Welcome to the Mount Carmel COVID Information Centre

On this page you will find all the latest information regarding the COVID pandemic and how we are responding. This is your single point of information and should be used as the starting point for any enquiries regarding coronavirus.

This page will be kept up to date with the very latest information so please check back regularly. We will inform you when the page is updated.

Previous updates

Our Headteacher messages and COVID updates can be viewed on the tabs below. These messages were all shared to our school community via text messages, the website and social media.  

Use the tabs above to view an archive of Covid-19 updates and video messages. 

This video message dated 14.07.21 includes the following information;

  • Non-uniform day on Friday for charity
  • Early finish on Friday
  • Summer school
  • Results day
  • GCSE's in 2022
  • September return dates and arrangements

 

This video message dated 08.07.21 includes the following information; 

  • Monday 12th July - late start
  • Covid positive cases
  • Awards assemblies
  • Parental Surveys - thank you
  • Year 11 transition
  • Results day 12th August
  • Government guidance 
  • September arrangements
    - bubbles/masks/testing etc.
  • Sports day Friday 9th July
  • 2020Year 11 leavers celebration
  • Last day Friday 16th July 
  • - non uniform day
  • Survey feedback

 

 

25 June 2021 

A letter to secondary school and college parents in England on continuing regular Covid-19 testing from Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education has been issued. 

Use this link to read https://bit.ly/3wZV7LQ

 

Letter for parents from Dr Sakthi Karunanithi,
Director of Public Health Lancashire County Council

27.05.21

Dear parents and guardians,

Update to parents on Covid-19 in Lancashire schools and colleges

Firstly, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for all your support in keeping our children and young people in our schools and communities safe and adhering to national and local Covid guidance.

As you may be aware, in recent weeks, there has been an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases and outbreaks reported in education settings. There has been media attention recently on variants of concern, and the Lancashire County Council area is no exception. Therefore, it is important to do as much as possible to continue to keep our children and families safe and minimise the disruption to education.

This includes various areas of prevention and early intervention, such as:

a) Vaccinations

It is vital that everybody who is eligible for a vaccine books an appointment without delay. A recent study from Public Health England has shown that two doses of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine offer high levels of protection against symptomatic disease and remains the most effective weapon in our fight against Covid.

b) Whole school testing

In the event of an outbreak we may advise that every pupil and member of staff undertake PCR testing. The delivery of this will differ from school to school. The purpose of whole school testing is to control the spread of the virus to prevent further disruption to education. If the PCR test result is positive, close contacts, including pupils and their household, must self-isolate from the day their symptoms started and the next 10 full days. Close contacts should also take a PCR test and continue to self-isolate even if the result is negative.

c) Symptomatic testing

If you or your child or young person has one or more of the three classic Covid-19 symptoms – a high temperature; a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell – you or they must isolate immediately and book a PCR test via the NHS. If you or your child or young person do not have any of the three classic symptoms, proceed through the questions and then tick the box that says: "My local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms."

If the PCR test result is positive, close contacts, including pupils and their household, must self-isolate from the day their symptoms started and the next 10 full days. Close contacts should also take a PCR test and continue to self-isolate even if the result is negative.

You can get a PCR test here: https://self-referral.test-forcoronavirus.service.gov.uk/antigen/essential-worker

d) Close contacts testing

Around 1 in 5 people who have been in close contact with a person with Covid-19 will go on to have Covid-19 themselves, and around 1 in 3 of those will have no symptoms but can still spread the virus. Getting a test when you are a contact helps to find if you are one of those people and, if so, ensures they self-isolate. This is how we break the chains of transmission.

People who have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive with Covid-19 can now get a PCR test during their 10-day self-isolation period, whether or not they have symptoms. It is important to isolate for 10 days even if the PCR test is negative.

e) Wider symptomatic testing

If you or your child or young person has other new or unusual symptoms or if in doubt, you can still get a PCR test. However, you do not need to self-isolate for 10 days, unless you get a positive test result. If the PCR result is positive, everyone who lives in your household must self-isolate from the day your symptoms started and the next 10 full days. This is important as this will help prevent further spread into the community.

If you require support during your isolation, contact your Local District Council who can provide advice on welfare and support available.

f) Routine asymptomatic testing

To continue to avoid disruption to education, it is important to undertake routine testing, which plays a pivotal role in allowing for normal life to resume and to detect asymptomatic cases. LFT kits are available for household testing. If you or your child or young person's LFT test result is positive, you and your close contacts will need to self-isolate immediately and book a confirmatory PCR test via the NHS as soon as possible.

g) Face coverings

Earlier this month, we advised all secondary school and college students and staff that they should continue to wear face coverings until 21 June, despite restrictions relaxing nationally. This recommendation came amid concerns about the spread across the region of the B1.617.2 variant of concern first identified in India.

The advice will be reviewed ahead of 21 June, the next milestone in the Government's roadmap. Continuing to use face coverings in schools along with maintaining hand washing, social distancing, fresh air and regular testing will help to control the spread of Covid-19.

I am extremely grateful for your support and patience during this difficult time. Thank you.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi,
Director of Public Health Lancashire County Council

 

Letter for parents 27.05.21 .pdf

 

 

Flow chart .pdf


 

 

 

30 April 2021 -
IMPORTANT update message for all parents and pupils

Yesterday we completed COVID-19 PCR tests for all pupils in Y8 and Y9 who have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days. The results have come back overnight and as expected a small number of pupils have tested positive. All parents of pupils affected will have been notified through the NHS automated system. 

Today we have completed a second COVID-19 PCR test for all staff and pupils in Y10 and Y11 who are currently onsite. The results will come back overnight, and parents will be informed using the NHS automated system. For all positive cases we will have to look at our seating plans for pupils who have been in school this week in Y10 and Y11 to complete our school Track and Trace. All staff and pupils who have tested positive or have been identified as having close contact via our school Track and Trace or NHS Track and Trace must self-isolate for 10 days. 

On Tuesday 4 May we look forward to welcoming the vast majority of pupils back into school. We will have arranged for an extended form time on Tuesday to remind pupils about the importance of personal hygiene, wearing face masks, entry / exit arrangements, the 1-way system and arrangements for break and lunch.

Families affected by our school outbreak may be entitled to claim the government grant of up to £500. Hyndburn Hub are also encouraging families in the local community who need support to contact them direct out of school hours.

Full testing information is available here: https://www.hyndburnbc.gov.uk/coronavirus-tests/

£500 grant for self-isolation information https://www.hyndburnbc.gov.uk/news/new-package-to-support-and-enforce-self-isolation/

I can also reassure families that Public Health England are not concerned about a variant. It has been identified as the standard UK strain that is dominant in the UK population. Further to my video message, Public Health England believe that we are now well on top of this outbreak and recommend that we revert back to our twice weekly Lateral Flow tests for all staff and pupils before arriving at school. 

Staff and pupils should take a Lateral Flow Test on Monday night or Tuesday morning before arriving to school. Important instructions on how to register the test can be found here Lateral Flow Test instructions

Please see the exams section on our school website for the revised Y11 assessments schedule. No pupils will be disadvantaged or advantaged because of this COVID-19 outbreak. 

Many thanks again for all your support in what was been an unprecedented week at school, but we are really proud how we have all pulled together on site while still supporting pupils and families remotely at home. Have a lovely bank holiday weekend and stay safe.

Many thanks

Mr Bowers


 


Thursday 29 April 2021.

Many thanks for the continued support from Public Health England, Public Health Lancashire, Lancashire CC, Hyndburn Borough Council and for the many messages of support from governors, parents, pupils, and other schools. It is much appreciated at this difficult time.

Yesterday we completed COVID-19 PCR tests for all pupils in Y7 who have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days. The results have come back overnight and only a very small number of pupils have tested positive. All parents of pupils affected have been notified. Last night the whole school was also ‘Fogged’ by a team from Hyndburn Borough Council. This means that sanitising spray was used to disinfect all rooms in school to kill the COVID-19 virus on all surfaces. 

Today we have completed COVID-19 PCR tests for all pupils in Y8 and Y9 who are currently self-isolating at home and who have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days. The results will come back overnight, and we will inform parents tomorrow morning if their child has tested positive. We have also sent all pupils who came on site for a test, home with a ‘Home Test Kit’ for each member of the household to use tonight and return to the school office tomorrow, by 2.30pm at the latest.

