Today is a bit of a strange day for us in school because it’s the day we would normally celebrate the end of Year 11 and Year 13 with students and parents. The exam season would be in full flow, with exams coming thick and fast and the summer ball would only be a few weeks away. The rest of the school would be buzzing with summer enrichment activities and sporting fixtures and we would be out and about meeting Year 6 Teachers as part of our transition programme. Given the current situation with COVID-19, it’s been a more sombre last day of the half term. We are absolutely determined that we will mark these important events for students when we finally return to some sense of normality.
Update on the wider reopening of school to Y10 and Y12 students
This week we were expecting secondary school guidance from the government to support the wider reopening of school from 1st June. This guidance was expected last Monday but has not yet been published. We are very frustrated because we are unable to advance with any wider reopening of school for students in Y10 or Y12 until we have received this guidance on how to do this safely. Yesterday, the governing body met to discuss the current situation and have decided that the school will not reopen to a wider number of students on 1st June. Please see the attached letter from Fr Paul Jones our Chair of Governors. The very earliest that school will now reopen to a wider number of students in Y10 and Y12 is the 8th June. While we want nothing more than to welcome back our students, we’ll only do this when it is safe for our students and staff. We’ll update parents and students when we return to school after the half term break.
Thanks to all Y10 and Y12 parents who completed the survey to indicate whether you would be comfortable sending your child back to school. If you haven’t yet completed this please do. Our governors want to know how our families are feeling about a return to school. Thanks also to those parents who have completed the consultation survey on the timings of the school day. You have until 12th June to complete this survey.
Controlling the virus
While most of us are enjoying the slight relaxation of lock-down measures, it’s important to note we are not out of the, woods yet! The warmer weather is making it very tempting to be outdoors and meet up with others. Local leaders are growing increasingly concerned about groups of young people meeting up in play parks and outdoor gyms, which is not permitted. We still need to limit contact with others and stay alert to the dangers of this virus.
Finally, yesterday we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. This is the day that Christians remember Jesus’ ascension back to heaven. For the first Apostles, it must have been hard to accept that Jesus had left them. In the current climate some of us might be asking where God is in all of this? In our staff prayers today, Fr Mark Skelton reminded us of Jesus’ last words before he left his disciples, physically for the last time – “I am with you always, yes, until the end of time.” As a Christian community we trust that God is at work through this current pandemic and we know that when God is at work, something more wonderful and deeper emerges.
Have a good half term and we’ll back again with another update on 1st June.
Welcome to another Monday update. I hope the weekend was a good one for you and your family. The beautiful weather has resulted in a few more red faces in school today!
Update on the phased reopening of schools from 1st June
Last week, school leaders spent the week digesting all the updates from the Government regarding the wider reopening of schools from 1st June. We are expecting more updates this week, which will give further clarity to the questions we all have. We are going to be working to tight deadlines to put firm plans in place. We are aware of the strength of national concerns from parents, unions and the General Medical Council about whether it is the right time for children in England to be returning to school. Let’s hope we get more clarity and direction this week.
Secondary schools have been asked by the Government to provided some face to face support for students in Year 10 and 12 before the summer holidays to support remote learning. We will be working closely with parents of students in Year 10 and Year 12 this week to keep them updated. As remote learning will be continuing for all students after half term, we’ll give more details about how this will continue to work in my Friday update.
We now have access to Britannica for our students until 1st September. They have an extensive platform of articles, videos and other features. It is divided into foundation, intermediate and advanced to select the right level of reading. It has a read aloud feature and articles can be translated into other languages. The site is user friendly and content is updated regularly to make sure it is accurate and balanced. Any recommended sites are checked for educational value.
I attached a parent/ student guide for your information
Free School Meals
Food boxes continue to be available for collection from 9:30am – 10:30am and 2:30pm – 3:30pm on Tuesday 19th May. Please ensure you respect the social distancing protocol in place when collecting your food boxes.
Consultation on the timings of the school day
The governing body and senior leaders are reviewing the timings of the school day and would welcome feedback from parents and students. A copy of the consultation document is attached to this email. The link to the survey can be found at the bottom of the document or below:
I hope you had a good Bank Holiday weekend and safely enjoyed the sunshine.
Last night, like many across the UK you were probably sat waiting for some clear guidance from the Government on how restrictions would start to ease over the coming months and what this meant for your children and when they will return to school. Unfortunately, the general consensus seems to be that there is now even more confusion and even more questions that need to be answered. Later today, we understand that the Prime Minister will be giving more detail to Parliament and that schools will receive further guidance on what the announcement means for them. Once this information has come through we will digest the key messages and update you on or position as a school.
At the time of writing, the school remains closed to all students with the exception of the children of key workers or those vulnerable children. If you are a key worker, or your child is vulnerable and you are not able to safely look after them at home, then please contact Mr Chadwick email: [email protected] This provision should only be used as a last resort. A limited menu of school meals are available each day, should students not wish to bring a packed lunch to school. Those students who are in school and eligible for FSM can access their FSM as normal. Please can you ensure that your child’s Parent Pay account is topped up if they wish to purchase any food in school from Monday 18th May.
Tomorrow, food parcels will once again be available for collection. The weekly times for collection are: 9:30 – 10:30 and 2:30 – 3:30. Please follow the instructions of staff when you come on site. This is for your own safety and the safety of others. Last week eligible parents should have received an eCode from Edenred to cover the 3 weeks up to the 24th May. Further details about when the next eCode will be sent will be advised in due course. Should you have any questions regarding food parcels then please contact Heidi our Catering Manager. Questions regarding e-codes should be sent to the school Admin e-mail address.
Finally, the harsh reality is that coronavirus hasn’t gone away! People still continue to spread and contract this potentially life threatening virus. How we all act and behave in the coming weeks and months will really determine how long we have to live like this. While there have been some very small steps towards a relaxation of lock down, we know the best advice is still to stay at home as much as you can, protect the NHS and by doing so you will be saving lives.
