September 2021 – Start of Term

We are writing to confirm arrangements for the start of the new school year. The plans we communicated in July remain unchanged.

In line with Government guidance and instruction, we will test all pupils twice on their return to school. There is no easy or convenient way to do this and the plan below is designed specifically to minimise disruption to learning; it is crucial that our pupils have a positive and productive start to set the tone and our expectations for the year. In September starting times for pupils are as follows:

DatesYear 7Year 8Year 9Year 10Year 11
Friday 3 September08:50
Monday 6 September08:5008:50
Tuesday 7 September08:5008:5011:30
Wednesday 8 September08:5008:5011:3011:30
Thursday 9 September08:5008:5011:3011:3011:30
Friday 10 September08:5008:5008:5008:5008:50

Any pupils who test positive will be sent home and must go for a PCR test. They must then follow the Test and Trace process (link below). Following testing, pupils will stay in school for the rest of the day.

Pupils will do their second lateral flow test in form time from Friday 10 September. All in-school testing will be complete by Wednesday 15 September. From that point pupils and staff are asked to continue to do two home tests per week and follow NHS and PHE advice (link below) about close contacts and isolation.

Face coverings will no longer be worn in school and pupils will not be separated into bubbles and zones. It is still strongly recommended that face coverings are worn on public transport and we would recommend them on school buses as well. Close contacts will not need to self-isolate but any pupil with COVID symptoms will need to stay at home and have a PCR test. Pupils who develop even mild COVID symptoms in school will be sent home and must have a PCR test.

As there are still transmission risks, the following precautions will remain in place:

  • Rooms and communal areas will continue to be well ventilated.
  • Pupils and staff will be expected to wash hand or sanitise regularly and on entry to buildings.
  • The enhanced cleaning regime that we currently have will continue.

Year 7 Start Day

As a result of the pandemic, we have been unable to carry out activities such as a full Induction Day and Intake Evening. To support the transition process, we have carried out transition mornings and have liaised closely with primary schools. As you are aware, we would like to invite your child into school on Friday 3 September 2021 for a Year 7 Induction Day. This day will be their first day of school and solely dedicated to Year 7; no other year groups will be attending on this day and there will be a pastoral focus. Your child should be in full school uniform and bring their pencil case. Any medication that your child may need should also be brought in. PE kit will not be required on this day, however, pupils in 7X and 7S will need to bring a pair of trainers in their school bag. Your child will spend time getting to know their form tutor who will be your first contact point to answer any questions; they will be able to get a feel for the school, meet some of their new class teachers and make some new friends.

On Friday 3 September, your child can be dropped off at the turning circle and they will be shown to the school astro turf where they will meet their form tutor. During the morning, your child will have their lateral flow test and a biometric thumbprint will be taken to support lunchtime payments. If you haven’t already done so, please ensure that you sign and return the biometric parental consent form. Your child will carry out a range of ‘get to know you’ activities and will have time to ask any questions to their form tutor. A lunch will be provided on this day for each child and it will be free of charge.

During the first two periods of each day, Year 7 will do activities to settle them into secondary school life to make up for the limited face to face induction. They will also sit CAT tests to give us some academic data as they did not sit SAT tests this year.

Year 7 pupils must be in school for 08.50 each morning and they will remain in their tutor group for lessons for a number of weeks until we have gathered enough information from Cognitive Ability Tests and Progress Tests in mathematics, English and science to place them into ability classes.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at admin@holycross.lancs.sch.uk and please keep looking on our website and Twitter feed @holycrosschorl.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to the Holy Cross Community and to working with you to provide the best possible education for your child.

Unfortunately, as the Year 7 start day is before the official start of term, we were unable to arrange buses, so parents will need to make arrangements for dropping off and collecting pupils. The full bus service will run from Monday 6 September.

No one quite knows what to expect when schools re-open. The media is full of speculation and some nonsense. We will continue to keep you updated with information which may affect you and your children. As always, our priority is the safety and well-being of all our pupils; any decisions we make are always founded on that.

Yours sincerely
I Gaughan
Headteacher

Below are the links to documents relating to COVID tests and school actions:

NHS Track and Trace at https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk.

Behaviour and Expectations: https://www.holycross.lancs.sch.uk/about/policies-2/

School Uniform: https://www.holycross.lancs.sch.uk/holycross-parents/uniform/

GOV.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/step-4-update-what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges