Parent Letter – 25/02/2021

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Dear Parents and Carers,

As I’m sure you’re aware, the prime minister this week announced that schools will reopen from 8th March.

All students will be offered three lateral flow tests, in school, 3-5 days apart, to help detect asymptomatic Covid cases. After this time, they will be provided with home-testing kits and instructions to carry out their tests twice-weekly.

To allow for the roll-out of testing alongside the reopening of school for face-to-face teaching, students will return on a phased basis from 8th March. The most recent government guidance states that Years 10 to 13 should be prioritised in this process and this is reflected in the plan outlined below.

In summary, pupils will return to school on a staggered basis. This phased return is  necessary to allow for the roll-out of LFD testing for any consenting young people or adults, as outlined below:

  For LFD Test Return to lessons  


Vulnerable children and the children of critical workers will attend school all week.

8.3.21 Years 10 and 12
9.3.21 Years 11 and 13 Years 10 and 12
10.3.21 Years 7 and 8 Years 11 and 13
11.3.21 Year 9 Years 7 and 8
12.3.21 Year 9

For the first LFD test, students will come to school during a designated time-period and return home once tested. Your son or daughter’s test time will be communicated on Monday 1st March. Remote learning will remain in place for pupils for all pupils until their return to lessons full time and we will share details of how to consent to the testing procedure.

Please note, students do not have to consent to the test to return to school. Anyone who is not receiving an LFD test should return to lessons as outlined above.


The three in-school LFD tests will be scheduled on the following dates:

w/c 8th March LFD Test 1 LFD Test 2
8.3.21 AM: Year 10

PM: Year 12

9.3.21 AM: Year 11

PM: Year 13

10.3.21 AM: Year 7

PM: Year 8

11.3.21 AM: Year 9  

PM: Years 10/12*

12.3.21 n/a AM: Year 11

PM: Years 12*/13


W/C 19th March LFD Test 1 LFD Test 2 LFD Test 3
15.3.21 n/a AM: Year 7

PM: Year 8

16.3.21 n/a AM: Year 9  

PM: Years 10/12*

17.3.21 n/a n/a AM: Year 11

PM: Years 12*/13

18.3.21 n/a n/a AM: Year 7

PM: Year 8

19.3.21 n/a n/a AM: Year 9

*half-year group; Sixth Form follow-up tests may need to take place after school

Please note that LFD tests 2 and 3 will take place within the school day, as far as possible, and will be carried out as part of their lesson time.


Adjustments to the School Day

It has been necessary to adjust the timings of the school day to ensure that pupil movement can be controlled and distancing between individuals maintained:


Year 7 Year 8 and 9   KS4/5
Registration 8.45 – 9.00 8.45 – 9.00 Registration 8.30 – 9.00
Period 1 9.00 – 10.00 9.00 – 10.00 Period 1 9.00 – 10.00
Period 2 10.00 – 11.00 10.00 – 11.00 Period 2 10.00 – 11.15
Break 11.00 – 11.15 11.00 – 11.15 Break 11.15 – 11.30
Period 3 11.15 – 12.00 11.15 – 12.15 Period 3 11.30 – 12.20
Lunch 12.00 – 1.15 12.15 – 1.15 Period 4 12.20 – 1.20
Period 4 1.15 – 2.15 1.15 – 2.15 Lunch 1.20 – 2.15
Period 5 2.15 – 3.10 2.15 – 3.15 Period 5 2.15 – 3.20


The changes to note for parents are:

  • Pupils in Years 10 to 13 will be directed to their tutor rooms from 8.30. Morning registration will begin officially at 8.45, but there in a 15-minute window before this to allow for a socially distanced movement.
  • Those in Years 10-13 will now finish school at 3.20 rather than 3.15.
  • Year 7 lunch will begin 15 minutes earlier than Years 8 and 9.
  • Within each lesson time above, 45 minutes will be dedicated to direct teaching. This reduction in time is necessary to ensure that lesson changeovers can be staggered and socially distanced.


Friday times are as follows:

  • 45-2.35: Years 7-9
  • 30-2.40: Years 10-13


Uniform and Hairstyles

We are very proud of the excellent standards of appearance of our pupils. Pupils are already aware of our high expectations in relation to uniform, as well as the hairstyles accepted in the school. There are no changes to these expectations from 8th March and we expect everyone to adhere to these high standards on their return to school.


Face Coverings

Until the Easter break, pupils will be required to wear their face mask in most of their lessons, unless exempt. A reminder that face coverings must be completely plain in design, unbranded, and black or white in colour. Disposable white/blue masks are also permitted, but we discourage their use for environmental reasons.



