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Coronavirus Update

Posted on: June 3rd 2020

(NEW: 03.06.20)

Dear Parents and Carers,

Please click on the link below for today’s press release from our Minister for Education:

https://gov.wales/check-catch-prepare-summer-and-september-all-schools-wales-enter-next-phaseIn light of Kirsty Williams’ announcement, I would like to reassure you that the Senior Leadership Team here at Corpus Christi have been in conversation today and will continue tomorrow to discuss the implications of the Education Minister’s comments with regard to your children and the staggered re-opening of our school on June 29th 2020.

Currently, the content of the announcement lacks specific detail, but a summation of comments made is outlined below:

  • Schools will reopen for all year groups (except Year 11) from June 29th 2020
  • The summer term will be extended by one week to July 27th 2020
  • Schools will be open during the week for limited numbers of pupils
  • There will be a phased approach, with year groups being split into groups with staggered starts, lessons and breaks
  • All pupils will have the opportunity to "check in, catch up, prepare for summer and September"
  • There will be no more than a third of pupils present at any one time
  • Schools and Local Authorities will be autonomous in managing this return
  • Parents who choose not to send their children to school will not be fined and children who fall into the shielding category will carry on with online learning

Inevitably, this will demand a great deal of careful consideration for the safety and well-being of all concerned and this remains paramount in our planning. We are very much in the initial stages of responding to today’s announcement, but please be assured that we at Corpus Christi have already begun the process of trying to ensure our school is ready to accommodate children in a climate that observes advice issued by Public Health Wales.

Information from Welsh Government is forthcoming, and we await its Operational Guidance material. I will communicate further information to you as soon as it is available and continue to appreciate your ongoing support.

Together we are the Body of Christ

Patrick Brunnock

Headteacher


(18.05.20)

Dear Parent / Carer

I hope that this letter finds you and your family well during these difficult times.

I feel it is an appropriate time to offer you an update on the life of our school in light of Kirsty William’s recent announcement (15th May 2020) wherein the Welsh Government announced its next stage in their plans to rebuild and for recovery.

Kirsty Williams, Wales' Education Minister, has set out her "current thinking" for the phased reopening of schools. Ms Williams described the document as "setting out our current thinking" for how schools, as well as other education establishments and childcare settings, will change to ensure social distancing takes place. But the Minister stopped short of providing a date for when schools would reopen, instead reiterating her message that she would not set an arbitrary date until further evidence is available.

https://gov.wales/decision-framework-next-phase-education-and-childcare

The above link includes some guidance for schools, and you will naturally be keen to find out what this will mean for our school community here at Corpus Christi Catholic High School.

Since I wrote to you on 21st April 2020, we have continued to provide full-time opening for the care of children of key workers and some vulnerable children, as per Government guidelines, at the Glan Taf Hub. We have provided learning for all of our pupils through distance learning platforms and teacher contact with home. We have followed our stated aims during this time, namely to keep people safe and support each other and to ensure that all pupils are given sustained support to assist their distance learning. During this difficult and unusual time, we are very grateful for your support in helping your child to continue their learning whilst at home.

On Friday the First Minister Mark Drakeford published a "roadmap" for how the Welsh Government will move out of the lockdown phase and when Wales will adjust its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. This did not include any phased return of children to school at this time. Rather, it was emphasised that the nature and timing of any return will depend on whether the Government considers that its own conditions for reopening have been met. The Government is expected to reassess and review the national situation over the forthcoming weeks.

Whilst we await a further decision on schools, I wish to reassure you that experts within the Local Authority, the Archdiocese and the Education Department, as well as Health and Safety advisors and unions, continue to work on plans for an eventual re-opening of schools. As all schools are diverse and unique, it is not possible for the Government to set specific guidelines that are universally applicable at this point. We will be given guidance about limiting the amount of contact between different groups of children, and additional protective measures with which we are all now familiar, such as increased cleaning and hand washing and ensuring anyone with symptoms stays at home.

Our focus will be to open the school with a safe maximum number of pupils and staff on site at any point. This will probably be a live assessment, which means that we will continue to review the safety of the school environment over time and make adjustments as required. Over the coming weeks we will evaluate how we might be able to

safely open the school to more pupils. Any plans are conditional upon the science and behaviour of the virus, as advised to us by the Welsh Government.

We know the benefit to all children and young people of attending school, being able to learn and socialise with their peers and teachers. We are looking forward to being able to welcome all children back to Corpus Christi, but only when it is safe to do so, and with appropriate adjustments and protective measures in place to minimise risks.

