Access Information

Coronavirus Information - 16th July 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

 

Full Return in September

This term’s four week Year 10 Wider Opening Programme has enabled us to welcome our students, who have been outstanding in their attendance, attitudes to safety and engagement during all the taught sessions of core subjects. We have also been delighted to welcome parents and children from Years 7, 8 and 9 to Form Tutor Review meetings which have been very well attended and have enabled us to receive valuable feedback which will inform our planning for children’s return in September.

We are now looking forward to a full school re-opening in September. We are following current government guidelines and working closely with the local authority to ensure that we are confident that the health and well-being of over 900 students and over 100 members of staff in Our Lady’s will continue to have a high priority. Our thorough planning will enable all students to access the full curriculum from their return, with their specialist teachers. Current plans include:

  • Re-organising students into year groups, including form tutor groups and for all social times
  • Re-organising break and lunchtimes so that children remain in year groups
  • Re-organising a whole school one-way system around all areas of our school site

We are expecting further governmental updated guidance to follow over the summer, but I would like to outline to you the starting dates for each year group in September.

Our plans have been thoroughly risk assessed and to ensure the safety and careful reintegration of all our staff and students into the new school systems and safety operations, we will be bringing year groups back in to school, as follows:

 

Tuesday 1st September

Staff INSET day

 

Wednesday 2nd September

Staff INSET day

 

Thursday 3rd September

Year 7 students only

8.25 – 3.00pm

Friday 4th September

Year 7 & Year 8 students only

8.25 – 2.40pm

Monday 7th September

Year 7, Year 8 & Year 11 students only

8.25 – 3.00pm

Tuesday 8th September

Year 7, 8, 11 and 10 students only

8.25 – 3.00pm

Wednesday 9th September

Year 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 students all in school

8.25 – 3.00pm

 

All children will be returning in full uniform. This can currently be ordered on line at www.swischoolwear.co.uk . Further details about our arrangements will be communicated to you near the end of August.

 

Mrs Woodhead’s Retirement

After many years of outstanding service in Our Lady’s, both as a teacher and as a senior leader, Mrs Woodhead will be starting her well-earned retirement this summer. As a community we are extremely grateful for all her years of dedication and commitment to young people and families of Skelmersdale. We thank her and all wish her health and happiness for everything that the future holds.

 

Mrs Hallwood

Mrs Hallwood has been successful in securing a new post from September as Assistant Director of Teaching & Learning at The Heath Academy Trust. As Deputy Headteacher over the last few years we are grateful for all Mrs Hallwood’s outstanding work and service in our school and we wish her continued success and happiness in her new venture.

From September 2020, I am delighted that Mrs Downing will be Acting Deputy Headteacher, Mr Hughes will be joining the Senior Leadership Team as Assistant Headteacher and Mrs Fletcher as Acting Assistant Headteacher.

Thank you for your continued support throughout this time. With every good wish for a healthy, safe and restful summer break,

Ms Knight

Coronavirus Information - 26th June 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

This has been a wonderful week when we have been absolutely delighted to welcome back so many of our Year 10 students. They have all been outstanding in their conduct and engagement, following all our safety procedures, sharing their experiences during this time and engaging so well in English sessions. Some issues raised by students during this week will be addressed through next week’s sessions. Thank you for the confidence you are placing in us and for all your support as we continue to work together in helping Year 10 over the next few weeks and into Year 11.

Wider Opening Programme

Year 10

We will continue to welcome all Year 10 students on the programme of support in core subjects over the next few weeks, 10.00 – 12.00, following the same organisation in Houses:

  • Monday – all Arkwright Year 10 students
  • Tuesday – all Brunel Year 10 students
  • Wednesday – all Franklin Year 10 students
  • Thursday – all Stephenson Year 10 students
  • Friday – all Telford Year 10 students

Next week details will also be shared with Year 10 students regarding applications for Student Senior Leadership roles.

