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Parent Update - Return to School

Posted on: March 9th 2021

9 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Re: Arrangements for the Return to Corpus Christi

We are delighted to be welcoming back our children to the classroom. I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support over the past few weeks. It has been a difficult time for everyone and your support with home learning has been exceptional.

This return to school will still have its challenges and we still need to be extra vigilant in following government guidelines to avoid the spread of the disease. Much planning, scientific research and discussions have preceded this reopening; all evidence stipulates that schools can only be safe places if everyone is following the rules.

Student wellbeing

I appreciate that for most, a return to routine, normality, and the opportunity to have more social interactions will be sufficient, in time, to overcome the challenges of the last year. However, we are also sensitive to the fact that it will be a real adjustment for some pupils returning to school after another prolonged period away from school routines.

We will be working particularly hard to ensure all those who are struggling receive the support they need to move forward. If you would like advice on how to support your child with their transition back into the classroom, we have provided the following information link.

Please try and limit the number of items the children bring into school and make sure they are wearing layers and outdoor coats. Ventilation is a key factor in protecting us from the virus and so doors and windows will be kept open wherever possible.

Ideally, we would prefer the children to be back in their uniforms, but we are very conscious that some children may have grown during this period and buying new uniforms is not possible currently. We will make some exceptions during this time, but hopefully the shops will be open in the next few weeks.

We have based our return to school procedures and risk assessment on the Welsh Government guidelines. Naturally, we will continue to review our procedures in response to Welsh Government direction.

Essential Welsh Government protective measures

Considering the latest Welsh Government and UK Government guidance, Corpus Christi will continue to implement the following essential protective measures. These include:

· a requirement that pupils who are unwell with symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) stay at home: new continuous cough; high temperature; loss of or change to your normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia). Click here for important self-isolation guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus infection. Please remain at home, self-isolate, arrange a COVID-19 test and notify the school if you or a member of your household have symptoms of COVID-19, or you or someone you live with has tested positive for COVID-19. · active engagement with Test, Trace, Protect strategy

· robust hand and respiratory hygiene including ventilation

· enhanced cleaning arrangements

· formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and maximise social and physical distancing between those in school wherever possible and minimise potential for contamination as far as is reasonably practicable.

· wearing masks by all staff and pupils when inside the school building.

If children fall ill during their time in school, they will be isolated, and parents will be contacted to collect them immediately. If your child is ill or sick with any symptoms (not just COVID19) please keep them at home and phone/email the school to inform us of the reason for the absence.

Personal hygiene

Personal hygiene helps reduce the risk of COVID-19 and all staff and pupils are aware of the importance of regularly washing their hands. Specifically, that hands should be washed with liquid soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitisers, with at least 70% alcohol, have been installed in every classroom and pavilion corridor, at all entrances and exits and throughout other communal areas of the school.

The NHS ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ principle remains a strong feature of the school’s approach to supporting good respiratory hygiene. Pupils should always cough into their elbow. As far as it is possible, pupils should be encouraged not to touch their face. While the school will reinforce good personal hygiene habits, the support of families at home to instil the importance of these practices is crucial to reducing risk of transmission.

Catering arrangements for the week beginning 15th March

The school canteen will be open at break time and lunchtime from Monday 15th March. Fortunately, when we welcome back students for the last 2 weeks of the Spring term, there have been no changes to our original catering arrangements. We have continued to provide food on the school site, with the support of the Local Authority catering team. Therefore, all students will need to be aware that food will be available as normal. Please ensure that your child’s ParentPay account is uploaded to enable them to access the canteen.

Transport

Home to school transport will be fully operational and all buses will run to their normal timetable.

Contingency planning

In the event of a local outbreak, the school will work with the local authority and/or Public Health Wales team to inform any decision about forced full and/or partial closure. In the event of individuals or groups of self-isolating pupils, as well as in the event of a forced full and/or partial closure, learning will be provided remotely. There will be a continuing expectation that pupils will engage in our TEAMS distance learning tools to access resources to support their learning should they not be able to attend school as a result of COVID-19 transmission. 

