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Weekly bulletin 25/11/2022

Please see the latest weekly bulletin and newsletter below...

Dear UCC Families

It's been a challenging week for us with high levels of staff absence due to Covid and severe flu (not to mention the dreadful weather conditions, today aside!). This has meant a great deal of colleagues covering lessons for those who have been struck down with illness, but I have to say, in the vast majority of cases, our students have responded superbly. Lessons have remained calm, focussed and purposeful, which has been great to see.

We received our second of three visits from authors, education consultants and former headteachers John Tomsett and Tom Sherrington on Wednesday. We were selected as one of only six schools to participate in their Improving Teaching Programme, which uses a series of teaching strategies to refine and enhance classroom practice. I feel that every time they visit us we absorb wisdom, knowledge and experience from them. Their astute, analytical and completely non-judgemental approach is entirely aligned with our philosophy for improvement teaching, and we are gradually building a toolkit and framework for all teachers to use that will allow us all to make incremental enhancements to our classroom craft. Ultimately, this means your children will benefit from teachers at UCC who are working collaboratively to always improve their teaching, regardless of their experience, career stage or role in school. 

The assemblies this week from Mrs Hirst and Mr Rhodes were absolutely superb. Building on from Anti-Bullying week, where all tutor groups signed the UCC Anti-Bullying Charter, the messages in assemblies were crystal clear - we will not tolerate any form of prejudice or discrimination at UCC.  As the adults, we have an important job to do in educating students about how we should treat others and celebrate the differences between people. I'm sure this will always be something we work on, but it is critical work for us to do in establishing a safe environment, whilst teaching students important life lessons. We are continuing this theme next week; form tutors will be working with students to establish practical ways in which everyone can contribute to establishing a safe and welcoming environment. 

We are seeing too many students leaving lessons to use the toilet, and this is often a work avoidance strategy, rather than an actual need. Students have 5 minutes in between lessons to use the toilets, as well as 20 minutes at break and 45 minutes at lunch. Teachers have to stick rigidly to these opportunities themselves as they are not able to leave their classes to go to the toilet. Therefore, we will only be allowing students to use the toilets during lessons if they have a medical exemption we are aware of, or if girls urgently need to use the toilet because they are on their period. 

Remember you can view the curriculum offer for your child by visiting the relevant section on our website, or (for KS3 students) view the Curriculum 'Microsoft Sway' document online by clicking here. It is useful to see what your child has been learning and what they are moving onto next, and this information can help start positive conversations about what they have been learning at school. 

The Dining Room staff have noticed that a few students are bringing in Nutella in a pot to try and share with friends. Please could you ensure that your child does not bring any nut-containing products for sharing into school as it goes against our safe allergies procedures. 

Finally from me, just a quick reminder about uniform expectations as the temperature drops. It is getting colder, so students will be wearing coats to school - we allow them to wear coats as they move around the school and at break and lunch, but in their lessons they are asked to remove them. We have school uniform jumpers that students can wear under their blazers, but no other jumpers or hoodies are acceptable.


I hope you have a great weekend.

Mr Solly.