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Parent Bulletin 29/04/2022

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

Dear UCC Families

I have spent a lot of time touring various people around school this week. Visitors have included prospective families, prospective candidates for vacancies, and a local headteacher colleague. Every time I have toured the school the focus in lessons has been impressive and school has felt calm. Visitors have commented how the values of the school are palpable, particularly when they witness the interactions between students and staff. It is pleasing to hear such comments from visitors, as when we are immersed in the day to day hustle and bustle of school life, these things can be easily taken for granted.

I met with the Student Council on Thursday to discuss feedback they had collated from their peers, with regard to the summer term reset. They presented the feedback in an incredibly mature and professional manner, and it made me extremely proud of them and the role they are playing in the school. Overall, their feedback was that things have been much better than they thought they were going to be, and I shared with them one of my favourite Seneca quotes 'we suffer more in imagination than we do in reality'. The students identified some key issues that were important to them, for me and other colleagues to consider, and also provided with possible solutions they thought could make a difference. I will meet with them again next week to update them on some changes we can make straight away, and some others which may take a little longer to implement. Overall though, I left the meeting feeling very grateful indeed, to have the privilege of working with such impressive, empathetic and kind young people.

In tutor time today, students watched a video presentation from Mr Anderson, which detailed the next steps in our uniform reset procedure. These steps aim to encourage students to take responsibility for meeting the expected standards each day. From Tuesday next week every student will be given a uniform incentive card, that they will be required to keep in their blazer pocket. If there are any issues with a student's uniform during the school day, these will be recorded on the uniform card by a member of staff. Parents can check when their child has been issued with a C1 Uniform behaviour point by looking at the card for the details. The incentive part of this system is to reward the vast majority of students who wear their uniform with pride every day. Those students with only one mark on their uniform card at the end of each term will be entered into a prize draw. As parents and carers, can I ask that you check this card regularly and be careful to remove it from pockets when washing the blazer. 

We are becoming increasingly aware that there are a number of TikTok accounts / WhatsApp / Instagram groups that have been set up under the UCC name, by students.  There are also numerous form/year group 'WhatsApp' groups etc.  We would like to make you aware as parents/carers that none of these unofficial groups are created or monitored by UCC, and that any content uploaded and shared is at the students' own risk. To support you as parents/carers in helping your child make good choices on-line, here is a link to Social Media guidance produced by the UK Safer Internet Centre which may be of interest. It highlights, for example, that TikTok and Instagram have an age requirement of 13+, whilst for WhatsApp there is an age requirement of 16+.

I had an excellent meeting on Tuesday this week, with Miss Clayton who runs our Eco Club, and Kevin Osbourne from an organisation called Zellar, who are experts in sustainability and eco-energy. Zellar are launching a groundbreaking case study programme with a small group of schools, and we have been selected as one of them! Zellar had already established their case study group, but due to the incredible work of Ed Lever in Y10 and the UCC Eco Group, our reputation for student-led work on becoming a greener and more sustainable school meant that we were approached to be part of this exciting opportunity.

I hope you all have a great bank holiday weekend. Please take the time to read through the Newsletter, so you are up-to-date on everything that has been going on at UCC this week.

Take care
Mr B Solly.