Dear Students,

We are really looking forward to welcoming all of you back to school in September. We are very proud of how hard you have worked at home, but we have missed you and are looking forward to seeing you all in the autumn term. We understand this will be a very different start to a new academic year for everyone and some of you might be feeling a little nervous or anxious about returning to school. However, please be assured we have been working very hard to make your return to school as safe and smooth as possible. We know you must have lots of questions and maybe some worries, so we have tried to answer some of them here for you.


When do we come back to school?

English Martyr’s will be opening fully in the first week of September with a staggered start in operation. We will be welcoming the following year groups back full time on these dates:

Year 7 and 12 – Thursday 3rd September 2020
Year 8, 9, 10, 11 and 13 – Friday 4th September 2020

This along with a lot more information for Parents/Carers was sent in Mr Hammonds Letter about September 2020 


Does the school look different?

Yes, (a little!). We have made a lot of changes to keep you and your teachers and staff as safe as we possibly can but the school will look very familiar in some places and you will soon get used to the changes we have made.


What are the main changes?

You will some changes to the environment as the demolition work is now complete.

In response to COVID-19 we have also divided the school up into year group zones, this will enable us to have consistent groups which will reduce the risk of transmission by limiting the number of pupils in contact with each other to only those within the group.

Ground Floor Middle Floor Top Floor


What will happen at the start of the day?

At the start of the day you will arrive to school punctually. You must be on time and not arrive too early or late. We cannot congregate in the dining hall anymore because that would mean that year group bubbles would mix together. We have separated you out and each year group will have its own entrance/exit door and its own staircase.

Year Group Arrival Time Entrance via…
Year 7 8:30 – 8:40am St Anne entrance
Year 8 8:30 – 8:40am Main entrance
Year 9 8:30 – 8:40am St Bede entrance
Year 10 8:30 – 8:40am Holy Family entrance
Year 11 8:30 – 8:40am Main yard


What happens if I am late to school?

You must arrive on time and head straight to your entrance area. If you are late you will have to wait outside main reception until your pastoral manager comes to collect you and bring you in. If you are late you will receive an automatic detention. Punctuality is more important than ever now. Be prepared and organised so that you are not late for school.


Can I get dropped off on the school site?

Yes. The student drop off zone is in St Anne’s car park and NOT the 6th Form car park. This is to ensure site safety and a clear way for the buses to enter and turn.

NB The entrance and exit gates into St Anne’s have swapped to allow for more cars to turn in off Catcote Road at busy times. The entrance is now the North Gate (Near to Catcote Academy) and the exit is the South gate. There is a new footpath that leads from St Anne’s to the main school building.

 Please be aware this is a very busy time of the day. Allow enough time for traffic and congestion. Please help the flow of traffic in and out of the site by not prolonging the drop off and entering and exiting sites safely at all times.

All gates will be locked at 08:45 to provide a secure line in order to safeguard our community.


Should I sanitise my hands before entering school?

Yes, as you enter school you should sanitise your hands using the antibacterial gel provided. There will also be handwashing facilities at your entrance point.


Do I need to wear a face mask?

Not in school no. Public Health England does not (based on current evidence) recommend the use of face coverings in schools. However, face coverings are required at all times on public transport (for children over the age of 11).

This is what Public Health England say:

“Public Health England does not (based on current evidence) recommend the use of face coverings in schools. This evidence will be kept under review. They are not required in schools as pupils and staff are mixing in consistent groups, and because misuse may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission. There may also be negative effects on communication and thus education.

Face coverings may be beneficial for short periods indoors where there is a risk of close social contact with people you do not usually meet and where social distancing and other measures cannot be maintained, for example on public transport or in shops.”

You will need to remove your facemask before entering the school site. You will be instructed not to touch the front of your face covering during use or when removing masks on arrival to school. You will need to dispose of temporary face coverings in the bins provided or place reusable face coverings in a plastic bag that you can take home with you, and then wash your hands.


Do I wear my normal uniform?

Yes, you should wear your normal uniform – with the exception of your school tie. You will be given a coloured badge which will act as a year group identifier so we can make sure year group bubbles are not mixing. Our uniform is the strongest visual representation we have of all our standards. Make up must be kept to a minimum and therefore worn very discreetly. Nail varnish, acrylic nail extensions and false eyelashes are not permitted. Jewellery of any kind is also not to be worn apart from one pair of stud earrings. Hair must be no shorter than a number 1 blade and there should be no patterns, lines or symbols shaved into the hair. No non-natural hair colours are allowed for any student.


What will happen if I forget a piece of my uniform or I have the wrong uniform?

