Principal's Weekly Bulletin

Dear parents and carers,
 
We have had a long but enjoyable autumn term at UCC. I have continued to be impressed with the way in which the vast majority of our students consistently demonstrate our core values of Respect, Honesty and Kindness. This makes our school an enjoyable place to work and learn. Our school culture is something that visitors frequently notice and comment on and I think it is important to acknowledge and celebrate this. 
 
I have also been impressed with the way in which UCC students have applied themselves in the classroom throughout this term. A number of students asked me to visit their English classroom recently as they were extremely proud of the work they had produced. Their work was superb, with great attention to detail – it was wonderful to see how much pride they had taken in their work. 
 
If you are reading this as a parent of a Year 11 student, your son or daughter will be taking their Pre Public Exams in January and these begin as soon as we return. These exams are the last opportunity students will get at practising GCSE assessments in formal examination conditions before they sit the real thing in the summer. Therefore, it is crucial for them to replicate as many of the aspects of a formal examination period as possible. As parents you can support them by helping them strike the right balance between work, rest and play over the Christmas period. I want students to enjoy the Christmas holiday with their families and friends, have a good rest and recharge their batteries. They do, however, need to complete some revision for their exams and creating a timetable or plan for this will be really important.  The revision page on our website (link here) has a great deal of information which I recommend you visit. Doing small chunks of revision with regular breaks is always highly recommended and the only way to achieve this is to map out a plan and then stick to it. Parents play a vital role in helping students maintain their motivation and dedication to exam preparation and keeping them well watered and fed, with small rewards every so often can be a really effective way of supporting them. 
 
There have been one or two instances where families have not been fully aware of the term dates recently. We do not authorise absences when families take holidays during term time, therefore please can I ask you to carefully check our published dates for the remainder of 2018-19, along with the 2019-20 academic year dates. The link on our website is here.
 
On the subject of attendance, I have spoken with a few students recently who have an attendance percentage that is below 96%. I have been pleased that they are determined to work on improving their attendance towards our school target of 98% and I appreciate the support of parents and carers in achieving this. 
 
Can I draw your attention to a message from Mrs Borrows, who is coordinating the Don Bosco foreign exchange this year:
 
‘This year’s Don Bosco Haacht/UCC exchange will take place between Monday 8th -  Friday 12th April 2019. The exchange is an opportunity for students to visit another European country and participate in sport at a reasonable cost. The exchange is open to students in Years 8-11. Further information will be available at the start of the new term.’
 
I would also like to remind you that bookings are now open on Wisepay for the Spring 2019 after school clubs.
 
I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and New Year.
 
Mr Solly.