News

Headmaster’s Update for Parents: October 2020
14/10/2020

Dear Parent,

Thank you for the manner in which you continue to support the work of St Christopher’s.


Overview

I heard a government expert describe Lancashire as the ‘COVID capital’ of England this morning and within hours my email in-box was receiving correspondence from heads I know from other parts of the country asking how I was coping and how near were we to a complete school closure! My response has been reassuringly boring: we are managing the situation well; pupils are learning about new things and catching up with any missed work; hands are sanitised regularly, faces covered when appropriate, and space maintained between bubbles. Pupils and staff have been conscientious and diligent in adhering to new systems, so much so that these ways of working have now become established. To date we have had 14 positive cases confirmed and for each one approximately twenty other pupils are being asked to self-isolate. No year group has been asked to work from home. These figures are stable and in-line with the experience of similar sized secondary schools in this part of the county.


Attendance

Overall attendance figures remain strong. In the two year groups where there have been no recorded cases, the attendance rate is where we would expect it to be for a normal year at about 96%.

Should you be in a position where your child is off school due to ill health or sickness, please let us know following our usual procedures. If the absence is COVID related – showing one or more of the three symptoms or self-isolating in the household – please alert us so that we can apply the correct attendance code and more importantly keep a track on the extent of any outbreak.


Synergy and Working from Home

Our experience of Lockdown has led to a number of innovations and changes to support pupils who have been asked to self-isolate. If your child is well but has to work from home they must continue with lessons in real time. They should log into Synergy at 08.45 and read the Student Bulletin where links for Form Worship can be found. Clicking on the Classwork tab will allow them to see all of their lessons and these should be worked through in the order that they appear on the timetable. For each lesson the same resources and tasks should be available that are being completed in class at the same time. A growing number of teachers will provide the opportunity for lessons to be live streamed, particularly when relatively large groups are absent from an examination class.

It is worth reiterating a plea from an earlier Update. If your son/daughter is going to struggle to access a computer during an absence from school, we need to know. Please contact Assistant Head, Mr Cheshire to alert us to a situation of this sort.


Uniform

Pupils have responded very well to our expectation that much of break and lunch time is spent in designated outdoor spaces. Classrooms will be made available when it rains and when the temperature drops from ‘bracing’ to ‘Vladivostok’. In the meantime, Mrs Parkinson has asked me to remind you of some easy ways for ensuring that pupils remain comfortable both outside and in classrooms where windows may be opened to ensure the circulation of air. Pupils can wear: a navy or black coat, gloves, hat and scarf (outside only), a plain navy cardigan or v-neck (becoming increasingly popular), a plain white vest top or t-shirt under shirts, and girls can wear blue or black tights. Baseball caps, hoodies, and coloured coats are not acceptable.

Our uniform has much to commend it and most pupils wear it with pride. However, a relatively small number of girls, particularly those in the older years, push the boundaries of what is or is not an acceptable length of skirt. Please help us to reinforce the school rule (p.19 Pupil Handbook): ‘Girls skirts should be worn on the waist and at knee length.’ I have asked Mrs Parkinson to contact you directly if we have a particular concern in this area.


Year 7 Admissions 2021

A reminder that the deadline for secondary school admissions is the end of this month. An application must be made online and a paper copy of the school’s Supplementary Information Form is also needed. This form should be completed by you and submitted to your vicar/priest for countersigning and returned to school by 27th November.

This year’s Open Evening took the form of a series of short videos covering all aspects of school life. Together they offer a good insight into all that we have to offer. The videos are still available and are well worth a watch. You can find them here.


School Appeal

Thank you to the parents of pupils in Year 7 who have responded in such a generous way to the letter from Chair of Governors, Mr Whitehead regarding the School Appeal. Your gift of a regular monthly sum will help us to secure much needed improvements.


Friends of St Christopher’s (FoSC)

All parents are warmly invited to FoSC’s first meeting of the year which will take place via Zoom next Monday. FoSC offers you the opportunity to make friends with other parents and contribute fulsomely to the life of the school. Please do attend if you are able, links are available below:

AGM 18:30

Meeting ID: 894 4679 5891  |  Passcode: wEhU05

Meeting 19:00

Meeting ID: 878 4818 1811  |  Passcode: Jk76vJ


Year 11

Pupils in Year 11 are reminded that applications for the sixth form can now be completed. The on-line process is available on the school website alongside our Virtual Open Evening which will be made available from 6:30pm tomorrow evening.


Monday 2nd November

Monday 2nd November is staff training day. School will reopen to all pupils and students after the half-term break on the following day, Tuesday 3rd November.


RD Jones
Headmaster