When we are informed by the government that children may return to school, if feasible, this will probably be in smaller class sizes and groups. It is therefore our expectation that we will be able to provide places for some year groups and children, as opposed to all pupils returning together.

We will:

· Continue to offer full-time provision to priority groups through our current Hub Provision. These are children who are described as vulnerable and children of 'critical workers' (as per guidance from the Department of Education, updated 5 May 2020).

· Continue to provide distance learning for all children and young people

· Continue to keep in touch with our community of learners and families.

I will contact you with further details surrounding any possible re-opening plans as and when these are communicated to me and, crucially, that I am satisfied our school is a safe and secure place for your child to attend.

Thank you for your patience and support as we navigate our way through the next weeks. We are very keen to see your children again back at Corpus Christi and are also committed to making the learning environment as safe as possible. Please continue to contact us if you have any concerns.

Your sincerely

Mr Brunnock


(21.04.20)

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope that you all had a good Easter and that you all remain safe and well.  Today is the start of the Summer Term and we know that we are not going to be back in school for at least the next few weeks as social distancing rules continue. This means that, having had a break over Easter, we all need to get back into the routine of home learning.

School at Corpus Christi resumed yesterday with our online learning and our childcare support within school hub provision at Ysgol Glantaf for children of key workers and vulnerable children.  I am very grateful to staff who have worked throughout the Easter holiday period to ensure that we are able to support children and families and to prepare for the online learning for the next few weeks. 

We understand that home learning can present a number of challenges. We have been looking carefully at the feedback you, your children and their teachers have given us about doing work at home. The following guidance, which is being shared with you, the children and staff is designed to help everyone cope better with our current ways of working. 

The online activities are designed to minimise the gaps that will exist once we return to school even though, technically, children have only currently missed 10 days of schooling.  The activities are designed for pupils to work through independently and so parents are not expected to home school their children.  If children are stuck or confused they must ask for help from their subject teachers.  It is very important that children engage with their teachers at this time.  I will be asking teachers to monitor levels of engagement with online learning so that we can target additional support toward children who are not engaging.  As parents, I ask you to ensure that your child follows a routine during Monday to Friday so that s/he engages with the activities that they are being set.  Learning activities are being set by all teachers unless they are poorly themselves.  There is plenty for children to engage with so please ensure that this is happening at home.  The BBC have begun a series of online learning resources today so this provides an additional resource for your children to supplement their online learning.      

Please can I ask parents to send me any feedback that they would like to share about our online learning activities.  I am keen to ensure that we are providing the very best online learning for our children.   

I continue to keep a very close eye on the national picture and I am working closely with the Leadership Team to prepare for our return to school, whenever that maybe.  I suspect that there will be a phased return with some year groups prioritised, but I will make sure that I keep you fully informed once I hear anything.  In the meantime, we are preparing the site so that it is fully ready prior to our return.   

Many of our normal routines continue despite lockdown.  We have analysed our most recent progress check and identified pupils that we need to pay particular attention to in order to ensure that any learning gaps are not allowed to grow further.  We will continue to provide our regular weekly Friday Examen Prayer. This and other resources will be made available through our school website to support our spiritual life as a community of Corpus Christi Catholic High School. 

Teachers begin work this week on the Teacher Assessments required by Examination Boards for Year 11.  Full details have now been released and I shared these with parents of those year groups prior to the Easter holidays.  Teachers will submit Teacher Assessment Grades but the Examination Boards will determine the final grades once they have the national picture.  We are not permitted to share our teacher assessment grades with children or parents as they are subject to change. The examination results days will continue in August on the same days that they were prior to school closures.  

Parents should also be aware that many of our trips and visits have been cancelled due to the current situation.  Parents will receive notifications.  We are hoping to be fully insured and parents will hopefully get to receive refunds but please bear with us as our Finance Team liaise with the travel companies and Cardiff council on this matter.  

Thank you for all you are doing in observing social distancing and in supporting your child’s learning and welfare. If you have any concerns about your child, please feel free to email us via the school website and we will respond to support you as best we can. 

Finally, please can I ask you to keep members of our community who are battling this virus in your prayers at the moment.  

Please take care of yourselves and remain safe.

 

Yours faithfully  

Patrick Brunnock  

Headteacher  

 


(03.04.20)

I sincerely hope you and your families are keeping safe and well. As we approach the completion of the second week of school closure, I would like to provide you with an update on all that is happening.

