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15 MAY 2020


Dear Parents/Carers,

WEEKLY UPDATE


Firstly, thank you to all parents and carers who have contacted the school expressing thanks and gratitude for the work staff are doing to support your children at home.  We continue to review our practices as we move into the next stages of our response to COVID-19. Each household has different demands upon them, and we will endeavour to support as many of these demands as possible.

We are now planning for the staged return to school for Y10 and Y12 students. This return has been defined in the latest guidance from government as being “some face to face contact with teachers to support continuing home learning”.  Further guidance is expected from government shortly along with a County approach by schools following the work between Headteachers and the Cheshire West and Chester local authority.  I will keep you informed over the next week or so as to how this will be established within school. 

Key Worker Childcare Provision

As we now plan for 1 June and beyond, I emailed you earlier this week with an e-survey to assist us to update our childcare provision as more parents and carers return to work and the demand will potentially increase.  Thank you to those of you who have already responded, and please can I urge those that have not to do so by the deadline today if you require childcare.  This will enable us to guarantee full coverage on Monday in a way that ensures safeguarding concerns are met.  To access the survey please follow the link below:

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=Hb5f2cACE0uq30qVQfew_QeuAonyjxFPlqURLwDENKNUN0pHN1RFQVdOVU9BSDU1VkoyRU9RNjlRMi4u

Contact with School

It is important that through these difficult times we keep communication between students and school open. I would like to stress again that if students are struggling or have any concerns generally or about their work, they should be keeping in touch with their Form Tutors, HPMs and teachers through emails or contacting school generally.

As parents and carers, we would also like to ask you to keep informing us of anything that you think is important particularly with regards to your child’s wellbeing. We need to have an overview about such things as bereavements, whether Covid-19 related or not plus things that may have happened over the Lockdown that you believe we should be aware of. Please continue to inform House Progress Managers so that appropriate support can be put in place on their return to school.

Please can I remind you that when emailing school about specific information relating to your child, we will not respond to emails sent from a company or business email address. We will only respond to specific child related queries that come to us from a personal email address related to that child. I am sure that you will appreciate that by responding to an employer based email address this could breach GDPR regulations and safeguarding best practice – potentially putting your child at risk.

Year 11 into 12 Applicants
Don't forget that there bridging tasks for all our Sixth Form courses on our Hub. The link to access them is as follows:

https://sites.google.com/whitbyhs.cheshire.sch.uk/twhs-resource-hub/year-11-y12-in-sept

A huge well done to those students who are busy completing the tasks, your efforts are much appreciated. Engagement in these tasks will continue to be monitored. If you are unable to access these tasks for any reason, please contact Miss R Hughes to discuss further.

Critical Workers

Children of critical workers are encouraged to attend school, and to reflect plans for wider opening of schools from 1 June, at the earliest. Updated information defining vulnerable children, in line with existing guidance, for the purpose of continued education.

Critical workers who can access schools or educational settings

This guidance is applicable to 31 May 2020 and will be reviewed before 1 June 2020.

Preparations for National Thank a Teacher Day – Wednesday 20 May

On Wednesday 20 May, we are celebrating teachers, senior leaders, support staff and all those working in education settings who are making a difference to their schools and communities during the coronavirus outbreak. The DfE is working in partnership with the Teaching Awards Trust which has produced a set of resources including a Thank a Teacher toolkit containing graphics, images and frames for social media that you’re free to use toolkit:

https://thankateacher.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Thank-a-Teacher-Day-2020-Tool-Kit.pdf

Virtual Careers Festival

We are excited to be part of theVirtual Career Festival – Paving the Wayhosted by The Cheshire and Warrington Pledge Partnership. Launching at 11am on Tuesday 19thMay – Friday 22ndMay. We encourage all students in Y10 – Y13 to participate in this innovative four day programme.

Summary of Programme:

DAY 1 & 2:Tune in at 11am on Tuesday to meet your hosts who will let you know what to expect and how to join in. We then have a whole host of videos from over 50 local employers giving a snapshot of a “Day in the Life” of their career and job.

DAY 3: Today is the day you get to explore what you may like to do next in education. Perhaps you want to go to college, university or do an apprenticeship?

DAY 4:The final day is very hands-on. The activities will help you plan for your future job from making a CV writing to interview skills making sure you can get a job!

Register:Please can students pre-register for the event, visit thePaving the Way websiteand clink the orange button ‘Register Now’ at the bottom of the page. To keep up to date with all activity follow@ThePledgeCW#PavingTheWay

Careers

 

Miss Connor will continue to forward any information which is useful to students using their school email. Please make sure your child checks this regularly. Some information e.g. about events may need prompt attention. Miss Conner will also send the information to Form Tutors and House staff, so they are aware of what is on offer. If there are students, especially in Years 11, 12 and 13 who need Careers advice would they please email Miss Conner with their name, school email address, contact number (if they prefer) and permission to pass this info on to our Careers Adviser.

 

Home Learning

It is great to see so many of our students engaging with our learning tasks. Details of the work set can be found on our Resource Hub https://sites.google.com/whitbyhs.cheshire.sch.uk/twhs-resource-hub/homeunder 'Subject Resources'. You can also see a sample of brilliant work on our online noticeboard https://en-gb.padlet.com/lbegbie/homelearningand we'd love to see more. Students can add their work by clicking on the pink cross in the corner of the screen.

We are very aware that for many households, this is very challenging time for a variety of reasons. We are also aware that students will be able to complete different amounts of learning, again, for a variety of reasons. Please be assured that we do understand, and we do not want to add additional pressures. You know your children best. Please encourage them to access the work as best they can for a reasonable amount of time. Based on your feedback (thank you for this) I have asked teachers just to put details ofwork on the Resource Hub and to reduce the amount of emails coming to students. I have also asked them to make sure that the tasks have clear deadlines and instructions.

Mental Health Support

 

Please see the following links and attachments for schools during the lockdown period. The Mental Health Crisis telephone line is provided by CWP and is accessible 24/7.

 

The myHappymind Light Programme is a free resource for all primary schools and is also available for Early Years settings. The attached impact report and school leaflet are from myHappymind, which is the emotional health and wellbeing platform currently being piloted in 24 Primary Schools in West Cheshire.

 

Schools registration link:https://myhappymind.org/light-enquiry

Coronavirus testing eligibility and how test and testing kits work

Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test, how to get tested and the different types of test available can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has published guidance for members of the public and patients about coronavirus tests and testing kits, including information on the different types of tests available and how they work.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-tests-and-testing-kits-for-coronavirus-covid-19-work

Handwashing advice

It is essential that everyone washes their hands more often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand washing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain. Drying hands afterwards makes the skin less hospitable to the virus. Hand sanitiser can be effective if soap is not available or the situation makes using soap less feasible (i.e. when outside) but using hand sanitiser provides none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together and rinsing with water provides.

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene.

Resources are currently available for KS1, KS2 and KS3 and can be used in various settings including schools and at home:

https://e-bug.eu/

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures

 

Thank you for your continued support. 

Take care and stay safe.

Yours sincerely


Mr B Heeley

Headteacher

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

8 MAY 2020


Dear Parents/Carers,

WEEKLY UPDATE


Firstly, thank you to all parents and carers who have contacted the school expressing thanks and gratitude for the work staff are doing to support your children at home.  We continue to review our practices as we move into the next stages of our response to COVID-19. Each household has different demands upon them, and we will endeavour to support as many of these demands as possible.


We are now planning for the staged return to school for Y10 and Y12 students. This return has been defined in the latest guidance from government as being “some face to face contact with teachers to support continuing home learning”.  Further guidance is expected from government shortly along with a County approach by schools following the work between Headteachers and the Cheshire West and Chester local authority.  I will keep you informed over the next week or so as to how this will be established within school. 