It is important that pupils are well organised and have the equipment they need to learn. We would like all pupils to ensure they are fully equipped as we will be discouraging resource sharing:


Equipment List:

  • School planner (provided by school in, £2 for replacement)
  • Blue or black biro/writing pen
  • Green biro/writing pen
  • Ruler, rubber and sharpener
  • Highlighter
  • Glue stick
  • Compass
  • Protractor
  • Calculator
  • Assortment of coloured pencils
  • 2 reading books for Years 7-9 (school will support pupils with this in the opening weeks of term)
  • School bag
  • PE kit (on relevant days)
  • Reusable water bottle, filled before leaving home


Depending on their option choices, older pupils may need additional specialist equipment.



Hygiene Equipment

Pupils are encouraged to bring their own supplies of the following:

  • Hand sanitiser
  • Surface wipes
  • Tissues

They will be permitted to use them at the start of lessons and during break/lunch, under the supervision of adults.



We have taken the decision to suspend the use of lockers to ensure that the one-way system is maintained. This will be reviewed fortnightly. Please be aware that outdoor coats will, therefore, have to be carried in school bags.



If your child is able to walk or cycle to school, then we ask that they do this when they return in March. This will reduce the number of individuals using public transport.

If you intend to drop your child off or pick your child up by car then please be aware that there may be more parents and carers using this method, and it is likely the areas outside of school will be even busier than usual. If there is an opportunity to drop your child close to school, but away from the premises, please do so, as it will greatly ease the flow of traffic. They can then walk the final part of the journey.


Please note the following:

  • Students must wear face masks on all service buses/dedicated school transport, unless exempt
  • Students must bring with them a small sandwich type bag to store their mask, while not in use
  • There will be arrangements in place at school for the disposal of single-use masks
  • Students will have to tender the exact fare, as it will not be possible to give change.
  • Pupils must sit in their allocated seat, within their year group bubble.


Before School

  • Breakfast will be available to all pupils between 7.30 and 8.00 and pupils will eat in separate, supervised, year group zones.
  • We are encouraging pupils who are not having breakfast to arrive at school as close to the bell as possible: 8.30 for Years 10-13; 8.45 for Years 7-9.


Minimising Contacts in the Classroom

We are all looking forward to our school community being reunited and especially our return to real time teaching. During lessons, there will be some changes to our usual delivery model to minimise contacts and ensure social distancing.

Regular hand sanitising will continue to be part of our school routines for pupils and staff, with dispensers fitted in all classrooms and other areas of the school. Group and paired activities will be avoided, and staff will teach from the front of the room. Pupils must not share equipment with other students. It is more vital than ever that pupils attend school properly equipped. Please see the equipment list earlier in this letter.

The diamond standards for work and behaviour are included to below to remind students of the importance of these expectations before they return:


Diamond Standards of Behaviour

  1. Respond to all staff requests immediately
  2. Speak to staff in a respectful manner and always use ‘Sir’ or ‘Miss’
  3. Follow classroom routines set by staff and stand when an adult enters the classroom
  4. Ensure that your uniform and general appearance is always of the highest standard and in line with school expectations
  5. Behave in a way that promotes and enhances learning and doesn’t distract others
  6. Be kind and considerate to all members of the school and local community
  7. Be punctual for school and for each lesson during the day
  8. Act in a way that upholds the reputation of Cardinal Hume Catholic School at all times


Diamond Standards of Work

  1. All of your work must be completed using neat and legible handwriting.
  2. Date and titles must be underlined with a ruler.
  3. All responses to feedback are to be completed in green, including literacy and numeracy corrections.
  4. Except for review work and response to feedback, all work to be complete in blue or black ink
  5. Diagrams, tables and graphs should be completed in pencil.
  6. No incomplete work or gaps in books – any missed work must be caught up as soon as possible.
  7. Take pride in what you do and check your work against the success criteria.

Pupils can use, and hand in, their exercise books as usual. The books will be kept within the class bubble. Staff will follow guidance in limiting the distribution of resources to students.

The use of computers is essential in the delivery of the curriculum in some subjects. Cleaning products will be available in all rooms with computers and pupils will be required to sanitise them after they have been used. The cleaning schedule will also be further enhanced with computers sanitised after use.


Kitchen Service

School will continue to offer hot and cold food at break and lunchtimes. The menu has been modified with more wrapped and pre-packaged food available. Pupils are welcome to bring a packed lunch to school.



We are really looking forward to welcoming our excellent students back to the school. Thank you for all you have done to support them in their remote learning and for your support of the school.


Best wishes,

Mr. B. Robson


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