To download a copy of this letter, click here.
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 and as we look forward to what will be a significant year ahead. 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 key updates and useful information.
End of term arrangements
The Summer term ends on Friday 21st July and the school day will finish at 12:15pm. The preceding day (Thursday 20th July) is activities day and this day, along with the final day, will be a non-uniform day. We would ask students on the last day of term to donate £1:00 which will be given to two very worthwhile charities which are close to the school’s heart at present: St Ann’s Hospice and the charity GAIN which supports sufferers of Guillian-Barre Syndrome (GBS) and their families. 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.
Start of school year
- Tuesday 5th September – Year 7 only attend school
- Wednesday 6th September – All other year groups return to school
On both days, Students should arrive at school for 8:30 for an 8:35 start. As a reminder to all parents we have extended the school day by five minutes from September. The new timings are as follows:
Period 1: 09.00-10.00
Period 2: 10.00-11.00
Period 3: 11.20-12.20
Period 4: 12.20-1.20
Period 5: 2.05-3.05
Monday Week B Only
Period 4: 1.05-2.05 (school Closes to students 2.05pm)
Upon returning to school after Easter we introduced a new system of Lates Detentions. These have had a significant and positive impact on improving punctuality to school in the morning and to lessons throughout the day. As a reminder, the full details of how this system works can be found here. At the start of the school day please make sure that your child arrives to school on time. To be clear, a student arriving to school after the bell rings at 8:35 will be marked late for school and will receive a detention.
Uniform Changes from September and Equipment
From September, jumpers will no longer be part of our uniform and students will not be allowed to wear them to school.
In preparation for the winter months, I would like to draw your attention to what we deem appropriate and sensible coats for the winter. Many students wear 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. This can be found here.
We have also listened to parental feedback regarding summer uniform, and we are working with suppliers to source an appropriate style of shorts for boys to wear in the summer term next year. Although no firm decision has yet been made, it is something we will be actively reviewing in time for next summer.
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.
In terms of equipment, from September we will be making it an additional requirement that all students have a pencil case as part of their basic stationery. This is to further help students organise themselves for school.
If you have old items of uniform 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.
New School Building
In April I wrote to parents with the provisional plans for the transition into the new school building. A link to that letter and the information in full can be found here. I have provided the main points here as a reminder. In the Autumn Term we will be meeting regularly with the contractors and will keep these plans under constant review.
- Thursday 12th October. School will close at 3pm to most students.
- Friday 13th October. We are planning to have provision for Year 11 only in the Maths and Humanities block. School will be closed to all other year groups as the decant into the new school begins. We had originally hoped to bring in Year 10 as well but we now know that this will not be feasible.
- Monday 16th October to Monday 30th October. DFE enforced closure of school to allow for the full decant into the new school building.
The following arrangements will depend on access arrangements to the site and may change. If we can, we will bring more year groups on site to complete the induction process.
- Tuesday 31st October. Induction of Year 7 and Year 11 into the new school building. Students in both of these year groups will remain in school for the rest of the week.
- Wednesday 1st November. Year 7, Year 11 and Year 10 only attend school. Following their induction day, Year 10 will be sent home for the rest of the week to keep numbers low in the school whilst we complete the induction of Year 9.
- Thursday 2nd November. Year 7, Year 11 and Year 9 only attend school. Following their induction day, Year 9 will be sent home for the rest of the week to keep numbers low in the school whilst we complete the induction of Year 8.
- Friday 3rd November. Year 11, Year 7 and Year 8 only attend school.
Whilst year groups are at home during this week, faculties will provide work packs for students to complete. On-line learning is not an option during this time because staff will be involved in the induction process. Once the induction days have been completed, school will open as normal for all year groups on Monday 6th November.
Mental Health support over the summer holidays
If you have any urgent concerns around a student’s mental health or risk to themselves, please contact the CAMHS duty worker for advice and to consider whether urgent assessment is indicated on 01942 764473. Out of hours, parents/students should contact Wigan mental health urgent response team – 0800 051 3253 (24/7 mental health crisis line for people of all ages in Wigan).
For general Mental Health Support Team enquiries, please email WiganMHST@gmmh.nhs.uk
Students can also be advised that they can access out of hours support through
If a student feels unable to keep themselves safe or expresses plans or intent to harm themselves they should be taken to A&E for urgent assessment.
Other useful websites:
Support during the summer holidays
For any students eligible for free school meals, you should have received vouchers to your designated parental email from the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme. This programme supports families by providing healthy meals and enrichment activities for thousands of young people across the borough during the Summer, Christmas and Easter holidays. If you require any further information or support with access, please email Mrs Ward email@example.com.
We would also like to make parents aware of various offers available from a variety of retailers over the summer holidays. Further information can be found at the Money Saving Central website.
Free Swimming Lessons
I would also like to make parents aware that over the summer holidays, Wigan Council are offering free swimming lessons to all secondary aged students in the Borough. To find out more contact the swimming team at the local council by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and quote OSF2023.
Year 11 2024 – Summer Homework
Parents of Year 11 2024 should be aware that there are no changes and concessions being made to the exams and exam specifications to compensate for lost learning due to Covid. Year 11 2024 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.
Communication with school
I would like to thank the majority of our parents for the overwhelming support you show for the school, and particularly this half term. We always pride ourselves on our excellent reputation in terms of safeguarding, behaviour and outcomes, and we cannot stress enough the importance of strong school-parent partnerships. We do not correspond with parents on any issues concerning their child via social media, so if you do have any concerns that you need to raise, please do so using the appropriate channels of communication, which in the first instance should be your child’s Head of Year.
I wish you and your families an enjoyable and safe summer.
Mr P Davies