6th November 2020
A quick update as this is the second this week!
Financial support if you have to self-isolate and on a low income
If you’re asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and you’re on a low income, unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, you may be entitled to a payment of £500 from your local authority under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. Ms Wright has put together the attached information for anyone that would find it useful.
Declarations by parents with a disability
Under the Disability Discrimination Act the school has a range of duties towards parents who suffer from a disability. It is to your benefit that you inform the school if you are affected by disability. We want to do what we can to meet the particular needs of any parent who has a disability. If you fall into this category and wish to tell us, please see the attached letter with more information.
Information for parents regarding clinically extremely vulnerable pupils
The local authority have sent through information for parents regarding the new expectations that a small number of pupils across the country are expected to stay home during the lockdown. Please see the attached "shielded patient list and school attendance" FAQ for more information.
When we will communicate with parents about positive coronavirus cases
At the start of the term, I was contacting the whole school community every time we had any individual case of coronavirus even though there was no official need to do so. I am going to reduce the number of communications I send in this regard as I am concerned we may start inundating inboxes, and stoking anxiety, unnecessarily. Where there is no need for any pupil in the school community to take any action, I will stop sending a communication. For example, I would no longer send a message if we had a case which involves a member of staff who, due to being part-time, would not have been contagious when at work, and so it does not affect any pupils. Similarly, if a pupil tests positive during the holidays, or while self-isolating due to a family member, I would not send a message. I want to be clear that I am doing this so there is no thought that we are trying to hide any cases linked to the school community. Rest assured that if there are any cases that mean pupils have to self-isolate, even if those pupils are not your children, I will contact all parents. This way, if your child hears about it, you will know what has happened.
Extra-curricular activities: A message from Mrs Kutty, Head of PE
Unfortunately due to the new Government restrictions that have come into place from Thurs the 5th of November until and including Weds the 2nd of December all of our PE clubs (after school and lunch time) will sadly need to be cancelled.
It is important for us to follow this safety advice for this period of time. However, as soon as these restrictions have been lifted we look forward to running these again. If you have any questions please feel free to have a chat with your PE teacher in your next PE lesson
Congratulations to Kerensa Pickering!
To finish, we were delighted to hear that one last year's Year 11 students, Kerensa Pickering had been selected by judges Maura Dooley and Keith Jarrett as one of the 85 commended poets in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020. Mr Murphy, our Second in English, encouraged Year 11 to apply for it and Kerensa did so. As a result, she was selected from over 6,000 entrants and over 15,000 poems from across the world, an amazing and impressive achievement. Kerensa has kindly allowed us to share "Shoes", her winning poem, with you. It is a powerful piece of writing that feels very timely. I finish this newsletter with it.
by Kerensa Pickering
There is a saying
Before you judge someone walk a mile in their shoes
Whose shoes does the world need to walk in before there comes the realisation
That our society is not right?
The high heels of the young women told that they brought their suffering on themselves because of the length of their skirts
The women who are not believed or whose cases are dropped
Because salvaging the reputation of a guilty man is more important than taking a rapist off the streets
The women that are labelled bimbos if they are confident and prudes if they dress modestly
These women that fought for their rights only to receive a cut a quarter too short
For these women, we should walk
The trainers of the young black men that cannot go for a run without fear of being lynched
The women told that in order to survive they must reject their culture
Because their hair is too ethnic for the workplace
The people of mixed race that are targeted for being too much of one thing or not enough of the other
These people who face hatred and abuse everyday purely because of the colour of their skin
For these people, we should walk
The brogues of the men who fought for their country now abandoned by communities
The generation that are isolated in their own homes and living off rations for a second time
Because their pension will not stretch to the necessities
The people that lie helpless on the floor for days after a fall
Or struggle with heavy shopping when no one seems to notice
For these people, we should walk
The bare feet of the children whose parents can barely afford to put food on the table
When one man has enough to end world poverty and have millions to spare
Because his warehouse workers are treated like robots
The children who slave away in sweatshops to make products because they are demanded by westerners with their eyes and ears shut
For these children we should walk
For these women, we will walk
For these men, we will walk
For these children, we will walk
But how many miles will the world have to walk before there comes the realisation
that none of the shoes of these people will change
unless something is done.
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