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St John Baptist High School End of Term letter - 2014

This has been another busy and very successful term for all at St John’s. We came back after the summer break delighted with the results that pupils had received. In particular 94% of our pupils achieved 5 GCSEs A* - C, and 75% 5 GCSEs including English and Mathematics. This statistic ensured that we were the highest school in RCT (5 GCSEs A* - C in English and Mathematics) for the second year and RCT has again placed the school in the highest category. We are all so proud of our pupils and delighted by their success.

Scarcely had we been back in school when we discovered that we had a school inspection, 18 months earlier than expected. We were the first school in Wales to receive only 4 weeks’ notice.

I am delighted to say that Estyn inspectors judged the current performance of our school as ‘Excellent’. In my knowledge, only one other school in Wales has been given ‘excellent’ for current performance in the past 18 months. This is a wonderful achievement and I am absolutely thrilled. I thank all staff, pupils, governors and parents for your hard work and continued support. It really is a ‘team effort’. I am also delighted that an Inspection of our work as a ‘Church School’ found that the Distinctive Christian character of St John’s and the impact of Worship was ‘Excellent’. I was particularly pleased that inspectors commented that pupils are ‘welcoming, courteous, helpful and self-disciplined’; they said ‘pupils’ behaviour is exceptional’ and that ‘there are excellent, caring and supportive working relationships between staff and pupils’.

The week after the inspection, we welcomed Year 6 pupils to the school; they participated in many different activities and really enjoyed the experiences.

Our pupils have been busy and have undertaken various visits, such as those to Big Pit and Cardiff Museum. The caring and generous nature of our pupils was again evident when they raised over £1,000 for our ‘In the Pink Day’ for Breast Cancer, and over £2,000 for ‘Children in Need’. We are so proud of them! We also raised money for past pupil, Owen Williams who suffered a severe spinal cord injury whilst playing for Cardiff Blues in a tournament in Singapore. They also participated in a wonderful show ‘Bugsy Malone’.

Our Christian ethos is always at the heart of our school community. We started the term with a School Eucharist in St Elvan’s Church and in the School Hall. We held our own ‘Act of Remembrance’ on 11th November 2014 when our whole school community observed 2 minutes silence. Each year group in Years 7 – 11 have also participated in a ‘Remembrance Service’. All pupils have placed a poppy in our poppy display in remembrance of all who served in the Armed Forces, and in an endeavour to achieve peace.

We are now looking forward to our Carol Services and extend a very warm welcome to you to join us at St Elvan’s Church at 6.00 pm on Thursday, 18th December 2014.

I hope you all have a most enjoyable, Holy and peaceful Christmas and a happy new year and again thank you for your continued support. We look forward to seeing all pupils back in school on Tuesday, 6th January 2015.

Very best wishes

Yours faithfully

Dr S M Mitchell