End of Term Letter – December 2023

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Dear Parents and Carers,

I write to you as we approach the end of the Autumn Term 2023. This has been a very exciting and positive term for the school. The move into our new school has been a success and the students are now starting to benefit from our new facilities. Next term, there will be a number of opportunities for parents to come on site and see the new school building. Logistically, we are still managing construction work that is taking place on the site which means there are certain restrictions in place both for parents dropping students off at school and parking, and for students on the school site during the school day. As access on the school site improves, we will review all of our systems in school and keep you informed of the updates and changes. We will also be reviewing the school day in the next half term.

BEST Standards - Basic Expectations and Uniform

We expect excellent behaviour, good manners and a positive attitude to learning from all of our students. Our basic expectations are encapsulated in our BEST standards.

The standard of uniform so far this year has been very good and our students look smart. Please keep in mind our policies on uniform, haircuts, jewellery and make up so that this continues and to avoid any issues at the start of next term. False eyelashes, false nails and fake tan are not allowed in school. Hoodies should also not be worn as an alternative to a coat. Our uniform policy can be accessed here.


We have seen improvements in overall attendance for large numbers of our students so far this academic year and I’d like to thank parents for your continued support; however, post-pandemic improving attendance remains a key area for us to focus on. We need all students to be in school every day whenever possible. I must also remind parents of our policy on holidays in school time. We cannot authorise any holidays in school hours.

Lates Detentions

The Lates Detentions that we have introduced have had a significant and positive impact on improving punctuality to school in the morning and to lessons throughout the day. Punctuality in school has improved by 33%.

Each morning students now line up in their form groups before entering the school building. I need to be clear with parents on how lates detentions in the morning will be issued going forward. The first morning bell rings at 8:32 which is the signal for students to move into their lines. The second bell rings at 8:35. Students who are not in their Line Up at 8:35 will be marked late for school and will be given a lates detention. To avoid any risk of getting a detention we ask students to be on site by 8:30am. If there is a

genuine reason why students are late to school, parents need to inform us. Year 11 are the only year group who do not line up. Year 11 students need to be in their form rooms by 8:35 to avoid a lates detention.

Key Dates for the Spring Term 2024

  • Thursday 18th January – Year 11 Mock Results Day.
  • Thursday 25th January – Year 11 Parents’ Evening, 4:30 to 7:30 in school.
  • Thursday 15th February – Year 9 Parents’ Evening and Options Evening, 4:30 to 7:30 in school.
  • Wednesday 28th February and Thursday 29th February – one to one option interviews for Year 9. 3:30 to 7:30 both evenings.
  • Thursday 7th March – Year 8 Parents’ Evening, 4:30 to 7:30 in school.
  • Wednesday 27th March – Year 10 Parents’ Evening, 4:30 to 7:30 in school.
  • Thursday 28th March – End of Spring Term. School closes at 3:05pm

Other key events and activities that will take place next term include our School Production, the Evening of Dance and Work Experience week for Year 10. The details of these events will be communicated separately when we return to school in the New Year

Safeguarding and Mental Health Support for Young People over the Christmas Break

Whilst our students are away from school for the next two weeks the following information and guidance maybe useful.

  • If you are concerned that a child, young person, or a vulnerable adult is at risk of experiencing abuse or neglect, then you should report this straight away. Acting speedily will enable the appropriate services to take the proper actions to prevent harm.
  • Report any safeguarding concerns about a child or young person to Wigan Children’s Safeguarding and Social Work Teams: 01942 828300
  • If you believe a crime has been committed, contact the police on 101. If you believe a person is at immediate risk of harm, please call 999 Further information can be found here: https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Health-Social-Care/index.aspx

Mental Health Support Care Plan/Keep Safe Plan

Advice for Parents/Carers

If you are worried about your child’s emotional wellbeing or mental health, it can be difficult to know how to help. Here are some useful tips and advice for supporting them and how to access help if you need it.

How can I help my child?