Have a good week.
Mr J. Down
Welcome to the end of the week update.
At the moment we find ourselves in a strange kind of no-man’s-land, with swirling speculation about whether and when schools and colleges will open, with briefings and counter-briefings. We are hoping and expecting a clear announcement from the Prime Minister on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the emails of thanks keep coming and they certainly help to keep staff going during these uncertain times. The average week for teachers involves providing resources of their own, signposting other resources – such as Oak National Academy and BBC Bitesize, staying in touch with students, delivering food parcels and undertaking the detailed, onerous work that underpins centre-assessed grading. In addition to this, they are also looking after their own children and home schooling. They certainly aren’t sat at home with their feet up as some reports in the media might suggest! I want to thank you all for your continued support for the work school staff are doing.
Finally, “The best way out is always through,” wrote the poet, Robert Frost. And that’s where we find ourselves, pushing on through, looking forward to the day when we surface into a more recognisable form of normal.
We’ll leave you in peace now until Monday, Try to get some time off and enjoy the sun!
Mr J. Down
Today is the Feast of the English Martyrs. On 4th May 1535, at Tyburn in London, there died three Carthusain monks, the first of the English martyrs of the English Reformation. The persecution of Catholic Christians lasted a hundred and fifty years and left a permanent mark on English culture. The martyrs celebrated today came from every walk of life but all are remembered for the example they gave of constancy in their faith and courage in the face of persecution. From 2001, the forty martyrs of England and Wales who were canonised on 25th October 1970 are also celebrated today. These Saints include our own patron, St Cuthbert Mayne. Today, Christians throughout the world continue to face persecution and even death for professing their faith in Jesus Christ. Let our school and all that it stands for, be a beacon of hope for the world.
On a lighter note – May the fourth be with you! Yes, it’s also international Star Wars Day today!
There has been lots of speculation in the media about when schools will reopen. We are expecting further announcements on this later in the week. We will make sure we keep parents updated at all times.
At this current time school remains closed until further notice. We are operating on a skeleton staff to ensure we protect our staff and students from COVID-19. The safest place for children is to stay at home (if it is safe for them to remain at home). We continue to make provision for the children of key workers and vulnerable children. If you are a key worker or you have a vulnerable child and need to access the provision as a last resort then please contact Mr Chadwick, who will be happy to assist.
This week school will be closed on Friday due to the Bank Holiday. There will be no provision for the children of key workers or vulnerable children on that day. Mr Chadwick has been in contact with all families to make them aware of this. We are making arrangements for the summer half term provision. Mr Chadwick will be in contact to confirm arrangements. Please note that there will be no provision on Monday 25th May due to this being another Bank Holiday.
Students should now be in the routine of working from home. Tutors will continue to make weekly contact. Please do let your child’s tutor know if you need any support. Thank you for all you are doing to keep your children learning at home as well as juggling your day job. Most of our staff are in the same position as you, trying to juggle the demands of school and look after their own families. There have been a few snorts in the media about teachers being sat at home with their feet up. Please be assured this is not the case with staff at STCM!
Food parcels are available for collection on Tuesday. These will be ready for collection at the normal times of – 9:30am – 10:30am and 2:30pm – 3:30pm. If you are not able to get to school because you need to self isolate then please let our catering manager, Heidi know. Deliveries can be arranged in exceptional circumstances.
Heads of Year will be contacting parents later today to give further updates on the situation with school trips.
CAMHS support during Covid-19 pandemic update. Additional crisis support is being offered during the pandemic. If a child or young person (under 18) is experiencing a mental health crisis, you can now access Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) 24/7. Please contact 03300 245 321 form 8am-5pm, Mon to Fri or 0300 555 5000 outside these hours. Callers will speak to a call-handler, their call will be forwarded to a voicemail service and their message will be returned within one hour. There are three CAMHS crisis teams – Torbay and South Devon; Exeter, East and Mid Devon; and North Devon. Your call will be directed to the appropriate team. In the event of an emergency please call 999.General information about CAMHS services and referrals can be found on the Children and Family Health Devon website hereA list of helpful resources, apps and organisations to support children, families and young people can be found here
Finally, it might look like we are starting to see some flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. but the Government’s advice remains firmly in place. Stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives. As a country we have come so far!
Have a great week.
Mr J. Down
Welcome to the end of another week of school in these strange times. I hope you and your family are all well and staying safe?
As I predicted on Monday, it’s been another busy week here in school. We had three days of online interviews, which is a becoming the new recruitment norm! We had a number of outstanding candidates who were interviewed for each of the posts. I am pleased to confirm the following appointments:
Mr Jukes – Head of English
Miss Smith – Art Technician
Mrs Bristow – Head of Year 7& Teacher of Science
These staff will take up their posts on 1st September 2020 and will be fantastic additions to our team.
This week, the first round of e-Codes were issued by Edenred to those families who selected to receive their Free School Meals allowance this way. We are pleased to report that the e-Codes were issued on time and families have started to redeem these into e-Vouchers. The next batch of e-Codes will be issued to eligible families again next week. This time families will receive a 3 week allocation of e-Codes. Those families who opted to receiving Food Parcels will continue to receive these again next week.
Collections can be made on Tuesday at the following times:
9:30 – 10:30 – All Year Groups
2:30 – 3:30 – All Year Groups
Deliveries will be made to those who are unable to leave their homes and have let Heidi our Catering Manager know.
Heads of Year are still working hard to try and secure a full refund for any school trips, or find an alternative solution such a deferring departure dates until 2021, so that parents are not left out of pocket. The school is being supported by Torbay Legal Services to recover any monies paid and achieve the best possible outcome for parents and students. Heads of Year will be sending out regular updates next week.
