Dear Parents / Carers,
As we approach our Easter break, I would like to thank you, as ever, for your support. It is hard to believe two terms have passed already as it seems like only yesterday that I was welcoming you to the new school year.
This has really been a busy term at Our Lady and St John as I am sure you saw for yourselves in our newsletter that we distributed a few weeks ago. I was delighted to welcome the Mayor of Blackburn last month to distribute our first OLSJ Bronze Awards. These are for students who regularly receive achievement points and who have demonstrated a commitment to serving the school and their community. I am looking forward to distributing more awards next term and to see how many students can achieve Silver and Gold. We have also appointed our new prefect and senior prefect team. The standard of presentation for Head Boy and Head Girl was incredibly high this year, so much so that we appointed several Deputies. Our Student Council is also doing great work this term and have come to me with lots of interesting suggestions for improving the school. Our students always surprise me with their energy and commitment to the school. They are a credit to you.
You may be aware that we received an OFSTED monitoring visit last week. This was to see what progress we have made since the last inspection. The visit was very successful and the inspector’s letter is available to view on our website. He was very impressed with our students, saying that “Pupils feel immense pride in being members of the school” and that “They enthusiastically subscribe to the school’s respectful and inclusive values.” He said in his verbal feedback that our students are “stunningly delightful young people.” I could not agree more. He was also impressed with our staff, pointing to their “professional and friendly” relationships with students and that they “go the extra mile” for our students.
Behaviour and attendance were two aspects of school that the inspector was particularly impressed with. He said that “Pupils behave well in lessons and around the site. They are calm, respectful and considerate of others.” Our students told him that behaviour is “much improved” and that “very few lessons are disrupted by low-level misbehaviour” They also reported that bullying was very rare and that it was dealt with well by staff when reported. He recognised the excellent improvements in attendance as we are now above the national average for schools across the country and well above similar schools. He said this was down to our hard work but also because we have made our school “a place that students want to attend.” I would like to thank you as parents for the part you have played in this. Children can only learn and make progress if they are in school and you have worked with us to make this huge improvement.
We return after Easter on Monday 29th April. Students should be on site by 08:25 so they are ready to start school at 08:30 as usual. I have enclosed next year’s term dates to assist you in planning family holidays outside of the school year. I have enclosed a copy of your child’s registration certificate, which shows their attendance and punctuality. The students have worn their uniform with pride this year but, as we are more than half way through the school year, some items have become damaged and worn out, especially school shoes. Could I ask that if your child’s shoes are no longer fit for purpose that they are replaced over the Easter holidays. A guide for what are acceptable school shoes is available on our school website. Gray’s or Whittaker’s are the school supplier for uniform. However, school ties are available to purchase from the school office as well for £3.50.
We have many events next term that I hope you can attend including our annual concert at King George’s Hall on Tuesday 7th May. We also have a music recital in school and an Arts Evening later in the term. I look forward to seeing you at one of these.
I hope you and your family have a happy and peaceful Easter.
Mr P. Tite