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St. Bede's Catholic College

ST Bede's

Catholic College

    Update 23rd April 2021

    Update – 23rd April 2021

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    I hope that you all enjoyed the celebrations over Easter and are looking forward with enthusiasm to meeting up with family as restrictions continue to ease coming out of lockdown. There is certainly light at the end of the tunnel with a renewed sense of family coming together.

    The government announcement regarding students not having to wear face coverings in classrooms has been delayed and this requirement will not now be lifted until 17th May at the earliest. Advisors still want schools to be cautious at this time and therefore the recommendation remains in place until then.

    Year 11 and 13 students are continuing to work hard and are completing the last assessments which are another opportunity to ‘shine’. Students should remain focussed for the remaining few weeks to ensure that they achieve the best results possible.

    Year 11 and 13 students last day in college will be Friday 28th May.

    Year 11 students intending to return to Areté in Year 12 will be provided with online ‘bridging’ work to complete in June prior to their Sixth Form induction in July. Faculty Leaders are currently finalising this work and students will be expected to engage with this after the half term break.

    We continue to hope that restrictions will be lifted further from the 21st June when schools can return to a more familiar routine and students will have more access to all areas of the college.

    Let us remember all those who have suffered throughout this pandemic and pray for the swift recovery of all those who remain unwell at this time.

    With prayers and all good wishes,

    J. G. Maher

    Principal

     

     

    Update – 31st March 2021

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    As the country cautiously begins to unlock following the extended period of lockdown, it is worth remembering that, as Christians, we are known as the ‘Easter People’ – a people of Hope. Mr Loud has put together reflections for us to use during Holy Week and Easter which will enable us to come together and feel part of the wider family of St Bede’s. 

    All students who have been involved in the lateral flow testing in school have been issued with two kits for use over the Easter break. Parents are asked to use contact@stbcc.org if their child shows symptoms of Covid-19 and returns a positive test result from Thursday 1st April through to Sunday 4th April. The NHS Track and Trace system should be used by parents from Monday 5th April. 

    Let us remember all those who have suffered bereavement or are unwell in hospital. We pray that they will be given strength and comfort at this time. 

    With all good wishes and Easter blessings, 

    J. G. Maher 
    Principal 

    Please find our latest Newsletter here  : https://www.stbedescc.org/attachments/download.asp?file=2309&type=pdf

     


     

    Update – 26th March 2021

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    Mrs Elizabeth White, Chair of Governors is pleased to announce the appointment of the new Principal for St Bede's Catholic College. Following interviews this week,

    Mr Robert King will take up the position of Principal in September. A number of students were involved in the interviews as well as Governors. This is a good appointment for the college as Vice Principal Mr King already knows the college well. We wish him well with his new role. 

    Students who have consented to being involved in the home lateral flow testing will be issued with two kit boxes next week. The government are requesting that testing continues over the Easter break and therefore six tests will be provided which should give everyone enough up until Sunday 18th April.

    Schools are also being asked to undertake Track and Trace for 48 hours following the students’ last contact in school. Therefore, parents are asked to use contact@stbcc.org if their child shows symptoms of Covid-19 and returns a positive test result from Thursday 1st April through to Sunday 4th April. The NHS Track and Trace system should be used by parents from Monday 5th April.

    With prayers and every blessing,

    J. G. Maher

    Principal

     

    Update – 19th March 2021

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    We have now conducted over three thousand lateral flow tests in college with only one positive case reported. All students who consented to being involved in the testing have been issued with their home testing kits.

    Students should complete their first test on Sunday 21st March, second on Wednesday 24th and third on Sunday 28th. Parents are asked to register the results with the NHS and instructions for doing this are included in the box. The college only needs to be informed of a positive result so that we know that your child is isolating at home.

    A further test kit will be issued during the last week of term 4 and students should resume testing on Sunday 18th April prior to their return to college after the Easter break.

    I would like to commend the students for their behaviour and cooperation throughout the testing process which certainly enabled the smooth running of the testing being carried out.

    I’m sure that many of you will have seen the article in the Bristol Post this week which highlights that Lawrence Weston has significant numbers of Covid-19 cases. Please discourage your children from visiting the local parade of shops in the morning before college starts and potentially spreading the virus within the college community.

    I would also like to thank all parents for your continued support. Let us continue to pray for all those who have suffered illness through this pandemic.

    With prayers and every blessing,

    J. G. Maher

    Principal

     

    Update – 12th March 2021

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    It has been a privilege to welcome students back to full face to face education this week. The vast majority of students have been excited about seeing their teachers and their friends and experiencing high quality direct teaching and learning in college. It has also been fantastic to hear the ‘hustle and bustle’ of students in college.

    Mr Loud has continued to prepare resources for Lent and these additional power points will be shared with students over the next few weeks.

    89% of students have given consent to be involved in the lateral flow testing. Years 7, 9, 10, 12 and 13 have all received two tests this week with Years 8 and 11 receiving their second test on Monday. All test results so far have been negative which is excellent news. All ‘in school’ testing will finish on Thursday 18th March. The students’ behaviour has been impeccable throughout and their cooperation and attentiveness has made the whole process run very smoothly.

    All those who have consented to having the lateral flow tests will be issued with their home testing kits next week. Students should complete two tests per week and parents are asked to register the results with the NHS. The instructions on how to do this are provided in the kit boxes. Form tutors will go through the processing of the tests with students during registration next week and a short video has provided on how to do this. Parents will only need to inform the college of a positive result and the need for their child to isolate for ten days as required.