We had a very positive meeting with the TDA, LA and Diocesan partners this week, to discuss a building programme for St Cuthbert Mayne. Exciting plans to significantly improve our school buildings are being drawn up. These will formally be shared with parents in the autumn term. Building works will not start until Easter 2021at the earliest.
Today, staff and governors were thrilled to be joined by David Wells for our Friday prayers. David is a catechist and author who speaks regularly throughout the world. David shared a really insightful reflection on the current COVID-19 situation. This time of lock down has given us the time reflect and to recognise the things that are really important in our lives. David challenged us to think about our hopes for the type of world we want when we finally resurface, which we will!
I want to finish my email this week by posing the same challenging questions to you… What type of world do you want to find when we resurface? What are your hopes for that world? What things are you hoping will be left behind in the time before lockdown?
Have a restful weekend, stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives.
Mr J. Down
Show April 2020 Messages
Free School Meals – Edenred UK Vouchers
Parents should now have received their first eCodes by e-mail from Edenred UK. The school has placed a further order for future weeks and an e-mail from Edenred UK should be received by parents next week. This timescale is, however, determined by Edenred UK and is outside the control of the school.
If you have any queries regarding the eCode/eVoucher system, please visit the following FAQ pages direct from the Edenred UK website:
If you are still unable to resolve your issue, please let us know and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.
Welcome to week 4 of home schooling. I’m not sure how you’re feeling but it seems a lot longer than 4 weeks!
Last week was a really busy week, and this week looks like it will be too. At school we have three days of online interviews taking place for posts we are recruiting to for September. We also have a number of vacancies being advertised in the next few weeks for various teaching and non-teaching roles. If over the past few weeks you’ve got the taste for teaching and working with young people then please keep an eye on Devon Jobs and the Times Educational Supplement online. Vacancies have arisen as a result of the school expanding due to the rise in student numbers, we only have 3 spaces now in Year 7 for September 2020! There is also a meeting with the LA tomorrow to discuss potential building and school improvement works. There are exciting times ahead at STCM!
The topic of online learning and the expectations of home schooling was raised by parents in their communications with school last week. We received feedback from both ends of the spectrum, with some reporting there was too much work and others saying there wasn’t enough. It’s important to remember that teaching of the National Curriculum and examination programmes of study has been suspended by the Government. We want children to engage in learning at home, but recognise that the amount of work each student will complete will be different due to their personal circumstances. If your child can not complete all the work set they should not get stressed or anxious about this. You can find guidance from the EEF in my email from last Friday, and also on our school website in order to support learning at home.
I also promised in my e-mail on Friday that we would be giving an update on school trips this week. I can confirm that this Wednesday a letter will be sent out to families who have booked school trips.
This week families eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) will be receiving an e-voucher if they requested this. Those who requested food parcels will continue to receive the parcels. Parents will not be able to change their preferences from here on in as we have ordered food supplies accordingly. Families who requested an e-voucher should note that any delay in issuing e-vouchers is not down to the school and therefore they are asked to follow this up with Edenred, who administer the e-voucher system. For more information, or if you haven’t received an e-voucher by Thursday please visit www.edenred.co.uk .
Food parcels can be collected tomorrow, the collection times are listed below:
9:30 – 10:30 – All Year Groups
2:30 – 3:30 – All Year Groups
This week we are launching our STCM Rainbow Devotions for each day of the week. The Rainbow in the Christian community is a symbol of hope and at such a time of need many of us have displayed it in our windows to be reminded of that hope. This hope is personified by our key and critical workers and all those who are keeping our country functioning. You are welcome to join us daily through Facebook or via the school website.
Finally, the government rules to keep us all safe remain firmly in place. We know its hard to stay at home but we’ve come so far together already. Let’s stick to the fight against this horrible virus, we will only beat this if we stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives.
Have a good week, stay safe and I’ll speak to you all again on Friday.
Mr J. Down
Welcome to your Friday update.
I hope the week has been a good one for you and that you are all safe and well.
It has been another busy week here in school. The government continue to release updates overnight and it is becoming a full time job just trying to digest the latest information!
This week school leaders across Torbay and South Devon took part in a conference call with the Department for Education, Public Health England, Regional Schools Commissioners Office, and the Local Authority. We were told that the latest COVID-19 situation in Torbay is positive and that services are coping well. This is down to everybody playing their part by staying at home, protecting the NHS and saving lives. Although the picture seems positive, this does not mean we should be complacent, and the strict social distancing measures remain fully in place. Torbay Park Rangers have reported that some groups of young people continue to gather in parks and public places. This is disappointing to hear because it compromises the safety of us all, undoes the good work we have done so far, and delays any return to normality.
Please know that school trips remain a high priority for us. We are continuing to work with tour operators and insurance companies to try and find a solution that does not leave parents out of pocket. This is not easy but the school is working hard and doing all it can on behalf of our parents. We had hoped to have more information for you this week, but unfortunately we are still working with legal services on this. I’m sorry for the delay, if it was more straightforward we would have the answers for you. Thank you for your patience while we try and resolve this.
This week our team of staff and volunteers have packed another 200 plus food parcels and delivered over 50 of these to families. I continue to be blown away by the hard work and determination of the staff and volunteers here in school, we should all be really proud of them. I know families have appreciated their work and thank you for the lovely emails we have received in recognition of this.
From next Monday (27th April) Free School Meal voucher E-codes will be issued to all eligible families who have not opted to continue to receive food parcels. These national vouchers are issued directly by an external provider (Edenred UK) and will be sent directly to parents anytime up to and including Thursday 30th April. In this connection please do also check your mailbox regularly, including the junk box. It will not be possible for families to alter their decisions now as the school will only order the amount of food required in order to avoid any waste. We are aware that some family situations are changing, and as a consequence more families might qualify for Free School Meals (FSM). If this is the case please complete and submit the FSM form, which can be found on our school website. The LA have stated that they will process these as a priority, however in the interim support is available for families via the Torbay Food Alliance. Please visit www.torbayfoodalliance.org or call them on 01803 446022.
