Headteacher Update 27th August 2020


Dear Student/Parent




We are delighted that we will be able to see all of our students in school again next week and we will do everything we can to ensure a safe and happy return.  As always, we have carefully considered Government guidelines on the full re-opening of schools and colleges, advice from Public Health Englandand the Department for Education and I am confident that our plans are robust.

The expectation of the government is that all students return to school next week. Please take the time to read this letter together with your child. I know there is a lot to digest but it is essential that we all understand the new procedures that we will have in place for the next few weeks of term. We are delighted with the positive response to learning from home that so many of our young people have shown, but there is no real substitute for being in school with your teachers.




  • Please read this letter with your child and reinforce the key messages on social distancing, hygiene, health and safety and behaviour.
  • Insist/ensure that your child is fully equipped for school so that there is no borrowing of equipment; this equipment should include paper tissues and hand sanitiser.
  • Insist and ensure that your child travels to and from school safely. They should socially distance, not walk in large groups and not go to shops on the way to school.
  • Ensure that your child has a face covering if they are travelling on public transport. This is a legal requirement.
  • Ensure that your child arrives in school on time every day.
  • If you are dropping off/picking up your child, please do so in a way that is safe, considerate and does not cause congestion around the school environment.
  • All parental contact with school will need to be via telephone or email in the first instance. In exceptional cases we will contact you to arrange a meeting at school.
  • Make it clear to your child that under no circumstances should they chew gum in school.
  • Parents are reminded that canteen provision will be in place and all payment for canteen provision is now online – there are no cash machines in school.
  • Please let us know if you think your child needs any specific pastoral support on the first day of their return to school.




  • School will be open for students from 8.00 am but there will be no indoor provision at this time.
  • Students should enter school via the Carriage Drive gates or the bus bay gates.
  • Students should not travel to school in large groups or go to the shops on the way to school.
  • Please encourage your child to go straight to school/home if they are walking and not to congregate around local shops on the way.
  • Remember it is a legal requirement to wear a face covering if you are travelling on public transport.
  • If at all possible students should not use public transport to travel to school.




  • Students are expected to wear full school uniform in every respect and to be correctly equipped for school.
  • There will be no staggered start or end to the school day.
  • On arrival students should enter via the bus bay gates or Carriage Drive gates.
  • Once on school grounds students will be asked to go to a designated area of the yard for their year group.



  • See the table below for an outline of the school day:



  • Gates open for students


  • Year groups go to designated zoned areas of yard
  • No indoor or canteen availability before school


  • Students go to teaching rooms
  • This will be sequenced based on the zones



  • Lesson 1


  • Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd September – Lesson 1 is with tutors
  • Hands sanitised on arrival to classroom


  • Lesson 2
  • Break time


  • Includes 15 minute break:
  • 0940 – 0955: Years 8 and 10
  • 1010 – 1025: Year 9 (split lesson)
  • 1040 – 1055: Years 7 and 11
  • 1055: Years 7 and 11 go to zones
  • Hands sanitised on arrival to canteen and classroom


  • Movement
  • Years 7 and 11 in zones
  • Years 8, 9 and 10 go to lesson 3
  • Years 7 and 11 go to lesson 3


  • Lesson 3


  • Hands sanitised on arrival


  • Lesson 4
  • Lunch



  • Includes lunch break:
  • 1205 – 1235: Years 8 and 10
  • 1240 – 1310: Year 9 (split lesson)
  • 1315 – 1345: Years 7 and 11
  • Hands sanitised on arrival to canteen and classroom


  • Movement


  • Years 7 and 11 go to zones
  • Years 8, 9 and 10 go to lesson 5
  • Years 7 and 11 go to lesson 5


  • Lesson 5


  • Hands sanitised on arrival to classroom


  • Tutor time

Exit from school

  • No movement: Thought for the Day will be delivered here
  • Exit will be controlled by building/floor
  • Students on school buses will line up in Caritas Hall and be escorted to buses by duty staff


  • Intervention starts
  • Extra-curricular clubs start
  • These will not operate in the first week of term




  • We intend to teach a full curriculum. This means:

o    Year group bubbles – but we accept that complete separation of year groups around school is not possible.

o    Students move to lessons; we manage the movement and put in place one way systems but accept that year group bubbles will meet in corridors.

o    Intervention and extra-curricular provision will be as normal – as far as possible – but all of this will have to be in year groups.

o    Movement around school: no staggered start/end to the school day; clear one way systems; movement times between lessons; staggered/split breaks and lunchtimes; no tutor time – Thought For The Day will be delivered where students have lesson 5.





