Start of the Year Letter from Mr Redhead

Dear Parents/Carers/Other responsible adults

A New Year

I write to you in my capacity as Assistant Headteacher, and would like to draw your attention to a number of
operational matters. This will ensure that the new school year starts as effectively as possible.

Contact Details – Email
Each year we send out a ‘data checking form’ to ensure we have the correct contact details for yourselves. Please
could I ask that you check the form, and if you have not already returned it, you do so as soon as is possible. Could
I also ask that you provide us with your email address, as we hope to start sending school correspondence home
via email, as this will help us to get information out to you more efficiently.

MILK
In July, I contacted you with details about a new system called MILK. MILK is a digital planner system that is replacing the paper system in school. One of the many benefits of this system is that it allows parents to login and see the same information that the students do. This includes, homework that has been set, attendance data and progress
reports. If you have not had chance to set this up, I would strongly advise you to. If you need support in setting this
up, I will be holding a parents’ drop-in meeting for MILK on Friday 29th September, between 4 and 5pm; where
you can get support in setting this up on your mobile phone or tablet. If you wish to attend this drop-in, please bring
with you the letter I sent home in July, as it contains your username and password. If you are a parent of a student
in Year 7 or 12, you should have received the same letter at the start of term.

Progress Reports
From this September, we will no longer be printing and sending home paper copies of student progress reports.
These will be issued via MILK. However, if you do not have access to a mobile, tablet or PC then please contact the
admin team in school and let us know if you would like to receive paper copies of correspondence.

Attendance
As you will recognise good attendance is critical to making good progress at school. This year the school will continue
to work hard to support families when needed to ensure all students have the best attendance possible. I hope that
with the introduction of MILK and the information it will be able to provide you with, you will feel that you are in a
stronger position to discuss good attendance and punctuality with your child.
In addition to enhancing the attendance information, you can now access in MILK. The school is making a few more
changes and enhancements to monitoring attendance this year.

1. Being Late to School
Good punctuality is very important as it helps to set the tone for the day and the start of a productive lesson. Last
year we had a very small minority of students who were regularly late for school, often without valid excuses. It
is not appropriate for any student to be late without a valid reason. Therefore, in addition to the daily attendance
data in MILK you now have access to, we are also going to send you a text message with the reason your child
has given us for being late. This will allow for a suitable conversation to take place at home around punctuality.

We will continue to apply sanctions for any students who are late more than three times, as we did in the last
academic year.

2. AIM meetings
When attendance starts to become a concern for the school, we will invite you into school for a meeting with
myself to discuss ways in which the school can support you in ensuring that attendance rates improve, and
hopefully remove any barriers to attending or being punctual to school.

Absence from School
Illness
If your child needs to be off school due to illness, please let us know each day they are off. This will help to
avoid unauthorised absences being recorded.

You can contact the school in various ways:
Email – attendance@st-benedicts.cumbria.sch.uk
Telephone – 01946-692275 – option 1
Text – 078600022342

Medical Appointments
If it is absolutely necessary for an appointment for the dentist, hospital or doctors to be in school time, please
could you inform the school by sending a copy of the appointment card/letter so we can authorise the
absence in school. The appointment card should be shown to the Learning Mentor for your child’s year group.

Term Time Holidays
The school often receive requests from parents/carers that they wish to take their child or children out of
school during school time so that they can go on holiday. We are committed to ensuring that all students
attend school on a regular basis and will therefore only authorise such absences in exceptional
circumstances. Guidance on term time holidays can be found on our website.

Term Dates
Please use our term dates listed on the school website, as you may find the term dates used by the County
Council are slightly different to ours.

School Uniform
To ensure everyone is clear about the school uniform requirements, we have a page on the school website that
explains what is suitable and what is not. Could I ask that you remind your son/daughter about the procedures
regarding make-up and jewellery in particular.

Mobile Phones
We have made some small but important revisions to the mobile phone policy in school. For clarity, these have been
published in the Mobile Devices policy, again found on the school website.

School Website
Our school website contains the above information and much more; if possible I highly recommend you take the
opportunity to review its contents – particularly with regard to school policies and procedures. Paper copies of any of
these documents can be made available on request too.

People to Contact in School
The key person to contact in school is your child’s Form Tutor. This is the person who sees your child every day and
monitors and supports their progress in school, in partnership with the Director of Learning for the year group. I would recommend that if you have any queries regarding their progress, the Form Tutor is the key person to start with.

I hope the information provided above is clear and useful and will allow us to continue to work together productively.

 

Yours faithfully
C Redhead
Assistant Headteacher

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