Tomorrow all pupils and all staff on site will complete a 2nd PCR test in the morning. In the afternoon we are inviting any pupils in all year groups who have not had a PCR test this week or any Y7 who would like a second PCR test to come up to school in the afternoon along with any families who would prefer to have a PCR test on site at school rather than use a Home Testing kit or visit a test centre in the local community. We can also accommodate drive-in tests. 

Parents will be contacted over the weekend if they or their child/ren have tested positive. 

All pupils who have tested positive or have been identified as having close contact via our school Track and Trace or NHS Track and Trace must self-isolate for 10 days. Families affected by our school outbreak are entitled to claim the government grant of up to £500. Families who qualify for a free school meal should contact school if they have not collected a food parcel. 

Hyndburn Hub are also encouraging families in the local community who need support to contact them direct out of school hours. Full information is available here: https://www.hyndburnbc.gov.uk/hyndburn-hub/

https://www.hyndburnbc.gov.uk/news/new-package-to-support-and-enforce-self-isolation/

I can also reassure families that Public Health England are not concerned about a variant. It has been identified as the standard UK strain that is dominant in the UK population. 

I hope that the remote online Y7 Parents Evening scheduled tonight goes well. Please be aware that some staff may not be available or only available for part of the evening. We will do our very best to re-arrange these appointments. 

Please see the exams section on our school website for the revised Y11 assessments schedule. No pupils will be disadvantaged or advantaged because of this COVID-19 outbreak. 

Mr Bowers


 

As you are aware Mount Carmel has had a recent outbreak and in order to keep our children and their families safe, we are implementing several control measures in order to minimise any risk.

Yesterday we completed COVID-19 PCR tests for all pupils in Y10 and Y11 and staff who are currently on site and have previously given consent. The results have come back overnight, and we have no new staff positive cases and only a very small number of pupils. 

Today we completed COVID-19 PCR tests for pupils in Y7 and pupils in Y10 and Y11 who are currently self-isolating at home to have a PCR test on site who have also previously given consent for a COVID -19 test. 

Tomorrow all pupils in Y8 and Y9 will be asked to have a PCR Test onsite. Parents have already been contacted regards the details of the schedule for the day. Please will pupils enter the school top gate near the music and drama block, wear a warm coat and have their mobile number and postcode available for the registration process. 

All pupils in Y8 and Y9 who come to the school site tomorrow will also be provided with enough home test kits for all other family members to take a PCR test. This is because Public Health Lancashire are aware that pupils who have tested positive may have infected other members of their household. With this in mind we are encouraging all other family members to also take a PCR test and return it to school before 3pm on Friday 30 April. 

Families with pupils in all other year groups are being asked by Public Health Lancashire to have a PCR test at one of the local PCR testing centres as soon as possible and before the end of the day on Friday. You can book your test here: https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/antigen/essential-worker. It is important because you may not have symptoms to proceed through the questions and then tick the box that says: "My local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms"

Please remember that if you have already had a positive PCR test within the 90 days, there is no need to be tested unless it was negative

All pupils who have tested positive or have been identified as having close contact via our school Track and Trace or NHS Track and Trace must self-isolate for 10 days. Families affected by this outbreak are entitled to claim the government grant of up to £500. Families who qualify for a free school meal should contact school if they have not collected a food parcel. 

Hyndburn Hub are also encouraging families in the local community who need support to contact them direct out of school hours. Full information is available here: https://www.hyndburnbc.gov.uk/hyndburn-hub/

https://www.hyndburnbc.gov.uk/news/new-package-to-support-and-enforce-self-isolation/

More details about using Lateral Flow Tests will be given at the end of the week.

As an additional precaution, Hyndburn Borough Council have kindly arranged for the school to be ‘Fogged’ after school today. This process involves an antibacterial and antiviral fine vapour sprayed in all classrooms, communal areas and offices.

We have our remote online Y7 Parents Evening scheduled on Thursday 29 April from 4.30 – 7.30pm. Please be aware that some staff may not be available or only available for part of the evening. We will do our very best to re-arrange these appointments. Please do get in touch if your child’s teacher does not provide feedback on their progress, behaviour, and attitude to learning. 

We are also reviewing the schedule we have published for Y11 assessments that will be used to provide evidence for the ‘Teacher Assessed Grades’ process that all schools are being asked to put in place this year. The assessment schedule will be updated through our examination page and pupils will be notified of any changes. No pupils will be disadvantaged or advantaged because of this COVID-19 outbreak. Further details will follow from school regards this important matter. 

Many thanks for your continued support.

Mr Bowers


 

 

Public Health have arranged for 2 COVID-19 mobile testing units to be sited at school for the next 3 days.

Today we will be aiming to complete a COVID-19 PCR test for all pupils in Y10 and Y11 and staff who are currently on site and have previously given consent. It is then really important that all pupils and staff stay safe in the local community and follow government rules and guidance.

Covid PCR tests will take place for all other pupils who have not been in school today (27.04). 
Pupils will be asked to enter and exit the school site at the top gate near music and drama. We suggest they wear a coat to keep warm and dry whilst they wait to be tested outside. 

The proposed schedule for Wednesday 28.04.21 is as follows.
Period 1 - 7C and 7A form groups
Period 2 - 7R and 7M form groups
Period 3 - 7E and 7L form groups
Period 4 - Y10 pupils who were not in school today (27.04) or who have not had a PCR test in the last 48 hours
Period 5 - Y11 pupils who are not in school today (27.04) or who have not had a PCR test in the last 48 hours

All pupils in Y8 and Y9 and pupils in other year groups that have been in direct contact with a pupil who has tested positive will be contacted by NHS track and trace and be expected to self-isolate for 10 days.

We will continue to use the Lateral Flow Tests in school and we strongly encourage parents to use them at home. Monday and Thursday mornings are our school testing days but given the circumstances please test daily if you feel you need to do so and contact school if your supplies are running low. We have ordered more Lateral Flow self-testing kits from the DfE.

We are continuing to work closely with Public Health Lancashire, Lancashire LA and Hyndburn Borough Council and very grateful for the fantastic support we have received from external agencies. We are going to continue to do our utmost to keep school open onsite for pupils in year 10 and year 11, but we will have to keep the situation under constant review.

Many thanks for your continued support.

Mr Bowers


 


 

 

25 April 2021 - Message for all parents and pupils 

IMPORTANT MESSAGE 

All pupils in Y8 and Y9 will work online remotely at home from Monday 26 April and return to school on Tuesday 4 May. This decision has not been taken lightly and is a result of a significant number of recent positive cases of COVID-19 in these year groups and other pupils having to self-isolate as a result.

Y7 pupils to work remotely at home Monday 26.04.21. Pupils must complete their lateral flow tests and parents report positive results to school before 9am 26.04.21.

Pupils in Y10 and Y11 will remain on site but all pupils must have completed a LF test and reported a negative result on the NHS website before arriving at school tomorrow.


23 April 2021 - Message for Year 8 and Year 9 parents 

Dear Parents / Carers 

As you will be aware from the text sent out from school on Wednesday evening, we have had more than one positive COVID case in both years 8 and 9 this week. Although together with Public Health England we have identified the source of this, we are working to ensure any spread is kept to a minimum.  
Most of the positive tests have been sequenced and there is no concern about the cases with respect to variants, however we and Public Health are keen to ensure any potential spread is kept to a minimum. As a result, they have asked that all pupils in years 8 and 9 undertake a PCR test over the weekend instead of the routine LF test. This will be to ensure that there is a more central coverage of the results with the Track and Trace team. 

To book a test please visit: 
https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/antigen/essential-worker 

  • The booking system will ask if you have symptoms. Just click "No". 
  • You will then be asked a number of questions (you will probably answer ‘no’ to most of them) until you get to one that asks you why you want to book a test. 
  • Click the option that says, "My local council or health protection team has asked me (or someone I live with) to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms." 
  • An appointment will then be made for you to get tested. 

 
The local testing stations have been informed to expect more people over the weekend so there should be more appointment slots. 
 
Despite your child undergoing a PCR test, you will not have to isolate until you receive the test result UNLESS you have already been told to isolate previously. 
 
Once you have been sent the result, if this is positive please phone the school out of hours COVID number on 07813 538353. 
 
