October Newsletter

22nd October2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

Today we finish for half term and I would like to congratulate the students for how they have handled the changes to the school since September. They have taken to the bubbles very well and recognise the importance of ensuring that we remain in our zones for the safety on our community. I know you have received a significant amount of information from us as the guidance is constantly changing and I thank you for supporting us along the way. I have stated which year group this will include so you can see if it impacts on your child

Bubbles (Year 7 and Year 9)

As from 2nd November Year 7 will be based in the Science area. They will line up outside the PE door, and there will be staff available to supervise them as they return to school. Their outdoor space will be on the astro and it will enable our Year 7 students to become familiar with other areas of the school. The Year 9 students will be based from 2nd November in the Geography and English area. They will line up by the main bike sheds and their outside area will be the quiet garden and the social area. The SLT links for the areas will be Mr Cross for Year 7 and Mr Gauller for Year 9. The other bubbles will remain the same for another half term.

Tutor Time Changes ( Year 7, Year 11, Sixth Form)

There will be changes to the form time in order to start working with key groups in Year 11 and for Sixth Form to have more focused form sessions in preparation for next year. The Year 7 team want to spend more time with their students

Year 7 will finish at 3pm (2pm on Monday)

Year 11 will finish at 2.35pm (1.35pm on Monday)

Year 12/13 will finish at 2.30pm unless it is their tutorial time. Teachers will inform them of their times (1.30pm Monday)

Specialist Rooms (Year10, Year 11 and Sixth Form)

At the moment, only Year 11 are in specialist rooms for their subjects, however, with careful planning, designated times and deep cleaning, we are able to move some Key Stage 4 and 5 classes to specialist rooms for certain lessons. The staff will show the classes these areas in the first week back.

Uniform (Year 7-11)

We said in July that uniform will remain a priority and the number of students who are adhering to the policy is excellent. However, there are still a number who are not wearing the correct uniform, especially when it is PE days. If you have the kit on order, please tell us and we will allow the students to wear black, but it must be black. After listening to parents concerns about the temperature in classrooms, I have allowed coats or a black jumper if the school jumper or PE fleece is on order. However, the school is warm as we have put the heating on in set areas so the majority of places the students do not need the extra layer. Although, we are ordering leavers’ hoodies for Year 11 which should be able to be ordered online next term. Please could students be reminded that we should all take pride in our uniform. Another item for our uniform will be the lanyard which shows the appropriate year group and can easily identify the students in their zones.

Face Masks (All Years)

I would like to thank all those parents who have supported us wearing face masks around the communal areas, we are encouraging students to place them on as they leave a classroom. I know a few parents have contacted me about the fact that they are unhappy with face masks, however we, as a school, are following national guidelines so could I ask that my staff do not receive any more aggressive emails on this matter.

Safety (All Years)

Just an update on safety;

  • Year Groups in Bubbles.
  • Those Bubbles remain in zones.
  • Minimising contact between all adults on site.
  • Sanitising stations at all entrances and exits.
  • Sanitiser and cleaning products in all classrooms.
  • All desks facing forward and remaining 2m away from the member of staff teaching in all classrooms.
  • Toilet Cleaners on all toilets
  • Increase in cleaners with designated areas.
  • Deep Clean over half term.
  • All areas fully ventilated.
  • Trace and Test on all key areas.
  • Face Masks worn in communal areas.
  • Teachers’ desk clearly marked.
  • Constant reminders about Social Distancing
  • Employment of more cleaners.
  • Online Payments only.
  • Outside areas cleaned during break and lunch.

Attendance and Punctuality (All Years)

Please can I remind all our students that good attendance and punctuality is essential for success and I know that parents are working hard to ensure that students are in on time and can start lesson one after notices from their SLT link in their outdoor area. We do have a member of staff collecting the lates and taking them to their bubble to ensure that everyone remains safe, however, the Pastoral Team are looking at the list of students who are late and will issue sanctions for poor punctuality.

Equipment (All Years)

As before, please ensure students have the correct equipment as we cannot hand out equipment. The students have had to become accustomed to carrying around all their books and all those books should be with them over half term holidays.

Firefly (All Years)

We have kept you informed that we have had Covid cases in school and we have had to isolate students at home, and as you know we are using Firefly which should mirror our curriculum. If you have any issues with Firefly or are concerned with your ICT please contact us and we will look for solutions.

Mobile Phones (Year 7-11)

We have allowed mobile phones for a variety of reasons, learning tools, aid with anxiety and an activity whilst outside. However, I make two pleas to you: one, please do not contact your child whilst in school, ring the office if you need to contact them and two, remind your child that to abuse our trust with the phone will result in a ban from entering a classroom with it. Please don’t disrupt the learning of others with your phone.

Extra-Curricular (Year 7-9 at the moment)

Another exciting development is the fact that PE staff are hoping to start extra-curricular sports after half term and may even start fixtures again. Every time we can add a little bit of normality into our students’ lives, we feel so pleased.

Sixth Form

As you know we have had positive cases in our Sixth Form so it is vital that they fully understand the rules. Please can they be reminded of social distancing, the use of the face masks during down time in Emmaus and the contact awareness they need to have throughout the day. On the plus side about life in Sixth Form, we will be launching our tuck shop next term with all sorts of goodies to keep them happy through the winter months.

Assessment Fortnight

After half term we have designated the first two weeks as a time for all curriculum areas to evaluate where students are upto. This may take a variety of forms from low stakes quizzes to formal assessments (with KS4 and 5) as well as some self-evaluation. This information will provide teaching staff with upto date information about progress which will inform our tracking this half term as well as allowing bespoke tailored intervention where necessary. Unless set on Firefly, there is no preparation required for this fortnight

I want to take this opportunity to say have a great half term in these challenging times and I leave you with a quote from one of our Year 7 students after their Faith Days,

‘Over the last six months, I have discovered what means the most to me- family and friends, and for that I am truly thankful for’

Take care,

Mrs McKeagney


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