Years 7, 8 and 9

We are now in a confident position to be able to extend our wider opening programme and offer all students in Years 7, 8 and 9 the opportunity to come in to school for a brief meeting with their form teacher or learning manager, accompanied by one parent should you wish. The purpose of this is to support our young people, who have been away from school for such a long time, and help them bridge the transition into the new year in September, pastorally and academically. We have a very detailed, risk assessed, plan which will enable us to offer this in a very safe environment. Should you wish to take up this offer you will be able to arrange a time suitable to you, on one of two days, directly with your child’s form teacher. Details will be
sent early next week.

ParentMail

Are you getting our important messages? We use ParentMail as our main means of communication. ParentMail communicates via an App and email and is far quicker and more efficient than printing and posting. We send newsletters, bulletins, poor weather warnings and general notices via this system. Many parents have already signed up, so please don’t miss out - make sure the school office has your current email address and mobile number and look out for our sign up messages.

Do you have the App but don’t get alerts? Check your settings!

Don’t miss out. Make sure the settings on your devices are allowing notifications.

  • ParentMail App: Settings, Email preferences, Emails, turn on New Email triggered when you receive a new email.
  • iPhone: Settings, Notifications, ParentMail, Allow notifications
  • Android: Settings, Apps and Notifications (Next Steps can Vary dependent on handset) Notifications, Apps, Parentmail, On. (Default Setting is ON).

Free School Meals Vouchers

We have now adopted the government voucher scheme, which is continuing during the summer. This will give you increased choice. We will continue to send the voucher codes via the ParentMail system.

With good wishes for your continued good health and safety,

Ms A Knight

FSM Voucher - New Process

Your voucher for week commencing 29/06/20 and 06/07/20 will be with you soon.

We are pleased to inform you that we are moving to the government voucher scheme to offer you a choice of supermarkets. The next message we send will include your eCode and a guide for redeeming the eCode for a voucher of your choice. You will be able to choose from the following supermarkets:

  • Sainsburys
  • Tesco
  • Asda
  • Morrisons
  • Waitrose (John Lewis)
  • M&S food

You can continue to use your current Asda voucher however we will not credit it in future.

Please note: Supermarket vouchers cannot be used to purchase age restricted products, such as cigarettes and alcohol.

If you have any questions, please refer to these useful FAQs https://www.selectyourcompliment.co.uk/Content/Files/faqs.pdf or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Coronavirus Information - 15th June 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Following my last update on Friday 12th June, we have today been informed that Lancashire’s
Director of Public Health is now advising that as good progress in Lancashire has been made with the government’s five health checks, schools can now go ahead with wider opening.

Wider Opening for Year 10 Students

I am therefore delighted that we will be welcoming Year 10 students back to Our Lady’s from
Monday 22nd June, following our risk assessment and very careful plans for wider opening, as
outlined in Friday’s update.

In summary, all sessions will be 10.00am – 12.00pm in school, where teachers will be meeting face to face with students to support and guide them, with a particular focus on the core subjects of English, Maths, Science and RE:

Monday: All Year 10 Arkwright students
Tuesday: All Year 10 Brunel students
Wednesday: All Year 10 Franklin students
Thursday: All Year 10 Stephenson students
Friday: All Year 10 Telford students

A very important aspect of our wider opening plans is that of social distancing, and this will be
strictly adhered to for all students and staff. Below is are two documents produced by the senior team in school, which I urge you to read before your child returns:

  • Guidance for parents and students FAQ
  • Behaviour and Rewards Additional Policy Statement

If you have any further questions not covered in these documents, please do get in touch. There is no need for any reply, we just look forward to seeing all our Year 10 students from next week.

Year 10 Laptops

The laptops provided through the government’s scheme for Year 10 Free School Meals students, are now ready for collection from school by parents. All laptops have been prepared by our technicians and a system has been set up for any support that may be required. These are available for collection from school reception (please bring identification) any day this week, 9.00am – 2.30pm. A separate ParentMail from Mr Downing will outline further details.

Further details regarding ongoing support for the curriculum and home learning will be sent later this week.

