Latest News

CHRISTMAS HAMPER DRAW – THURSDAY, 10TH DECEMBER

Dear Parent / Carer, 

You will recall that pupils and staff participated in an own clothes day on Friday, 20th November.  

The money raised went towards the production of Christmas hampers which will be raffled off between all participants.  

We will be holding a live draw on YouTube at 4:30 pm on Thursday, 10th December. Winning families will then be able to collect their hampers from school during the final week of term or they may choose to ask school to donate them to the Leyland Food Bank, based at St Mary’s Parish Church.   

May the peace of our Saviour’s birth live in your hearts this Christmas and in the New Year. 

Best wishes,                                                

Mr P Thompson

Headteacher

Public Transport

Please see the attached information from School Transport

Christmas Jumper Day 2020

Dear Parent / Carer, 

Christmas Jumper Day – 11 December 2020 

As we rapidly journey through Advent, it is the perfect opportunity to reflect on all the good work done for charitable causes over the past year and have fun at the same time! 

To spread the ‘Joy and Peace of Christmas’, I would like to invite your child to wear a festive Christmas jumper on Friday, 11th December 2020.  This would replace the school jumper for that day only.  

They don’t even need a new jumper.  They can dig out last year’s, or take a boring old sweater and add some tinsel, or get one from a charity shop. 

There will be no charge for participation in this event and if your child does not wish to take part they can come to school in their usual school uniform. 

May I be the first of many to wish you, your family and friends a very peaceful Christmas.  May this Christmas season fill your home with joy, your hearts with love and your life with laughter. 

May the Lord Our God bless you all. 

Yours sincerely,  

Anthony Cave

School Lay Chaplain.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING REMOTE WORKING FOR ALL YEAR GROUPS

Dear Parent / Carer,

This week we have unfortunately seen a steep rise in the number of positive Covid-19 cases amongst pupils. This has been particularly apparent in Year’s 8, 9 and 10. Thankfully, as seems to be the case with most children, those pupils affected are reporting relatively mild symptoms and we wish them all a speedy recovery. However, due to the rise in positive cases, the numbers of pupils having to self-isolate has risen dramatically, in some years there are less than 20% of pupils who are NOT self-isolating.

To try and tackle this, I have taken the decision to close St Mary’s to ALL pupils in every year group (Yrs7 – 11) on Monday 30 November and Tuesday 1 December next week. This will allow for a thorough clean of all areas within school.

From Wednesday 2 December, school will re-open for pupils not needing to self-isolate in Year’s 7 and 11. For Year 11, the arrangements for mock exams have not changed.

I am asking that pupils in Year’s 8, 9 and 10 remain working from home for the remainder of the week and only return, if they are not self-isolating, on Monday 7 December.

Learning from home

All pupils will be expected to work from home, following their ordinary timetable. Staff will teach lessons and be contactable through mediums such as Microsoft Teams and ClassCharts. If you haven’t already done so, please refer to the guidance on our website regarding remote learning, which can be found here: https://www.lsmchs.com/remote-learning

Your child’s classroom teachers will be available at the normal times for their full timetabled lessons. Pupils are expected to be ready to engage in their learning for these sessions. In essence, it will be a normal school day, but with pupils at home.

Behaviour Expectations and Illness

During online lessons, we would expect pupils to behave in an acceptable manner and they can expect normal school sanctions to apply on their return if they disrupt or misbehave.

If your child is ill, we would expect parents and carers to call school and follow normal procedure. In all other cases, attendance at all lessons is compulsory.

Virtual Classes

If any pupil needs assistance with access to a computer, then please get in touch with school and we will be able to advise you. 

 

Self-isolation and Close Contacts

A number of parents will have received letters this week to say their child is a close contact of a confirmed Covid-19 case and that the child must self-isolate. THIS HAS NOT CHANGED – pupils with a self-isolation letter must continue to follow this advice and the relevant dates.

If your child has not been identified as a close contact and has not received a self-isolation letter, they do not need to self-isolate. However, they must be online for all their school lessons.

Free School Meals

Any pupil who is in receipt of Free School Meals is still entitled to receive them. If you would like your child to continue to receive their Free School Meal, then please contact school and suitable arrangements will be made.

Key Worker/Vulnerable Pupils

Monday and Tuesday next week is closed to all pupils. From Wednesday, we will accept key worker/vulnerable pupils in Year’s 8, 9 or 10 if they are not self-isolating, and their parent/carer feels being in school would be a better option for them. If you feel this applies to you, then contact school to arrange this as soon as possible, but please be aware that if your child does come to school, they will be accessing their lessons online like every other child in their year group.

Further Positive Cases of C-19

Even though your child will not be in school, it is important that if they do develop symptoms that they are tested and that school is informed of the result. We still have a duty to record this and inform any potential close contacts.

By taking this action now, we hope it will act as a circuit breaker and all pupils to return with a clean bill of health. However, even despite our best efforts, we know that the virus is still prevalent in the local community and you know it’s impossible to guarantee there will not be further cases. 

