CORONAVIRUS UPDATES - Mount Carmel High School

This information posted on this page is intended to keep parents/carers/pupils informed of developments and updates in relation to their children at our school during the current Coronavirus pandemic. Scroll down the page for previous information that has been issued.


HEADTEACHER'S UPDATE 13 JULY 2020: 12.30am

Dear parents, carers and pupils, Mr Bowers has recorded a weekly update video message use this link to watch it.


KEY STAGE 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9) ONLINE LESSONS - DATED 9 JULY 2020 1.00pm

Please see below for the time-table for KS3 online lessons for the week beginning 13.07.20. 
Teachers will be conducting these lessons using Microsoft Teams and will send invites out to students via their school email address. Instruction on how to access Microsoft Teams has been sent out to all KS3 students via a notification in Show My Homework. 


HEADTEACHER'S UPDATE 6 JULY 2020: 12.30am

Dear parents, carers and pupils, Mr Bowers has recorded a weekly update video message use this link to watch it.

Key points from Mr Bowers video message to parents 29.06.20

1.    Year 10 continue to receive face to face or online lessons via Microsoft Teams and next week will be their last sessions before the summer break
2.    Form tutor review meetings for all pupils and parents in Years 7 – 10 have been taking place with social distancing measures in place 
3.    Summer break arrangements;
-    Schools will not be open for any pupils during the summer break
-    Schools are not expected to provide a summer school as part of a catch-up programme
-    M.C. intend to use catch-up funding after the summer when we have looked at where best to offer additional learning support for all pupils
4.    Food parcels will be replaced with a voucher for all eligible pupils. There will just be one voucher provided for the whole of the summer break, worth £90 per pupil. It is hoped the vouchers will be ready for collection along with the food parcels next Monday.
5.    Arrangements for September will be as follows;
-    Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd will be induction days for Year 7 pupils only
-    Friday 4th will be for Year 7 and Year 11 pupils only
-    All year groups will be back in on Monday 7th
6.    Current Year 11 pupils will be able to ‘re-sit’ their exams in October 2020 if they wish although at this stage it is unclear if these will be taken at their post-16 provider or at M.C.
Thank you for your support as always
Mr Bowers


HEADTEACHER'S UPDATE 29 JUNE 2020: 12.30am

Dear parents, carers and pupils, Mr Bowers has recorded a weekly update video message use this link to watch it.

 

Key points from Mr Bowers video message to parents 29.06.20

  • Thank you for the positive feedback from last week’s video update message
  • Clarification from last week’s message regarding uniform. We are asking parents to purchase 2 sets of uniform i.e. trousers/skirts, shirts, jumpers but not a blazer at this stage. Only one P.E. kit is required
  • We thank parents of Year 10 pupils for all the hard work they have put in over the last few months and apologies for not including them in last week’s message
  • Year 10 update for the next 3 weeks
    We have had approx. 40 year 10 in school last week
    We started delivering online face to face lessons which seemed to go really well
    If your child is offered a place in school it is vital that they attend each day otherwise their place will be offered to another pupil
    It is also vital that other year 10 pupils attend the online lessons. Teachers send out links to these lessons and recordings are available afterwards.
  • Year 7, 8 and  9 pupils will start face to face online lessons next week
  • We intend to undertake review meetings with all pupils and parents from Years 7 – 10 before the summer break to discuss welfare and progress.
  • We are still awaiting further information from Ofqual regarding next years exams
  • GCSE results this year will be sent by email to pupils
  • We are committed to holding a prom celebration for year 11, it will be arranged as soon as we possibly can
  • Food parcels will continue throughout the summer break for all eligible families
  • This week will be the last of the work packs being issued. This work will take pupils up to the summer break

HEADTEACHER'S UPDATE 22 JUNE 2020: 12.30am

Dear parents, carers and pupils, Mr Bowers has recorded a weekly update video message use this link to watch it.


Uniform information from Abbey Street Shopping Centre for parents - dated 22.06.20

1) Appointments are required for parents who are purchasing uniform items for more than 1 child

2) There is no facility to try clothes on in store. Staff will measure and give correct sizes and uniform, if there are any problems items can be changed if you keep the receipt

3) Try to allow plenty of time to purchase uniform. Buy it early if possible to be sure that you can get what you need. The store gets very busy in August.

4) Parents are asked to only bring any child/children who need to purchase uniform. No-one else will be allowed into the store.

5) The new PE top will be in stock by the end of June.

6) Y7 – Y11 PE tops are on sale at £10.00 whilst stocks last.


YEAR 10 PROVISION FROM MONDAY 22 JUNE 2020

 

Online Provision for Year 10 pupils

Onsite Provision for Year 10 pupils


HEADTEACHER'S UPDATE 16 JUNE 2020: 10.30am

Dear parents, carers and pupils,

I hope everybody is well and staying safe. Please find my weekly update for parents below.