If the result is negative, please forward either the test to the above number, or forward the email to covid@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk 
 
If you are already isolating and your PCR test records a negative result, you will still need to complete your period of isolation. 
 
Many thanks for your continued support to ensure the school and community remains as safe as possible. 
 
Yours sincerely 

Mr X Bowers 
Headteacher 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Our video message to parents dated 8 February covers the following information;

  • Data breach 
  • RSE policy
  • Ash Wednesday
  • Contact tracing
  • Food parcels over half term 
  • On site learning provision
  • SEND pupil support

Link to the RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) policy mentioned in the video

 

 

 

5th January 2021

NHS Test and Trace: COVID-19 testing for staff and pupils

Read the full information here http://mountcarmelhigh.co.uk/news/2021-01-04-covid-testing-information-for-parents

Please complete the consent form here for each child at school.

Privacy Notice - Covid Testing

 

 

 


KEY STAGE 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9) ONLINE LESSONS - DATED 9 JULY 2020 1.00pm

Please see below for the time-table for KS3 online lessons for the week beginning 13.07.20. 
Teachers will be conducting these lessons using Microsoft Teams and will send invites out to students via their school email address. Instruction on how to access Microsoft Teams has been sent out to all KS3 students via a notification in Show My Homework. 


HEADTEACHER'S UPDATE 6 JULY 2020: 12.30am

Dear parents, carers and pupils, Mr Bowers has recorded a weekly update video message use this link to watch it.

 

 

 

 

Key points from Mr Bowers video message to parents 29.06.20

  • Thank you for the positive feedback from last week’s video update message
  • Clarification from last week’s message regarding uniform. We are asking parents to purchase 2 sets of uniform i.e. trousers/skirts, shirts, jumpers but not a blazer at this stage. Only one P.E. kit is required
  • We thank parents of Year 10 pupils for all the hard work they have put in over the last few months and apologies for not including them in last week’s message
  • Year 10 update for the next 3 weeks
    We have had approx. 40 year 10 in school last week
    We started delivering online face to face lessons which seemed to go really well
    If your child is offered a place in school it is vital that they attend each day otherwise their place will be offered to another pupil
    It is also vital that other year 10 pupils attend the online lessons. Teachers send out links to these lessons and recordings are available afterwards.
  • Year 7, 8 and  9 pupils will start face to face online lessons next week
  • We intend to undertake review meetings with all pupils and parents from Years 7 – 10 before the summer break to discuss welfare and progress.
  • We are still awaiting further information from Ofqual regarding next years exams
  • GCSE results this year will be sent by email to pupils
  • We are committed to holding a prom celebration for year 11, it will be arranged as soon as we possibly can
  • Food parcels will continue throughout the summer break for all eligible families
  • This week will be the last of the work packs being issued. This work will take pupils up to the summer break


Uniform information from Abbey Street Shopping Centre for parents - dated 22.06.20

1) Appointments are required for parents who are purchasing uniform items for more than 1 child

2) There is no facility to try clothes on in store. Staff will measure and give correct sizes and uniform, if there are any problems items can be changed if you keep the receipt

3) Try to allow plenty of time to purchase uniform. Buy it early if possible to be sure that you can get what you need. The store gets very busy in August.

4) Parents are asked to only bring any child/children who need to purchase uniform. No-one else will be allowed into the store.

5) The new PE top will be in stock by the end of June.

6) Y7 – Y11 PE tops are on sale at £10.00 whilst stocks last.


YEAR 10 PROVISION FROM MONDAY 22 JUNE 2020

Online Provision for Year 10 pupils

Onsite Provision for Year 10 pupils


HEADTEACHER'S UPDATE 16 JUNE 2020: 10.30am

Dear parents, carers and pupils,

I hope everybody is well and staying safe. Please find my weekly update for parents below.

COVID-19 school advice and guidance

  1. The Director of Public Health and Well Being for Lancashire yesterday revised his guidance about schools reopening to more pupils in Lancashire and I am pleased to inform you that all being well,  we can now start re-opening school more widely to pupils from Monday 22 June.  
  2. This is an extract from the press statement issued by Lancashire LA today Monday 15 June; 
    ‘Dr Sakthi Karunanithi had issued blanket guidance to schools to delay wider opening to more pupils, because his professional view was that two of the government's five coronavirus tests were not being met in the county. However, a reduction in the rate of confirmed coronavirus infections combined with our readiness to support the local implementation of the national NHS Test and Trace Programme means that enough progress has now been made to revise this advice.  It is important to stress that the prevalence of coronavirus is still higher in Lancashire than elsewhere in the country so the room for manoeuvre is limited. As has been the case throughout the emergency, all schools are encouraged to admit vulnerable pupils and those children of key workers as long as their risk assessments suggest it is safe to do so. ……. For secondary schools and colleges, the government is keen for teachers to have some face-to-face contact with specified year groups’.
  3. However, the press release also goes on to say ‘the final decision to welcome back more pupils to Lancashire's schools lies with head teachers, in consultation with your board of governors, taking, into account, your individual circumstances’. I now need to double check with governors and SLT that we are confident that all are COVID-19 plans are in place and on Monday 22 June we can cautiously bring more ‘vulnerable’ pupils as well as children of key workers into school alongside delivering face to face lessons to 25% of year 10 pupils who are struggling with their school work and falling behind their peers. 
  4. Mr Sweeney will be in touch with pupils who fall into government criteria as ‘vulnerable’ in the next few days to start inviting them into school. This will be a phased process, probably increasing the numbers by 10-12 pupils each week. Pupils will be arranged in ‘bubbles’ and kept separate from other ‘bubbles. They will be asked to arrive to school at a specific time – between 8.50am and 9.10am. They will need to bring stationery into school but no food or drink. We will provide a snack for morning break and a packed lunch. In the morning, pupils will be supervised by support staff who will assist them to complete the online learning tasks set by their teachers, that their peers working at home are also completing. If these tasks are completed, in the afternoon, there may be time to take part in sports and creative activities. All ‘vulnerable’ pupils who are offered a school place will be expected to confirm they agree to the school COVID-19 code of conduct while on the school site.
  5. Pupils who are currently attending school site provision will also be asked to confirm they agree to follow the COVID-19 school code of conduct. This has been introduced to safeguard pupils and staff working at school as we start re-opening to more pupils and staff. Pupils will be sent a link to confirm they agree to these additional controls.
  6. As we move forward in this crisis it is clear to me that many pupils and families are no longer following government guidance regarding staying at home and maintaining the 2m social distancing rule. It is really important that we continue to be responsible for our children at all times and that we do adhere to government guidelines, otherwise we not only put ourselves at risk but everybody who lives in the household and other family or friends. 
  7. I know the lockdown measures are being slowly relaxed and as from yesterday non-essential shops are opening their doors, but we continue to ask parents to stay alert and follow these key principles to prevent the virus being transmitted and keep us all safe:
    •    If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
    •    If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, who is not safe at home, then educational provision will be available for them at school.
    •    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.
    •    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.
  8. We also remain concerned about the number of families who are requesting a pack of work from school rather than working online on SMH and other online platforms. Last week we had 134 families request a work pack and only 20 families / pupils collected them from school. As from Tuesday 22 June, we are not sending any work packs in the post. Pupils must collect the work packs from school between 11.00am and 12.30pm each Monday from the school office. If there are any parents / pupils who are not able to collect the work pack from school, they should contact the school office to explain the reasons why and we will make alternate arrangements.
  9. We appreciate that many families do not have a laptop or tablet to complete tasks on SMH but can complete some tasks on a smart phone and everybody has an email address to communicate with teachers. The work completed by pupils provided in the work packs must be sent to the teachers concerned directly so that they can mark and give feedback via SMH or email.

Free School Meal Food Parcels
If your child is eligible for a free school meal, then you are entitled to a weekly food parcel - per pupil. Please continue to order them via the school email account and pick up between 11.00am and 12.30pm every Monday from the school main reception. If any family is short of food, please contact school by the main school email account and we will put you in touch with local support groups.