    We have been pleased with the positive response shown by students towards the wearing of face masks in college and on both public and college transport. Members of the local community have also written to me this week noting the students wearing face masks and thanking them for their efforts. The correct wearing of masks at all times is an important factor in helping us all to stop the spread of the virus.

    Mr King has sent out information to Year 11 and 13 students regarding the grading of examinations in the summer. We are still awaiting some crucial detail from the exam boards but this initial information will hopefully provide some reassurance to both students and parents. Results days have been amended with ‘A’ Level results now being published on Tuesday 10th August and GCSE results being published on Thursday 12th August.

    The college has issued significant numbers of IT devices to families to support remote learning during the periods of lockdown. We are very grateful to have received generous donations from two organisations, The Edmonds and Coles Charity and the Direct Line Group to support this provision. Families are asked to hold onto equipment issued to aid home learning until formally asked to return it to the college.

    Thank you to all families for your continued support and for all your good wishes to staff here at St Bede’s Catholic College.

    With prayers and every blessing,

    J. G. Maher

    Principal

     

     

    Update – 5th March 2021

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    We are all very much looking forward to welcoming students back into college next week. 

    Many children will be really happy to come back to the college because they will get to see their friends and it will be a welcome return to a routine for them, but there will be some who feel anxious. Therefore, we have allocated time for the children to celebrate their return to college by taking stock of their experiences and to then swiftly look forward with hope and positivity to their next steps.  The wellness resources that we are planning to use can be accessed here:

     St. Bede's Catholic College Wellness Classroom

    Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will be staggered for the students return. School buses will resume from Monday 8th March and will collect students from their pick up points at the usual times. In accordance with government guidelines students will need to wear face coverings when travelling to college. 

    Following the advice from government we will now be requiring everyone to wear face coverings in classrooms as well as corridors and communal areas. This is to keep everyone as safe as possible as the community begins to unlock and will avoid a further spike in coronavirus numbers as time progresses.  

    Please make sure that your child has a spare mask in their blazer pocket so that should the first one break or be lost then they have a second to utilise during the day. 

    Students will remain in their year groups bubbles as before the lockdown in January. They should enter via the main entrance and report to the rooms previously advised in my update on 26th February. 

    If your child is unsure of which room is indicated above, then staff will be available in the main entrance to direct them. 

    Students in years 8, 9, 11, 12 and 13 who remain at home on Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th will have work set via Show My Homework. However, no live lessons will take place on these two days. 

    I would like to thank all parents for your continued support during these challenging times.  

    With prayers and every blessing, 


    J. G. Maher 
    Principal 


     

     

    Update – 26th February 2021

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    Thank you to everyone who has responded to the request for consent forms to be returned and we are now down to the last remaining few. Please complete the form to allow for all administrative tasks to be completed and the efficient testing to take place when students return. 

    School buses will resume from Monday 8th March and will collect students from their pick up points at the usual times. In accordance with government guidelines students will need to wear face coverings when travelling to college. 

    Students and teachers already wore face coverings in corridors and communal areas and we will now be requiring everyone to wear these in classrooms as well. This is to keep everyone as safe as possible as the community begins to unlock and will avoid a further spike in coronavirus numbers as time progresses.  

    Please make sure that your child has a spare face covering in their blazer pocket so that should the first one break or be lost then they have a second to utilise during the day. 

    Students will remain in their year groups bubbles as before the lockdown in January. 

    Students in years 7 and 10 will return to college on Monday 8th March. When they arrive in college they should enter via the main entrance and report to the following rooms which are their normal teaching rooms and not their Tutor bases:

    Year 7 Room   Year 10 Room
    7 1A A8   10/1 Maths  D4
    7 2A    A12   10/2 Maths  D17
    7 2C A4   10/3 Maths D6
    7 3A A7   10/4 Maths  D13
    7 1B A5   10 S1 Science  D11
    7 1C A3   10 S2 Science  D16
    7 2C A6   10S3 Science  D15
    7 3B  E5      

     

    Students in years 9, 12 and 13 will return to college on Tuesday 9th March. When they arrive in college they should enter via the main entrance and report to the following rooms which are their normal teaching rooms and not their Tutor bases:

    Year 9 Room   Year 12/13 Room
    9 1B B10   12 C Biology O3
    9 1C B3   12 C CS O10
    9 2C B8   12 C Drama O9
    9 3B B2   12 C Music  O6
    9 1A B1   12 C RF 8A
    9 2A B4   13 D Art 4A
    9 2B B7   13 D Chemistry O4
    9 3A A10L   13 D English Lit 7A
          13 D Geography 2A
          13 D Physics O8
          13 D Psychology 6A
          13 D Theo 5A

    Students in years 8 and 11 will return to college on Wednesday 10th March. When they arrive in college they should enter via the main entrance and report to the following rooms which are their normal teaching rooms and not their Tutor bases:

    Year 8 Room   Year 11 Room
    8 1A A9   11 T1 C14
    8 2A A19   11 T2 C22
    8 2B A18   11 T3 C17
    8 3A A14   11 T4 C18
    8 1B A21   11 T5 D9
    8 1C A20   11/5 Maths C37
    8 2C A11   11/6 Maths  C34
    8 3B A13   11/7 Maths  C32

    If your child is unsure of which room is indicated above, then staff will be available in the main entrance to direct them. 

