Tours and Open Evening

Headmaster’s Letter 4th September

Posted on 4th September 2020

Dear Parents

Welcome back

It’s good to be back at the start of a new school year! A very warm welcome to you all, particularly those who are new to the School. I hope the Friday letters over the break were useful.

We have now welcomed back five of our seven year groups. In our year assemblies (no whole school assemblies currently), I have used the phrase ‘Brave new world’ taken from Shakespeare’s The Tempest to try to address how many of us feel as we look to resume old routines in the new normal.

I know some students will be anxious about time missed away from school. In terms of content, all students will have received what they would have had to have covered in the latter part of the last school year through the work that was sent home. Support was given via Microsoft Teams.

We did not have exam weeks or extra-curricular events (Sports day, school walk, etc.), so there was additional time to relay the curriculum content. Understanding the information, or ‘deep learning’, is a different matter. So, over the course of the next six weeks, teachers will be assessing students’ understanding through questioning, small low-stakes tests and by using their judgement to assess progress. We have adapted our assessment policy in KS3 to acknowledge this by moving from two to one formally assessed piece of work per class for this half-term. This will ameliorate students’ concerns, I hope.

In Years 10 and above, we will also be using a variety of techniques to assess students’ progress. I am (like you all) awaiting a decision about public exams for Summer 2021 and will explain to you how we plan to adapt when the guidance has been published. Suffice it to say, we are working hard to adapt and to do our best for the students academically while following the systems of control to ensure safety.

Self-isolation

There will be additional pressure on the national track and trace system as we return to school and employees are encouraged to return to the workplace.

I have been asked to remind you that you should only seek a COVID-19 test if you or a member of your household is displaying COVID-19 symptoms: new continuous cough, high temperature or a loss of taste or smell. Booking a test for a cold or a headache, etc. will put additional pressure on the system, particularly as we move into the autumn months when the flu bug starts to appear.

I ask that you are more cautious about allowing your child to attend school if they are ill. We need to adopt a more pragmatic approach in our response to illness. Students can access work via Sharepoint for their classes.

If there are two confirmed COVID-19 cases in a year group, it could be, following consultation with Public Health England, that a year group is sent home to isolate for 14 days. We have systems in place to enable learning to continue at home, following the current timetable. A whole school closure is a last resort. We all agree that School is the best place for students to be. I have asked all year groups to adhere to the current controls for socialising outside School. This is very important if we are to see an uninterrupted school year.

Below is the current advice about what actions you should take when you or a member of your household receives their COVID-19 test results :

 

  1. If someone tests negative, if they feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to coronavirus (COVID-19), they can stop self-isolating. They could still have another virus, such as a cold or flu – in which case it is still best to avoid contact with other people until they are better. Other members of their household can stop self-isolating.
  2. If someone tests positive, they should follow the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection and must continue to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of their symptoms and then return to school only if they do not have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste. This is because a cough or anosmia can last for several weeks once the infection has gone. The 10-day period starts from the day when they first became ill. If they still have a high temperature, they should keep self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should continue self-isolating for the full 14 days.

Absences

The medical and exceptional absence forms are now online. This is the link. [link] Please do give School as much notice as possible (a minimum of a week, where possible) and ensure that there is as much information as possible to enable the admin team to process your request.

Dining Hall

The dining hall system, coupled with the reduced menu option, is working well as long as students are able to present their cards and as long as they eat quickly. We are allowing students to eat packed lunched in their bubbled zone, as well as the New Hall. I advise that if a student wants a leisurely lunch then they should opt for the pack lunch option.

Buses

All buses arrived for a 3.15pm pick up yesterday, despite later times issued on bus passes. If there is an issue with any transport provided by the County, it is best to contact the bus company direct.

Bus W27DDents

 

01673 828086
Bus 9206TJ’s coaches

 

01652 657207
Bus 6996

 

Grimsby Mini bus Ltd

 

01472 750483

 

Bus 6908PC Coaches

 

01507 600016

Y12 and Y13 tutorial period

Now that the timetable has been finalised, we have moved the compulsory Y12/Y13 form period to Monday period one from Wednesday period one. Several Y12 and Y13 students do not have any lessons on that day so it will minimise trips into School. Of course, students are welcome to attend, and we will provide supervised study areas for them.

The Flu jab for Year 7

The date for this has been confirmed for Friday 9 October 2020.

Minecraft

In the latter part of last term, Mr Donington, the Head of D&T, worked with students to create the School in Minecraft. Over the summer, we had about 40 new Year 7s ‘visiting.’ It is very impressive and I’d very much like students and parents to have the chance to visit too. You can see it here. [link]

The beginnings of a farewell

At the end of last term, Mr Sunter indicated that he wished to retire at the end of this coming term. For personal reasons, Mr Sunter is currently fulfilling his role as Assistant Head from home. He will leave us to begin a well-deserved retirement at the end of October.

I will write more about Mr Sunter’s CGS legacy – with a few Disney allusions – nearer the end of this half-term. Mr Frost, currently Head of Maths has been appointed Assistant Head (Data, Systems and Operations) and will commence his role when the new Head of Maths is in post. This position is currently advertised on the website in the Vacancies section.

Welcome

A warm welcome to Mr Gardiner (Classics, maternity) and Mrs Binks (Science) who join us this month.

Mr Bowler will be joining us to take over Mr Sunter’s Maths and Computing teaching for this term.

Mr Millington has been appointed to Site Manager. Mr Brinklow, has been appointed to Deputy Site Manager and Mr Hannath, our new colleague, has been appointed as Site Assistant

Miss Barrett has been appointed as the PE Technician and Miss McCann has been appointed as the Performing Arts Technician. Both were students in last years’ Year 13.

I trust you will have a good weekend,

Alistair Hopkins

Headmaster