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