COVID-19 school advice and guidance

  1. The Director of Public Health and Well Being for Lancashire yesterday revised his guidance about schools reopening to more pupils in Lancashire and I am pleased to inform you that all being well,  we can now start re-opening school more widely to pupils from Monday 22 June.  
  2. This is an extract from the press statement issued by Lancashire LA today Monday 15 June; 
    ‘Dr Sakthi Karunanithi had issued blanket guidance to schools to delay wider opening to more pupils, because his professional view was that two of the government's five coronavirus tests were not being met in the county. However, a reduction in the rate of confirmed coronavirus infections combined with our readiness to support the local implementation of the national NHS Test and Trace Programme means that enough progress has now been made to revise this advice.  It is important to stress that the prevalence of coronavirus is still higher in Lancashire than elsewhere in the country so the room for manoeuvre is limited. As has been the case throughout the emergency, all schools are encouraged to admit vulnerable pupils and those children of key workers as long as their risk assessments suggest it is safe to do so. ……. For secondary schools and colleges, the government is keen for teachers to have some face-to-face contact with specified year groups’.
  3. However, the press release also goes on to say ‘the final decision to welcome back more pupils to Lancashire's schools lies with head teachers, in consultation with your board of governors, taking, into account, your individual circumstances’. I now need to double check with governors and SLT that we are confident that all are COVID-19 plans are in place and on Monday 22 June we can cautiously bring more ‘vulnerable’ pupils as well as children of key workers into school alongside delivering face to face lessons to 25% of year 10 pupils who are struggling with their school work and falling behind their peers. 
  4. Mr Sweeney will be in touch with pupils who fall into government criteria as ‘vulnerable’ in the next few days to start inviting them into school. This will be a phased process, probably increasing the numbers by 10-12 pupils each week. Pupils will be arranged in ‘bubbles’ and kept separate from other ‘bubbles. They will be asked to arrive to school at a specific time – between 8.50am and 9.10am. They will need to bring stationery into school but no food or drink. We will provide a snack for morning break and a packed lunch. In the morning, pupils will be supervised by support staff who will assist them to complete the online learning tasks set by their teachers, that their peers working at home are also completing. If these tasks are completed, in the afternoon, there may be time to take part in sports and creative activities. All ‘vulnerable’ pupils who are offered a school place will be expected to confirm they agree to the school COVID-19 code of conduct while on the school site.
  5. Pupils who are currently attending school site provision will also be asked to confirm they agree to follow the COVID-19 school code of conduct. This has been introduced to safeguard pupils and staff working at school as we start re-opening to more pupils and staff. Pupils will be sent a link to confirm they agree to these additional controls.
  6. As we move forward in this crisis it is clear to me that many pupils and families are no longer following government guidance regarding staying at home and maintaining the 2m social distancing rule. It is really important that we continue to be responsible for our children at all times and that we do adhere to government guidelines, otherwise we not only put ourselves at risk but everybody who lives in the household and other family or friends. 
  7. I know the lockdown measures are being slowly relaxed and as from yesterday non-essential shops are opening their doors, but we continue to ask parents to stay alert and follow these key principles to prevent the virus being transmitted and keep us all safe:
    •    If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
    •    If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, who is not safe at home, then educational provision will be available for them at school.
    •    Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
    •    Parents must also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They must observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
  8. We also remain concerned about the number of families who are requesting a pack of work from school rather than working online on SMH and other online platforms. Last week we had 134 families request a work pack and only 20 families / pupils collected them from school. As from Tuesday 22 June, we are not sending any work packs in the post. Pupils must collect the work packs from school between 11.00am and 12.30pm each Monday from the school office. If there are any parents / pupils who are not able to collect the work pack from school, they should contact the school office to explain the reasons why and we will make alternate arrangements.
  9. We appreciate that many families do not have a laptop or tablet to complete tasks on SMH but can complete some tasks on a smart phone and everybody has an email address to communicate with teachers. The work completed by pupils provided in the work packs must be sent to the teachers concerned directly so that they can mark and give feedback via SMH or email.

Free School Meal Food Parcels
If your child is eligible for a free school meal, then you are entitled to a weekly food parcel - per pupil. Please continue to order them via the school email account and pick up between 11.00am and 12.30pm every Monday from the school main reception. If any family is short of food, please contact school by the main school email account and we will put you in touch with local support groups.

