As the academic year 2021/22 closes, on behalf of all of the staff and Governors at Mountain Ash Comprehensive School, I wish to thank you for your support, patience and resilience throughout this last year. I had hoped that 2021/22 would be a more normal school year, but the reality has been that returning to ‘normal’ has taken longer than any of us expected and we are still feeling the effects of the pandemic.
I am very proud of the way in which the children have adapted to the changes that have happened over the last few years. I am especially proud of all learners who have had examinations this year and send them my very best wishes for their results in August.
The staff, Governors and I are looking forward to the new academic year 2022/23 and, in readiness for September, I wish to share some key information below.
Examinations results days
Thursday 18th August: AS/A2 results (Years 12 and 13).
Thursday 25th August: GCSE results (Years 9,10 and 11).
School will be open to learners to collect results between 9a.m. and 11a.m.
Year 9 learners who have passed their qualifications in Equality and Diversity and/or Financial Capability can collect their certificates between 9a.m and 11a.m. on Thursday 25th August.
Information for learners moving into Years 12 and 13 will be given out on results days.
Start of term arrangements
Monday 5th September: INSET day
Tuesday 6th September: INSET day
Wednesday 7th September:
- First day of school for all learners Years 7-11.
- Registration for learners moving into Years 12 and 13 will also take place on Wednesday 7th September.
Thursday 8th September:
- First day of lessons for all sixth form students across the Cynon Valley Consortium
Preparation and key information for September 2022
In order to help you as parent(s)/carer(s) to support your child for the return to school in September, please see the key information below on presentation of work, uniform, positive relationships and attendance:-
Presentation of work: the school has high standards for the presentation of exercise books and work. In September, we will be asking learners to cover their exercise books in clear sticky backed plastic to protect them. Sticky backed plastic is widely available in supermarkets and shops, but often sells out in September, so it may be worth purchasing this ahead of the start of the new school term.
Uniform: please see the school website (https://macs.uk.net/school-uniform/) for the details of our school uniform; this also clarifies items which are not part of school uniform and which are not allowed to be worn in school such as hoodies/ zipped hoodies.
Positive relationships/ behaviour: positive relationships between staff/learners and learners and their peers are critical to ensuring a calm and productive learning environment in the classroom and around the school. To support this, for September 2022 we have reviewed and revised our school policy on positive relationships which covers rewards and sanctions, restorative approaches, rules and routines. Some of the key changes for September include:-
- Clearer rules and expectations for conduct in lessons and around school
- Clearer daily routines, which we will practice in September
- A more graduated response for sanctions including detentions and after school detention
- No mobile phones to be used by learners in years 7-11, anywhere on the school site during the school day. If you wish your child to bring his/her mobile phone to school, it must be switched off and remain in his/her school bag at all times. This ban starts at the school gates
We will also continue to use Classcharts next year and would advise that you download the App if you do not yet have this. Rewards, sanctions, attendance and detentions will all run through Classcharts. See our website for guidance: https://macs.uk.net/classcharts/
In the first weeks back in September, we will spend time in assemblies with all learners on our rules, routines and expectations. We will also be sharing further information with all parent(s)/Carer(s) through the website and parentmail.
Attendance: At Mountain Ash Comprehensive School, we recognise the positive impact that regular attendance has on achievement. Excellent attendance at school is crucial to give your child the best chance of success. We need your support in ensuring that absences are not planned in school time so that your child has every opportunity to succeed.
Evidence suggests that there is a strong link between good attendance and school success:
- Every child should aim for attendance of 95% or above
- If you take a two-week holiday in term time your child’s attendance will automatically be reduced to less than 95%
- Research suggests that 17 missed school days every year equates to a drop in a GCSE grade
What happens if your child is unable to attend school or has an appointment?
Wherever possible, please book any appointments outside of school times. Please note that if your child is at an appointment during the school day, this counts as an absence on their attendance record.
Holidays in Term Time
Leave of absence during term time is actively discouraged as it negatively impacts on the pupil’s ability to engage with the full curriculum.
The school will consider any application for leave of absence; parents and carers must apply in advance for permission for their child to have leave of absence (four weeks minimum for a family holiday). Forms to request a leave of absence can be obtained from the school, either in paper copy from the school office or from the school website https://macs.uk.net/attendance/. Reasons where application may be rejected are:
• Attendance rates below 95% for the academic year up to the holiday start date.
• Holidays during examination periods.
• Holidays during September/October.
MACS official communication channels are:
- School website: https://macs.uk.net/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/main_macs (@Main_MACS)
I hope that this information will be useful to you and your child/children in preparation for the new school year in September 2022.
On behalf of the staff and Governors at Mountain Ash Comprehensive School, I wish you all a restful summer break and look forward to working in partnership with you next year, to support your child/children to maximise their potential.
S J Evans