Update for parents and carers: Friday 28th April 2023 – Tuesday 25th July 2023
I will start by offering a humble thank you for your messages, cards and well-wishes, following the recent death of my dear mother. It has been a challenging time for my family and I, and we remain highly appreciative of the great support that we have received. Please continue to pray for me. I will continue to pray for you all. Thank you so much.
Further to my messages last week, I hope our Muslim families and wider community, enjoyed a very blessed and happy Eid Celebration.
We are reminded of our School Mission Statement:
Holy Trinity Catholic School serves the local community; Christ is at the centre of our school and our greatest example. Our school is a place where uniqueness and diversity is celebrated and respected because we know and believe that we are united as children of God and created in His image. Through acts of love and learning, we grow in knowledge and spirituality, we are inspired to become successful citizens and are understanding, compassionate and loving to all of humanity.
A short poem written by our Academy Patron – St Teresa of Calcutta:
‘Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is bliss, taste it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfil it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it’.
We remain delighted with the positive attitudes shown by our pupils, who encompass our firm belief that at Holy Trinity you can ‘achieve anything’.
Safeguarding reminder from Mrs Daw (Deputy Headteacher)
A reminder to all of our parents and carers that the school website contains some very useful links for managing and supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people. In this digital age, where we know that children are often unsupervised when online, gaming and using social media platforms this poses significant risk; we do not know what our children are accessing and who they are communicating with. There are a number of helpful guides and links for parents which explore some of these dangers and offer support and further guidance. Earlier this year, school hosted a parental workshop linked to e-safety and we are planning to organise a further event online in the summer term. Details will be shared nearer the time. If you have any concerns linked to the safety, health and wellbeing of your children and or your family please do contact school; If we are unable to seek support we will always look to signpost in terms of early help and intervention. Please contact your child’s Head of Year in the first instance if you need support.
We have 10 colleagues, who have completed their Designated Senior Teacher training in Safeguarding. Colleague names and photographs, are displayed prominently in our schools reception and on this website. In addition, Anna Brewer (Chair of Governors) and Anne Norris (Safeguarding link Governor), are two Safeguarding representatives on the Governing Body. Please don’t hesitate to make contact with any questions or concerns.
Teacher Strike Action:
As you are aware, the National Education Union (NEU), in accordance with the provisions of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1992, have called upon their members to strike. This action has been called with the intention to secure better pay and working conditions for teaching staff and increase staff funding allocation for schools. We appreciate that industrial action is disruptive, and you may have been required to change your plans or working arrangements whilst this action is ongoing. Whilst we always endeavour to keep school open where possible, ensuring the health and safety of our students must take priority. All members of staff at Holy Trinity, are united in wanting an end to this dispute as soon as possible.
Year 11 update:
We are quickly approaching GCSE exam season, with youngsters working earnestly on all those vitally important final preparations. At the start of this term, I shared the poem ‘Life Is’ (above) with Year 11 in an extended welcome back assembly. I paid close attention to these following verses highlighted in bold: Life can be a ‘struggle’ and we must all ‘accept’ this. Year 11 are currently facing ‘challenges’ like they have never encountered before, but they have to ‘meet’ them. Life is all about ‘opportunities’ and a positive set of results will enable Year 11 to ‘benefit’ in the fullest sense. I encourage our Year 11 pupils to ‘dream’ and with that, ‘realise it’. Making reference to the schools exceptional IDSR evaluation from 2019, I used our school’s past and very high performance, as a motivational springboard for youngsters to aspire to. Many pupils have achieved wonderful things in our history, so nothing is stopping our youngsters this year from doing exactly the same. Finally, ‘life is an adventure’ and I ‘dared’ our Year 11 pupils, to go out into that big world and take everything that it has to offer.
Supporting Year 11 to be ‘exam ready’ remains our key priority once again for the weeks ahead. I use this expression repeatedly throughout the year, but it becomes even more prevalent the closer we get to external exams: ‘every day, hour, minute and second’ is of great value and high importance at this stage. The ‘magic’ happens in lessons and it is then supplemented with well-planned ‘extra tuition sessions’ that are fully staffed and funded by school. As Headteacher, I am revelling in seeing all of the highly effective ‘retrieval practice’ that is going on in lessons and ‘extra tuition’. Pupils have acquired a vast array of effective revision techniques since Year 7 and are now using the methods that they find most accessible and effective. Everything is in place for youngsters to be successful in the summer. Parents, thank you for your continued work in positively reinforcing key messages that are being given from school.
*Year 11 will remain in school during the duration of the exam season in order to receive high quality tuition and support from their teachers. A disrupted last few years, has made this practice a moral imperative at Holy Trinity.
*Please see the table at the end of this email with key dates. It is really important to note to parents to not book that very well-deserved holiday until after Wednesday 28th June. Thank you!
Curriculum Update: Design Engineering!
