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Ss John Fisher and Thomas More
Roman Catholic High School

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Let all our bright
colours shine.

Changes to the School Day

Dear Parents/Carers

As you may well be aware, there have been a number of important changes to the education system in recent months, most notably with regard to school funding and the new examination system at GCSE. This has had two important consequences for us here at Fisher More: firstly, the need to still maintain a broad and balanced curriculum for all pupils so that they continue to achieve despite constraints related directly to cuts in our budget; secondly, to allocate more teaching time to all subjects, including the core subjects of English and Mathematics, so that they can deliver all the content that is required in the more challenging and lengthy examination specifications that have now come into place.

Also, we are now becoming acutely aware of the limitations of our school building. Our school building, built in the 1960s for 450 pupils, struggles to cope with our current number on roll. This has led to particular difficulties supervising pupils at lunchtime and during wet weather. The pupils themselves have raised this as an issue.

As a consequence of the above, the school has been forced to look at the structure of the school day and assess whether it is still fit for purpose. Governors, staff and pupils have been consulted as part of this review.

To help alleviate the aforementioned issues, the school has decided to implement a new school day. It is important to state that the school day will still start at 8.55am and finish at 3.30pm. However, the school day for KS3 and KS4 will be different and will now look like this:

You will notice that a split lunchtime is to be introduced. Years 7-9 will take lunch from 12.10pm until 1.00pm. Years 10 and 11 will take lunch from 1.00pm until 1.50pm. We are confident that this will resolve some of the issues that we are encountering at lunchtimes.

It is also important to note that fifteen minutes of registration time will now be dedicated to DEAR time and targeted intervention. DEAR stands for Drop Everything and Read. All pupils must bring a suitable book to form and read for the allotted time. A variety of support measures will be put in place to encourage pupils to see the benefits reading can have in improving their literacy skills – an area of weakness identified by the school for a significant number of our pupils.

It is very much hoped that you as parents will support the school’s drive to make these improvements with us. As ever, we value your support in your child’s education as it helps us to get the best possible outcomes for them.

The new school day will be implemented for all pupils from Tuesday, 5th September 2017. We intend to trial the system in the week beginning 10th July 2017. This is to ensure the smooth implementation of the system when the new academic year starts in September. It will help us to iron out any issues and/or teething problems with the new systems we are introducing.

We appreciate that any change can be unsettling but we hope that this system will quickly become part of a new and improved routine for all of our pupils, a system that encourages all our pupils to be the best that they can be!

Should you have any queries regarding any of the above information, please contact me at school (bridge.d@fishermore.lancs.sch.uk). We would also welcome any feedback that you might receive from your children - positive or negative - as we move forwards together.

Yours faithfully

Mr D. Bridge

Assistant Headteacher