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Headteacher’s letter 18 March 2020

18 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Coronavirus Update 7
This has of course been a very significant day. Please forgive the lengthy letter that now follows.

Which Children Should Go To School on Thursday and Friday?
 Your son or daughter should attend school for the remainder of this week if they feel well and no one in their home has suffered (or is suffering) from a new continuous cough and / or high temperature.

Which Children Should NOT Go To School on Thursday and Friday?
 Those children who have already begun a minimum 14-day period of self-isolation.
 Those children who live in the same house as anyone who had or has developed a new continuous cough and / or high temperature in the past week.
 Those children who develop a new continuous cough and / or high temperature overnight.
 In addition, if a parent or carer wishes to keep their child off school on Thursday or Friday simply because they feel it is in their child’s best interests then they may do so with our full support. In such cases, parents and carers must contact the school as normal and their absence will be authorised on compassionate grounds.

Which Children Should Go To School From Monday 23 March 2020?
 The children of ‘key workers’ who remain well (i.e. have not developed a new continuous cough and / or a high temperature in the past ten days and come from homes where no one has reported any of the same symptoms in the previous ten days).
 ‘Vulnerable children’ who remain well (i.e. have not developed a new continuous cough and / or a high temperature in the past ten days and come from homes where no one has reported any of the same symptoms in the previous ten days).

‘Key workers’ are currently described as workers within the NHS, supermarket delivery drivers and those in the police force. The Cabinet Office will be providing further clarifications on this group tomorrow.

‘Vulnerable children’ include those who have a social worker and those with Education, Health and Care Plans.

How will I know if my child is meant to be in school next week?
A. Vulnerable Students: We will make personal calls to all of the parents and carers of these students on Thursday or Friday. We will not insist that these children attend school on Monday and will instead offer our parents and carers the option of sending their children to school or letting them stay at home. In any case, every single vulnerable student will have a named member of staff attached to their family who will make very regular telephone contact during the entire period of school disruption or closure.
B. Children of Key Workers: In order for us to draw up an accurate register of students for next week, we ask that key worker parents and carers email the respective Head of Year to indicate that their son or daughter will be attending school next week. If a key worker parent or carer has children in more than one year group then we ask that you email each Head of Year to ensure we have accurate registers. The email addresses of the Heads of Year appear below. We shall acknowledge each email received as reassurance to you that we are expecting your child next week. Children of key workers are not compelled to attend CNS. You are their parent or carer and you have our full support to allow your own child to stay at home. You only need to email us if you want your child to attend school.

Year 7 [email protected]
Year 8 [email protected]
Year 9 [email protected]
Year 10 [email protected]
Year 11 [email protected]
Sixth Form: [email protected]
What is happening to our children’s lessons?

Mr Gent, Assistant Headteacher, will write to ALL parents and carers about our detailed plans tomorrow so that we have a great start to all of this next week. But, for now:

Years 10 to 13:
Starting on Thursday 18 March 2020, teachers will be posting a 60-minute lesson activity on Show My Homework for every Year 10, 11, 12 and 13 lesson that is on our timetabled curriculum. This enables all students in these year groups to remain on track.

Years 7 to 9:
The same will be true of Years 7, 8 and 9 lessons from Monday 23 March 2020.

What is happening to the Year 11 GCSE and Year 13 A-level examinations?

All I can provide at this stage are the precise words of a recently published Department for Education statement:
“We will not go ahead with primary school assessments or secondary exams this summer, and we will not be publishing performance tables.” (Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education)

However, as a parent of a Year 11 boy, my message to him has been to wait and see and not worry about things we do not know and cannot influence.
It goes without saying that we shall do everything we can to ensure that the incredibly hard work of students (and staff!) will not go unrecognised or unrewarded. Have no doubts about that!

In anticipation of these events, our fantastic Head of Departments had also pulled together comprehensive independent study packs for all Year 11 and Year 13 students:
 The Year 13s received their packs this afternoon and those who were absent will have their packs sent out in the post tomorrow.
 Our Year 11 students will get their packs tomorrow (for the core subjects) and on Friday (for the option subjects). Given the number of subjects, we shall struggle to post out these packs for absent Year 11s and so we shall need time to think through how these might be collected or delivered.

Year 11s have a Chemistry mock tomorrow (Thursday) and a Physics mock on Friday. Meanwhile, there is a French A-level mock on Friday as well. These will be run as normal.

In any case we shall have a Year 11 assembly at 8:40am tomorrow (Thursday) and then a Year 13 assembly at 9:00am. I shall write to Year 11 and Year 13 students shortly.

And what about Free School Meals? In the same Department for Education statement, it states that in order to support children eligible for free school meals, “…schools will be able to purchase meals or vouchers for supermarkets or local shops.” We shall find out more about this tomorrow and Friday and ensure that we go beyond what needs to be done to look after our families.

Tomorrow, you can expect a letter from Ms Hancock that sets out the broad plan that we have prepared and will now finesse to ensure we safeguard all children in our community and in our care.
Food Appeal and Help for Our Community In the past few days, our Family Support Worker, Jodie Green, has been speaking at length with Emma Kennedy at St. Mary’s Church to make sure that those who were already need in our community do not suffer more and most from the current situation. Please look out for a special letter on this in the next day or two, but also try and set aside food that can be donated in the coming days. Activity bags for children are also being created and will be available as well.

And finally…

We will all tell our grandchildren about this one, or our great grandchildren. I do not know quite what will happen next but what I do know for sure is that we are not fallen angels and we are instead rising apes.

The wisdom and care of medical health professionals is phenomenal. The ingenuity of scientists is incredible. We live in a civilised society where we find quiet joy and deep meaning in being there for one another.

We can become apes at times, but it seems to me that we are apes with wings.

This may make you smile… a parent just sent this to me. Their daughter wrote it whilst self-isolating. Deep down I think she misses school…

Yours sincerely
Barry Doherty

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