Principal's Weekly Bulletin, 26 January

Dear parents and carers,

This week was my first experience of a UCC drama performance and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. The students who contributed to the drama showcase on Wednesday and Thursday this week should be feeling very proud of themselves. The performances from Year 10 drama students and the cast of The Tempest were truly magnificent and everyone represented UCC superbly. We were also treated to a number of musical performances from students which were equally impressive. Earlier in the week, our students who attend the Cookie Club were able to listen to the experience and expertise of a visiting vet, who provided them with a number of inspirational messages. Additionally, on Tuesday a number of Year 10 students participated in the Science Live event in Sheffield, where a number of notable professors including Dr Robert Winston delivered presentations to our own budding scientists. Well done to everyone involved and a special thanks to the staff who ensured all these events were extremely successful. Learning outside the classroom environment is an important feature of our school and I know there are many other exciting opportunities for our students throughout the remainder of the academic year.

From Monday next week we are introducing a number of ‘movement bells’ to the timings of our school day to ensure we achieve a prompt start to lessons. The start and finish time of the school day remain the same, as do the timings of lessons; we are just asking students to use the last five minutes of break and lunch to start making their way to their next destination.

Since I have arrived at UCC, I have been impressed with many aspects of our school. I have taken several visitors around UCC since September and they always comment on how focussed students are in lessons and how welcoming the atmosphere in school feels. A number of people have also commented that during their tour of the school they didn’t see any mobile phones – this is quite rare in secondary schools these days! Our stance on mobile phones is simple: when the school day begins we do not expect to see them until the school day ends. The vast majority of our students observe this expectation consistently, however there have been a small number of occasions when students have made a phone call home for their parents to come and collect them, without informing a member of staff. I would like to take this opportunity to remind parents that if your son or daughter is unwell and they feel they need to go home, they will be assessed by our first aid trained staff and if appropriate, you will receive a call from the school to come and collect them.

I would also like parents and carers to take note of a change to our arrangements for collecting your children from school if this occurs before 3.25pm. As part of our safeguarding procedures, when a student is collected from school to go to an appointment, or because they are unwell, the person collecting them will be asked by our receptionists to provide a form of identification so we know who is taking that young person away from school. Students will not be permitted to leave school for any reason unless they are being collected.

I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Mr Solly.