Ms A Knight

PARENT AND STUDENT GUIDANCE FOR THE PLANNED WIDER OPENING OF SCHOOL - 15th June

We look forward to welcoming all of Year 10 back into school for some face to face contact with their teachers starting on 22nd June.

If your child displays any symptoms of COVID-19 then they should not come to school.

We have undertaken a thorough risk assessment following local authority and government guidance. This has been approved by governors.

This document provides further guidance for parents of Y10 students and the students themselves and answers any frequently asked questions.

Parent FAQs:

Should I send my Y10 child into school?

We look forward to welcoming as many Y10 students as possible and would encourage parents to send their child as long as he or she is healthy.  As a school, we have done everything we can to arrange some face to face contact with teachers in as safe a way as possible.

If your child has an underlying health condition or lives with someone who is vulnerable we would advise that they do not attend school.

If your child displays symptoms of COVID-19 they should remain at home.

All absence will be authorised until further notice but we would ask that parents let us know the reason for absence for our records. Y10 children who remain at home should continue to access home learning via Class Charts.

What day should my child come to school?

Year 10 are invited to come to school one day a week until the summer break. The day of the week is determined by the house that they belong to:

Monday

Arkwright

Tuesday

Brunel

Wednesday

Franklin

Thursday

Stephenson

Friday

Telford

 

What time will school start?

School will be 10am until 12pm at first. The day may be extended in a couple of weeks to accommodate more subject areas. Please arrive at 9.45 to help us with a socially distanced entry into school.

Do the children have to wear uniform?

Yes children should wear school uniform or school PE kit. It is really important that the children feel that they are coming to school to learn and be part of our community. We think wearing their uniform is a really important part of this. If you would like to purchase a Y11 jumper for your child, they can wear this instead of a blazer. If any part of your child’s school uniform is missing or too small, we would ask that you do your best to borrow a suitable replacement. Children are not permitted to attend school in their own clothes. If you have concerns about uniform please contact your child’s learning manager.

My child has been anxious during this time, can you offer them additional support?

If your child has been anxious during this time about school, learning, friendship or family issues, please email their learning manager to ask for additional support.  We will then arrange for them to have a one to one appointment in school with a member of our pastoral team to talk things through and see how we can help.

What will my child need to bring with them?

During this time, for reasons of hygiene, we would ask that children DO NOT BRING A BAG to school. They will need a pen (in pocket) and can carry a bottle of water if they need to. The children will return home with a folder of work.

How will the children travel to school? Will school provide transport?

In line with government guidance, we expect that most children will walk or cycle to school. During this period, we have observed many of our Y10 students on long walks and cycle rides across Skelmersdale and beyond and so are confident that this is a viable and healthy option for most students. We have chosen to start the school day later in order to facilitate any longer journeys. Please remind your child of the importance of social distancing while walking with friends and that the school behaviour policy applies on the journey to and from school.

The school bus service will not be running during this short period.

If you wish to drop off your child by car, please remain in your vehicle and do not gather outside of school.

If you have any concerns about this please contact your learning manager.

What will happen if a child purposely breaks the social distancing rules and/or puts other students or staff in danger?

An additional policy statement has been added to our current behaviour policy that includes clear behaviour expectations for returning to school during the Covid-19 pandemic. Strict sanctions will be in place for any student not following these behaviour expectations. If a child is maliciously or deliberately (even in jest) breaking social distancing guidelines - eg coughing on somebody or pretending to  - they will be asked to return home and their place the following week may be withdrawn. Please speak to your child about being sensible and mature during this time.

Will the school be providing materials to help prevent the spread of the virus?

Yes. Floor markings and safety posters will be visible throughout the site.  Tissues, hand sanitisers and foot-pedal bins will be provided in every classroom.

Will school be providing the children with PPE?

No. There is no requirement for staff or students to wear PPE when working in such small numbers, in large classrooms, with open windows and doors and while maintaining distances of at least 2m. If staff have to administer first aid and therefore break the 2m rule, then they will wear PPE to protect themselves and the child.

