned intention, for Year 11 to begin their extensive ‘extra tuition’ and ‘intervention programme’, from w/c 10th January. This additional learning support alongside pupils receiving ‘quality first’ teaching in all subjects, will ensure that pupils have every opportunity to fulfil their potential, despite a very challenging last two years. More details to follow in the New Year.
Huge progress continues to be made in our School Expansion Buildings Project! I am delighted that our new and extended school hall has been open since yesterday! We are also delighted that we can now offer flexibility and a choice in relation to pupil dining habits at lunch. Pupils can now use the following at their own personal choice:
· Outside Food POD: Hot Pasta and Cold Food Selection
· Small Canteen: ‘Grab and Go’ Hot Selection with some indoor seating space.
· Large Canteen (hall): A traditional ‘Sit down Meal’ with indoor seating space.
A huge thank you once again, to all parents who have completed and returned our ‘Parent Voice Questionnaires’. Thank you for your very honest, constructive and positive feedback. We will share an overview of the findings with parents in due course. This practice is something we will now look to do termly. Your views as parents are highly valued and integral to our schools continued improvement journey.
It is important to note at this point, that driving and parking near our Oakley Road Entrance Point, continues to be highly problematic at ‘drop off’ and ‘collection’ times. Ensuring that all pupils enter and exit the School Building safely, is a number on priority. I ask that parents continue to be patient and understanding of this situation as we all endeavour to support one another as best as possible. Thank you.
Some key dates and information for this half-term:
· Friday 17th December: Non Uniform Day. A voluntary donation of up to a £1 will be appreciated. Money to go to Charity. All pupils dismissed for their Christmas break at 12.15
· Tuesday 4th January: INSET day for staff
Plans for Mass Covid Testing:
Tuesday 4th January
INSET – normal school closed.
Year 11 Mass testing from 12.30-3.30
Wednesday 5th January
Year 11 in school as long as negative in test the day before
Mass testing year 7 (9.00- 12.00)
Mass testing Year 10 (12.30-3.30)
Thursday 6th January
Years 10 and 7 return to school as long as negative in test the day before
Mass testing year 9 (9.00-12.00)
Mass testing year 8 (12.30-3.30)
Friday 7th Jan
Years 9 and 8 to return to school as long as negative in test the day before
All pupils back in school as long as negative
Mass testing mop up (9.00-10.30)
We will follow the same embedded practices for testing. Pupils to arrive at school in their casual attire and return home after taking their test. Pupils to return to school the following day if test is negative.
Thank you for your support in offering items for our Christmas Hampers and Shoebox Appeals. Supporting those who are most disadvantaged, is a key aspect of our ‘Advent’ and Christmas spiritual preparations.
In addition, please look out for information regarding extra-curricular opportunities that are available to youngsters, via information shared by individual Subject Departments.
Please access the School Calendar from this Website for further information.
The continued strong partnership between school and home, is at the foundation of the successes that we continue to celebrate.
Please look out for any further information via text message, pupil email, ‘Microsoft Teams’ messages, updates to this website, or letters posted to your homes.
I find this following quote to be uplifting:
‘Faith is to believe what you do not see, the reward of this faith, is to see what you believe’ (Author Unknown).
With every best wish for a restful, peaceful, happy and blessed Christmas break.
Headteacher: Holy Trinity Catholic School
Interim Accounting Officer: St Teresa of Calcutta Multi-Academy Company