St John Plessington Catholic College

Letter to Year 7 Parents

Dear Parents/Carers

It gives me great pleasure to introduce myself as the new Headteacher of SJP. It is a privilege to have been appointed by the Multi Academy Trust and Governors and entrusted with the job of leading such a fantastic school. I am determined that the school builds on its legacy, continues to flourish and maintains its position at the heart of our community providing a first class educational experience. 

As you will expect, arrangements for the safe return of all pupils in September are well under way and there are a number of pertinent points that I would like to draw to your attention to:

School starts on Tuesday 1st September with a staff development day (a day on which only staff attend). Pupils will begin to return on Wednesday 2nd September. We are expecting pupils to return in full school uniform including correct footwear (please see website for specific details) In order for us to share the new routines with pupils, we will be operating a staggered start to the school year for year groups as follows:

Wednesday 2 September – Y7, Y12 & Y13

Thursday 3 September – Y7, Y8 & Y11

Friday 4 September – Y7, Y9 & Y10

Monday 7 September onwards – all year groups

We are doing this to ensure that all pupils are aware of the routines and expectations for a safe return to school, as well as testing the capacity of the newly designated spaces across the school.

Pupils in Y7 will be based in a specific area of the school.  Their teachers will come to this area to teach them for each specific lesson on their timetable. There will be hand washing or sanitising facilities available in and around each of these specific areas.  Pupils will be given guidance as to the expectations around hand and respiratory hygiene as part of their staggered induction.  For some lessons, EG PE, pupils will leave their designated area to go to specialist teaching spaces.

Lunch times will be staggered in order to reduce the number of pupils having lunch at any one time and to allow for the eating spaces to be cleaned between sittings. In order to reduce the number of pupils and staff in any one area, there will be three eating areas: dining room for hot dinners ordered in advance, drama studio for those pupils who are having a ‘grab bag’ lunch (sandwich, drink, fruit, snack etc) and the college hall for those pupils who bring a packed lunch. I would advise you to provide a packed lunch for your child, where possible. Please ensure that your son/daughter has enough drinking water to last them throughout the day as water fountains have been disconnected due to health and safety reasons.

Please ensure that you top up your child’s account so that they always have sufficient funds to be able to purchase food and drink.

Pupils should bring a school bag containing their equipment for the day’s lessons as they will not be able to borrow or share others’ pens/pencils/PE kit. Can you please check that your son/daughter has all the necessary equipment on a daily basis to ensure that they are ready to learn and that they minimise the risk to themselves and others.

All pupils are expected to be in school by 08:30 for academic review. In order to maintain as much distancing as possible, Y7 pupils will enter via the main school gate and they will be directed to the quad area. There will be a staggered end to the school day with Year 7 being dismissed at 14:55.

While school buses and public transport will continue to run, I encourage you to find alternative means of travel; walk, cycle, drive. However, I am aware that this is not always possible and remind you that pupils using school and public transport must wear a protective face covering provided by parents/carers.

I am looking forward to working with the whole community as we strive for even greater success for all our young people. By working together we can ensure that all pupils enjoy their time at school, make excellent progress and leave us with the necessary skills and attitudes to lead successful and fulfilling lives.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this letter and thank you in advance for your support. I am determined to do the very best for SJP, I will always put students first when making decisions and I am excited and enthused to take up my new post in September. I hope you have an enjoyable and safe summer and I look forward to meeting you in the coming months. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any concerns.

Yours sincerely

Ms Maria Sharratt