Letter to Parents (09-12-20)

Letter to Parent

I hope that you are well and will continue to keep well as we approach Christmas. As a parent myself, I am fully aware of the concerns that many have regarding schools remaining open in the week leading up to Christmas. With this in mind, and for other operational reasons, I have arranged for Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd December to be Staff Development Days, with no pupils on site. Pupils will be released from class at 12 noon on Friday 18th December, with classes resuming on Tuesday 5th January. School uniform need not be worn on that day. Buses will be provided after School closes at noon.

Please be aware that I have received occasional complaints from members of the public regarding a small number of pupils who do not wear masks on public transport or who fail to socially distance from adults at bus stops. As a school on a main arterial route, we are very much in the public eye. To support us, please reinforce to your child that Friday’s closure should not be used as an opportunity to congregate with large groups of friends at take-away cafes or shopping centres.

I have spoken to quite a number of you by telephone following the notification of our few Covid-19 positive cases. Thank you for the overwhelming support that you have shown. The concerns that have been raised by parents have been taken seriously and, hopefully, addressed as far as possible. I know that many of you have worries about next week. Should you need to contact someone out of hours or over the Christmas break regarding Covid-19, please ring or text 07778467914 and your call or message will be returned as soon as possible.With the uncertainty regarding end of term we have brought forward a few Christmas events to this week: I have been having break with the Year 8 classes throughout the week; today, we treated Year 12s to a Christmas breakfast and quiz; tomorrow we do the same for Years 13 and 14; tomorrow afternoon we will be showing a recording of The Lyric Christmas pantomime to all form classes in Years 8-11. Pupils in these Year groups may bring a small cash donation to be given to The Lyric. Other small events within the junior bubbles are planned for next week.

Friday is Christmas Jumper Day, when all staff and pupils are encouraged to dress in festive attire. This will be a fundraiser for two charities: The Brain Trust and NI Chest, Heart & Stroke. Given the current situation, we would prefer to collect the money via ParentPay. We are asking for a minimum donation of £1, but you can donate any amount between £1 and £10. Alternatively, there will be a box in reception for any cash donations. Please try to make donations by the end of school on Friday if possible, although I’m sure we’ll not refuse any late contributions! For anyone who has not already done so, please activate your account. Activation letters will be given to all pupils whose accounts are not operational as yet tomorrow morning.We are aware that many parents are not receiving an alert, either by text message or email, when a new payment is requested. We would recommend that alerts are activated to allow for better and more prompt communication. If you are not receiving alerts, please log on to ParentPay and follow the steps below:

  • Select Profile Settings, then the Menu icon.
  • Scroll down and select Email Address to ensure email address is up to date.
  • Repeat for Telephone Number.Save any changes.
  • Go to Communications tab and select Change Alert Settings button.
  • Scroll down and tick boxes to receive alerts either by text or email and save changes.

Thank you for the interest in our school puffa jackets. These are a very smart  addition to our uniform and it is pleasing to see pupils arrive to school well wrapped up as the temperature drops. As we enter winter, I would encourage our pupils to be warm, but also maintain our standards of uniform. There are plenty of options: school jumper/cardigan; PE hoodie; blazer; school scarf; regulation green coat; school puffa jacket or, for this year only, a similar plain black jacket. Any other scarf, fleece, hoodie or coat should not be worn, whether branded with school badge or not.

Christmas can be a difficult time for many at the best of times. This year I am mindful of the members of our school community who have lost loved ones over the past few months. You are in the thoughts and prayers of us all.

Take care!

principal's signature

Mr Greer


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