A Covid update
We have all had to adapt quickly to new restrictions brought by public health measures in recent days. This is brought on by the rise in Covid cases in society and the perceived risks from the Omicron variant. My thanks go to yourselves and our young people for adapting so quickly to wearing masks in school corridors once again. We have had a very responsible approach from young people.
The wearing of face coverings for students in Year 7 or older includes all staff, students and visitors. Currently masks are only required in communal areas and may be removed in classrooms. We know that the most successful way to limit Covid transmission is to have good air circulation, and we require all classrooms to have some windows open during the school day. Students are therefore encouraged to wear their school V-neck jumper as room temperatures are colder in winter weather. In exceptionally cold weather, at the teacher’s discretion, students may be permitted to wear outdoor coats in lessons, however this remains the exception.
Schools have also been asked to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus by not bringing together those who might not otherwise mix. Accordingly, we have taken the decision not to invite parents into school for events such as parents’ meetings, exhibitions, concerts or liturgies for the time being. In practice this means:
1. All Parents’ Meetings planned for December and January will be moved on-line. Parents will receive a separate letter explaining how to register.
2. The planned evening concert and evening parents’ Carol Service on 10th December and 20th December will not take place.
However, plenty will be happening for our young people. They are permitted to mix together routinely, so the various planned charity and social events will continue and the school Carol Services for students and staff will take place as planned during the school day. All other activities and visits planned for December will proceed also.
End of term
A reminder that the last day of term is Tuesday 21st December. Classes finish at 2.50pm as usual. Families should not go on holiday before this date.
I trust this makes the position clear, and thank everyone for their patience and forbearance.
A message for Advent
As we begin the season of Advent we have now decorated the school with a number of cribs and trees. In his Advent Sunday Angelus at St Peter’s in Rome, Pope Francis reminded us:
“Be awake, guard your heart, and let’s add an essential ingredient: the secret to being watchful is prayer. In fact, Jesus says: ‘Keep awake at all times praying’ (Luke 21:36). It is prayer that keeps the lamp of the heart burning. Especially when we feel that enthusiasm is cooling, prayer rekindles it, because it brings us back to God, to the centre of things.”
An Advent Prayer
God of hope, we cling to you, for you renew the face of the earth.
Through the gift of your Son, our Lord Jesus, we follow you on the path of dawn.
Enlightened by your love and wisdom, help us to lead each other and all creatures back to your open arms. Amen.
May I wish everyone the prayerful blessings of the Advent season.