Key Worker Childcare Provision

As we now plan for 1 June and beyond, I emailed you earlier this week with an e-survey to assist us to update our childcare provision as more parents and carers return to work and the demand will potentially increase.  Thank you to those of you who have already responded, and please can I urge those that have not to do so by the deadline today if you require childcare.  This will enable us to guarantee full coverage on Monday in a way that ensures safeguarding concerns are met.  To access the survey please follow the link below:

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=Hb5f2cACE0uq30qVQfew_QeuAonyjxFPlqURLwDENKNUN0pHN1RFQVdOVU9BSDU1VkoyRU9RNjlRMi4u


Contact with School

It is important that through these difficult times we keep communication between students and school open. I would like to stress again that if students are struggling or have any concerns generally or about their work, they should be keeping in touch with their Form Tutors, HPMs and teachers through emails or contacting school generally.

As parents and carers, we would also like to ask you to keep informing us of anything that you think is important particularly with regards to your child’s wellbeing. We need to have an overview about such things as bereavements, whether Covid-19 related or not plus things that may have happened over the Lockdown that you believe we should be aware of. Please continue to inform House Progress Managers so that appropriate support can be put in place on their return to school.

Please can I remind you that when emailing school about specific information relating to your child, we will not respond to emails sent from a company or business email address. We will only respond to specific child related queries that come to us from a personal email address related to that child. I am sure that you will appreciate that by responding to an employer based email address this could breach GDPR regulations and safeguarding best practice – potentially putting your child at risk.


Year 11 into 12 Applicants
Don't forget that there bridging tasks for all our Sixth Form courses on our Hub. The link to access them is as follows:
https://sites.google.com/whitbyhs.cheshire.sch.uk/twhs-resource-hub/year-11-y12-in-sept

A huge well done to those students who are busy completing the tasks, your efforts are much appreciated. Engagement in these tasks will continue to be monitored. If you are unable to access these tasks for any reason, please contact Miss R Hughes to discuss further.


Critical Workers

Children of critical workers are encouraged to attend school, and to reflect plans for wider opening of schools from 1 June, at the earliest. Updated information defining vulnerable children, in line with existing guidance, for the purpose of continued education.

Critical workers who can access schools or educational settings

This guidance is applicable to 31 May 2020 and will be reviewed before 1 June 2020.


Preparations for National Thank a Teacher Day – Wednesday 20 May

On Wednesday 20 May, we are celebrating teachers, senior leaders, support staff and all those working in education settings who are making a difference to their schools and communities during the coronavirus outbreak. The DfE is working in partnership with the Teaching Awards Trust which has produced a set of resources including a Thank a Teacher toolkit containing graphics, images and frames for social media that you’re free to use toolkit:

https://thankateacher.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Thank-a-Teacher-Day-2020-Tool-Kit.pdf


Virtual Careers Festival

We are excited to be part of theVirtual Career Festival – Paving the Wayhosted by The Cheshire and Warrington Pledge Partnership. Launching at 11am on Tuesday 19thMay – Friday 22ndMay. We encourage all students in Y10 – Y13 to participate in this innovative four day programme.


Summary of Programme:

DAY 1 & 2:Tune in at 11am on Tuesday to meet your hosts who will let you know what to expect and how to join in. We then have a whole host of videos from over 50 local employers giving a snapshot of a “Day in the Life” of their career and job.

DAY 3: Today is the day you get to explore what you may like to do next in education. Perhaps you want to go to college, university or do an apprenticeship?

DAY 4:The final day is very hands-on. The activities will help you plan for your future job from making a CV writing to interview skills making sure you can get a job!

Register:Please can students pre-register for the event, visit thePaving the Way websiteand clink the orange button ‘Register Now’ at the bottom of the page. To keep up to date with all activity follow@ThePledgeCW#PavingTheWay


Careers 

Miss Connor will continue to forward any information which is useful to students using their school email. Please make sure your child checks this regularly. Some information e.g. about events may need prompt attention. Miss Conner will also send the information to Form Tutors and House staff, so they are aware of what is on offer. If there are students, especially in Years 11, 12 and 13 who need Careers advice would they please email Miss Conner with their name, school email address, contact number (if they prefer) and permission to pass this info on to our Careers Adviser.

 

Home Learning

It is great to see so many of our students engaging with our learning tasks. Details of the work set can be found on our Resource Hub https://sites.google.com/whitbyhs.cheshire.sch.uk/twhs-resource-hub/homeunder 'Subject Resources'. You can also see a sample of brilliant work on our online noticeboard https://en-gb.padlet.com/lbegbie/homelearningand we'd love to see more. Students can add their work by clicking on the pink cross in the corner of the screen.

We are very aware that for many households, this is very challenging time for a variety of reasons. We are also aware that students will be able to complete different amounts of learning, again, for a variety of reasons. Please be assured that we do understand, and we do not want to add additional pressures. You know your children best. Please encourage them to access the work as best they can for a reasonable amount of time. Based on your feedback (thank you for this) I have asked teachers just to put details ofwork on the Resource Hub and to reduce the amount of emails coming to students. I have also asked them to make sure that the tasks have clear deadlines and instructions.


Mental Health Support 

Please see the following links and attachments for schools during the lockdown period. The Mental Health Crisis telephone line is provided by CWP and is accessible 24/7.

 

The myHappymind Light Programme is a free resource for all primary schools and is also available for Early Years settings. The attached impact report and school leaflet are from myHappymind, which is the emotional health and wellbeing platform currently being piloted in 24 Primary Schools in West Cheshire.

 

Schools registration link:https://myhappymind.org/light-enquiry

Coronavirus testing eligibility and how test and testing kits work

Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test, how to get tested and the different types of test available can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has published guidance for members of the public and patients about coronavirus tests and testing kits, including information on the different types of tests available and how they work.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-tests-and-testing-kits-for-coronavirus-covid-19-work


Handwashing advice

It is essential that everyone washes their hands more often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand washing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain. Drying hands afterwards makes the skin less hospitable to the virus. Hand sanitiser can be effective if soap is not available or the situation makes using soap less feasible (i.e. when outside) but using hand sanitiser provides none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together and rinsing with water provides.

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene.

Resources are currently available for KS1, KS2 and KS3 and can be used in various settings including schools and at home:

https://e-bug.eu/

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures

 

Thank you for your continued support. 

Take care and stay safe.

Yours sincerely


Mr B Heeley

Headteacher

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

8 MAY 2020


Dear Parents/Carers,

COVID 19 AND CHILDCARE PROVISION


As you will be aware, on Sunday the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Boris Johnson addressed the nation to outline plans for the potential easing of restrictions imposed to reduce the impact of the COVID 19 virus.

Having listened to the address and read many articles from a variety of sources the exact impact of the government’s planning is still vague to say the least.  However, please be assured that as a school and through our collaboration with other Secondary School Head teachers we are working on a plan to bring your child back to school when it is appropriate and safe to do so.

I will keep you fully informed on this matter as further details develop. In the meantime, please continue supporting your child through home learning and the learning opportunities within our Resource Hub.

The one element of the Prime Minister’s address on Sunday that remained unchanged was that schools should continue to offer parents and carers support through our child care offer. This offer still applies to:

We have in place established procedures to support the children who meet the above criteria however with the relaxation of some elements of the national lockdown we envisage that demand on this provision could increase.

With this in mind I am now reviewing the need for child care provision for our parents and carers in order to amend planning, staffing and rooming to respond to current need.  Therefore, if you require childcare at The Whitby High School from Monday 18th May 2020 onwards please complete the online survey which can be accessed here

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=Hb5f2cACE0uq30qVQfew_QeuAonyjxFPlqURLwDENKNUN0pHN1RFQVdOVU9BSDU1VkoyRU9RNjlRMi4u

I do appreciate that some parents have already completed an earlier survey however please complete the current one so that we can update our records. This relates to childcare for the groups of children listed above and where they are unable to be cared for at home.

Important - Please complete the survey no later than 3.30pm on Friday 15th May 2020 – This will allow us to have correct registers in place for Monday.

It is important that if there are any changes to your child care need please inform us at least 48 hours prior to changes being needed.

This will ensure that we can safeguard your child during their time with us.  I appreciate that some Key Workers may have shift and working patterns that change with little notice.  Please do not worry about this, however you MUST inform us as soon as possible. 

Students should not simply be dropped off at school in the morning without notice as it will undermine our planning and could seriously compromise the safety of your child and others on site.

Thank you for your continued support. 

 

Take care and stay safe.