    Students in years 8, 9, 11, 12 and 13 who remain at home on Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th will have work set via Show My Homework. However, no live lessons will take place on these two days. 

    The government confirmed that year 11 and 13 students completing their GCSE and ‘A’ Level courses this year will have their grades informed by teacher assessment. This will be assessment completed over time. If additional evidence is required, then students may need to complete sample questions provided by the exam boards. We are awaiting the guidance to be published and have until June 18th to complete the moderation process. 

    Results days have already been amended. ‘A’ Level results will be issued on Tuesday 10th August and GCSE results will be published on Thursday 12th August. 

    Further information will be provided as soon as we receive it in college. 

    With prayers and every blessing, 

    J. G. Maher 

    Principal 

     

    Update – 23rd February 2021

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    We are all looking forward to welcoming students back at St Bede’s.

    Following the Government’s announcement yesterday all students in secondary schools will need a negative lateral flow test result.  Therefore, if you have not already done so it is now imperative that consent forms are completed here by Friday 26th February. This will allow for all administrative tasks to be completed next week and then tests can be carried out effectively the following week.

    The students return to college will be staggered in order to facilitate a safe and controlled testing environment and the advice received from the Department for Education allows for this to happen during the first week when students return.

    Years 7 and 10 will return to college on Monday 8th March

    Years 9, 12 and 13 will return to college on Tuesday 9th March

    Years 8 and 11 will return to college on Wednesday 10th March

    Further detail will be forwarded later in the week but I thought it appropriate to give you this information today to enable you to plan accordingly.

    Thank you in advance for your co-operation and by doing this we hope to avoid having to send large groups home to isolate in the future.

    With prayers and all good wishes,

    J. G. Maher

    Principal

     

     

    Update – 12th February 2021

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    This week there will be ‘surge testing’ in certain postcodes in the Bristol area where a new version of the ‘Kent variant’ has been found and has been described as ‘worrying’. The testing is available to everyone over the age of 16 and is PCR testing which is the most sensitive form of testing available.   If you live in these postcode areas, please do consider getting a test. 

    A full information briefing on the postcodes affected and how to get a test is found through the following link:

    https://news.bristol.gov.uk/news/additional-community-testing-in-bristol-and-south-gloucestershire

    On site and off site education continues well with no new positive cases on site.

    Thank you for supporting surge testing if you live in the relevant postcode as it all helps to keep our city safer.

    IT Support for Remote Learning

    If you require device or data support please contact Mr O’Rourke via email to : contact@stbcc.org

    Sharing a device or the home device is faulty?  - We have a number of laptops and chromebooks to loan to families free of charge.

    Difficult to get WiFi access?  - We have a number of BT WiFi Hotspot vouchers available to issue to families.  Please check coverage in your area before requesting a voucher. https://www.btwifi.com/find/

    IT Security

    In order to continue to protect our young people from potential harm from malicious IT activity especially during this period of remote learning, please remind your son or daughter of these three key points:

    • Ensure that passwords to all IT systems (e.g. Gmail and Satchel One) are changed regularly, are adequately strong and are never shared.  See here https://bit.ly/3jzA8cU for instructions on changing Gmail passwords
    • Accessing or attempting to access someone else's account is strictly prohibited
    • Live lessons and other St. Bede's Catholic College resources for remote learning are for access only to our college community
    • All logins, login attempts, comments and access to materials are recorded and regularly monitored.  Any breach of the points above and any element of the college IT acceptable use policy will result in disciplinary action, including possible reporting to outside agencies. A copy of the IT Acceptable Use Policy can be found here https://bit.ly/3qaHUwk and on the college website under 'Our College', 'Policies and Procedures'.

    Apprenticeships

    This week is National Apprenticeship Week but resources can be accessed at any time.  Apprenticeships are emerging as a very attractive and viable option for our young people, so please ensure your child reviews this opportunity and has a look at the resources.  Mrs Bartlett-Cosway can be contacted if any student would like further information :  k.bartlett-cosway@stbcc.org.    Students in years 10 and 11 have been investigating the resources during their tutor time this week. Link to the resources is included below and the code if required is jtcmua2

    https://classroom.google.com/c/MjYzODAwNzYxOTU0?cjc=jtcmua2

    World Book Day

    World Book Day is Thursday 4th March and is an opportunity to celebrate the rich culture that is available through many different authors. This year will be the lockdown version but organisers are providing vouchers to students and the link to claim your voucher is available here: 

    booktoken_SecondaryUK.pdf (worldbookday.com)  

    Lent

    Ash Wednesday next week will see the start of Lent and is a period when we prepare for the most important season for Christians and the promise of eternal life. Mr Loud has prepared our Ash Wednesday Service and it is an opportunity for us all to come together as the family of St Bede’s. This is available on our website: https://bit.ly/3781VMn 

    As part of our Lenten preparations we have a ’40 days – 40 items’ challenge to consider this year and I hope that everyone will get involved with this worthy cause.

    All staff gathered online this morning, led by our College Chaplain Mr Loud who stressed the importance of pausing to take stock and how we might prepare for the Lenten season

    May I take this opportunity to again thank you for all the hard work and commitment that you have shown in supporting your children with their home learning this term. Have a good half term break and stay safe.

    With prayers and all good wishes,

    J. G. Maher

    Principal

     

     

     

    Update – 5th February 2021

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    The consultation regarding the awarding of grades for both GCSE and ‘A’ Level in the summer is closing and we are expecting a full response from the government in the week beginning 22nd February. Mr King wrote to parents of students in years 11 and 13 earlier this week to outline the key areas being considered which I thought would be useful. 

