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Dear Parents and Carers,
As I am sure that you are aware, there have been recent government announcements regarding the phased reopening of schools, as well as the awarding of grades to Key Stage 4 and Sixth Form students. I would like to update you on how Cardinal Hume Catholic School is responding to these announcements.
I would like to thank parents your invaluable support of the school and for supporting the young people with their home learning. I am under no illusion about the challenges presented in keeping your children focused and motivated in a home context.
I hope you have found the weekly parent bulletins useful and informative; a reminder that these are published every Friday in the Bulletins tile on the homepage of the school website.
Phased Reopening of Schools
We continue to offer regular, full-time schooling to vulnerable young people and the children of essential workers. This remains the case and this provision is unaffected by any wider reopening of the school.
It is the aim of the government to commence a phased reopening of schools no earlier than 1st June 2020. Children in primary schools have been prioritised in this process of reintegration, but it is also the aim that students in Year 10 and 12 will get some time with their teachers before the school holidays in July. Due to the challenges presented by social distancing measures, the government have made it clear that any phased reopening will be on a limited basis to help Year 10 and 12 students plan for their exams next year. However, schools will only be permitted to return if Covid-19 infections continue to decrease.
At Cardinal Hume, we have carried out a rigorous risk assessment and are currently making plans to welcome Year 10 and 12 learners, when we feel that this planning will adequately mitigate risks. I must make it clear that schools cannot eliminate the risks associated with Covid-19, but I would like to reassure you that we will do everything in our power to guard against them. A copy of the risk assessment will be available for parents from Monday 1st June. Ultimately, the care, well-being and safety of the young people in the school are paramount in our approach to any reopening of the school.
To assist with our planning, all parents of Year 10 and 12 students will soon receive a text message with a link to a short survey. This survey is intended to ascertain the number pupils we may expect to return to school, once it is permissible. Please complete your response within 24 hours of receipt.
Pupils attending school will expected to adhere to usual standards in terms of uniform, hair style and personal school equipment. The school behaviour policy may be modified to address the challenges of social distancing, but I cannot stress enough that learners must embrace the more strict, controlled and disciplined environment that we must create to keep everyone safe. I have no doubt that our excellent students will not let us down.
We are closely following local, government and trade union guidance on reopening and considering the regional variations associated with the virus to inform our decision making. We are also working with the Board of Directors of the Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust in our approach. A statement from the Board of Directors is available below.
Message from the Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust Board of Directors
The Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust Board of Directors want to assure all families that all of our schools and staff are working hard to ensure that your child is not only provided with the possible support, guidance and provision during these very unsettled times but is also kept safe and well. The Head Teacher of each school has completed a Trust wide Risk Assessment, designed to reflect the individual needs and circumstances of each school. Our Head Teachers, with the full support of the Board, will be making decisions and plans about what happens in each school on a day-to-day basis based on their own information, requirements and provision.
Learning from Home
We appreciate all the time and effort our young people and families have put into studying from home.
Looking ahead to after half term, Module 4 materials will be available for Year 7 and 8 students on the theme of ‘A Brave New World.’ Annually, Module 4 allows our pupils to make links and connections across subjects through a common theme and this will continue in our online provision.
Year 9 now join Years 10 and 12 with lesson by lesson delivery ensuring that all pupils receive bespoke materials in line with their school timetables. Pupils simply click on the subject and then their specific class in the ‘lessons’ folder to access their teacher’s resources.
The staff team are constantly developing their materials and approaches to support our students in their remote learning. There will also be more opportunities for pupils to review their progress and submit work in the coming weeks. This will enable staff to have a better understanding of your child’s progress. Moving forward, we will look to develop the online provision for pupil feedback and support, whilst tailoring procedures to suit the distinct needs of Cardinal Hume Catholic School.
We also realise there are numerous online resources that you may wish to use to guide your child’s learning. In order to make this process easier the’ Interactive Learning’ folder on the ‘Learning from Home’ portal categorises materials by subject and all the websites have been approved for use by our staff team.
Alongside lesson by lesson materials, the ‘Learning from Home’ portal contains several further folders to help our pupils. Please take the time to look through the enrichment, library and careers folders, as these contain ‘virtual’ opportunities ranging from visiting the Museum of Natural History to ideas for keeping active. We know that education is about the whole child and these folders help to ensure our pupils are able to access materials beyond the demands of the curriculum.
If you haven’t already read them our guides to Learning from Home for pupils, parents and carers are on the website and offer advice for effective home study. Updates, advice and guidance will also continue to be published weekly in our parent bulletin.
Although students will not sit GCSE, A level or Vocational examinations this summer, the government has stated that students will receive a calculated grade in all the courses they were due to complete. These calculated grades will have the same credibility as grades awarded in other years, and will allow students to progress to Sixth Form, College or University. They will be recognised by employers nationally in the same way examination grades usually are.
The calculated grades will be based on information supplied by schools to examination boards, who will make some statistical adjustments to ensure grades are awarded fairly across the country. Staff are working to ensure that all information is considered and that all of our students receive full credit for their hard work and commitment.
Please note that schools will not receive calculated grades from examination boards until just before results day. As in normal years, schools must follow regulations imposed by the examinations regulator, Ofqual, about the security and confidentiality of grades, and we will not be able release any information before the usual times in August.
We hope that, as in years past, we are able to celebrate many exceptional achievements when students receive their results. We will be in touch further about this process as more information becomes available and ensure that students and families have advice and support at that time to help make decisions about progression to Sixth Form, university, apprenticeships and employment.
Thanks again for your support – as a school community we are looking forward to a return to relative normality in the coming weeks and months. Take care and stay safe.
Mr. B. Robson
Acting Head Teacher