Yours sincerely



Mr B Heeley

Headteacher


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8 MAY 2020


Dear Parents/Carers,


As you will be aware, we await further information from the government regarding proposals to ease the Lockdown and the possible partial reopening of schools.  Although we have been completing some preliminary planning, we are hoping that any announcement over the coming weekend will shed more light on the ways forward.  Please be assured that once we have any information, we will inform you as soon as is possible of arrangements to restart as an education setting.


I have included in the email this week the latest guidance from the government regarding Key Worker status and parents and carers who are Key Workers utilising the childcare provision offered by the school. Please take some time to read the information and access the full list.  It is clear that the government still regard keeping your child at home as the best option however, if this is not possible, we will continue to offer childcare provision.  I will contact you next week regarding this and to clarify the procedures for registering your child for childcare. In the meantime, any child of a Key Worker needing childcare must be booked into school for the days that the care is needed. Children should not simply turn up – for children of verified Key Workers a place will be allocated.  This ensures that we correctly allocate places and safeguard those in our care.  Thank you for your support with this.


PPE Update


Since the new raw materials arrived in school last week our design and technology staff have continued to manufacture protective visors for frontline care providers. Last week Mr Milton and his team produced:


Please let us know if you are working in this sector and would benefit from the visors.  Whilst raw materials exist we will try to offer some support. Thank you to Mr Milton and the DT team.


Home Learning


It is great to see so many of our students engaging with our learning tasks. Details of the work set can be found on our Resource Hub https://sites.google.com/whitbyhs.cheshire.sch.uk/twhs-resource-hub/homeunder 'subject resources'. You can also see a sample of brilliant work on our online noticeboard https://en-gb.padlet.com/lbegbie/homelearningand we'd love to see more. Students can add their work by clicking on the pink cross in the corner of the screen.

We are very aware that for many households, this is very challenging time for a variety of reasons. We are also aware that students will be able to complete different amounts of learning, again, for a variety of reasons. Please be assured that we do understand, and we do not want to add additional pressures. You know your children best. Please encourage them to access the work as best they can for a reasonable amount of time. Based on your feedback (thank you for this) I have asked teachers just to put details of work on the Resource Hub and to reduce the amount of emails coming to students. I have also asked them to make sure that the

tasks have clear deadlines and instructions.


The Open Eye Gallery Collaborative Work


You will be aware that for over two years we have been collaborating with The Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool.  This collaboration led by Mrs Parr from our art and photography department, has been an astounding success and produced photographic work of a quality not usually seen in school.  Our talented students’ work has been exhibited in the prestigious gallery alongside the work of world renowned photographers and has never looked out of place.  The latest work entitled “Belonging” has now been put into print and although we do not have printed copies as yet please take a look at the work by following the link below. The work which represents our students’ perceptions of “belonging” offers a glimpse into their thoughts and the community around them.  Well done to all our students and particularly to Mrs Parr and her team.

https://issuu.com/openeyegallery/docs/belonging_-_final_design_-_single_pages

 Belonging — Exploring Photography as a Collaborative Tool in Gallery Education by Open Eye Gallery - Issuu

issuu.com

A publication reflecting upon the collaboration between Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool) and Whitby High School (Ellesmere Port). This publication explores how photography and the gallery can be used as a tool for agency and aspiration in creative, cultu...


Former Whitby High School RE Teacher Scoops Top Quiz Prize


Last week we saw former teacher at The Whitby High School, Mrs Jean Banford test her knowledge against the country’s best quiz mind on the TV game show “Beat the Chasers”.  Jean who is also a former student of the school beat all five “chasers” and scooped a fantastic prize of £100k. Congratulations to Jean and I wish her well for the future.

Mental Health Support

Please see the following links and attachments for schools during the lockdown period. The Mental Health Crisis telephone line is provided by CWP and is accessible 24/7.

The myHappymind Light programme is a free resource for all primary schools and is also available for Early Years settings. The attached impact report and school leaflet are from myHappymind, which is the emotional health and wellbeing platform currently being piloted in 24 Primary Schools in West Cheshire.

Schools registration link:https://myhappymind.org/light-enquiry

Careers

Miss Connor will continue to forward any information which is useful to students using their school email. Please make sure your child checks this regularly. Some information e.g. about events may need prompt attention. Miss Connor will also send the information to Form Tutors and House staff so they are aware of what is on offer. If there are students, especially in Year 11 , 12 and 13 who need Careers advice would they please email Miss Connor with their name, school email address, contact number (if they prefer) and permission to pass this info on to our Careers Adviser.

Key workers who can send their children into school. (Government latest)


As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

That is why the government has given clear guidance onself-isolation, household isolation and social distancing.

And the most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they must, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.

That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.

It is important to underline that schools, all childcare settings (including early years settings, childminders and providers of childcare for school-age children), colleges and other educational establishments, remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.

Schools, and all childcare providers, are therefore being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable, and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

We know that schools will also want to support other children facing social difficulties, and we will support head teachers to do so.

Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home must be.

Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

1.If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they must be.

2.If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.

3.Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.

4.Parents must also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They must observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

5.If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:

In general terms Key Workers can fall into the following categories. Please follow the link below for the specific roles that are regarded as Key Worker roles.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision?utm_source=87e893cd-2a96-451e-aa06-24e9fbc70101&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=daily

We are grateful for the work of teachers and workers in educational settings for continuing to provide for the children of the other critical workers of our country. It is an essential part of our national effort to combat this disease.


Department for Education Coronavirus Helpline – Friday 8 May Bank Holiday - Opening Hours


The Department for Education Coronavirus Helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care.

Phone: 0800 046 8687

The helpline will remain open over the early May Bank Holiday weekend for staff, parents and young people as follows:

10am to 4pm – Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Our standard opening hours will resume on Monday 11 May:

8am to 6pm – Monday to Friday
1
0am to 4pm – Saturday and Sunday

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the helpline.


Handwashing Advice


It is essential that everyone washes their hands more often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand washing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain. Drying hands afterwards makes the skin less hospitable to the virus. Hand sanitiser can be effective if soap is not available or the situation makes using soap less feasible (i.e. when outside) but using hand sanitiser provides none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together and rinsing with water provides.

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found at:


https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public


The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene.


Resources are currently available for KS1, KS2 and KS3 and can be used in various settings including schools and at home:


https://e-bug.eu/


Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

All of the Department for Education’s coronavirus guidance for educational settings can now be found in one place on GOV.​UK at:


https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings


Our main schools’ guidance, the ‘actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak’ will be regularly kept up to date. Any new advice for schools on specific issues, such as food, exams or safeguarding, will be linked from:


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures


Thank you for your continued support.  


Take care and stay safe.


Yours sincerely,


Mr B Heeley

Headteacher

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 MAY 2020


Dear Parents/Carers,

WEEKLY UPDATE

 

I hope that you have had a good week since my last email. The latest report from our Prime Minister yesterday signalled that we may have turned a corner in our fight against this terrible virus. However, as we continue in lockdown it is vitally important that we continue to protect ourselves and others by following the guidance.  I have again been contacted by Cheshire Police regarding groups of young people congregating and socialising whilst not in school.  The youngsters are not necessarily causing issue but are in clear breach of the guidance around social distancing.  Please, please ensure that your child observes the guidance and stays safe.

 

Our Resource Hub continues to develop and work posted on the Padlet is outstanding so please continue to support your child to engage in home study through the hub.  I appreciate that at times this may be difficulty particularly if there is more than one child accessing home study work when there may be only one computer in the home.  If this is the case please do not worry – you can only do what you have the resources to do.  Any home study from the Resource Hub is better than no study at all. 

 

To support the well-being of all, I would also encourage, where possible to do family things together.  Such things as going for a walk , watching a film at home  or playing a game together can offer opportunity for positive interaction amidst what can be worrying and negative times for our youngsters.

 

VE Day commemorations


 

Had normal times resumed and we were in school next week we would have commemorated VE day (Victory in Europe Day) throughout the school by remembering the 75th anniversary of this event.