Year 10 Pupils and Parents

  1. Parents of Y10 targeted pupils have been contacted by school to ask if they intend to take up the school place we are offering from Monday 22 June. I strongly advise pupils and parents to take up these places, so we can work face to face with pupils in school to try and catch up the work they have missed during the past 12 weeks, as soon as possible. If you have any concerns, please contact school and should parents decide not to take up a Y10 place then it will be offered to pupils on a reserve list. 
  2. Y10 pupils invited into school should enter via the side gate near the music room and walk to the door on the science corridor at the back of the chapel. They will be signed in and out of school and have a temperature test at the start of the day. Pupils will be directed straight to the classroom for the morning session. At the end of the session pupils will be brought to the dining area and provided with a packed lunch and supervised by pastoral staff. They will then be collected by teachers for the afternoon session and taken directly to the classroom. At the end of the afternoon session they will be escorted to exit the building. 
  3. Pupils are asked not to bring into school any food or drink but their school books, a pencil case with pens, pencils, ruler, rubber, compass, protractor that they must not share with any other person. We will be able to provide some stationery, but we do not have enough in stock for all Y10 pupils.
  4. Pupils should arrive to school at 10.45am prompt. We are not asking pupils to wear uniform at this stage, but we do ask that when they go home they immediately take a shower and change out of the clothes they have worn that day and attend school the next day in a fresh pair of clothes. Pupils will leave school at 3.10pm.
  5. At the moment government guidelines only permits 25% of Y10 to be educated on the school site at any one time. Hopefully this will change so we can bring more and more pupils back into school. For most Y10 pupils face to face sessions will be held remotely online using Microsoft Teams. This will involve one ‘live’ lesson per week online for every subject. Teachers will invite students to their lessons via a link which will be sent out in advance of the lesson. We strongly advise parents to encourage their children to attend these lessons as it is an excellent opportunity for them to speak to their teachers (and other students in their class) about the work that they are being set and for their teacher to clear up any misunderstandings. 
  6. Y10 pupils invited into school for face to face sessions and Y10 pupils who will carry on working at home have also been sent a link to confirm they agree to the school COVID-19 code of conduct. These need to be completed by 9.00am on Wednesday 17 June at the latest.
  7. We are expecting a delivery of laptops this week or next. We will be working hard to get them out to pupils in Y10 who qualify as soon as we can. 

Year 11 Pupils and Parents

  1. The centre assessed grades (CAG) were submitted to the various exam boards last week. As headteacher I had to personally sign them all off. Please be aware that the centre assessed grades have been calculated by teachers and Curriculum Leaders under strict government guidance. There will not be only 1 set of data that will be used by Ofqual to award the final grade for each pupil in each subject. The CAG will now be considered alongside every pupils’ KS2 SATs score and the school and subjects’ previous performance. We will not get to know this final grade until GCSE results day.  
  2. Y11 results day this year is very likely to look very different than previous years. Further details will follow shortly.

As per normal, if you have any concerns or queries during the school closure, please continue to use the email addresses below. These accounts are being monitored during normal working hours (8.30am – 4.00pm) Monday – Friday, but please remember to make it clear the name of the pupil, year group and concern. 

General office: office@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk 
Show my Homework enquiries: smh@mountcarmelhigh.co.uk

Many thanks for your continued support and patience. 

Best wishes and stay safe.

Mr Bowers
Headteacher


Lancashire County Council News Release

PR20/0168

08 June 2020

Guidance to schools remains unchanged

The guidance from Lancashire County Council's Director of Public Health that schools should not open to more pupils remains unchanged.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi has advised schools to delay reopening to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils because, in his professional view, two of the government's five coronavirus tests are not currently being met in the county. Although the number of new cases has decreased, Lancashire and the North West has a high number of cases compared to many other regions in the country.

Similarly, although the weekly death count in Lancashire is showing a downward trend, a consistent decline is not being seen in all areas, and in recent weeks we have seen an increase. It has also been widely reported that the R value for the North West is above 1.

There has been positive work between local organisations to plan for outbreaks in Lancashire, but better information sharing from the national to local level is still required.

Lancashire people have worked so hard throughout the epidemic in keeping the virus at bay. With various national lockdown measures lifting, we need to remain vigilant in following social distancing rules to help prevent the infection spreading.

The guidance, which also applies to early years settings such as nurseries and childminders, will be reviewed again on 15 June.

The decision to welcome back more pupils to Lancashire's schools lies with head teachers, in consultation with their board of governors, taking into account their individual circumstances. The county council works closely with schools to provide advice and support. As has been the case throughout the emergency, all schools are encouraged to admit vulnerable pupils and those of key workers as long as their risk assessments suggest it is safe to do so.

Dr Karunanithi said: "I have carefully considered all of the information and data and, for now, my advice remains unchanged. Although there are significantly fewer numbers of cases currently, I am concerned about the high level of infections in the county when compared with others parts of England. The death rates are not sustainably decreasing in the county, and reports that the R value is above 1 in the North West should be an early warning sign. It is important to stress that the R value is only one part of the overall picture, it appears to be rising in most parts of Lancashire.

"We still need better information sharing from national colleagues to help us unlock a successful test and track programme, although agencies are working well locally.

"Ultimately we all have a role to play in this – we must follow social distancing rules, practise good hand hygiene, and stay at home if we have a cough, fever, loss of smell or taste or when asked to do so by the contact tracing programme. If we all play our part – national government, local partners and the public – we can contain this virus."

County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools, said: "Everyone wants to see children back in school as soon as it is safe for this to happen and, although we are seeing some progress, we must support the professional judgement of our public health experts.

"Throughout this crisis our schools have been open to the children of key workers and vulnerable children and have also done a fantastic job in keeping in contact with parents and pupils and providing high quality online learning tools."

County Councillor Shaun Turner, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, added: "It is really encouraging that we are making progress with the local implementation of the NHS Test and Trace system. We will continue to raise with government the need for local experts to be better embedded into the national programme.

