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Weekly Bulletin 10/02/2023

Please see the latest bulletin below....

Dear UCC Families

We started the week with a visit from a local headteacher, Mr Cox, who leads Oakham C of E and The Parks. We have a number of students in our Mainstream Plus class who attended his schools and they requested that he visit them here so he could see how much progress they have made. It was a really lovely opportunity for these students to showcase how much they’ve developed and learned whilst at UCC. Mr Cox was thoroughly impressed with the nurturing environment we have created for this group, who certainly have a strong sense of belonging at UCC after only 1.5 terms. 

As part of internet safety week our students have, throughout the week, been educated on how to stay safe online. This advice is updated regularly, given the ever changing nature of the internet and the dangers it can pose to young people. It really is a minefield and it is incredibly challenging for young people to navigate through this, and even harder for us adults, who are usually a couple of steps behind in understanding the technology. As a parent, the most you can do is try and keep as up to date as you can with what your child is engaging with online, and have honest and open dialogue with them about the dangers and how to protect themselves. The NSPCC website has numerous guides to various platforms that your child is likely to be using with their smartphone and it is well worth exploring these:

On Monday this week we asked the school community to complete a survey as part of a trait mindfulness study. We accrued a sample of over 700 responses, which is remarkable and Jo Kendall, who is leading the study, has written to express her gratitude to our whole school community for the support we have provided for her. She will share the findings of her research once the study is completed.

I would like to congratulate our Year 10 boys football team, who have progressed to the semi final of the Team Leicestershire cup. I watched part of their quarter-final win vs Woodbrook Vale yesterday and I was tremendously impressed with their team spirit, positive attitudes and relentless hard work. The Woodbrook Vale teacher commented to Mr Laywood on the conduct of our students, who upheld our school values on the football pitch and represented the school so well in a very competitive environment. 

Some of you might be aware of the sad news that a former UCC teacher, governor and all-round incredible person, Margaret Jennings MBE sadly passed away last weekend. Margaret was appointed to Uppingham Community College in 1969 and retired in December 1991 at the age of 59 because she wanted to “choose when to retire.” In addition to teaching Typing, Home Economics, Humanities and Geography, she also from time to time taught English and RE. She became a governor 2 years after she retired and continued in this voluntary role for 27 years, making a significant contribution to the development of the college.

Margaret gave unstintingly of her time and she was staunch a supporter of the college through its many incarnations. She was instrumental in setting up Uppstarts Nursery and worked closely with Rutland Adult Learning to provide courses held at the college. She involved UCC students in “Rutland Sailability” (accessible sailing) in relation to the social care aspect of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. As a governor Margaret played an important role in the college, acting as a critical friend with a consistent attention to detail, ensuring that the students’ best interests were always at heart. She was the link governor for the Humanities department, which she visited regularly, consulting with staff and students and providing astute and precise reports for the full governing body. She also helped with as many college events as she could, including being a lap recorder on our 2017 whole school sponsored walk. External to UCC, Margaret acted as a Bishop’s Visitor, supporting the local church primary schools and their headteachers in this part of the Peterborough Diocese. She was awarded an MBE in 2019 for her services to the Rutland community. 

Uppingham Community College has been very fortunate to have benefited from Margaret's insight and wisdom over many years and it is difficult to imagine how she managed to find the time to commit the hours of voluntary activity she undertook. The students, staff and governors owe a great debt to her and are grateful to her for her investment in the success of the college over such an impressive period of. She has arguably had the most significant impact on this school community since its conception. She was a wonderful, kind and generous person and she will be sorely missed.

Please take the time to read the rest of the Newsletter.

I hope you have a great weekend.
Mr Solly