St John Plessington Catholic College

Staff Development Day - Friday 5th October. College Closed.

Dear Parents and Carers Welcome back to a new academic year. I would like to welcome our Year 7 pupils and parents as well as those who have joined us in Year 12 or other year groups.

We have also welcomed some new staff to SJP and we look forward to seeing all members of our school community go from strength to strength.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support in what has been a very successful start to the new term. Our pupils are a credit to you and our College in their appearance, behaviour and attitude to learning. We received the same positive messages from the hundreds of parents, carers and pupils we had to our recent Open Evening where more than 1400 visitors came to see the work of our outstanding pupils and staff.

2018 saw another set of excellent examination results at both GCSE and ‘A’ Level at SJP. Once again, we were exceptionally pleased with the performance of our pupils who achieved an excellent set of results despite significant changes at GCSE to the new 9-1 grades. In English, 77% of students have achieved grade 4 and above, and in Mathematics 66% have achieved grade 4 and above; this gives us a combined figure of 60% of our students achieving grade 4 and above in English and Maths. Our Sixth Formers achieved excellent results with 48% of students achieving A*-B grades, 75% achieving A*-C and a 98% pass rate for all students (A*-E). These results show the continued success of SJP in preparing students exceptionally well for their next stage in life, with increased numbers successfully gaining places at their first choice university. We are very proud of our students and their 100% record of success in the UCAS process.

At SJP, we aspire for our pupils “not to have more but to be more”. We call this our SJP Experience. In addition to achieving excellent examination results, we aim to offer all pupils in all year groups the opportunity to participate in enriching educational experiences in all areas of College life throughout their journey at SJP. The Experience includes learning at a local, national and international level with activities in College and further afield to places such as France, Spain, USA, South America, Africa and China and undoubtedly developing an appreciation of our local culture. Currently, we are collecting items for the Wirral Foodbank. All College pupils are encouraged to make a donation either by bringing items to College or by fundraising to support our local communities. Last year, we raised the impressive sum of £10,000. Please see our College website for further information. In order to give you a favour of life at the College, I have included a hard copy of our most recent newsletter which I hope you have a chance to read and will agree, gives you an idea of the wonderful opportunities available to your children and their many achievements.

As we embark upon a new school year, I would like to draw your attention to an improvement to our attendance and punctuality policy. We aspire for all our pupils to have a choice filled life, making positive contributions to society. Our pupils respond positively to our expectations and there are many positive behaviours recognised on our Class Charts software, which parents can access. In our start of year assemblies, we have reminded pupils about the importance of meeting our high expectations with respect to our routines when arriving at lessons, in the lesson itself and when leaving the classroom.

This needs to be the same in every lesson and we refer to it as ‘Consistency Across the Classroom’. In order to maximise learning, it is important that all pupils arrive to lessons on time. However, some pupils are unacceptably late and arrive after the lesson has begun, disrupting the lesson and the learning of pupils who were on time. As you would expect, we are taking measures to address this. We expect no child to be late but if a child is late, he/she will receive a detention that night with a Senior Leader. The detention will be for 30 minutes. However, if a pupil is late for more than one lesson and/or Academic Review, the detention will be repeated the following day. Our pupils have been made aware of this in assemblies.

Can we ask that you reinforce this expectation with your child as failure to arrive to lessons on time could result in a detention after school. We will, as always, endeavour to let you know if this applies to your child so that you know to expect them home later than normal from school.

You may well be aware of the visit of ‘The Giants’ to Liverpool and the Wirral from 5th – 7th October. As was the case in the previous events, starting with the Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008, it promises to be a huge public event and it has been recently announced that ‘The Giants’ will actually be on shore on the Wirral on Friday 5th October. We have already been contacted by Wirral Local Authority to inform us of some of the additional traffic control measures they will be putting in place in the local area and warning us of possible disruption.

Given the potential for significant disruption in the area on the day from visitors and our commitment to giving our pupils the chance to experience significant cultural events we have taken the decision to close the school on Friday, 5th October 2018 to students. It will be a Staff Development Day for college staff. SJP is a place where all children can learn and we have many more exciting learning experiences planned this year linked to our determination that our pupils should ‘…be more…’. We will continue to share these experiences and celebrate our pupils’ many achievements with you.

Thank you, in anticipation, of your continued support for your child’s education. We look forward to working with you this year.

Yours sincerely

Mr T P Quinn

Executive Head Teacher