St Mary's Catholic College, Wallasey

St Mary's Catholic College
A Voluntary Aided Academy

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End Of Term - Summer 2016

St Mary's Catholic College Wallasey


Dear Parents and Carers

As I write we are preparing to enjoy our annual Enrichment experience with its wide variety of rich learning experiences. Our year culminates in our end of term whole College Mass on the last day, Thursday 21st July 2016.

There have been so many memorable events this year that it is difficult to do justice to them all in this letter and I would continue to encourage you to look regularly at the College website where we are able to go into more detail about many of the events.

I wanted to take this opportunity to share some important pieces of information.

1. Academisation Update

Thank you to all of the parents and students who contributed to the consultation regarding the proposal to join The Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust. Having carefully considered the responses, St Mary’s Governing Body has taken the decision to proceed with the next steps of the conversion process. The final decision will be rest with the Trustees of the Diocese of Shrewsbury.

At this stage we are optimistic that we will receive their support for the conversion and the target date for conversion remains 1st September 2016. The name of our College will remain as St Mary’s Catholic College.

Mr Quinn, Executive Head Teacher of St John Plessington Catholic College, will be joining us from September, as our Executive Head Teacher, and will be working closely with myself and the staff in what will be a flourishing partnership between St John Plessington Catholic College and St Mary's Catholic College.

2. College Uniform and Appearance Policy

There are no changes to our uniform requirements but we will be insisting that students wear their plain grey V necked jumpers, or alternatively plain grey tank tops, in September which students have appeared to view as optional.

I have included a College Uniform and Appearance Policy which seeks to clarify and address some of the frequently asked questions by parents when their child suggests how our Uniform and Appearance policy can be interpreted and which can then lead to issues in College. I hope you will find this helpful.

3. Mobile/Smart Phones and devices

As we know technology has moved on very quickly in recent years and the devices that many young people possess enable them to take photographs, video events, access the internet and social media websites, all of which create potential safeguarding issues whilst the students are in our care. These are in addition to the previous occasional disruption caused in lessons by mobile phones ringing.

As a result of the changes in the technology and the risks it presents, we have taken the decision to ban the use of mobile/smart phones and devices in College from September onwards. Our previous policy allowed their use at break and lunchtimes only.

We recognise that parents may want the opportunity to contact their child on the journey to and from College so students may still have them about their person, that is your decision, but they must be turned off on entering the College site and only switched on again on leaving.

If they are seen being used on the College site they will be taken from the student and parents will need to come into College to collect them. Students have been made aware of this change but can I ask you to reinforce it with your child. If you need to get in touch with your child during the College day this can be done through the College office and similarly in an emergency your child will be allowed to contact you using the College phone-line.

4. Revised College Day

Based on the feedback we have received from students, staff and parents we have considered how we might amend the pattern of the College Day to address some of the limitations that our current day presents, in particular with regards to the length of the lunchtime, the lack of access to outdoor spaces at lunchtime and it not being possible to run extra-curricular clubs at lunchtime. At this point we cannot change the starting time and end time of the day but can adjust timings in between.

From September the College Day will be as follows:

8.35am – 9.30am Lesson 1
9.30am – 10.25am Lesson 2
10.25am – 10.45am Break
10.45am – 11.40am Lesson 3

Years 7, 8 and Sixth Form
11.40am - 12.30pm Lunch Years 7, 8 + Sixth Form
12.30pm – 1.00pm Progress and Aspiration Time Years 7, 8 + Sixth Form

Years 9, 10 +11
11.40am - 12.10pm Progress and Aspiration Time Years 9, 10 and 11
12.10pm – 1.00pm Lunch Years 9, 10 and 11

1.00pm - 1.55pm Lesson 4
1.55pm – 2.50pm Lesson 5


5. Calendar

I enclose a calendar with important dates for 2016/17. A more detailed calendar will continue to appear on the College website and you will receive letters home, closer to the time, reminding you of the key events.

I have already shared the principal calendar dates for 2016/17 with you. In that letter I said that there would be one further Inset Day to be identified, I can now confirm that this is will be Monday 27th February 2016.

There is another very significant change next year regarding our approach to Parents’ Evenings. We have for some time been analysing the feedback from parents as to the limitations of traditional Parents’ Evenings and have been wondering if there is a way to make these more effective. In discussion with St John Plessington they have shared with us the approach that they have taken with Years 7 to 10 where they have replaced Parents’ Evenings with Review Days. In a Review Day parents do get to meet their child’s individual subject teachers but appointment systems, which are possible given the larger window of time, mean that extensive queuing to see teachers is avoided and confidentiality is much more easily achieved. Parental feedback there suggests that parents find this approach far better than the previous “traditional” Parents’ Evening. Consequently we have decided to take this approach to Years 7 to 10 next year and the dates for these are:

Friday 18th November 2016 Years 7 and 10
Friday 27th January 2017 Years 8 and 9

N.B. The College is closed to students on both these days and students in the
respective year groups involved only need to be in College with their parents at the
time of their appointments.

6. Emailing letters to parents and updating phone numbers

At this time last year I asked parents to provide a current email address where we could send relevant letters, in addition to hard copies that will still go out through the student post or postal delivery. Many parents have taken advantage of this. Please send in email contact details, if you would like to be added to the circulation list.

Similarly we are able to send messages to parents via mobile phone texts. Please inform us if you change your mobile number.

7. End of term arrangements – Thursday 21st July 2016

Students will be dismissed from College at 1pm. Lunch will be available in the canteen for any students who want to purchase it.

As has been the case for some time, College buses, because of their contracts with Merseytravel, are not officially allowed to change the regular times of the services, although some do come early.

We would suggest that students and parents make alternative arrangements for this day but if students are unable to do this they will be able to stay in College, supervised by staff, until 2.50p.m, when any remaining buses will arrive.

8. Start of new term arrangements

There are Staff Inset days on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd September 2016.

Monday 5th September 2016
Only Year 7 and Year 12 are in College on Monday 5th September 2016.
Students need to arrive to enter into the College buildings by 8.30 a.m. at the very latest.

Tuesday 6th September 2016
All Year Groups are in College.
Students need to arrive to enter into the College buildings by 8.30 a.m. at the very latest.

I hope you enjoy the summer holidays with your children. Let us hope that the sun shines on us all.

Thank you again for all your support this year.

Yours sincerely

Mr A Boyle


Wallasey Village, Wallasey, Wirral, CH45 3LN
T: 0151 639 7531 F: 0151 201 4514
Headteacher: Mr. A. Boyle BSc. (Hons)