Over the last two weeks we have been sending out work for students, which should enable them to continue with their learning for the half term ahead. To supplement this there is also project based work that we have set for students, and there are resources available through BBC Bitesize, which is available online and via ‘the red button’. We want to stress the point that your children are not in school so we do not expect students to get through the usual amounts of work! The Education Endowment Fund have produced a great resources to help families maintain a healthy work life balance, please click on the link below.
Consistent routines can be a struggle at home with changes to our home working and schooling. Routines support behaviour and wellbeing. You will be finding a new rhythm for you and your family …
Next week we will be piloting virtual lessons through Google Meet. Year 12 families should have received an message via schoolcomms about this today.
We are hearing amazing stories of home schooling and the lengths parents are going to support their children while juggling their own jobs and looking after the family. We are aware that this brings it’s own pressures and challenges. Is having to spend more time at home because of the current crisis causing you anxiety or distress? This could be for any number of reasons. One might be because spending lots of time together just creates extra tension within families, but it will have more impact on you and your children if this extra tension is caused by domestic abuse at home. You might think that domestic abuse is something that happens to other people, but if someone is controlling your mind or finances, hurting your body, or threatening to hurt the people you love then that is ‘domestic abuse’. Services are still available to offer advice, help and support during the current situation and you can access a 24/7 web chat facility with Victim Support via the Victim Care Unit website https://victimcaredevonandcornwall.org.uk/ If you, or someone you know, is living with domestic abuse it is not OK. Always contact the police on 999 if you believe you are in immediate danger. Information and advice can also be found on the Are You OK website together with a directory of services and some useful toolkits.
We have been asked to remind parents that NHS services are still available should your child feel unwell. Parents should not risk the health and safety of their children by worrying about the Coronavirus. If your child is unwell and you would normally contact your GP surgery, then please continue to do so. If your child needs to access A&E then you should continue to access this NHS service.
Finally……Earth Day was this week. I can’t help but think that nature is reminding us all of who is really in charge here! The Himalayas have even been seen in some parts of India for the first time in 30 years, and levels of pollution across the planet are dropping. I hope that when we eventually resurface from these unprecedented times, we will look at the world through a different lens and value the things that we’ve now realised are more important than ever.
Thank you for your continued support, have a great weekend.
Welcome to week 2 of the Summer Term!
Normally we would be in the full swing of revision for summer exams and the school would be a hive of activity. Instead we are only open for a small number of children. These are the children of critical workers and those children who are vulnerable. Thank you for following the Governments advice by staying at home and stopping the spread of this horrible virus. We know it’s really hard especially when the weather in so nice. By following the rules we continue to do our bit to protect the NHS and save lives.
On Sunday, the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson shared two new initiatives to support families and schools across the UK. You can read the full press release by clicking on the link below:
We welcome any initiative to support our students and families but quite often headline announcements are made with very little practical detail. School staff will be investigating this week and we’ll share more details with you in my Friday update.
Today we see the launch of the new BBC Bite size Learning platform. This can be accessed online at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize or via the Red Button on your TV. Students should continue access the learning set by school via Google Classroom or the PiXL mats and use additional learning resources where necessary.
Free School Meals – Thank you to parents who competed our FSM survey via the link sent last week. Over 150 returns were submitted which was fantastic. Our final Food Parcels will be available for collection tomorrow. We would like to say a HUGE thank you to the congregation at Riviera Life Church, who donated over 150 Easter Eggs, which went out in our Food Parcels last week. I know that these were really well received.
Year 7 & 8 collection from 10am – 11am
Year 9 & 10 collection from 11:30am – 12:30am
Year 11, 12 & 13 collection from 2:30pm – 3:30pm
An additional collection time is available on Wednesday from 9:15am – 10:15am.
Those who are self isolating or are unable to leave the house should let Heidi our Catering Manager know so deliveries can be arranged. From next week those who have stated they would prefer an E-Voucher will get these. If you haven’t given us your e-mail address then you won’t receive these. Those who indicated they would prefer to receive a Food Parcel will continue to receive these. Parents will not be able to chop and change as we will order supplies accordingly and do not want to waste any food.
We are aware that some family situations are changing and you might now qualify for FSM. If this is the case you should complete and submit the FSM form on our website. The LA have stated they will process this as a priority. In the interim support is available for families via the Torbay Food Alliance. You can visit www.torbayfoodalliance.org or ring them on 01803 446022.
We would like to thank all families who are keeping in contact and sharing the work they are doing at home. It’s great to see what our students are learning at home. Please keep sharing!
We should have a clearer picture on Friday regarding school trips. I’ll include an update on this in my Friday e-mail.
As always, the latest updates can be found on a daily basis on our school website, Face Book page, Instagram account and Twitter account. Please do look here before contacting our admin team.
Have a good week.
Mr J. Down
Welcome to my final e-mail of the week. I hope this has been a good week for you? It has been hard for some I know to get back into the rhythm and routine of this new way of working especially if you are juggling child care or caring for a loved one. I had to remind myself on the drive in this morning that we have only really been closed to most children for 9 school days but it feels like a lifetime! We know how hard is is for all of our students but we want you to know we are in this together.
This week, our aim was to get up and running after the deep clean and ensure we touch base with families, get learning resources prepared and shared and make sure that those families who needed food got it. We have provided PiXL work booklets for students who are unable to access our digital offer. There are two booklets, one for Key Stage 3 (years 7 & 8) and one for Key Stage 4 (years 9-11). These booklets provide tasks based on essential skills for both Key Stages regardless of which year the student is in. This week we prepared over 160 food parcels and delivered over 50 of these to families who are self isolating or who can’t get out. I am really proud of all the staff and volunteers who have undertaken this work this week. I know the lengths they’ve gone to in supporting some families and that this has brought some of you to tears. Thank you for all the lovely e-mails we’ve been receiving from parents and all the posts your’re making on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They are helping to keep us going in these strange times. It’s at times like this that you really see what’s important and the character of people.