Do I need to wash my child’s uniform after I have been in school?

It is not necessary unless he or she has been in direct contact with the Covid-19 virus or a person with symptoms but as there will be a whole week before it needs to be worn again, you can easily have it washed by the next school session! All items of our school uniform are fully machine washable.

Will staff and students have their temperature taken on entry?

Not at the moment. As this is not a recommendation from Lancashire at this point and there are some questions about the accuracy of this strategy, we have decided not to do it.

What if a child has symptoms while in school?

If a child discloses that they have symptoms while in school they will be isolated in a designated area and their parent contacted to collect them. They should not return to school until a period of 7 days has passed or they have had a negative test for COVID-19. The parents of other children who have been working in their classroom will be contacted.

When will the risk assessment be reviewed?

The risk assessment is dynamic and ongoing but will be formally assessed mid August. By that time we should have received further guidance about what will happen in September.

Student Questions:

Where do I go when I arrive at school?

Staff will be outside to show you which way to go. You should use the tunnel entrance to school and walk around through past the dining room and down into lower block using the outside door into your classroom. Expect that you may be asked to queue at 2m distance on arrival, a little bit like queuing for the supermarket, so that staff can ensure a safe entry to school, handwashing and directing to allocated classroom. Your lessons will all take place in the bigger classrooms in the lower block (Maths/Geography rooms). There will be signs on the floor and walls to help you and staff will be there to direct.

What will we be doing in lessons?

We are going to start with core subjects but are hoping to add more as the weeks progress. You will have a GCSE lesson taught by specialist staff and then be given a home learning pack to take home. Your teachers will explain what is in the pack during the lesson.

Will I have my usual class teacher?

Probably not. Social distancing rules and various staff circumstances mean that this will not always be possible. You will however, have a member of OLQP staff who is an experienced subject specialist delivering your lesson. All classes will be doing the same topic, differentiated by ability. Your teacher will have been part of planning the lesson and follow up work. We have planned the lessons to ensure that you experience some quality learning.

Will we be having a break? Can we go out on the yard?

Not at first. While we get used to social distancing in school and try our best to keep staff and students safe, we have chosen a very short school day. Your teacher will give you rests during the lesson but they will be inside the classroom. We will let you know if we decide to extend the day and include a break as we move towards the summer holidays.

What if I need the toilet?

A member of senior staff will supervise toilet breaks to ensure social distancing. Only one person at a time will be allowed in the toilets.

Can I talk to students who are in school in another group?

No. They will be in another part of the building and wandering around is not allowed to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Will food and drink be available to buy?

No. Not currently. The school day is short. Please do not bring food with you. Eat breakfast before you leave and have your lunch when you return home. We can provide you with a bottle of water if required.

Where do I wash my hands during the day?

In the toilets on the way into school and after you use the toilet. Hand sanitiser gel will be available in every room and on the way into school.

How many students will be in?

The house groups are between 30 and 40 Y10 students. This will be the maximum number in on any one day. You will be split into very small class groups for lessons. Approximately 8 students.

My best friend isn’t in my House. Can I change the day I come in?

No sorry. We just can’t accommodate that. We have to prioritise health, safety and learning. You can only attend school on the day that has been allocated for your house.

Will there be a seating plan?

Yes, which must be strictly adhered to. You will be told where to sit when you arrive at school.

What if there is a fire alarm?

The fire assembly point will be on the grass at the front of school.

If I am worried about anything who do I speak to?

You can speak to your class teacher or to the lead teacher on the day - this will always be a member of SLT. They will be in the teaching area so can be easily called upon.

If you have been worried or anxious during school closure or you feel you need additional help please let us know and we can arrange a one to one chat to see how we can help. Use email to contact your learning manager and they can put this into place for you.

Can a teacher or teaching assistant break the 2m rule to help me with my learning?

No sorry. We will all have to get used to this new way of learning and teaching!

What should I do if I feel that someone is acting unsafely?

