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Extra Letter from Mr Carney

Dear Parents,

First week of term

This is the “extra letter” referred to in my end of term letter and reflects the changes to the start of term set out by the government yesterday. It goes with Mr Lockyer’s letter regarding the announcement.

Monday 4th January 2021 is a professional development day. No students attend English Martyrs. Work is available for students – please see my end of term letter of 18 December (emailed earlier).

From Tuesday 5th January- Friday 8th January 2021 students in Years 7, 8, 9, 10 will be required to access their curriculum remotely, working from home.

Exam year groups 11, 12 and 13 will attend school as normal starting at 9am.

Your child will need to access the curriculum via MS Teams and Show My Homework. Links on MS Teams will be sent to students prior to their lessons, but this will not happen until at least the later afternoon of Monday 4th January.

The timetable of lessons will follow the current school timetable for session A and B. We will be teaching lessons 4 and 5.

Timetable - Tuesday to Friday

08:30 Morning Prayer followed by

  • Y7 & 8 Numeracy with Mr McCaughey, (Numeracy books needed)

  • Y9 &10 Hegarty Maths as set for the student

09:00 Session A – live on MS Teams*

10:00 Break

10:15 Students complete directed study

11:00 Lunch

12:00 Session B – live on MS Teams*

13:10 Assembly

13:30 Students complete directed study

14:30 Homework

*Students to have cameras off and mics off during MS Teams lessons.

The teacher will include a 5minute break from screen use during Teams lessons.

If a teacher is ill, cover will be set on Show My Homework and there will not be a live Teams session.

Work which is completed on paper should be submitted to class teachers by your child when they return to school on Monday 11th January 2021. Work can also be submitted online via student’s school email account.

Please note there are no individual music lessons happening during the first week of term. They are due to recommence on Monday 11th January, so no one will miss out.

Should you require support in accessing the online learning platform please contact the school reception between 9am-11am on Monday 4th January 2021 so that this can be arranged. Students need their school email address and password to access their emails, MS Teams for live lessons and Show my Homework for additional work.

Rules for Students

  • Lessons must be accessed in communal areas of the household, never a student’s bedroom.

  • Students are to log in to MS Teams via their Office 365, 10 minutes prior to their lesson. They should follow the lesson through and not leave the room.

  • Students must have their camera and mic switched off. They will be asked to use the ‘chat function’ to respond to teachers’ questions. Other comments or chat are not permitted.

  • Focussed and responsible behaviour is expected of all students, as expected in class.

  • If a student cannot attend online lessons because they are ill or for any other reason, parents should phone the school and report the absence.

Parents are expected to support the school in keeping to these rules. Should a student not adhere to them, we reserve the right to debar access to our on-line offer.

Should your child require them there are lots of additional learning resources available via These resources are also helpful for consolidating previous learning. Also, please do not forget our on-line library (see my previous letter).

Please also note that our website contains a wealth of information to support you as a parent, including information on mental health and well-being for children.

If you have any queries about this, please telephone the school on Monday 4th January.

Meanwhile may I reiterate my good wishes for Christmas. Today the students are having a lovely day, and as I write I can hear our Jazz Band playing to them during lunchtime. The Orchestra played this morning and the Steel Pans ensemble are due to see us out this afternoon! We had a beautiful Carol Service in each classroom earlier – you can watch it too, follow the You Tube link on the website.

Happy Christmas.

Yours sincerely

Marius Carney



Dear Parents & Carers of pupils attending the CMAT Secondary Schools,

Further to my letter of yesterday, we have now been informed by the Department for Education that there will be changes to the start of term for all secondary schools nationally. At the time of writing, these are the arrangements -

Monday 4 January 2021

Staff training day, all pupils will be working at home

Tuesday 5 January

Pupils in Years 11,12 and 13, the children of key workers* and those identified by the school as vulnerable in other year groups will be in school. All other pupils will be working from home.

Wednesday 6 January - Friday 8 January

The same as Tuesday 5 January

Monday 11 January onwards

All pupils, in all year groups will be in school.

*lf either parent is a key worker and you require a place for your child in school from 5-8 January, you must inform the school reception between 9am and 11.00 am on Monday 4 January.

I am very sorry if this late change in arrangements will inconvenience you; please understand that this is not the decision of either your child's school or the CMAT. We would always do our very best to give you sufficient notice for school closures.

The changes to the start of term are to enable secondary schools nationally to plan to run rapid COVID testing on a daily basis for pupils and staff. Again, we first received information about this from the Department for Education yesterday so I am afraid that I am not yet in a position to confirm whether our schools will be offering this testing and, if they are, how this will be carried out. One thing I can assure you of is that parental consent will be required for any testing done in schools.

Please see the information overleaf which deals with the specific details of the work to be set for your child/children during the first week of term.

Yours sincerely

Neil Lockyer

Chief Executive Officer, St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Multi-Academy Trust