You will still be able to borrow a piece of uniform, each year group area has their own uniform store and these items are washed and will be washed upon return. You must speak to your pastoral manager if you require something from the uniform store. However, you should avoid needing to do this and come to school in the correct uniform.


Can I bring a school bag and equipment to school?

Yes, bags are allowed. It is still recommended that pupils limit the amount of equipment they bring into school each day, to essentials such as lunch boxes, hats, coats, books and stationery but yes you will need to bring your own equipment. No footballs or other non-essential items should be brought into school.

For individual and very frequently used equipment, such as pencils and pens, it is recommended that staff and pupils have their own items that are not shared. Therefore, it is important that you bring your own equipment in as is normally expected.

Equipment List:

  • 2 pencils
  • 2 pens
  • 1 red pen
  • 1 highlighter
  • 1 ruler
  • 1 rubber
  • 1 pencil sharpener
  • 1 glue stick
  • 1 calculator
  • coloured pencils
  • Planner (new planners will be issued in September)
  • PE kit when necessary

You will not be able to borrow or share equipment with another student or member of staff so it is essential you bring in your own equipment. If you are struggling to get any items on the equipment list you should speak to your form teacher who will be able to help you.


Can I bring my bike to school?

Yes, you can still bring your bike in to school. In fact, the DfE encourages pupils to cycle or walk to school, avoiding public transport as much as possible if it is safe to do so. You will see the new cycle store straight ahead of you in front of the mobile classrooms. Whilst the cycle store is behind the 2 metre perimeter fencing and cycles should be locked for security – they are left entirely at the owners’ risk and the school cannot accept responsibility for damage or theft.

What should I do when I arrive in school?

When you arrive in school you should wash your hands. You should then make your way to the correct entrance point where you will be met and directed to your form class where your form teacher will be waiting for you. When on break/lunch you must go to and stay in your allocated area/zone. You should not congregate in large groups on the yard, in corridors or any other areas of the school. There will be no line up in the morning. If your arrival time to school is later than 8:45am you will be met by your Pastoral Manager before making your way straight to your form classroom.


Will I be able to get breakfast at school?

There will be no breakfast facilities in the dining halls however we are looking at providing bagels/toast /cereal bars/fruit every morning. We will look at how we can make these available in your zone over the first few weeks of term.


When are my break and lunch times?

We have split break times up to avoid bubbles mixing together. Our lunch times remain the same but the system is slightly different (see below)


Where do I go at break time?

Year 7 and 9 will use the St Francis Garden. You are not on break at the same time so you will only be with your year group.

Year 8, 10 and 11 will use the main yard. Again the way we have organised breaks mean that only one bubble will be on the yard at any one time. If it is wet break you will stay in your period 2 classroom. You will be allowed to go to the toilet, using the toilets in your zone, one at a time. You must make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom.

Year 12 and 13 will use the Sixth Form Common Room


Can I buy food at breaktime?

You will not be able to buy food at breaktime at the moment but we will look to resume this service as soon as possible.


What will happen at lunchtime?

The dining room will be physically divided into two halves. Year 10 & 11 will queue lunch in the usual way entering the dining hall by the Holy Family side entrance and getting served in the main servery. Years 8 and 9 will queue on the other side of the dining room and be served at the old ‘grab and go’ station. BOTH SERVERIES WILL SERVE EXACTLY THE SAME OPTIONS.

Year 7 will use both serveries as they are the only year group accessing the dining hall on that sitting

Year 12 and 13 will use the bistro in the common room. They may go off site for lunch if they wish – so long as they adhere to the hygiene protocols.

 You should sanitise your hands before going into the dining hall. Antibacterial hand gel will be available in both dining rooms and handwashing stations located outside.

We will have limited menus in order to serve everybody as quickly as possible.

Week 1 Menu

Week 1MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
Daily SpecialPizzaPasta PotWrapCurry PotPanini
DessertCookie, Fruit Pot, Yoghurt PotCookie, Fruit Pot, Yoghurt PotCookie, Fruit Pot, Yoghurt PotCookie, Fruit Pot, Yoghurt PotCookie, Fruit Pot, Yoghurt Pot
Grab and Go Cold SandwichSandwich SelectionSandwich SelectionSandwich SelectionSandwich SelectionSandwich Selection
Grab and Go SaladSalad SelectionSalad SelectionSalad SelectionSalad SelectionSalad Selection

Week 2 Menu

Week 1MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
Daily SpecialMeatball or Cheese SubPasta PotPaniniCurry PotPizza
DessertCookie, Fruit Pot, Yoghurt PotCookie, Fruit Pot, Yoghurt PotCookie, Fruit Pot, Yoghurt PotCookie, Fruit Pot, Yoghurt PotCookie, Fruit Pot, Yoghurt Pot
Grab and Go Cold SandwichSandwich SelectionSandwich SelectionSandwich SelectionSandwich SelectionSandwich Selection
Grab and Go SaladSalad SelectionSalad SelectionSalad SelectionSalad SelectionSalad Selection