Year 10 Pupils and Parents

  1. Parents of Y10 targeted pupils have been contacted by school to ask if they intend to take up the school place we are offering from Monday 22 June. I strongly advise pupils and parents to take up these places, so we can work face to face with pupils in school to try and catch up the work they have missed during the past 12 weeks, as soon as possible. If you have any concerns, please contact school and should parents decide not to take up a Y10 place then it will be offered to pupils on a reserve list. 
  2. Y10 pupils invited into school should enter via the side gate near the music room and walk to the door on the science corridor at the back of the chapel. They will be signed in and out of school and have a temperature test at the start of the day. Pupils will be directed straight to the classroom for the morning session. At the end of the session pupils will be brought to the dining area and provided with a packed lunch and supervised by pastoral staff. They will then be collected by teachers for the afternoon session and taken directly to the classroom. At the end of the afternoon session they will be escorted to exit the building. 
  3. Pupils are asked not to bring into school any food or drink but their school books, a pencil case with pens, pencils, ruler, rubber, compass, protractor that they must not share with any other person. We will be able to provide some stationery, but we do not have enough in stock for all Y10 pupils.
  4. Pupils should arrive to school at 10.45am prompt. We are not asking pupils to wear uniform at this stage, but we do ask that when they go home they immediately take a shower and change out of the clothes they have worn that day and attend school the next day in a fresh pair of clothes. Pupils will leave school at 3.10pm.
  5. At the moment government guidelines only permits 25% of Y10 to be educated on the school site at any one time. Hopefully this will change so we can bring more and more pupils back into school. For most Y10 pupils face to face sessions will be held remotely online using Microsoft Teams. This will involve one ‘live’ lesson per week online for every subject. Teachers will invite students to their lessons via a link which will be sent out in advance of the lesson. We strongly advise parents to encourage their children to attend these lessons as it is an excellent opportunity for them to speak to their teachers (and other students in their class) about the work that they are being set and for their teacher to clear up any misunderstandings. 
  6. Y10 pupils invited into school for face to face sessions and Y10 pupils who will carry on working at home have also been sent a link to confirm they agree to the school COVID-19 code of conduct. These need to be completed by 9.00am on Wednesday 17 June at the latest.
  7. We are expecting a delivery of laptops this week or next. We will be working hard to get them out to pupils in Y10 who qualify as soon as we can. 

Year 11 Pupils and Parents

  1. The centre assessed grades (CAG) were submitted to the various exam boards last week. As headteacher I had to personally sign them all off. Please be aware that the centre assessed grades have been calculated by teachers and Curriculum Leaders under strict government guidance. There will not be only 1 set of data that will be used by Ofqual to award the final grade for each pupil in each subject. The CAG will now be considered alongside every pupils’ KS2 SATs score and the school and subjects’ previous performance. We will not get to know this final grade until GCSE results day.  
  2. Y11 results day this year is very likely to look very different than previous years. Further details will follow shortly.

As per normal, if you have any concerns or queries during the school closure, please continue to use the email addresses below. These accounts are being monitored during normal working hours (8.30am – 4.00pm) Monday – Friday, but please remember to make it clear the name of the pupil, year group and concern. 

General office: office@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk 
Show my Homework enquiries: smh@mountcarmelhigh.co.uk

Many thanks for your continued support and patience. 

Best wishes and stay safe.

Mr Bowers
Headteacher


Lancashire County Council News Release

PR20/0168

08 June 2020

Guidance to schools remains unchanged

The guidance from Lancashire County Council's Director of Public Health that schools should not open to more pupils remains unchanged.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi has advised schools to delay reopening to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils because, in his professional view, two of the government's five coronavirus tests are not currently being met in the county. Although the number of new cases has decreased, Lancashire and the North West has a high number of cases compared to many other regions in the country.

Similarly, although the weekly death count in Lancashire is showing a downward trend, a consistent decline is not being seen in all areas, and in recent weeks we have seen an increase. It has also been widely reported that the R value for the North West is above 1.

There has been positive work between local organisations to plan for outbreaks in Lancashire, but better information sharing from the national to local level is still required.

Lancashire people have worked so hard throughout the epidemic in keeping the virus at bay. With various national lockdown measures lifting, we need to remain vigilant in following social distancing rules to help prevent the infection spreading.

The guidance, which also applies to early years settings such as nurseries and childminders, will be reviewed again on 15 June.

The decision to welcome back more pupils to Lancashire's schools lies with head teachers, in consultation with their board of governors, taking into account their individual circumstances. The county council works closely with schools to provide advice and support. As has been the case throughout the emergency, all schools are encouraged to admit vulnerable pupils and those of key workers as long as their risk assessments suggest it is safe to do so.

Dr Karunanithi said: "I have carefully considered all of the information and data and, for now, my advice remains unchanged. Although there are significantly fewer numbers of cases currently, I am concerned about the high level of infections in the county when compared with others parts of England. The death rates are not sustainably decreasing in the county, and reports that the R value is above 1 in the North West should be an early warning sign. It is important to stress that the R value is only one part of the overall picture, it appears to be rising in most parts of Lancashire.

"We still need better information sharing from national colleagues to help us unlock a successful test and track programme, although agencies are working well locally.

"Ultimately we all have a role to play in this – we must follow social distancing rules, practise good hand hygiene, and stay at home if we have a cough, fever, loss of smell or taste or when asked to do so by the contact tracing programme. If we all play our part – national government, local partners and the public – we can contain this virus."

County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools, said: "Everyone wants to see children back in school as soon as it is safe for this to happen and, although we are seeing some progress, we must support the professional judgement of our public health experts.

"Throughout this crisis our schools have been open to the children of key workers and vulnerable children and have also done a fantastic job in keeping in contact with parents and pupils and providing high quality online learning tools."

County Councillor Shaun Turner, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, added: "It is really encouraging that we are making progress with the local implementation of the NHS Test and Trace system. We will continue to raise with government the need for local experts to be better embedded into the national programme.

"The vast majority of Lancashire people have been magnificent throughout this crisis, but we all have a responsibility to continue to abide by the social distancing rules. There can be no let-up because if we all play our part we can stop coronavirus in its tracks and ultimately save lives."

For the latest information on schools, please read our schools coronavirus webpage at www.lancashire.gov.uk/coronavirus-updates/schools/


HEADTEACHER'S UPDATE 8 JUNE 2020: 10.00am

Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils,

I hope everybody is well and staying safe. Please find my weekly update for parents below.

COVID-19 school advice and guidance

1.    As the ‘R’ rate rises in many regions of the UK the chances of schools re-opening get less and less likely. The Director of Public Health and Well Being for Lancashire met with a selection of Lancashire Secondary School Headteachers on Friday and was absolutely clear that in his view – until the 5 government measures were secure in Lancashire there would be no further re-opening of primary schools for pupils in R, Y1 and Y6 and no expanding of provision for vulnerable pupils of secondary school age or pupils of Key workers and face to face meetings with Y10. We will continue to plan as best as we can to partially re-open school, but the timescales are very much unknown, and things are likely to continue to change with very little notice. 
2.    With this in mind, it is essential that parents and teachers continue to try and engage as many pupils as possible with as much learning as possible at home and / or online. I know that this is frustrating and draining but we need to keep working together and try our best not to leave any pupil behind and for as many pupils as possible to ensure they keep up with pupils at Mount Carmel and other local schools. As it stands, Y10 are still expected to take GCSE exams next year and Y9 the year after! 
3.    We have reviewed our school COVID policies and risk assessments and are now consulting with staff, governors and a sample of parents. We will hopefully finalise these this week and share them with everybody on the school website. As it stands, from Monday 22 June, face to face sessions with approximately 40 pupils in Y10 will hopefully be available from subject specialist teachers in school. However, for most Y10 pupils face to face sessions will be remotely online using Microsoft Teams. 
4.    The COVID-19 signage is now fully on display in school and other COVID-19 precautionary measures have been put in place alongside additional hygiene measures school. 
5.    As we move forward in this crisis we continue to ask parents to follow these key principles to prevent the virus being transmitted and keep us all safe:
•    If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
•    If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, who is not safe at home, then educational provision will be available for them at school.
•    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.
•    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.
6.    As you are aware we are closely monitoring, and tracking work completed at home and submitted on ‘Show my Homework’. Sadly, last week we noticed a dip! It appears that work completed at home by many pupils seemed to be not as good as previous weeks, in both quality and quantity. I am well aware that this is a generalisation and there will be some pupils who continue to work hard each day but overall, we noticed that a significant number of pupils are not doing this! Sadly, I suspect online learning is what school will look like for teachers and the significant majority of pupils for some time yet!  It is really important that all parents and carers continue to support your child / children by ensuring a daily schedule is in place at home and the work set by teachers is completed on the day the work is set and to a good standard each day. Please can we all make a determined effort this week to get back on track!
7.    We also have more and more parents requesting packs of work to be provided for pupils who are struggling with online learning. We are more than happy to do this so pupils who do not have a laptop etc are not disadvantaged, but photographs of the completed work must be emailed using SMH to the appropriate teacher or form tutor. 
8.    Now let’s focus on our next steps during this crisis!
•    From the start of this pandemic we have followed government advice and we will continue to do so.
•    The health and safety of all concerned will remain our top priority. 
•    We will have to wait until we have a recommendation from the Director of Public Health and Well Being for Lancashire to start re-opening the school to any more pupils. 
•    When we do partially re-open school we will do it slowly and targeting the 58 vulnerable pupils that are on our list and 40 pupils in Y10 who for whatever reason have fallen behind their peers.
•    I will continue to keep all parents informed as we move forward, via my weekly HT updates. Please do not hesitate to contact school directly via email with any concerns.
•    Staff who we feel cannot work from home will continue to work in school.
•    Please keep up the great work you are doing at home and contact school immediately if you or any member of your family tests positive for COVID-19.

