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Weekly Bulletin 18/11/2022

Please see the latest bulletin/newsletter below...

Dear UCC families 

I hope this Newsletter finds you all well. This week we have used the national campaign for Anti Bullying Week to embed a commitment amongst our students against all forms of bullying. I have to say, the vast majority of our students have taken this seriously and genuinely model all of our school values consistently in the manner they treat people. On Monday we asked all students to sign our Anti Bullying Charter, which was created in partnership with our Student Council; the charter outlines what our students commit to doing as well as identifying what our staff will do regarding bullying. We will always deal with issues when we see them, or have them reported to us, and I hope we have now established and communicated a clear framework for how students can report bullying or unacceptable behaviour when it occurs. I think it will always be a work in progress, but we are determined to create an environment where everyone is genuinely valued and feels safe  - for those that compromise this through poor choices, we have to deal with their unacceptable conduct appropriately and then spend time educating them on how to treat people, develop their empathy and compassion for others, as well as supporting them to address their own issues which in most cases are the core reason for unkindness towards others. 

Rutland Festival of Remembrance:
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Rutland Festival of Remembrance Concert at Uppingham School. This was an event, organised by Dr Sarah Furness, the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland (a former UCC governor and current UCC Patron), which showcased incredible performances from across the Rutland community. All the performances were superb, and all local schools contributed brilliantly. Our students represented UCC extremely well and I have subsequently received some wonderful feedback on their performances. Florence Smith played a flute solo of The Girl With The Flaxen Hair, by Claude Debussy, which was amazing. Before her, Connie Wood, Amelie Wilson, Owen Berrett, George Gumbeer and Eddie Lawday impressively performed a poem 'Who Are These Men?'  The whole event was absolutely fantastic and the UCC performances were a real highlight for me. 

More Florence Smith brilliance...One of our Head Students, Florence Smith, received a Highly Commended Prize in the biggest poetry competition for teenagers in the world. In this competition, the top 100 poems were selected by illustrious poet-judges Anthony Anaxagorou and Mona Arshi, from more than 13,500 poems submitted by over 6,600 poets aged 11-17 from across the UK and more than 100 countries worldwide. The link to the competition press release is here, you can see Florence towards the left-hand side. What an amazing achievement!

With the World Cup starting this weekend, I've been inundated with requests to make a decision about whether or not we show the England game that kicks off at 1pm on Monday. I've thought long and hard about this but I find it very hard to justify disrupting period 4 and 5 for the whole school for this game. The main reasons are:

  • We lose a number of Monday's during the year because of Bank Holidays. For 'Options' subjects in Key Stage 4, double lessons fall on a Monday and there are a number of learning hours lost, particularly for Y11. This has been further compounded this year by an additional Monday Bank Holiday for the King's Coronation next May.
  • The game starts at 1pm - this is an awkward time for us as it would compromise period 4 and 5
  • The game also straddles our lunch time which adds further complications
  • Some people do not like football and will be upset to have their learning disrupted 
  • For people who like football, we can watch the highlights (if there are any) or indeed the full game, when we get home

I appreciate this will be disappointing news to some, but it is one of those things that will polarise opinions whatever the decision, so I'll just wear my tin hat for a few days and take the flak.
Capital projects update:
The conversion of our former nursery building into a vocational teaching facility is progressing well and is due for completion before Christmas. Groundworks on the new MFL teaching block start next week and this will reduce some of the parking capacity in our car park. It would be very helpful if parents could arrange to collect their child/children at 3:20pm, as the car park is clear of the buses by that time and the congestion begins to ease. It is only 10 minutes after students are released from period 5 and it will make the collection process much smoother for everyone. 

Please take the time to read through the rest of the Newsletter so you are up to speed on everything that has been going on at UCC this week.
I hope you all have a great weekend.
Mr B Solly.