    There is a clear aim from government and OFQUAL to set up a fair system that values the work that students have completed to date, as well as the work still to be done between now and the end of the academic year. We hope this will help students to feel motivated and to fully engage with their learning. Teachers are working hard to maintain excellent quality teaching and high expectations of each student. We also fully appreciate that the lack of clarity is difficult for everyone at this time. 

    With the transmission of new variants of Coronavirus, it is essential that children of key workers, vulnerable learners and college staff do not come into college: 

    •    if they have symptoms of Coronavirus
    •    live in a household with someone who does
    •    have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 10 days 

    This will reduce the risk to everyone and further drive down transmission rates both locally and nationally. 

    The government are still advising that schools will not re-open to all students until Monday 8th March at the earliest. This may still be a staggered start as was originally suggested for January. Students will still be required to complete two lateral flow tests on their return so if you haven’t already completed your consent form then please do so here in order that all associated administrative tasks may be completed. If you do not consent, then please also advise us of this so that we can update records accordingly. 

    The year 11 parents’ consultation evening will go ahead on Wednesday 10th February and the opportunity to book appointments is open for parents now. 

    A reminder to all parents that the last day of this term will be Thursday 11th February with Friday being an INSET day. The college will re-open to children of key workers and vulnerable students on Monday 22nd February when remote learning will also resume. Hopefully we will have received more clarity regarding the wider opening of schools by then which I will communicate to you at the earliest opportunity. 

    With prayers and all good wishes, 

    J. G. Maher 
    Principal 


     

     

    Update – 29th January 2021

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    As you will already be aware the government announced that schools will not re-open to students until Monday 8th March at the earliest. This means that remote learning will continue until at least then. All staff at St Bede’s have worked tirelessly to provide an appropriate learning experience for students at all key stages. I acknowledge that this has not been easy for parents especially if you are also working from home and supporting your children. 

    The year 8 and year 9 options events were held virtually this year and all materials to support your children in making options choices is available on the college website. 

    The year 10 parents’ consultation evening went ahead on Wednesday after the problems experienced by the external provider previously. The online service has been well received by parents so far this year and once all year groups have experienced this opportunity then consideration will be made to adopt this as a way forward in the future. 

    Congratulations to Gabriela Mazur who was runner up in the key stage 3 ‘Great Big Dance Off’, a national schools dance competition with over 300 schools taking part in the virtual competition this year. 

    Also, well done to the Young Enterprise team who achieved notable successes in this year’s competition winning the trophies for Sustainability and Innovation. Best Managing Director was won by Chris Mathew and best Centre Lead was won by Miss Hancock. 

    A reminder to all parents that the last day of this term will be Thursday 11th February with Friday being an INSET day. The college will re-open to children of key workers and vulnerable students on Monday 22nd February when remote learning will also resume. Hopefully we will have received more clarity regarding the wider opening of schools by then which I will communicate to you at the earliest opportunity. 

    As the UK exceeded the unfortunate milestone of 100,000 deaths from Coronavirus this week let us remember those who have died and pray that their families and friends be given strength to find comfort and healing. 

    With prayers and every blessing, 

    J. G. Maher 
    Principal 


     

     

    Update : Year 10 Parents and Carers Consultation Evening 27/01/21

    Dear parents and carers,

    We shall be attempting to run this evening as planned but due to a huge increase in the number of schools trying to access similar on-line services, it is possible that we may once again experience disruption.  Our Parent Evening system provider has been working with other providers to attempt to resolve on-going national issues that are related to internet infrastructures nationally rather than anything that is directly under their control.  Therefore, we would like to share our plans as follows with you in advance, should cancellation become necessary; 

    Procedures for the possible cancellation of the consultations; 

    1. Parents/ Carers and Teachers to log-on and begin the evening as planned at 4.30pm 
    2. If disruption is experienced in the first 30mins, to avoid uncertainty and parents/carers waiting around for something to happen, a decision will be taken to cancel the consultation evening at 5pm. You will be notified of any decision to cancel by a message that will be posted on the front page of the college website.   

    Your on-going patience and support with this matter is appreciated. 
     

     

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    I hope this update finds you, your extended family and all your loved ones safe and well as we continue to navigate our way through these worrying and challenging times. 

    I would like to take this opportunity to provide a reminder about our remote learning arrangements and our remote learning provision is fully compliant with government directives. When timetabled to teach the students working from home, teachers will, where possible, teach using the Google Meet function to ‘broadcast’ the lesson, as well as recording it for any student that cannot access it live. We are also able to utilise excellent resources creating high quality video lessons from SAM Learning, The Oak Academy, You Tube, GCSE Pod and Maths Watch. 

    All work will be set on Show My Homework and all subjects will teach as closely as possible to the curriculum which would have be taught in college. However, adaptation will need to be made for practical subjects such as Art, Music, Drama, PE and DT. 

    In order to further support our young people, we will be adding a ten-minute tutor time from 1.30 -1.40 each day. The tutor period is an opportunity for tutors to check in with their tutees, to sign post them towards academic studies and wellness activities and to check on any engagement issues. 

    The rationale for remote learning is available for your information here 

    Extra Resources 
    CBBC, BBC2, BBC iPlayer and BBC Red Button also offer different content for students including daily lessons which are also available online.

