The following COVID message was sent out to parents on Thursday 5 November 2020:

Well this half-term has kicked off with a bang amidst the latest COVID lockdown and it does bring some changes – thankfully though not too many.

Headlines Below:

  • Face masks to be worn… bring two…
  • All clubs suspended – bar catch-up / booster sessions…
  • Repeat request for 8.30am onwards on site…


There are over 9 million individuals (students and staff) in England’s schools, amidst an overall English population of about 67 million, so with almost 14% of the country’s population in schools we can only keep our fingers crossed that the R Rate and restrictions ease in the run up to the end of term. Of course, there is hope, but there is also a high chance that our school provision is going to have to alter over the next few weeks.

The local picture is concerning as we currently see COVID cases in Lichfield at almost 300 per 100,000 and it was not so long ago that the figure was around 20.

Source –

We have had around half-a-dozen cases in school, notwithstanding those in the community which have necessitated students and staff to isolate, but we are chasing them up quickly and have managed to avoid the blanket closures suffered by other schools for now. I have outlined in previous emails how we will deliver teaching if the worst happens, so I won’t bore you by repeating myself, but rest assured we have a series of different contingencies in place.

National Guidance:

Following the announcement of the second lockdown, we received a raft of government guidance late yesterday afternoon and within that there are a couple of things we need to alter. Many have already been widely reported in the press: Eg –

Face Masks;

From Monday 9 November we will be asking all students to wear face masks in the following areas:

  1. In corridors
  2. Whilst queuing in the canteen (until they sit down to eat)  
  3. In communal classrooms
  4. In assemblies

We will continue to allow those children who wish to wear face masks in lessons to do so – just as we have since the start of term.

Naturally, in all of the areas where your child has any sort of sustained contact then they are in their Year group bubble, though as certainly the first three are less structured times compared to lessons, we feel this step is the prudent one to take.

We would ask that you provide your child with two ‘permanent’ face-masks, rather than disposable ones, as it is evident they are less likely to get discarded. Certainly, as someone who ends up picking up stray face-masks, I can confirm it is not a lot of fun.

We are pushing the message of ‘One to Wear and One as Spare’ – so if they lose one face mask then they have a replacement and can avoid being challenged by staff.

Our expectation on face masks has to be as it is with the rest of school uniform – just like a tie, a blazer, etc – and though we are not going to be rushing to sanction every individual instance of non-compliance, but rest assured we will firmly step in if it is being wilfully ignored. We see we have a job of enforcement, but also of education.

Extra-Curricular Activities:

Unfortunately, we have been directed to stop all of the ‘bubbled’ enrichment clubs after-school so sports clubs, music clubs, etc, will also have to stop until further notice.

However, we will be continuing, as per government guidance, to provide catch-up and support for all Year groups, especially those due to take exams next summer. This also includes Homework Club in the Library and SEND Room, as well as the Saturday School for Maths scheduled for Saturday 7 November.

Naturally, all of these sessions will continue to be in the Year group bubbles.

Arriving in the Morning:

We know everyone will appreciate that we need the children to be supervised on site more than ever and so we will again ask that unless strictly necessary your child does not arrive before 8.30am.

The exception would be those children who have to travel in via public transport.

Brilliant Parents:

It is worth me acknowledging how fantastic 99.9% of parents have been amidst this pandemic. We can imagine how stressful it is when you have work, life, family difficulties and so on due to COVID, and then we call to say your child has to isolate for 14 days, or worse you get a COVID case at home.

Our overwhelming experience has been one of calm, sympathetic and understanding parents who have taken the problem on the chin and been great with us. We are sure there are moments of frustration and annoyance – one poor Year 10 has actually had COVID and has still had to isolate again – but we really do appreciate the measured way this is being handled, not least because it means we can get on with sorting out work, etc.

This isn’t just a platitude, it is real gratitude.

To End…

We have 31 school days until we break up for Christmas and we hope we get there without any major closures. We can all contribute to making this happen and it is a positive to know that if we take good care of ourselves then we will inevitably be taking good care of everyone else too.