Tomorrow, Tuesday, 15th October representatives from Cardinal Newman College; Runshaw College; Preston’s College; Myerscough; Blackburn and Training 2000 will be in the LRC at lunch time to answer any questions pupils have regarding their post 16 options. Please encourage your child to ‘drop in’, especially year 11 pupils as the deadline for their post 16 applications is 6th December. It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to get their questions answered.
Many thanks for your support.
Mrs L Pilling
Assistant Head Teacher
14 Oct 2019
Early Closure Thursday, 17th October
11 Oct 2019
Dear Parent / Carer,
Following the sad and sudden news of Miss Spruyt’s death last week, I am now in a position to share details of the funeral.
It will be held at Christ Church,Wyresdale Rd, Lancaster LA1 3EA, at 2pm on Thursday, 17 October.
Miss Spruyt was a dedicated teacher and a gifted Mathematician, who had been at St Mary’s since 2011. Understandably, her loss has been keenly felt by staff and pupils. I have had requests from many members of staff that they would like to attend the funeral and pay their respects. Both the Governors and I are happy to grant these requests, but as a consequence, school will close on Thursday, 17 October at 11:30am.
We will run the normal school day for Periods 1 and 2, and have breaktime to allow pupils to get something to eat. Pupils in receipt of Free School Meals will also be able to receive their food at this time. School buses have been altered to allow for an 11:30am pick-up. As a result of this unplanned closure, you may wish for your child to remain on school premises until the regular finish time of 3pm. We can accommodate this as some staff will still be on site, but whilst we can supervise your child, I must stress that they will not be in formal lessons. Similarly, they would not be allowed off site until 3pm, and we will not be able to provide any food after breaktime has ended. In addition, school buses will only run at 11:30am. If you would like your child to stay in school, please inform the main office using the usual contact methods by Tuesday, 15 October 3pm.
We are planning to hold a memorial service for Miss Spruyt after half-term, which all in our community will have the opportunity to attend. Miss Spruyt’s family have indicated that they would be happy for pupils to attend the funeral service. Whilst we understand that Miss Spruyt’s loss is deeply felt across our whole community, can I ask parents to consider carefully whether they wish to remember Miss Spruyt and support her family through prayer and reflection at home, or by attending the funeral in person. Should your child wish to attend the funeral, please ensure that they are in full school uniform and accompanied by a responsible adult. Unfortunately, transport to and from Lancaster cannot be provided by school.
Please continue to remember Miss Spruyt and her family in your prayers.
Mr P Thompson
Headteacher letter to parents Oct 2019
07 Oct 2019
Dear Parents / Carers,
We have enjoyed a purposeful and productive start to the new school year. Our Year 7 starters have settled tremendously well and are already an integral part of our community. The same can be said about our new teaching staff. At the start of the month we welcomed Mr Murphy (English/Maths Intervention), Miss Jones (RE), Mrs Morrissey (Maths), Miss Donnelly (English), Mrs McConville (2nd in English) and Mr Weaver (Curriculum Leader for Humanities). They are already proving excellent additions to our staff body.
Year 11 Leavers
Please remember our Year 11 leavers in your prayers. Through their effort and hard work, as well as the time and dedication of their teachers, they achieved some fantastic GCSE results. We wish each and every one the very best in their future as they embark upon college courses, apprenticeships and work.
Parent’s Information Evening
We have already held two big events this term. The first was our Parent’s Information Evening for current parents. These were very well attended and were an opportunity for us to update you on school matters. The slides from the evening are available to view here. In relation to this evening, I’d just like to remind all parents that your log-in details for the new school homework app, ClassCharts, will be issued in the very near future.
I wrote to you all in the summer regarding the wearing of school jumpers. As was mentioned at the Parent’s Information Evening, this is not a new rule of the school, rather it is one that has slipped in the past and one that we are now looking to re-inforce from October half-term to Easter. We are a very smart looking school and very proud of the way each child looks. It will remain the case that all pupils can remove their blazers and jumpers if the classrooms are too hot. However, listening to parental feedback, we are making the wearing of jumpers optional for Year 11.
Our recent Open Evening saw the school almost bursting at the seams with prospective new starters. We welcomed over 800 visitors and they were treated to a range of fantastic activities on the night. The stars of the evening were our pupil helpers. They were outstanding ambassadors for St Mary’s!
Cycling to and from school
We are delighted that a good number of our pupils cycle to and from school. Cycling brings many health and environmental benefits and we would like, if possible, to increase the numbers who cycle. We try and promote good cycling habits and will continue to work with the Department for Transport’s Bikeability scheme. However, both staff and parents have raised their concerns regarding the lack of cycling helmets being worn. In reality, many youngsters no doubt feel wearing a helmet is embarrassing, especially when they think they are the only one. However, our roads can be very dangerous and wearing a helmet can prevent life-changing injuries in the event of an accident. Therefore, I am proposing the introduction of a compulsory helmet safety rule which would apply to all cyclists in every year group. However, I would like to hear your views as parents and carers as to your thoughts before such a rule is announced. Please feel free to submit your views by October half-term to firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting the school on 01772 421909.
On the first day of term, I spoke to all year groups in assembly. I explained to them that last year they had told school there were not enough opportunities for boys and girls to have a say in matters that affect them in school. Therefore this year we are raising the profile of pupil voice at St Mary’s. Each form has been invited to elect 2 form representatives - young people who can bring ideas from their tutor group to a newly formed school council. This school council will have opportunities to raise important matters directly to the Senior Leadership Team.
