I hope that you had an enjoyable St Patrick’s Day. There has been much happening in Bloomfield as we head towards a more normal version of school life, and I would like to update you on a range of matters.
You may be aware that the Department of Education has revised its guidance on the wearing of face-coverings with effect from next Monday 21st March. From then, pupils will not be required to wear masks in class. This is a welcome step in terms of teaching and learning, but I appreciate that some may wish to continue wearing a mask. It remains strongly recommended that masks continue to be worn in corridors, toilets and communal areas, and we will expect pupils to do so until further guidance is received. Hand sanitisation will also continue, particularly in the canteen.
The husband of one of our Governors and his friends have set up a ‘Causeway to Ukraine’ group. Their intent is to add support to the humanitarian aid being collected and delivered to support the displaced in Ukraine. They intend making their first trip over four to five days and will travel on agreed dates between the 28th March and the 4th April.
They will be driving to eastern Poland to deliver the aid – NI Trucks has kindly agreed to donate a 3.5 tonne lorry. What is required is quite specific: sanitary items, disposable nappies, wet wipes and formula milk. Should you feel able to donate any of these items, pupils will be at the front of school to collect them from 8.30am until 9am from Monday 21st until Thursday 24th March; items can also be left at reception at any other time. The money contributed in school by pupils who have bought masks at reception will also be donated to help with costs.
A special event will be held before Easter to raise money for a charity supporting the Ukrainian people; more details will follow when available.
Please remember that we have a duty to report all absences to the Department of Education. It is important that written notifications of absences are received on a pupil’s return to school. This can be by a note from a parent/guardian to reception or an e-mail to email@example.com.
Thank you for your largely favourable feedback regarding our online parental consultations. It is impossible to find a system/time that will suit all, but we will continue to monitor how we can best meet the needs of parents and staff.
Our next consultation will be for parents of Year 9 pupils from 3.30pm until 5.30pm on Monday 28th March. Details will be sent directly to parents involved.
Only items of school uniform, or official PE kit on designated days, may be worn to school. Please remind your child that all school rules apply from leaving home in the morning until returning in the evening while in uniform.
I have been contacted by Translink regarding the Comber bus route in the mornings. We currently have a dedicated double decker bus that comes directly to school from Comber every morning. Translink reports that often this bus is quite empty because our pupils are using the No 11 service instead, meaning that the public service bus is too full to pick up other commuters. If your child uses the Comber bus in the mornings, I would appreciate your assistance in ensuring that she uses the school bus, rather than the No 11 bus.
Last summer, we received much publicity for reasserting the policy on mobile phone use in school. This year, with the increasing use of Teams due to pupil and staff absence, having a phone in class has almost become a necessary feature of school life. However, I am again concerned that too many of our pupils are using their phones outside of what is required in the classroom, causing pastoral and behavioural issues in school. Rather than enforcing a blanket ban, the Senior Leadership Team would like to re-emphasise the following points:
- Mobile phones may only be used in school at any time under the supervision of a member of staff e.g. in a class activity, from the first aid room or notifying parents about changes to after-school events.
- Mobile phones should not be used to listen to music in class.
- There must be no use of mobile phones to record videos or take pictures within school.
Note that Sixth Form pupils may use their phones in study and in the common room only. Again, we appreciate that the use of phones is important for contacting parents, but I am sure that you will understand our insistence that this is done in a controlled manner.
They have done it again! Our Young Enterprise team has made it through to the regional final as Best Company at the Belfast area heats. The Happy Bag Company will now be in the Northern Ireland final in April.
Our fantastic Dancing Team swept the boards at the recent NICMAC event in Lisburn. Almost all the major trophies came back to Bloomfield, with winners listed below:
- Junior Dance duet 1st place Bonnie Logan and Tara Davidson
- Junior Lyrical duet 2nd place Lauren Brannigan and Nicole Craigan
- Junior Lyrical duet 1st place Amy McClughan and Maria Adams
- Inter Lyrical solo 1st place Mia Cardwell
- Inter Acro solo 1st place Mia Cardwell
- Inter Lyrical duet 1st place Niamh Scates and Mia Cardwell
- Inter Dance duet 1st place Storm Doherty and Mia Cardwell
- Senior Lyrical duet 1st place Ella Scarah and Mia Cardwell
- Junior Dance Team 1st place
- Senior Dance Team 1st place
- Senior Dance Team The Ards Dance Cup for the highest marks in the competition
Well done to Kaitlyn Morrison, Year 14, who is reserve for the Great Britain Women’s Ice Hockey team which will be playing in the World Championships in Spain next month. Kaitlyn is the only representative from the Belfast Giants in the squad. https://www.icehockeyuk.co.uk/2022/03/01/gb-name-final-team-for-womens-world-championship/
Congratulations also to Darcy Ross, Year 10, who has been selected as one of only 36 scouts from Northern Ireland to attend the World Scout Jamboree in Korea next summer.
Good luck to Hollie Donnan, Year 12, who has been selected for the NI Pony Club dressage team travelling to the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May.
These are fantastic achievements, and we are very proud of all involved.