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Letter from Mr Walker

Dear Parent/Carer,

As we approach Christmas and the end of the Autumn Term I am writing to thank you for all of your support over this difficult term and year. Our aim this term was to re-establish relationships and routines and return to our community of faith and learning. I believe that the vast majority of our students are pleased to be back in school and have demonstrated great resilience and fortitude. I am proud of all of the year groups and the work that their teachers, support staff and tutors have done to reassure, re-integrate and re-establish important school habits and routines. There are two year groups that deserve special mention in their quest for the excellence that we strive for at St Bernadettes.

Year 7 have been an absolute joy this year. They have joined our community of faith and learning with an extremely positive attitude and have made a very positive impression. I have been delighted to issue twelve Headteacher’s awards this term, the standard of which requires at least 35 positive referrals and strong attendance, which is an impressive feat and reflective of a hard working and positive year group.

I have also been extremely impressed with Year 11 for their positive attitude and effort in what must be an incredibly challenging year for them. Every child’s school life is being impacted but for Year 11 in their final year to have their experience disrupted by the continuing impact of the pandemic is particularly challenging. They are resilient and making the best of it. We will endeavour to give them as enjoyable an experience as we can whilst ensuring the quality of education is the best that we can possibly deliver.

I was particularly proud to see the performance of Year 11’s in the interviews for Senior Prefect and Head Boy, Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl and Boy. We had a record twenty four applicants this year, which is testament to the positive attitude in this year group. I am very pleased to announce that Katrina Johnson was appointed Head Girl, James Challenger appointed Head Boy and Milly Russ appointed Deputy Head Girl and Tin Bown appointed Deputy Head Boy. The following Year 11s were appointed Senior Prefects; Nyasha Chigarire, Samual Masenyama, Josh Escreet, Ruqaya Might-Miller, George Prescott, Yasir Shahbaz, as well as a further 20 students in Year 11 being appointed to the position of prefect.

I must also recognise the hard work, resilience and willingness of staff to adapt to new systems and procedures. Staff have truly gone the extra mile to ensure we are not just functioning as a school but actually beginning to flourish once more. We have continued to review our procedures and adapt to ensure as many of the normal things that we do are able to happen again. Intervention across the school is up and running,sports competitions are happening (with great success!), homework clubs and other extracurricular events and enrichment are taking place. This is a huge testament to the efforts of staff.

One final group needs a special mention and that is you, parents and carers. Your support has been unstinting and we appreciate the many positive messages we have had. You more than anyone support your children, influence their learning and decisions and help them to develop into young adults.

I would strongly encourage you to take a moment during Advent, and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. May your Christmas be a time of hope, joy, peace and love and may the New Year bring you and your family all of God’s wonderful blessings.

Finally, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and let us pray for peace in the New Year. Let us continue to be a people of hope who celebrate the birth of Jesus. Please remain confident that we are here to support your children, as we walk together as a hope-filled community of faith and learning.

Mr Walker