St Julians School

Headteacher's Update to Parents 05/02/2019

Dear Parent / Carer

I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on both the general progress the school is making and on specific recent events of which you will be aware of.

I would like to start by thanking you for your support and understanding with my decision to close the school early on Monday 4th February. In terms of the exact details, an electrical fault was discovered on the school site at 10am. Due to the presence and smell of smoke, the fire service were called and a full scale evacuation of the school took place. Whilst the fire service continued to check the main building, we were able to ensure all students were warm and safe by utilising the Technology and Jubilee Blocks and the East lower corridor. During this time I would like to credit the behaviour of our students and collaboration of our staff. Once it was apparent that the site would not have power restored until the end of the day, I made the difficult decision to close the school.

We are grateful of the support from the Fire Service, Western Power and Newport Norse in reacting so quickly and rectifying the situation. At all times the safety and well-being of students and staff were paramount in the decisions we had to make. With the disruption caused by the snow on Friday followed by Monday’s events, we are now hoping for a calm three weeks of learning to take us up to February half-term.

Thank you to all parents and carers who have been able to find time to complete the recent questionnaire provided by Estyn. I am sure it will give us all an accurate picture of the progress we are making alongside the areas which require further attention.

On this theme, many of you will have noticed and possibly been concerned with the publication of the recent categorisation information last week. At this time I would like to draw your attention to a letter I sent to parents and carers around this time last year. I would also like to refer to information contained in the recent Governing Body Annual Report to Parents. Outcomes at Key Stage 3,4 and 5 have improved in recent years to the highest ever achieved by our school and Estyn have conducted four monitoring visits to the school over the past 18 months, each time recognising the progress that is being made. However, due to our ‘special measures’ support category we are tied to a Red categorisation, regardless of the improvements that have been made.

As I have shared with you before, you cannot judge a school simply by a colour, nor should you judge it solely by examination outcomes. Our job is to help your children grow, mature and thrive in the challenges faced by young people today and ultimately, become exceptional young adults. If you don't think that is happening, please come and talk to us about it. It doesn't take a colour to tell you if that is working or not, you will know by the young person who comes home each day.

Headteacher/Pennaeth

 

(A PDF version of this letter can be downloaded below)