    If you have younger children, then you may be interested in the CBBC offer of a three-hour block of primary school programmes from 9am. This will include programmes from BBC Live lessons as well as BBC Bitesize Daily, our school celebrity supply teacher, Horrible Histories and Operation Ouch. 

    BBC2 will run at least two hours of educational programming for secondary students every weekday which will include adaptation of Shakespeare plays as well as Science and History programmes. 

    Please keep in touch with your child’s Head of House or Form Tutor if you are experiencing issues with online learning and contact Mr O’Rourke, Vice Principal d.orourke@stbcc.org if you are struggling with technology so that equipment can be lent out to support students’ learning at home.

    Other organisations which will be able to offer help and support at this time include: 

    Organisation Helpline
    Young Minds 08088025544
    Mindfulness https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mindfulness/
    BBC Educational Programmes GCSE Bitesize
    Samaritans https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contactsamaritan/
    NSPCC

    0808800500

    help@nspcc.org.uk

    Child LIne 0800 1111
    Online Safety

    www.internetmatters.org

    www.thinkuknow.co.uk


    Exams 
    I fully appreciate how anxious students in Years 11 and 13 are regarding the awarding of grades in the summer. We continue to do all we can to support students and also ask you to support them in continuing to apply themselves and complete the work being set by their teachers. This will put them in a strong position moving forward, whatever arrangements are made between the Department for Education and Ofqual. I will of course keep you updated regarding the awarding of GCSE and ‘A’ Level grades once we receive more clarity. 

    In the meantime, if you would like to contribute to the debate and consultation regarding this then please complete the survey following the link below: 

    https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/8BYI4T/

    Mass Testing 
    Since the announcement of the schools testing programme in December, we have seen the emergence of a new variant of the virus which has become dominant throughout the UK as numbers continue to rise. The variant has been shown to have increased transmissibility and causes higher secondary attack rates. This increases the risk of transmission everywhere, including in school settings.

    In light of this changing situation, the government now recommends that the roll out of daily contact testing within schools is paused, other than for schools involved in further evaluation. This will enable the additional detailed evaluation of changing circumstances including, potentially, lower infection rates and modelling work required to understand the benefits of daily contact testing in this new phase of the pandemic.

    St Bede’s will continue to test all staff regularly in line with recommendations for other workforces that need to leave the home to work. I would encourage parents to complete the consent form so that administrative tasks can be completed so that should the guidance change and we be required to test students twice upon their return to college then we have everything in place in order to facilitate this. 

    Stay Safe 
    Whilst we continue to be physically separated at this time, it is a consolation to know that in each of your homes St Bede’s continues to operate with remote learning and virtual contact between teachers and their students. 

    As the number of daily Covid-19 cases continues to rise nationally, we pray for the recovery of those who are receiving medical care. We also remember in our thoughts and prayers those who have died and for those who grieve for them that they may be comforted by our loving and merciful Lord. 

    These are indeed turbulent times and I would like to thank you for your understanding and your kind words of support and appreciation, especially when so many of you are facing your own challenges at home and at work during this pandemic. 

    There is hope of better times as the vaccine roll out continues to gather pace and we look forward with renewed enthusiasm to being able to welcome our students back at college in the near future. 

    Please keep safe at this time. 

    With prayers and my very best wishes, 

    J. G. Maher 
    Principal 
     

     

    Update – 15th January 2021

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    St Bede’s has now been set up to complete the Coronavirus testing of students. Children of key workers, vulnerable students and staff have already been tested once we received consent forms. I would encourage everyone to complete the online consent form here so that all associated administrative tasks can be completed prior to the students return later this term. 

    Apologies for the inconvenience caused by the postponement of the Year 10 Parent and Carers consultation evening.  The system provider 'School Cloud' experienced a server crash which disrupted services for the whole country.  The consultation evening has been rescheduled for Wednesday 27th January 
    4.30-7.30pm.  

    All PIN codes already issued are valid for the new date but it will be necessary for parents and carers to re-book appointments with teachers.  The booking system will be open from Monday 18th January and will close on Monday 25th January.   

    If a PIN code has been mislaid, please do not hesitate to contact us via email contact@stbcc.org

    We were notified this week that our Salix bid was successful and have been awarded approximately £1 million to upgrade our heating system. This will reduce our carbon footprint and allow classrooms to regulate the temperature both in the summer as well as the winter in future. Work on this will begin during the Easter break. 

    GCSE and ‘A’ Level students may be required to sit ‘mini exams’ to aid with the grading process this year. Consultation with schools regarding this will begin next week and once a final decision by the Department for Education is made I will inform parents as soon as I can. In the meantime, students in Years 11 and 13 should continue to complete the work set by their teachers. 

    A reminder that if you are struggling with technology to email Mr O’Rourke, Vice Principal d.orourke@stbcc.org so that equipment can be lent out to support students’ home learning. 

    A polite reminder that parents of vulnerable students and children of key workers wishing to attend college will need to email s.derrick@stbcc.org each Friday during the lockdown with their intentions for the following week to ensure we have appropriate supervision in place. 

    In addition to the academic curriculum, students now have access to our new ‘St. Bede’s Catholic College Wellness Page’.  The pastoral resources provide guidance on ways to boost Spiritual, Emotional and Physical Wellness and are a focus for activities outside of the formal lesson timetable.  

    This link will enable access : St. Bede's Catholic College Wellness Classroom

    The Library Newsletter is available here with links and suggestions to support students’ reading. 

    Please keep safe at this difficult time. 