In addition, concerns raised by pupils has seen the school install dedicated recycling bins for plastic bottles. Care for the environment will be at the forefront of our newly formed pupil Eco-Council. Please encourage your child to use these bins, or, better still, see if they can bring re-usable bottles to school. There are facilities available to re-fill them. We are also looking into the use of plastics within the catering team.
In addition, every child has been informed about a new online bullying reporting form which is accessible via the school website or St Mary’s smartphone app. Bullying is rare at St Mary’s, but every child deserves the right to raise any concerns they have about themselves or a friend. Again, please encourage your child to use this system if they need, or contact school through the usual channels yourself. Any concerns will be acted upon swiftly.
I am conscious that whilst talking about St Mary’s responsibility to the environment and recycling, this letter has been sent out on paper to almost 700 parents! Ideally, we would be in a position as a school to send all communication out to home via electronic means, but we need your support in this matter. The school does have a smartphone app called SZapp. It is accessible via your phone’s app store. Please look for ‘SZapp’ and download. The parent code needed to access the app is 2820.
Many thanks for your continued support for the school,
Mr P Thompson
Y7 Welcome Mass 2019
02 Oct 2019
Dear Parent / Carer,
After a busy and exciting first couple of weeks here at St Mary’s, I hope that your child has settled in well and is forming strong and lasting friendships with other students. To celebrate the beginning of your child’s journey in our school, we will be holding a Year 7 Welcome Mass here at school in the drama theatre on Tuesday, 8th October 2019 at 2:00 p.m.
This Mass seeks to recognise and celebrate all who are involved in the lives of our new year 7 pupils: parents, grandparents, family, parish, friends, primary school, and of course our school staff and governors. We therefore invite them all to join us.
I hope that you will be able to attend this celebration for what will be an enjoyable afternoon.
Please can I ask that you complete this reply slip to confirm the number of people from your family who will be attending to celebrate Mass. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me on the telephone number listed at the top of this letter. Please return the reply slip no later than Friday, 4th October 2019.
I look forward to welcoming you to our Mass.
School Lay Chaplain.
Enrichment and Extra Curricular
02 Oct 2019
Dear Parent /Carer,
Please follow the link for information on Enrichment and Extra Curricular activities available to pupils.
As a school community we would like to invite as many different employers, employees and training providers as possible, to participate in our Year 10 Mock Interviews and / or our annual Careers Fair. If you feel you are able to showcase your profession or field of work, we would love to hear from you.
For more information, please follow the links below. Should you wish to support our pupils by attending these events, one or both, please complete the online sign up form below the information, or contact me directly on the email address below.
Please also feel free to forward this email with any friends or family members who you think may be willing to support us. Our Careers Fair is open to all other local High Schools and so a good attendance is guaranteed.
It is with the utmost sadness that I write to you today.
Over the weekend one of our Maths teachers, Miss Amelia Spruyt, sadly died. She suffered a sudden and severe brain haemorrhage on Saturday and passed away on Sunday. I have broken the news to the staff and to all children in a special assembly this morning.
Understandably, as a school community we are in a state of shock. Miss Spruyt was a fabulous character to have around school and was a much loved, valued and respected teacher, colleague and friend and we will all miss her.
Rest assured that support for all members of St Mary’s is available. Anthony, our Chaplain, and our pastoral staff are on hand to talk to and support any child who would benefit from their guidance. We all react differently to news such as this, but it can spark sadness, upset or even anger. These are perfectly normal responses. However, if you would like to contact school regarding any particular need for your child, then please feel free to email email@example.com, or call 01772 421909 and we will put you in touch with the relevant member of staff.
It is too early yet to know about any arrangements for the funeral, once these are known, we will make a decision as to how best we can honour Miss Spruyt’s memory. We have set-up a book of condolence for pupils and staff to contribute to, and we will pass this to the family at an appropriate time.
One thing I have asked of pupils is that they do not discuss this event on any form of social media. At this difficult time, I don’t believe social commentary would be helpful. We have to be respectful of Miss Spruyt and her family and I know I can count on your understanding on this matter.
As a school community and family we are strong. We will need this strength to support one another over the coming days. Please remember Miss Spruyt and her family in your prayers, and may she rest in peace.
Mr P Thompson
27 Sep 2019
Dear Parents / Carers,
You are invited to attend our new ‘Speakeasy’ parent / carer information sessions, between 6-7pm on the following dates;
Wednesday, 6th Nov 2019
Wednesday, 25th March 2020
Wednesday, 17th June 2020
At St Mary’s we recognise that you, the parents / carers are the first and best educators of your children and that we, the school, must work in partnership with you to ensure your children develop the knowledge and understanding to make good decisions and keep themselves safe from harm in our sometimes challenging modern day society.
Our new ‘Speak Easy’ parent / carer information sessions are designed to share information, advice and guidance with you, regarding specific, current and relevant local issues. Each session will be delivered by PC Gaskill and supported by senior school staff.
The first session will focus on online safety and sexting. Moving forward, we hope that the content of each session will be determined by you, our parents and carers and therefore we will provide you with opportunities to share your preferences at relevant points closer to the events.
*Year 10 parents / carers, please note that the date is actually Wednesday 6thNovember, not the 8thNovember as stated on the online parental feedback form.
Mrs L Pilling
Open Evening reminder
24 Sep 2019
Dear Parent / Carer,
A reminder that Wednesday, 25th September is our Open Evening and school will close in the afternoon at 12:30 pm. The buses will be at school for this time.
Many of our pupils will be helping out during the evening and it is essential that they come in full school uniform. When they have finished helping they need either to go straight home or stay in the area where they have been helping until they are picked up. The Open Evening is between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm.