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Following the results of your student vote on what biodiversity

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Following the results of your student vote on what biodiversity Powered By Docstoc

16 July 2009

Dear Parents/Carers

I will write to you again at the start of the new academic year to report on the Key Stage
3, 4 and Post 16 examination performances. I am hoping that the progress we have made
in the last few years has been sustained and that our value added has continued to
improve. I would like to put on record my thanks to all the staff and students for their
hard work and support during this academic year and hope they all have a well deserved
and relaxing holiday.

Start of the next academic year
Friday 4 September 2009 – school will be open for Year 7, Year 11 and the Lower Sixth
Monday 7 September 2009 – school will be open for all years

Staffing Changes
The following colleagues are leaving or retiring at the end of term. We thank them for
everything they have brought to St Wilfrid’s and wish them well in whatever they do in the

Miss H Reece, Deputy Headteacher
Mr Sloan, Assistant Headteacher
Mr R Abell, Assistant Headteacher
Mrs J Hopkinson, Assistant Headteacher, Post 16
Mrs M Cullen, Teacher of Mathematics
Mr S Walker, Teacher of Geography
Mrs J Gauld, Teacher of Chemistry
Mr C Keady, Teacher of Music
Mrs M Moss, Teacher of Textiles
Mr J Holden, Teacher of Design & Technology
Miss E Lawton, Teacher of English

We welcome the following new colleagues from September 2009:

Mrs K Coomber, Assistant Headteacher, Leader of Learning and Director of Training
Mrs J Canning, Assistant Headteacher – Coordination of Post 16 Achievement and Learning
Miss A Haselden, Assistant Headteacher, Post 16 Achievement and Learning (temporary
Mr C Forrest, Teacher of Physics
Mrs L Styler, Teacher of Chemistry
Mrs A Kirkpatrick, Teacher of English
Mrs S Handley, Teacher of English
Ms A Lockett, Teacher of English
Mr M Grime, Teacher of English
Miss S Candland, Teacher of Mathematics
Mrs H Wadee, Teacher of Mathematics
Mr P Reynolds, Teacher of Music
Mrs T Penny, Teacher of Textiles
Mr D Allen, Teacher of Product Design
Ms J Garrett, Teacher of Art and Design
Mr P Metcalfe, Teacher of Geography
Mrs K Simpson, Teacher of Geography
Mr J McCartney, Teacher of History
Miss V Scott, Training School Administrator

Staff achievements
Mr Hughes-Gooding, Learning Coordinator for Science was elected as a Fellow of the
Institute of Biology on 18 June. The Institute of Biology has over 12000 Members
throughout the world but only 1200 are elected as Fellows. The fellowship is given to those
who have made a significant contribution to Biology.

School Day
As you will know, we are moving towards a different school day with a common start of
8.45am and finishing time of 3.20pm. I trust that you all have had the information about
this. If you require a further copy of the school day you can download this from the school

Lunchtime arrangements
We will detail the arrangements for lunchtime with students during the first week of
assemblies next term. We will be using different venues for packed lunches and the
organisation of the dinner queues will be changed. We are concerned at the number of
students who rely on the £1.50 credit available on the school system. At the end of this
term we have nearly 800 students who have used up this credit. At the start of next term
we will be removing this facility. We would encourage you to make sure that students who
do wish to purchase food within the school have credit on the system. We have found that
not having the correct money on the system is wasting time during the lunchtime.
Students in the future should not purchase food if they do not have enough credit to pay
for it. With the downturn in the economy there may be families who now qualify for free
school meals. If this is the case, please contact the school and we will give you all the help
and support you need confidentially to secure this grant. May I stress that there is no
stigma attached to qualifying for free school meals and this information is not shared with
anybody else with the cashless system protecting students from any embarrassment. We
are also looking into the possibility of allowing parents to pay directly from their bank
account into the cashless system. As soon as we have further information on this we will
be in touch with all parents.

Sixth Form Centre
On our return in September, the Sixth Form Centre will be open which will provide and
enhance the facilities we have as a Post 16 provider. For those students in Year 10 and 11
we hope that this facility will encourage them to consider St Wilfrid’s as a Post 16

Car Parking
Since our rebuilding of the new school and the planning restrictions on the provision of
parking spaces on the school site, we have continued to have a problem with parking on
the site. This will be exacerbated by us no longer using the Sixth Form building on the
other side of Duckworth Street. We have a staff car parking dispensation from Lidl who
are concerned about the volume of parking on their site and will, in the future, review our
use of this facility. In discussions with the Manager of Lidl, staff cars which have a staff
car parking permit displayed will be allowed to park at Lidl. Any other cars, ie sixth form
students will risk, in the future, being clamped. Can I plea with parents not to use the
parking area or turnaround area in school to drop students off. Parents are continuing to
come on the school site at busy times adding to the traffic hazard and putting students at
risk. We have continued to ask politely that you do not do this. From September, we will
approach parents who fail to follow our request and take the matter further.