    With prayers, 

    J. G. Maher 
    Principal 
     

     

    Update – 8th January 2021

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    Children of key workers and vulnerable learners who have indicated that they will be coming into college next week should enter and leave via the gate by Galileo. Students in years 7 and 11 should enter the building via the Galileo entrance and students in years 8, 9 and 10 should enter the building via the entrance to Areté. Students have been allocated the following rooms to complete their online learning:

    Year 7         6th Form Directed Study Room
    Year 8            6th Form Common Room
    Year 9            Alpha 2
    Year 10        Alpha 7
    Year 11        Omega 10

    Parents of students wishing to attend will need to email s.derrick@stbcc.org each Friday during the lockdown with their intentions for the following week to ensure we have appropriate supervision in place. 

    Staff involved in the lateral flow testing of students have all now successfully completed the appropriate training. These tests will begin for children of key workers, vulnerable learners and staff who are in from next week. Further information including the consent form which needs to be completed is available here

    As previously advised, the timings of the online teaching of lessons will be amended from Monday 11th January to allow students to complete work set in the morning and for practical activities to take place in the afternoons. Monday will be Week A and the timings of lessons are:

    09.00 – 09.40         Period 1 
    09.40 – 10.20         Period 2
    10.20 – 10.30         Break
    10.30 – 11.10         Period 3
    11.10 – 11.50         Period 4
    11.50 – 12.30         Period 5
    12.30 – 1.30           Lunch 
    1.30 – 2.10            Period 6 
    1.30 – 3.15    Completion of work set in the morning and practical activities for all other year groups

    If you are experiencing issues with technology, then please do remember to email 
    Mr O’Rourke, Vice Principal d.orourke@stbcc.org so that arrangements can be made to borrow equipment in the same way as during the first lockdown in March. 

    Students eligible for free school meals will be provided with vouchers and Mrs Cheshire will contact you once these are available to download next week. 

    We await clarification regarding teacher assessment for students sitting GCSE and ‘A’ Level courses in the summer. Once this information is made available then I will inform parents. It is premature at this point to be indicating grades for the results. As I indicated in my previous update there is still work to be completed and I advise all students in years 11 and 13 to continue with online learning and complete the work being set by their teachers.  

    The year 10 parents’ consultation evening will go ahead remotely on the 14th January and information regarding booking appointments has already been circulated. The year 9 curriculum options evening scheduled for 21st January will also be held virtually and further information will be provided nearer the time. 

    As the numbers of Covid cases continues to rise both nationally and locally let us pray for all those who have lost loved ones. 

    Keep safe as always – with prayers and all good wishes. 

    J. G. Maher 
    Principal 
     

     

    Update – 5th January 2021

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    Following the announcement from government last night, students will not return to college until February at the earliest. Provision will continue for children of key workers and vulnerable learners who cannot remain at home.

    Parents of students wishing to attend will need to email s.derrick@stbcc.org each Friday during the lockdown with their intentions for the following week to ensure we have appropriate supervision in place.

    Although transport will be provided for students this week, parents will need to make their own arrangements to bring their child to and from college each day from Monday 11th January. Direct Debit payments will be amended accordingly.

    Online learning will continue although timings of lessons are likely to be amended to allow students to work independently in the afternoons and for practical activities to take place.

    I’m sure that many parents were relieved to hear that with the level of disruption experienced by students in years 11 and 13 that examinations will not be going ahead in the summer in the format as initially planned. Early indications are that there will be some form of assessment and once I have more detail regarding this I will update parents accordingly. In the meantime, it is important that students in these year groups continue to complete the work being set by their teachers.

    If you are experiencing issues with technology then please email Mr O’Rourke, Vice Principal d.orourke@stbcc.org so that arrangements can be made to borrow equipment in the same way as during the first lockdown.

    I am confident that free school meals vouchers will continue and will email those who are eligible once they are available to download.

    I appreciate the difficulties that many parents will be experiencing again and repeat my thanks to you for your patience as we navigate another national lockdown. I will continue to provide a weekly update as arrangements evolve over the coming weeks.

    Please keep safe as always- with prayers and all good wishes,

    J. G. Maher

    Principal

     

    Update - 2nd January 2021

    Dear Parents and Carers 

    Further to my previous update, all students will be working remotely from Monday 4th January with the exception of children of key workers and vulnerable students who cannot remain at home. This will be via Google Classrooms, pre-recorded lessons and worksheets provided on Show My Homework in the usual way. It will be Week B. 

    Students in Years 11 and 13 will return on Monday 11th January and arrangements for children of key workers and vulnerable learners will remain in place. At the moment all remaining students will return on Monday 18th January but I will confirm this nearer the time. 

    School buses will run as normal for those students who need it. The canteen will continue to provide a limited hot meal service at lunchtime for the next two weeks. Provision will be made for those children in receipt of free school meals until the 18th January. 

    In order to continue to limit the spread of the virus, it remains extremely important for us all to continue to follow government  advice and adhere to ongoing restrictions both in college and in our wider communities. Face coverings will still be expected to be worn on transport and in communal area, wash hands regularly and maintain a safe distance from others. The expectation also remains that when students return to college they will present in the correct uniform and behave in accordance with the college behaviour policy. 

    The government have recommended that all secondary schools should participate in the lateral flow testing of students since this will help us all in having to isolate entire year groups. Further details and consent forms will be circulated next week. 

    May I take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year for 2021.