Report it to your class teacher, learning manager or the senior teacher on duty that day. Everyone will be closely supervised at all times though, so this shouldn’t be necessary. You can email your learning manager if you have any concerns.

How will my teacher check my work?

This is tricky as teachers are currently not allowed to touch anything that you have touched and vice versa! For the taught sessions, we have planned that most of the answers and feedback be given verbally. If you do work on paper you will take your own work home with you in the folders provided. You could then take a picture of your work (if handwritten) and send it to your teacher via email or through Class Charts. Your teacher will email you back.

If you have any other questions not mentioned here, please email

Arkwright

Mr Ford

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Brunel

Mrs Sayer

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Franklin

Miss White

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Stephenson

Mr Woodhead

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Telford

Miss Baines

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We look forward to welcoming you back to school!

Behaviour and Rewards - COVID-19 Pandemic June 2020 - Additional Policy Statement for the return of Y10

This policy should be read in conjunction with: The Behaviour and Rewards Policy

Background

Throughout school closure, we have encouraged all members of our school community to remain engaged and supportive of each other. To live by our Mission Statement "In Christ We Grow" is at the heart of all that we do and, during this national crisis, we have indeed grown, in love, in support for each other and in compassion for those less fortunate than ourselves.

Rewards The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our students continues and a school closure rewards system is in place to recognise our students’ achievements whether academic, sporting, domestic, pastoral or social. Our core Christian values of caring, sharing and achieving are embodied in a weekly allocation of Asda evouchers, used to say “Thank you” to students who engage and share aspects of their life during lockdown. Alongside our other rewards initiatives, the evoucher system continues as the school population returns.

Behaviour for wellbeing and safety

In line with our Catholic ethos, we place great emphasis upon the need for students to develop self-discipline and respect for others. Our students receive clear instructions and guidance about routines, hygiene and social distancing as set out in the COVID-19 Risk Assessment for Pupils Attending School.

THERE MUST BE NO PHYSICAL CONTACT BETWEEN STUDENTS AT ANY TIME, IN ANY AREA OF THE SCHOOL. THERE MUST BE NO BEHAVIOUR THAT THREATENS DISTANCING MEASURES, RESPIRATORY OR TACTILE HYGIENE. MALICIOUS OR DELIBERATE ACTS OF TRANSMISSION WILL BE TREATED WITH THE GREATEST SERIOUSNESS.

If any student’s actions put themselves or others in danger or at risk of COVID-19 infection, parents/carers will be informed and arrangements made for the student to return home immediately while the matter is investigated. This could result in a Fixed Term Exclusion or other sanctions as appropriate.

In the classroom, we stay safe, alert and proud of our learning as members of small groups, guided by important learning routines

  1. On arrival at school, and at other times as directed by staff, wash your hands with warm soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser.
  2. Observe social distancing of at least 2 metres on your way to class and while awaiting entry to the classroom – follow guidance on posters and signs.
  3. Arrive promptly in full uniform, with writing equipment and, as needed, a bottle of water.
  4. Take the seat/desk given which will be at an appropriate social distance to other desks.
  5. Mobile phones and other electronic equipment must not be seen or heard in any area of school.
  6. Remain at your desk. Do not wander about the classroom.
  7. Respect the people you are with and the learning environment by remaining quiet when asked, speaking calmly to sort out problems with appropriate language.
  8. Do your best with learning tasks, and where you need it, use the support available to complete personal study and home learning.
  9. Understand and accept that you must stay in the classroom for the duration of each school session; staff will supervise toilet breaks.
  10. End the school session positively and leave in a calm and orderly manner as requested, maintaining social distance at all times.

Outside the classroom, we stay safe, alert and proud of our community, school ambassadors following important guidelines

  1. Leave your bag at home but wear full school uniform with writing equipment and, as needed, a bottle of water.
  2. Make your way to and from school in a responsible manner, observing social distancing of at least 2 metres at all times, including with your friends and members of the public; avoid public transport whenever possible but observe national guidelines as needed.
  3. On arrival at school, and at other times as directed by staff, wash your hands with warm soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser.
  4. Observe social distancing of at least 2 metres whenever possible in any area of the school.
  5. Observe the procedures for toilet breaks - one student at a time only; thorough hand washing; social distancing if other people pass by.

