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Parent Bulletin

Please take some time to read the bulletin from Mr Solly - it contains a lot of important information

Dear parents and carers,

We have reached the end of the autumn term and what a challenging one it has been. I think that schools up and down the country have done a remarkable job during the pandemic and particularly throughout this term. At UCC we have experienced even greater challenges than most, recovering from a fire, a network failure, the devastating loss of Jessica Hayes and numerous personal tragedies that have affected members of our school community. The resilience, resolve and team spirit I have seen on a daily basis from staff and students has been astonishing and humbling. I am so proud of how we have navigated our way through the most difficult of circumstances; I know we will be all the more stronger for it. 

Christmas is going to be very different this year, as we all know. I have asked our students to reflect on this as they enter the festive period and to show compassion, understanding, empathy and kindness to those around them. We will continue to be on high alert at UCC, right up until 23rd December, as we have to track and trace any confirmed positive Covid cases. This means that you might receive an email from the school identifying your child as a close contact, if any of our students test positive over the course of the next 5 days. I sincerely hope you don't hear from us! However, if your child does test positive, please ensure you email and provide us with the details.

There is an opportunity for one of our parents to join the UCC governing body. We are looking for a parent, who has experience in marketing/advertising strategy to become a governor and support the development of our school. If you have this skill set and professional background, and you would be willing to join our governing body, please send me an email expressing your interest by the 4th January 2021.

You may have seen in the press that schools have been issued with yet another set of last minute announcements. Yesterday, we received notice that all secondary schools will be expected to implement a staggered start to 2021. This means the following:

- Year 11 will be the only year group in school from Monday January 4th - Friday January 8th.

- Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 will be remote learning at home from Monday January 4th - Friday January 8th. Teachers will either deliver a 'Live Lesson' via MS Teams, or set an 'On Demand' learning resource. All instructions will be on SMHW and the normal school timetable will be followed.

- Our website has lots of information for accessing MS Teams - 

- The school buses will run as normal and students in school will be able to pre-order food in the usual way

If you are a Key Worker and your child is in Y7-10, you will also be entitled to send them into school during that particular week. Additionally, if your child has an EHCP then they are also entitled to access school during the week beginning 4th January. Please could you let us know whether or not you wish to access this Key Worker provision by completing an online form by 10am on Monday 21st December. The arrangements for the Key Worker / EHCP provision will consist of students working on laptops to access either the Live Lesson or the On Demand resource. There will be 4 rooms allocated, one for each of Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 and these rooms will be staffed by our teaching assistants and cover supervisors. 

We also received notice this week, that schools will be expected to become Covid test centres in January. In order to assess this new expectation for schools fully, I will need to spend some time considering the implications of staffing, physical spaces, training, recording systems and safety with the senior leadership team and our governors. There is a huge amount of work involved in setting this up, so it is incredibly unhelpful that this information was released right at the end of term. I hope to be able to provide you with further information on this at the start of the new calendar year. 

Before I sign off, I would like to revisit one particular highlight from this term. Back in September, just as we were about to re-start the school following the fire, I received the message below from one of our students; it is something I will never, ever forget and it embodies just how brilliant our school community has been:

“Mr Solly, this is just a quick message, I hope you have time to read it. I want you and all the staff to stay strong during this period. Our school is more than just a building, it is so much more than that. Our school is about the people connected by it. Our school is about our core values and how it shapes the lives of us, the students. Bricks and mortar might hold our building together, but our community is bonded by our love for UCC and the values we live by.”

Finally, I would like to thank you all for your support throughout this term. We have received messages of thanks, recognition and motivation that have kept us going during the most challenging of times. Your comments have been greatly appreciated and are highly valued by the staff.

I hope you are all able to enjoy a restful, peaceful, and healthy festive period.

Merry Christmas!
Mr B Solly. 

Link to the online Key Worker form: