Friday 5th January 2018

Dear parents and carers,

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy new year. I hope you all had a great Christmas break and you were able to enjoy some valuable time with family and friends during the festive period. I am very much looking forward to what we can achieve together at UCC in 2018.

We have hit the ground running this week and students and staff have very quickly got back into the swing of things at school. Year 11 students have started their Pre Public Examinations and I have been pleased with what I have seen so far. These exams are the final opportunity that our Year 11 students get at practising subject assessments in a formal setting before the real examination season in the summer. Following these Pre Public Exams we will host a formal PPE Results Day at the end of January that will replicate the experience students will get when they collect their results in August.

Since I started at UCC I have been tremendously impressed with student attendance and punctuality. In our success assembly before Christmas it was lovely to see Mr Rhodes handing out rewards for students, form groups and houses who had won prizes for excellent attendance and punctuality. Our statistics are much higher than the national average and we are aspiring for consistently high standards in these areas. We have spoken to students via their form tutors this week about our arrangements for students who arrive late for school. If a student is late and does not have an acceptable reason then they will complete a 15 minute detention at lunch time on the same day. If a student is late twice in a week without an acceptable reason then they will complete a Friday night 1 hour detention with me. We will refer persistently late students to the local authority, following which further action may take place. Clearly, there are going to be occasions when a bus is late or a student has a medical appointment and in these instances there will be common sense applied and no sanction will be involved. Thankfully, the number of students arriving late for school each day is very small indeed and therefore this message is simply informing everyone of what the arrangements are at UCC for maintaining high standards of punctuality, which of course is an important aspect of life for all our students to appreciate and understand.

As ever, we have a huge amount of exciting activities planned for this term and as the spring term is much shorter than the autumn one, we have a lot to fit in before Easter. The extra-curricular programme is already up and running and as ever I am keen for all students to participate in at least one of the regular opportunities we offer. Mr Lewin sends out a communication each week so please keep an eye out for this and encourage your sons and daughters to get themselves involved in something.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Mr Solly.