 

This week has been particularly challenging for the school and in making this decision, I know that I am going against what I have repeatedly said - that I believe being in school is the best option for pupils. I still do believe this, however, with such a great number of pupils out, I feel I am left with no choice. By doing this, we can ensure that all pupils are treated equally and receive the same educational diet.

Many thanks for your continued patience and understanding.

Yours sincerely,

Mr P Thompson

Headteacher

Y11 Mock Exam Timetable Dec. 2020

Dear Parent / Carer, 

Please find attached the revised Y11 mock exam timetable. Please note that exams now start on Friday 4th December.  

Mock_Exam_Timetable_Dec_2020_V2.pdf

Many thanks,  

Sandra Hurst

Examinations & Assessment Officer

Centre No. 46715

Year 10 & 11 Personal Statement & College Application Support

Dear Parents / Carers,

Due to the volume of pupils now self-isolating, the Personal Statement/Post 16 Application Support session which was planned to take place after school on Wednesday 25th November, will now take place remotely. 

If your child wishes to benefit from this support with their personal statement or college application, please email Mrs Halliwell (careers@lsmchs.com) the school Careers Advisor, to arrange a virtual zoom meeting or phone call. You will then be sent a link to a virtual meeting or a time slot for a phone call appointment. This session had been due to take place between 3-4pm, so it is likely that the meetings will be during this time. Offering support in this way means that the support is tailored to your child's needs.

Alternatively, if you require a 1-1 Careers Advice, Information & Guidance, (CAIG), interview, please email your interest to the same email address. These interviews will take place on a different time and day to be arranged.

Kind Regards

Mrs Halliwell


Good practice for virtual meetings Environment

  • Be aware of your surroundings and background
  • If using video, check lighting and quality of audio from your microphone
  • Be aware of and limit noise in your environment – e.g. pets, kettles, domestic appliances etc
  • For better audio quality, use a headset rather than the microphone built-in to your device
  • Check what is visible on noticeboards, calendars, and family photos or ‘blur’ background
  • If using a laptop, consider raising it so that you are looking directly into the screen
  • Don’t conduct meetings from your or your client’s bedrooms
  • Set expectations on appropriate dress for you and your client in meetings - no nightwear or revealing clothing, please dress appropriately.
  • Consider who else might be able to hear what you are saying and see your broadcast 

Pedestrian safety theatre presentation

Dear Parent / Carer, 

On behalf of Lancashire County Council, the fantastic Pedestrian Safety theatre presentation 'Streetwise' will be performed to all our year 7 and 8 pupils during lesson five on Wednesday, 25th November. 

The presentation is funded by LCC due to the high level of incidents for this age group in the county, with the ambition of raising awareness and reducing the accidents. This is part of St Mary’s aspiration to educate our pupils in knowing how to keep themselves safe and free from harm. This year the engaging presentation will be delivered remotely via MS Teams. It focuses on the potential consequences of lapses in concentration and risk-taking behaviour around roads (such as using phones and listening to music, as well as 'messing about' with friends). “Streetwise” is designed to highlight the risks and consequences facing young people as they take responsibility for their own safety as a pedestrian.  The theatre performance highlights a series of risks that all in the audience can recognise and the project then enables the audience to explore the consequences of risk taking behaviour around roads and agree ways of keeping themselves and their friends safe. There is time to discuss what the pupils have just seen and check that all the learning points have been fully understood at the end. 

I’m sure you will agree that this is a very worthwhile and important addition to our PSHCEE curriculum. It would be useful if you could discuss the performance with your child and reinforce the very valuable messages. 

Many thanks for your support. 

Mrs L Pilling

Assistant Head Teacher

REMOTE WORKING FOR YEAR 11

Dear parent/carer,

You may well be aware that this week we have seen a number of Year 11 pupils present with positive Covid-19 test results. Thankfully, all of those pupils affected are reporting relatively mild symptoms and we wish them all a speedy recovery. However, we have now reached the point where there is a significantly greater number of pupils being asked to self-isolate, than are actually in school. This is a situation which would remain the case for next week as well.

Learning from home

Therefore, I have taken the decision to request that all Year 11 pupils work at home from Monday 23 to Friday 27 November. By doing this, we will hopefully break any cycle of infection which appears to be prevalent in the year group at the moment. In addition, it means that all pupils in Year 11 will receive the same quality of education and opportunity for the forthcoming week. Although a small number of pupils will still be self-isolating, most pupils will return back on Monday 30 November.

Year 11 Timetable

Timetabled lessons will continue and the expectation is that your child will be available for their online lessons in line with their ordinary timetable. For Year 11 this means:

Form time

8.45-9.00am

Period 1

9.00-10.00am

Period 2

10.00 – 11.00am

Breaktime

11.00 – 11.20am

Period 3

11.20am – 12.20pm

Period 4

12.20 – 1.20pm

Lunchtime

1.20pm – 2pm

Period 5

2 – 3pm

OPTIONAL

Afterschool sessions, e.g. Catch-up/Revision

3 – 4pm

 

Your child’s classroom teachers will be available at these times for the full timetabled lessons. Pupils are expected to be ready to engage in their learning for these sessions. In essence, it will be a normal school day, but with pupils at home.