Phased return to school

Further to my letter on 2nd March, I would like to confirm our plans for welcoming students back to school.

Please refer to the Parent Update sent out by Parentmail on 9th March, 2021 here

 

Lateral Flow Testing – Years 10 & 11

The organisation of pupils in their registration group bubbles for Year 11 (Monday) and Year 10 (Wednesday) of each week will allow us to administer Lateral Flow Tests whilst minimising potential COVID transmission.

Year 10 & 11 pupils will be guided through the administration of a self-test using the test kits provided by WG. The first test will take place on Monday 15th March for Year 11, followed by subsequent testing at seven-day intervals. We will be looking to issue test kits for pupils to take home for future home testing in later weeks.

WG believe that rapid testing using Lateral Flow Tests will support the return to face-to-face learning by helping to detect infection. Testing remains voluntary but is strongly encouraged. It will mean that we will not have to send large groups of children home. Please note that if you do opt out of the testing process, you should be aware that in the event of a positive test in your child’s bubble, your child will be required to stay at home for the usual 10 day isolation period.

Please be reminded to complete the form below to give your consent for your child to receive a Lateral Flow Test. Consent for pupils in all year groups is required by Thursday, 11th March 2021 https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=Ug4_TzS3ZEGUCRtgHRR5k3muGX5HbEVDggM2bUbCz_JUMTc5OU41M0NGMkk2NFhQTEFTUlA3TE1PNy4u

IT IS VITAL THAT NO FOOD OR DRINK IS CONSUMED WITHIN 30 MINUTES PRIOR TO THE TEST. TESTING WILL NOT BEGIN UNTIL 9.15AM MONDAY 15TH MARCH

School closure

This will remain as calendared. At 1.30pm on Friday 26th March the school day will end to accommodate the distribution of certificates for the previous Year 11 cohort.

Year 11 Class of 2020 Certificates

Distribution of GCSE certificates from school from 2pm

Blended learning at home

When your child is not timetabled to be in school, the ‘blended approach’ at home, will continue until the Easter Holidays.

Parents' evenings

SchoolCloud will be used for the first time to deliver Year 9 Parents' Evening on Thursday 11th March. Following this event, the new system will be reviewed. If successful, it is planned that Year 7 Parents' Evening will go ahead on Thursday 25th March, using the same online platform.

Parents/carers will receive full information from Monday 15th March, via Mr Letman (Information & Communications Manager), on how to access SchoolCloud, make appointments and meet with their child's teachers.

We are aware that there is no perfect replacement for face-to-face contact with teachers. We will continue to review, amend and improve our current systems in order to provide effective communication with parents and carers. Thank you for your continued understanding and support on this matter.

 

Qualifications - Summer 2021

In November 2020, the Education Minister announced that there would be no summer examination series for students sittin GCSEs in 2021. In January 2021, it was confirmed that these qualifications would be awarded using Centre Determined Grades. This means that individual examination centres, such as schools and colleges, would use appropriate evidence to determine the grade(s) awarded for each qualification. Letters to learners, issued by Qualifications Wales, have already been sent to you via ParentMail. For more information on how the school, as an examination centre, will apply the ‘Guidance on Alternative Arrangements for Approved GCSEs' please click on the link to the Qualifications Wales website.

The school's assessment plan is currently in draft form and will be shared with you as soon as it has been agreed by our Governing Body. By sharing our approach, the school is seeking to offer clarity and confidence to students, staff and families. Furthermore, it will provide an overview on the decisions teachers will make, how teachers will make these decisions and identify the evidence teachers will be utilising to support the decision-making process. You can expect to receive this information by Easter.

Thank you, once again for your ongoing support. We are all hopeful here at Corpus Christi that, as we continue our journey through Lent, we will begin to experience some sort of normality.

‘Together we are the Body of Christ’

Yours sincerely

 

Patrick Brunnock

Headteacher