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Head's Update 23rd Jan 2023

Head Teacher's update including update upon teacher's industrial action.

Dear Parents and Carers,

Happy New Year! I hope that 2023 has started well for you and that you have settled back into everyday routines following the Christmas holidays. I am conscious that I have not sent an update to parents for a while so am keen to reach out and update you on life at school.

Pre-Christmas was an extremely busy time for all the students and staff at school. In November, the year 11 students sat their mock exams. They excelled themselves in their manner and maturity within the exam situation balancing their ongoing revision alongside the intensity of the exams. On Thursday, the students had an exam skills workshop and I know that many parents came to school in the evening to a further session aimed at how parents can support their children. I am sure that with hard work and determination the students will receive exceptional exam results this summer.

In November, the Performing Arts department were busy in producing a play called ‘Belongings’. This was the premier of a show that the department had commissioned pre-pandemic and was full of exceptional performances. Then, in December, there was the Christmas concert at the Cathedral which encompasses performances from students across all year groups including our choristers. It was a real celebration of Christmas music and students’ talents.

The PE department have had an exceptional autumn term celebrating much success across a variety of sporting disciplines. A busy fixture list has seen competitive matches in sports such as netball, cross country  and football. The Minster PE Twitter account is where you can keep up to date with all the results and fixtures - @Minster_PE

Staffing Update 

At the end of the  autumn term, we said farewell to Mrs Wood. Mrs Wood has been SENCO at the school for the last 12 months and has secured a post elsewhere. We thank Mrs Wood for her hard work and championing of students. I am sure she will be successful in her new post. Mr Price will be taking up the post of SENCO for the remainder of the school year. He will be working closely with Mr Feehily who is now the Assistant SENCO and Miss Coulter who is the Administration support for the SEND department. Should you have any concerns in relation to SEND support or provision then please do contact Mr Price and the team.

At the beginning of January, we welcomed Mr Fern to the school as Teacher of Computer Science and IT and Mrs O’Connor as Teacher of Art. Mrs O’Connor had been working with us on Thursday and Friday but is now full time. 

Use of Satchel 1 

We have now been using Satchel 1 to improve our communications with home regarding rewards and sanctions. We are in the early stages of rolling out this system and hope to enrich it with more information for you over time. I am sure, as a parent, it will be an instrumental tool in keeping you aware of what is happening in school.


As we start the new term it is always interesting to know what your child is studying in school. We have been reviewing and updating our curriculum pages on the school website and would encourage you to look at the subjects ‘learning journeys’ so that you can see what is being studied. Please have a look here  -

Industrial Action 

As I am sure you will be aware from the national media, teachers in the NEU have voted to strike in a national dispute with the government in relation to pay. There are several different unions that teachers can be members of, and at this stage members of those unions are not taking strike action. The dates that have been announced for strike action, in our region, are Wednesday 1st February, Wednesday 1st March, Wednesday 15th March and Thursday 16th March. We will be undertaking a full risk assessment in light of the strike action to understand what disruption this may cause to the education of students in school. I hope to provide you with a further update later this week.


At the end of last week we carried out a further survey with students in relation to the current toilet arrangements at lunch and break times. We will analyse these results and review the current provision in light of this. I understand that the current situation is frustrating for some so am keen to look at the wider student voice before making any alterations.

Year 9 Options Evening 

A reminder for parents who have children in year 9, that Wednesday 25th January is our options evening. This will take place between 6pm and 8pm at the school. You will have received further details in a separate communication.

 Many thanks for your continued support of the school. 

Ben Chaloner - Head Teacher