February 2015

February 2015
Dear Parents,
As we approach half term, I wish to keep you informed of events in school.  Please, of course, keep in touch via the website and keep up to date with your child’s progress through Go4Schools.  As I mentioned at Christmas, we had two inspections last term, both of which were positive and the reports are available on the school website.  Your child should have had a letter from the diocesan inspector following our Section 48 (RE) Inspection.  Inevitably, the inspectors confirmed our view that St Margaret Ward is a good school, though there are areas we still need to improve and everyone is working hard to that end.
We have been privileged to work with the BBC over the last few weeks and once again the pupils have been outstanding during their involvement in the BBC’s ‘BE SMART’ campaign.  You may have seen and heard footage from our school from a range of outlets, such as the BBC website, Midlands Today, Radio 1, Radio 5, Newsround and The One Show.
In striving to improve our school, I am asking the pupils to be far more conscious of how they appear and as a result, school uniform is much better.  However, there are still some girls who wear inappropriate skirts to school, so from half term, stretchy, tight-fitting skirts are banned.  Not only are those skirts often worn too short, but they ride up as the girls walk and are inappropriate.  Please do your best to replace such skirts over half term.  Correct school skirts can be purchased from either Smart School Uniform in Newcastle or The National Schoolwear Centre in Hanley.  Anyone wearing an inappropriate skirt when we return after half-term (Monday, 23rd February) will be sent to the pastoral office and lent an appropriate skirt to wear.
After half term, I also wish to reinforce our policy which bans chewing gum.  Anyone who is chewing gum in school will be given an after school detention, during which they will be given gloves and a scraper and be supervised removing chewing gum from school furniture.  I expect there to be no more chewing gum in school.
I wish to inform you of how our ‘Pastoral Office’ is intended to work.  We have recently appointed Mrs Brown as our ‘Health and Well-Being Administrator’.  In this role, she has an oversight of the needs of pupils with a medical condition, liaises with pastoral staff and acts as triage for the medical room.  We would appreciate your support in our policy of strongly discouraging pupils from leaving class to go to the medical room, unless there is an emergency, as this will help them to keep up with their studies and to develop resilience.
Please continue to encourage your sons and daughters to take responsibility for their learning, notably by turning up for lessons with the appropriate books (including their literacy handbook and reading book), pen and equipment.
I am sure you will join me in wishing our senior students the best of luck over the coming months as they prepare for GCSEs and A levels.  At this very challenging time they are in our thoughts and prayers as we do our best to help them to be successful.
Thank you for your continued support.
Yours faithfully
Mr C E Smith