"The vast majority of Lancashire people have been magnificent throughout this crisis, but we all have a responsibility to continue to abide by the social distancing rules. There can be no let-up because if we all play our part we can stop coronavirus in its tracks and ultimately save lives."

For the latest information on schools, please read our schools coronavirus webpage at www.lancashire.gov.uk/coronavirus-updates/schools/


HEADTEACHER'S UPDATE 8 JUNE 2020: 10.00am

Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils,

I hope everybody is well and staying safe. Please find my weekly update for parents below.

COVID-19 school advice and guidance

1.    As the ‘R’ rate rises in many regions of the UK the chances of schools re-opening get less and less likely. The Director of Public Health and Well Being for Lancashire met with a selection of Lancashire Secondary School Headteachers on Friday and was absolutely clear that in his view – until the 5 government measures were secure in Lancashire there would be no further re-opening of primary schools for pupils in R, Y1 and Y6 and no expanding of provision for vulnerable pupils of secondary school age or pupils of Key workers and face to face meetings with Y10. We will continue to plan as best as we can to partially re-open school, but the timescales are very much unknown, and things are likely to continue to change with very little notice. 
2.    With this in mind, it is essential that parents and teachers continue to try and engage as many pupils as possible with as much learning as possible at home and / or online. I know that this is frustrating and draining but we need to keep working together and try our best not to leave any pupil behind and for as many pupils as possible to ensure they keep up with pupils at Mount Carmel and other local schools. As it stands, Y10 are still expected to take GCSE exams next year and Y9 the year after! 
3.    We have reviewed our school COVID policies and risk assessments and are now consulting with staff, governors and a sample of parents. We will hopefully finalise these this week and share them with everybody on the school website. As it stands, from Monday 22 June, face to face sessions with approximately 40 pupils in Y10 will hopefully be available from subject specialist teachers in school. However, for most Y10 pupils face to face sessions will be remotely online using Microsoft Teams. 
4.    The COVID-19 signage is now fully on display in school and other COVID-19 precautionary measures have been put in place alongside additional hygiene measures school. 
5.    As we move forward in this crisis we continue to ask parents to follow these key principles to prevent the virus being transmitted and keep us all safe:
•    If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
•    If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, who is not safe at home, then educational provision will be available for them at school.
•    Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
•    Parents must also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They must observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
6.    As you are aware we are closely monitoring, and tracking work completed at home and submitted on ‘Show my Homework’. Sadly, last week we noticed a dip! It appears that work completed at home by many pupils seemed to be not as good as previous weeks, in both quality and quantity. I am well aware that this is a generalisation and there will be some pupils who continue to work hard each day but overall, we noticed that a significant number of pupils are not doing this! Sadly, I suspect online learning is what school will look like for teachers and the significant majority of pupils for some time yet!  It is really important that all parents and carers continue to support your child / children by ensuring a daily schedule is in place at home and the work set by teachers is completed on the day the work is set and to a good standard each day. Please can we all make a determined effort this week to get back on track!
7.    We also have more and more parents requesting packs of work to be provided for pupils who are struggling with online learning. We are more than happy to do this so pupils who do not have a laptop etc are not disadvantaged, but photographs of the completed work must be emailed using SMH to the appropriate teacher or form tutor. 
8.    Now let’s focus on our next steps during this crisis!
•    From the start of this pandemic we have followed government advice and we will continue to do so.
•    The health and safety of all concerned will remain our top priority. 
•    We will have to wait until we have a recommendation from the Director of Public Health and Well Being for Lancashire to start re-opening the school to any more pupils. 
•    When we do partially re-open school we will do it slowly and targeting the 58 vulnerable pupils that are on our list and 40 pupils in Y10 who for whatever reason have fallen behind their peers.
•    I will continue to keep all parents informed as we move forward, via my weekly HT updates. Please do not hesitate to contact school directly via email with any concerns.
•    Staff who we feel cannot work from home will continue to work in school.
•    Please keep up the great work you are doing at home and contact school immediately if you or any member of your family tests positive for COVID-19.

Free School Meal Food Parcels

If your child is eligible for a free school meal, then you are entitled to a weekly food parcel - per pupil. Please continue to order them via the school email account and pick up between 12noon and 1pm every Monday from the school main reception. If any family is short of food, please contact school by the main school email account and we will put you in touch with local support groups.

Year 11 Pupils and Parents

Please will all Y11 parents ensure that their children have responded to the email regarding transition arrangements to post 16 providers from Mr Barrett. We want to ensure that all Y11 pupils have made at least 2 applications and are starting to complete the transition units made available online by some local schools and colleges. 

If you have any concerns or queries during the school closure, please continue to use the email addresses below. These accounts are being monitored during normal working hours (8.30 – 4.00) Monday – Friday, but please remember to make it clear the name of the pupil, year group and concern. 

Please also continue to send photos to the school ‘Facebook’ account of all the activities that you are up to. We will also try and post photos of school-based activities.

