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Parent Bulletin 28/01/2022

Please see the latest parent bulletin from Mr Solly below...

Dear UCC families

I am sure you will have seen that the Department for Education issued statements this week outlining that face masks are no longer required in schools. This puts schools in a very difficult position, given that as a sector we are still experiencing high rates of staff absence because of Covid related issues. In many schools, year groups have been sent home and remote learning has resumed, or large groups of students have been completing 'lessons' in a school hall, both of which are far from ideal. At UCC we have had 6 members of staff absent for Covid related reasons this week, and whilst we managed to cover all of the lessons required, we did this despite the local supply agencies running out of supply teachers. Therefore, to continue delivering high quality face to face teaching for all year groups, we must protect the staff in school as best we can. As a result, we are continuing to adopt the approach I communicated to you last week, which is that we are asking students and staff to continue wearing face masks in school, but we will not be directly challenging people who do not. 

We have been working on a new PE kit for some time now, and I am happy to announce that this will be available in the summer term for students to begin wearing in September 2022. The current PE kit is rather dated and is not in line with what is now commonly worn for exercise. We collated parent views last year and concluded that whilst many people would like to purchase the PE kit online, there are still many who value being able to go into a shop and try items on. We spent a great deal of time analysing the prices and garment quality, as well as how these items can be purchased, before making our decisions. Therefore, we have the following arrangements in place for the launch of the new PE kit:

  • all students will wear the new PE kit from September 2022
  • there are 3 compulsory items for all students:
    • a t shirt
    • a mid-layer
    • 1 of the following 'bottom half' items: shorts, skort, tracksuit bottoms, or leggings
  • these items will be available to purchase online and through the Kids and More shop in Oakham from June 2022

  • families who qualify for Free School Meals funding will receive the compulsory items free of charge (a separate email will be sent with the details after Easter)

  • a contribution from the school could be made if families who do not quality for Free School Meals require support in purchasing these items (a process for this will be communicated after Easter)

  • the PE department will show the students the new kit in PE lessons and give them the opportunity to judge what sizes they need and which 'bottom half' item they would prefer (please see photo below)

  • for students who study Key Stage 4 qualifications in GCSE PE or Cambridge National Sport Studies, the opportunity to purchase these specific 'qualification uniforms' will still be available, and these continue to be acceptable items of kit from September 2022. 

Our PE department has gone from strength to strength this year, with a huge increase in extra-curricular participation and a much wider range of activities now available. We now look forward to launching the new PE kit which will provide students with much more appropriate apparel to enjoy their lessons in. 

On a completely separate note, if your child becomes unwell whilst at College, they should report to the Well Being Hub where they will be looked after by one of our Pastoral Team. If your child needs to be sent home because they are unwell, a member of the Pastoral Team will contact parents to organise this. To ensure clarity of communication we ask that students don't contact home directly themselves in these circumstances until UCC have made contact. We will be reminding students of this expectation in our daily notices next week.

I hope you have a great weekend.
Mr B Solly