All the latest information advice and guidance is on the website. This is updated daily. PLEASE, PLEASE look here first before contacting school as most of the answers are on the website. As you can appreciate we are experiencing a high level of enquiries, many of which are answered on the website. Please ensure we have up to date contacts for you so we can keep in contact. Our staff are contacting home at least once a week so please ensure they can reach you.
Thank you to those parents who completed the FSM survey to indicate your preference. Some still need to make their choices so please access the survey over the weekend. Based on the feedback from parents we have decided that from Monday the 27th April we will issuing e-vouchers to those who have stated that they would prefer this option. Next week we will prepare our final food parcels for all families. Those who stated that they wanted a Food Parcel will continue to receive this from Monday 27th April. Families will not be able to chop and change because we will only order the food we need to avoid any waste.
Next week food parcels will be available for collection on Tuesday (Not Monday!) at the following times:
Year 7&8 from 10am – 11am
Year 9&10 from 11:30am – 12:30pm
Year 11, 12 & 13 from 2:30pm – 3:30pm
There will be an additional collection time from 9:15am – 10:15am on Wednesday 22nd April. Please contact Heidi our Catering Manager if you have any questions.
You will have seen last night that the Government has extended the lock down measures for at least another three weeks. School will remain closed until further notice and the advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives remains fully in place. Mr Chadwick and Mrs Wills have been coordinating the provision for the children of key workers and those children who are vulnerable. This provision is only available as a last resort but please make contact if you are a key worker or your child is in the vulnerable category and need our assistance.
For now, I just want to finish by wishing you as normal a weekend as possible.
Best wishes and stay safe.
Mr J. Down
The Government national food e-voucher is now available for families eligible for FSM. We would like to know your preference. Please can you complete the survey below by 12pm tomorrow.
He’s done it! Captain Tom Moore, a 99-year-old war veteran who is walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday to raise money for the NHS, has completed his challenge! He has raised more than £12m for the health service.
Dear Parents & Students,
These are unprecedented times and I am sorry that the school year will not end for you in the way that we all anticipated. When the Government announced that school would close on the 20th March until further notice, this brought the school year to an abrupt end. I want to reassure you that we will formally mark the end of the school year when things return to normal. We don’t know when that will be but we will do this! There will be an opportunity for you to say goodbye to friends and teachers, sign books and shirts and do all the things you will have wanted to do.
Over the Easter holiday, Ofqual published information to schools about how your grades will be calculated this summer. We have shared this via our Website and Social Media Channels. You can access this information directly by clicking on the link below:
Ofqual sets out details for schools, colleges, students, parents & carers on how GCSEs and A levels will be awarded following the cancellation of this year’s exams.
Attached to this e-mail is a letter to students from Sally Collier the Chief Regulator at Ofqual.
School staff will now be working hard within these guidelines to submit data to the regulator when this is requested.
Expectations of students in Year 11 and 13
This week, we have had a number of e-mails from parents requesting guidance about what their children should be doing at home. We know there might have been some mixed messages coming out from school while it was unclear how the regulator was going to determine grades. We now have a clearer steer so can advise accordingly. We will not be setting any new work related to the courses students were due to be examined in this summer. Students will not be asked to complete additional mock exams or home work for the purposes of determining assessment grades. No students will be disadvantaged if they were unable to complete any work after school was closed by the Government. Where additional work has been completed after the school was closed on 20th March, we will exercise caution where that evidence suggest a change in performance. In many cases this is likely to reflect the circumstances and context in which the work is done.
Work for Year 11 students
This week, subjects will be starting to upload post-16 preparation work into a new Google Classroom and codes will be shared with students and available on our website for students to join. Students should select 4 subjects to work on this term. They should select the subjects they are interested in studying post-16. The subjects available will be those on offer in our Sixth Form from September 2020. In addition to subject work, Mr Iskander has posted in the Year 11 Google Classroom a ‘100 tasks for well-being’. Students should complete as many of these 100 tasks as they can.
Work for Year 13 students
Mr Boughton will post in the Year 13 Google Classroom, some guidance around accessing reading lists for those preparing to head off to university at the end of the Summer and student finance and accommodation application forms should also be completed. Those students intending to head straight into employment and apprenticeships should be completing application forms for vacancies that are being advertised now. Year 13 students might also like to consider volunteering locally, which is a great way to make a small difference and to build your employability skills.
The start of the summer term is not the one we were all anticipating!
The strict lock down rules are still in place which means that school remains closed until further notice. We will continue to support the children of critical workers and those children who are vulnerable during this time. This provision should only be accessed as a last resort because the safest place for children to be is at home. We will be contacting those families who may need to access this provision so we have an idea of numbers. As a country we are all being asked to do our bit by staying at home, protecting the NHS and saving lives. I know that many students and parents will be finding these times very challenging but we are all in this together and will get through this. At the time of writing we have not been any indication as to when school will reopen. There has been lots of speculation about schools opening shortly. We do not believe this to be the case. We are making plans this week to ensure that learning resources are available for students until at least the May half term, which is six weeks away. We know that many parents will have to juggle working from home with keeping their children engaged in some form of learning. Thank you for the work you are doing.
This term we are changing the way we are setting work for students in Years 7 & 8. These students will have challenges set for each of their subjects. These will be posted into the Google Classrooms. Students should track their progress through the tasks and their teacher will check too. There is more than enough work to keep students learning. For students in Year 9, 10 and 12, work will continue to be posted on Google Classroom in the same way as before. Where families have no access to the internet a hard copy of the work will be made available. Please let our admin team know if this applies to you so we can make arrangements for this to be collected or delivered.
