With January safely behind us, we are looking forward to some finer weather and brighter mornings. It has been a busy month, so I hope that pupils, members of staff and parents all have a relaxing and well-deserved rest next week.
Dates for your Diary
Tuesday 21st February
As you will know from media coverage, a number of teaching unions are currently involved in industrial action, which includes an escalation to strike action from midnight until noon on Tuesday 21st February. Guidance from the employing authorities was received yesterday, in light of which school will be closed to pupils until 12 noon on that day. The school will open to pupils at 12 noon.
The normal school day will then resume from 12.15pm. If pupils are unable to come to school, they should use of their time to revise for upcoming examinations or continue with homework/coursework. If your child is unable to attend school in the afternoon due to transport issues, please inform us in the usual manner and, in line with guidance, an authorised absence attendance mark will be recorded.
At Bloomfield Collegiate School we take your child’s safety on the internet very seriously. To this end, we are writing to you to make you aware of a new software system that we have installed. Securus Education is a software system which helps us to ensure that our computer network is being used safely. It is used by over 3,200 schools in the UK and many more internationally. It also acts as an educational tool, helping children to recognise unsafe situations and encouraging them to use new technologies responsibly.
Securus alerts staff to any words on our network that would lead us to believe that our very high standards of safeguarding, reflected in our Acceptable Use Policy, might be being jeopardised. Securus is effective both online and offline across all programmes used by the school. Incidents flagged by Securus would include any evidence of bullying, inappropriate language, indicators of emotional distress, and searches for harmful websites. A screen ‘capture’ is taken of every incident, showing what was displayed at the time, who was involved and when the incident took place. These captures enable staff to respond to potentially serious or disruptive situations with confidence.
We are conscious that the online world can be a very dangerous place, so we want to assure you that we have given serious thought to making sure your child’s online experiences are safe. We thank you for your continued co operation in this very important area.
Coffee & Co. Young Enterprise Team
Our ever-brilliant Year 13 Young Enterprise team once again swept up all the awards at last week’s Belfast Area Trade Fair in Castle Court shopping centre. Coffee & Co. have been selling coffee bags in a range of flavours both in school and, recently, at Saintfield Market. They won Highest Sales, Best Marketing and Best Company awards, while Evie Hill was awarded a Special Recognition prize for Best Presentation at the Fair. Congratulations to them, and to Mr Dunbar and Mr Irvine for their guidance and support.
Congratulations to our Year 11 table tennis players who won a bronze medal in the U17 division at the Ulster Schools table tennis competition.
A massive well done to Hannah Stevens, a member of the Entourage Elite Cheer team selected to compete in the Allstar World Championships in Florida later this year. We wish her and the team well as they represent Ireland at such a prestigious event.
Congratulations, also, to Leah Massey (Year 13), who has been selected for inclusion in the True Colours exhibition of the very best of A2, AS and GCSE artwork at the Ulster Museum. This is the first “normal” exhibition since Jan 2019, with only 24 candidates selected when there would previously have been closer to 60. Yet another very special achievement by our talented pupil.
On Saturday 4th February pupils competed at the Swim Ulster Schools Gala. There were great swims from Chantelle Chirimanzi, Rachel Monaghan, Ava Hudson, Lara King and Jemma Adams, with Rachel coming 9th in the Girls’ 100m fly final. Jemma was placed 6th in the Girls 100m breaststroke final, 1st place in her age group. Jemma has also qualified for the 50 and 100m breaststroke events at the Dave McCullagh International meet later this month.
Thank you, as always, for your continued support.