Pupils at Hartford Church of England High School

Covid-19 Update 26th March 2020

26/03/20

Dear Parent/Carer

I truly hope that you are all well and coping during these unprecedented times. I have been reminded this week that the Russian leader Lenin once said: ‘There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen’. I think we know what this week is.

Our staff continue to be bombarded with emails regarding the work that your children are doing at home; and it has struck me that it’s important for our youngsters to remember that adults also need structure, ritual and routine during times such as these (at all times). In school we have no more than 10 adults in every day so that we are able to perform our basic functions whilst ensuring that as many staff as possible are productively working from home. I know that some students are getting a little stressed about their work – please try to help them keep some perspective and remind them that all they are required to do is their best.

On a practical note I can confirm to Year 7 parents that the trip to the Conway Centre has now been officially cancelled. We will be in touch regarding refunds in due course.

In the furore of the past couple of weeks we have been unable to take stock of the other monumental change our school has recently undergone: our East Building is no more. To many of you, of course, it was never East Building – it was the Boys’ School or Upper School. The building itself was opened in the mid 1950s for both boys and girls; it then became the Boys’ School when the Girls’ School opened in 1963. The ROSLA block (which is remaining) was added in 1970. If you didn’t know ROSLA stands for Raising Of the School Leaving Age – when the school leaving age went up from 15 to 16 and every secondary school received an additional building to cope with the extra students. It wasn’t until 1978 that the school became co-educational and both buildings together became Hartford High School. In 2012 the school became Hartford Church of England High School. (Can’t you just tell I’m a History teacher?).

The East Building is looking a little sad now as it hides behind the blue boardings waiting to be demolished after further internal surveys have been completed; but it has served the young people of Northwich for over 65 years. When I arrived at the school as Deputy Head in September 2000 we had a timetable of 70 minute lessons four times a day to cut down movement and we delivered English, Maths and Science in both buildings. This explains why Mrs Lewis, Ms Crerar and Mr Lee have enormous teaching rooms in Caritas (West Building) – they used to be Science Labs. We started to rationalise departments by suiting them together in the same building when Doctor Kirby was Headteacher and this process was completed in 2006 – a year after I became Headteacher. Now we have our new building open – Veritas – we are predominantly a one site school with an outlying annex (the ROSLA block). I really need to work hard to ensure I maintain my 10 000 steps a day.

It is my intention to email parents twice a week during the closure. Please remember that we are always at the end of an email or phone should you need to contact us.

In Veritas et Caritas,

Mike Holland