Year 7 Welcome Back Letter 2024

April 2024

Dear Parent,

Welcome back to what is, the final term of Year 7 for your children! I cannot believe how quickly the school year has gone and how well the pupils have settled into school. I hope you will share my sentiment that I am incredibly proud of how they have adapted to secondary school life. They now have just 13 weeks of Year 7 left!

Last term, I was happy to see that many students participated in Lenten fundraising, with all monies going to St David’s Medical Centre, Zimbabwe, and the Father Hudson’s Society. A big thanks to the Year 7 Form teachers and Miss Bone for helping me to man the Year 7 disco, which raised over £300! In addition to this, each form class also ran their own charity initiatives to raise additional money. It was a pleasure to see the Year 7 cohort living out our college virtues by being loving and giving, and using their skills to plan and execute different charity events, from “Guess how many eggs in the Jar?” competitions, to ice cream sales, Star Wars Easter hunts, homemade pens for sale, and everything in between. Students even sponsored Mr James and Mr Black to wear their rival football team scarves for the day!

This term, I have asked form tutors to tell me some things they are proud of and these are their comments:

“7 Ashley are excellent at volunteering for morning liturgy and do an excellent job of it too. They did a great job raising money during Lent.” Mr Hewitt, 7A
“7 Clitherow undertook a bake sale for lent, raising over £70! I am very proud of them for working together for charity! They are also excellent in collective worship and provide plenty of thoughtful and heartfelt prayer intentions.” Miss Castle, 7C
“I am particularly impressed with 7 Jones because they are lively and engaged in everything we do. They came together as a group in lent and used their free time to raise money for charity, showing that they are people of good character!” Mr Bradburn, 7J
“I am so proud of how 7 Line always pull together, and the way they helped each other to settle in and become a group. They also received amazing feedback from SLT when our collective worship was observed; they all made me so proud.” Mrs McCormack, 7L
“I am proud of 7 Pritchard’s behaviour in assembly and how many of them volunteer to do jobs around the school and participate in chaplaincy. My form produced an excellent bake sale for their Lenten charity, showing the cohesive nature of the form group.” Mr Jacobs, 7P
“7 Sutton are an amazing form group. They are so enthusiastic with the quiz, keen to read and listen to our current book and all are prepared to take part in collective worship.” Mr James, 7S
“I am proud of the way 7 Wall students have settled into BEOCC life, taking part in school teams and clubs.” Ms Herbert, 7W

Students are regularly praised in assembly, with Year 7 still receiving a high number of nominations from teachers for pupil of the week. It is important that we celebrate our students for many aspects; if your child has achieved something outside of school please let me know, and I will be happy to praise them in assembly!

Year 7 continue to wear their uniform proudly, and this is something that reflects the cohesive nature of their cohort. There have recently been some pupils who have not had suitable coats in school. Although the weather is warming up (sporadically), I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that hoodies and zip up hoodies are not suitable and that students should be wearing black or navy coats only. Please make sure that if your child is not wearing the correct school uniform, you notify the office or send them in with a note from home explaining this, and if possible, giving an approximate date upon which the issue will be rectified. I have a bank of ties that students can borrow from me short-term if need be. As always, please continue to ensure that all PE kit and uniform is named so that it can be returned to pupils if lost. Do get in touch if there are any difficulties regarding uniform.

Last term, the attendance percentage for Year 7 was 93.2%, which is slightly lower than the previous term.
We understand that pupils may suffer with colds and other minor illnesses, however, if your child is well enough and is not exhibiting a temperature, we suggest that they still attend school. Please remember to report any absences to the school office by calling 01905 352615 or via the school app. Please note that medical evidence may be requested for extended or repeated periods of absence due to illness, and in some cases attendance letters will be sent home.

This term, we will be running an attendance reward programme; pupils who have achieved 100% attendance for the week will be entered into a prize draw, with lots of goodies up for grabs! Each week of full attendance will provide one entry into the prize draw.

The majority of students continue to uphold our high standards of behaviour in school. When students occasionally fall short of our expectations, sanctions are put into place and restorative conversations are held to ensure that students are given the best possible chance of succeeding.

Social Media and Online Activity
Later this term, we will be discussing social media and group messaging with all pupils in Year 7 through our circle time programme. Whilst group chats are a nice way for pupils to stay in touch with friends outside of school, there are also instances where group chats can leave pupils vulnerable to unkind behaviour of others.
The age limit for WhatsApp is 16 years old, due to the fact that up to 250 people can be added to one chat, amongst other things. In addition, I strongly urge you to consider your child’s use of online and social media accounts, and monitor their activity, just as you would expect to know their whereabouts in the physical world.
Should you choose to allow your child access to social media, please encourage them not to become involved in online disputes and instead, raise this with a member of college staff as soon as possible.
If you have any concerns regarding online safety or safeguarding, please contact us in College.

PGL Residential Trip
Although this subheading has appeared in all of my welcome back letters so far, this time of year is when students begin to get excited about the trip, which is in just a few short weeks. There are currently three spare places on the trip so please do contact us if your child has recently decided they would like to attend. Those students who are still in school from Wednesday 8 May until Friday 10 May, will follow an adapted timetable, the details of which will be provided to them in plenty of time. There will be an online Google Meet to discuss the trip on Tuesday 23 April at 6.00pm. Parents will be sent the invite code via a synergy text message.

If you would like to find out more about the trip, please follow the link below.

Parents/carers or guardians of Free School Meal, Looked After and Service Children may be eligible through the Pupil Premium Grant for assistance with the cost of Educational Trips and Visits, please contact the finance office for more information.

This Half Term
As always, there are many things to look forward to this term. Below is a list of key dates for this half term for you to be aware of:

  • Thursday 2 May – students finish at 1.35pm due to a curriculum planning afternoon
  • Monday 6 May – Bank holiday Monday – college closed
  • Wednesday 8 May – Friday 10 May- PGL residential
  • Friday 24 May – students finish for half term at 3.15pm

If there are any issues, questions or if you need any support with any aspect of College life,
please do not hesitate to contact me.

With best wishes,

Mrs K Rice
Head of Year 7