End of Term Letter – December 2016

December 2016

Dear Parent/Carers

I am writing to you as usual about the arrangements for the last day of term – Wednesday 21st December 2016 and the first day of the new term – Monday 9th January 2017.

Students in Years 7-13 will be dismissed from school at the normal time of 3.00pm on Wednesday 21st December 2016.

On Friday 16th December 2016 we are holding a fundraising event when pupils can either wear a Christmas themed jumper instead of their school jumper or an item such as a festive hat, scarf or piece of tinsel with their uniform.  We are asking for donations of £1 in support of two charities.

The Sixth Form students are making Christmas hampers to deliver to elderly members of our community again this year.

During the final weeks of term the following mock examinations will be taking place:

  • Year 11 will be sitting mock examinations in Mathematics, English Language, Science, History and Geography
  • Years 9 and 10 will be sitting mock examinations in Mathematics and English Language

As you will appreciate these examinations and assessments will contribute to the school’s decision about which tier of entry your child will be entered for and have a direct effect on the final grade they will receive.  Therefore, your child is expected to attend school all week.  Medical evidence will be expected in the event of any absence, otherwise it will be regarded as an unauthorised absence.

Your child’s teachers will be providing your son/daughter with revision materials and resources in preparation for their examinations.  Could you please encourage your child to use the on-line revision resources on the PiXL Maths app, Mathswatch and the school’s DODDLE learning platform which is accessible from the school’s website.

Year 7 and 8 will continue with their normal timetabled lessons.

All students should return to school at 8.30am on Monday 9 January 2017 for the start of the Spring Term.

The period after Christmas can be a time when parents and carers decide to book holidays for the summer.  The school is not allowed by the Government to authorise any holidays during term time.  Any holidays taken in term time will mean that the school will have to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice for each child taken out of school.  With the changing examination system, students cannot afford to miss any school days, as every day missed can affect their chances of success in their examinations and affect their future options.  Please can we also remind parents/carers that they are expected to make all appointments, including medical, outside of school hours as far as is reasonably possible.  Please note that Year 10 students will also be sitting their GCSE examinations during the summer term.

We recently acknowledged the outstanding successes of the Year 11 Class of 2016 at our annual Prize Giving Event.  This year the event was held at the Plaza Cinema in Crosby.  It was a great success as more students than ever were awarded prizes with their families in attendance to share in the celebrations.  Students were rewarded for surpassing their targets and their effort and determination to take on the challenge in achieving their well-deserved results.

There will be a further opportunity to celebrate the successes of our students when our former Year 13 students return for their Prize Giving on 19th December 2016.

Meanwhile, our current Year 11 students have completed their mock interviews this term with representatives and employers from the Education and Business Partnership.  The feedback we received from the employers was extremely complimentary about the mature, polite way our students presented themselves.

Our annual Christmas Celebration was held at St Faith’s Church on Tuesday 6th December at 7.00pm.  This was an outstanding event with students from all year groups of the school participating in a truly festive celebration.  This year we were again joined by a group of pupils from Forefield Junior School.

As we are about to go through the season of inclement weather, can I draw your attention to arrangements in case of a very heavy snowfall resulting in the necessity to close our school.  In this event, could I advise you to check the school website for information.

I would also like to inform you of events taking place next year:

Dance Showcase on 9th February 2017                        7.00pm to 8.30pm

Music Cabaret Evening on 27th April 2017                 7.00pm to 8.30pm

We will advertise these events again nearer the time.

Each year group will have received at least one monitoring of performance report sheet by the end of this term, showing progress made towards the minimum targets set for students.  We welcome comments from you as this process of monitoring progress will be repeated in the spring and summer terms.

I would also like to take this opportunity to remind you of dates of Parents Evenings next term:


Year 12/13 Parents Evening                  Thursday 26th January 2017     4.00pm to 7.00pm

Year 8        Parents/Options Evening   Thursday 23th February 2017  4.00pm to 7.00pm

Year 11       Parents Evening                  Thursday 16th March 2017       4.00pm to 7.00pm

Year 10      Parents Evening                  Thursday 23th March 2017       4.00pm to 7.00pm

Year 7        Parents Evening                  Thursday 4th May 2017             4.00pm to 7.00pm

Year 9        Parents Evening                 Thursday 22 June 2017               4.00pm to 7.00pm

When we return after the Christmas Holidays could you please remind your son/daughter not to bring valuable items such as jewellery, electronic devices and mobile telephones into school with them as we cannot be held responsible for them or refund the value of such items if lost or stolen.  Mobile telephones and electronic devices are not allowed during the school day.

I am attaching a list of the school uniform and would like to remind you that students are not allowed to wear hooded sweatshirts/jackets.  During the winter such items are not an alternative to an outdoor coat.  The uniform list also states that students should wear plain black shoes (not patent leather).  This means, therefore, that canvas pumps or any kind of trainers should not be worn.  We have high expectations of our students and a high standard of uniform is essential for everyone in our community.

I would like to remind you that certain students within school are eligible for Free School Meals.  If you feel your child may fall within this category you will be able to find more information on Sefton Council’s website www.sefton.gov.uk.  Please click on ‘Schools and Learning’ then ‘Grants and Funding’ to reach the information on Free School Meals.

For those children in receipt of Free School Meals there is a financial benefit to both the family and the school, also since the school moved to a cashless system in the school canteen, pupils in receipt of Free School Meals have money paid directly into their accounts.  Therefore, in this discrete way, their receipt of Free School Meals remains anonymous to others.

Finally, at the end of this term we say goodbye to two colleagues, Mr Higham and Mrs Leary.

Mr Higham has taught Science here at Chesterfield since January 2003 and has also been a Progress Leader in recent years.  He is moving to teach Science at Childwall Academy in Liverpool.  We are grateful to him for his work and support with students at Chesterfield and wish him well for the future.

Mrs Leary has worked at Chesterfield High School since February 1995 as a member of the administration team and as the Examinations Officer.  During her time here she has supported thousands of students through the stressful examination period by always going the extra mile to ensure that students had the best possible experience.  She has worked tirelessly to enable examination administration to run smoothly.  I am sure that we all wish her a long and happy retirement and thank her for the invaluable assistance she has given to both staff and students during her time at Chesterfield.

Next term we welcome back Mrs Dunning (Head of History) from maternity leave and Mr Loughlin will be taking up a new role as a Progress Leader.

With every good wish for Christmas and the New Year.

Yours sincerely

Mr S Penney