I am delighted to announce that following a successful recruitment process, we have appointed a highly experienced teacher to deliver ‘Engineering Design’ as part of our curriculum offer for next academic year and beyond. This successful appointment, has been a longstanding ambition for school and I am very pleased that we have succeeded in providing this enhancement to our already successful Technology curriculum. Many youngsters have expressed a desire to train in engineering post-16 and our course in school will provide a perfect platform towards future education, training and employment.
School Dinner Prices:
Despite huge financial pressures brought by the pandemic and subsequent ‘cost of living’ crisis, school has remain steadfast in its commitment to keep prices as low as possible as a support for families. Main school meal prices at Holy Trinity have remained at £2.50 throughout this period compared to costs being recommended upwards to £2.80. Our School Meal provider City Serve Birmingham, have commended our school for its commitment to low pricing but we have now reached a time where this is no longer sustainable. Following discussions last week, we have reached a consensus to raise prices but remain committed to keeping them as low as possible. With this in mind, main school meals at Holy Trinity will increase to £2.65 from September. This increased cost will ensure that youngsters receive a range of healthy and nutritional options, at price that is still considerably lower than the maximum that is recommended. In the summer term, we will be asking youngsters to vote on their preferred menu choices going into September.
A reminder of our High Standards and Expectations:
*To support with logistics to accommodate Year 11 examinations, pupils in Year 7 – 10, are required to wear their PE kits to school on days when they have PE ONLY, from Monday 15th May – Monday 26th June.
· Pupils are reminded of our ‘no hands’ policy which is in place to protect the safety of all.
· Pupils must have a blazer, tie and shirts to be tucked in at all times.
· Pupils must wear plain black footwear without any coloured logos/laces.
· Pupils will no longer be permitted to arrive to school in their PE Kits, they will have access to our new Sports Hall facilities for changing.
· Pupils must have a planner/day planner and at least a clear pencil case containing essential items such as:
o black/blue pen
o green pen
· Punctuality to form time and lessons must be excellent.
· PE kit must be in line with our Uniform policy, there should be no branding on kits as they must be plain.
· Hoodies are not permitted to be worn, all coats/jackets must be worn on top of blazers.
· Jackets/coats must be plain with no large branding, denim jackets and gilets are not permitted to be worn in School.
· There must be no piercings or jewellery worn – pupils will be asked to remove them – clear plastic studs can be worn.
· During the winter, it is essential that your child wears a suitable coat for school. As stated, Hoodies are not permitted and should not be worn in place of a suitable outdoor coat. Balaclavas, ski masks, snoods and comparable items of clothing are not permitted. Items will be confiscated if they are seen in school.
· Students must be highly organised ensuring Homework and other tasks are completed on time when set by their teachers.
· In line with our annual practice, this existing Uniform Policy, is to be reviewed with school stakeholders during the summer term in anticipation of next Academic Year. At Holy Trinity, we are committed to maintaining high standards and are open to changes that may support your child’s positive progress in school.
Attendance and Punctuality Update from Ms Hodson (Assistant Headteacher, Personal Development):
We would like to take this opportunity to share some key reminders about attendance and punctuality. Holidays should be arranged outside of term time only. Missing school is detrimental to your child’s opportunity to progress, therefore, school will not authorise any holidays taken during term time. Parents will risk being fined if they take their child out of school. Your child will not gain back the time lost, each day away from school will result in 5 hours of lost learning. Pupils should aim for good attendance of 95% or above. Please see the table below as a reminder of how much learning is lost when your child does not attend school.
The school day begins at 8.40am. Any pupil arriving after this time is late. Pupils arriving late will be issued with an L1 break-time detention. If your child fails to attend the L1 detention it will be escalated to a 30-minute L3 detention, after school. Failure to comply will result in a C4 detention. Parents should ring the school office if they know that their child will be late to school.5 minutes late each day is the equivalent of missing 3 full days of learning during an academic year! We appreciate your efforts with getting your child to school, on time, every day.
A slight adjustment to school day timings from September 2023:
Post-pandemic, the Department for Education (DFE), outlined an expectation for all schools to have a minimum of 32.5 hours contact time with pupils per week in place by September 2023. Thankfully, Holy Trinity is already very close to meeting this threshold and for our school it will be a gentle and subtle adjustment in timing, as opposed to something more substantial. We are currently exploring several models with the intention of finding the ‘best fit’ to meet the needs of our pupils. With this in mind, we are very keen to hear your views as parents. Please look out for text correspondence from Mrs Henvey (Assistant Headteacher) during this summer term, which will invite you to select your preferred way forward, with an opportunity given to provide additional comments. Thank you!
‘My Child At School’
We invite you to regularly log into ‘My Child at School’ to monitor how your child is getting on at school. You will find out whether your child is completing homework, receiving any consequences or being awarded positive behaviour points. Pupil timetables, the school calendar and attendance records are also available. Please visit www.mychildatschool.com. The school ID is 11389. The school does not have access to your password information. You can request a new invitation code from home or if you have added an email address to the account you can click ‘forgotten login details’ and follow instructions that will email you the details.
