Return to College | Letter from the Principal

30th August 2022

Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope you and your family are well and have had a lovely summer.  We have less than a week until students return, and we are looking forward to welcoming them back to College and build on the successes from last year.  In this letter, there is some important information to ensure all students have a good start to the new College year.  I have also recorded a presentation which you can find at the bottom of this page, please watch the presentation with your child, as it provides some more detail. 

Examination results

Congratulations to the Y10, Y11 and Y13 students with their results.  It has certainly been a difficult two years preparing for the exams; however, the hard work and dedication has paid off and we are proud of their achievements.  We thank parents and staff for their support and commitment to the students to ensure students were ready for their exams.

Summer School

The vast majority of our new Year 7 students attended the Summer School last week.  It was a wonderful week of ‘Gadgets and Gizmos’ and it has supported the students with their transition to high school.  It is fantastic to see them making new friends and immersing themselves in Cowley life.

First day back

The first day back for students is Monday 5th September at 8:30am.  There is no wasted time moving to the new College year, there will Team Time and assemblies during Period 1 and 2 and students will start curriculum lessons Period 3.

Reading, Reading and Reading

There is a direct link between reading levels and success at school.  The students who read often are more likely to do well in their exams.  We want your children to be successful and we want them to love reading.  Reading will continue to be a priority this year and it is essential that, every day, they have some time reading at home.

Being prepared for September

We continue to have high standards and expectations for uniform and equipment.  Please check our uniform policy (click here) so there are no shocks on the first day. If your child has enjoyed the opportunity of the summer with hair colour, piercings, nail varnish, false nails and eye lashes etc, then please ensure these are all sorted, and your child is ‘Cowley ready’ for their first day.   Your child will also need a suitable school bag with all the required equipment for every college day – Uniform and Equipment | (cowley.st-helens.sch.uk).

Plastic free Cowley

I am proud to say that Cowley will not be using single use plastics from September.  The students in the Eco Committee have calculated the huge numbers of plastic bottles that students use each week shared this during assemblies and meetings.  Therefore, students are required to have a reusable water bottle with them as part of their equipment and bottled drinks will not be available to buy from the canteen.  The eco committee ran a competition to design a Cowley water bottle and these free bottles will distributed to students next week. However, if your child wants to invest in an insulated bottle, this is fine.  The College has also fitted more water fountains to enable students to do their bit for the environment, save money and stay hydrated. 

Mobile phones

We are aware that many students have a mobile phone, and they may have spent a significant amount of time using their phone over the summer.  Returning to school will require students to be disciplined about when and where to use mobile phones.  Cowley’s expectations and rules will remain the same as previous years.  Phones cannot be a distraction to their learning and phones should not be seen or heard inside the building.  Phones should be turned off and in school bags while students are inside the building.  Students may check and use their phone at break and lunch while on the playground.  If a phone is heard or seen while inside the building, then the phone will be confiscated, and the student will be choosing a 30-minute after college detention. Please do remind your child about this basic and reasonable expectation.

EarPods/headphones

It is becoming more common for people to have EarPods or headphones.  The same expectations as mobile phone is for EarPods/headphones (not be seen or heard inside the building).  However, we recommend that students do not use these while travelling to and from college, so they can hear the traffic.

Class Charts

Parents told us they liked the Class Charts app we introduced last year as it has given them some powerful daily information to help them understand how their child is performing.  We will continue to use Class Charts for attendance, rewards and behaviour.  Please ensure you have your logon details and the App, so you can see ‘live’ information about how your child is performing each day.  Over the term, we are looking at introducing the Class Charts Homework feature, so parents can track and support with Homework.  More information will follow on this towards the half term break.

Extracurricular clubs and activities

We are looking forward to offering the amazing Cowley extracurricular timetable this year, with clubs, sports, performing arts and trips.  I encourage all students to get involved in as many extracurricular activities as possible and immerse themselves into Cowley life.  More information will be shared to students in September about these activities.

Keeping in contact

Communication with parents and carers is so important.  We will use different methods to communicate.  Please ensure we have up-to-date mobile numbers and email addresses.  Please contact the main office when there are changes.

Open evenings

Each year, we open our doors to the community so they can meet the staff and students and have a look around the wonderful facilities we have.  If you would like to attend these evenings, then the dates are below.

  • 11-16 site – 15th September 5-8pm
  • Post 16 site – 29th September & 17th November 5-7:30pm

Parents’ evenings

The partnership between college and parents is paramount for the success and wellbeing of students.  The data shows that students achieve 2 grades better at GCSE and take part in more extracurricular activities when parents come to Parents’ evenings.  Please add these dates to your diaries: 

Year groupParents’ evening 1 (4-7pm) Parents’ evening 2 (4-7pm)
Y710 November 2022 29 June 2023
Y89 March 2023 15 June 2023
Y912 January 2023 29 June 2023
Y1023 February 2023 15 June 2023
Y116 October 2022 2 March 2023

I am confident that this year is going to be a great year and it is wonderful seeing the enthusiasm, optimism and excitement from the new Year 7s at Summer School.  If your child works hard, reads every day and demonstrates the Cowleian Characteristics, I guarantee they will be successful this year.

As always, if there is anything we can do to support you or your family, then please do get in touch with the College.

Best wishes,

Mr Cormack, Principal