General office: office@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk 
Show my Homework enquiries: smh@mountcarmelhigh.co.uk

Many thanks for your continued support and patience. 

Best wishes and stay safe.

Mr Bowers


 

HEADTEACHER'S UPDATE 1 JUNE 2020: 9.30am

Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils,

I hope everybody has had a good half term break and enjoyed the fabulous weather we have had recently.

COVID-19 school advice and guidance

  1. We were planning to increase the numbers of vulnerable pupils and pupils of key workers in school as of 1 June to approximately 20, until late Wednesday afternoon, when Lancashire LA Director of Public Health and Well Being advised Headteachers that all schools in Lancashire should not increase its current provision on 1 June as planned. This decision was taken largely because Preston and the surrounding area do not fulfil the 5 government tests. Tracking data actually suggests that Preston’s R rate is due to peak during the next 2 weeks and the test, track and trace system is not up and running in our region. As a result, we have taken the decision not to expand our on-site provision this week and will await further guidance. 
  2. With this in mind, it is absolutely critical that all pupils and staff on school site, must follow social distancing measures at all times, ensure precautionary hygiene measures are followed, including additional hygiene measures to ensure we are all safe. 
  3. Over half term we have reviewed our school COVID policies and risk assessments. We will hopefully finalise these this week and be able to consult with a sample of staff, parents and governors, before we finalise them. We want to set ourselves up as best we can for the rest of the summer term. This will include from Monday 15 June, face to face sessions with Y10. For most Y10 pupils this will be remotely online using Microsoft Teams, but for approximately 40 Y10 pupils face to face on site at school. I hope to be able to share further details with you next Monday by publishing the updated policies on the school website. 
  4. The COVID-19 signage to display in school has arrived and will start to be put in place as of 1 June. We will also be trialling other operational changes, such as a new entry point for pupils, temperature checking on entry for pupils, moving pupils up to S8 or S9, allocating toilet areas etc.
  5. As we move forward in this crisis we continue to ask parents to follow these key principles:
  • If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  • If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, who is not safe at home, then educational provision will be available for them at school.
  • Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  • Parents must also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They must observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
  • We will continue to provide online learning for pupils who will continue to stay at home, (Y7, Y8 Y9 and Y10) who are not pupils of critical workers or classed Now let’s focus on our next steps during this crisis!
  • From the start of this pandemic we have followed government advice and we will continue to do so.
  • The health and safety of all concerned will remain our top priority. 
  • We make no apologies that as a school, we will move forward slowly and cautiously, taking additional advice where necessary.
  • I will continue to keep all parents informed as we move forward, via my weekly HT updates. Please do not hesitate to contact school directly via email with any concerns.
  • Staff who we feel cannot work from home will continue to work in school.
  • Please keep up the great work you are doing at home and contact school immediately if you or any member of your family tests positive for COVID-19.

Free School Meal Food Parcels

If your child is eligible for a free school meal, then you are entitled to a weekly food parcel - per pupil. Please continue to order them via the school email account and pick up between 12noon and 1pm every Monday from the school main reception. If any family is short of food, please contact school by the main school email account and we will put you in touch with local support groups.

Year 11 Pupils and Parents

We will shortly be sending our Y11 estimated GCSE grades to Ofqual. We have been instructed by Ofqual that we cannot share the grades with parents or pupils but there will be an appeal process and pupils will be able to re-sit in the Autumn Term. The final grade awarded by Ofqual will take into account the following key variables; the pupil’s KS2 score; school and subject previous performances. Please will all Y11 parents ensure that their children have responded to the email regarding transition arrangements to post 16 providers from Mr Barrett. We want to ensure that all Y11 pupils have made at least 2 applications and are starting to complete the transition units made available online by some local schools and colleges. 

National Thank the Teacher Day

Thank you for your messages of support to the school email, school website, Facebook or Twitter pages. I know the staff really appreciated this, especially as they are all working so hard in such difficult circumstances. 

If you have any concerns or queries during the school closure, please continue to use the email addresses below. These accounts are being monitored during normal working hours (8.30 – 4.00) Monday – Friday, but please remember to make it clear the name of the pupil, year group and concern. Please also continue to send photos to the school ‘Facebook’ account of all the activities that you are up to. We will also try and post photos of school-based activities.

General office: office@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk 
Show my Homework enquiries: smh@mountcarmelhigh.co.uk

Many thanks for your continued support and patience. 

Best wishes and stay safe.