    J. G. Maher 
    Principal 

     

    Update - 31st December 2020

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    I hope you have all managed to enjoy the Christmas break albeit different to the usual celebrations at this time of year. 

    Following yesterday’s announcement by the Secretary of State the college will re-open for students in Years 11 and 13 on Monday 11th January and students in Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 on Monday 18th January. 

    Children of key workers and vulnerable students who cannot remain at home may return to college on Monday 4th January and should enter via the main entrance, report to the following rooms on arrival and await instructions from their Head of Year. 

    Year 7 - A9
    Year 8 - A19
    Year 9 - B1
    Year 10 - D4
    Year 11 - C18

    School transport will run as normal on Monday for children of key workers and vulnerable students.

    To be clear, the children of key workers and vulnerable students who are in attendance will access their education via Chromebooks, Google Classroom and Show My Homework in the same way as those students who remain at home. No face to face teaching will take place as students will be kept together in their respective year group bubbles. 

    I hope to have more information for you regarding the use of lateral flow tests for students and staff next week including the permission slip which needs to be completed and returned on the first day your child returns to college. 

    As the new strain of Coronavirus presents us with further challenges, I would like to thank you for your patience as circumstances are likely to change in the days ahead. 

    With prayers and all all good wishes, 

    J. G. Maher
    Principal  
     

     

    Update 18th December 2020

    Dear Parents and Carers

    As you will probably have heard in yesterday’s news the Secretary of State for Education has announced that schools will re-open in January with a staggered start for students. 

    Students in Years 11 and 13 should return to College on Monday 4th January as originally planned. 

    Students in Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 should access their learning via Google Classrooms and Show My Homework and will return to College on Monday 11th January. 

    The government has also announced that schools will be able to test students for Coronavirus from the beginning of January. However, no testing kits have been received and currently the details of this initiative have not been released to schools. 

    As always, these arrangements are subject to change and I will post a further update on the College website the week beginning 28th December for your information.  

    I acknowledge that some of the detail here is vague but thought you would wish to know the current thinking as soon as possible. 

    With prayers and all good wishes, 

    J G Maher 
    Principal 
     

    Update Thursday 17th December 2020

    Message from Mr Maher, Principal,

    As we move from Advent into the Christmas season, I am sure that everyone is looking forward to meeting up safely with family members who we have not seen for several months now.

    I hope that this will again bring a sense of normality to the Christmas period even though our celebrations may be curtailed and not quite the usual we have enjoyed in previous years.

    I am immensely proud of the work of both my colleagues and of the students since we returned in September – time has certainly gone very quickly! Everyone has shown resilience and determination to overcome the challenges we have all been faced with.

    I would like to thank all parents and carers for your continued support.

    May we all look forward to 2021 with a true sense of hope and a continued spirit of the very special community which is St Bede’s.

    On behalf of everyone, may I wish you a safe, happy and Holy Christmas.

     

    Covid-19 Reminder

    From Friday 18th December to Wednesday 23rd December

    If your child receives a positive Covid-19 test result you will need to contact the college via contact@stbcc.org so that track and trace can be completed and those affected can be contacted and advised to isolate.

    From Thursday 24th December to Sunday 3rd January

    NHS Track and Trace will complete the contact function. However, you will need to inform the college on Monday 4th January that your child is isolating and will not be returning until the period of isolation has been completed.

    Thank you in advance for your co-operation in this matter.

     

     

    Update Monday 14th December 2020

    Dear Parents and Carers

    Following the official guidance being received from government over the weekend that the isolation period has been reduced to ten days, students in Years 7 and 8 who were isolating may now return to college.

    With prayers and all good wishes

    J G Maher

    Principal

     

     

    Update 11th December 2020

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    Following a rigorous assessment process, Investors in People have awarded St Bede’s the ‘we invest in people’ accreditation.

    Paul Devoy CEO of Investors in People said ‘we’d like to congratulate St Bede’s Catholic College. Being accredited with ‘we invest in people’ is a remarkable effort for any organisation and places St Bede’s in fine company with a number of organisations that understand the value of people’.

    This award is testament to the hard work and commitment of everyone involved with St Bede’s and the support received from the partnership working with parents, students, staff and governors.

    Although we will not have the usual end of term celebrations the roast dinner on Wednesday will be turkey with trimmings and a pudding. The cost of this will be £2.45 so your child will need to bring in the correct money should they want the main meal on the day.

    I circulated information regarding the end of term to all parents on Wednesday and fully appreciate the difficulties that this may have caused parents in having to make arrangements at short notice.

    Sadly, it has also come to my attention that some parents have sent their children into college having had a test for Coronavirus whilst they are awaiting the test result to come through. This is against the expressed advice you will have been given and actually puts other students and teachers at risk. This is regrettable and must not happen again.

    If you or any member of your family are awaiting a test result, then you must all isolate as required in accordance with the guidance provided by government. Failure to comply with this could result in a fine.

    As you will probably be aware all school pupils in Essex, Kent and London are to receive Covid-19 tests from Monday. This is because the number of cases between 11-18 year olds has risen significantly over recent weeks. This is not the case in Bristol and there are currently no plans to test school pupils here. I will inform you if this situation changes.

    Unfortunately, we received a visit from the Lawrence Weston Covid Marshalls on Wednesday following a complaint from a member of the general public regarding the lack of social distancing on public buses at the end of the day. Please reinforce this with your child and remind them of the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ advice.

