Year 9 Welcome Letter

September 2022

Dear Parent,

I am delighted to welcome back our Year 9 pupils, I hope you all had a lovely summer break. The students have made an impressive start to the academic year, looking very smart, displaying a mature attitude and a sensible approach to their classes.

This is the most important academic year your child has yet to face. In Year 9 pupils must build upon knowledge and achievements gained in the lower school and must also prepare for choices and life in the upper school. Pupils must be looking forward to and focussing on their option choices, further communication about this will be sent to parents later in the year. 

This year the form tutor, myself and you, as the parent must work together to ensure that your child takes advantage of all that Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College has to offer. In order to achieve this it is vital that we focus on the following:

  • Maintaining good attendance and punctuality
  • Continuing the excellent standards of school uniform
  • Ensuring homework is completed and handed in on time
  • Maintaining good communication between school and home
  • Benefitting from the wide range of extra curricular activities

Firstly, please be reminded that when a student’s attendance is below 95% it is a cause for concern. As you can see from the table below, even at 95% attendance, nearly 50 hours of learning is lost plus all of the benefits of socialising and interacting with peers. 

Ensuring attendance at school is a parent/carer’s legal obligation and we are keen to support parents with this, not least because of the huge amount of national data that proves the correlation between good attendance and academic progress. Please can we ask parents to use the absence line to report any necessary absence. Punctuality  will also continue to be monitored and pupils will be detained if late after the bell at 8.45am. Regular poor punctuality will result in further detentions and each time a child is late they will be given a behaviour point. Please can we ask parents to support us in encouraging good attendance and punctuality. 

Secondly, we are excited to report that staff have been introduced to a new IT system in school which we will eventually roll out to parents in the hope it improves communication with you, enabling us to share your child’s successes in school as well as informing you of any sanctions and the reasoning. It is important to us as staff to praise your child’s successes and offer rewards where possible. This year we would like to invite all students to Drayton Manor at the end of the year and we are hopeful we can take as many of the Year group as possible. The invitation can however be revoked if a student’s behaviour log is not good enough: students can be given behaviour points for a variety of reasons including lack of homework, poor uniform and poor punctuality. Eventually the new IT system will enable you to have a clear view of your child’s successes and behaviour log within school. You will also be able to view your child’s praise points awarded again for a variety of reasons: a good piece of homework, good effort in class, an excellent report, good attendance, attendance to extra curricular clubs. The timetable of extra curricular activities available in school is available to view on our school website. Let’s encourage our students to take advantage of the wide range of free activities available to them.

Finally, we believe communication is the key to building good relationships between school and home and are always keen to meet with parents to resolve matters face to face. We fully understand that urgent issues can arise but please bear in mind that we cannot always see parents who arrive without notice during the school day. Staff are often teaching or in meetings. Please call ahead to arrange a mutually convenient time to meet rather than arrive at school unannounced and risk disappointment if no one is available. Many thanks for your understanding on this matter.

If you wish to contact me or your child’s tutor via email for any reason please do not hesitate.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs N Pritchard

Head of Year 9

Important dates this term:

  • Week commencing Sept 19th: Recall test week
  • Thurs 29th Sept: Open Evening 5-8pm
  • Tues 18th October:Departmental Curriculum Planning Afternoon: School closes at 1.35pm
  • Fri 21st Oct: Students finish for Half Term for 1 week
  • Fri 25th Nov: Teacher Education Day: School is closed
  • Fri 16th Dec: Students finish for Christmas at 12.30pm