Today our Ready Steady STCM Food Boxes are being collected by families. These are available for those families eligible for Free School Meals. If you are not able to collect your box today then these will be available for collection tomorrow morning from 8am – 9am. If you are having to self isolate and can’t collect your box then please let Heidi our Catering Manager know. We will do our best to support where we can. This week we will be asking for feedback on how the Food Boxes are working for families.
There are a number of parents who are rightly asking questions about school trips. We are taking advice from Government, Tour Operators and Insurance companies about the current situation. We will inform parents as soon as we have a clear steer. We hope that this will be by the end of the week.
Over the Easter holiday, Ofqual published information about how grades will be awarded for students who were due to sit exams this summer. For more information please see the link below:
As always, we will be posting daily updates on our school website and social media channels. Please do visit these before contacting our Admin team as most information is available here.
Finally, The Easter message of Jesus’ resurrection and victory over death has never seemed more important than it is today. Many of us will have drawn strength from our faith over these difficult times. Let us rejoice during these times at the news that Christ is Risen!
Have a good week and stay safe.
Mr J. Down
Happy Easter – Christ is Risen!
We hope you all had a good Easter? We know it was a very different Easter than we usually enjoy. The glorious weather made following the strict Government rules on social distancing much harder but well done for staying at home, protecting the NHS and saving lives.
Tomorrow, school remains closed to students but there will be a skeleton staff team in school to supervise the children of key/critical workers and those vulnerable students. This provision is as a last resort if other arrangements can’t be made. Students of key/critical workers and those vulnerable students should arrive at 8:40am and will depart at 3:20pm. Staff will be on the gate to welcome them. They should wear full school uniform to give a sense of normality but should bring some trainers for a sport activity.
Those families eligible for FSM are able to collect our Ready Steady STCM food boxes tomorrow. These were really well received by over 150 families.
Year 7 & 8 collection from 10am – 11am
Year 9 & 10 collection from 11:30am – 12:30am
Year 11, 12 & 13 collection from 2pm – 3pm
Over the Easter holidays the Government released details of the national FSM voucher scheme, which we will be evaluating this week. Early reports from schools nationally indicate that families across the country have struggled to access these national vouchers because the national system is struggling to cope. We will decide by the end of this week how to proceed and will be emailing families for feedback.
To reduce the number of emails parents receive, the Headteacher will now only send an update on Monday and Friday each week. The school website, FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter accounts will continue to be updated on a daily basis and should be your first port of call for information.
We thank you for your continued support.
Stay at Home
Protect our NHS
We know how hard it is to stay at home during these times. We are all missing seeing our friends and family. By staying at home and following the rules you are doing your bit to keep us all safe. Sleepovers and meet ups in the park are not essential. There are lots of other ways to keep in contact with your friends!
Show March 2020 Messages
We’ve made it to the end of the strangest week I’ve ever known!
Here is my last update before I leave you in peace to enjoy the Easter holiday, unless something urgent happens that I need to communicate to you. I know it’s going to be hard to switch off but please do try to escape the real world for a bit! It’s important that you have a break both physically and mentally because these have been the most testing of times.
I hope you joined in the ‘Clap for Carers’ last night at 8pm. There was a great sense of community, which I hope will make us stronger going forward. Tonight, Pope Francis will lead an extraordinary Urbi et Orbi at 5pm. The broadcast will be live from St Peter’s in Rome at 5pm. Please join in if you can.
As you know we have a number of staff in school at the moment who are critical to the day to day operation of the school. It is important that we keep the school running as we are part of the critical COVID-19 response. I’d like to thank all staff who have been on the front line here in school this week. Next week we remain open for those children who are vulnerable and those children whose parents are critical workers. This is only in an emergency and as a last resort if other provision can’t be found. Our staff have been in contact with all eligible families this week to confirm uptake. Students do not need to wear school uniform to the Easter provision but should be dressed to get active and be outdoors!
Next week, all the attention will shift to the issue of grading as Ofqual shares its approach to ensuring fairness in GCSE, A-Level and vocational qualifications. It will be a chance for us to reaffirm our expertise in assessing our students. We have had lots of questions about work being set for Y11 and Y13 students and if there is anything that needs to be done. The advice we have been given is to wait for the guidance to be published and don’t panic!
After Easter, school will remain closed to all children with the exception of those who are vulnerable and those whose parents are critical workers. Again, this is only as a last resort and if alternative provision can’t be made. Children attending will need to wear full school uniform to try and keep some sense of normality.
Our Ready Steady STCM boxes will be available again after Easter for students eligible for Free School Meals. Please bring a bag to box to transport your food parcel.
Collections slots are as follows:
Year 7 & 8 collection from 10am – 11am
Year 9 & 10 collection from 11:30am – 12:30am
Year 11, 12 & 13 collection from 2pm – 3pm
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS COLLECTION IS YOUR TRIP OUT TO GET ESSENTIAL FOOD IN LINE WITH STRICTER SOCIAL DISTANCING PROTOCOL.
After Easter, we will begin to provide more learning resources to support your child with their learning at home. We would like to thank all parents for the work they have done to support their children’s learning at home.
Finally, In the chaos of the last few weeks you can be forgiven if you’ve forgotten we are about to celebrate the most important of Christian festivals – Easter.
I hope you get the chance to unwind over the holiday and may the peace of the risen Christ be with you all this Easter.
Mr J. Down
URGENT MESSAGE FROM:
Counter Fraud and Investigations – Torbay Council
Please take note of this important information.
We have been alerted by the DFE that some parents have received an email stating :
‘As schools will be closing, if you’re entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we’ll make sure you’re supported’.
This is a scam email – do not respond, and delete immediately.
Without wanting to sound like a broken record we would like to thank those parents who only sent their children into school today only as a last resort.
Today I was out on the yards at lunch time with the small number of students we’ve had in school. The beautiful weather is making it a surreal time – knowing there is a major health crisis intensifying around us, and yet the air never having felt fresher, nor the school and Teignmouth Road quieter. I hope that you are all getting out for you daily exercise session while adhering to the more stringent social distancing guidance.
