Dear Parents and Carers,
As we approach the end of a long but highly productive summer term I wanted to write, both to thank you for your support and to update you about recent developments affecting the school.
Diocesan Inspection Report
On July 6th and 7th two inspectors appointed by the Diocese carried out an inspection of the school as directed by section 48 of the Education Act 2005. We have now received their report and I am delighted that Cardinal Newman School was found to be ‘good’ overall and that the Catholic life of the school was judged to be ‘outstanding’. Click on the Section 48 Report to see the full report.
One of the three areas of improvement identified was for the school to continue to develop strategies to recruit and retain Catholic teachers of Religious Education. Nationally and locally this is a real challenge. We do currently have a vacancy for a full time teacher of RE. If any suitably qualified Catholic parent or carer would be interested in applying for this post please contact me directly. As a teacher of RE myself (one who originally trained as a History teacher) I can vouch for what a privilege it is to teach this subject.
Before buying school uniform for September please familiarise yourself with the school uniform policy which you will find by clicking on CNCS Uniform List (June 2017) or going to our website. In September we will revert to trousers and skirts rather than shorts. Navy blue or black chino shorts are only allowed in the Summer term. Please avoid buying expensive branded uniform items. Wearing such items undermines one of the main aims of our uniform policy which is to promote a sense of equality and community. Finally can I draw your attention to the guidance on jewelry, haircuts and the complete ban on facial or body piercing.
Thank you for supporting our uniform policy. Well worn uniform makes a major contribution to the coherence of our school community and is a visible statement about the high standards and expectations which promote great behaviour for learning.
Behaviour for Learning
It was really good to see that the Diocesan inspectors noted that “Pupils exhibit excellent behaviour and good manners supported strongly by new initiatives promoted by the leadership of the school.” We will continue to promote such behaviour by awarding positive behaviour points which provide students with a passport to rewards, preference when applying to go on oversubscribed school trips and other privileges. As I have said previously we will also be tightening up our system of sanctions for poor behaviour. From September students who choose not to observe our code of conduct will be given a same day detention, initially for 20 minutes from 3pm. This will be supervised by senior staff. Not turning up to detention or repeated poor behaviour will lead to further sanctions such as longer detentions, internal isolation or exclusion.
Improving the security of our campus
Over the last two years we have taken a number of measures to improve the security of our campus. Over the summer we will be continuing this work by putting in new gates at the entrance to Newman College, our Sixth Form. From 9a.m to 3pm only Sixth Formers and staff will be allowed to come and go via these gates which will be operated by biometric fingerprint recognition. The money to install these gates has come from a capital grant made to the school.
A word from Tim Williamson our Chair of Governors
Dear Parents & Carers,
As the school year draws to a close and we all look forward to some time off over the summer the governors have been reflecting on the last year and the amount of change the school has successfully managed. First and foremost Cardinal Newman has implemented a wide ranging School Improvement Plan with all the areas highlighted in the last Ofsted inspection either addressed or being addressed. Hopefully you can see some of the results in our continued focus on safeguarding with the new school gates and the re-focusing on the progress of some of our more disadvantaged students. We also hope that the results of all the public examinations this summer not only reflect that hard work of the students, but also that of the teachers especially in a year with so much change and the start of the radically new GCSEs in Maths and English.
Before the summer break we had our inspection into the Catholic life of the school and our teaching of religious education by the Diocese and I am pleased to say that the outcome and the report were very positive. We also held an induction day for governors which was particularly useful given the number of new governors we have on the board. It was a very useful and informative day and I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to meet the School Senate and ask questions of and answer questions from this very inspiring group of students.
We have recently updated the Governor section on the school website – http://www.cncs.co.uk/information/governors which I would urge you to have a look at. We have included photos and updated our profiles to try and make the governing body more visible. We have also included a new “Ask a Governor” section and if you would like to ask a question or make an observation about the school then please do get in contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
Next year will be a challenging one with the full new GSCE roll out and with the school operating on a much tighter budget. The leadership team and the governors are finalising an exciting strategic plan for the next 3 years which will share with you next term. In the meantime I would just take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful summer break and like many of you I await the public examination results with eager anticipation.
I hope you all have a restful and enjoyable Summer break and I look forward to welcoming the students back in September.