Christmas spirit is definitely underway in Alsager; the lights in the village are fantastic and the tree is beautiful. I think it is officially acceptable to start on the mince pies and mulled wine now, too.
We have the heating on in school, but many pupils are still insisting on coming in without a coat. The weather has turned this week, so I do recommend getting out the thermals.
Schools are always busy at this time of year. We have a number of Christmas events over the next few weeks, Lovell has a Christmas fair, we have the Christmas concert and we will be celebrating the successes of last year’s Y11 on Wednesday at the civic centre.
You will be aware that we are having a big push on attendance. The picture nationally has not been great coming out of the pandemic, but we know the importance of establishing routines, the role that school plays in helping children form relationships and learning how to manage challenging situations, in addition to our fundamental role of providing life chances through qualifications. Statistically, pupils with less than 90% attendance have lower levels of attainment at the end of KS$ than other pupils. If you are struggling to get your child into school for 8:35, do contact us and we can support you. To celebrate attendance we will be holding prize draws in the final week of this term. We are just finalising prizes, but they will definitely be worth winning! If you are in a position to be able to donate a prize or you work for a company who would like to be involved in rewarding good attendance, please do get in touch.
Year 11 have now finished their mock exams. This period can put strain on everyone at home and as a parent/carer it can be difficult to know when to intervene to ‘encourage’ more revision or when to step back from applying pressure. It is always good to talk to other parents who are going through the same thing. To facilitate this, we are inviting all Y11 parents in for a ‘tea, toast and talk’ get together on Tuesday 19th December 8:00-9:15 in PE3 where we will provide free breakfasts for parents, and you can have a chat with other parents and staff. We know from feedback from the KS3 and KS4 parent events that our parents like to come in and chat with friends they haven’t seen for a while so this can act as a perfect catch up over breakfast. As well as Y11 parents, we would also like to extend the invitation to our Y7 parents. It will provide the opportunity for you to catch up with parents you perhaps used to see at primary school drop off and pick up and also give you the chance to talk to parents of Y11 pupils so that you know what you have to come! We will send out more information on Monday so that you can let us know whether you are coming. There will be no charge, but we will need to know numbers. We will do something similar for parents of pupils in Y8, 9 and 10 in the new year.
There have been a number of articles in the media over the past few weeks about the challenges of parenting and the need for parents and schools to work together to reinstate the social contract that used to exist between pupils, parents and schools pre pandemic. You will be aware of the Parents’ Charter that was agreed by all of the headteachers in Cheshire East secondary schools, outlining expectations. It is something that can be found on our website and I have shared it a couple of times, too. I have noticed a positive change in many parent meetings recently, where parents have been fully supportive of school, have had difficult conversations with their child but still made it clear that they are loved. These meetings have been productive and above all, allowed us to be able to fully support the child. It is never easy as a parent when you are told that your child has not behaved as expected but together, we can role model how to deal with and move on from mistakes. Thank you to all parents and carers for your support with this.
I am sure you have busy weeks ahead of you. There is a lot going on, including some exciting FA Cup games over the weekend. Fingers crossed Crewe can take on Bristol Rovers like they did Derby and get into the third round. As always, thank you for your support and whatever your plans, wrap up warm and have a lovely weekend.
“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.” (L.R. Knost).