Free School Meal Food Parcels

If your child is eligible for a free school meal, then you are entitled to a weekly food parcel - per pupil. Please continue to order them via the school email account and pick up between 12noon and 1pm every Monday from the school main reception. If any family is short of food, please contact school by the main school email account and we will put you in touch with local support groups.

Year 11 Pupils and Parents

Please will all Y11 parents ensure that their children have responded to the email regarding transition arrangements to post 16 providers from Mr Barrett. We want to ensure that all Y11 pupils have made at least 2 applications and are starting to complete the transition units made available online by some local schools and colleges. 

If you have any concerns or queries during the school closure, please continue to use the email addresses below. These accounts are being monitored during normal working hours (8.30 – 4.00) Monday – Friday, but please remember to make it clear the name of the pupil, year group and concern. 

Please also continue to send photos to the school ‘Facebook’ account of all the activities that you are up to. We will also try and post photos of school-based activities.

General office: office@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk 
Show my Homework enquiries: smh@mountcarmelhigh.co.uk

Many thanks for your continued support and patience. 

Best wishes and stay safe.

Mr Bowers


HEADTEACHER'S UPDATE 1 JUNE 2020: 9.30am

Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils,

I hope everybody has had a good half term break and enjoyed the fabulous weather we have had recently.

COVID-19 school advice and guidance

  1. We were planning to increase the numbers of vulnerable pupils and pupils of key workers in school as of 1 June to approximately 20, until late Wednesday afternoon, when Lancashire LA Director of Public Health and Well Being advised Headteachers that all schools in Lancashire should not increase its current provision on 1 June as planned. This decision was taken largely because Preston and the surrounding area do not fulfil the 5 government tests. Tracking data actually suggests that Preston’s R rate is due to peak during the next 2 weeks and the test, track and trace system is not up and running in our region. As a result, we have taken the decision not to expand our on-site provision this week and will await further guidance. 
  2. With this in mind, it is absolutely critical that all pupils and staff on school site, must follow social distancing measures at all times, ensure precautionary hygiene measures are followed, including additional hygiene measures to ensure we are all safe. 
  3. Over half term we have reviewed our school COVID policies and risk assessments. We will hopefully finalise these this week and be able to consult with a sample of staff, parents and governors, before we finalise them. We want to set ourselves up as best we can for the rest of the summer term. This will include from Monday 15 June, face to face sessions with Y10. For most Y10 pupils this will be remotely online using Microsoft Teams, but for approximately 40 Y10 pupils face to face on site at school. I hope to be able to share further details with you next Monday by publishing the updated policies on the school website. 
  4. The COVID-19 signage to display in school has arrived and will start to be put in place as of 1 June. We will also be trialling other operational changes, such as a new entry point for pupils, temperature checking on entry for pupils, moving pupils up to S8 or S9, allocating toilet areas etc.
  5. As we move forward in this crisis we continue to ask parents to follow these key principles:
  • If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  • If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, who is not safe at home, then educational provision will be available for them at school.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • We will continue to provide online learning for pupils who will continue to stay at home, (Y7, Y8 Y9 and Y10) who are not pupils of critical workers or classed Now let’s focus on our next steps during this crisis!
  • From the start of this pandemic we have followed government advice and we will continue to do so.
  • The health and safety of all concerned will remain our top priority. 
  • We make no apologies that as a school, we will move forward slowly and cautiously, taking additional advice where necessary.
  • I will continue to keep all parents informed as we move forward, via my weekly HT updates. Please do not hesitate to contact school directly via email with any concerns.
  • Staff who we feel cannot work from home will continue to work in school.
  • Please keep up the great work you are doing at home and contact school immediately if you or any member of your family tests positive for COVID-19.

Free School Meal Food Parcels

If your child is eligible for a free school meal, then you are entitled to a weekly food parcel - per pupil. Please continue to order them via the school email account and pick up between 12noon and 1pm every Monday from the school main reception. If any family is short of food, please contact school by the main school email account and we will put you in touch with local support groups.

Year 11 Pupils and Parents

We will shortly be sending our Y11 estimated GCSE grades to Ofqual. We have been instructed by Ofqual that we cannot share the grades with parents or pupils but there will be an appeal process and pupils will be able to re-sit in the Autumn Term. The final grade awarded by Ofqual will take into account the following key variables; the pupil’s KS2 score; school and subject previous performances. Please will all Y11 parents ensure that their children have responded to the email regarding transition arrangements to post 16 providers from Mr Barrett. We want to ensure that all Y11 pupils have made at least 2 applications and are starting to complete the transition units made available online by some local schools and colleges. 

National Thank the Teacher Day

Thank you for your messages of support to the school email, school website, Facebook or Twitter pages. I know the staff really appreciated this, especially as they are all working so hard in such difficult circumstances. 

If you have any concerns or queries during the school closure, please continue to use the email addresses below. These accounts are being monitored during normal working hours (8.30 – 4.00) Monday – Friday, but please remember to make it clear the name of the pupil, year group and concern. Please also continue to send photos to the school ‘Facebook’ account of all the activities that you are up to. We will also try and post photos of school-based activities.

General office: office@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk 
Show my Homework enquiries: smh@mountcarmelhigh.co.uk

Many thanks for your continued support and patience. 

Best wishes and stay safe.

Mr Bowers

Please read information in this letter sent to schools from Lancashire County Council

'Advice to schools on reopening to more pupils'

 

HEADTEACHER'S UPDATE 18 MAY 2020: 9.00am

Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils,

COVID-19 school advice and guidance

1.    We have spent most of the past week reading and considering the latest advice and guidance from the government with a focus on schools’ phased re-opening and the expectation that staff should be encouraged back to work who cannot work from home.
2.    New government advice and guidance regards schools continues to be published every day, so some things have changed and are likely to continue to change as we move forward in re-opening schools.
3.    We have been warned by the Prime Minister that the route map published by the government is dependent on the data regarding the reproductive rate (R) of the virus data that is monitored daily.
4.    I do suggest that you read the guidance  and subsidiary guidance for schools yourself. I have included the link below: 
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020/actions-for-education-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020

