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Coronavirus Information - 1st May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

As we begin the new month of May it really does seem a while since we were all physically together as our whole school community! However, the level of communication between our wonderful young people and members of staff, continues to grow in so many creative and innovative ways, ensuring that we continue to be well connected!

Excellent communication: E-voucher rewards

We have been delighted this past week at the many ways our young people have been accessing some work on ClassCharts, helping out at home in a wide variety of ways, trying new things and generally trying hard to adapt to new routines. Thank you for all the ongoing messages of support to our staff and for all the wonderful photographs and descriptions of different activities you are sending in. We really do appreciate the time and effort taken by our young people and families to keep in touch, to share what you are doing, to try your best with work and different activities, all while trying to keep safe and well, both physically and mentally. Some photographs have been shared on social media and I strongly encourage you to continue sending in examples of how you are proud of your children, either through their effort with work or through their caring and kind actions, or anything else you would like to send us. Continue to send them in to Mr Turpin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) . E-voucher rewards are on the way to a selection today and this will continue!

Safety and Mental Health

Considering the importance of the very strong focus and priority on everyone’s safety and mental health, please do remember that although our school building is physically closed to the majority, we are open to everyone through email or phone contact, every weekday from 8.30 to 3.00. If you have any concerns at all about your child please do get in touch. This continues to be such a challenging time for everyone; we are here for you and will continue to do all we can to help if we are able.

PPE

We have had some lovely feedback from members of our community over this last week, so appreciative of all the PPE that we are able to produce through our Engineering department. This will continue as long as the need is there, so if you know of any need please do contact us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Some pictures are attached.

Social media and mental health

In continuing to share some of the research available that link the experience of social media with the effect on your mood I include this further guidance provided by YoungMindsUK & O2, providing tips and advice on how to enjoy a more positive time online: How can I have a more positive time online?

Ongoing national news

This week you will be aware of the government considering when the right time might be to have a phased return to school – as yet no national plans have been released, but it will clearly be based on when it is very safe to do so for everyone. We will see what the coming week brings! We have also followed up the government promise of some laptops and internet access available for some Y10 students; families eligible have been contacted and the information has been sent on to the local authority, so we await further response, which hopefully will be soon! We will then contact you directly.

Until my next update at the end of next week, keep yourselves and your loved ones safe, keep in touch and keep sending your lovely pictures in!

Ms Knight
Headteacher

Coronavirus Information - 17th April 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

As we prepare to enter in to this summer term 2020, I would firstly like to wish all our young people and their families a very Happy Easter, even though it has been a very different kind of celebration this year. The hope and peace of Easter, together with a knowledge that although these are difficult times, there will be a better day, will help to sustain us during the times ahead.

Our overall main concern continues to be that everyone connected with Our Lady’s school community is safe, through following the government instructions to stay at home. We support each other by staying at home and offering care and kindness where we can.

You may have seen our recent update on social media sharing how our Engineering and Technology Department is currently working hard producing and supplying hundreds of protective equipment in the form of face shields, and have been delivering these to local hospitals and care homes. There continues to be many requests from our local community and our outstanding members of staff will continue to provide these wherever they can.

The focus at this time is ensuring that everyone, as far as possible remains safely at home. We appreciate all the effort from families to help support your child’s learning, often while trying to work at home yourselves, or look after other children and family members – very challenging! We will continue to communicate with you regarding the type of work and activities that may be helpful for your child, but absolutely understand that families are doing their best, under very challenging circumstances. So please congratulate your children on what they have been able to do so far if this is appropriate, and reassure them that as we follow government guidance and instructions, we will work together with you to ensure that our young people remain safe as the first priority.

You may be concerned about your child ‘falling behind’ in their learning but please be reassured that this is not the main priority at the moment. It is currently being discussed at government level and when the time is right, we will carefully address this whenever we are back in school. Year 11 can access the wealth of information currently provided from colleges, where this is appropriate. A good focus for helping to support any child’s learning at the moment, is that they have a good structure to their day, including a variety of activities and that they spend some time consolidating learning from earlier in the year.

So, thank you for continuing to keep your child at home wherever possible, following government instructions. We continue to provide supervision for the children of families of key workers or for vulnerable children where that is needed.

Please encourage your child to continue communicating regularly with their teachers.

Regards,

Ms Knight

Information about the Grading of Year 11 Exams

Information for students expecting GCSE, AS or A level results in summer 2020.

