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Parent Bulletin 01/04/2022

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

Dear UCC Families
Each week, the newsletter contains a section requesting that any acts of kindness are sent in, so we can celebrate our students acting kindly towards others. This week, I received a fantastic email from a member of the public, outlining how a group of our students acted kindly and thoughtfully towards his dog, who had escaped.  On Monday evening, a yellow labrador, Teddy, escaped from a local resident's garden and was wandering around Uppingham. A group of UCC students, Marwan, Paris, Lucas and James found the dog, used their ties as an improvised lead, and took it to the Vets. The dog's chip was scanned, the owners (one of whom is a UCC governor) was contacted and Teddy was safely returned home. Amazing! I was so pleased to hear about our students having a positive impact in the local community.
We have reached the end of an extremely challenging term. Our capacity has been stretched to the limit at school, due to the high levels of staff absence because of Covid. This has meant we have had to be constantly covering lessons to ensure a qualified teacher leads every class - thankfully we have made it through to Easter without having to send a year group home for remote learning, or resort to placing a whole year group in the hall for lessons. I know many other schools that have been forced into such measures and I am grateful for the incredible efforts of the UCC team to ensure lessons have continued at a high standard. In fact, when I have been conducting school tours for prospective students, the quality of education and calmness around the school has been very impressive. The staff have worked very hard indeed, but we have achieved this in partnership with our students, who have been magnificent throughout the spring term, and of course yourselves, who have been supportive and understanding. 
I am very conscious that many parents of children in Years 7 & 8 have not been able to visit UCC during the past 2 years. As I have mentioned previously in the newsletter, we will be offering an opportunity in the summer term for students in Key Stage 3 to tour their parents around the school site after the school day. However, we have not scheduled a date yet and will be seeking to communicate this with you by the end of the second week back after Easter.
Today we have continued our support for Ukraine with a blue and yellow non-uniform day, with all of the funds raised going to the Red Cross. I know that some families have applied to host Ukrainian refugees, some of whom will have secondary school aged children. As a school we would like to be supportive with this cause so I would urge any families in this situation to get in touch with us about potential options.
We say goodbye to Mr Clamp today, who has secured a permanent PE contract at Corby Technical School. Mr Clamp is one of many former UCC students who has returned here to work, initially providing maternity cover in the PE department and during this year teaching within the Science department as well. Mr Clamp has been a popular figure with students and staff alike and I am very pleased that he has been able to secure a permanent PE teaching role; these are very competitive posts to achieve! After Easter we welcome a number of new colleagues to Team UCC; Mr Horsfield joins us as a Lead Practitioner in Physics, Mrs Allen joins us as a teacher of Fashion and Textiles, and Mr Chinery joins us as Data Manager.
Geoff Thompson, who is still a governor at UCC (and was Chair for 9 years), was appointed at the High Sheriff of Rutland this week, and officially takes up this role on 5th April 2022 for 1 year. Attached is the press release and photos. I would like to congratulate Geoff on this superb achievement; his work in the local community is highly admirable and since the first day I joined UCC he has been an incredible person to work with. 
Finally, I delivered a series of assemblies this week, outlining the expectations for students after Easter. I appreciate all the supportive and constructive comments that have been received this week and thank you all in advance for supporting your child's start to the summer term by ensuring they come to school each day dressed appropriately and with all of their equipment/kit for learning. If you need to check the website for the uniform expectations, the link is here
Whilst I have acknowledged the challenges experienced this term, my residing reflection has been just how joyful school has felt at times, especially when some of the activities that were lost to the pandemic have been reintroduced. Golden ticket events, trips, sports fixtures, dance festivals, extra-curricular clubs, charity events and competitions have all brought back that sense of enjoyment, fun and laughter that we missed for so long. Thank you to everyone, students and staff, who have given up their time throughout this term to provide these opportunities, they have made a real difference.
I hope you have a great Easter break.
Take care
Mr B Solly