As a result of feedback from parents in the recent parental survey, the college have taken the decision to limit the number of tasks visible to our pupils on Show My Homework. Hopefully, this will enable our pupils to manage their time more effectively and provide a variable focus every day.
As of tomorrow, teachers have been asked to set their tasks on the days listed on the attached timetable. These days may be slightly different to the days on which pupils would have had their lessons for those subjects.
We hope that this adapted system of distance learning will help our pupils manage their independent work more effectively.
If you have any questions about this new system, please feel free to contact us in the usual way, via Reception or via one of our class teachers (subject-specific questions).
Parental Survey Results - Distance Learning - 1st May 2020
In the first week 731 young people downloaded our sessions.
Beaufort Financial Resources
Our new website www.mypersonalfinanceskills.org has been released. Students will be able to access the online version of the session that you had booked with us.
Each financial education session comes with a student worksheet and can be accessed anytime from home and lasts for around 45-60 minutes, depending on how long students take to complete activities. There are a series of other sessions too that might also be of interest to your learning.
Parental Survey on Distance Learning - 22nd April 2020
We kindly ask our parents to complete a questionnaire regarding your child's distance learning so far. The survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CGCCPS1 and is open now until Sunday at 6pm. The survey only needs to be completed once by each family.
Many thanks in advance for your support with this.
Free School Meals Update - 17 April 2020
The College has ordered two sets of vouchers for all eligible pupils who provided us with an email address or for whom an email was held on file. We can see that these vouchers have been approved and paid for by the Department for Education, however, they are showing as having not been issued by Edenred, the Government's provider. We have no indication from Edenred when this will take place, but will continue to chase them to ensure it happens as quickly as possible.
We apologise to pupils and parents for the delay, however, this is outside our control.
We will be moving to food parcels on Tuesday and will communicate with families on Monday.
Mr Carne - Executive School Business Manager
FREE SCHOOL MEALS UPDATE - 14TH APRIL 2020
Following multiple attempts, every day from Thursday through to this morning (Tuesday), we have this morning finally been able to upload the order for the FSM vouchers to the Government's provider. The order now needs to be processed by the provider. Once this has taken place, vouchers should be issued to the email addresses provided, or which were held on file if one was not provided following our request. A small number of parents have not provided an email and will need to contact us to provide one so we can issue the vouchers.
We anticipate the second batch of vouchers now being ordered in the next 24-48 hours, depending on the Government website.
Mr Carne - Executive School Business Manager
FREE SCHOOL MEALS UPDATE - 8TH APRIL 2020
A number of parents have contacted the College for information regarding the provision of Free School Meals during the partial closure of schools and the Easter Holidays.
The Government has confirmed that pupils entitled to Free School Meals continue to be entitled to a meal during the partial closure of schools. The College has, thus far, provided meals available on site for pupils who wished to take these up. This is in line with the Government guidance which says that schools should, in the first instance, work with their catering teams to make provision for Free School Meals. After Easter the College is putting in place the creation and delivery of food parcels on a weekly basis to all Free School Meal pupils. Arrangements for this will be communicated after the 20th April. However, we anticipate delivery on 21 April 2020.
The announcement on Monday (6 April) that Free School Meals would continue to be available over the Easter Holidays was unexpected by schools, and schools were not warned in advance and so had no time to prepare for it. Up until Monday, the Government had been stating it would not be expecting schools to provide meals over the Easter period. The College is now putting in place arrangements for this. It is likely that we will utilise vouchers over this period. However, the Government website for ordering these has only worked inconsistently, so it may take some time to get these set up.
However, in order to speed up the delivery of vouchers, we are asking parents of eligible families to email the firstname.lastname@example.org email address with an email stating the names and tutor groups of eligible pupils and an email address to which the vouchers can be emailed once the Government website is up and running. This information will be checked against our in school records to confirm eligibility. It is our expectation that we will be issuing vouchers towards the end of this week or start of next week and that eligible families will receive two vouchers of £15 value, one for the week beginning 6th April and one for the week beginning 13th April. These are likely to come within a few days of each other.
Given the College is working on a skeleton staff at present, the arrangements apply to all eligible pupils and we cannot offer bespoke provision for individual families or choice over how the provision is delivered. Government guidance is clear is it down to schools to determine the most practicable arrangements in their specific circumstances.
Thank you for your patience in these extraordinary circumstances.
URGENT ANNOUNCEMENT - PPE SHORTAGE - 5th April 2020
We have been approached by a local supply manager at the NHS, asking for any spare latex gloves, safety goggles and disposable aprons as they are desperately short of PPE. As a result, we've donated our supply of latex gloves from our first aid and science departments and safety goggles from our Design & Technology department.