5.    Let’s focus on what the latest government guidance says and how it affects us all! 
(This is my personal brief summary only)
•    The PM announced that if you cannot work at home then people should be encouraged back to work, unless they have a medical condition that means they are self-isolating or have children below nursery age that do not qualify for childcare.
•    Staff who are shielding a member of their household can now return to work if it is safe and social distancing can be put in place effectively.
•    Vulnerable pupils (as identified in the guidance) who have been entitled to attend school throughout this crisis, should now be encouraged to start going to school rather than stay at home as long as they do not have a medical condition that means they are self-isolating.
•    We continue to provide provision for pupils of critical workers who need child care. However, parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 situation (as outlined in the government guidance) should still keep their children at home if it is possible to ensure their child is kept safe at home while they attend work. 
6.    As we move forward in this crisis we are asking parents to follow these key principles:
•    If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they must be.
•    If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, who is not safe at home, then educational provision will be available for them at school.
•    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.
•    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.
7.    We will continue to provide online learning for pupils who will continue to stay at home, (Y7, Y8 Y9 and Y10) who are not pupils of critical workers or classed as vulnerable pupils.
8.    As of 1 June, we will start planning to provide some face to face contact with Y10 to support their learning as best we can as they are preparing for their exams this time next year. We are awaiting further guidance on this matter but please be realistic about what we can provide for Y10 pupils given the current social distancing restrictions and precautionary health measures that are in place.
9.    We will continue to ensure social distancing is in place at school and take other precautionary measures, including risk assessments, as we start bringing more staff and pupils back in to school. 
10.    Parents of pupils in priority groups will not be penalised for not sending their children into school but will be strongly encouraged to do so.
11.    Now let’s focus on our next steps during this crisis!
•    From the start of this pandemic we have followed government advice and we will continue to do so.
•    The health and safety of all concerned will remain our top priority. 
•    We make no apologies that as a school, we will move forward slowly and cautiously, taking additional advice where necessary.
•    I will continue to keep all parents informed as we move forward, via my weekly HT updates. Please do not hesitate to contact school directly via email with any concerns.
•    We will be bringing some staff who we feel cannot work from home back into school as of Monday 18 May and updating our daily staff rota to continue to supervise and support pupils with online learning and school-based activities.
•    We will be consulting with key workers and asking them if they are able to keep their children safe at home or if they now need to send their children into school, so they can go work.
•    We will be consulting with parents / carers of our vulnerable pupils and encouraging them to start sending their children into school as appropriate.
•    We will consult with parents of Y10 pupils and ask them: if they are ready to start sending their children back to school, and, do they have any concerns about  face to face contact? We do not yet know what this will look like or when it will start but when it does it will include small numbers of pupils and it is unlikely that any normality will be able to be put in place regards resuming lessons. 
•    We will be updating our risk assessments and COVID-19 precautionary measures at school and bring them in line with the latest government guidance as soon as possible.
•    Please keep up the great work you are doing at home and contact school immediately if you or any member of your family tests positive for COVID-19.
•    During May Half Term ( 25 – 29 May ) teachers will not be setting work online or giving feedback. We will be contacting parents this week, whose children are attending school regularly to see if you need school to stay open next week.  

12.    Online Learning from Home
We are continuing to closely monitor pupil use of ‘ShowMyHomework’ (SMH) and other online learning platforms. Once again last week 80% of pupils logged on to SMH and completed at least 1 task. Based on the engagement of your child/ren, I have sent a letter to all parents this week. 

Now it has been confirmed by government that it still looks like they will be taking GCSE exams, it is vital that Y10 pupils continue to complete work in all subjects to a good standard for their ability! 

We will continue to provide work online for pupils in Y7, Y8, Y9 and Y10. Teachers have been advised the following:
•    keep setting work in line with the day to day, year by year timetable only! 
•    be careful not to set lots of research or multiple tasks. Try and help pupils and parents by chunking work up into individual manageable tasks that link together.
•    avoid setting tasks that involve using subscription programmes such as Netflix. 
•    if your subject has a rotation – drama, music art, DT and food, please clarify which work is to be done on which week by which group. 
•    keep doing our best to also provide positive comments / feedback and deal with misconceptions to all the pupils who are engaging in remote learning.
•    pupils collecting work or having it sent home should have started sending photos of their work and email or upload it to SMH via a smart phone.  

Free School Meal Food Parcels

If your child is eligible for a free school meal, then you are entitled to a weekly food parcel - per pupil. Please continue to order them via the school email account and pick up between 12noon and 1pm every Monday from the school main reception. Please be aware that we will not be providing food parcels for the May half term holiday, so there will be none available on Monday 25 May. If any family is short of food, please contact school by the main school email account and we will put you in touch with local support groups.

Year 11 Pupils and Parents

Many thanks to Y11 pupils and parents who brought back into school their work books. This is in case we need them to provide additional evidence to Ofqual. 

We are now well under way with this process and will keep parents informed. Mr Barrett our Careers Information Advise and Guidance officer has sent all Y11 pupils an email regards transition arrangements to post 16 providers.  Please will all Y11 parents ensure that their children have responded to this email. We want to ensure that all pupils have made at least 2 applications and are starting to complete the transition units online. 

National Thank the Teacher Day

On Wednesday 20 May the UK government has asked the nation to engage with ‘National Thank the Teacher Day’.  We would very much like pupils, parents and other relatives to help recognise and celebrate the hard work that senior leaders, teachers, support staff, governors and all those that are working so hard at Mount Carmel and who are making a massive positive contribution to pupils, families and communities during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Please will you send in your messages of support to the school email, school website, Facebook or Twitter pages. I know the staff will really appreciate this as they are all working so hard in such difficult circumstances. I do hope as many of you as possible will take the opportunity to recognise the efforts of the staff at our school and other local schools. 

If you have any concerns or queries during the school closure, please continue to use the email addresses below. These accounts are being monitored during normal working hours (8.30 – 4.00) Monday – Friday, but please remember to make it clear the name of the pupil, year group and concern. Please also continue to send photos to the school ‘Facebook’ account of all the activities that you are up to. We will also try and post photos of school-based activities.

General office: office@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk 
Show my Homework enquiries: smh@mountcarmelhigh.co.uk

Many thanks for your continued support and patience. 

Best wishes and stay safe.

Mr Bowers
Headteacher


HEADTEACHER'S UPDATE 11 MAY 2020: 9.30am

Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils,

COVID-19 school advice and guidance

I hope that you are staying safe by following the government advice and staying at home and only going out if it is absolutely necessary. If we do leave the family home, stay at least 2m apart, regularly wash your hands or use some sort of sanitiser. 

As you are aware, coronavirus (COVID-19) testing has now been extended to all essential workers and members of their households who are showing symptoms of coronavirus(COVID-19). Full details can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested. If any parent or member of the household is tested positive, please inform school immediately.

I am not sure if last night’s statement regarding the COVID-19 crisis from the Prime Minister was what I expected. There was certainly a lack of detail for the next stages and for me, it raised more questions than it gave answers. The plan to bring reception and Y1 back at primary seems very much at odds with keeping a social distance to me. It looks like Y10 may possibly return sometime in late June but there was no mention by the Prime Minister of Y7, Y8 or Y9.

We await further details today from the government about the relaxing of the current lock down regulations and a ‘road map’ that will start getting the country back to some sort of normality. We will review our current school arrangements when we know more details.

We are continuing to closely monitor pupil use of ‘ShowMyHomework’ (SMH) and other online learning platforms. Last week 80% of pupils logged on to SMH and completed at least 1 task. We appreciate that home schooling is not an easy task, but we really are here to help in any way we can. You just need to contact the school via email or your child’s subject teacher via SMH. Sadly, we still have too many pupils who are doing very little work at home. We cannot stress how important it is that pupils have some sort of daily routine and complete all the work set online or provided in work packs each Monday! Pupils who do not do this will fall further behind their classmates each day meaning that they will have more to catch up when we do return to school. We are doing our very best every day – we need everybody else to do that too!

It is particularly important that Y10 pupils continue to complete work in all subjects to a good standard for their ability because this time next year it still looks like they will be taking GCSE exams!

Free School Meal Food Parcels

If your child is eligible for a free school meal, then you are entitled to a weekly food parcel - per pupil. Please continue to order them via the school email account and pick up between 12noon and 1pm every Monday from the school main reception. If any family is short of food, please contact school by the main school email account and we will put you in touch with local support groups.

Year 11 Pupils and Parents

Many thanks to Y11 pupils and parents who brought back into school their work books. This is in case we need them to provide additional evidence to Ofqual. 

We have now started the process of awarding GCSE grades for all Y11 pupils in all subjects. This will be completed in the next 3 weeks and submitted to Ofqual. We have a plan to work with teachers and curriculum leaders to ensure that as best as we can we will ensure that pupils are awarded the grade the evidence suggests they would have achieved if they would have sat their exams this summer. 

This grade will then be compared with the pupils’ and year group’s average KS2 score, and the previous performance of the subject and the school.

If you have any concerns or queries during the school closure, please continue to use the email addresses below. These accounts are being monitored during normal working hours (8.30 – 4.00) Monday – Friday, but please remember to make it clear the name of the pupil, year group and concern. 