Grading in 2020 - Information for Students

This video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBu7xS7SRIU1-vCDZPrVzDA

For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/ofqual

Safeguarding

Due to the current situation we are aware that children will be spending more time on online, please visit the following link for advice for both you & your child about staying safe online.

https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/blog/keeping-children-happy-and-safe-online-during-covid-19

Students are reminded to report any negative online activity via the regular procedures & any unwanted/inappropriate contact via the report abuse button (red eye icon) that is on all social media sites. If you are unable to report via the website & feel you need support them please contact Mr Dunbar or Mrs Fletcher via email for further guidance. Both email addresses are listed below:

Mr Dunbar – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mrs Fletcher – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Coronavirus Information (Years 7-10) - 3rd April 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

As we approach our official two week Easter holiday this year, I hope everyone is beginning to adapt and be able to find new ways of working and living while staying safe at home. This is a challenge for all of us in this time of anxiety and uncertainty. We all have so many questions that as yet we don’t have answers for.

What we do know is that our young people have been amazing over these past weeks! We know through the regular contact that they are having with our staff that many are accessing the resources on ClassCharts, on the website, or in the packs of work, trying their best, and sending in examples of their work or their activities and I know how pleased members of staff are! E-token rewards for Easter eggs are being organised and sent out next week. There are some fantastic, creative examples of how learning is continuing and how our young people and teachers are finding different ways to communicate, however challenging that may be. Children and members of staff are to be congratulated on how they have adapted so well. You will be receiving your child’s most recent AC2 report and you will find attached to this letter a document from Lancashire Authority on ‘Helping Your Child Study During the Coronavirus Closure’ which you may find helpful.

We miss our young people and the usual routines that we are all familiar with, but we know that we must stay at home and be safe at the moment. We know our school community is built on strong foundations of love and care for each other and this is certainly shining through in these difficult times for everyone! Even though we are not physically together, our strong sense of community support for each other, both young people and adults, is something we can be sure of and something for everyone in Our Lady’s to be very proud of.

We are pleased that our members of staff are so committed to our young people and that we have been able to safely remain open for these last few weeks for the children of key workers and those who are vulnerable, and we will certainly continue to offer this after the Easter break. We have also been pleased to donate all our goggles from the Science department to Ormskirk hospital to help with the protective equipment which is so vital to those who are working there.

So as we move in to Holy Week and the celebration of Easter there is much to reflect on. Our Chaplaincy Team have collated materials for our families to help guide our young people through this Holy Week and this holy Easter season. These are on the website along with a range of materials to support the mental health and well being of our young people.

Please be assured that we are all still here for our young people and can be contacted through the school number or emails any day in term time. School will be closed for the Easter break now, and will again re-open only for the children of key workers and those who are vulnerable on 20th April.

Please keep in touch and continue to encourage your child to keep in contact with their teachers, form teachers and Learning Managers. If there is anything else you think we can help with at the moment please do let us know. It is important that your child keeps active, keeps learning and keeps safe by staying in.

With every good wish for you and your family’s well being, safety and a peaceful Easter,

Ms Knight

Coronavirus Information (Year 11) - 3rd April 2020

Dear Year 11 Parents/Carers,

After a couple of weeks of experiencing the sudden and shocking change in your child’s school life, with the national changes to everyday living and working, I hope that even though we have still not received any guidance as to how Ofqual will be awarding examination grades in the summer, your child should at least know that their future college course is safe.

The colleges have been quick to respond to the situation and have been in touch with most of our young people who had a provisional place, to ensure that they know their place is secure. For anyone who hasn’t yet applied and thus not secured a place, it is not too late, and you should get in touch with Mrs Downing as soon as possible for help (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Please also get in touch if you are still unsure what to do next year – we are here to help you.

Mrs Downing has sent out a careers update for Year 11 students with useful advice and offers of help for those who require it in securing their future place.

However, your child will have been working very hard for the expected examinations and of course deserves the award of a qualification. Ofqual is promising to release the details any day and we will let you know what this will involve when we receive that information.

I do know that students have been in touch with their teachers and quite rightly would like to know how they performed in the most recent internal assessments in school. We have decided that it is only fair to students to release these grades to them, but with a serious warning notice, that these are not the grades that will necessarily be awarded in the summer, following advice from Ofqual and the examination boards. The grades for this AC2 and these rehearsal exams are based solely on this current assessment, but as such, they are still valuable to students. They may not however, reflect the overall most plausible grade that your child would have got should the course have continued. Teachers will have a range of other assessment materials and when the details come through from Ofqual and the examination boards as to what will be required, I am confident that our teachers will be able to provide strong professional evidence to Ofqual for awarding possible grades. It is with this proviso, and knowing that students would value this information in such uncertain times, that we have prepared an AC2 results sheet for your child, which we hope they will find useful at this time. Students should hopefully also feel a little less pressure and be more reassured to know that most colleges have already secured their places.  They have also provided resources for students to be using as they prepare for these new courses and I would encourage any Year 11 student to contact their college for guidance on resources they can currently be using for study. Our school staff will also continue to be available, after the Easter holiday, for any help they can continue to give to Year 11 students.

