23 November 2020

Friday, November 20, 2020

Dear Parent,   


I hope you are all well and safe.     


This week’s updates include:   


Form Time 

Next week is week B and we will have a form period on Monday Period 5 as normal.  This is for form tutors to catch up with their form class and to make sure they are all well, and that they have the right equipment etc. for school.  We have also introduced a new rolling form period into week B, like week A.  Next week it will be Wednesday Period 2.  This will be used by each year group differently and could be used to support literacy and reading, careers, study and revision skills etc.  It will change depending on what each year group needs.   


Year 11 & 13 Summer 2021 Exams 

The Department for Education (DfE) are still committed to all Year 11 & 13 pupils sitting their GCSE and A level exams in the summer of 2021 as normal, despite what has happened in Wales and Scotland.  At a meeting last week, it was mentioned that an option being discussed by the DfE for GCSEs, was for there to be a ‘core’ exam in each subject, which would be supplemented with a Centre Assessed Grade from the school.  For our pupils, this may mean that their grade was based partly on an external exam and partly on what they have produced in school for their teacher (mocks, class tests etc.).  This is probably one of many options being discussed but as it stands now, they are still determined for exams to go ahead.  As we know, they may change their mind, and we, like you, will find out on the news.  I’ll keep you informed of any updates. 



Our canteen is now providing a wider range of hot grab and go options at lunch.  The pupils’ favourites of pizza, panini and pasta will be available each day, and the menus will change on a weekly basis.  The menus are on our website (click here to see menus on the school website) and next week’s menu is Week 2.  As the weather is getting colder, we are encouraging the children to use the service as an alternative to packed lunch.  We are also looking into how we can provide more hot options for our Year 10 pupils who have lunch in the school hall.   Due to Covid-19 restrictions all meals are served from disposable, recyclable packaging. We would also like to encourage dinner card payments to be made on-line to avoid the handling of money. If you have forgotten your login details go to www.scopay.com and click on I’ve forgotten my password.  


Microsoft Teams support 

All pupils have had lessons on how to use our Microsoft Teams learning platform.  If your child would like an update, we have a ‘Teams refresher’ session on Thursdays after school.  If they are interested, please ask them to see Mr Hope to book a session.  The sessions need to be booked in advance so that we can physically distance the pupils in the classroom.   Also, a parent video on how we are using Teams with the children will be on our website from Monday in the ‘Online Learning’ section.   


Foodbank and Gift collections for Christmas 

We are working with a few charities in our area to help vulnerable families this Christmas.  If you can, please donate to our foodbank and gift collection.  Any donations can be dropped off in our reception area.    


Parent Governor Vacancies  

We currently have two vacancies for parent governors to serve on the governing body of the school. You will have received an email containing information on how to nominate yourself. If there are more than two nominations received an election will be held in due course. If you have not received the email, and you are interested in the position, please contact us and we will send you the details. 


COVID-19 update  

If your child tests positive or there is a positive case in your household, please email me on covidpositivecase@holyfamilyhighschool.co.uk .  Use this address no matter what day or time of day/night and please include any details such as when your child started to have any symptoms and who their friends/close contacts are in school, on the bus etc.   This will help us alert anyone who may be affected and give other parents time to make arrangements.    

Reminder - What happens if there is a confirmed COVID-19 case   

This is a reminder of our protocol, if/when, we have another confirmed case in a year group:    

  • We will identify any pupils who have been in close contact with the confirmed case.  This will include siblings, close friends, any out of school ‘close proximity contacts’ and classmates who sit near the pupil. 
  • We will isolate the pupils in school and contact you immediately.   
  • We will send you a message/Teams Form about what arrangements you will make for your child to get home.  You must reply to this message so that we can ensure you child goes home safely.  You will have to either come and collect your child from school (either in person or collected by a family friend/relative), or they must walk, cycle, or go home on the school bus.  They cannot use public transport.  If your child uses the school bus, walks, or cycles, they must go straight home and not visit any shops etc.   
  • If necessary, we will arrange a deep clean of the areas of the school site used by that year group.  Depending on what time of the day the year group is sent home, we may need to close the school the next day to facilitate a deep clean.   
  • We will inform all parents in other year groups that we have had a confirmed case.     
  • Any pupil identified as having close contact must self-isolate until a specified date.   Other members of the household do not need to self-isolate unless their child develops symptoms.   
  • Your child’s lessons and resources will be on Teams and your child’s teacher will be available on Teams to answer any queries/questions.  If a whole class or year group have to isolate, then their teachers will be on-line/live at their normal lesson time.  For example, if your child has Maths Period 1 on a Wednesday, their teacher will be on-line to answer questions at that time.   
  • If your child does not have access to a device which supports the Teams App, and working from home, please contact school and we will see how we can help.  Also, if they do not have access to Wi-Fi, again, please let us know and we will do what we can. 
  • If your child receives Free School Meals, a 10-day food hamper will be available for you to collect at the school office.   



Devices at home and Wi-Fi 

If your child does not have access to a device which supports the Teams App, and working from home, please contact school and we will see how we can help.  Also, if they do not have access to Wi-Fi, again, please let us know and we will do what we can. 



Keep up to date with communications by downloading the My Ed app, checking our school website www.holyfamilyhighschool.co.uk and following us on Twitter @HFCHSThornton.   

Next week, I’ll have an update for you on how we are planning to keep you informed on your child’s progress, without being able to have a normal parents evening, and, what we are going to do in December to celebrate Christmas safely.    

Thank you for your support this term and please keep your feedback coming as it helps us improve what we do.   

Take care and stay safe, 

Mr Symes 

Posted by Jenny Leonowicz

Category: Headteacher's Letter