Letter to parents – 2nd December 2020

Letter to parents – 2nd December 2020

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2nd December 2020


Dear Parent/Carer

Thank you for your continued support this term during this very strange and unprecedented time. Our students continue to make us extremely proud, as they continue with their routines of learning. It has been a very busy half term with a great variety of activities taking place for the students, from a huge number of students showing PRIDE and joining our Junior Leadership Team, Year 11 watching a theatre production of A Christmas Carol to enhance their learning even further and Year 8 students working with MIND to become experts in the importance of well-being and mental health.


National Christmas Jumper Day – 11th December

We are now two weeks away from a well-earned Christmas break. On Friday 11th December we will take part in National Christmas Jumper Day.  Students must wear their normal uniform but they will be allowed to wear one additional ‘Christmassy’ item.  This could be a Christmas jumper to replace their school jumper, or something else associated with Christmas like a Santa hat, tinsel or reindeer ears.  We will ask students that participate to make a charitable donation.  If students do not already have a Christmas jumper there is no need to purchase one, instead they could decorate a jumper they have with Christmas decorations, or alternatively your child could wear something associated with Christmas as mentioned above.   All funds raised will be donated to “Save the Children” charity; helping children in our local community and beyond build a brighter future and supporting families in need.

This day is not compulsory and students do not have to take part, however if your child does take part it is important to note that s/he should wear their school uniform: the usual school trousers/skirt and school shoes as this is not a non-uniform day.  Students will be allowed to wear one additional item associated with Christmas. The same expectations regarding uniform and equipment will remain.  Students will follow their timetable and learning will continue as normal.  If you have any questions or any concerns about this please do speak to your child’s Hub team.


Christmas dinner:

We are pleased that we will be able to offer students a Christmas dinner during the last week of term if they so wish.  They will be able to pre-order this in the normal way in tutor time.


COVID prevention measures

We will continue with the measures we have in place in January, which have been highly effective in ensuring any risk of transmission is minimised.  This has played a significant part in ensuring students have been able to access the academic and social opportunities we strive to provide on a daily basis without disruption. These are outlined in our school risk assessment at https://www.barrshill.coventry.sch.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Covid19-Risk-Assessment-and-Safe-Methods-of-Working-in-Barrs-Hill-for-September-2020-271120.pdf .  We continue to rely on your support to ensure children understand and adhere to the following expectations:

  • Wear a face covering in communal areas outside the classroom, where the layout of the school makes it difficult to maintain social distancing when staff and students are moving around the premises, for example in corridors;
  • Use the hand sanitiser provided on entry and exit from any learning area;
  • Maintain social distancing when outside.

We believe and research is starting to show that ventilation plays a significant role in reducing the risk of transmission.  We will therefore also continue to keep doors and windows open across the school site during the school day. To ensure students and staff remain warm we will continue to allow outside jackets to be worn in class and around site.


Last day of term:

The final day of this half term is Friday 18th December.  Students must attend school as normal with their full 5 and full school uniform. We will finish at the earlier time of 12.30pm, however students may get their lunch first, all students will be off site by 1pm.


A reminder that the following are our expectations:


By 4th January, we expect all students in years 8-10 to be wearing the new uniform. (There is no change for Year 7 or 11 students).

These are the main changes outlined for you:

  • Trousers/skirts should be charcoal grey rather than black;
  • New school tie;
  • Branded PE kit;
  • Students can wear an additional navy-blue v neck jumper with a Barr’s Hill blue trim;
  • New blazer.

For a more detailed overview of the uniform expectations for January please visit the school website: https://www.barrshill.coventry.sch.uk/parents/uniform-list

The new uniform can be ordered from Cat Ballou online via their click and collect service. Visit the Cat Ballou website to place your order and you can learn about their bundle options, which can allow for the cost of the new uniform to be paid in instalments: www.catballou.co.uk/product-category/schools/barrs-hill/

We recognise that the last 8 months have been very challenging financially for some families, therefore the school has a stock of spare uniform and PE kit which we are more than happy to loan, lend or sell very cheaply.  If you need any support please talk to your child’s Hub team.  We don’t want there to be any barriers to all of our students looking smart.


Tutor time starts promptly at 8:45am. To ensure that all students are in classrooms and ready to learn we close the school gates at 8:40am.  We offer all students FREE breakfast at our Breakfast Clubs which opens from 8:20am-8:40am in each Hub.

‘The 5’

We expect all students to arrive to school, every day, with the right equipment to begin learning, and a suitable bag that can hold an A4 folder. All students must have their ‘5’ on the desk in every lesson:

1) Pencil case containing pens, pencils, ruler, rubber;

2) Scientific calculator;

3) School Planner;

4) Dictionary/Thesaurus;

5) A challenging reading book.

We continue to sell equipment at very reasonable prices in school. Alternatively, the Christmas break is an ideal time to ensure that your child is fully equipped for school.

Mobile Phones

We believe it is very important that students have a break from the modern world of social media and screens, and focus on talking to each other face to face and therefore learning.  Our policy is very clear: if a mobile phone (earphones included) is heard or made visible in school it will be confiscated. The phone will not be given back to the student and parents/carers will be asked to come into school and collect it.  We make no apology for taking a very firm approach to this critical expectation.

If you would like to meet with me to feedback on anything to do with the school or discuss your child’s progress please do get in contact.  I am always keen to meet and listen to parents’ views.


Year 11 Trial Exams – January:

I hope all students have a well-deserved Christmas break.  Year 11 students should find a good balance between rest and relaxation and quality time to revise to ensure they are prepared for their very important Trial Exams which will take place after the break.


Covid over the Christmas Break:

A reminder that if your child has symptoms of Covid over the Christmas break they must self-isolate in line with Government guidance.  You should arrange to have them tested and you must let us know the result.  This is because we may need to undertake track and trace and contact other students or staff if their symptomatic period has covered any of their time in school.  Please can I ask that if this does happen over the Christmas break you contact me directly.  I am keen that the rest of the staff get a full and very well deserved break. My email is: jupp.c@barrshill.coventry.sch.uk.  If you are at all unsure what to do please contact me and I will do my best to help or offer advice.


A reminder that the symptoms of Covid are:


  • A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back;
  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual);
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything or things smell or taste different to normal.



Finally, a reminder that school re-opens for all students on Monday 4th January.


Thank you for your continued support. I wish you all a restful and safe Christmas break, and we look forward to seeing the students again in the New Year.


Yours sincerely


Mr C Jupp