Behaviour Expectations and Illness

During online lessons, we would expect pupils to behave in an acceptable manner and they can expect normal school sanctions to apply on their return if they disrupt or misbehave.

If your child is ill, we would expect parents and carers to call school and follow normal procedure. In all other cases, attendance at all lessons is compulsory.

Virtual Classes

Staff will teach lessons and be contactable through mediums such as Microsoft Teams and ClassCharts. If you haven’t already done so, please refer to the guidance on our website regarding remote learning, which can be found here: https://www.lsmchs.com/remote-learning

If any pupil needs assistance with access to a laptop, then please get in touch with school and we will be able to provide you with the correct equipment.

Self-isolation and Close Contacts

A number of parents will have received letters to say their child is a close contact of a confirmed C-19 case and that the child must self-isolate. THIS HAS NOT CHANGED – pupils with a self-isolation letter must continue to follow this advice and the relevant dates.

If your child has not been identified as a close contact and has not received a self-isolation letter, they do not need to self-isolate. However, they must be online for all their school lessons.

Free School Meals

Any pupil who is in receipt of Free School Meals is still entitled to receive them. If you would like your child to continue to receive their Free School Meal, then please contact school and suitable arrangements will be made.

Further Positive Cases of C-19

Even though your child will not be in school, it is important that if they do develop symptoms that they are tested and that school is informed of the result. We still have a duty to record this and inform any potential close contacts.

By taking this action now, we hope it will act as a circuit breaker and allow Year 11 to return with a clean bill of health. However, even despite our best efforts, we know that the virus is still prevalent in the local community and you know it’s impossible to guarantee there will not be further cases. 

Mock Exams

You will remember that I wrote to you before half-term regarding the importance of the mock exams for pupils this year. We have therefore taken the decision to push back the mock exams by one week to begin on Monday 7 December 2020. This will allow for further time for revision and contact with the classroom teacher. Hopefully, every Year 11 pupil will be back in school, not in self-isolation, and fit enough by then to sit them. Should any child be absent for these exams, then we will make contingency for this and find time for them to sit them once they are fit enough to return.

Final GCSE Exams

This is clearly a question on everybody’s lips at the moment – will GCSE exams go ahead as planned in the summer? Unfortunately, I am still in no clearer a position to answer this and I am not privy to any other information than that which is already in the public domain.

The government stance on exams in England remains that they are insisting they will go ahead, 3 weeks later than planned, despite the governments of Wales and Scotland already announcing alternative plans.

As a school, we must plan for what we are told is happening. Of course, the government may change their mind, but they have proved particularly stubborn in listening to a rational argument from the profession. In particular, there is a groundswell of opinion amongst schools and colleges in the north of England, and particularly in the North West, that due to the higher rates of C-19 here than in other parts of the country, special consideration needs to be given to our pupils.

In my opinion, it cannot be a fair process that some pupils in other parts of the country have experienced no disruption to their learning, yet we and other local high schools have pupils who have had to self-isolate for a number of weeks. It is not necessarily asking that exams are cancelled, but it is asking that in some way the upset and trauma of continual isolation is in some way shape or form recognised in the final results, ensuring a fair outcome for all.

 

I will be writing to our 2 main local MP’s, Katherine Fletcher (South Ribble) and Sir Lindsay Hoyle (Chorley) on behalf of St Mary’s pupils to raise our concerns It may be that you would like to contact them as well, (katherine.fletcher.mp@parliament.uk) or (Lindsay.hoyle.mp@parliament.uk) to raise your concerns and add your voice to the debate.

 

This week has been particularly challenging for Year 11 and asking a year group to work from home is not a decision taken lightly. You will be aware that I have said repeatedly that I believe being in school is the best option for pupils. However, with such a great number of pupils out, I feel I am left with no choice. By doing this, we can ensure that all pupils are treated equally and receive the same educational diet.

I ask for your support in this decision, and thank you for your continued patience and understanding.

 

Yours sincerely,

Mr P Thompson

Headteacher

Prize Evening

We are pleased to share our virtual prize evening with you.

Congratulations to all the winners.

Year 11 College & Application Support

Dear Parent / Carer of Year 11

Please find attached the details of our up-coming events to support Year 11 pupils with their college or further education application, which is due in by 7th December 2020. We are extremely lucky to be able to offer this face-to-face support during the current restrictions, so please encourage your year 11 to attend. It's an opportunity for them to ask questions about their options or ask for help with their application.

20201112_183529958_iOS.jpg

Kind Regards,

Mrs Halliwell

Careers Information, Advice & Guidance Officer