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Letter to Parents January 21st 2019

Dear Parent/Carer,

It gives me great pleasure to introduce myself as Headteacher of Aberdare Community School. It is an absolute privilege to have been appointed by the school Governors and entrusted with the job of leading a school with such potential.

I am determined that the school will continue to build on its strengths and work towards ensuring that every child and young person achieves their potential and are given every opportunity to develop into well-rounded, ambitious, capable learners.

Many of you may already be aware that I am an experienced Headteacher. I can assure you that I will have an unshakeable belief in all of our students and will work tirelessly to ensure that this school becomes the pride of our community in the Cynon Valley. I have several ideas on how we can ensure that our school further improves but contrary to any rumours, I will not be introducing a new uniform!

I am looking forward to working with the whole community as we strive for greater success for all our young people. By working together, we can ensure that all students enjoy their time at school, make excellent progress and leave us with the necessary skills and attitudes to lead successful and fulfilling lives.

The first step of any school improvement is the raising of expectations. It is important that we are ambitious and I am certain that our students will respond positively to change. During this term, we will be introducing some changes that we believe will make a significant impact on our school culture. Your support with these changes will be greatly appreciated and will help us get off to a positive and successful start in 2019.

Safeguarding

We are currently working with RCT Council on further safeguarding arrangements particularly in relation to visitor and pupil entrances and we will keep you updated on changes related to this area via correspondence on our school website. We are also about to trial further safety measures inside the school building which will reduce the ability for a very small minority of pupils to disrupt others learning by wandering around this large building, causing the loss of valuable learning and leadership time. I am sure that you will appreciate that your child’s safety is our primary concern and if your child chooses not to go to lessons then it is extremely difficult for us to ensure that they are safe.

In preparation for this change, we have also ensured that pupils have access to male and female toilet facilities on each floor of the building. Form tutors will be sharing further information with pupils about this change during this week.

Equipment

All students are expected to come to school every day with the equipment they need to be successful. This includes a full set of stationery, their school planner, their PE kit, when necessary, and an appropriate school bag large enough to carry everything needed for school.

Uniform

Although the standards of students’ adherence to our school uniform is acceptable in most cases, there is work to do to ensure that all students represent the school well and wear their uniform with pride. We intend to make uniform a priority in terms of having high expectations of our students. Therefore, any students wearing incorrect uniform will be challenged either at the school entrance or at registration. They will be offered alternative items to wear (trousers/shoes) if we have them available or we will phone you to ask you to bring in correct uniform for your child to wear. Students who refuse to wear or adjust their uniform to the agreed policy may be sent to the isolation room or be sent home. If there are unavoidable reasons why your child cannot wear the correct uniform please provide them with a note explaining the reasons for this. We do not allow facial piercings and only one small stud in each ear is permitted along with a watch. Excess make up, any other jewellery or nail varnish or gels etc. are not acceptable. There is information about acceptable uniform on the school website as a reminder to all.

In addition to the mechanisms that we already have in place for communicating with the school, we will be introducing a half-termly Headteacher’s drop-in for parents and carers at which you can discuss any concerns or issues that you would like me to address. These will be held termly and the dates will be shared soon on the school website.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this letter and thank you in advance for your support. I am determined to do the very best for Aberdare Community School, I will always put students first when making decisions and I am excited and enthused to take up my new post. I look forward to meeting you in the coming months.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any concerns.

Yours sincerely

Mrs C Morgans

Headteacher