You can download a copy of this letter as a PDF.
Please note: If your child is due to start school in September and you do not already have a child on roll at our school you currently will not be able to create a Satchel One parent account. Codes to create parent accounts will be issued once your child starts at FLHS in September.
Dear Parents and Carers
I write to you at the end of what has been a very positive year for the school. Although we have, at times, had to face challenges as a result of the pandemic, over the course of year the general pattern has been one of returning to normality. This has been particularly noticeable since Easter, when it has been particularly pleasing to see numerous trips and extra-curricular activities running so successfully.
I know this letter is quite lengthy but please take the time to read it carefully. It contains the arrangements for the end of term, the start of next term and provides you with some key updates and useful information.
End of term arrangements
The Summer term ends on Thursday 21st July and the school day will finish at 12:15pm. The preceding day, Wednesday 20th July, is activities day and this day along with the final day will be a non-uniform day. Please could all students and parents be aware that our expectations regarding personal appearance and make-up/jewellery are the same as any ‘normal’ day.
New school year
- Tuesday 6th September – Year 7 only attend school
- Wednesday 7th September – All other year groups return to school
On both days, Students should arrive at school for 8:30 for an 8:35 start. For the benefit of Year 7 parents and carers, a reminder of the timings of the school day is as follows:
Period 1: 8.55-9.55
Period 2: 9.55-10.55
Period 3: 11.15-12.15
Period 4: 12.15-1.15
Period 5: 2.00-3.00
Monday Week B Only
Period 4: 1.00-2.00 (school Closes to students 2.00pm)
Uniform Changes from September
As all parents should now be aware, the school uniform changes for all girls from September 2022. The new dress or trousers as the alternative to the dress are to be worn by all girls in school, and all students in all year groups will need to wear the new tie. We are aware of the issues that some parents have experienced with the new tie and we have worked with our suppliers to ensure that the quality has improved. There are now three types of the new tie available – clip-on, elasticated band and velcro.
We have also made some changes to what we expect in terms of coats for school. Many students are wearing coats that are more of a fashion item as opposed to being a sensible coat for school. To provide clarity, we have uploaded on to our website what is deemed an appropriate coat and what is not. From September, students who are not wearing an acceptable coat for school will be asked to remove it.
We make no apologies for our high expectations because excellent standards in a secondary school start with high standards of uniform. Please also remember that our school serves a diverse socio-economic community and clear guidelines about uniform helps all our families by acting as a leveller. We appreciate the full support of all parents on this.
If you have old items of uniform (excluding the old style skirts and ties) or school shoes which are in good condition, please could you consider donating this to school so that we can help other families. Please contact your child’s Head of Year if you are able to assist with this, or alternatively bring it in and leave it with our reception staff.
We have sent with this letter a safeguarding newsletter from Wigan Council. This contains useful information and guidance to help you to keep your child safe. Should you experience any issues or if you have any concerns, the newsletter also signposts some useful support networks that might be able to help. To download a copy of this newsletter, click here.
New School Building
Work is well underway on the new school and will continue over the Summer holidays. So far, the completion date is still expected to be September 2023. We will of course keep you updated on the progress of the works.
School Meals costs
It has unfortunately become necessary to increase some of the prices on our catering menu due to the continuing impact of inflation over the past few months. The increases will take place with effect from September 2022, when we return after the Summer break.
As you will be aware, there have been significant increases in the cost of ingredients, transport and energy and these all have a direct impact on the cost of producing school meals as has the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Our catering provider, Taylor Shaw, and the school have absorbed some of the costs, but it has now become necessary to increase the price of some items by a further 5% to make the service viable. We have benchmarked our service costs against other local schools and although I know that this will cause considerable concern for some parents, we firmly believe that the prices offer good value for money.
The new menu with price guides can be found on our website and you will see that students can still benefit from a meal deal of a hot meal, snack and drink for £2.55 and we have items from our saver menu priced at just over £1.
Those students who are entitled for Free School Meals will have their daily allowance increased from £2.45 to £2.55 from the first day back after the Summer break to reflect the price increases.
Thank you once again for your ongoing support and understanding.
Asda, Morrisons and Dunelm Cafes children can eat for £1 or less this summer
At Asda, children can get a hot or cold meal for just £1 in cafes. The Kids Eat for £1 deal is available all day long from July 25 until September 4. Baby food is also part of the new initiative, with young ones able to enjoy a free pouch of Ella’s Kitchen baby food in local Asda Cafes. No minimum spend is required.
Dunelm Pausa cafes are allowing children to eat for free for every £4 spent in their cafes. You can get one free mini main, two snacks and a drink. This offer is available now.
When you purchase one adult meal over £4.99, children can get a free meal from the children’s menu at Morrisons. Children’s meals also include a piece of fruit and Tropicana Kids Orange or Apple drink or bottle of water.
There are also other retailers running offers and these have been shared on our social media platforms.
Year 11 2023
Parents of Year 11 2023 should be aware that changes and concessions made to the exams and exam specifications for last year’s cohort to counter the impact of Covid are no longer in place. Year 11 2023 will be sitting the full GCSEs and Vocational courses without any adjustments to content or exam papers. As a school, we have a comprehensive package of support in place for your child to help them through their examination year but ultimately, the key to success in Year 11 will be their own attitude to learning, hard work, effort and commitment. To support the Year 10 transition into Year 11, all Faculties have set summer homework for the students to complete over the holidays. This is not intended to be onerous but to help students recall key information and key concepts in each subject area. If you can please encourage your child to engage with this. Details of this work will be explained to each class and will be posted on either Satchel:One or within Office 365 platforms. We will be reporting to you in autumn on how effectively your child has engaged with this work.
Encouraging your child to read
GCSE examinations have an average reading age of 15 years and 7 months. Sadly, we have some students in school with reading ages significantly lower than this. If your child cannot read well, they will struggle to access course content from Year 10 onwards. As parents and carers, one of the key things that you can do to help your child succeed in school is to encourage them to read. If you are struggling with ideas for books, this link takes you to suggested reading lists for students in both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.
A reminder to parents and carers that if you have not yet signed up to Satchel One and downloaded the parent app, please do so. The system continues to improve. As well as homework, it allows parents to track attendance, behaviour points and rewards. Details of how to log-in can be found here.
At the end of this term we say farewell to two long-serving members of staff. After 27 years at Freddie’s, Mrs Jackson from our MFL team will be leaving us. Mrs Killey, Head of Year 8 will be retiring this year after 17 years of service to the school. They will be replaced by two returning members of staff. Mrs Turner, who left us in 2018, will return to Freddie’s as Head of the new Year 9 and Miss Slack, who left us in 2017, returns as our new MFL teacher. We also say farewell to Mr Leslie who has been working with our English team this year and Mr Corrigan who has worked as our Arts technician for 3 years and who this year qualified as a music teacher. I am sure that you will all join me in wishing all of them the very best for the future.
Finally, I would like thank parents for their continued support throughout the year and I would also like to thank and commend all of your children for their hard work and positivity.
I wish you and your families an enjoyable and safe summer.
Mr P Davies