You may already be aware that Ysgol Glantaf has been set up as a Hub school to provide care for those of our children whose parents are Key Workers. The UK government has defined Key Workers as ‘those who are critical to the COVID-19 response i.e. those who work in front-line emergency work and social care’. As such, Glantaf Hub is a last resort for Key Worker parents who have no child-care and we are reminded that every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

On Wednesday April 1st, Kirsty Williams our Minister for Education, announced that Hub schools will remain open during the Easter break. Our teachers have been asked to volunteer their services to facilitate this. The positive response I have received from my colleagues is truly overwhelming and I am sure you will join me in thanking them for their ongoing dedication and determination to support in every way possible.

As we move towards Holy Week which begins with Palm Sunday on the 5th of April. We remember that it is a week which leads us through Maundy Thursday and the Last Supper, to Good Friday when we call to mind Christ’s Passion and death on the cross at Calvary. During Holy Week, we reflect upon God’s love for us in giving His only Son Jesus, to save us. On Easter Sunday we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection.

For the duration of the Easter break (weeks beginning 6th & 13th April), we ask that both you and your children use this time to rest from the pressures of schoolwork and to pray for our world. No schoolwork will be issued for or expected from your children.

May I take this opportunity to thank all of you for your continued support during what is an unprecedented and difficult time.

Wishing you Easter blessings,

Mr Brunnock


(30.03.20)

I am writing to you to clarify the situation for this week (w/c March 30th).

From today, Corpus Christi will not be open. We are combining with the other faith schools in Cardiff, alongside Cardiff’s Welsh Schools to form a base at the site of Glantaf Secondary School. This provision is made solely for those children whose parents are key workers.

Provision is located at Glantaf School (Bridge Road, Llandaff North, Cardiff, CF14 2JL) for our children and those of many secondary schools and will run from 8am to 5pm, 5 days a week, including holidays (but not the Easter Bank Holiday). It will provide care throughout the normal Easter holidays.

Unfortunately, there will be no school transport, so you will need to drop off and collect your son/daughter each day from Glantaf. It has been agreed that there is no need for pupils to wear school uniform.

At Glantaf there will be various activities, ranging from sport to learning and all activities will supervised by staff from each of the eight schools involved. Breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack will be provided at the school. Members of senior staff from each of the schools will be present to ensure your child sees a familiar face each day.

We appreciate this is an unusual situation, but collectively, we wish to play an active role in supporting the Health Service and other key workers, by caring for their children. We at Corpus Christi view this as an important role as followers of Christ.

We thank all of you, as parents, for your support and kind words throughout the last few weeks. We are continually adapting and responding to this unprecedented situation and remain resolute in offering our support to you.

On behalf of my staff and Governors I pass on their prayers and thoughts to you all.

Stay safe.

Mr Brunnock


(20.03.20)

Dear Parent(s)/Carer(s)

Key workers’ children.

***We have received information from the Local Authority concerning next week and forthcoming weeks.***

From next Monday (23rd March), Corpus Christi Catholic High School will be open – it is the last resort provision only for pupils where both parents (or, in the case of one-parent families, one parent) are Health Workers, work in Social Care or belong to the Emergency services (Police, Fire and rescue and Ambulance Services). Staff will be in for normal school hours to supervise them – buses will run as normal, uniform should be worn and there will be a limited food service. This will be for one week only.

From March 30th, there will be a different plan. From this day, your son or daughter will have to attend Cathays High School, which is becoming a local hub for our side of Cardiff. This service will run from 7.30am-6pm 7 days a week, including holidays.

Teachers and volunteers will staff the school – some of whom will be our teachers and senior staff. A full meal service is available. This will then continue for the foreseeable future. Again, this service is for the key groups such as Health Service workers noted above - and only where other provisions cannot be made.

Free School Meals

Pupils who receive Free School meals are a key group for us to support. This coming week, ‘grab bags’ will be available at Corpus Christi High School on Monday and Tuesday.

After Monday and Tuesday, provision will become a local one where pupils will be able to access Free School Meals from a secondary school nearest to you. The Local Authority will inform you where to go – should there be any issues, please contact the school via telephone (02920761893)

From March 30th, Free School Meals will be available only from the Hub school.

Vulnerable pupils

We have set up a checking-in service for our pupils with additional learning needs, our LACE pupils and our Asylum Seeker families. This coming week, we will be setting up a support service for some of our other vulnerable pupils. More information to follow soon. There are many useful resources on our website to help you www.corpuschristihs.co.uk – please check this regularly.

I wish you all the very best of health – both physical and mental as we are dealing with this difficult time. Our prayers are with you; please pray for us too.

Best wishes,

Mr P Brunnock


(20.03.20)

Dear Parent(s)/Carer(s),

You will all be aware that from today all schools will be closed for statutory education. However, schools will remain open for children where both parents/carers are key workers.

