Headteacher Update 7th July 2020



It has been wonderful to see so many of our Year 10 students back in school during the past month and we are delighted with the attendance of Years 7 – 9 at Keeping In Touch appointments.

You will be aware that we have now had the guidance regarding all students returning to school in September. There has been a great deal to digest and having spoken to other Cheshire West Heads as well as with my own professional association (ASCL) it is very clear that there can be no one-size-fits-all approach. I have also spoken to a number of staff in the last couple of days and the overwhelming feedback has been that we should teach our full curriculum as far as possible; this is also my view.

The key thing here is the idea of student bubbles or pods. This works well in Primary schools where pupils are always in the same class and there is less need for specialist equipment. If we did this at Hartford and kept the students in one classroom we would be unable to deliver effectively large parts of the curriculum such as D&T, Art, Music, PE, ICT, practical experiments in Science, Drama, etc. Our overall approach will be to maintain Year group bubbles/pods and cut down movement and mixing with other year groups as far as possible.

I have highlighted below the fundamental principles that we will be following. These principles are in line with the guidance:

  • Being Covid secure is the responsibility of all of us
  • The safety of our students and staff is always a top priority
  • Robust hand and respiratory hygiene
  • Enhanced cleaning arrangements
  • Active engagement with NHS Test and Trace


  •  We teach a full curriculum. This means:
  • Year group bubbles (but we accept that complete separation of year groups around school is not possible)
  • Students move to lessons; we manage the movement
  • Intervention and extra-curricular provision as normal (as far as possible)
  • Movement around school: no staggered start to the school day; clear one way systems between lessons; movement times between lessons; staggered/split breaks and lunchtimes; no tutor time – Thought For The Day will be delivered where students have lesson 5; slightly staggered end of day release

Next week I will forward you our latest draft for how the school day and the first week back might look from the start of September. There will no doubt be even further tweaks to what we do but I am confident that we will deal well with whatever we decide.


We have also recently received a consultation document from the government regarding GCSE examinations in 2021. It is very likely that exams will start 3 weeks later than normal and some subjects will have a slightly reduced content. Most subjects will be assessed as originally intended and we are putting in place plans to ensure that students are as well prepared as ever. For students who are genuinely shielding we will continue to be as supportive as we can but we all know (now more than ever) that there is no substitute for being in school being taught by your teachers.


We have a number of staff leaving this summer and we would like to wish them well in their future ventures. Of the teaching staff we say goodbye to Mrs Hardy, Mr Hogben, and Mr Trotman; we would also like to wish Mrs Mellor well as she goes on Maternity Leave. We also say goodbye to some of our support staff – Miss Carnell, Mrs Crawford and Miss Smedley. They leave with our heartfelt thanks for all they have done for our young people at Hartford.

There may be two emails next week (and probably even more over the summer holiday) as we refine plans for a full return. I’d also like to share with you some of the lessons we have learned as educators from the last four months. After all, every day is a school day!

In Caritas et Veritas,

Mike Holland