Parent UpdatePosted on: September 14th 2020
Dear Parents / Carers
We have made a very positive start to the new academic year. Our children have now settled into the routines associated with ‘bubble life’ and have shown a great attitude to their learning from the outset.
Whilst I do not want to dwell too much upon the unprecedented challenges of recent months, I do want to share with you my admiration for the courage and resilience that all members of this community have demonstrated. As we now attempt to emerge from the other side of this crisis, we do so in the sure knowledge that those bonds which have been forged in adversity have only served to enrich and intensify our relationships with one and other.
The curriculum and staffing changes that we have had to make during the summer period have enabled us, throughout this period, to provide a strong educational offering. I am immeasurably proud of my colleagues and I marvel at their resourcefulness and the passionate solicitude they have demonstrated for our children. They have moved proverbial mountains during recent weeks and have done so with grace and kindness. All our teachers have adapted to online teaching and blended learning incredibly successfully – seeking to ‘go the extra mile’ in order to maximise learning opportunities for our children. I am proud of them, grateful to them and humbled by them.
During these difficult times, support from you, our parents and carers, has remained steadfast. We know that many of our families have endured economic hardship and challenging times and we thank you for your continued support.
With great uncertainty surrounding ‘local lockdown’ and potential spikes in the ‘R-number’ please rest assured that we will have contingency plans in place for the coming months. One area of particular risk will be if we have a high level of staff illness due to the virus. If this is the case, to ensure the safety of pupils and staff, we may need to consider asking some year groups to work from home.
Masks / Face coverings
Our pupils are required to bring an appropriate face mask or face covering to school with them. All pupils have been issued with two face masks. The Year10s, who (due to a shortage in supply) only received one mask last week, they were issued their second mask today. We ask that pupils and staff wear their face covering when moving around the school building in corridors or communal areas such as the canteen. Our communal areas are narrow, and this will help to keep all our staff and pupils safe. Please note that masks should be washed daily.
We remind all pupils that it is a mandatory requirement for face coverings to be worn on school transport. It is the responsibility of the pupil to keep their masks on them at all times and they must not share this mask with anybody else. Spot checks on school transport will be carried out.
We have received a number of similar complaints from parents who are against the wearing of face coverings. You maybe aware that as of yesterday the legislation in Wales changed and the wearing of face coverings is now mandatory.
In this regard we are now able to enforce the wearing of face coverings in communal areas in school and that all comply with this requirement to ensure the school is meeting its duties and taking all measures to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.
The wearing of face coverings alone will not protect our staff and pupils from the virus, however they are part of the school’s measures to reduce the risk during the pandemic.
Corpus Christi Catholic High School Behaviour Policy - COVID 19 Addendum
Whilst expectations in our Behaviour Policy remain pertinent, it is necessary, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic to make some reasonable adjustments to ensure the safety of the children and staff at Corpus Christi. This will be used in conjunction with the Behaviour policy, Anti-bullying policy, and E-Safety policy. These adjustments are outlined below;
Arrivals and departures and moving around the school
In terms of arrival and departure to school this is one area that is proving challenging to manage, ensuring that children do not mix from year groups. We are relying on the cooperation of both parents and students to support us.
- Pupils will continue to enter the school site via their allocated entrances only.
- Pupils will continue to head to their designated zones, keeping a 2m distance from any other individual. There are markers and arrows around the school to support social distancing.
- At their designated home time, pupils will continue to leave the school building via their designated door/exit. They will leave when their designated transport has arrived, again keeping their distance using the one way system and markers on the floor. Face masks will be used on all public transport at all times.
- Movement around the school will continue to be limited. When pupils leave their bubble group they must follow the designated one way system and maintain 2m distance from their peers.
- Pupils will be expected to tell a member of staff if they are unwell and are exhibiting signs of Coronavirus.
- Pupils will continue to have responsibility for their own equipment e.g., water bottles and ensure that these are not shared with other students.
- Please remind your child that within the community they are still representing the school on travelling to and from school and they should wear their uniform with pride.
Behaviour in School
If a pupil’s behaviour is deemed high risk, for example refusing to adhere to safety measures such as hand washing, social distancing, remaining in their bubble or deliberate behaviour that puts themselves or others at risk, then the Behaviour Policy will be followed. Any significant incidents such as spitting or deliberately coughing at people will lead to more formal significant sanctions.