    With prayers and all good wishes,

    J G Maher

    Principal

     

    Update 9th December 2020

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    I write further to the guidance that was released to schools yesterday afternoon which advises that Friday 18th December is taken as an INSET day even if this was not previously agreed.

    Therefore, the last day of term for all students will be Thursday 17th December. The day will begin with the pre-recorded Advent Service and students will be permitted to wear their Christmas jumpers throughout the day. Lessons will finish at the normal time of 3.15 on that day.

    This will enable myself and other senior colleagues to be ‘on call’ to complete the track and trace we are required to do for the six days after the last day of contact in college.

    Should your child received a positive test result for Covid-19 from Friday 18th December to Wednesday 23rd December then you should notify the college via contact@stbcc.org

    This email will be checked at 9am and 3pm each day and all necessary steps will be taken to inform those affected.

    From Thursday 24th December to Monday 4th January you should not inform the college but allow the NHS Track and Trace to complete this function.

    I apologise for the late notification to you but we only received this information ourselves yesterday.

    May I take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very happy and Holy Christmas.

    Yours sincerely,

    J G Maher

    Principal

     

     

    Update 4th December 2020

    Dear Parents and Carers

    It has been very encouraging to hear that the numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Bristol have fallen significantly over recent days. We are also extremely thankful that we have only had one confirmed case in the past two weeks. It is really good to see the majority of students back in college eager to continue their learning and achieving success in so many different ways.

    Ten students in year 13 have interviews for a place at various Oxford and Cambridge colleges next year which is significantly higher than in previous years. Students are well on their way to achieving their dreams and we wish them every success in their interviews next week.

    At the AGM with Bishop Lang last week the Diocese acknowledged that St Bede’s ‘is in a very good place’. We have great teachers, fantastic students and supportive families. Applications for places in both year 7 and Areté for September continue to grow and this is a school that parents want for their children. Bishop Declan thanked everyone for their continued hard work and ‘for making St Bede’s a school that the Diocese can be proud of’.

    You may well have heard the announcement from Gavin Williamson yesterday which said that GCSE and ‘A’ Level exams will be ‘graded as generously as they were this year’. Although precise details are not being released to schools until January, early indications are that students will be told of certain topics that will be included in the exams in advance and that students will be able to refer to ‘aids’ such as formula sheets while taking exams. Students who miss exams due to self-isolation will also be given a ‘second chance’ with a series of backup exams. I will keep you informed once we receive the details of the proposals in the new year.

    The Advent Service has been recorded with music and readings and this will be shared with all families during the last week of term. Although we are unable to have form celebrations at the end of term we will still have our Christmas jumper day on the last day of term in order to look forward to the celebrations with family over the festive period. It will be different this year no doubt but hopefully we will all enjoy this time in our own special way.

    The year 8 virtual parents’ evening went well yesterday evening and feedback from parents has been very positive. Year 13 parents’ evening will be conducted using the same system next week and this certainly seems to be the way to go so that students and parents have as ‘normal’ an experience of college activities as possible this year.

    Let us continue to be vigilant over the next few weeks and remember ‘hands, face, space’ at all times.

    With prayers and all good wishes,

    J G Maher

    Principal

    Update 27th November 2020

    Dear Parents and Carers

    As you will already have heard Bristol has been placed in Tier 3 following the relaxation of the second lockdown on the 2nd December. I have attached a poster with what this means for us and would ask you to read this so that there is no confusion moving forward.

    Although we have had a number of confirmed cases over recent weeks both the Local Health Protection Team and Public Health England have acknowledged that St Bede’s is doing everything it can to avoid the spread of Coronavirus. We still need to be vigilant and remember ‘hands, face, space’ at all times.

    Could I also ask that if you are collecting your child during the day for a doctor’s or dentist’s appointment that you contact Reception in advance so that they can collect your child in a timely manner.

    The Director of Education has contacted all schools with the following update for clarification:

    Key messages from Bristol City Council:

    • Please travel to/from school with COVID-19 in mind. It’s advised to avoid public transport so please try and walk/cycle to school if you can, keeping your distance from others, and ensure you wear a face covering when required. Where possible, car sharing with people outside your household or support bubble should be avoided.
    • Social distancing guidance inside and outside of school is different. Whilst at school, your child can mix with his/her class bubble, as safety measures are in place. This is necessary in order for us to enable children and young people to continue to attend. However, these measures are not in place outside of school, so please make sure you and your child follow the current government guidance when not in the school building
    • Social distancing outside school gates is vital to minimise the spread. Please do not gather or mix when dropping off or collecting your child
    • If you or your child develops symptoms of the virus, you/they must not go to school. Stay at home, self-isolate and get tested. Symptoms include a new continuous cough, high temperature or loss or change to your sense of taste and smell
    • If you or your child is asked to self-isolate, you/they must not leave the house under any circumstances and your friends and family cannot visit during this time. We understand your frustrations in having to adapt to last minute calls or changes requiring you/your child to self-isolate and thank you for your continued cooperation.

    Links to share

    ·        The council’s guidance for parents and carers amid COVID-19 here

    ·        The council’s videos encouraging compliance during lockdown in different languages here

    ·        Information on the council’s free We Are Bristol helpline here

    Year 11 mock examinations are continuing and students are demonstrating resilience at this difficult time. I would like to reassure parents again that should we be asked to provide Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs) then we take a holistic view of progress over time and do not rely solely on one data entry. No student will therefore be disadvantaged by the results achieved in their mocks.

    With prayers and all good wishes,

    J G Maher

    Principal