 

Sadly due to the lock down situation this is not possible in school however that does not stop us remembering this significant day at home.  If you are able please promote the remembrance of VE day with family.  We have highlighted the day on our website and if you click on the banner it will lead to an activity that all children can become involved in. The History department will be setting work relating to VE day to all KS3 pupils and will be sending out emails explaining this.  Students can also become involved through the links detailed below.

 

https://youtu.be/CKLvXOdnJ-A

 

https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/

 

https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/remembrance/remembrance-events/ve-day-75

 

 

Year 11 Sixth Form Applicants 2020

Transition tasks are now live on the hub. Students, parents and carers have been contacted directly and sent a link that will take them directly to the area they need. All students have been told they are expected to access all tasks for their chosen subject and concentrate on getting themselves up to speed and prepared to start their chosen courses when Year 12 gets underway. If anybody has any problems accessing these tasks, please contact

Miss Hughes, Head of Sixth Form on rhughes@whitbyhs.cheshire.sch.uk.

 

 

Free School Meals Update

Thank you for all the positive emails relating to the free school meal vouchers. Following a few gremlins in the system all seems to be working now.  Thank you to my Finance Manager for her hard work and patience with Edenred to make this happen.

 

McColl’s joins the free school meals national voucher scheme

McColl’s has joined the list of supermarkets that will redeem vouchers secured through the free school meals national voucher scheme.  Supermarkets available also include Aldi, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, M&S, Asda and Morrisons.

 

Guidance on providing free school meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be found here:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance

 

 

Mental Health Support

Please see the following links and attachments for schools during the lockdown period. The Mental Health Crisis telephone line is provided by CWP and is accessible 24/7.

 

The myHappymind Light programme is a free resource for all primary schools and is also available for Early Years settings. The attached impact report and school leaflet are from myHappymind, which is the emotional health and wellbeing platform currently being piloted in 24 Primary Schools in West Cheshire.

 

Schools registration link:https://myhappymind.org/light-enquiry

 

Careers

Miss Connor will continue to forward any information which is useful to students using their school email. Please make sure your child checks this regularly. Some information e.g. about events may need prompt attention. Miss Connor will also send the information to form tutors and House staff so they are aware of what is on offer. If there are students, especially in year 11 , 12 and 13 who need Careers advice would they please email Miss Connor with their name, school email address, contact number if they prefer and permission to pass this info on to Paula our Careers Adviser.

 

PPE Support

Following my email last week I can confirm that we are starting the manufacture of visors for the NHS again now new materials have arrived.  Many thanks to Mr Milton and Mr Huxley for their support with this. In addition supporting the work of students through the Resource Hub, Mrs Balance has been busy  working from home for the NHS. She has been supplying the Chester Countess Hospital with scrubs bags. Through personal contacts she has also supported ICU nurses at  Leeds and North hospital with scrubs bags.

 

Apprenticeships Opportunities.
The following apprenticeships opportunities have been brought to our attention through an link with our school. The apprenticeships involve college attendance and on completion the salary opportunities are very good. The apprenticeships are open to students following  Y11 and Y13 study. For further information please log on to:

https://iam.innogy.com/en/about-innogy/working-at-innogy/current-job-offers/job-offer-detail?id=27526-en_GB&fbclid=IwAR1331EdVj1_wph_GoyZZNbB8Ju6LJjgPjumfVS6GSDf0Wq2j_myzifUtqE

Public Health England has updated their guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection

Public Health England has published guidance for households with grandparents, parents and children living together where someone is at risk or has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing eligibility extended to help protect the most vulnerable

The government has announced that anyone in England showing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) who has to leave the home to go to work, or is aged 65 and over, is eligible for testing along with members of their households with symptoms. This is in addition to all essential workers with symptoms. Testing can be booked through a new online system.

Guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) testing, including who is eligible for a test, how to get tested and the different types of test available can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

Essential Workers Testing for Coronavirus

The Whitby High School is an employer of almost 200 staff and the following information from the Secretary of State for Health, Nick Hancock, was sent to schools to support the wellbeing of all staff.  If you or a member of your family is a Key Worker you may find the information useful.

 

Coronavirus testing for essential workers or their household self-isolating with symptoms, is vital to help get them back to their important work as soon as it is safe to do so. Ultimately, we want to make sure that every essential worker who needs a test can get one. To that end, last week we expanded testing out to more frontline staff. That means testing is now available, in England and Scotland initially, for:

 

essential workers with symptoms

people who live with essential workers and have symptoms

 

The full list of eligible essential workers can be found at

www.gov.uk/coronavirus-get-tested

For information on coronavirus symptoms and self-isolation, please refer to the national guidance

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mr B Heeley

Headteacher

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27 APRIL 2020


Good Afternoon Year 11,

A MESSAGE TO YEAR 11 STUDENTS


You will probably already know from my email to parents and carers on Friday that I have reluctantly decided to cancel the Year 11 Prom this year. The decision to cancel such a wonderful event was not taken lightly however it was taken in what I truly believe to be in the best interests of all concerned. As a nation we are in unprecedented times and as Headteacher it is my job to ensure that the students in my care are kept safe. When making decisions about such things I always take advice from the necessary advisors around me and assess the possible risks. If I am not happy with the risk the activity will not go ahead. As a parent and grandparent I also consider “would I be happy for my children or grandchild to be exposed to the risk”, again if the answer is no then however difficult the decision is – the activity will not go ahead. When using both of these measures, I feel, due to the nature of the COVID 19 virus the risks associated with not social distancing are too great even if restrictions on mass gatherings etc were to be lifted.


I have had a number of parents and carers contact me agreeing with my decision and a few who do not, however all have contacted me thinking of you and in your best interest. I appreciate how disappointing this is for you all but also for parents, grandparents and friends who have looked forward to seeing you all at this fantastic occasion which would bring to a close for some, your time at The Whitby High School. It is also bitterly disappointing for all my staff, particularly Form Staff who look forward to sharing the experience with you. As a year group I have seen you grow and mature and at this time it is this maturity that I know you will bring to the fore when dealing with the disappointment. We must protect ourselves, our families and our community at this terrible time.


Once school returns to normality I will look at how we may be able to bring you together one last time as a year group.


Finally, although the school year is technically not over yet I would like to wish you all well and when this terrible situation is over, as it will be, I know that you will all embark on the next stage of your lives with the focus and commitment you have shown here at The Whitby High School. Make the most of your life ahead.


Best wishes and take care.



Mr B Heeley

Headteacher


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27 APRIL 2020


Dear Parents/Carers,

EDENRED FREE SCHOOL MEAL VOUCHERS


As you will be aware the school has now fully integrated the payments of free school meal allocations for eligible students through the government’s preferred supplier, Edenred. I hope that this system is now working for you however I have been made aware by my finance officer of some issues some parents and carers are experiencing converting the allocation email into the voucher from Edenred. The issue here is with the capacity of Edenred at peak times during the day. We experience the same issues when working with this company on a day to day basis. My finance manager is actually having to access the Edenred site at midnight or there about to ensure allocations are made to the parents and carers of eligible students.


We will continue to try to answer your queries however we are finding it increasingly difficult during normal working hours. If you are experiencing difficulty in obtaining the voucher from the allocation email please be patient , this is not our system. Alternatively, if possible access the Edenred site after normal working hours as this appears to be the most successful way to gain a solution. The situation is difficult and I appreciate your frustration.


Yours sincerely



Mr B Heeley

Headteacher

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24 APRIL 2020


Dear Parents/Carers,

WEEKLY UPDATE


I hope that you have managed to take some time over the Easter break to relax and spend time with family and friends albeit via electronic means.  In these strange and worrying times I echo the media campaign at the moment to “keep in touch”.  Some of us have elderly parents and relatives who live far away and I know from experience the joy a telephone call, Skype or Zoom communication brings to them. This week my update includes:


Home Learning

In my last email I encouraged parents and carers to remember the Easter holiday was just that, a holiday and a time for home schooling to ease and enjoy the break.  We are of course now back into what would be the summer term  and a time to resume studies through our Resource Hub. I am overwhelmed by the support from parents and carers and I thank you for supporting your child to study remotely.  I know that studying at home brings its challenges however I have been impressed by the activity on the Resource Hub and work being sent into teachers by students from all year groups.


