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Headteacher’s letter 2 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Coronavirus Update 3

We have all read and seen a lot about the virus in the news over the weekend.

I am pleased to confirm that none of the students or staff who visited northern Italy during the February half term have tested positive for the Covid-19 Coronavirus. The instruction for those students and staff remains the same: if they experience any cold or flu-like symptoms, they are to remain at home until they have been cleared to return to school by NHS 111.
Scientific advice is central during this time and it is clear that good hand cleaning routines and the safe disposal of tissues is essential. Thorough hand washing with soap and warm water is expected and the use of alcohol gel hand cleanser is very useful as well as we move around a site with many others. Our site staff are regularly checking that soap dispensers remain full. Students are expected to bring their own tissues to school. If possible, parents and carers ought to provide their children with a small bottle of cleansing gel to use throughout the day – however stocks of

these appear to be very low indeed across all shops.
Just as I was about to issue this letter, advice from the Department of Education arrived that set out further guidance to schools, including a statement that ‘no school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) Covid-19 case unless directed to do so by Public Health England.’
I suspect headteachers around the UK will welcome this level of clarity. In addition, they have set up a helpline for staff, parents and young people with lines open between 8am and 6pm on 0800 046 8687. Or accesible via the following email address: [email protected] Please note the Government’s key website for all other information and updates on the virus:

www.gov.uk/coronavirus

A March for Excellence

In other news, we remain dedicated to the establishment of a truly exceptional school for your children. As I often remark in assemblies with your children, they have one investment in their

education by the state and it is in everyone’s interests to ensure that none of the investment or time is wasted so that all can enjoy a lifetime of happiness and success.
During the month of March, the Leadership Team and I will be consulting on some changes at CNS that are designed to secure a more consistent culture and habit of excellence. Last week I invited parents and carers to one of three forums, but interest has been very low indeed.

Whilst I do understand that many parents and carers may simply have confidence in decisions that are made, we want to engage as many as we can in conversations about changes that might affect their children’s education or the information they receive about their children’s progress. We wish to get it right!

In an attempt to entice more interest from very busy parents and carers, here are some of the areas we wish to explore with you:
 Being more explicit with students and families about the kind of teaching and learning we expect to see across our school every day, with all teachers and with all learners.
 Changing and improving the content of reports sent home to parents and carers from the school.
 Altering the way that targets are set for your children so that there are no glass ceilings. Also ensuring that targets are agreed at special meetings and become a motivational force for all students and their families.
 Establishing greater consistency in the quality of the homework all students receive in all subjects in all year groups.
 Introducing clear-cut responses to weak attitudes to learning or poor behaviours.
 Improved use of the latest software to inform you instantly when your child has completed a perfect day, received a House Point, or when they have received a sanction.
 Alteration to the school day timings (from September) so that we introduce movement time between lessons 1 and 2 and lessons 3 and 4 – thereby ensuring all lessons can last the full 60 minutes and every student can be on time to lessons.

I hope this has now whet the appetite for more parents and carers to join the two remaining forums on Thursday 5th (3:30pm till 4:30pm) and Tuesday 10th March (6:00pm till 7:00pm). The plan is to begin with a 10-minute presentation on where we are as a school and then break out into groups to explore these areas. We promise tea, coffee, water, juice and biscuits. Maybe even doughnuts!

Meanwhile, my colleagues will be discussing these and other ways to ensure we secure the goal of being an exemplary educational setting. Put simply, we seek a school where teachers teach and learners learn – all day and every day.

Right now we are ‘good’ – we’re doing just fine. But this is no longer good enough and we have the ambition to be the very best version of ourselves as individuals and as a school. The time is right to go up another gear and show a school-wide determination and commitment to be excellent as standard.

We invite you to join that discussion and therefore that journey.

Yours sincerely
Barry Doherty
Headteacher

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