  • Look out for signs of change – notice when they seem upset, withdrawn or irritable. Help them to stay healthy, including getting enough sleep, eating well, and balancing school work with hobbies. Encourage them to use online advice and support lines if they need to.
  • Encourage them to talk about their worries – don’t worry if your child doesn’t want to say much. Sometimes just knowing their parent or carer is there and willing to listen is enough. They may open up more later when they feel confident enough to do so. Try to avoid asking your child lots of questions all at once.
  • Keep Calm – Try not to get into a hostile confrontation.
  • Increase supervision – Keep an eye on your child but avoid ‘policing’ them because this can increase their risk of self-harming.
  • Seek professional help. Your child may need a risk assessment from a qualified mental health professional. Talk to your GP and explore whether your child can be referred to your local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
  • Keep the house safe – some young people may have urges to harm themselves in a crisis so it’s important to keep all medicines locked away, including painkillers like paracetamol. Remove sharp objects like razor blades from communal areas such as the bathroom, and store chemicals like bleach and tools like craft knifes away safely, in a locked cupboard or drawer if possible.

Who can support me and my child?

  • Wigan CAMHS and speak with Duty Team – open Monday – Friday and between hours of 9am – 5pm. Tel: 01942 764473
  • You can get support from Startwell (Wigan Social Care) which offers support in all areas of a child and family’s life.
  • Support for yourself can be accessed through your GP. You could also try speaking to your family, friends or faith leader for emotional support.
  • Helplines such as Samaritans and PAPYRUS provide out of hours support to those who are struggling. More information can be found on their website.

Where can I get information, support and advice?

Minded For Families (website) has a wide range of Department of Health resources on many topics including low mood, self-harm and anxiety, as well as advice and tools for supporting your child during a crisis. Visit: www.mindedforfamilies.org.uk

Young Minds (website) has a range of resources and information for both young people and parents. Visit: www.youngminds.org.uk/find-help

What should I do in a crisis or emergency?

If you feel that your child is at risk and you can’t manage this on your own, or if they have harmed themselves or are making serious threats about harming themselves, we would advise you to visit your nearest A&E department to get immediate help.

Useful Contacts
Emergency Services (Police, Ambulance etc) Call: 999 (24 Hours and 7 days a week)
Wigan CAMHS Call: 01942 764473 (Open Monday – Friday 9am-5pm)
Papyrus Hopeline Call: 0800 068 4141 or Text: 07786209697 10am – 10pm weekdays 2pm – 10pm weekends 2pm – 10pm bank holidays. If you are having thoughts of suicide or are concerned for a young person who might be you can contact HOPELINEUK for confidential support and practical advice
Samaritans Helpline Call: 116 123 We're here round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need a response immediately, it's best to call us on the phone. This number is FREE to call. You don't have to be suicidal to call us.
Young Minds Website: www.youngminds.org Young Minds provides lots of useful information regarding mental health and behaviour concerns for children and young people and has a variety supporting resources, as well as advice on where to get support and a parent helpline, which is free from mobiles and landlines. Parents Helpline on 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am–4pm)
NSPCC Phone: 0808 800 5000 - Email: help@nspcc.org.uk - Website: www.nspcc.org.uk Contact our trained helpline counsellors for 24/7 help, advice and support.
Wigan Mental Health Urgent Response Team Phone: 0800 051 3253 - 24/7 mental health crisis line for people of all ages in Wigan.

Further useful resources to support you and your family over Christmas

  • E-Safety – CEOPwww.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre
  • Child Line (24 hrs) under 18s 0800 11 11
  • NSPCC – Child Protection Helpline (24 hrs) 0800 800 5000
  • Crime Victims – Victim Support 0845 303 0900
  • Crime stoppers – Crime Prevention 0800 555 111
  • National Missing Persons – Parents’ Helpline 0500 700 700
  • Runaway Helpline – 0800 800 7070
  • Samaritans (24 hrs) – 08457 90 90 90 or www.samaritans.org
  • Youth Access – Discuss problems confidentially, 020 8772 9900 and put you in touch with someone locally
  • CALM (boys aged 15+ (5.00pm – midnight)) 0800 58 58 58 or www.thecalmzone.net
  • Anxiety UK – 08444 775 774
  • MIND – Mental Health Problems 0300 123 3393
  • Child Bereavement UK (9.00am – 5.00pm) 0800 028 8840
  • Relationships Help – RELATE 0300 100 1234 or www.relate.org.uk
  • Depression Alliancewww.depressionalliance.org

On behalf of all at Fred Longworth High School, I would like to wish you a safe and enjoyable Christmas holiday with family and friends. Thank you again for your continued support.

Yours sincerely,

Mr P Davies