If ANYONE has any SPARE supplies of PPE, we can get them to the NHS. The critical shortage is goggles which are sealed and elasticated, latex gloves and disposable aprons. If you have any of these items, please email:
COVID-19 SYMPTOM TRACKER - A MESSAGE FROM OUR HEADTEACHER - 2nd April 2020
If you are able to, we recommend that you download this app and help scientists track the progression of the virus across the UK.
I believe it is the single largest tracking App at the moment, with well over 1m users. I suspect that the data will be transferred to the NHS\PHE in the future.
If every person who owns a mobile phone downloads the App and answers the questions on a daily basis, it will make a significant contribution to the tracking of Covid 19 and subsequent strategies to manage the pandemic.
And pills that do everything from cheer, to prevent, quiet or kill
It is a time when there is much in the show window
And nothing in the stockroom
A time when technology has brought this letter to you,
And a time when you can choose either to make a difference,
Or to just hit delete…
Logging on to Office 365 - 26th March 2020
We've heard that some pupils are struggling to access their Office 365 apps, so here are some basic instructions on how to access your work tools. The apps are FREE to use and include:
- Outlook (College email account)
1. Go to www.office.com
2. Click on 'Sign In'
3. Enter your college email address (this is the username you use to logon to the college's PCs plus @cardinalgriffin.staffs.sch.uk at the end.
4. Enter the password you use to access the college's PCs.
5. Click 'No' when asked if you wish to 'Stay signed in'. This is more secure.
6. The main page will now load, and the list of apps will show in a line at the top of the page.
7. Click on the app/software you would like to use. E.g. Word.
8. The app will now load and present you with options at the top of the page. E.g. 'New Document'.
9. The app/software will then open in your web browser.
A Message from RT Rev Marcus Stock - 24th March 2020
in case you haven't seen - Pope Francis has asked us all to pray the Our Father at midday tomorrow (25th March) in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
To all teachers, parents, support staff, governors and pupils in Catholic schools
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
At this time, we are living through an unparalleled global crisis. When faced with national emergencies in the past, the people of our country have overcome adversity by relying on their families and local communities for comfort, strength, and indeed, personal contact. However, because of the contagious nature of the COVID19 Coronavirus, many will have to face this challenge in isolation.
Over the last few weeks the leaders, teachers, support staff and governors of our Catholic schools have carried out their responsibilities outstandingly in the face of increasingly difficult circumstances, preparing for the long-term closure of their schools and developing home schooling resources for pupils and parents. For this, we owe them our sincere thanks.
Our prayers are particularly needed for those parents who are now taking up their role as teachers while their children are at home. As parents they are the first educators of their children. Those who are members of the Catholic Church exercise this duty principally by choosing to send their children to Catholic schools wherever and whenever it is possible. However, in these difficult times, the role of all parents of school-aged children as their primary educators will become even more important.
I will certainly be praying for all Catholic schools, and for the teachers and support staff in them, which will remain open for the children of key workers. While our nation’s health services are on the front line battling the threat of this pandemic, our schools can play a crucial function in allowing doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to exercise their vital role treating the sick.
Over the coming weeks and months, the resolve of our country is going to be tested. Each of us will have to play our part, whether by supporting relatives and friends, assisting those in our communities who are vulnerable and in need, by social distancing or by self-isolating if we become ill.
What we must do is pray. Together we must pray for schools, their leaders, teachers, parents and pupils. With this shield of prayer, let us support one another and place all our faith and hope in the Lord Jesus Christ and in the power of his love to save us.
With the assurance of my prayers and every blessing, I remain
Yours in the Lord
Home Learning Timetable & Resources - 24th March 2020
We're currently populating a page of resources which pupils can access in addition to their work set on SMHW. A suggested day-to-day timetable is also available on the page (see below) which should help provide routine and structure to the working days.
Please look out for the download at the bottom of the page.
These packs include information about educational journeys such as taking options for younger learners, post-16 study options, and how to apply for university for older learners.
For Y12 and Y13 students, we know that their journeys to university may be disrupted i.e. cancellation of Open Days etc., so this information will help them stay on track over the next few months.
So that we can maintain some reporting to the Government around how we are supporting schools during this period, we ask that you and any learners accessing the resources complete a very brief online survey.
I would like to say a word of gratitude and encouragement to all who work in our Catholic schools at this trying time.
Thank you for all the important work you do in school with the students and with colleagues, not only in assisting learning but also in your care, compassion and support of the community.
It feels to me as if we are entering a dark tunnel, and we know we will be there for a long time. But there is always light at the end of this tunnel, and even if we are social distancing, we can know that we are on this journey together. Our schools and our parish have strong and supportive relationships, and I hope this can continue over the next few months.
At Church, while there will be no public acts of worship for some time, we are setting up networks and initiatives to keep our community together and to be there for others too. Thankfully, the internet makes so much of this possible.
Facebook, WhatsApp and our Website are especially useful.