General office: office@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk 
Show my Homework enquiries: smh@mountcarmelhigh.co.uk

Please also continue to send photos to the school ‘Facebook’ account of all the activities that you are up to. We will also try and post photos of school-based activities.

Many thanks for your continued support and patience. 

Best wishes and stay safe.

Mr Bowers


HEADTEACHER'S UPDATE 4 MAY 2020: 9.00am

Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils,

COVID-19 school advice and guidance

I hope that you are all well and staying safe by following the government advice and staying at home and only going out if it is absolutely necessary. If we do leave the family home, stay at least 2m apart, regularly wash your hands or use some sort of sanitiser, regularly drink hot liquids and when you return home put all your clothes immediately in the washing machine and take a shower, to reduce the risk of bringing the COVID-19 virus into the family home. 

As you are aware, coronavirus (COVID-19) testing has recently been extended to all essential workers and members of their households who are showing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). Full details can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested. If any parent or member of the household is tested positive, please inform school immediately.

The speculation continues in the media about schools re-opening, (even though we have not been closed). There are now conversations taking place about the re-opening of schools in phases but still no timescales available or guidelines for us to follow. LAs across England and Wales have been asked to consult with schools. Thank you to the members of the PTFA who provided views of parents and pupils. The topic was also discussed at the weekly DfE meeting with teaching professional association representatives last Friday.

Many of you have asked what my personal thoughts are about the current situation and likely next steps. I continue to try not to spend too much time or energy on speculating what the future holds and instead focus on doing the best I can to support you, our pupils and families. I am really pleased that schools have been consulted in the process. I now hope that government ministers take on board the information provided by schools to shape the next steps along with scientific and medical advice. 

According to the Prime Minister last Thursday we seem to have passed the peak rate of infection for COVID-19 and we are beginning to see a decrease in the rate of infection and deaths. He has also promised a ‘road map’ for getting us back to work, opening schools and ensuring travel on public transport is safe to use. We seem to have reached a very delicate stage in the pandemic and the government are standing by the 5 key measures being in place before lockdown is relaxed and will continue to monitor the reproductive rate (R) of the COVID-19 virus to keep it below 1. 

Due to the crippling effect on the economy caused by COVID-19, government official announcements tend to suggest that the lockdown measures may be relaxed on 7 May. If this happens, I think the government will be cautious, because government strategy seems to be stopping the spread of the virus, reducing the death rate, allowing the NHS to cope and will avoid a 2nd spike of infections. Social distancing measures look here to stay for some time and if the lockdown is relaxed I think they will be maintained. When schools re-open I think it will only be partially and, for everybody’s safety, we will be expected to ensure that social distancing measures continue. This will be a challenge for all concerned and will feel very alien. It will also require a great deal of self-discipline. 

We are continuing to closely monitor pupil use of ‘Show My Homework’ (SMH) and other online learning platforms. Last week we have managed to engage with more pupils than ever in schoolwork at home. Thank you so much to 70% of you that are clearly doing your very best at home to support your child/ren. We know for many reasons that home schooling is not an easy task, but we really are here to help if you need it. You just need to contact the school via email or your child’s subject teacher via SMH. However, we still have a number of pupils who are doing very little work at home and things do not seem to be improving and others who are still not engaging with school. We cannot stress how important it is that pupils have some sort of daily routine and complete all the work set online or provided in work packs each Monday! Pupils who do not do this means that every day they fall further behind their classmates and this means that they will have more to catch up when we do return to school. We are doing our very best every day – we need everybody else to do that too!

The new day by day year group timetable we introduced last week, seems to have resolved a lot of the problems regards teachers setting too much work and not making it clear what learning task to do first in a sequence of tasks. Please do give us feedback again this week on how this system is working and if there is anything else you think we can do to help at this difficult time!

It is particularly important that Y10 pupils complete work in all subjects to a good standard for their ability because this time next year will be taking their GCSE exams!

Free School Meal Food Parcels

If your child is eligible for a free school meal, then you are entitled to a weekly food parcel - per pupil. Please continue to order them via the school email account and pick up between 12noon and 1pm every Monday from the school main reception. If any family is short of food, please contact school by the main school email account and we will put you in touch with local support groups.

Year 11 Pupils and Parents

To assist school in generating a Centre Assessed Grade, pupil workbooks, exam questions etc may be used as an additional evidence source.  Please can you collate your work in a plastic bag and drop it in the Year 11 work collection box at reception. When collating your work, ensure that all loose worksheets/paper are secured in your books. Do not worry if you do not have all of your books, as these are an additional layer of evidence that may be used.

To avoid unnecessary contact with others and ensure that social distancing protocols are followed, work must be dropped off on the allocated slots listed below:

• Pupil surname A-C - Monday 4th May 9-11:30am
• Pupil surname D-I - Monday 4th May 12-14:30pm
• Pupil surname J-O - Tuesday 5th May 9-11:30am
• Pupil surname P-Z - Tuesday 5th May 12-14:30pm

The work collection box will be removed after each drop slot, so work not dropped at the allocated slot will not be accepted. Where any additional work has been completed after school closed on 20 March 2020, caution will be taken in using this as evidence if it suggests a change in performance.

If you have any concerns or queries during the school closure, please continue to use the email addresses below. These accounts are being monitored during normal working hours (8.30 – 4.00) Monday – Friday, but please remember to make it clear the name of the pupil, year group and concern. 

General office: office@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk 
Show my Homework enquiries: smh@mountcarmelhigh.co.uk

Please also continue to send photos to the school ‘Facebook’ account of all the activities that you are up to. We will also try and post<

Activities during the Covid-19 period

To read news and events from the Covid-19 pandemic period including how our pupils engaged with a wide range of home learning activities and wellbeing challenges, please click on this link http://mountcarmelhigh.co.uk/news/tag/covid-19

 

Covid-19 Policies & Documents

 

For queries regarding covid catch-up premium please contact:
Mr K Georgy, Assistant Headteacher 
kgeorgy@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk

 

Commonly Asked Questions

You may be eligible to claim financial support under the Government Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme if you are asked to self isolate due to a positive Covid test.

Use this link to find out more information https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/test-and-trace-support-payment-scheme-claiming-financial-support/claiming-financial-support-under-the-test-and-trace-support-payment-scheme

PDE/CME

March 2021

Dear Pupils and Families

Up to one in three people who have COVID-19 can spread the virus without knowing. This is because they have no symptoms. To reduce the spread of the virus, we need to identify those individuals. We can do this in schools by carrying out tests at home twice every week, 3-4 days apart. If a pupil or family member is displaying symptoms, they should follow NHS guidance and book a test immediately, self-isolate until the result and not come to school.

Taking test kits home

You will be able to collect your home test kits from school. The first 3 kits will be given to you when you have had your third supervised test in school. We will give you more kits when you return after Easter.  We would like you to take your tests before school on Monday and Thursdays.  You will be given a pack of 3 tests in a box with a separate leaflet on how to take the test and report the results. Please ignore the leaflet in the box, use the leaflet given with this letter.
After each test, carefully dispose of all the test items in your normal household waste.

Taking the test

You should take the test two times every week.  Make sure you have enough time to do the test before going to school. Preferably this would be in the morning before going into school/college. However, we understand that for some people this may be challenging. Therefore, tests can be taken the evening before school if needed. You need to report test results.
Your child should also continue testing twice a week, at home, throughout the Easter school holidays. We will ensure your child has enough tests to cover the Easter break.  

Help and support is available, including instructions in different languages on how to test and report the results and a video showing you how to take the test. A link to a help video can be found here.
This does not replace symptomatic testing. If you have symptoms you should self- isolate immediately, book a PCR test and follow national guidelines.   

Can I take the test myself? 

Pupils aged 12-17 should do the test themselves with adult supervision. The adult may help the pupil to take the test if they need support. 
Pupils aged 11 must be tested by an adult and the adult must report the result. 

You need to report each test result. 
The result of every test needs to be reported using the NHS Test & Trace self-report website:  https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result

You will also need to tell the school the result of each test. This will be done by the following method:

  • For parents who have previously consented to testing, if the pupil records a negative result, send your child to school and we will record that your child has returned a negative COVID result each Monday and Thursday. If your child is absent from school on a Monday or Thursday, we will record that they have had a negative result on the next day they are back in school.
  • For parents who have not previously consented to testing, we will record that the pupil has not been tested.
  • For ‘void’ results, please retest your child
  • For positive results, please contact school at the earliest convenient time. If this is out of hours, please use the COVID reporting phone number 07813 538 353. We will record this result as being positive.
  • For parents who withdraw consent, please contact Miss McIntyre at school who will record this

Why take part?

