Dear parents and carers,
Please can I begin by thanking you for your continued support throughout this academic year. It has been another challenging year, yet without a doubt, it has been extremely successful in so many ways. Students have continued to embrace school life and have given so much to contribute to our school community. This has been equally evident in the manner in which Year 11 and Year 13 students have approached their exams and we are exceptionally proud of their hard work throughout their time at Haslingden High School and Sixth Form.
As we approach the final half-term of the year, there is no sign of things slowing down. Just looking at the diary reinforces that view and it is wonderful to see so many opportunities and experiences taking place within and beyond the taught curriculum.
One area that we would greatly appreciate your continued support with is regarding uniform and standards of behaviour. We have welcomed many visitors to the school in the last few weeks and they have consistently gone out of their way to compliment the children on their attitude, appearance and the respect they show to others. This is a true reflection of our school and is a testament to the support we receive from parents.
Whilst behaviour remains a strength of the school, we also know that returning from a break or interruption to a typical week means that some of our students will find it hard to return to normal routines. This is something that is being seen and discussed nationally since the pandemic, with all schools recognising that children are finding it harder to regulate their behaviour and are requiring additional support and guidance to adhere to the expectations outlined by any school.
There are a small but significant number of areas that we are continuing to address and we know that your support is vital both now and in the future. For reference, please find the link to our Uniform Policy here. Please could we ask that you discuss and emphasise the following areas at home:
We continue to expect students to wear shoes that look like shoes and not trainers. We are loaning significant numbers of shoes on a daily basis and would rather work with families to avoid these situations if at all possible. Another element regarding footwear that is becoming increasingly common is students arriving in trainer-style shoes and wanting to wear these for PE. All students should wear trainers that are suitable for a range of sporting activities when attending their PE lesson and not the shoes they are wearing to school.
There has been a significant rise in the number of students arriving to school without a tie and we only have a limited amount to loan each day. It also has a detrimental impact on workload having to manage the loan and collection of these each day. Please can we ask that if your child has misplaced or lost their tie, that they find it over the half term or that a new one is purchased on the first day back after the half term holiday. Ties are £7.50 and can be bought from the main office.
Where the underlying concern for either of the issues raised above is a financial one, we continue to want to offer our support to alleviate this issue. Please do not hesitate to get in touch via the ‘Contact Us’ form if this is the case.
We have worked extremely hard to ensure that the form-time experience continues to provide meaningful learning opportunities as well as social development. Please can we ask that your child consistently arrives to school by 8.35am each morning to ensure that they don’t miss out on these important aspects of our curriculum.
The Respect Agenda
Respect remains a central theme in school and is the constant focus of our four expectations:
- Speak and behave respectfully to staff and students
- Respect your learning and the learning of others
- Respect the school environment
- Respect the wider community
One of the recurring themes with a small minority of our students is the repeated refusal to follow safe and reasonable instructions from members of staff. A primary focus for any school leader is maintaining a calm and orderly environment where students feel safe and happy. When a student fails to follow safe and reasonable instructions, it places significant demands on our resources and inevitably impacts the smooth running of the school. We recognise that the last few years have undoubtedly impacted negatively on young people and we remain committed to working with students and their families to offer the best possible care, guidance and support.
Whilst it is important to stress that the overwhelming majority of students adhere to these expectations consistently, it is also fair to say that we have seen a noticeable rise in students needing further reminders and this inevitably has a detrimental impact in the experience for others. We will continue to offer our support where students are struggling, however, we will also continue to challenge students where their attitude to learning is impacting negatively on the school community. We would greatly value your continued discussions regarding these expectations at home and also in offering your support where sanctions are felt necessary. i.e. the issuing of detentions and respect essays.
We hope that the half term holiday provides the well-earned rest that your child deserves after what has been a very busy academic year and would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the support available for parents from external services should you feel it beneficial:
We also hope that half-term provides some time for you to spend with your family and that you have the opportunity to enjoy the sunshine over the next few days.
If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch via the ‘Contact Us’ page.
Very best wishes,
Russell Clarke, Headteacher