In the coming days we are expecting the DfE to provide some more Q&A guidance to answer the big questions we all have. Most of your questions now are around what GCSE and A Level grades will look like . Ofqual’s guidance will be published next week. There is an opportunity to re-emphasise to policymakers the we – the teaching profession – are the experts in assessment and have a myriad of information about our children already. Data can be something done by us, rather than to us!
My thoughts today have been very much focused on parents who are home schooling their children for the unforeseeable future. We know you will be doing an absolutely fantastic job but don’t forget to spend some time enjoying this opportunity with your child. We will continue to keep our students and their families in our prayers.
Today we have confirmed our strategy for checking what work students are doing at home. This will start straight after Easter. Your child’s Tutor will be calling home to see how things are going.
Tonight, at 8pm I will be on my doorstep (While adhering to strict social distancing) clapping for NHS staff. Today we donated all our science goggles/glasses to the NHS because they haven’t got the equipment they need to look after us all. This is unacceptable so please raise this with your MP! While NHS staff and other critical workers absolutely deserve our thanks for the amazing work they are doing, I will also be clapping for all of you who are keeping things going at home.
Tomorrow in my final e-mail before the Easter holiday, I will be confirming the plans for Easter provision for vulnerable children and those children whose parents are critical workers. I will also share the arrangements for FSM parcels after Easter and the new work that will be coming home for students to complete from 14th April.
Have a great evening and stay safe.
Mr J. Down
Wednesday was originally the day of woe. I hope that at this midpoint in the week yours is proving rather more optimistic and manageable!
As the week in progressing more of us are finding a new rhythm and routine to our daily lives. Thank you to all parents for the work you are doing at home to support your children’s learning while they are away from school. We have really enjoyed seeing the photos you have sent us so keep on sending those in. We have been blown away by the number of messages of support and appreciation we have received from parents and these have helped to keep us going. Today, school staff held a community prayer session via Google Meet. We joined with the Holy Father Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Christians across the globe at 11am to say the Lords Prayer and ask for the Father’s healing in the world.
Only a small number of students have attended school this week, which has meant that more of our staff are able to stay at home and keep safe. We will remain here to look after vulnerable children and those whose parents are critical workers. This provision is only available as a last resort. We have contacted these families today to plan for Easter childcare if needed. Thank you to those who have responded.
We have been getting a number of enquiries through requesting the delivery of school work. All of our resources are online and are accessed via Google Classroom. We have sent home work to those families that requested it earlier in the week because their children were absent last week or do not have internet access. Due to the new restrictions in place limiting travel we are not able to deliver any further work to families. If your child has damaged their Chromebook we are not able to come and collect this to arrange a repair. We are sorry that we can’t offer any further assistance with this at this time.
As always, our dedicated website page is updated regularly. Please use this as your first port of call.
Wishing you all the very best.
Mr J. Down
I would like to start by thanking all parents who were able to keep their children safe at home today. The new restrictions put in place last night are really tough and will cause disruption to our daily lives but they will help to save lives. Abiding by these new restrictions means we are all playing our part in helping this country to bring the spread of this virus under control.
Today we have run the school on a skeleton staff for those vulnerable children and the children of critical workers who needed us as a last resort. We will continue to do this for the rest of this week.
Our final deliveries of food and work have gone home today. Regrettably, the Government restrictions mean that we are unable to continue this work after today. All food left over has been sent to our local food banks so please access these if you need support. All class work is available online along with a list of useful websites that can support and extend learning at home. We would welcome our students sharing their learning via our social media channels if they wish to do so. There is no expectations for students to do this, nor is there an expectation for them to share pictures of their work with their teachers but we’d love to see what they’ve been up to. By the end of the week, school staff will be contacting home to see how your child is getting on with their learning and help resolve any issues you might have with learning.
We are currently putting together our Easter care provision for those vulnerable children and the children of critical workers who need us as a last resort. We will contact those families directly with our offer.
We have had a number of enquiries regarding food parcels over the Easter holidays. These will be available from your local food banks and the details of these are on our school website. Should we continue to receive deliveries from our suppliers we will relaunch our Ready Steady Cook boxes after the Easter break.
As you will appreciate we are currently experiencing a high level of calls and e-mails into school. Please be patient with us as we work our way through these. Our dedicated website page is constantly updated with the latest information so please visit this as a first port of call. If you are unable to find the answers you are looking for then please e-mail the Admin Team at: [email protected]
To ensure that you are kept up to date with the latest information please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Please ensure we also have the most up to date contact information for you so we can keep in touch. You can e-mail these details through to our Admin Team.
Until tomorrow, have a good evening, stay safe and follow the Governments advice!
Mr J Down
Our final delivery of food and work booklets for students will be leaving at 11am. We will no longer be able to offer this service after this.
Following the announcement by the Prime Minister last night, the school will be operating on the minimum level of staff required to run the school safely from today. PLEASE DO NOT send your child to school today unless it is absolutely necessary as per Government guidance.
Further updates will be made via our communication channels throughout the day.
Today we started our new rhythm and routines that will carry us through to the end of these uncertain times. Can I thank you for all for your continued support are for the work you are doing to support your children at home.
We are regularly updating our website with all the information parents need. Please continue to use this as a first point of contact before making contact with school. You will find answers regarding IT access, Google Classroom codes and much more. As you can imagine we are receiving a high volume of calls and emails so we aren’t able to respond immediately. We are also posting regularly on Social Media via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If our admin team do not have your latest contact details then please e-mail them with the updated information so we can stay in contact with you.
Today we prepared and distributed 150 food boxes to families where children are eligible for Free School Meals. If you are eligible and haven’t been into school to collect your box of food then please do so tomorrow from 9:15am. Please let us know if you’re not able to attend due to self isolate.
