Sunday 3rd January 2021


To staff, parents, governors and pupils at Mount Carmel RC High School.

Further to my latest COVID-19 update on 31 December, I do hope that you have managed to celebrate the new year and I would personally like to wish you and all your family best wishes for 2021!  

I met with a selection of SLT and governors yesterday to discuss and agree the arrangements for the next few weeks. Of course, all of what I am about to say may change and if so, we will have to revisit our plans once again. Please can I also remind all concerned that schools are not privy to changes in government advice and guidance before it is announced to the general public.

Please find below an update (as it stands) for governors, staff, parents and pupils regards the start of term arrangements. Further details will follow on Monday.

Week Beginning Monday 4 – Friday 8 January 2021.

Monday 4 January: 

1.    School will be closed to all pupils and only open to essential staff (SLT and essential support staff).
2.    This will allow us to identify vulnerable pupils and children of critical workers who cannot safely, work remotely online at home. If you feel your child / children meet the government criteria and you would like your child to be considered for a place at school, please email Mr Dugdale by 9 am at the latest on Monday 4 January. pdugdale@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk. We are in a Tier 4 area, pupils should only attend the school site if they cannot safely work remotely from home.
3.    Parents of pupils who qualify for a free school meal are also entitled to a weekly food parcel. We will contact families direct via MS Forms to confirm if you would like a food parcel and then let you know the arrangements for you to collect them from school. If parents have any concerns regards FSM food parcels please contact Mr Georgy (School Business Manager) direct bgeorgy@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk 
4.    Teachers will put plans in place for online lessons to start on Tuesday 5 January using SMH and MS Teams. 
5.    Pupils will be set work as per their ordinary school timetables. This will be a mix of live lessons (via Microsoft Teams) and work set on SMHW. This will start on Tuesday 5th January. If you have any problems with remote learning online at home, please contact Miss Farrelly (DHT) directly cfarrelly@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk 
6.    Prepare for mass testing of staff and pupils returning to school. More details on the testing procedures and consent will be issued to parents once school staff have been trained.

Tuesday 5 January: 

1.    School will be open only to vulnerable pupils and children of critical workers who cannot work safely, remotely from home. Mr Dugdale will send the details of arrangements directly to those parents / carers / social workers who have been in contact with him.
2.    Vulnerable pupils and children of critical workers attending school will be given further information about the arrangements for returning to the school site by Mr Dugdale.
3.    Support staff who have not returned to work on site because they cannot work from home, should also return to school as well as Pastoral Leaders.
4.    School will remain closed to all other pupils and teaching staff. 
5.    Pupils and staff who are returning to school on Tuesday 5 January will be tested for COVID-19, although this is voluntary. 

Wednesday 6 January: 

1.    School will be open only to vulnerable pupils and children of critical workers who cannot work safely, or remotely from home.
2.    School will remain closed to all other pupils and teaching staff. 

Thursday 7 January and Friday 8 January: 

1.    School will be open only to vulnerable pupils and children of critical workers who cannot work safely, or remotely from home.
2.    School will also be open for pupils in Y10 who are sitting a GCSE Computing exam on Monday 11 January. If you have any concerns about the Y10 GCSE Computing Exam please contact Mr Georgy directly kgeorgy@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk 
3.    School will remain closed to all other pupils and teaching staff. 

From Monday 11 January 2021. 

1.    Y11 pupils, support staff and teaching staff will be our priority to return to school site, but we are also conscious that Y10 have started their GCSE exams and we are going to try and get them back into school before the 18th January. Further details of the arrangements for Y11 pupils returning and possibly also Y10 pupils will be sent to parents before Friday 8th January.
2.    School will remain closed to all other pupils and teaching staff who do not have Y11 groups or who can work from home.
3.    Online learning will continue for Y10, Y9, Y8 and Y7. 
4.    All teaching staff will also be tested during the day.

From Monday 18 January 2021. 

All other pupils and staff will return to the school site. (Once again further details to follow) 


Additional important information for parents:

1.    Staff and pupils who choose not to be tested for COVID-19 will have to isolate for 10 days if they come into direct contact with a person who has tested positive at home or at school.
2.    If any parent of a pupil on the school SEND register has any concerns please contact Mr Sweeney (SENCO) direct d.sweeney@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk and if any parent or member of staff have any safeguarding concerns about a pupil they should contact Mr Hill (AHT) direct jhill@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk 
3.    All school buses have been cancelled until Monday 18th January.
4.    Pupils should wear full school uniform when returning to school. 
5.    If the cold weather continues please wear a school jumper under your blazer and a coat!
6.    Please ensure pupils arrive at school with a mask/face covering, school equipment and their reading book.
7.    Hot cooked food will be available to pupils and staff at break and lunchtime from Tuesday 5th January.
8.    During the first 2 weeks of term we are going to try and keep the school day as ‘normal’ as possible for pupils working remotely at home and onsite at school. The day will start with a touch base with their tutor at 8.45am.
9.    Y11 PPE Exams scheduled to start on Friday 15th January and go on for the following two weeks will go ahead.
10.    Year 8 parents Evening Scheduled for Thursday 21 January will go ahead as planned with further details to follow shortly.

Please can I ask that you are sensible and realistic regards your communication with school during the next few weeks. 

Please help us by only contacting school in an emergency or if the matter is urgent and use social media responsibly.

We will be providing parents with regular updates and further information as appropriate. 

If you have do feel you need to contact us, please use the school email account office@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk and we will get back to you ASAP.

Many thanks for your support and understanding at this difficult time

Mr X Bowers

Headteacher

Tags: Letters home, COVID-19, Headteacher messages