Parents’ Newsletter #2

Welcome to the second newsletter of the new academic year. I hope that you and your families are keeping fit and healthy. 

Thank you for your help over the last month in making the start of term, despite the current public health restrictions, such a smooth one. It has been delightful to have the two sites full of students once again after several months of closure.

Face coverings

As you will be aware, the number of cases of coronavirus being reported nationally has been rising rapidly over the last couple of weeks and our local Scarborough Borough Council area is one of many around the country on the government’s watchlist.

In response we will now be recommending to staff and students that they wear a face mask or covering when they are in communal areas, such as corridors, where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. In doing so, we will continue to respect the fact that there will be reasons why individual staff and students are not able to cover their faces. We will be talking to students about this change in our expectations over the next couple of days and will expect it to become the normal practice by the end of this week. In line with continuing government guidance, we will not be expecting students to wear a face covering in classrooms.

I would be grateful if you could please discuss these new expectations with your son/daughter and ensure that they bring a face covering to school with them every day. Thank you in advance for your support with this matter.

Year 11 Parents' Evening

Our first parents' evening, for Year 11 students, was originally planned for the last week of this half term. For obvious public health reasons, it has not been possible to organise this using the traditional format of parents and students moving from teacher to teacher around what would be a crowded building. Instead, we will be inviting parents and students to an individual late afternoon video meeting, lasting approximately 15/20 minutes, during the week beginning Monday 19 October at which a designated member of staff will be able to summarise achievements to date and begin a discussion about targets for improvement over the coming months. This is a really important time for Year 11 students; they have a full set of trial examinations at the start of December. Year 11 parents will be receiving a separate communication inviting them to book a meeting time very shortly.

Year 5/6 Open Evening

It has also not been possible to organise our usual Open Evening for local Year 5/6 pupils and their families to look around our facilities and meet our staff and students. Instead, we’re inviting parents to join our online Virtual Open Evening meetings on either Tuesday 13 or Thursday 15 October. If you have a son/daughter who is due to transfer to high school in the next two years, please book a place by following the link below: https://forms.gle/21vu1gWQgv6WAfzn6. Alternatively, if you or someone you know would like a personal tour of our school one evening this week or next week, or this coming Saturday, please contact the school to book a time.

Dropping students off in the morning/picking students up of an afternoon

As you’ll be aware, access on to the main Normanby site is very tight and constricted. Can I please ask you not to come down our drive in your vehicle to drop off or pick up your son/daughter unless you have made prior arrangements to do so because of medical or other circumstances.

Because we need to create some additional hard standing areas for use by students at lunchtime, more staff than usual will be parking at the top of the drive, making parking even more limited for parental drop-offs and pickups. If at all possible, can I ask that you delay picking up your son or daughter until 3.35pm or 3.40pm, by which time all of our students will have safely walked off site and school taxis will have left for their different destinations.

Finally, being mindful of Beever’s Furniture Shop and the residents of Stakesby Vale, can I ask you not to park in this area whilst waiting for school to finish. This is causing significant disruption to our neighbours.

Once again, thank you in anticipation of your help with these matters.

School transport

The school transport arrangements seem to have been working well since the start of term. Coastal & Country decided over the summer to reduce their commitment and are now only running the 308 service. All of their other routes have been taken over by Esk Valley Coaches. I would like to thank our friends at Coast & Country for all of the service they have provided in recent years.

I would remind all students and parents that face coverings are compulsory on the train and they are also strongly advised on the dedicated school buses.

Staggered breaks and lunchtimes on the Normanby site

Students in all year groups are getting used to the routine of different breaks and lunchtimes. Each day, two of the year groups are on our ‘Early’ pattern, having their break between 10.20am and 10.40am and lunch between 12.00 and 12.40pm - one in the main hall and the other in the canteen. The remaining three year groups have their break between 11.20am and 11.40am and lunch between 12.50pm and 1.30pm, using the main hall, canteen and learning centre so as to keep students in different bubbles apart.

Break times

 

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Year 10

Year 11

Mon

Late

Hall

Late

LRC

Late

Canteen

Early

Hall

Early

Canteen

Tues

Early

Hall

Late

LRC

Early

Canteen

Late

Hall

Late

Canteen

Wed

Early

Hall

Late

LRC

Early

Canteen

Late

Hall

Late

Canteen

Thurs

Late

Hall

Early

Canteen

Late

LRC

Early

Hall

Late

Canteen

Fri

Early

Hall

Late

LRC

Early

Canteen

Late

Hall

Late

Canteen

At break times, we ask students to remain in their designated area out of respect to the other year groups who are in lessons.