Week 3 Menu

Week 1MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
Daily SpecialPasta PotBBQ Chicken/Quorn or Kebab WrapPizzaCurry PotPanini
DessertCookie, Fruit Pot, Yoghurt PotCookie, Fruit Pot, Yoghurt PotCookie, Fruit Pot, Yoghurt PotCookie, Fruit Pot, Yoghurt PotCookie, Fruit Pot, Yoghurt Pot
Grab and Go Cold SandwichSandwich SelectionSandwich SelectionSandwich SelectionSandwich SelectionSandwich Selection
Grab and Go SaladSalad SelectionSalad SelectionSalad SelectionSalad SelectionSalad Selection


When can I put money on for lunch?

You cannot put money on in school using the biometric system. You must get a parent or carer to add money onto your account via the ParentPay app or website:

Year 7 parents – your details are in the post.


What will happen on the first day back?

On the first day back you will have some time in form groups and with your form tutor. You will be given your new timetable and your form tutor will explain all the changes in school. There will be time to ask questions and discuss any concerns you might have.


What will happen at lesson change over?

You will be dismissed as usual by your class teacher. You should follow instructions carefully as you may be asked to line up outside of the classroom or told to wait before moving to avoid congestion in the corridors. You will only move within your zone. You will not move to another area of the school during lesson change over. Teachers will move freely between zones. 


Will I have different teacher for different lessons?

Yes. The plan we have put into place will enable us to deliver the full range of curriculum subjects and for you to receive specialist teaching.


Will I have PE lessons?

Yes, PE lessons will take place. You will be kept in consistent groups and sports equipment will be thoroughly cleaned between each use by different individual groups and contact sports will be avoided.

Outdoor sports will be prioritised where possible, and large indoor spaces used where it is not, for example in our sports hall or activity studio.

When you have a PE lesson you will line up at the allocated time of your lesson, your PE teacher will come and pick you up for your lesson.

On the days you have a timetabled PE lesson you will get changed into your PE kit or do a recreational activity in your uniform. Your PE teacher will tell you in September which lessons you will need your kit for. These will be the same lessons each fortnight. 


What will happen at the end of the school day?

Your teacher will dismiss you and each year group will leave via their designated exit in order to stagger the exit from school.  You should make your way out of school calmly and sensibly.  The school day will end at 3pm as normal.


Will I be able to get picked up from school?

Yes, you can get picked up but not from on the school site for safety reasons. Please be aware this is a very busy time of the day. Allow enough time for traffic and congestion. Please help the flow of traffic in and out by not prolonging the pickup.


When will the school be cleaned?

Enhanced cleaning schedules are in place and the school will be cleaned regularly throughout the day. Dining halls will be cleaned during and after each sitting and before the next year group enter. The school will close to all staff at 4:30pm in order to allow the cleaning team to clean the school thoroughly daily. The school will also be deep cleaned termly by an external cleaning company, with follow up audits and staff training to maintain a standard where we know we will be at less risk of COVID transmission.


Is attendance still important?

Yes, attendance is very important.

Missing out on more time in the classroom risks you falling further behind. Those with higher overall absence tend to achieve less well. School attendance will therefore be mandatory again from the beginning of the autumn term. This means from September, the usual rules on school attendance will apply, including:

  • parents’ duty to secure that their child attends regularly at school where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age;
  • schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence
  • the availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct


What should I do if I am shielding or self-isolating?

If you are unable to attend school because you are complying with clinical and/or public health advice, we will be able to immediately offer you access to remote education. We will monitor your engagement with remote learning via TEAMS.

Where you are not able to attend school as your parents/carers are following clinical and/or public health advice, absence will not be penalised.


Visitors to the school.

There can be no visitors to the school that do not have a pre-arranged appointment. This is for the safety of all staff, pupils and visitors.


Will the school be open over the summer?

In line with the government guidance and the DfE schools are closed over the summer holidays to all students, including those of key workers. It is important that you use this time to rest and relax, where possible enjoy time with family and friends and stay safe.


Will we still use TEAMS?

Yes, we will plan to still use TEAMS to enhance learning at home and build on the learning in school.

It is going to be an important tool for teachers to use to help you to fill in any gaps that have been identified in your learning over the last few months.


Please note that we will continue to add to this list of FAQs over the Summer and update you when we publish a revised version. If you have a question relating to how school will function then email it into school and we will add it to our FAQ.