The Class Charts awards system will be used in its normal manner as it was prior to Covid. The Rewards Store will shortly be re-opening.
Handwashing and Hygiene
- Pupils will be expected to follow all hand washing and hygiene routines whilst in school.
- Pupils will wash hands/use antibacterial gel before entering the school, returning from outside, before and after eating and at regular intervals during the school day.
- Pupils should follow the ‘catch it, kill it, bin it’ mantra whilst in school. If they need to cough or sneeze, they should use a tissue or the crook of their arm. Pupils will be reminded not to touch their face, mouth, nose or eyes while in school.
Staff will continue to make sure that wherever possible pupils adhere to social distancing measures. Where pupils are not complying with these procedures, sanctions will be used.
Each bubble has designated toilets to use. These have signs on the toilet doors. Pupils should use the toilets in limited numbers in accordance with the signage on each toilet door. When they have finished they must wash their hands before returning to their bubble.
Break and Lunch Times
Pupils will continue to have a designated area to go to during break and lunch times. They will be expected to remain socially distant from other bubbles and staff during these times. Pupils will remain in their designated area at all times.
Lunch this week
The school canteen is NOT open this week and water fountains cannot be used. Pupils should continue to bring lunch and sufficient drinks for the school day. A second water bottle for some students would be advisable.
The school canteen will re-open on 21st September. There will be a lunchtime offering of hot and cold snacks (e.g. pizza slice, wrap, baguette sandwich, and burger) and drinks. Breakfast club will be open between 8.30am and 8.50am. Access to the canteen for lunch will be carefully controlled, one bubble at a time, and will follow a designated one-way route. Pupils will not be able to sit in the canteen to eat. They will purchase their food and return to their bubble recreation area to eat. In the mornings, pupils wishing to get breakfast will be directed via the outside of the school to the canteen. They should purchase their food, return outside and then go to their normal entrance route for their bubble. All ‘Top-ups’ will need to be made online using the Parentpay App. The ‘Reval machines’ are not in use. Can you please ensure that there are sufficient funds in student accounts.
PE lessons bring their own significant concerns around contact and ability to socially distance. The PE department is continually updating policy guidance based around the rapidly changing advice given to schools and various sporting governing bodies. The department will continue to review the latest guidance and regulations.
PE lessons will continue to ensure children have the physical enrichment that they benefit from. Full PE kit is required when timetabled. We will begin with minimal activities whilst we gradually implement the guidance to enable us to safely offer a fuller range of sporting activities as we progress through the first half term. Our use of changing room facilities, including enhanced cleaning, adapted in line with guidelines.
Pupils with Additional Learning Needs (ALN)
The school acknowledges that pupils will have had a range of different experiences during the lockdown period which may impact on their behaviour at school. The school recognises that these behaviours may be a sign that pupils are communicating that there is a problem. The school will undertake risk assessments for pupils will additional learning needs and use reasonable endeavours to make the necessary adjustments to reduce the stimuli that is triggering the challenging response.
Pupils with ALN are recognised as being particularly vulnerable and the ALN department will work closely with families to implement supportive strategies and, if necessary, will seek support from external agencies.
Pupils working from home
For pupils working towards public examinations, they must retain all work completed as it will/may be required in preparation for examinations next summer. Pupils in other year groups should also keep their ‘blended learning and online work’ as they may wish to refer back to it as they build on their knowledge and understanding this year.
In the event that pupils may have to work from home, pupils should not attempt to make contact with staff via social media or make comments about staff or other pupils on social media platforms. Any inappropriate comments will be taken very seriously and the Anti-Bullying Policy will be adhered to. Pupils can only make contact with staff using the staff member’s school email address.
We are working in extraordinary times and it is important that we all work together and follow the Government’s guidance. We realise that there is much for our children and parents/carers to take on board however all procedures and routines are aimed at reducing the risk of transmission for students, staff and families. Once again, I would like to congratulate our children on their excellent start to the term and thank you for your ongoing support.
As always, let us keep praying for each other in these difficult times. Look after each other and remember that ‘together we are the Body of Christ’.