Head of School's Blog
February 24th 2017
As we are now half way through the academic year I wanted to give you some more information regarding current developments here at Falmouth School.
We are always looking to enhance communication between school and home. We now have a current email address and mobile phone number for almost all parents/carers so that we can send out information to you quickly and efficiently through the use of email and our new mobile phone app (School Gateway). If you have not provided the school with this information, or you do not have an email and/or mobile phone number, please let us know by calling the School Reception. We can then ensure you still receive paper copies, where possible, of the information we send out.
You should have recently received by email, our updated uniform information for September 2017. Thank you to those who have given positive feedback on the details or raised some further questions which this letter will hopefully address.
Last term on the website, through our social media feeds of Facebook and Twitter and in the newsletter, I informed parents/carers that we have received a number of requests from parents/carers to support them with the purchasing of uniform by providing school approved trousers and skirts. It would be fair to say that, despite our best efforts to maintain appropriate trousers/skirts being worn in school, it is clear that recent fashion trends have led to a proliferation of inappropriate trousers/skirts being worn so it is clearly understandable why these concerns have been raised. Students can also sometimes feel pressure in these circumstances to fit in with their peer group.
As a result of the concerns raised, we have undertaken a review of uniforms worn elsewhere in a number of other schools and have concluded that we do not need to change the blazer, tie, shirt or shoe details within our uniform but we do need to alter the trouser/skirt details. A number of schools have addressed the same issue by having school authorised trousers/skirts that include a small and discrete school logo on them. Please see the updated uniform information on the website for further details of this
We understand that this update for the trousers/skirts may be a financial burden for some families, therefore we are writing to you to give you plenty of notice of the change. We expect new students entering into the school in September 2017 to be in the updated trousers/skirts. For current students who will be in Year 8 and 9 in September, we are giving a full year to implement the change. These students can choose to wear the updated trouser/skirt option immediately but will need to wear them from September 2018. These changes will not apply to students in Year 10 and 11 from September 2017 as they will only have up to 5 full terms left until GCSE exams are taken. As additional support, please contact the school if you feel you need assistance with the purchasing of the updated items, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moving to the updated trouser/skirt option will make the purchasing of uniform much easier for parents as time will be saved by not having to visit various shops to keep up with the recent fashion trends. The uniform items can be purchased in store or online from MC Sports in
Falmouth. Having a local high street store available to you, along with the online option (available from July) was an important consideration for us. Please note that MC Sports sets the price of the items and the school does not receive any income from these uniform sales. The contract with MC Sports will continue to be reviewed annually to ensure the prices of items are in line with the uniform costs of other schools locally.
As this change is implemented across the next year, our uniform will not require any further changes and we would expect this to be the case for future years, apart from shoes. At present we are one of the only schools locally that allow plain black canvas shoes to be worn. If parents would like us to come in line with other schools and only allow leather/leather-look formal shoes, then we would consider looking at this as we have done with the trousers/skirts.
With regard to the PE uniform, we have not made any compulsory changes for September but will be allowing additional items to be worn as optional choices. Some of these options will have the advantage of reducing the overall cost of the PE kit if they are chosen. Students often comment about the preference to wear tracksuit bottoms, leggings and hooded tops in PE lessons rather than items such as shorts. Therefore, other options available will make these items available for purchase. Please note, as with most schools who do this, only the school approved options will be allowed, available from MC Sports.
If you have any questions about the updated trousers/skirts, please contact the school using the uniform email address email@example.com. You can always pop in and see the Chair of Governors and myself together without an appointment on the dates/times published on the Governance section of the website www.falmouth.cornwall.sch.uk/174/chair-of-governors-meetings.
We will also be holding 1:1 meeting opportunities for parents/carers once every half term at various locations across the town (please look out for further details in the weekly newsletter).
We were delighted to be praised by Ofsted when they inspected the school just before Christmas. The report was very positive recognising all of the effective work the school has done and how good the outcomes are that students now achieve at our school. You can find a copy of the report on the website www.falmouth.cornwall.sch.uk/248/ofsted.
The national school performance tables released just after Christmas further back this up. Similar to the last couple of years, our outcomes achieved by students are significantly above the national averages on every new national measure, putting the school in the top 25% of schools nationally, with Falmouth School being one of the highest achieving schools in Cornwall. It is little surprise that one of the action plan points Ofsted want us to improve on is making sure that our community know about how good their local school is.
Finally, after much work with Cornwall Council and the NHS to ensure the school gets the best deal on the sale of the land at Union Corner to build the new sports facilities for the school and local community, I am delighted to see the work has now started. The houses now being built on Union Corner (Union Park) will fund a new 3g floodlight pitch, a state of the art Sports Pavilion and the creation of new grass pitches on the old Budock Hospital site.
These really are exciting and record breaking times for Falmouth School.
Posted at 13:22 on 24th Feb 2017 Back