Now that we are back, students should be checking to see that they have completed what has been set by staff already. The next update to work set by teaching staff on the Resource Hub will be by the end of the day today so please encourage your child to log on and find out what it is they need to be doing to ensure they do not fall behind.


Parents and carers can check all work set for students by looking on the Resource Hub accessed here https://sites.google.com/whitbyhs.cheshire.sch.uk/twhs-resource-hub/home


As discussed earlier, Learning Plans have been updated for the next 2 weeks. As well as learning plans, you will also find links to careers resources, enrichment activities and wellbeing resources.. 


Everything in moderation

It is important that your child keeps active with their studies over this unique period however can I please reminder parents and carers to also be aware of your child’s workload – please encourage your child to do some work every day but not to become unduly stressed. Students do get anxious at times regarding their work so please  reassure them that when schools reopen our teachers will be doing their best to get the them back on track with any area they have struggled with.


On Line School Notice Board – The Padlet

Please do not forget that we wish to celebrate good work and so please encourage your child to upload more work for the virtual school notice board known as the Padlet. The work can be school work or activities you have done with them outside of the study plans from teachers. This allows everyone to appreciate the excellent work being complete at home. Students and staff can upload photos of great work to this online noticeboard here  

https://en-gb.padlet.com/lbegbie/homelearning

  


Online safely

As our students are spending a lot of time online completing their schoolwork remotely, we are keen that they are reminded how to stay safe whilst they are online, and know what actions to take should anything worry them.  With this in mind, I encourage you to take a look at some of the online safety resources produced by the Government's Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Command.  These resources can be found at https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/.  If in doubt please contact school.


The Mental Health Charity Mind has put together a guide for parents/carers to support teenagers during this period. The resources cover a number of areas and are well worth looking at for support if your child is struggling with any aspect of school closures and lockdown. These resources can be found at  https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/for-children-and-young-people/coronavirus/supporting-your-teen-s-wellbeing-during-coronavirus/



Supporting our NHS with PPE

In a previous email I discussed that the school wishes to support our NHS and Key Health Worker staff in whatever way that we can.  In addition to all our Science safety goggles going to The Countess of Chester Hospital we have also mobilised some of our manufacturing equipment to produce elements of PPE for a number of other institutions.


Wash Bags

Many of our local hospitals are in need of much PPE and other essentials such as wash bags to pop their uniforms in safely for washing.  Mrs Ball who teaches Textiles decided to make a large number of these bags using some suitable spare fabric from our DT department. I am pleased to inform parents and carers that these bags are now in use at Arrowe Park Hospital. 


Visors

Our Head of Technology, Mr Milton has been using our computer controlled laser cutters to produce visors for the NHS.  This has been part of a national campaign with the visors being produced to the exact standards required by health workers on the front line.  To date we have made :

 

We are expecting more raw materials into school this week so that we can continue this important support as we work together at such a difficult time.


Mr R Morby

Many students will know Mr Morby who has been a Design & Technology and Construction teacher at the school for many years.  On the 30 April 2020, Mr Morby, who has made a significant impact on the Technology Department during his time with us will retire and look forward to other opportunities he can now take advantage of.  In addition to his teaching work he has worked tirelessly with our Duke of Edinburgh Awards students and been pivotal in all our school productions.  I thank Mr Morby for all his hard work, commitment and loyalty to the school and wish him all the very best for the future.


Year 11 Prom

Having taken advice and when considering that an end to the total lockdown situation will not happen soon I have, with sadness cancelled the Year 11 Prom.  It is unlikely that under the current restrictions such large gatherings of people will be permitted and therefore to remove undue anxiety around the event I have decided that the Prom will not go ahead as planned. Refunds for ticket cost of the prom will be made as soon as possible and for those students returning to us in September in our Sixth Form we can look at the possibility of rearranging something for them once back to normal.

Updated guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings

The guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings has been updated with additional information on the resources available to parents to help them educate their children at home, eligibility for device and connectivity at home, and keeping children safe online.

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours:
8am to 6pm – Monday to Friday
10am to 4pm – Saturday and Sunday


Thank you for your continued support.  Take care.


Mr B Heeley

Headteacher


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15 APRIL 2020


Dear Parents/Carers,

 UPDATE ON FREE SCHOOL MEAL VOUCHER SCHEME


I would like to update you on the situation regarding the issue of Free School Meal Vouchers. I can now confirm that after considerable issues with the government’s preferred supplier as detailed below, we are now able to issue the vouchers for eligible students. We have now had confirmation from Edenred that vouchers will be issued to you within the next few days for the periods Monday 6th April 2020 to Friday 17th April 2020 which covers the Easter break period. We are then planning to issue vouchers for the period Monday 20th April 2020 to Friday 15th May 2020.  This will cover four school weeks. We have taken the decision to do this in order to try to avoid again the issues that Edenred are having in coping with demand.  Please check your email Inbox and Junk Mailbox regularly.


Until the end of the spring term any child who was eligible and requested one, was issued with a packed lunch (collected from our school reception area). Many parents and carers utilised this facility.


The reason for remaining with the packed lunch arrangement was to enable the school to explore a secure voucher scheme that would provide a weekly fund to parents and carers to purchase of food and drink only. My main concern was that in being able to do this we would have to release information from our secure data system to the voucher provider.  I need to be sure that this information, your information, stays secure and is not passed onto third parties.


I believed that we had sourced such a company however, on the 2nd April 2020 the Department for Education (DfE) announced their preferred voucher supplier, a company called Edenred. The DfE also suggested that schools should carefully consider any other providers rather than Edenred before using them. In this communication the DfE clarified that Free School Meals wasterm time only as is normally the case. I did discuss this in my update email to parents and carers on Friday 3rd April 2020 only to hear, along with the rest of the population, the announcement by Michael Gove on Saturday 4th April 2020 that the government would fund Free School Meals for the Easter break. This comment had not been shared with Headteachers beforehand and was contrary to what the DfE had indicated a day or so earlier. The announcement being made on the day that was technically the first day of the Easter break.

Please be assured that we have worked hard to enable this government recommended system is up and running as soon as possible, thus ensuring that public money is being received by those eligible and without compromising personal data. As discussed earlier, all voucher payments have been backdated to include the Easter break at £15 per eligible child per week.


I have been made aware that local social media has been used to discuss the provision of free school meals at The Whitby High School. I am disappointed that once again a minority of parents find it more appropriate to air such views on social media rather than, in the first instance, take the same time to contact the school directly. To clarify, to date I have received two emails from parents/carers regarding the provision of Free School Meals which I have personally responded to. Up until the last day of term the school has acted appropriately in these unique circumstances and are continuing our best efforts to ensure all eligible students receive their entitlement through the government’s preferred supplier. This arrangement will give an additional £2.50 per week per student above the normal allowance and give you the peace of mind that your data is not being compromised.


These truly are challenging times and I thank you again for your continued support and patience.  


Stay safe and take care.


Yours sincerely,



Mr B Heeley

Headteacher


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3 APRIL 2020


Dear Parents/Carers,

WEEKLY UPDATE


Following our first full week of closure, and as the country comes to terms with the lock down situation, it is clear that the measures that have been take are vitally important as we navigate our way through these uncertain times.


Firstly, I would like to thank one of our Y13 students, James Fletcher who alerted me to the need for eye protection for NHS staff in Chester. As a result, we were able to donate over 200 pairs of safety goggles that were laying idle in our science laboratories due to the closure. I am pleased that we were able to support our community at such a difficult time and hope that they go some way to protect our NHS staff as they risk their lives for all of us.  James collected the safety specs on Monday, and they are now where they are best needed.


I am extremely pleased the sensible approach parents and carers are taking in supporting their children to engage with study whilst in the safety of their own home. Our Resource Hub is proving very popular with students as there are hundreds of hits daily and staff are reporting positive dialogue with students about work set. As you know, work outlined in the Hub is updated weekly to give students a rolling two week scheme across all subjects.  However, working from home is not the same as being in the school environment and therefore a mixture of school based activities with downtime and family time is very important.  Thank you for your support.