Taking part in testing is voluntary and you will be able to attend school whether you take part in testing or not.
I am strongly encouraging all pupils to take part. Testing yourself at home will allow us to reduce the spread of the virus.  Please contact Mr Dugdale, our COVID Coordinator, if you have any questions or concerns about home testing. 

Thank you for your support.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Mr X Bowers
Headteacher

 

Some frequently asked questions:

What should you do after the test? 

If anyone tests positive you, your household, any support bubbles you are part of should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days. 
You need to report your result to both NHS Test and Trace and your school.
You should order a confirmatory PCR test if you are testing at home (confirmatory PCR tests are not needed if the test was conducted at the Asymptomatic Test Site at school.
If the result of the test is unclear (void) you should do another test.  A negative result does not guarantee that you are not carrying the virus. So, you should continue to follow social distancing, and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing your hands and observing social distancing.
If you or anyone in your household gets symptoms of the virus you should follow national guidelines on self-isolation and testing. 

Do I need to give consent? 

Students and parents do not need to give written consent to take part in the home testing programme. Please read the information below on how personal information and test results are shared and the privacy notice which can be found on the school website.
Once you open the kit you should take and report the results of the tests to NHS Test & Trace and school as outlined above.

Reporting problems or issues with testing 

If there is an issue with the test kit, for example something is missing, please report it by calling 119 and please also tell the school. 
If an accident or injury happens whilst using the test kit, please seek medical care by calling 111 (or 999 if it is an emergency). Please also report what happened using this website: https://coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/  

What type of tests will be used? 
We will be sending home Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests. They are a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but who may still be spreading the virus.  The tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes.  Further information: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/understanding-lateral-flow-antigen-testing-for-people-without-symptoms  

Are LFD tests accurate? 

Lateral Flow Devices identify people who are likely to be infectious. These individuals tend to spread the virus to many people and so identifying them through this test is important.  
These tests have been widely and successfully used to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals and are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have got tested.  The tests are highly specific, with low chance of false positives. They are also very sensitive and are able to identify the majority of the most infectious yet asymptomatic individuals. Extensive evaluation has been carried out on the tests and it shows that they are both accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community for screening and surveillance purposes.   
It is important to remember that these tests are only an aid to help stop the spread of the virus and you should continue to follow other guidance such as on wearing face coverings and social distancing.  

How are LFD tests different to PCR tests? 

There are 2 main types of test to check if you have coronavirus: 

  • polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests check for the genetic material (RNA) of the virus in the sample - you send the sample for processing at a lab 
  • lateral flow device (LFD) tests detect proteins called ‘antigens’ produced by the virus - they give rapid results within 30 minutes 

What does it mean if I have a positive result?

If you have a positive antigen LFD test result you, your household and any support bubbles you are part of should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days. You need to report your result to both NHS Test & Trace and your school. 
You should order a confirmatory PCR test if you are testing at home (confirmatory PCR tests are not needed if the test was conducted at the Asymptomatic Test Site at school). You can book a test here

What does it mean if I have a negative result?

A negative result does not guarantee that you are not carrying the virus. So, you should continue to follow social distancing, and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing your hands.

What if I have a void result?

If the result of the test is unclear (void), you should take another one. If the next test is also void, you should take a PCR test. You can book a test here.

Do I need to send the test to a lab?

No. The LFDs supplied do not need to be sent to a laboratory to get a result and can give a quick result in around 30 minutes. Guidance on self-testing is contained in the ‘Instructions for Use’ leaflet, which comes with the test kit. There is also a useful video to show you how to administer the test. 

How do you report the result?

Once you have taken the test, you will need to report the result online (whether it is positive, negative or void) using this service. You also need to tell the school the test result if it is positive. You will receive a text or email from NHS Test & Trace confirming that you have reported your test result. 
All test results need to be reported to NHS Test & Trace.

Can someone else in my household use a test kit sent home from school? 

No, however whole families and households with primary school, secondary school, and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, will be able to test themselves twice every week from home. This testing can be accessed through the following channels: 

  • get a rapid test at work, through workplace testing. Ask your employer for more information
  • attend a test site to get tested where you will be able to see how to take the test or pick up tests to do at home (you can find your nearest test site via the postcode checker www.gov.uk/find-covid-19-lateral-flow-test-site or check your local council website) 
  • collect tests to do at home, find your nearest collection site COVID Test Finder (test-and-trace.nhs.uk

If these options are not possible, there will be a supply of rapid tests for order online for people who need them the most. More information can be found on www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests 

How will personal information and test results be shared?

To report your result, you will need to share some information about yourself, so that your test result can be traced.  You need to tell the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC):
●     your name
●     your test result
●     the reference number on the test kit
You will also need to tell your school or college your test result as outlined earlier in this letter. 

Under UK law, your school or college collect and store test result data because it is in the ‘public interest’.
Schools and colleges will only share information with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) if the test kits used are found to be faulty. If this happens, DHSC will use our information to contact people who used the faulty tests, so that they can be tested again. 
When you report test results online, you are sharing information with DHSC. They will share it with your GP, local government, NHS, and Public Health England. This is so that they can offer you health services and guidance if you need to self-isolate. They might also use your data anonymously (without your name or contact information) to research COVID-19, and improve our understanding of the virus.
For more information on how personal data is used for testing please see the detailed privacy notice on the school website.

Who is the school COVID Co-ordinator and Registration Assistant? 

The school COVID Co-ordinator is Mr Dugdale and the Registration Assistant is Miss McIntyre.

Who do I contact if there is an issue with testing at home?

Please contact the appropriate Pastoral Leader for further help.

Please refer to this article which explains the testing procedure in school for pupils, staff and visitors.
http://mountcarmelhigh.co.uk/news/2021-01-04-covid-testing-information-for-parents

We require a consent form to be completed to enable Covid testing. Here is a link to provide consent for pupils.
https://bit.ly/3ioJ7wF

Initially please refer to the guidance on our website using this link http://mountcarmelhigh.co.uk/parent-pupils/remote-learning

The page contains guidance on how to access school emails, Microsoft Teams and Show My Homework.

If after following the help guides above you are still experiencing login issues, please email password@mountcarmelhigh.co.uk with your full name, year group and date of birth, and we will respond ASAP.

Pupil log ins begin with their unique username followed by @mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk

To request a password reset please email our IT technicians on password@mountcarmelhigh.co.uk

If you feel your child / children meet the government criteria as children of critical workers who cannot safely, work remotely online at home and you would like your child to be considered for a place at school during the lockdown period, please email our Deputy Headteacher Mr Dugdale on pdugdale@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk.

We will identify vulnerable pupils who cannot work remotely online at home.

Please note we are in a Tier 4 area, pupils should only attend the school site if they cannot safely work remotely from home.

Pupils who qualify for a free school meal are entitled to receive a weekly food parcel during the national Covid lockdown period. We do however need you to book a parcel so we can get one prepared for collection. Once you have requested a food parcel we will have one ready for collection every week at the same time for you to collect, there is no need to book every week. Please do let us know if you don't need a parcel on a particular week so we are not having food go to waste.

If parents would like to arrange a food parcel or have any further queries regarding Free School Meal food parcels please email our school Business Manager Mr Georgy on bgeorgy@mountcarmelhigh.lancs.sch.uk 

Food parcels need to be collected every Monday morning from the school via the pastoral office reception between  11 - 1pm.

Following the announcement on 6 January 2021 that all GCSE exams this summer will be cancelled and replaced with teacher assessed grades, we will be in a better position to answer this question once the specifics of calculating grades are known. 
At the moment, we have not received any additional information as a school/teaching body other than what was shared by Gavin Williamson yesterday.
We ask that you please encourage pupils to continue to attend live, online lessons and complete all work set in the coming weeks. 
As mentioned, we do not know the specifics of how we will be asked to generate teacher assessments so the only thing that pupils can do at this moment in time is to continue to work hard in the hope that it does have an impact on grades.