Mr Bowers

Please read information in this letter sent to schools from Lancashire County Council

'Advice to schools on reopening to more pupils'


HEADTEACHER'S UPDATE 18 MAY 2020: 9.00am

Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils,

COVID-19 school advice and guidance

1.    We have spent most of the past week reading and considering the latest advice and guidance from the government with a focus on schools’ phased re-opening and the expectation that staff should be encouraged back to work who cannot work from home.
2.    New government advice and guidance regards schools continues to be published every day, so some things have changed and are likely to continue to change as we move forward in re-opening schools.
3.    We have been warned by the Prime Minister that the route map published by the government is dependent on the data regarding the reproductive rate (R) of the virus data that is monitored daily.
4.    I do suggest that you read the guidance  and subsidiary guidance for schools yourself. I have included the link below: 
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020/actions-for-education-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020

5.    Let’s focus on what the latest government guidance says and how it affects us all! 
(This is my personal brief summary only)
•    The PM announced that if you cannot work at home then people should be encouraged back to work, unless they have a medical condition that means they are self-isolating or have children below nursery age that do not qualify for childcare.
•    Staff who are shielding a member of their household can now return to work if it is safe and social distancing can be put in place effectively.
•    Vulnerable pupils (as identified in the guidance) who have been entitled to attend school throughout this crisis, should now be encouraged to start going to school rather than stay at home as long as they do not have a medical condition that means they are self-isolating.
•    We continue to provide provision for pupils of critical workers who need child care. However, parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 situation (as outlined in the government guidance) should still keep their children at home if it is possible to ensure their child is kept safe at home while they attend work. 
6.    As we move forward in this crisis we are asking parents to follow these key principles:
•    If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they must be.
•    If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, who is not safe at home, then educational provision will be available for them at school.
•    Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
•    Parents must also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They must observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
7.    We will continue to provide online learning for pupils who will continue to stay at home, (Y7, Y8 Y9 and Y10) who are not pupils of critical workers or classed as vulnerable pupils.
8.    As of 1 June, we will start planning to provide some face to face contact with Y10 to support their learning as best we can as they are preparing for their exams this time next year. We are awaiting further guidance on this matter but please be realistic about what we can provide for Y10 pupils given the current social distancing restrictions and precautionary health measures that are in place.
9.    We will continue to ensure social distancing is in place at school and take other precautionary measures, including risk assessments, as we start bringing more staff and pupils back in to school. 
10.    Parents of pupils in priority groups will not be penalised for not sending their children into school but will be strongly encouraged to do so.
11.    Now let’s focus on our next steps during this crisis!
•    From the start of this pandemic we have followed government advice and we will continue to do so.
•    The health and safety of all concerned will remain our top priority. 
•    We make no apologies that as a school, we will move forward slowly and cautiously, taking additional advice where necessary.
•    I will continue to keep all parents informed as we move forward, via my weekly HT updates. Please do not hesitate to contact school directly via email with any concerns.
•    We will be bringing some staff who we feel cannot work from home back into school as of Monday 18 May and updating our daily staff rota to continue to supervise and support pupils with online learning and school-based activities.
•    We will be consulting with key workers and asking them if they are able to keep their children safe at home or if they now need to send their children into school, so they can go work.
•    We will be consulting with parents / carers of our vulnerable pupils and encouraging them to start sending their children into school as appropriate.
•    We will consult with parents of Y10 pupils and ask them: if they are ready to start sending their children back to school, and, do they have any concerns about  face to face contact? We do not yet know what this will look like or when it will start but when it does it will include small numbers of pupils and it is unlikely that any normality will be able to be put in place regards resuming lessons. 
•    We will be updating our risk assessments and COVID-19 precautionary measures at school and bring them in line with the latest government guidance as soon as possible.
•    Please keep up the great work you are doing at home and contact school immediately if you or any member of your family tests positive for COVID-19.
•    During May Half Term ( 25 – 29 May ) teachers will not be setting work online or giving feedback. We will be contacting parents this week, whose children are attending school regularly to see if you need school to stay open next week.  

12.    Online Learning from Home
We are continuing to closely monitor pupil use of ‘ShowMyHomework’ (SMH) and other online learning platforms. Once again last week 80% of pupils logged on to SMH and completed at least 1 task. Based on the engagement of your child/ren, I have sent a letter to all parents this week. 

Now it has been confirmed by government that it still looks like they will be taking GCSE exams, it is vital that Y10 pupils continue to complete work in all subjects to a good standard for their ability! 

We will continue to provide work online for pupils in Y7, Y8, Y9 and Y10. Teachers have been advised the following:
•    keep setting work in line with the day to day, year by year timetable only! 
•    be careful not to set lots of research or multiple tasks. Try and help pupils and parents by chunking work up into individual manageable tasks that link together.
•    avoid setting tasks that involve using subscription programmes such as Netflix. 
•    if your subject has a rotation – drama, music art, DT and food, please clarify which work is to be done on which week by which group. 
•    keep doing our best to also provide positive comments / feedback and deal with misconceptions to all the pupils who are engaging in remote learning.
•    pupils collecting work or having it sent home should have started sending photos of their work and email or upload it to SMH via a smart phone.  

Free School Meal Food Parcels

If your child is eligible for a free school meal, then you are entitled to a weekly food parcel - per pupil. Please continue to order them via the school email account and pick up between 12noon and 1pm every Monday from the school main reception. Please be aware that we will not be providing food parcels for the May half term holiday, so there will be none available on Monday 25 May. If any family is short of food, please contact school by the main school email account and we will put you in touch with local support groups.

Year 11 Pupils and Parents

Many thanks to Y11 pupils and parents who brought back into school their work books. This is in case we need them to provide additional evidence to Ofqual. 