In the hectic few days before schools had to close, we were at least able to ensure that Year 11 students were given a good send off, with a free lunch, whole group and friendship photographs and of course the all important shirt-signing. We had a last brief assembly together and there was even a special speech from our kitchen staff, who were so complimentary about our students. It was a lovely day, and one which we know some sadly had to miss because of health reasons. We will of course do everything we can to ensure that this very special class of 2020 has the Leavers’ Prom they deserve and can celebrate together, when it is again safe to do so. We all look forward to that time together.

As we enter this Holy Week and towards the celebration of the season of Easter, please know that there are resources prepared by our Chaplaincy Teams on the website, which are suitable for helping our young people focus on the special meaning of Easter. There is also a range of materials on well being and mental health which may be useful and of course if there is anything else at this time that we can help with please do get in touch.

For now, please keep in and keep very safe.

With best wishes for a peaceful Easter,

Ms Knight

Coronavirus Information - 20th March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

You will be aware that school will be closed to the majority of students from today, as directed by the government. Current guidelines state that if parents can keep their children at home wherever possible then they should do so to limit the spread of COVID-19. We are currently putting in place arrangements to provide childcare from Monday 23rd March for children of critical workers and vulnerable children, as defined by the government.

If you are a critical worker please click on this link "Critical Worker Survey" and complete the form. You will understand that we need this information returned as quickly as possible in order to plan provision for Monday.

We will be contacting parents of students who have an EHCP or have an allocated Social Worker to discuss your child’s attendance at school next week. In addition we will be offering support to other vulnerable students and will contact you on an individual basis.

Thank you for your continued support at this difficult time as we all work together to keep everybody safe.

Ms Knight

Coronavirus Information - 19th March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers of Year 11 students

We appreciate your understanding and patience at this very worrying time. As you will be aware, the current government information is that all exams are cancelled for this year, and as yet we do not have any further clarification. Details are expected tomorrow, Friday. While Year 11 students will not be required to be in school from tomorrow, the welfare of our students continues to be a priority. We have spoken with some of the students this morning and tried to reassure them that we all need to follow government instructions, stay at home if possible and try to implement social distancing. We will certainly look to organise a leaving celebration for Year 11 at some point in the
future, once it is safe to do so.

We know that you will have many questions that are currently unanswered; we are trying very hard to keep everyone informed as we receive information. As soon as we receive updates from the Government, we will be directly in touch with you again.

In order for the school to assist with any potential allocated GCSE grades, it is important that Year 11 return any exercise books, portfolios, exam papers, etc. to school on Monday 23rd March, dropped off in student services, clearly labelled. However, if students are self-isolating, then materials can be returned when they are fit and healthy to do so.

To support us with challenging school staffing at this time, please do not send your child in to school tomorrow, Friday, if they are unwell or have not been in school today. Those who have been in school today will be welcome to attend tomorrow morning; there will be an early lunch for Year 11 and they will be allowed home at 1pm.

As you are aware, schools will then be closed for the majority of students after tomorrow and will remain closed until further notice. School will, however, be open for some students only - those students, whose parents are identified as key workers and those students who are vulnerable. We await further guidance from the Government about who these groups include. In the meantime we are requesting further information from parents so that we can plan for student numbers going forward next week. We ask that you return the form if you are a Key Worker, as currently described, and keep an eye on your social media so that you can respond quickly. Updates will also be
included on the website.

Thank you for your continued support in this difficult and uncertain time.

Yours sincerely

Ms A Knight
Headteacher

Coronavirus Information - 19th March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Thank you to everyone for your continued understanding, patience and support at this very worrying time. We appreciate that you will have many questions, that are currently unanswered and we are trying very hard to keep everyone informed as we receive information. As soon as we receive up-dates from the Government we will be in touch with you again.

As you are already aware, school will be closed after 2.40pm on Friday and will remain closed until further notice. This is for the majority of students.

School will, however, be open for some students only - those students, whose parents are identified as Key Workers and those students who are vulnerable. We await further guidance from the Government about who these groups include. In the meantime we are requesting further information from parents so that we can plan for student numbers going forward next week. We ask that you return the form if you are a Key Worker, as currently described, and keep an eye on your social media for any further information so that you can respond quickly. Updates will also be included on the website.

To support us with challenging school staffing at this time, please do not send your child in to school tomorrow, Friday, if they are unwell or have not been in school today as they are studying at home, as already requested. These children must not attend school tomorrow.

Thank you for your continued support in this difficult and uncertain time.