Coronavirus Information - 12th June 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

As we await Lancashire LA’s Public Health report early next week, which will inform us if Lancashire schools are safe to open more widely for Year 10 from 22nd June, I would like to share with you some of the plans and ongoing work in school.

Year 10

We will be inviting all our Year 10 students in to school once a week until the end of term, from
10.00am - 12.00pm, allowing each afternoon for a deep clean:

  • Monday: All Year 10 students in Arkwright House
  • Tuesday: All Year 10 students in Brunel House
  • Wednesday: All Year 10 students in Franklin House
  • Thursday: All Year 10 students in Stephenson House
  • Friday: All Year 10 students in Telford House

In the course of the four weeks, students will attend sessions with subject specialist teachers in the core subjects of English, Maths, Science and RE. The Learning Managers and senior staff will also be on hand to welcome our students back and to offer help and guidance.

Our school has been very thoroughly risk assessed and prepared so that we will be able to
welcome Year 10 students into a very safe environment. These preparations have included:

  • a strict focus on health and safety measures, such as the organisation for washing hands
    on entering school and at other times
  • a one-way system
  • the rearrangement of classrooms so that all desks are 2m away from each other
  • the organisation of small groups of students in classrooms
  • staggered toilet breaks
  • clear instructions for behaviour in classrooms such as remaining at the desk provided and
    no sharing of materials.

These Year 10 sessions will all be held in designated lower block classrooms which will be thoroughly cleaned each afternoon.

We will be sending invitations to parents and carers of all Year 10 students next week, which will
include all details and strict expectations of conduct. If you agree to support these measures and
would like your child to attend you will simply be required to send the reply to us and we will look
forward to welcoming your child, as soon as Lancashire LA advise us it is safe in this area.

Years 7, 8, 9, 10

We are of course continuing to provide full time provision for our vulnerable students in all year groups and for children of critical workers. Please do get in touch if you require this provision.
As we continue to find ways of helping to support all our students to access work from home we will be sending details next week on:

  • the collection of laptops that have now arrived from Lancashire LA for FSM Year 10 students. These are currently being prepared by our technicians.
  • further details and advice regarding on-line resources to support each year group’s curriculum
  • New Work Packs for all years which can be collected from school
  • For Year 10, details of how to order your Year 11 jumper online from SWI

Uniform

We are currently unable to offer a fitting service in school but details on how to measure your child for new uniform items can be found on the SWI website https://www.swischoolwear.co.uk/. Orders can be made online or over the phone and will be delivered directly to your home.

As we look forward to a wider opening, our school is now ready to welcome Year 10 students in the way I have outlined; we all hope and pray that Lancashire’s Public Health assessment due early next week, reports that it is safer in this area and will allow us to put these plans into place from 22nd June.

Thank you for all your on-going communication with us. It is so important as we continue to work closely together and all do our best for our young people at this time.

Ms A Knight

Coronavirus Information - 9th June 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you are managing to keep yourself and your family safe and well as we continue to find ways of adapting to the present circumstances that we are all experiencing.

Just before half term, I assured you that although we are preparing thoroughly so that we can welcome Year 10 students for some face-to-face support in school following government directions, we can only do so when it is very safe for everyone.

Unfortunately, in the most recent public health report, the local authority yesterday informed us that only 3 of the government’s 5 health and safety tests have been met in Lancashire, advising that Lancashire schools should therefore not open more widely to any Y10 on 15th June as planned, but should delay and wait for the next review in a week’s time, which will advise on whether Lancashire schools should open from 22nd June at the earliest.

We must follow this health and safety advice and I will of course keep you updated following the next review for Lancashire schools next week.

