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09 July 2021

Headmistress' End of Term Address

Headmistress End of Term Address

We thought last year was a unique one in education but I think we would all agree this one has broken the mould!

Once again, I am indebted to the whole community for their support and commitment to the education of our students and we almost managed an unbroken record! The senior students (Years 7, 9 and 10) will be returning home with a hard copy of their reports, so do search the bottom of those bags! We will post out Year 8 reports. They are available on the parent portal.

At the end of each year, we often say goodbye to staff and this year is no exception. We have a number of retirees and some exploring new directions. Mrs Rhodes, Prep Teaching Assistant is retiring and looking forward to spending more time with her recently retired husband. They are planning to travel more. Mrs Thompson, Teacher of French, who has worked here for many years, is also looking forward to her retirement. Mr Herring, Teacher of Music, is also retiring but I am hoping to see him occasionally playing our organ at future events! We are very indebted to these staff for their extensive contribution and commitment to the College. Mrs Green, Head of Prep’s PA is leaving to work for the Wildlife Trust and Mrs Kroon, Head of Psychology, is leaving to explore new adventures. They have both been invaluable members of the College community and we wish them success. Mrs Hetherington who came in to help us in the English Department is returning to her education work outside the College and Mrs Walker, Teacher of RS, who is going on to a full time post. Mr Fradley, Head of Physics, is going to run a larger Physics Department. Mrs Baksalara, Assistant Housemistress in Boarding, is changing her role to a more casual one. We wish these staff much success in their change of role and thank them for their role in the College community. And last but not least, we said a sad farewell to Mr Mannall, Head of Prep. I know how valued he has been from your comments to me as parents and these opinions are reflected in the staff room and classrooms. We wish him all the best as he returns to his first love... Maths!

Just a reminder that there will be a briefing from me around 12August 2021. The Government has made a number of recent announcements regarding bubbles, masks and lateral flow tests. I will not be making any decisions regarding these matters until I have seen how the picture develops post 19 July 2021. My experience tells me that there could well be last minute changes and decisions from the Department for Education so I am taking a ‘wait and see’ approach. I will make the decisions and relevant adjustments to our Covid-19 risk assessment, which most suits the circumstances, in mid-August. Please look out for that mailing.

We would like to ask for your help with uniform donations and to advise you on current arrangements for the Second-hand Uniform Shop (SHUS). Uniform Donations As we change from summer to winter uniform, many of you will be updating your child’s uniform. Please remember that we hold stock of high quality second-hand items that normally resell at about 50% of the value of a brand new item. If you find you have any uniform items that no longer fit your child but that are clean, in good condition with no damage or stains, we would be very happy to receive these items. The SHUS operates a rebate scheme with a donating parent. We will accept uniform as a 100% donation but, if you wish, we can also pass on a 50% rebate to you for items sold in the SHUS. (Acceptance into stock is at the discretion of the SHUS volunteers). Donations can be handed in to either Prep or Main reception. Arrangements for the Shop: Our opening times are Thursday mornings from 8-9am during term time. The SHUS also operates online requests via the PA's website and you can also email us at We can also offer personal appointments, subject to the availability of our volunteers. During term time, orders will either be put in a named bag to be collected from the table opposite the SHUS door at main reception or, for Prep parents, items can be left in the Prep Foyer for pick-up time. During the holidays, we can also leave the orders for you to collect at main reception.

Sixth Form Art & Photography have an amazing opportunity that is open to all those who are interested. Following the short film competition that has been open for a few months, an Oscars Day will be taking place in September. The whole school will be involved on the day and further information will come out closer to the time. There is also an additional activity that is open to any willing participants. This will be to create a short film that is between 5-20 minutes. There will be an award and prize given out to the 'Best Individual Film', on the day. So, any person or small group (2-4 people) will be able to enter this category with their own short film. We have thought it would be a good idea to send this information out now so that you will be able to have the whole summer to create what you would like. There are no limits by genre, style or themes, only that it must not contain any inappropriate language as it will be shown to the whole school. If you have any questions about this or you feel you already have something you would like to submit , please email either Robyn Norwood, Katie McNulty or Eloise Mair. We hope you will get involved and really show how creative and imaginative you all are. It is the perfect opportunity for anyone looking to get into film, performance or media, too.

I would like to remind you that there are no buses until term starts in earnest on Wednesday 8 September 2021.

Thank you for your ongoing support of St. Francis’ College and your words of encouragement over the last few months. I am grateful to my staff who continue to give above and beyond in support of the development and education of your children.

Wishing you a long and happy summer.

Yours sincerely, Mrs Bronwen Goulding Headmistress

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