  • Each day will begin with a very clear emphasis on Health and Safety and behaviour expectations.
  • Any student who chooses to deliberately ignore Health and Safety and behaviour expectations will be dealt with through our usual graduated response but I will reserve the right to use the whole range of sanctions available including permanent exclusion.
  • Students will be required and expected to adhere to social distancing guidelines where possible.
  • Students will hand sanitise every time they arrive at a lesson and at the canteen.
  • Students will need to come to school fully equipped for learning.
  • Students must use a tissue if they cough or sneeze. This must be binned immediately.
  • Students must not deviate from instructions given with regards to movement around school at any time.
  • Parents are requested to provide their children with their own hand sanitisers and tissues to bring to school.




  • Both canteens will be fully open.
  • Through the use of split breaks and lunch times we are able to ensure that year group bubbles will be allocated to one canteen/outdoor seating area and block of toilets. These facilities will be cleaned in between use by different year groups.
  • Students will be encouraged to spend as much time as possible outside at breaks and lunch times; we have covered outdoor areas in the event of rain.




  • If your child has any of the following symptoms please do not send them to school but inform the school and arrange for a test:

o    A fever/high temperature

o    A persistent dry cough

o    Loss of taste and sense of smell

  • If you, your child or any member of your family display any of the symptoms above – then your child must not come to school. You should book a test and if the test is positive you must again inform school.
  • If a student feels ill or develops symptoms during the day:

o    They must speak to their teacher straight away.

o    They will be placed in our designated medical isolation room and a parent will be called to collect them immediately.

o    You will be expected to take your child for a test if the illness is linked to the symptoms above and inform the school immediately of the result so we can follow our own procedures.




We have spent a lot of time during lockdown reviewing all aspects of Health and Safety to ensure that our September opening for students is as safe as possible. Our 2 major documents: the formal Covid-19 risk assessment and the wider opening checklist run to many pages but we have always returned to the fundamentals.

The most important thing we can do is to make sure our plans adhere to the hierarchy of controls. This is because the hierarchy of controls is based on SAGE modelling to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. They are summarised below:

  • Robust hand and respiratory hygiene

Students will hand sanitise when they enter every classroom and will always have soap and water available for when they use the toilets. Please provide your child with their own hand sanitiser and tissues.

  • Enhanced cleaning arrangements

Cleaning staff will be on site during the day and not just at the end of each day. A cleaning schedule will be in place so that all frequently touched items such as door handles and bannisters will be cleaned more often than usual. Toilets will be cleaned after every year group break and lunchtime.

  • Active engagement with NHS Test and Trace

Anyone displaying symptoms of Covid-19 should not come to school – you should arrange for them to be tested and if the test is positive the whole family should self isolate in line with the guidance. If a student displays symptoms at school, they will be isolated and you will be asked to collect them and take them for a test; if the test is positive the whole family should self isolate. If we have positive tests of students or staff in school we will consult with our local Public Health Board and follow advice accordingly.

These are set out in the Guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings. If our plans follow the hierarchy of controls, we are likely to be in a strong position to manage and mitigate risk.



It was agreed at our Governing Body meeting on Wednesday 26 August that staff and students would be given the choice of wearing face coverings in communal areas such as corridors. These face coverings must be plain in nature and should not be worn in classrooms and canteen areas.


It is possible that guidance and/or events will change matters further at short notice and if there is any important change or a change to the stated date of opening we will contact parents on Tuesday of next week.


Thank you for taking the time to read this. I know it is a lot of information but it is crucial that you have sight of it for the safety of your child and your family and my staff and their families. I have been as open and honest with you as possible over the last 5 – 6 months and I know that we will continue to work together positively for the benefit of all of our young people.



In Caritas et Veritas,


Mike Holland