As parents, you will be concerned about the ongoing effect of this situation. Our teaching staff are currently preparing ways of how they can further adapt the curriculum so that our young people can make the most of this new world of remote learning, which is of course much more challenging than being in school with the teacher. At a national level, there are discussions currently about the nature of public examinations next year, for the current Year 10, to reflect the disruption young people are currently experiencing. No decisions have been made by the government at the moment, but there is some reassurance in knowing that it is at least being considered and discussed!

If your child is managing to keep engaged at some level, in some subjects, then please do encourage and congratulate them. Please encourage your child to keep in close contact with their form teacher and with subject teachers and if there are ways that you feel we can help please do not hesitate to get in touch.

We continue to be open every weekday for children of key workers and for vulnerable children and I thank you for the support you are giving us and for your appreciation communicated, as we all continue to work closely together. Please do visit our website for updated resources on health and well-being.

There will be a day, soon I hope, when we can welcome our young people back into our school building and truly celebrate the gift of each other. Until then, we all need patience and need to continue following the safety guidance for the good of all.

I will update you once I receive any further information about the local public health situation and advice on any possible wider opening.

Please take care of yourselves and of each other and thank you again for all your support.

Ms Knight
Headteacher

Coronavirus Information - 21st May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope that you, your children and all your family are safe and well. This certainly continues to be a time full of so many uncertainties, but as the half term approaches, and there are so many discussions in the media about schools’ wider opening, I wanted to reassure and confirm with you our current position.

We have been, and will continue to be, open to our children of key workers and vulnerable children. Our first priority is that Our Lady’s will only be open to a wider group of students when it is safe to do so, following very clear guidance from the government with assurances about public health in Skelmersdale. The date of the next national scientific review is 28th May 2020.

We are still currently awaiting expected government guidance for any wider opening of secondary schools. Many of you will be aware that this is already underway for primary schools, where it will be organised very differently.

What we do know from the government is:

Years 7, 8 and 9

There will be no return to school until at least September. Please continue to keep in very regular contact with your teachers, mainly through ClassCharts, email, Instagram and through ParentMail.

For Year 10 students

As parents I am sure you will be concerned about your child’s wellbeing and also about their progress in this key year. While our teachers are very keen to see and help Y10 students, this can only take place at the moment if we are all more confident about safety. At no time will the whole of Y10 be invited in before September at the earliest. However, there may be the opportunity of ‘some face to face contact’ for some Year 10 students. The government guidance should clarify what the expectation for this is when it arrives, and we will plan accordingly. In Our Lady’s, the health and safety of our students and staff will remain our key priority. In line with other Lancashire schools and guidance, our school will not be open to any Y10 child before 15th June 2020, at the very earliest. Until that time, we are working hard to ensure that everything possible is in place in school for the highest possible safety of both students and staff, and we will be planning for what we will be able to offer, for some Y10 students. We would be grateful if Year 10 parents would complete a quick survey to help with our planning.  You will be sent a link to survey in a separate parentmail.

Staff are currently trying to ensure that every Y10 child has been in communication with their form teacher or Learning Manager – please contact them if this has not taken place.

English Literature centre assessed grades for Y10 students are currently being submitted, as originally planned, following strict government guidance. Y10 students will receive their grades for English Literature on results day.

Year 11 students

Ofqual have published clear guidance for awarding centre assessed grades nationally and this is being followed closely in our centre. Grades are submitted by schools, but may be altered following standardisation by the national bodies, as always. For this reason, teachers and schools will not know final grades until results day, but this process is well under way in Our Lady’s. It is good to hear of how our Y11 students are receiving college offers, or are sorting out ‘interviews’. Anyone still unsure should contact Mrs Downing who will be able to help you with your steps for next year.

After half term, before 15th June, we will send out details of what we may be able to offer some Y10 students for face to face support. Until then, please enjoy the break over half term.

Thank you for all the wonderful photographs and examples of work and activities you are sending in – keep them coming, we love to hear from your children!

Ms Knight
Headteacher

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

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