At one of our recent Information Evenings, a parent requested that the reception should be
open longer. Can I confirm that the Reception is manned from 8.00am to 4.30pm each
day. The volume of calls between 8.00am – 8.30am is large and, therefore, on occasions,
parents might immediately go on to the answer phone.

Biodiversity Projects/Eco schools
Following the results of the student vote on what biodiversity projects to introduce at St
Wilfrid’s, permission and funding have been given to start a kitchen garden allotment
within one of the school quadrangles.

St Wilfrid's already has Bronze Award and this along with lots of work done on
waste/recycling we should be in a position to apply for Silver Award in the next academic

Mr Aston, Miss Heaps and several students have worked hard this term clearing an existing
shrub bed and building raised beds ready for the next school year when it can start being
used. In the September term Miss Heaps will be starting a gardening club which will be
the first to start using the allotment. There will be many more activities and chances to
get involved following that. Anyone who is interested in attending a lunch time gardening
club can give their names to Miss Heaps.

Sporting Achievements
Year 7 Rounders Team is undefeated this year in all their Friendly matches and reached
the semi final of the Blackburn with Darwen Tournament. Year 8 Rounders team reached
the final of the Blackburn with Darwen Tournament.

Year 7/8 Girls’ Cricket Team has started for the first time ever and the team is undefeated
this term.

The Celebration of Dance Team took part in the King George’s Hall event and were invited
back to take part in an open air concert in the town centre.

The Under 14s Boys Team finished 1st in the Blackburn with Darwen Celebration Run with
Robert Jeffers coming in 1st. The Under 14s Girls team also finished 1st with Nina Stirrup
coming 1st.

At the Blackburn with Darwen Town Athletics Championship the boys finished overall
winners and the girls team finished 2nd overall. A fantastic achievement.

The Year 9 cricket team reached the final 16 of the Lancashire School Cup, whilst the Year
10 side reached the Town semi-finals.

The Under 16s Girls Football team won the ESFA National Cup at the City of Manchester
Stadium, as well as retaining their Lancashire Cup and BDSSA Town Championship. An
amazing feat.

Extending Schools/Summer Holiday Activities
There is a link under Information for Parents and Students on the school website that
parents and students can access if they would like to find out more about what activities
are going on over the summer holidays.

Expressive Arts
The main Arts highlights this year have been the primary liaison events including the
Transition Concert and KS3 Drama Club's production 'Tales from the Diary Room' to Year 5
at St Luke and St Phillip's. The 'Last Night of the Proms' and Art Exhibition were very well
received and, of course, our whole school musical 'The Wizard of Oz' in February was a
great success for everyone. Please try and support our events during 2009/2010.

PE Kit
A new PE kit has been designed and is available from our stockists. May I stress that this
is only for Year 7 students.

School Ties
The Governors have made the decision that students, if they wish, may purchase a clip on
tie which are available from our stockists. So that we can identify the year group that
students are in, we are also looking into embroidering the year of school entry on to the
bottom of the students’ ties. This will be done by our stockists in the future but we are
looking into the possibility of having this embroidery work done next year for years 7,8
and 9.

Swine Flu
You will have received a letter about swine flu. I apologise that the letter from the Health
Protection Agency should have read St Wilfrid’s and not Pleckgate High School. We now
have four confirmed cases of swine flu in school.

We will have available on the school website from September our promotional DVD. The
most effective marketing the school can achieve is through parents within their local
church communities being prepared to promote the opportunities that students experience
at St Wilfrid’s. Factual evidence shows that over the last five years we have been
undersubscribed with Christian applications. During the last two years approximately 190
Christian families have accepted places at St Wilfrid’s. Please, through your attendance at
church, can you share this message with other Christian families who are considering
secondary admissions in years to come.

Our Open Evening is on Tuesday 22 September 2009 between 4.00pm – 8.00pm. Our
Open Week is week commencing Monday 28 September 2009.

Can I also please urge you to think twice before allowing your sons and daughters to be
away from you at sleepovers/ parties. It enables them to hide what they may be doing
when they are away from you. Alcohol, smoking and drugs are the scourge of our society.
Together they combine to ruin so many lives.

As we approach the seven week holiday can I ask you to always know where your sons
and daughters are during this vacation. We all want them to return to school safely for the
challenges of a new academic year.

I wish you all a very happy summer break.

Yours sincerely,

David A S Whyte