21st May 2020
As we approach the end of this half term we reflect on the many extraordinary ways in which we have all had to adapt and adjust and I would like to begin by paying tribute to all our young people for their fortitude and resilience during the last weeks. I know it has not been easy.
The stresses and strains of this time have been many and complicated, for our young people, for yourselves and for the teachers and their families. The impact of COVID-19 on our community has taken various forms, first and foremost we must remember those families who have been directly affected by the virus and the anxiety and pain that has accompanied this. We pray especially for several families who have lost relatives during this time. We pray for them and all related to the English Martyrs family across our diocese, who have died of COVID-19.
Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them,
May they rest in peace. Amen.
Plans to return to school?
You will be aware that during the first week of June primary schools will be receiving children in three year groups. The children will be socially isolated in groups of fewer than 15, in so-called “bubbles”. The Prime Minister has expressed his hope that secondary school students in examination year groups can have some sort of face-to-face engagement with their teachers during the next half term.
We have been working hard to realise this ambition, together with our colleagues in the other secondary schools of our multi-academy trust and across the city. Clearly our top priority is to do our very best to safeguard everyone’s health and welfare, but equally we are eager and committed to re-establishing schooling on site as quickly as possible. However, I must be candid and tell you that is by no means straightforward. We have been expecting government advice for a number of days now and at time of writing we are still waiting for it. This guidance will help us to know what can safely be provided.
We are expecting that some of Year 10 and perhaps some Year 12 will be with us on site for at least part of the week, commencing 8th June. I will write separately to parents in these years on the week beginning 1st June when I hope to be in a position to know what the arrangements will be. It is however important to say that teaching arrangements will not be “as normal” and that social distancing measures and enhanced hygiene measures will inform our offer and practice. Students should not come into school until their parents have received specific information from the school which will include the registration procedures. More details about the Risk Assessments we have carried out may be found here.
Provision for children of key workers
The provision for key workers is to continue each day, as now. I would like to thank my colleagues who have provided continuity of childcare provision for the children of key workers since the school closed on site, including during the Easter and Half Term holidays.
Education for students in all years
Most education for all year groups will continue and build on the home study principles now well established.
Thank you to Mr Wilby, Mr Allsop, Mr Purohit and Ms Chatterson who have worked for many days to manufacture Visors to help front line workers in their fight against the virus. Using the school’s laser cutter the team made over 200 visors which were sent to the Leicester Royal infirmary as well as Abbey Care Home, The Grange in Saddington, and to Ellesmere School.
The production line stopped only when the team were unable to source any further supplies.
In the week leading up to Friday 15th May, 80% of students submitted home study work a full week ahead of the deadline of Friday 22nd May. Students should now submit their work to their teachers for marking and move on to the latest homestudy work which was issued on Monday 18th May.
The tutor reports for Year 11 and Year 13 have been completed and will be posted to families in the coming days. Year 7 – 10 reports, including Assessment C, will be emailed to parents during the first two weeks of June.
Every student has now received an email from their tutor and is welcome to seek advice from their tutor or Head of Year at any point, or to use the helpline 07468672740.
Students will receive Tests to complete and return via Show My Homework on 8th June. There will be a two week window to complete and return these tests via the Homestudy@englishmartyrs.org email.
The Heads of Year and the tutors have sent their Newsletters to all students via their school emails. If anyone has not received this, please let us know via the Homestudy@englishmartyrs.org
All visits, trips, retreats, concerts, proms, shows etc due to take place this term have now been cancelled. We are in the process of refunding payments and you will be notified. Please note that all refunds must be repaid per transaction and to the card from which they originated. If you have any queries, please contact Mrs Loakes, Business Manager.
Sadly Year 6 missed their expected meeting at school this week. We are writing to all of them with information about school and after half term a special virtual tour of the school will be available online. Should any Year 6 pupils have questions, they can email me at Y6Questions@englishmartyrs.org
Virtual School Religious Assembly
Virtual assembly has been put together each week by the Chaplaincy team and Music Department. Many students have taken part in learning, writing and recording material for the assembly and I would like to thank them and their teachers for the tremendous work. Particular thanks to Mr Leonard and Mr Naran and to the Schola Cantorum.
‘Peace to’ messages have now been sent out to each form Year 7-11 during Assembly. If you have missed this, the podcasts are still available on the school website.
Today is the great Feast the Ascension of the Lord. As it is a Holy Day of Obligation, we would normally have celebrated Mass together as a school community. This is the blessing of the Ascension.
May almighty God bless us this day, when his only Son ascended into heaven to prepare a place for us.
We believe that Jesus has taken his seat in majesty at the right hand of the Father, may we have the joy of experiencing that he is also with us to the end of time according to his promise.
And may almighty God bless us, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.