There has been some communication with examination authorities regarding the awards of GCSE and A Level qualifications this week however, there has been nothing confirmed yet as to how awards will be made. It is likely to be a mixture of data held by school, prior attainment at KS2 and evidence of current working.  I expect to have more detailed information next week.


Since my last update there are a number of things I would like to highlight to parents and carers.  I apologise for the length of the update however it contains important information from school and from Cheshire West and Chester LA:


Sixth Form Update

Year 11 into 12 update: The closing date for applications for a place in Year 12 from September 2020 close today, Friday the 3rd of April. In the coming days and weeks, parents, carers and students all need to keep a close check on e-mail communication, the Hub and Twitter in order to receive Sixth Form updates. Conditional offers will be put together in due course but remember a final decision on a place in the Sixth Form cannot be made until final GCSE examination grades are decided. If you have any questions or queries regarding anything Sixth Form related, please contact Miss R Hughes via e-mail: rhughes@whitbyhs.cheshire.sch.uk.


Emails to school

We encourage students to keep in touch with their teachers during this period of home learning but please be mindful that although our staff are still working there may be cases where individuals become unwell and are unable to respond. Therefore, any urgent messages should be sent via the school central email address whitby@whitbyhs.cheshire.sch.uk


Careers

Miss Connor has asked me to remind students to check their email for Careers related items. If they have any questions, please email her direct aconnor@whitbyhs.cheshire.sch.uk


Wellbeing

It is important in these exceptional times that young people and their families ensure they prioritise their wellbeing and mental health. There is a lot of good advice available online at present, from the BBC and other outlets. Our school website wellbeing page has good links to websites promoting strategies and offering constructive advicehttp://www.whitbyhigh.org/mentalhealth.html. There is also an excellent section on wellbeing within our Resource Hub. Keeping routines close to usual can be beneficial for young people’s wellbeing so bedtimes and getting up should be as close to normal as possible with regular work, meal and recreation times. Mobile phones may well be particularly important to keep in touch with friends and family at this time though they should not be overused and put away whilst students are working. Parents and carers should continue to be vigilant about their children's appropriate and safe use of technology and social media.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-parents-and-carers-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak


Safeguarding

Where there is a serious concerns about a child, guidance, including how to make a referral can be found on the Cheshire West and Chester Safeguarding Children Partnership website https://www.cheshirewestscp.co.uk/


Keeping children safe online

The government has updated the information for parents and carers to include a section on keeping children safe online. It provides links to online resources that will help support parents and carers in keeping their children safe online. Full details can be found in section 6.3 of the guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers


Home Learning Resource Hub

We’ve had a huge number of students and parents/carers accessing our Resource Hub which is fantastic! Students and parents/carers can access it here

https://sites.google.com/whitbyhs.cheshire.sch.uk/twhs-resource-hub/home

Please do not try to access it through the school system, just click straight onto this link or go to www.whitbyhigh.org, then click a red tile called ‘Home Learning’ and ‘Home Learning’ again. Here you will find the learning plans for each subject and all of the instructions. If they are asked for usernames and passwords for any google drives or google classrooms, they must use their school email address and their usual school password, and it will let them in. This will work on a phone, tablet or computer.


You might receive emails from staff letting you know that your son/daughter hasn’t accessed their work yet. Please be assured that this is not intended to add any pressure to what we know is already a stressful time but is just to let you know so that you can give them a nudge at home.


As well as the learning plans on the Resource Hub there are lots of other ideas for our students if they want them on the ‘Enrichment Resources’ tab – for example, live streamed Shakespeare plays, Massive Open Online Courses (AKA MOOCs) on anything you can think of, free access to stories in different languages and lots more. They can also find a gallery of our teachers’ pets (literally!) if they look hard enough! The ‘Sixth Form’ tab has some additional resources based on careers, university and enrichment. Sixth Form work is found under ‘Subject Resources’ too.


We have an online noticeboard here https://padlet.com/lbegbie/homelearningthat allows students/parents/carers to post pictures of their work. We’d love to see what they’ve been up to so please do use it. Posts won’t appear instantly as they are moderated before they go public.


If you are having trouble accessing theses resources for any reason, please contact school and we will endeavour to support you in accessing home learning.


School Closure - Latest

The government has updated their guidance on the temporary closure of schools to include more information on areas including social distancing, vulnerable children and working with other schools:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures


Free School Meals

Please note that the following message has been put onto the Council’s website:

The guidance, including new information and frequently asked questions about the National Free School Meal Voucher Scheme can be found from the DfE website via the following link.https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance


Food for Vulnerable People

The Council has a Community Response Group looking at access to food for vulnerable people across the whole Borough. A dedicated response for people living in west Cheshire has been launched to support those vulnerable groups at higher risk from serious complications as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection and has launched a dedicated helpline to provide advice and support, and where necessary make arrangements for food, medicines and social contact.


 Telephone: 0300 123 7031

 Opening hours: every day from 8am to 7pm

 Email:enquiries@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk


Finally, officially today would have been the last day in school for my Deputy Headteacher Mr Gray before he assumes his new role as Headteacher at Calday Grammar School in West Kirby.  Mr Gray has been Deputy at the school since September 2011 and has led many developments across the school that has improved the opportunities and life chances available to students.  His hard work, commitment and dedication will ensure that students at his new school will undoubtedly succeed in the same way they have here.

I am pleased to remind you that from 20 April 2020 Mrs H Hill will be replacing Mr Gray as Deputy Headteacher.  I wish them both well in their new roles.

Best wishes and take care.



Mr B Heeley

Headteacher


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3 APRIL 2020


Good Afternoon,

SUMMER 2020 GRADING


Many students, parents and carers have contacted me over the past week with questions regarding the award of qualifications as all external examinations for the summer cohorts have been cancelled. I have now received information from OfQual as to how the school must now proceed in supporting the award of grades to students in Year 11 and Year 13. Please find attached a letter from OfQual explaining to students how things will proceed from now on.


Please be assured that I will do all that I can to ensure that students receive true recognition for the work done and progress made throughout their examination courses.


CLICK HERE FOR ATTACHMENT


Yours sincerely

 


Mr B Heeley

Headteacher


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3 APRIL 2020



Dear Parents/Carers,

FREE SCHOOL MEAL STUDENTS

 

Thank you to all parents and carers who responded to my last email regarding students eligible for free school meals.  All responses have now been logged and the school is ready to proceed with the issue of Evouchers to parents and carers who responded.

 

However, you may have heard through the media that the Department for Education (DfE) have now put together their own Evoucher scheme which all schools are encouraged to use. We have been given information on how to access this so that vouchers can be issued as soon as possible. Our original supplier was to be through a company called Wande however now we must utilise the services of the DfE supplier EdenRed.

 

At present this is proving difficult as despite repeated attempts :

Unfortunately, without the activation code we cannot move forward in sending out FSM vouchers via the DfE recommended supplier. We will endeavour to get this in place as soon as possible next week however as the vouchers are for term time only the first vouchers should be available for the week beginning 20 April 2020. 


Thank you for your continuing support and please be assured I will contact you again when I have further information.


Best wishes and take care.



Mr B Heeley

Headteacher


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31 MARCH 2020


A LETTER FROM ELLESMERE PORT AND NESTON POLICE


PLEASE CLICK HERE


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27 MARCH 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,


WEEKLY UPDATE


Following the government’s decision last week, the school is now closed to the majority of students however, it will remain open to offer childcare to Key Workers (as defined by government) and children who are regarded as vulnerable. 


As we are in the midst of exceptional circumstances, we continue to be committed to support our local community while being mindful of the health and wellbeing of students and staff alike.  I am aware that the working hours and shift patterns of Key Workers may change quickly and thus if your requirements for childcare changes can I ask that you please let us know as soon as you can so that we can amend our registers.  It is crucial we have accurate daily registers to ensure the safety of our students.


At the moment I am uncertain as to when the school will reopen, however when information is made available to us, I will inform you all accordingly.  As we will be operating a “minimum staff” approach I have suspended my weekly EBulletin however I hope to keep you informed via email.


Thank you to the many parents and carers who have contacted me and staff over the past week offering thanks and words of support.  Your appreciation means a great deal to us all.