We are now well under way with this process and will keep parents informed. Mr Barrett our Careers Information Advise and Guidance officer has sent all Y11 pupils an email regards transition arrangements to post 16 providers.  Please will all Y11 parents ensure that their children have responded to this email. We want to ensure that all pupils have made at least 2 applications and are starting to complete the transition units online. 

National Thank the Teacher Day

On Wednesday 20 May the UK government has asked the nation to engage with ‘National Thank the Teacher Day’.  We would very much like pupils, parents and other relatives to help recognise and celebrate the hard work that senior leaders, teachers, support staff, governors and all those that are working so hard at Mount Carmel and who are making a massive positive contribution to pupils, families and communities during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Please will you send in your messages of support to the school email, school website, Facebook or Twitter pages. I know the staff will really appreciate this as they are all working so hard in such difficult circumstances. I do hope as many of you as possible will take the opportunity to recognise the efforts of the staff at our school and other local schools. 

If you have any concerns or queries during the school closure, please continue to use the email addresses below. These accounts are being monitored during normal working hours (8.30 – 4.00) Monday – Friday, but please remember to make it clear the name of the pupil, year group and concern. Please also continue to send photos to the school ‘Facebook’ account of all the activities that you are up to. We will also try and post photos of school-based activities.

General office: office@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk 
Show my Homework enquiries: smh@mountcarmelhigh.co.uk

Many thanks for your continued support and patience. 

Best wishes and stay safe.

Mr Bowers
Headteacher


HEADTEACHER'S UPDATE 11 MAY 2020: 9.30am

Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils,

COVID-19 school advice and guidance

I hope that you are staying safe by following the government advice and staying at home and only going out if it is absolutely necessary. If we do leave the family home, stay at least 2m apart, regularly wash your hands or use some sort of sanitiser. 

As you are aware, coronavirus (COVID-19) testing has now been extended to all essential workers and members of their households who are showing symptoms of coronavirus(COVID-19). Full details can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested. If any parent or member of the household is tested positive, please inform school immediately.

I am not sure if last night’s statement regarding the COVID-19 crisis from the Prime Minister was what I expected. There was certainly a lack of detail for the next stages and for me, it raised more questions than it gave answers. The plan to bring reception and Y1 back at primary seems very much at odds with keeping a social distance to me. It looks like Y10 may possibly return sometime in late June but there was no mention by the Prime Minister of Y7, Y8 or Y9.

We await further details today from the government about the relaxing of the current lock down regulations and a ‘road map’ that will start getting the country back to some sort of normality. We will review our current school arrangements when we know more details.

We are continuing to closely monitor pupil use of ‘ShowMyHomework’ (SMH) and other online learning platforms. Last week 80% of pupils logged on to SMH and completed at least 1 task. We appreciate that home schooling is not an easy task, but we really are here to help in any way we can. You just need to contact the school via email or your child’s subject teacher via SMH. Sadly, we still have too many pupils who are doing very little work at home. We cannot stress how important it is that pupils have some sort of daily routine and complete all the work set online or provided in work packs each Monday! Pupils who do not do this will fall further behind their classmates each day meaning that they will have more to catch up when we do return to school. We are doing our very best every day – we need everybody else to do that too!

It is particularly important that Y10 pupils continue to complete work in all subjects to a good standard for their ability because this time next year it still looks like they will be taking GCSE exams!

Free School Meal Food Parcels

If your child is eligible for a free school meal, then you are entitled to a weekly food parcel - per pupil. Please continue to order them via the school email account and pick up between 12noon and 1pm every Monday from the school main reception. If any family is short of food, please contact school by the main school email account and we will put you in touch with local support groups.

Year 11 Pupils and Parents

Many thanks to Y11 pupils and parents who brought back into school their work books. This is in case we need them to provide additional evidence to Ofqual. 

We have now started the process of awarding GCSE grades for all Y11 pupils in all subjects. This will be completed in the next 3 weeks and submitted to Ofqual. We have a plan to work with teachers and curriculum leaders to ensure that as best as we can we will ensure that pupils are awarded the grade the evidence suggests they would have achieved if they would have sat their exams this summer. 

This grade will then be compared with the pupils’ and year group’s average KS2 score, and the previous performance of the subject and the school.

If you have any concerns or queries during the school closure, please continue to use the email addresses below. These accounts are being monitored during normal working hours (8.30 – 4.00) Monday – Friday, but please remember to make it clear the name of the pupil, year group and concern. 

General office: office@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk 
Show my Homework enquiries: smh@mountcarmelhigh.co.uk

Please also continue to send photos to the school ‘Facebook’ account of all the activities that you are up to. We will also try and post photos of school-based activities.

Many thanks for your continued support and patience. 

Best wishes and stay safe.

Mr Bowers


HEADTEACHER'S UPDATE 4 MAY 2020: 9.00am

Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils,

COVID-19 school advice and guidance

I hope that you are all well and staying safe by following the government advice and staying at home and only going out if it is absolutely necessary. If we do leave the family home, stay at least 2m apart, regularly wash your hands or use some sort of sanitiser, regularly drink hot liquids and when you return home put all your clothes immediately in the washing machine and take a shower, to reduce the risk of bringing the COVID-19 virus into the family home. 