We ask that you use discretion as to whether you need this provision as we are still trying to maintain government advice on social distancing and that of staff to pupil ratios.

We are currently being advised and updated by the local authority and Welsh Government in relation to this matter.

To support us in our preparation, if you are a key worker as outlined by the government and require provision, please could you email Mrs Mullins, PA to Headteacher. - indicating the following by 5pm today Friday 20th March 2020:

Student name and Form Group
Category of key worker 1
Category of key worker 2

List to the government list of key workersThe situation is changing rapidly and therefore the key worker list for Cardiff Council may differ to the one above.

We cannot guarantee that all correspondence will be sent within school hours.

Please check all online school communication platforms on a regular basis as the situation is changing hour by hour.

Kind regards,

Patrick Brunnock


(19.03.20)

Dear Parents and Carers

Learning at home during school closure

During the past 10 days, we have been planning and preparing for the school to close due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Now that we have a closure date, it is time for us to enact our Learning at Home Plan. Over the next few pages, we will outline what we intend to do to continue to provide your child with the best possible education whilst the school is closed and why we will be working in this way. We would not usually advocate trying to turn the home into a type of school learning environment, but in this unprecedented time I suggest that we do the best we can to achieve this. This does not mean that I wish for you to set up a classroom in your home, but that we should try to achieve an elementary version of the learning that takes place in a school.

Why is this important?

We have not yet received any advice from the Welsh Government or Cardiff LA about the length of the school closure, but I expect that it may last many months. The impact of this will be significant. We are aiming to provide the best possible learning experiences for our pupils whilst they are at home.

At its most fundamental level, teaching and learning involves three stages.

The first is instruction – when the child is provided with a form of input from which they can learn. This can include teacher instruction, reading, videos or by providing activities and guidance for children to work things out for themselves.

The second stage is consolidation or exploration – when the child completes a task or an activity to help them to think about and further develop their knowledge and understanding of the instruction.

The third stage is assessment – this is when a ‘check’ of the learning takes place. This involves the teacher and child evaluating what has been learned and what needs to be done next. In truth it is impossible to check a child’s learning, but we can make a good guess by looking at their ‘performance’ through their work.

At Corpus Christi Catholic High School, we are aiming to continue to provide the first two stages of instruction and consolidation on a regular basis. It is much more difficult for us to assess learning remotely, so where possible we will provide activities where assessment is built-in or where it can be checked at home.

How will we do this?

We would like you and your child to think about Corpus Christi Catholic High School as continuing to operate, but without the school building. Teachers in all year groups will be providing instruction and consolidation tasks/activities throughout the time of the school closure. Teachers will share information about instruction and consolidation tasks via your child’s various online accounts. Please see the FAQs section at the end of this letter for additional information about our Learning at Home Plan.

This week, we ensured that all pupils have their usernames and passwords for the following digital platforms; ClassCharts, Sharepoint, Educake, MathsWatch, ActiveLearn, Google Classroom, Memrise and a range of other websites about which pupils have been advised. Quick links to the main teaching tools may be found on the school website under ‘Quick links’.

www.corpuschristihs.co.uk

Hwb

Hwb is a wonderful website and collection of online tools provided to all schools in Wales by the Welsh Government. It has an amazing range of resources including Encyclopaedia Britannica and also access to Office 365, with free online versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel etc. You can even download these software apps for free. Some of the tasks and activities that teachers set over the coming months will be based on Hwb. We suggest that you support your child to explore the wide range of packages that Hwb provides and spend lots of time looking through the various platforms as it is a brilliant resource.

How can I best help my child?

Please try to keep a routine at home. Your child’s home-learning day should mirror their school timetable. This will help your child to know what is expected of them and will help them to continue to make progress with their learning. We will take care to provide an appropriate amount of work so that your child can keep up with their tasks.

If you are able to support your child with their work, this will be helpful. We know that many of you will be continuing to work at home and we aim to support you by providing work that children can complete with a good degree of independence. This may be more difficult for children in Key Stage 3 and for pupils with additional needs, but over time your son or daughter will learn to access some of the videos and activities independently.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful and dedicated staff. These are very worrying times for all of us and, although there is a lot of reassurance that children are a low risk group for the new Coronavirus, this is not the case for some of the adults who continue to work in schools each day.

As well as carrying out our vocation of educating your children, there has been the more important job of keeping them safe and reducing the risk of anxiety and fear. The school has been an oasis of calm and purposefulness throughout the past couple of weeks. Corpus Christi is a truly excellent school and we will continue to be so whilst we are closed.