Yours sincerely,

Ms A Knight
Headteacher

Coronavirus Information - 18th March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Tomorrow, Thursday 19th March 2020, we will continue with the same arrangements as today, with a limited number of students attending school due to staffing:

  1. Year 11 students: School will be open to Year 11 students.
  2. Parents/Carers Supporting Home Learning for Year 7 to 10 children: Where possible, we are encouraging families to keep their children at home and support with their learning if they are well enough to do so. Staff will be uploading resources onto Class Charts. Hard copies of work are also being made available wherever possible and materials will also be uploaded on the school website. You must inform school if your child is remaining at home, so registers can be marked accordingly and we know not to expect your child in school.
  3. Students in receipt of Free School Meals: The school will offer continued support in school for as long as is feasible. This will include providing break and lunch as well as supervised learning within school. The school will be open from 8.25am and close at 3.00pm.
  4. Parents/Carers working within the NHS or providing wider essential emergency service support: The school will remain open for supervised learning.
  5. Parents/Carers unable to support home learning: Where parents/carers are unable to organise home supervision, school will be open from 8.25am and close at 3.00pm.

Please do not send your child in to school if they are unwell at this time.

If you have already advised school that you are supporting home learning, you do not need to contact school each day. If you have not informed school please do so as a matter of urgency.

The school will assess daily if we are able to support the various options above, but we endeavour to do this for as long as possible and will keep you updated through our website and ParentMail, so please continue to follow the school’s updates regularly.

Year 10 Inspector Calls and Blood Brothers revision guides are available for collection. Other hard copy packs of work will be available from 2.00pm tomorrow for those who require extra resources. Class Charts has been uploaded with resources and the school website https://www.olqp.org.uk/subjects is also uploaded with banks of work. Thank you for your continued support.

Yours sincerely,

Ms A Knight
Headteacher

Coronavirus Information - 17th March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

As government guidance is changing regularly, we are continuing to carefully monitor the coronavirus situation and follow any advice and guidance we can access daily. The latest government guidelines are:

  • Children should stay at home if they are unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature for 14 days.
  • If a member of the household is unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, all others in the household should self-isolate for 14 days.

We have had a large number of staff notifying us that they are self-isolating with some of these having to be sent home during the school day. This has reduced our staffing capacity significantly. In these circumstances, we would usually seek to close school completely. However, we are very aware of the impact this would have on the community and are therefore proposing to open our school to a limited number of students from tomorrow, Wednesday 18th March 2020.

This will be determined by parents identifying which of the following categories best supports their
current circumstances:

  1. Year 11 students: School will be open to Year 11 students.
  2. Parents/Carers Supporting Home Learning for Year 7 to 10 children: Where possible, we are encouraging families to keep their children at home and support with their learning if they are well enough to do so. Staff will be uploading resources onto Class Charts. Hard copies of work are also being made available wherever possible and materials will also be uploaded on the school website. You must inform school if your child is remaining at home, so registers can be marked accordingly and we know not to expect your child in school.
  3. Students in receipt of Free School Meals: The school will offer continued support in school for as long as is feasible. This will include providing break and lunch as well as supervised learning within school. The school will be open from 8.25am and close at 3.00pm.
  4. Parents/Carers working within the NHS or providing wider essential emergency service support: The school will remain open for supervised learning.
  5. Parents/Carers unable to support home learning: Where parents/carers are unable to organise home supervision, school will be open from 8.25am and close at 3.00pm.

Please do not send your child in to school if they are unwell at this time.

For safeguarding reasons, it is extremely important that you inform us which category your child falls into, so registers can be marked accordingly and we know whether to expect your child in school or they are remaining at home.

The school is currently assessing how many of its staff will be able to support this partial opening strategy and must stress that, given the current climate, the health and safety of our students and staff will remain paramount. This may impact on our ability to support the various options, but we endeavour to do this for as long as possible and will keep you updated through our website and ParentMail, so please continue to follow the school’s updates regularly.

Obviously, if we have more students in school than we can safely accommodate, we will need to rethink this strategy. We therefore urge you to consider carefully whether you can support home learning, so that we can avoid total school closure if possible.

We understand how unsettling the current situation is for all our families and will continue to support you and the wider community in the best way we can.

Yours sincerely,

Ms A Knight
Headteacher

Independent Learning - School Closure

Here you will find a bank of work for students to complete from home, linked to their current learning. However, work will be set via class charts on a regular basis by class teachers - please check this regularly. This may be in the form on online learning platforms, videos, revision websites, pages from textbooks with tasks, worksheets. Please encourage your child to complete as much as possible. Work completed should be attached to an email: staff email addresses follow the format ‘j.bloggs @olqp.lancs.sch.uk’ however if you are unable to send directly to the teacher please send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the name of the teacher it should be forwarded onto.

Work will be uploaded from 18th March 2020

Follow this link: https://www.olqp.org.uk/subjects