Parent Association Update:
Following a very successful introduction in December, parent members are looking to organise another ‘Food Bank’ before we break up for the summer holidays. We know that this additional support was greatly appreciated in our community previously. Your wonderful support again in donating items will be greatly appreciated. More details to come in due course, once members finalise a date. With thanks to all parents who continue to represent our Parent Association. If you have not yet participated, you are more than welcome to join. Please look out for ‘text message’ updates and make contact with school to express your interest. Thank you.
A regular reminder regarding car parking:
In a regular reminder, it is important to remember, that driving and parking near our Oakley Road Entrance Point, continues to be highly problematic at ‘drop off’ and ‘collection’ times. This is something that we continue to work on with local residents to improve. I am delighted that our Year 11 Senior Prefect Team, devised a strategy to see what we can do as a community to help with this situation. As a result of this work, we have placed cones on the entrance point at Oakley Road which is marked ‘keep clear’ to support with health and safety and a better experience for all parents. Initial feedback that we have received is that this strategy is making a positive difference! 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.
Ofsted Inspection Update:
We can expect to go through this process as a community, in due course. Parents will be informed immediately via text and later through letter, when we receive confirmation of an Ofsted visit. We will do what we always ask of our children, which is to give ‘our very best’. We are confident that the process will indicate hugely positive improvements that the school has made since its previous inspection in December 2017. As parents, you will be invited to complete a ‘Parental Questionnaire’ as part of the inspection process, similar to what you complete in school during every Progress / Information Evenings. We welcome the opportunity for parents to have their view and will inform you immediately about how you access the questionnaire. I will keep you informed of all inspection developments throughout this year. A recent external ‘School Improvement’ Review alongside an additional external review of ‘Safeguarding’, evaluated our school as having many strengths and highlighted a number of areas that we should celebrate as ‘best practice’. Although very happy with these evaluations, we appreciate that we are not perfect and our ‘school culture’ requires for us to continually strive to get better and to improve.
Some key dates for up and coming events:
|Monday 1st May
|Bank Holiday – School Closed
|Monday 8th May
|Bank Holiday – School Closed
|Tuesday 2nd May
|Proposed NEU Teacher Strike Day
|Monday 15th May
|Year 11 GCSE examinations begin
|Thursday 25th May
|Year 8 Parents Evening
|Friday 26th May
|Finish for half-term break
|Monday 5th June
|Pupils return to school
|Wednesday 21st June
|Year 11 Exams are scheduled to finish.
*Please be aware that in the event of any delay or exams having been unavoidably rescheduled, additional ‘contingency’ days are in place following this date in order for all exams to be completed.
|Monday 26th June
|INSET Day for Staff: Pupils to remain at home
|Wednesday 28th June
|Final ‘contingency’ day for any delayed exams.
|Wednesday 28th June
|‘Step up Day’ for next Year 7 cohort (September 2023)
|Thursday 29th June
|Year 7 Parents Evening
|Friday 30th June
|Year 11 – ‘The class of 2022’: We welcome back former pupils to collect GCSE Certificates followed by celebration
|Wednesday 5th July
|‘Induction Day’ for next Year 7 cohort (September 2023)
|Friday 7th July
|Year 11 Prom at Edgbaston Cricket Ground
|Thursday 13th July
|‘Awards Evening’ We look forward to welcoming our special guest speaker Penny O’Donnell.
|Tuesday 18th July
|Year 7 & Year 8 ‘Sports Day’
|Wednesday 19th July
|Year 9 & Year 10 ‘Sports Day’
|Thursday 20th July
|Whole School Rewards Trip
|Tuesday 25th July
|12.30 finish for Summer Holidays!
The continued strong partnership between school and home, is at the foundation of the successes that we continue to celebrate. If for whatever reason you have any issues or concerns, please contact your child’s Form Tutor / Head of Year in the first instance. If at any point you require further support in resolving a particular situation, please escalate your concerns to a member of the Senior Leadership Team. As Headteacher, I always welcome dialogue with parents informally on the school gate, through a conversation on the telephone, an email dialogue or more formally in a request to meet with me in person. Please contact school reception if you wish to speak with me. If at any point you are not satisfied with our schools response, there are further channels available to parents in order to raise their concerns. Please contact school reception if you require any additional information and clarity regarding the processes for raising formal complaints.
‘At Holy Trinity, we want all pupil to be able to leave with a world of opportunities at their feet; for them to reach their fullest of potentials; to believe in themselves, and to achieve their wildest dreams’.
Thank you for your continued support.
Paper copies of this document are available from reception upon request.
Headteacher: Holy Trinity Catholic School
Friday 28th April 2023