I wish to thank our pupils and you, our parents, for the fortitude shown during this unsettled time. Whilst we currently have no way of knowing just how well our Learning at Home Plan will work, I wish to thank you, in anticipation of your support, in helping us to continue to provide the best possible education for your child. I wish you good physical, mental and spiritual health during this difficult time.

May God bless you and your families.

Yours sincerely

Patrick Brunnock

Headteacher


(18.03.20)

As you are aware, the school has worked hard throughout the week to remain open to serve all pupils in Years 7 to 11. However, with an increasing number of families self-isolating, including a significant number of teaching and support staff, we have made the difficult decision to close our school to pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 with immediate effect. Please note that Year 10 and 11 pupils should attend school as normal on Thursday 19th March.

However, following the Welsh Government announcement, it is with regret that the school will be closed to all pupils from 15:30 on Thursday 19th March, until further notice.

Learning will now continue via the digital platforms available to your child at home. Please follow the guidance on the school’s website, ClassCharts and your child’s school email.

Please keep an eye on the Corpus Christi website and your Parentmail for further updates.

We appreciate that this is a difficult time for all in our community and our prayers are with you and your families.

Yours sincerely

P Brunnock

Headteacher


(17.03.20)

Good morning, I hope that you and your families are safe and well.

Due to the ongoing situation with the COVID-19 outbreak, we are making every effort to remain open to the greatest degree possible. However, the safety and well-being of students and staff remains our greatest priority. We can assure that at the time of writing, we have no reported cases of COVID -19 in our Corpus Christi family.

It is understandable that you or your child, may be feeling anxious about the impact of absence on their learning; Please encourage your child to use the e-learning platforms, which will be populated in the event of a school closure. Further information on where specific work can be found will be made available on ClassCharts and will be updated regularly.

Please note that if your child or any member of your household has a persistent dry cough or high temperature, your whole family should self-isolate for 14 days in accordance with Government advice. You will not be penalised for this non-attendance at school. However, we do ask that you inform the school of your need to self-isolate. If your child has a relevant underlying health condition, they should begin a period of self-isolation for the next 12 weeks.

Accessing Home Learning  - Go to school website https://www.corpuschristihs.co.uk/867/user-account-help

We are closely monitoring the guidance from Government and will inform you, if this situation changes.

Yours sincerely

Patrick Brunnock

Headteacher


(16.03.20)

In light of the UK Prime Minister’s update yesterday, we recognise the need for all of us to be particularly stringent in adhering to social distancing measures where they meet one of the following criteria

The current situation is already impacting on our school community where a significant number of staff and pupils have already been sent home today or did not attend as a result of this new updated Government advice. Our school leadership team are meeting on a daily basis and are in constant contact to review the situation as it develops. I trust you will appreciate the challenge this brings and assure you that we are in regular contact with the local authority and are responding to all directives.

In order to support the process, we believe it is important that we begin to prepare for possible school closure. In the first instance, we will discuss the possibility of a partial closure of the school to include Year 7, 8 and 9 and will continue to remain open for those students who are currently scheduled to sit public examinations in the summer.  However, you will receive further information of this decision being implemented and your child should continue to attend school until we advise you further.  

Our students have been informed on how work will be circulated in the event of closure and I would ask that you please keep an eye on our dedicated webpage for regular updates.

Let us keep each other in our prayers in these unprecedented times.

 

Yours faithfully

P Brunnock

Headteacher

 


(13.03.20)

Dear Parents/Carers

School is open today and our Critical Incident Team have already met this morning to put further measures in place.  Assemblies have been cancelled and break and lunch times extended to allow children more time for hand-washing. 

In the light of the latest advice on Covid-19, we have taken the decision to cancel all parent meetings and consultations.  In the event of an emergency, please contact the school by telephone so that we can resolve any concerns quickly.  We ask that parents do not come into school unnecessarily. All contractual work and visits from external agencies have also been cancelled.

If your child is feeling unwell, or has had contact with anyone who is displaying symptoms, we ask that you do not send them in to school.  This will help us keep staff and pupils safe.

As previously advised, we expect that access to learning will need to take place through the online platforms.  Please could you ask your son/daughter to ensure that they can log into their Hwb account and their school email account.  Support sessions are taking place in school today for those who need it.  If you are having problems, please contact the school.

Thank you for your support in this fast-developing situation.

P Brunnock

Headteacher

 


We continue to monitor the changing situation with regard to the coronavirus Covid-19.  Information is available on the Public Health Wales website

PUBLIC HEALTH WALES - CORONAVIRUSThis site is updated daily and should be able to answer many of the questions you might have about the virus.

We will of course inform you of further developments which affect the school as the situation evolves.