September 2016

Dear Parent/Guardian

As term has now begun and the pupils are settled into their new classes I would like to take this opportunity to update you on a few matters.

Examination Results
As previously advised our public examination results have improved significantly again this year.  By all measures the outcomes are better than any other year in at least the last thirteen (electronic records do not precede this date).  We have also witnessed a surge in interest in the school with the largest ever number of applications to Year 8 and Year 13.  Again I would like to congratulate the pupils and staff for all their hard work in allowing this to happen.

New Colleagues
This year we have some new teachers joining us.  Following the resignation of Miss R Moore we welcome Miss Rebecca Bell into our Physics department in a permanent full time capacity.  Miss Bell will be known to some of you as she has worked in Regent before.  Following Mr A Doherty’s appointment to Head of Music at Campbell College we welcome Mrs Nicola Black into our music department in a full time temporary capacity.  Miss Ruth McMillan joins us in Mathematics and Business Studies covering in the absence of a teaching colleague.  We also welcome Miss Rebecca Nixon into our Chemistry department in a temporary capacity.  With sadness we say goodbye to Mrs R Montgomery who has retired from the teaching profession.  We wish her a long and happy retirement as she seeks out new challenges.

We want to continue to improve our communication with parents/guardians and are still investigating ways to improve this.  As ever cost is an issue and I would encourage all to ensure we have an up to date email address as this will continue to be our prime method of communication.  Please contact the school office to make any necessary changes to any contact details.  A detailed information sheet relative to each Year group will be emailed to parents in mid September.

School Fund and Departmental Costs
As you are probably aware our financial situation, along with all other schools in Northern Ireland, is under considerable strain.  To help ensure we continue to offer an excellent extra-curricular provision we do require your financial support.  Please do support our School Fund which asks for £100 per student or £150 per family.  Please note this cost can be spread over the year using ParentPay.  You will also note that we continue to ask parents to contribute to some specific curriculum costs as detailed below.  Please note these costs are only applicable if the subject is studied by your son or daughter.  The Art and Technology costs should be paid by cash directly to the class teacher.  ParentPay is available for Home Economics and Extra-Curricular Sport payments.

Year 8 - £10: art pack
Year 11 - £5: materials
Year 13 - £5: materials

Years 8 – 11 - £2: resistant materials
Years 12 & 13 - £5: resistant materials
Year 14- £10: resistant materials.

Home Economics
Years 8 – 11 - £20: ingredients, containers and other sundry items. 

Extra-Curricular Sport
Years 8 – 14 - £25 – Terms 1 & 2 (competitive season: transport and facilities)
Years 8 – 14 - £10 – Term 3 (competitive season: transport and facilities)

Key Stage 3 pupils require a descant recorder – available to purchase from the school shop at a cost of £7.
Other costs associated with the study of music will be provided by the department directly.

Good Neighbour
You will be aware that we experience considerable volume of traffic at the start and end of the school day.  When dropping off or collecting your child please use the main car park at the side.  For health and safety purposes please refrain from using the staff car park at the front of the school.  If using another area please be conscious of the local residents.

Assistive Devices
The school recognizes that occasionally pupils may need to use assistive devices such as, crutches, wheelchairs, casts, walking boot, etc. post injury or illness.  Such devices can pose potential risks to the user or others if the equipment is not used properly or if steps are not taken to ensure safe use while on the school campus. 
On the first day back following an injury or illness which necessitates the use of an assistive device, the parent and pupil should report to the school Matron to complete a risk assessment to ensure that the return to school presents no further risk to them, or to others.
The school requires a letter from a medical professional (GP, hospital, etc.) detailing the nature of the injury/illness and that the pupil is fit to return to school.  This letter should also include details of whether the student is required to use the assistive device in school and approximately how long for. 
It is strongly recommended that pupils using crutches do not return to school unless they are weight bearing on both limbs

I wish all our pupils, and their families, a happy and successful 2016/17.

Yours faithfully

Michael Carville