Finally, we would like to thank all critical workers and those parents of vulnerable children for only sending their child into school today if it is absolutely necessary. School is closed unless it is an emergency for critical workers or parents of vulnerable children. The advice is that the best place for your children is at home. By doing this they stay safe, prevent further spread of the infection, reduce the strain on our NHS and by doing so save lives!
Riviera Life Store House and also Baby bank for the distribution of Food and basic household needs as well as distributing pre-owned and new baby items to vulnerable families. Please contact them via the details below.
Thank you to the vast majority of parents who are keeping their children safe at home today. We know this will be very difficult for some children and families but appreciate your support.
As a school we have been asked to remind our community of the seriousness of Coronavirus and it is vitally important that we follow Government guidance to keep ourselves safe and protect those on the front line, particularly staff in the NHS. Thank you for doing your bit!
Students should have plenty of work to keep them going. We’ve started to hear stories of creative learning happening at home. We would like to ask you to share your pictures of learning at home with us at via our Twitter pages, Instagram, and Facebook page if you are happy to do so.
This week we will be confirming what provision will be available for vulnerable children and those whose parents are critical workers over the Easter holiday.
Our staff team are out and about today sending work home for students. We are continuing to set work for examination classes in Year 11 and 13 because we are still are unsure what work the government will require to help confirm exam grades.
A number of families have been asking questions about Free School Meals. If your child is currently in receipt of FSM then a box of food is available for you to collect today. You should attend the school at the following times:
12:00 – 13:00 – Years 7&8
14:00 – 15:00 – Years 9&10
15:00 – 16:00 Years 11, 12 & 13
If you are not able to collect your box of food today then please let us know.
If you are not currently registered for FSM then it is important that you complete the form attached and send it back to Torbay Council so we can ensure your child has a free school meal when we reopen. In the interim you should visit one of the following food banks who would be happy to support.
More updates will be available on our website throughout the day.
From tomorrow, school will be closed until further notice except for children of critical workers and the most vulnerable.
Please do not send your child to school. Please act on government guidance and keep your kids safe at home.
Visit our website for all the latest updates and information.
If your child is in the vulnerable group or you are a key worker and you can’t make arrangements to look after your child at home from Monday then please let the Admin Team know by e-mailing [email protected]
This will enable us to plan for the number of children attending school next week and to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff.
Thank you for your continued support as we continue to navigate through these uncertain times.
Tomorrow school will be closed to Year 11 students due to staff shortages and those members of staff who need to self-isolate. The school will remain open to all other year groups. Vulnerable students and the children of key workers in Year 11 can still attend school tomorrow if they wish.
A number of Year 11 and 13 students have been asking what is happening with regards to exams in the summer and their future qualifications. This information will be announced by the Government tomorrow.
Year 11 students who are planning to return to Sixth Form in September will be invited to a Sixth Form Taster Week and Freshers Fair later in the summer. We want to reassure all Year 11 and 13 students that the Summer Balls will still happen once a new date has been arranged. We will ensure that all Year 11 and 13 students will have the opportunity to celebrate the end of year.
If your child is eligible for Free School Meals, we are preparing boxes of food for families to use next week. These will be available from Monday and we will confirm how these will be distributed tomorrow.
Finally, we would like to remind all parents that their children should not be in school if they are displaying symptoms of Coronavirus and should be following guidance on self isolation. Please contact the school if you are a Key Worker and your child will be attending school next week.
Please continue to act on the latest Government guidance and remember all members of the school community in your prayers.
IMPORTANT UPDATE – To ensure the health and safety of all our students and staff, school will be closed for Year 11 students on Friday 20th March. School will remain open for all other year groups. Children of key workers in Year 11 may attend school along with those in the vulnerable groups. Vulnerable children are classed as those who have an allocated social worker or an EHCP (Education Heath and Care Plan).
Last night the Government made the following announcement:
From Monday 23rd March all schools will close to children with the exception of those children classed as vulnerable or those classed as children of key workers. Vulnerable children are those who have a social worker or an Education Health and Care Plan. Children who are medically vulnerable should not attend school as per the guidance issued on 18.03.20. At this moment in time we understand key workers to be Police, Firefighters, NHS staff, school and nursery staff and delivery drivers. The Government are releasing an official list later today. The school will be closed to all other children who are expected to stay at home.
If your child has a social worker a member of school staff will be contacting you to make arrangements for them to attend school next week.
Parents who are key workers are asked to e-mail us on the admin email address ([email protected]) by 4:00pm today to confirm the following:
name of their child
which key service they work for
name of their employer
in the subject line of the e-mail please write “Keyworker” followed by your child’s name
This information will be treated confidentially.
All exams in May and June have been cancelled. The Government have not confirmed any further details. As soon as we know what is happening we will share this via our usual communication channels. Please do not contact the school regarding this. Students should continue to complete class work sent home by their teachers. Over the next 24 hours we will be sending home our Knowledge Organisers for the Summer Term and packs of work. Information regarding digital learning was sent home on Wednesday 18.03.20.
The Government will be providing schools with food vouchers for those families who are eligible for Free School Meals. Once we receive the details of how this will work we will be sharing this information with parents /carers.
As you will appreciate this is a very challenging time for all of us. We are working at a reduced capacity at the moment so please bear with us.
Please do not ring or call the school unless it is absolutely essential. All information and updates will be posted on this page and via our social media channels.
Thanks your continued support and prayers at this time.
Mr J. Down (Headteacher)
Coronavirus Update (COVID-19)
We have been made aware of a post made on Face Book stating that there is a confirmed case of the Coronavirus at STCM.
As a school we continually review the advice and guidance from the Government and Public Health England. Over recent weeks we have raised our infection control measures and have done so again in response to Public Health England guidance.
This afternoon we have spoken to Public Health England regarding this report. They are not currently testing in the community so this is not a confirmed case.
Parents and students are reminded that if they have any of the symptoms of Cornonavirus they should stay at home and self isolate following the guidance below: