06 Jan

Update for parents and carers: Thursday 6th January 2022:

I will start this update, by again wishing you and your loved ones a very blessed and happy 2022.

A prayer for our New Year:

Lord, we pray that during this New Year of 2022, we can place our lives, struggles and our concerns, into your hands. Please grant us, in return, your deep joy, where we can know your constant care for us and for those we love. Help us to stand up to the challenges, knowing that we can call on you for the strength that we need and help us to nurture a spirit of gratitude in all of our experiences in the coming year. Amen.

As a staff, we continue to be inspired by the words of our Academy Patron, St Teresa of Calcutta:

‘Love cannot remain by itself, it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service’.

It continues to be an absolute privilege to ‘serve’ youngsters and parents in our school community.

A huge congratulations to Karen Duke-Thompson, recently appointed Parent Governor! We wish Karen all of the very best in her new and important position.

We welcome Professor Paul Ryan as our new Academy Catholic Executive Leader. Paul has taken up this full-time position as of January 1st. We wish Paul all of the very best in his new and important position.

A huge thank you to parents for your support this week in ensuring that pupils have carried out a Lateral Flow Covid Test in school. Regrettably, this process detected some pupils who were carrying the virus without displaying any symptoms. Thankfully, pupils are not unwell and we are very grateful for the testing process to have occurred, which contributes massively to halting transmission.

Covid Safety Practices in school:

· Children should isolate if they have tested positive for Covid19. If children have been identified as a ‘close contact’ of someone who has tested positive, they will not be required to isolate (unless they are displaying symptoms) but will be ‘advised’ to take a PCR test by NHS Track and Trace. In addition, regular and daily monitoring through Lateral Flow Testing, is best practice if in this situation.

* From Tuesday 11th January, people who test positive on Lateral Flows, will no longer be required to take a follow up PCR to begin their isolation period if they do not have symptoms. If displaying main Covid symptoms, a confirmation PCR test is still required.

* Irrespective of vaccine status, pupils and staff will now be required to isolate for 7 days. On day 6 and day 7 of isolation period, pupils and staff are directed to take a Lateral Flow Test. If both results return a negative outcome, the isolation period ends at 7 days. * Please be aware that even after a 7 day isolation period and even following a negative Lateral Flow Test, if you still have a high temperature, you must remain isolated.

· Staff and pupils are always expected to remain off from school if they are displaying main Covid symptoms and are advised to book a PCR test. Main symptoms remain; a new or continuous cough, a loss of or change to taste or smell and a high temperature / fever.

· Schools are encouraged to maintain established and strong practices regarding ventilation and hygiene. Pupils and staff to still regularly wash and sanitise their hands. Classroom doors and windows to remain open during lessons.

* Pupils, staff, parents and visitors, to wear a face covering in all communal areas in school unless medically exempt.

* Pupils are required to again where a face covering in lessons unless medically exempt.

* Thank you for your continued diligence and support, in maintaining regular and twice weekly, Covid tests at home for your children. Please contact school if you require any additional supplies of test kits.

* School to keep up to date with all information provided by the Department for Education and Public Health England and will inform parents immediately if there are any changes.

We pray for all people who continue to be affected by this Coronavirus pandemic.

Lord in your mercy.

Hear our pray.

It is our planned intention, for Year 11 to begin their extensive ‘extra tuition’ and ‘intervention programme’, from Monday (w/c 10th January). This additional learning support alongside pupils receiving ‘quality first’ teaching in all subjects, will ensure that pupils have every opportunity to fulfil their potential, despite a very challenging last two years. Pupils will have received a paper copy of their ‘tuition’ timetable with an electronic version, also shared on this Website.

Huge progress continues to be made in our School Expansion Buildings Project! I am delighted that our new and extended school hall has now had its final paint! Our 4th new Science Laboratory, is now open and being used for learning. Our new and extended Library, will be open for pupils to use within the next week. Improvements continued to be made to our playgrounds and outside areas. We are in the final stages of completion of our new Sports Hall and Inclusion Block facilities!

In a regular reminder, it is important to remember, that driving and parking near our Oakley Road Entrance Point, continues to be highly problematic at ‘drop off’ and ‘collection’ times. Ensuring that all pupils enter and exit the School Building safely, is a number on priority. I ask that parents continue to be patient and understanding of this situation as we all endeavour to support one another as best as possible. Thank you.

Some key dates and information for this half-term:

10th January onwards: Year 11 ‘Extra Tuition’ programme starts

17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, & 21st January: Year 10 Mock Exams

24th & 25th January: Year 11 GSCE MFL Speaking Exams

2nd February: Year 9 Options Fayre (Further details to follow)

9TH February: Year 7 Parental Workshop on PSD / SRE Curriculum, via ‘Zoom’ from 3.15 onwards

18th February: Pupils break up for half-term

28st February: Pupils return to school from 8.35 as normal

Our calendar is ‘scaled down’ where possible, to ensure that resources are prioritised on the day to day operational demands of the school. Keeping fully open during this latest Covid challenge, remains our absolute priority.

In addition, please look out for information regarding extra-curricular opportunities that are still available to youngsters, via information shared by individual Subject Departments.

Please access the School Calendar from this Website for further information.

The continued strong partnership between school and home, is at the foundation of the successes that we continue to celebrate.

Please look out for any further information via text message, pupil email, ‘Microsoft Teams’ messages, updates to this website, or letters posted to your homes.

With every best wish,

Mr Crehan

Headteacher: Holy Trinity Catholic School