The Church building will be open too - every day of the week except on Mondays. It is there for anyone who wants to make brief visits, for prayer, to light a candle, to engage in reflection or just, (as they say) to chill. You are welcome here whatever your faith or belief. And we will be praying for you, your families, the students, for the sick, for key workers, and for all those who are finding things difficult.
I am sure that this strange time provides us with many positive opportunities too, in spite of the challenges. We try to share some of these ideas through our networks, too.
There is more information about what we are trying to do on our website and on facebook. The contact details are below. If you wish you can be part of our extended community.
Be safe. Be positive … and keep washing your hands!
The Parish of St Mary and St Thomas More, Cannock
From 21st March there is no public worship in Church until further notice. Mass will be celebrated only privately.
The Church is open for prayer and reflection
Tuesday to Saturday 9am to 6pm, Sunday 12pm to 6pm.
Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.
Please, therefore, follow these key principles:
1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be. 2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them. 3. 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. 4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults. 5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible. If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:
Health and social care This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
Education and childcare This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.
Key public services This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.
Local and national government This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.
Food and other necessary goods This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).
Public safety and national security This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.
Transport This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.
Utilities, communication and financial services This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.
If workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.
The pupils who are able to attend on Monday will be notified today.
Pupil Health and Wellbeing - Links to Resources - 20th March 2020
Really useful blog which signposts children/parents/professionals to information and resources around Coronavirus:
Summary of the Prime Minister's statement – Tuesday 17th March
There were five key messages
1. Stop the spread of the disease this will include:
a. Advising against all unnecessary contact.
b. Shielding the vulnerable for up to 12 weeks.
2. Increase the capacity of the NHS. To achieve this objective, all non-essential use of the NHS will end, and all available resources will be given to the front line service in the NHS and the caring services.
3. Boost science and research. Try to study the disease, test drugs that already exist and have been through medical trials to see what helps treat severe cases, and search for a vaccine.
4. Act like any wartime government and do whatever it takes to support the economy.
5. Strengthen other public services that will be under great pressure from the direct and indirect effects of the disease, such as the effects of staff shortages, and from the economic pressures. All institutions will be under great pressure.
How can I try to stay well?
Wash hands for about 20 seconds with soap and hot water or use a sanitiser gel. Handwashing is far more effective than gel.
Use a tissue for coughs and sneezes. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
If you or someone you live with has symptoms of a new continuous cough or a fever you should all stay at home for 14 days.
Stay three steps away from people in your home if possible
If your symptoms get worse or do not improve after seven days, seek medical advice on 111 or go on line www. 111.nhs.uk
DFE - CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 17TH MARCH 2020
Funding for free childcare offers to continue in the event of coronavirus closures
Today the Chancellor has confirmed the Government will continue to pay for free early years entitlement places even if settings are closed on the advice of Public Health England or children are not able to attend due to coronavirus. We expect local authorities to follow the Department’s position, and to continue early entitlements funding for all childminders, schools and nurseries. We will not be asking for funding back from local authorities.
The Government’s advice remains that childcare settings should stay open unless advised otherwise by Public Health England, and today’s announcement should help settings to continue to do so. This will minimise both longer-term disruption to parents and any income losses that providers may otherwise experience.
The following information was published on the BBC news Website on Monday 16th March 2020.
Many countries are closing schools as part of their efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus.
So, what's happening in the UK?
Why is my child's school still open?
At the moment, the government is advising schools to stay open. However, it "may be necessary" to close them in the future, according to the government's chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance.
The UK's approach is that children are not as vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus as adults.
The government is also concerned that closing schools would cause widespread disruption. any parents - including much-needed NHS staff - would have to take time off work to look after their children.
And there are concerns that if grandparents - a vulnerable group - were drafted in to help with childcare, infected children could transmit the disease to them.
There are also fears that vulnerable children, such as those in danger of neglect, could be at risk if schools were closed for a long period of time.
In Scotland, a number are closed for deep cleaning - a decision which some schools across the UK have also taken themselves.
Could exams be cancelled?
We don't know yet.
The current advice from all the exams watchdogs is that teachers and students should prepare for exams as normal.
In Scotland, where exams start earlier than the rest of the UK, the Scottish Qualifications Authority said there was no change to the exam timetable. It is currently due to run from 27 April until 4 June 2020.
All its deadlines for coursework, and other assessments, remain in place.
The advice is similar elsewhere in the UK, with students, parents and teachers being told to prepare for exams and to keep across any updates.
England's watchdog, Ofqual, said: "Our overriding priorities are fairness to students this summer and keeping disruption to a minimum."
What if someone at my child's school is ill?
Schools are being urged to ensure pupils and staff wash their hands frequently. And they are being told to clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly.
Schools and nurseries are being told that anyone who becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough, or a high temperature should be sent home.
If pupils become unwell at school they should be isolated while they wait for their parents to collect them. Ideally, this should be in a room behind a closed door, with a window open.