As you are aware, coronavirus (COVID-19) testing has recently been extended to all essential workers and members of their households who are showing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). Full details can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested. If any parent or member of the household is tested positive, please inform school immediately.

The speculation continues in the media about schools re-opening, (even though we have not been closed). There are now conversations taking place about the re-opening of schools in phases but still no timescales available or guidelines for us to follow. LAs across England and Wales have been asked to consult with schools. Thank you to the members of the PTFA who provided views of parents and pupils. The topic was also discussed at the weekly DfE meeting with teaching professional association representatives last Friday.

Many of you have asked what my personal thoughts are about the current situation and likely next steps. I continue to try not to spend too much time or energy on speculating what the future holds and instead focus on doing the best I can to support you, our pupils and families. I am really pleased that schools have been consulted in the process. I now hope that government ministers take on board the information provided by schools to shape the next steps along with scientific and medical advice. 

According to the Prime Minister last Thursday we seem to have passed the peak rate of infection for COVID-19 and we are beginning to see a decrease in the rate of infection and deaths. He has also promised a ‘road map’ for getting us back to work, opening schools and ensuring travel on public transport is safe to use. We seem to have reached a very delicate stage in the pandemic and the government are standing by the 5 key measures being in place before lockdown is relaxed and will continue to monitor the reproductive rate (R) of the COVID-19 virus to keep it below 1. 

Due to the crippling effect on the economy caused by COVID-19, government official announcements tend to suggest that the lockdown measures may be relaxed on 7 May. If this happens, I think the government will be cautious, because government strategy seems to be stopping the spread of the virus, reducing the death rate, allowing the NHS to cope and will avoid a 2nd spike of infections. Social distancing measures look here to stay for some time and if the lockdown is relaxed I think they will be maintained. When schools re-open I think it will only be partially and, for everybody’s safety, we will be expected to ensure that social distancing measures continue. This will be a challenge for all concerned and will feel very alien. It will also require a great deal of self-discipline. 

We are continuing to closely monitor pupil use of ‘Show My Homework’ (SMH) and other online learning platforms. Last week we have managed to engage with more pupils than ever in schoolwork at home. Thank you so much to 70% of you that are clearly doing your very best at home to support your child/ren. We know for many reasons that home schooling is not an easy task, but we really are here to help if you need it. You just need to contact the school via email or your child’s subject teacher via SMH. However, we still have a number of pupils who are doing very little work at home and things do not seem to be improving and others who are still not engaging with school. We cannot stress how important it is that pupils have some sort of daily routine and complete all the work set online or provided in work packs each Monday! Pupils who do not do this means that every day they fall further behind their classmates and this means that they will have more to catch up when we do return to school. We are doing our very best every day – we need everybody else to do that too!

The new day by day year group timetable we introduced last week, seems to have resolved a lot of the problems regards teachers setting too much work and not making it clear what learning task to do first in a sequence of tasks. Please do give us feedback again this week on how this system is working and if there is anything else you think we can do to help at this difficult time!

It is particularly important that Y10 pupils complete work in all subjects to a good standard for their ability because this time next year will be taking their GCSE exams!

Free School Meal Food Parcels

If your child is eligible for a free school meal, then you are entitled to a weekly food parcel - per pupil. Please continue to order them via the school email account and pick up between 12noon and 1pm every Monday from the school main reception. If any family is short of food, please contact school by the main school email account and we will put you in touch with local support groups.

Year 11 Pupils and Parents

To assist school in generating a Centre Assessed Grade, pupil workbooks, exam questions etc may be used as an additional evidence source.  Please can you collate your work in a plastic bag and drop it in the Year 11 work collection box at reception. When collating your work, ensure that all loose worksheets/paper are secured in your books. Do not worry if you do not have all of your books, as these are an additional layer of evidence that may be used.

To avoid unnecessary contact with others and ensure that social distancing protocols are followed, work must be dropped off on the allocated slots listed below:

• Pupil surname A-C - Monday 4th May 9-11:30am
• Pupil surname D-I - Monday 4th May 12-14:30pm
• Pupil surname J-O - Tuesday 5th May 9-11:30am
• Pupil surname P-Z - Tuesday 5th May 12-14:30pm

The work collection box will be removed after each drop slot, so work not dropped at the allocated slot will not be accepted. Where any additional work has been completed after school closed on 20 March 2020, caution will be taken in using this as evidence if it suggests a change in performance.

If you have any concerns or queries during the school closure, please continue to use the email addresses below. These accounts are being monitored during normal working hours (8.30 – 4.00) Monday – Friday, but please remember to make it clear the name of the pupil, year group and concern. 

General office: office@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk 
Show my Homework enquiries: smh@mountcarmelhigh.co.uk

Please also continue to send photos to the school ‘Facebook’ account of all the activities that you are up to. We will also try and post

Tags: Letters home, COVID-19