Lunch times

 

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Year 10

Year 11

Mon

Late

Hall

Late

Canteen

Late

LRC

Early

Hall

Early

Canteen

Tues

Early

Hall

Late

Canteen

Early

Canteen

Late

Hall

Late

LRC

Wed

Early

Hall

Late

Canteen

Early

Canteen

Late

Hall

Late

LRC

Thurs

Late

Hall

Early

Canteen

Late

Canteen

Early

Hall

Late

LRC

Fri

Early

Hall

Late

Canteen

Early

Canteen

Late

Hall

Late

LRC

Behaviour at break and lunchtime has generally been very good, with students particularly enjoying the shorter queues! I would like to thank Mrs Dale and her colleagues in the kitchen for all of their continuing hard work. They’ve shown great flexibility in adapting to our new service requirements.

With the field now being too wet to use at lunchtime, we are designating different hard-standing areas of the College for different year groups to enjoy some fresh air, weather permitting, each day.

Parentpay

Most of our families already use ParentPay to put credit on their child’s account to pay for food and drink at break and lunchtime. For reasons I am sure you will understand, we are trying to limit the amount of cash that our catering and finance staff have to handle. If you do not already have a ParentPay account, or have any questions about this, please contact us at school.

School uniform, equipment and lockers

Thank you for supporting us in maintaining our high standard of school uniform. Overall, students look very smart. One remaining issue is the lengths of skirts which, in several cases, would be difficult to describe as ‘knee length’. I would be grateful if parents could please help us with this issue by reinforcing our expectations about skirts, or suggest the wearing of tailored trousers as an alternative.

We ask tutors to complete an equipment check with students on a regular basis. Once again, your help in ensuring that your son/daughter has a range of pens, pencils, a ruler and a scientific calculator will mean that we will have to loan far less equipment, with obvious hygiene implications, as the term progresses.

Most students have now emptied their locker from last year and returned their key. We have now begun to issue new locker keys to all of the students who have requested one, in a location close to the classrooms in which they are ‘bubbled’. Thank you for your patience as we are work our way through this reallocation process.

PHSE lessons

Our PHSE programme is being organised in a different way this year. The whole school will come off timetable for a designated lesson – this week it has been Monday Period 5, next week Tuesday Period 1 etc – that will roll through the timetable week over the course of the year. With the whole school focusing on PHSE at the same time, it will be easier for staff to deliver dedicated sessions and, in time, for us to welcome in guest speakers on a more regular basis to enhance our teaching. If you would like more information about this programme, please contact Mr Graham by email to s.graham@ccwhitby.org, in the first instance.

Students at Whitby Sixth Form will be expected to attend College, regardless of whether or not they have timetabled lessons during each week’s designated lesson, in order to participate in a programme of guidance and careers activities.

Black History Month

This month, we are celebrating Black History Month and looking at the theme of celebrating black history and prominent people. Students at Whitby Sixth Form have looked at the Black Lives Matter movement and what effect this has had in our country. They have also debated the role of British history and ways in which we can adjust our learning to be more inclusive.

In assemblies on the Normanby site this week, we are looking at the Black Lives Matter movement and reflecting on how this is part of a long tradition of fighting for rights. We are also celebrating some black voices through history via our social media channels throughout the month. On Thursday, students will have the opportunity to take part in a live lecture from Liverpool John Moores University on “Toppling statues and renaming buildings: The Black Lives Matter Movement and the history of slavery”.

National Poetry Week

In assemblies last week, we celebrated World Poetry Day by considering what poetry means to different people throughout the world. To the question, ‘why poetry?’ the answers are:

It has its own music
It cuts to the bone of emotion
It drives social and political change
It lets you declare your undying love for someone It has rules but lets you abandon them
It can change the world... or just record it.

Working individually to begin with, students worked on producing their own short poems which we will be using to form longer, thought-provoking ‘poetry quilts’. Watch out for some fantastic examples being published on our website and social media.

We have also just launched a competition to find Caedmon’s very own Poet Laureate. To enter, students simply need to write a poem using one of the following themes: loneliness; isolation; happiness; positivity. The closing date is Monday 19 October. We will share some of the best entries with you in future weeks.

Sad news

It is with sadness that I have to inform you that one of our admin team, Carolyn Wilkinson, passed away at the start of term. This news came as a great shock to all of the staff here at Caedmon College and Whitby Sixth Form. Carolyn had worked here since 2002, fulfilling a number of important roles, including being our office manager and more recently as our cover manager and finance assistant. She was an utterly reliable colleague and a good friend to everyone she worked with. I have written to her husband Bede and daughters, Amy and Kate, both of whom attended the College, to pass on the condolences of everyone in the Caedmon community.

Happier news

Some happier news which I am delighted to be able to share with you is that Mrs Harrison and her husband had a baby boy - Jos, a few weeks ago. Both mum and baby are doing well and we look forward to seeing more photos and welcoming them both into College sometime soon.

And finally…

Attached to this newsletter is a useful “what if” checklist issued by North Yorkshire County Council. It deals with a number of different scenarios that might present themselves within families at this time. Please refer to it if there is any developing illness in your household in the coming weeks and months. If in doubt, before sending your child into school, telephone or email us at College and we will seek to provide as much clarification as we can.

Yours faithfully
Simon Riley
Principal

Covid 19 Guidelines

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