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October 23, 2023

Changes Ahead but Time to Pause and Reflect!
As the half-term break arrives, it provides an opportunity for a much-deserved opportunity for the students to spend time with their families and friends as well as ensuring that they are ready for the demands ahead in the second half of term. There are many wonderful elements to life at school, but one of them is provided by the holidays that punctuate the academic year; it gives time to reflect on what has gone well and areas where improvement is required, and it allows individuals to come back with a different mind-set and adjust their attitude to learning when they might need to. For the older year groups and particularly those facing public examinations this summer, it is an opportunity to consolidate the work that they have done this term and last year to ensure that they are well prepared for the challenges ahead. As teachers and educators, it also allows for a moment of reflection and the chance to read around the topics and subjects on the syllabus in order to inspire and elicit curiosity.

Whilst the students look forward to the break ahead, there will be plenty of work being done on the Saint Felix site to improve the facilities and provision for all. The new signs have been put up at the front of school and work has now commenced on preparing the two new grass pitches in order to create fantastic surfaces for future sporting opportunities. In addition, work has now started on the classroom renovation in Clough and will continue at pace for the remainder of the academic year. The Sunk Garden will also be prepared for the arrival of a significant number of saplings that will be arriving courtesy of The Woodland Trust at some point in early November. Once they have arrived, we will prepare for the planting and on a specified day, every student and teacher will plant their own tree to return this part of the estate to its former glory. It is so important to protect, preserve and enrich the beauty of the environment that we are merely custodians of so that future generations can enjoy the awe of nature as much as we all do.

We are delighted to share with you that Saint Felix School have taken a pro-active approach to young people’s mental health and wellbeing by investing in the Wellbeing Hub – Teen Tips for the whole school community; Staff, Pupils from Year 6 to Year 13 and all Parents. We have access to this package for a whole year. We hope you will find this to be an invaluable source of information and support as a Parent. You will find everything you need to access this on the attached welcome letter, and we hope that you can use half term to explore what The Wellbeing Hub has to offer in supporting your child’s mental health and wellbeing. We have also become aware of a webinar which you may find useful and informative run by YMCA Mental Health Training taking place on 1st November 2023 7pm-8pm, with Q&A 8pm-8.30pm on the topic of “What is your child telling you? Seeing beyond the behaviour”. The Webinar will be covering: How the brain and emotions underpin behaviour in children; increase your understanding so that you can anticipate and respond to your child and reduce meltdowns and outbursts; to explore strategies that can help children regulate their behaviour; to ask experienced professionals questions that specifically relate to your own situation. You can register in advance for this webinar:

It is with great sadness that I must announce the departure of four highly respected and valued members of staff at the end of this term. Piers Currie leaves to join Wetheringsett Manor School in Stowmarket; Caitlin Dobson goes on to lead on Literacy and teach English at Ormiston Denes Academy; Ella Cooper leaves to teach Maths at the Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form College and Grace Parker to teach PE and Games at Sir John Leman High School. We wish them all well and I hope that they have an enjoyable last half of term at Saint Felix; we will have a proper opportunity to give our thanks and say farewell at the end of term. We have recruited some very exciting and experienced teachers to replace them, all of whom will start in January; I will use my weekly message later in the term to give you more details about their previous experience and interests.
It is only left to wish you all a very good half term and I look forward to seeing you at Bonfire Night, Friday 10th November, and the Christmas festivities that makes the second half of the Autumn Term so enjoyable.

Yours sincerely,
Matthew Oakman