Many students have also contacted me asking a number of important questions which I have answered below:


What is going to happen to my examinations results?  It has been confirmed that external examinations for the 2020 cohort will not go ahead and the examination authorities will issue grades based on a number of factors including we believe, prior attainment and current levels of working.  We are keeping a close watch on the developments around examination awards and I will keep you informed as further information is made available.


Should I be doing work at home? The simple answer here is “Yes”.  It will be beneficial to all students to continue to do school based work at home.  This will support learning, preparation to return and their mental health by keeping their minds active.  There are clear activities and learning resources available on our Resource Hub that can be accessed through our website.  Completing the Year 11 tasks will also offer excellent preparation for those wishing to join us our very successful Sixth Form provision is September.


Should I throw my books away?  No, please retain all your exercise books, folders and project work as we may need to call on it if examination boards require evidence plus the content is critical to the work all students will do when school is back in session.


Will “The Prom” still go ahead?  At the moment I suggest that we all consider the Prom as postponed. When I have any indication of when school will reopen and further information from the venue, I will inform parents, carers and students.


Can I still get a Leavers Hoodie? I believe that an email has been sent to students in Year 11 with regard to the hoodies.  Hoodies can still be ordered and delivered directly to your home. If you are unsure please contact Pupil Services via our school email address.  Please mark the email “Leavers Hoodies”.


As we move forward please ensure that your children adhere to the guidance on social distancing. We have had reports that this week young people have been outdoors unsupervised, sometimes in groups, clearly flouting the government instructions around staying home and social distancing. Whilst I am sure that none of our students were involved  I do ask that parents and carers insist that all young people stay at home unless for one of the permitted exceptions. Young people must not treat this time as an additional holiday even though with the current good weather it may feel like one.


Thank you for your support in encouraging children with their work. If your child is struggling with something and they cannot work it through, encourage them to take a break or move on to another task to ensure home learning remains a positive experience.


I wish you well over the coming weeks and although I will not bombard you with emails, I will send out updates as necessary. From next week however, you may be contacted by school to check that your child has been able to access our remote learning platform if it appears they have not yet done so.


Best wishes and take care.

 


Mr B Heeley

Headteacher


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27 MARCH 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

STUDENTS ELIGIBLE FOR FREE SCHOOL MEALS

As you will be aware since the school closure, we have been offering a packed lunch to any student who is eligible for free school meals.  A number of students have taken up this offer and collected their lunch from reception on a daily basis.


As we move forward and for the duration of the statutory closure, we are now in a position to offer parents and carers of these students a weekly evoucher to allow them to purchase food for their child instead of them picking up a packed lunch.  We feel that now such a secure system has been devised this will better support students in social distancing and in making non-essential journeys.  The voucher will be sent to a private mobile telephone number or email address (Company or group emails will not be accepted) with the credit redeemable for food and non-alcoholic drinks only at major retailers.


In order to move forward with this we will need to confirm certain detail we hold on our system are correct. To do this please email finance@whitbyhs.cheshire.sch.uk with the following details:

1.Name(s) of your child or children

2.Your current personal email address

3.Your Current mobile telephone number


We will then update our records as necessary so that the provider of the vouchers will be able to send them directly to you each week. You will be credited with £12.50 per week per child eligible. We will issue vouchers on a weekly basis. New vouchers will be issued when the previous voucher has been used. 


Please ensure that we have this information by 3pm on Tuesday 31st March 2020 to enable vouchers to be issued on Friday 3rd April 2020.


May I take the opportunity to thank you for your patience in this matter as we have taken time to ensure that the most secure system to support our students is in place.  This is particularly important in light of the recent information alerting us to the less community spirited individuals who have been scamming parents and carers of students in receipt of free school meals.


Yours sincerely

 


Mr B Heeley

Headteacher


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25 MARCH 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,


FSM SCAM

 

We have been alerted Cheshire West and Chester fraud manager that it seems that Fraudsters are taking advantage of the COVID-19 disruption and as a result they are seeing a number of new scams circulating.

 

We have today been made aware of a scam around Free Schools Meals and fraudsters tricking people into sharing bank details.

 

Scam around Free School Meals

 

Some Schools have already reported that parents and carers of children in receipt of free school meals are being targeted by fraudsters. Fraudsters are targeting families, emailing parents and carers with messages such as ‘ If your child is entitled to free school meals send your bank details to the school and they will help with funding while the school is closed’. The email contains links for the parents to follow if they want to receive the this funding – these links are fake. This is a scam.

 

Any information regarding The Whitby High School will come from us and not a third party. If there is to be a third party involved you will be inform of who it is and why by me through our email system.  This may well be the case with regard to free school meals over the coming weeks however I will inform you of this before a third part is involved.

 

Please, if you are approached by anyone suggesting that they are working on behalf of the school. Cheshire West & Chester or The Department for Education and you are unsure that it is legitimate please do not respond but contact me here at school.  These are unprecedented times and whilst the vast, vast majority of us respect the situation we are in it is unfortunate that there are elements within our society that wish to capitalise on it in an illegal way.  Please do not let them succeed.

 

Thank you for your continuing support.

 

Yours sincerely


 

Mr B Heeley

Headteacher


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20 MARCH 2020



Dear Parent/Carer


I am sure that by now you will all be aware of the announcement made by the Prime Minister, where he confirmed that all schools and other education establishments will close at the end of the day today.  For the vast majority of students this means that they do not have to attend school until further notice.  All schools however will open to support vulnerable students and the children of Key Workers as outlined in government guidance.  This can be found on our website or by logging onto:


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision


The government stressed that ‘every child who can be safely cared for at home should be’.


The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear.  If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.


That is why the government has asked parents and carers to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.


It is important to underline that schools, colleges and other educational establishments remain safe places for children.  But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.


Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children – children who are vulnerable and children whose parents/carers are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.


Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including children in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (ECH) plans.


Normal arrangements for students at The Whitby High School have ceased however, they will resume sometime in the future.  I strongly recommend that all students continue to be active in their education and use the work that can be accessed through our Resource Hub

https://sites.google.com/whitbyhs.cheshire.sch.uk/twhs-resource-hub/home   This will also be available through our website.


We continue to await information and guidance with regards to examinations, and as it is unlikely formal examinations will take place, we are working hard to ensure we have all the necessary information ready if examination boards require it.  Please be assured I will be scrutinising the methods by which decisions are made to ensure our students receive the grades they deserve.


The past week has been a difficult one for everyone but particularly for our young people.  I have been impressed with how they have all taken the situation at what is a worrying time for them.  They are a credit to you and to our school community.


It is clear that some students are anxious so please take time to talk to them and reassure them.  Family time and the love of those around them is important not only to them but also to you.  I believe we may be facing a difficult few weeks ahead with a media base that bombards us all with ‘the very latest’.  Please remember they are youngsters and may be frightened.


I will keep you informed as things progress over the coming weeks, but now please accept my sincere thanks for your help and support.  Please take care and I look forward to welcoming everyone back into school as soon as possible.


Yours sincerely




Mr B Heeley

Headteacher


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19 MARCH 2020


Dear Parents/Carers,


SCHOOL CLOSURE - SURVEY LINK


As you will be aware, schools will be closed at the end of the day on Friday 20th March.


From Monday 22nd March we will be offering child care arrangements. We are still awaiting confirmation from the Department for Education (DfE) as to which children and young people will be eligible for that childcare. This information is not yet available to us and we will send further information with details of the offer.


We know that this is a difficult time for everyone but it is important that everyone waits for and follows national advice and guidance.


We ask that you complete the online survey to give us as much information as possible to help with our planning for the coming weeks. Please use the below link to complete this survey no later than the close of the school day on Friday 20th March.


https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=Hb5f2cACE0uq30qVQfew_QeuAonyjxFPlqURLwDENKNUNVE3M0tDNUpTNUtPTDBWRjNQWTZBV1I0Vy4u


Once again, thank you for your support and cooperation at this time of national need.


Kind regards,

 


Mr B Heeley

Headteacher


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19 MARCH 2020


Dear Parents/Carers,


YEAR 11 TEACHING


You will no doubt be aware that the Government has announced the closure of all UK schools for most pupils from this Friday and until further notice.


