22 January 2021

Friday, January 22, 2021


Dear Parent,


I hope you are all well and safe.  This week’s updates include:


Returning to school

Yesterday, the DfE announced that they will give parents and schools two weeks’ notice before we reopen fully.  I’ll let you know as soon as we are informed. 



As well as Form Tutor calls home and feedback from pupils on Teams and in school, we are surveying all our pupils and staff this week about their experiences with remote learning so far.  Next week we will send a survey out to parents.


Laptops & Internet Access

Recent national surveys have highlighted the need to have the right device to get the most from remote learning.  Please contact your child’s Progress Leader by email if they do not have access to the internet or a device/laptop that supports the Teams App and learning from home.  We have a limited number of laptops to support you with this.


External summer exams cancelled for Years 11, 12 & 13

I sent a letter out earlier this week which confirmed that all public exams this summer have been cancelled and that Ofqual are consulting on what arrangements will be in place for determining how grades will be awarded in the summer. 

In the meantime, pupils must focus on preparing for their mocks when they return to school and, if they are doing vocational qualifications, provide the evidence that their teachers ask for.  I’ll write again after the consultation period ends with further updates.


Lateral Flow Device (COVID) Testing - Changes

The DfE have made changes to testing for pupils and staff in school.  Staff are now to be tested twice weekly and the pupils who are on site, and have given their consent, will be tested weekly. 

The DfE have also temporarily 'paused' the daily contact testing element of the programme.  This was an alternative to self-isolation for those who came into contact with positive cases in school.  Pupils can no longer take a daily test for 7 school days, they must now isolate for 10 days.


Free School Meals for pupils in Years 7-13

If your child receives Free School Meals, you should receive an email with your voucher at the end of each week.  Please contact us if you need any support.


Key Worker Provision

School will continue to stay open for vulnerable children and key worker children.  If you need any information, please email Mr Westbury p.westbury@holyfamilyhighschool.co.uk.  


Remote Learning timetables and reminders

These are at the end of this letter.


Thank you for your support, cooperation and feedback over the last two weeks.  Please keep the feedback coming as it informs what we do.  I also know how difficult it can be to support your child/ren and manage all other commitments, whilst trying to keep a calm and happy home! I hope you get some well-earned rest this weekend.


If you need us at any time, please contact us and we will do all we can to help. 


Take care and best wishes, 


Mr Symes





Remote Learning reminders


Remote learning timetable for w/b 25th January

  • The timetables are the same as last week (with one little tweak for Year 10 on a Tuesday, Maths and English have swapped periods). 
  • Below are the timetables for next week. I will also put these on ClassCharts and send out to all pupils today.

Microsoft Teams and remote learning support

  • All pupils have access to Office 365 and Microsoft Teams through their school email and they have all had remote learning lessons to prepare them for this eventuality.  Your child’s email address, in most cases, follows this format: year of entry, initial, surname @holyfamilyhighschool.co.uk (e.g. 18jbloggs@holyfamilyhighschool.co.uk).
  • We also have a helpdesk to deal with any issues logging onto Teams or any other school app, password-reset@holyfamilyhighschool.co.uk
  • The ‘Online Learning’ section of our school website has parent information, instructional videos and support for pupils when they are learning at home.



  • On Wednesday and Fridays, teachers will alert your child through Teams and ClassCharts if they have not yet completed their work.  You can also monitor this through their, and your, ClassCharts App.
  • If they are falling behind in a number of subjects, you may receive an email on a Wednesday and/or a Friday evening to alert you of this.  This way you will know if your child is fully engaged with their remote learning programme.
  • Your child’s teacher can monitor how well they are engaging with their work through ‘Insights’ on Teams


  • Wellbeing activities will be set on ClassCharts every Wednesday for all year groups (Wellbeing Wednesday).  We will also signpost pupils to websites that can support them.
  • Each year group has two core PE sessions timetabled every week.
  • Teachers will use merits and postcards in ClassCharts to reward and motivate your child.
  • Each year group has a Wellbeing session timetabled every Friday.  This will be from their Progress Leader (similar to an assembly) where they will share positive messages and words of encouragement, advice on how to stay organized and keep motivated and share any news that is relevant to their year group.
  • Your child’s Form Tutor will make a wellbeing call home every fortnight to see if they (and you) are okay and if you need our help in anyway.
  • Your child can access their teachers through Teams and by email.
  • If you have any concerns, please email their Form Tutor or Progress Leader, or you can call us in school during the day. 


Posted by Jenny Leonowicz

Category: Headteacher's Letter