Letter from the Headteacher - 21.9.2020

Dear Parent/Carer

I hope that you are well and that you have enjoyed your week?

I thought I would get in touch with you again at the end of our first full week in school to let you know how impressed we have been with the attitude and maturity of our students since they have come back to school. We all know how difficult the lockdown has been for young people but the way South Craven’s students have dealt with the immense amount of changes on site and their behaviour around school and in the classrooms has made me feel proud to be their headteacher.

I can’t imagine how difficult the transition period from primary school to secondary school has been for our new Year 7 students, but despite their nerves they have settled in well and are proving to be a fantastic year group. We have also had excellent attendance and punctuality across all year groups since we reopened and I want to thank you for your support with this.

The positive start to the year has been even more impressive with the huge number of new rules and regulations we have had to implement. One of the most difficult changes we have had to make has been the one-way system. Overall it has been very successful ensuring students spend a lot time walking outside of the buildings and that they do not walk past students who are in other “bubbles” face to face in congested indoor areas of school. However, we have a few indoor pinch points where it is getting busy at certain changeovers. At these times all the students are walking in the same direction so the risks are low but next week we will continue our drive to encourage all students wear a face covering in these busier areas so everyone feels safe – your support with this is much appreciated. More students are now wearing face coverings in the corridors and on the buses so I wish to thank you for this. We will keep promoting the use of face coverings as the term continues.

Sending Students to School

Can I please remind parents not to send your child or their sibling(s) to school if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • A new continuous cough
  • A high temperature
  • A loss of, or change in their normal sense of taste or smell

If a student displays these symptoms at school, we will isolate them in our COVID-19 safe room. You will be contacted to collect them and to arrange for them to be tested. We ask that you advise school of the outcome of this test, either negative or positive, as soon as you receive the result.

If someone in your household or support bubble displays symptoms, please follow the clear guidance on the links below:

Remote Learning

We have revisited our approach to remote learning which was put into place over the lockdown period. Just like when the school was closed to students, our aim is to provide work for individual students who are not at school for example because they have symptoms or have been instructed to self-isolate. We aim to ensure that learning continues for all our students. This will be through two routes:

  • Google Classroom – We are encouraging all staff to share materials for lessons digitally using Google Classroom (or Showbie in Science) for all students whether they are in school or not. We hope that this means any absent students will have the opportunity to access the specific learning they would do if they were in school. Teachers may post other independent learning resources in Google Classroom as well as materials for lessons.
  • Via our Website – Over the coming weeks we will be adding links and resources to more generic work which is linked to the learning in the classroom, and can be accessed independently and remotely to help keep our learners on track, and studying relevant topics. As these become available, they will be posted in the ‘Subjects’ area of our website.

Due to the health and safety procedures relating to COVID-19, we will not be sending any paper copies of work home.

Year 7 have not got their tablet devices in school yet. They have been introduced to Google Classroom already but will not have used it very frequently. Because of this Year 7 work will be on the website in the first instance and we are prioritising getting work uploaded for them.

Classcharts / Homework Planner App

You may have noticed that you are no longer able to access your child's details and homework on the homework planner app. This is because we have introduced "Classcharts" this year as a method of monitoring the performance of students on a daily basis.

Students and teachers are now using this app to record rewards and sanctions, set homework and for students to be able to access their timetables and classes. We are in the process of sharing parental access codes to parents to use the class charts app along with a user guide about how to use the app. Year 7 students and their parents have not been given login details for the student app, this will happen when they receive their tablet devices and homework is circulated digitally.

We appreciate your patience whilst we adapt to this new way of working.

I look forward to seeing everyone in school on Monday as we start our priority setting week with an extended form period, as students really start to take responsibility for their educational progress through the next term.

Martyn Hill


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