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Parent Bulletin 25/03/2022

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

Dear UCC Families

It has been a week of glorious sunshine at UCC and that has certainly made for a pleasant atmosphere at school throughout the week. I have toured several families of prospective students and they have been very impressed with the calm and purposeful environment around school. 

I have been particularly impressed with Sophie in Year 11, who, as part of her Higher Project Qualification, has delivered assemblies with Mrs Duffy to all year groups about the war in Ukraine. She has done a superb job in raising the awareness of the school community and I am very proud of how she has gone about this work. 

I had the pleasure of watching the final moments of the Year 9 Rugby semi final vs Lutterworth College on Wednesday. The team played brilliantly and have made it through to the final, which is a superb achievement.

After the Easter break we are launching a 'Summer Term Reset' with our students. As the year has progressed we have been gradually filtering back in a number of the systems and processes that had been paused, or even stopped due to the Covid restrictions. We have been deliberately less stringent on uniform for the past 2 years, focussing more on ensuring young people return to school following lockdown periods and engage fully in their learning. A knock on effect has been, however, that the standards have dropped considerably as some students push boundaries and take advantage of that approach. The 'Reset' involves only the very basic expectations, those of uniform, behaviour and the internal structure of the school day - specifically break and lunch.

After Easter, the Reset expectations will be as follows:

  • students will attend school each day in full school uniform
  • in PE lessons, they will return to changing at the start and end of each lesson. This decision has been made based on the fact that the standards of both uniform and PE kit have dropped significantly this year.
  • the staggered break will discontinue meaning all students will have a 20 minute break between Period 2 and 3
  • there will be multiple locations for students to collect pre orders and purchase food via a counter service
  • mobile phone use will no longer be acceptable before school whilst on site. This is because there has been a number of incidents where mobile phones have been used inappropriately, causing distress to other students and a considerable amount of staff time to resolve issues
  • Smart watches will no longer be allowed. This is because students can use them to communicate with others during the school day, which can lead to safeguarding and behaviour risks, as well as a distraction from learning
  • the jewellery rules will be enforced more consistently than has been happening in recent years 
  • unacceptable items of jewellery will be confiscated temporarily if they are brought into school. There will be an escalating serious of sanctions for repeat offences
  • acrylic nails are not acceptable for health and safety reasons. Students arriving at school with these on will spend their lessons in the Study Room until they are safely removed 
  • the general uniform expectations will be enforced more consistently than has been happening in recent years and a member of staff will check students as they enter the school gates each day

Please take some time to refresh your memory on the school uniform expectations, which can be found on our website: 

I will be speaking to students in assemblies throughout next week regarding these expectations. If, after Easter, your child does not meet these expectations then they will receive a consequence during the school day, in the form of a lunch time detention. Sanctions may escalate further to after-school detentions and students being placed on report. I respectfully request that parents support the school in securing high standards with regard to these expectations. We have high expectations of students so that they are prepared for similar high expectations in the workplace when they reach adulthood, and so they can develop high expectations of themselves with regard to meeting the basic rules and policies of school/work. These are important principles to establish during a young person's formative years and therefore a consistent message from home and school supports this. 

Please take the time to read through the rest of the newsletter.

I hope you have a great weekend.
Mr Solly