Letter from the Headteacher (2022-23) 7

Ramadan Kareem

We have entered the holiest of months in the Islamic calendar, Ramadan, and hundreds of pupils and their families have begun a period of fasting (sawm). Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which Muslims believe are compulsory acts ordered by God: the other pillars are faith (shahada), prayer (salat), charity (zakat) and pilgrimage (hajj).

Just like the Lenten discipline of the Christian faith, Ramadan is a time for us to strengthen our relationship with God and to practice kindness, patience and charity. If you are a non-Muslim and want to wish your Muslim brothers and sisters well, you can say ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ (which means ‘Blessed Ramadan’) or ‘Ramadan Kareem’ (which means ‘Generous Ramadan’).

Fasting and physical education

As pupils observe Ramadan, it is important they can be as fit and healthy as possible. However, fasting presents a challenge for children in school, especially when it comes to physical education. Parents and carers are encouraged to continue to educate their children about the importance of adequate sleep quantity and quality, diet and hydration.

We expect that pupils will continue to participate in PE lessons during Ramadan but our teachers will sensitively lower activity levels and monitor the wellbeing children. If a fasting pupil wishes to take some time out from activity, or take a break, they simply need to let their teacher know. Everybody responds differently to fasting, so we’ll take a person-centred approach to providing support.

School uniform

Please make every effort to ensure your child attends school in the correct uniform. We are experiencing particular difficulties in children refusing to wear black shoes to school and would appreciate your help in putting this right.

Attendance and punctuality

Like all schools in Wales, we are also facing challenges in maintaining high levels of post-pandemic attendance and punctuality. A child’s success at school is likely to be affected negatively if their attendance is poor. Those who do not attend regularly fall behind in their learning leading to feelings of frustration and unhappiness. However, every case is different and we will always try to support families to improve the situation.

Please support us by ensuring that your child has arrived on site by 8.30am, ready for their first lesson at 8.40am.

I should point out that, in almost all circumstances, holidays during term time will not be authorised. After so much school closure, every lesson really does count. If you do intend to request a leave of absence for your child, you must do so in writing to me at headteacher@stteilos.com.

Peace and blessings,

Mr I Loynd, Headteacher

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