A major announcement is the cancellation of all exams for all schools. This morning in a Sky News interview, the Minister for Education has confirmed that examinations will not take place or be rescheduled. We are in the process of confirming what will be put in place to ensure, in the Government’s words “children will get the qualifications they deserve.”


To allow Year 11 students to say a proper goodbye to classmates and staff we are inviting them to come into school as usual in the morning. Following registration with their form tutors we will provide all with a bite to eat and a drink to mark the occasion of their leaving. Following this, students will be expected to leave the premises by 9.30 and to remain at home after this time.


We encourage students to keep in touch with their teachers during this period of home learning but please be mindful that although our staff are still working there may be cases where individuals become unwell and are unable to respond. Therefore, any urgent messages should be sent via the school central email address whitby@whitbyhs.cheshire.sch.uk.


We will be in touch when we have further information.


Many thanks for all your support over the years and in particular the last few weeks.  I wish all our students every success and happiness for the future.


Yours sincerely



Mr B Heeley

Headteacher


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19 MARCH 2020


Dear Parents/Carers,


YEAR 13 TEACHING


Following the information released yesterday, by the Secretary of State for Education, I have taken the decision to suspend Year 13 teaching from lunchtime today.


I am extremely disappointed in this, however, it is clear that the shock of yesterday’s announcement has left our Year 13 students feeling anxious, confused and disappointed.  With this in mind, the students have spent Period 4 with their Form Tutor and had a low key 'Leavers Assembly' where we have spoke to them about what they should be doing now. I think it is important to make this as positive as we can for them.


Many thanks for all your support over the years and in particular the last few weeks.  I wish all our students every success and happiness for the future.


Yours sincerely,



Mr B Heeley

Headteacher


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

18 MARCH 2020


Dear Parents/Carers


PARTIAL CLOSURE OF THE SCHOOL - YEARS 10 AND 12


Following my letter yesterday, I have taken the decision to direct students in Years 12 and 10 to home study until further notice.  As the effects of COVID-19 virus continues to develop it is becoming difficult to support lessons across all school years in school.  This is as a result of staff sensibly taking the guidance laid down by government and the reduction in agency staff available.


I have therefore reluctantly decided that as of tomorrow, Thursday 19 March, 2020 all students in Years 12 and 10 should study at home. I appreciate that this is a slight change to the sequencing detailed in yesterday’s letter however all Year 9 students are sitting a GCSE/BTEC examination this summer, and need to complete vital assessments.  An oversight on my part. 


Staff are working hard to ensure learning materials are available electronically and students should check their school emails daily for information.  If your child is unable to access these learning resources, please contact their House Progress Manager and we will arrange alternatives.  I ask for your patience in this matter as we work with restricted staffing.  For those with access to the internet (computer, ipad, tablet, phone) there is a wealth of study materials through on-line packages such as My Maths, Doddle and Seneca.  All these will be familiar to your child.


If your child is in receipt of free school meals, we can offer a packed lunch to be collected from school daily.  If you would like your child to receive this please inform school reception (0151 355 8445) by 9am tomorrow morning, giving your child’s name and form.  Packed lunches will need to be collected at 11.30am each day from reception.  If you find you no longer require this lunch, please inform reception to avoid food waste.


As detailed in my letter yesterday this is a temporary partial closure and as staffing returns to normal I will inform you of the need for your child to return to school.  This will be the day prior to return.


I do appreciate your support in this matter and as the situation changes I will keep you fully informed.  For guidance on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) please logon to our website and click the banner at the top of the page.


Yours sincerely,



Mr B Heeley

Headteacher


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18 MARCH 2020


Dear Parents/Carers

STUDENT ABSENCE


As parents and carers the current situation is a worrying time.  Collectively we must continue to impress upon our children the need for cleanliness particularly hand washing etc.


If your child displays symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, they must self-isolate for 14 days or similarly if they are in a household where someone displays symptoms they must self-isolate.  In such cases, this will be regarded as an authorised absence.


However, if you remove your child due to your concern around the virus but they do not meet the criteria above this has to be treated by the school as an unauthorised absence.  If this changes due to government intervention we will of course amend our records, however, at present this is the case laid down by the Department for Education.


Yours sincerely



Mr B Heeley

Headteacher


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17 MARCH 2020


Dear Parents/Carers


CORONAVIRUS


As you will be aware through the various media streams the development of the COVID-19 virus and resulting actions has moved on apace over recent days.


As a school please be assured that we will respond to all guidance given by the Department of Education and Public Health England in an informed and measured way.


The school will remain open unless instructed to do so or operationally we are unable to maintain an acceptable level of safeguarding for students.


Students should continue to attend school unless they display symptoms of Coronavirus, however mild.  You can access information via the links below but symptoms include:


A new and persistent cough

A high temperature


Under current guidance students should not attend school if they are experiencing symptoms or live within a household where someone is self-isolating due to displaying symptoms. In either of these instances they should self-isolate for 14 days.  Whilst we have been planning for this we realise that as we move forward there will be additional difficulties in school.  These will be due to the unprecedented levels of staff and student absence.


If staff absence increases over the coming days and weeks it may be necessary to move to ‘partial closure’ where certain school years will not be in school but work from home.  In the event of this being put in place the order of home study will be as follows.


1. Year 12

2. Year 9

3. Year 10

4. Year 8

5. Year 7

6. Year 11 and Year 13


This will be a fluid situation whilst staffing levels vary.  Once self-isolation has ended we will return to school based study.  I will ensure details of any such action will be sent to you at the earliest point.  Until informed otherwise, students should attend school if not self-isolating.


Following a meeting of senior staff and supported by our governing body I have decided to postpone until further notice assemblies, parents’ evenings, visits and sports fixtures out of school and visiting speakers etc into school.  We held assemblies yesterday to reassure students and to promote simple hygiene processes when washing hands, coughing and sneezing.


In the unlikely event of a school closure or to support students having to self-isolate please ensure that your child is able to access their school email address.  Staff will, as necessary inform students of where to access work for the period of their absence.  I would appreciate your patience in this matter as we put these measures in place.  If your child does not have access to a computer/laptop, please contact their House Progress Manager to enable us to arrange an alternative.  In the unlikely event that your child cannot access their school email, please contact our network manager, Mr Cook ncook@whitbyhs.cheshire.sch.uk


As yet, there is no indication that there will be any alterations to the summer examinations schedule so Year 11 and Year 13 must remain focussed.


How can you support us?


If you suspect your child has symptoms of the virus or someone in the household has symptoms, please do not send them into school

Please let us know as soon as possible if your child is self-isolating.  Please give reasons why.


Please reiterate to your child the impart of hygiene and washing their hands regularly.  If they wish to bring hand sanitiser into school, they must use it sensibly.


Please refer to guidance by checking the banner on our school website and through the following websites:


www.gov.uk/coronavirus

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus


I will issue future guidance as this becomes available through our E-Bulletin, the school website and email.  Please check your junk mail if you find you are not receiving information.


These are unprecedented times for us all, however please be assured I will continue to review the situation regularly and keep you informed.


Your sincerely



Mr B Heeley

Headteacher


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10 MARCH 2020


Dear Parents/Carers,

EDUCATIONAL VISITS


For the past several weeks, we have been carefully monitoring the quickly evolving worldwide health crisis resulting from the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Whilst Public Health England have not given a definitive decision regarding the risk of travel, I have made the decision to suspend all school trips abroad, including visiting groups from other countries, until further notice. At present school trips in the UK will continue however, this may change as the situation develops.  Any school trips due to take place between now and including the Easter break will not go ahead. This unfortunately includes the ski trip to Italy. Interski have issued a statement informing the school that they are suspending all resort activities for the remainder of the current season.


We will endeavour to do all we can to obtain refunds for planned trips, but ask for your patience and understanding while we do so. I will contact you again as soon as I receive further information.


Thank you for your ongoing support.


Yours sincerely,



Mr B Heeley

Headteacher


NEWS LINKS GUIDANCE ON SOCIAL DISTANCING FOR  ALL AND PROTECTING OLDER PEOPLE  AND VULNERABLE ADULTS