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Dear parent/carer, 

On Wednesday this week, I wrote to you all explaining our plans for reopening school in the New Year.

I apologise, but due to a very late announcement by the government, this information has now changed.

Therefore, in line with new advice, from Monday 4 January 2021, school will be open to Year 11 pupils only. They will follow their normal timetable in school, as well as sitting their mock exams where appropriate.

All other pupils will be asked to work remotely from home. Year’s 7 – 10 will then return on Monday 11 January 2021.


Learning from home

All pupils in Year’s 7 – 10 will be expected to work from home, following their ordinary timetable. Staff will teach lessons and be contactable through mediums such as Microsoft Teams and ClassCharts. A reminder that you can refer to the guidance regarding remote learning on our website, which can be found here:

Your child’s classroom teachers will be available at the normal times for their full timetabled lessons. Pupils are expected to be ready to engage in their learning for these sessions. In essence, it will be a normal school day, but with pupils at home.

This system worked extremely well at the end of November. Engagement in lessons was extremely high and I am very confident this will be the case again in January.

Behaviour Expectations and Illness  

During online lessons, we would expect pupils to behave in an acceptable manner and they can expect normal school sanctions to apply on their return if they disrupt or misbehave.

If your child is ill, we would expect parents and carers to call school and follow normal procedure. In all other cases, attendance at all lessons is compulsory.

Virtual Classes

If any pupil needs assistance with access to a computer, then please get in touch with school and we will be able to advise you.

Free School Meals

Any pupil who is in receipt of Free School Meals is still entitled to receive them. If you would like your child to continue to receive their Free School Meal, then please contact school and suitable arrangements will be made.

Key Worker/Vulnerable Pupils

We will accept key worker/vulnerable pupils in Year’s 7 - 10 if they are not self-isolating, and their parent/carer feels being in school would be a better option for them. If you feel this applies to you, then contact school to arrange this as soon as possible, but please be aware that if your child does come to school, they will be accessing their lessons online like every other child in their year group.

Mass Covid Testing for Pupils and Staff

Latest government announcements make it clear that they expect schools to be able to co-ordinate mass testing for C19 of pupils and staff. We will continue to respond positively to any initiatives which can be implemented safely and to the benefit of the school community. However, I’m sure you’ll understand that this proposal will present all schools with significant challenges. Only when we have been provided with all the relevant information and resources for us to facilitate testing will we consider running it at St Mary’s. It is highly unlikely that this will be in the first week back in the New Year, but I will write to parents when more information is available.


With us closing for Christmas today, please understand that we will not be able to respond to any requests for assistance until we return on Monday 4 January 2021.

Remember that the school website provider has changed, so our homepage does now look different. The website address remains the same ( In addition, the school app has now changed from SZApp to Schudio, which can be found through your preferred App store. If there are any further changes between now and January 4, we will try to keep parents informed through the website, app and our social media outlets on Twitter (@LeylandStMarys) and Facebook (@StMarysLeyland).


Again, apologies for the late notice on these changes. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.


Yours sincerely,

Mr P Thompson


Seasons Greetings


Free School Meal Vouchers

Dear Parent / Carer, 

Covid Winter Free School Meal Vouchers will be handed out to students on Friday morning.  Students with siblings will each receive a voucher.  Any students who are not in school due to isolation / illness will have their vouchers posted out via royal mail.


Mr P Thompson


HT Christmas letter to parents

Dear Parents and Carers, 

As we approach the Christmas holiday, I’d like to thank you all for the understanding and support you have shown after what has been a testing term for us all. Well done also to the pupils who have adapted very well to the change in routines and shown great resilience. All staff too have worked tirelessly and with great flexibility to ensure that your child receives the highest standard of education. 

We hope that for us all the New Year brings some relief from the changes and adaptations we’ve had to make.  

Christmas Closure 

School closes for the Christmas holidays on Friday 18 December at 12:30pm. 

Whilst we cannot hold our traditional Advent service in St Mary’s parish church, we will still celebrate this most special time of year in school. All pupils will be dismissed from school at 12:30pm, and the regular school buses have also been arranged to collect children from this time.

All pupils will return to school on Monday 4 January. This is a normal school day so the regular timetable will be followed. 

Potential Covid-19 Cases over Christmas 

It is possible that some pupils may test positive for Covid-19 once the Christmas holidays have begun. If this were to happen, then school would still need to follow the government rules, and inform close contacts. 

If your child does test positive at any time over the holidays, please inform school via our Covid-19 email address - so we can update our records. 

Once we have the details, we will make a decision as to whether any pupils would need to self-isolate for 10 days. With luck, this won’t be the case, but if your child is identified as a close contact, then a member of staff will contact you over the phone.


Mass Testing in Schools in the New Year 

You may have seen in the news recently the government announcement that pupils and staff may be able to have access to rapid testing in the New Year. Unfortunately, the details of this are, at the time of writing, still unclear but once we know more I will write to parents in January with further details.


Year 11 Mock Exams 

Unfortunately, some pupils have had to self-isolate during the current mock exams. Therefore, arrangements are in place for a second round of exams for any pupil who has missed due to Covid-related issues. This new timetable has been published to Year 11 pupils and parents through ClassCharts. These exams will begin on Monday 4 January. Sadly, after these, we will not be able to run any further mock exams in January. Therefore, if any pupil misses their mock exam again then staff will be asked to formulate teacher assessed grades.


School Website 

Over the Christmas holidays, the school website will be updated and a new format used. The web address remains the same and all the usual information will still be available, but there may be some delay in accessing the site as the handover is completed, so please do bear with us.


School App 

Alongside the website changes, we are also moving the school app from SZApp to Schudio App. Using your preferred app store, search for ‘Schudio School App’. We can be found in the search bar as St Mary’s Catholic High School.


School Uniform Supplier 

Delta Wool Shop have recently announced that they will no longer be stocking school uniform. We have now switched suppliers to Impressions Uniform. Products will be available online from Tuesday 22 December initially for jumpers, but then stock will increase. There will be free delivery for all Leyland schools, until their shop in Leyland opens in the New Year. We were very impressed with the level of service they offer parents and hope that you will agree.

Their website is


Road Safety 

St Mary’s has seen an increase in the volume of traffic outside school from parents and carers both in the morning and afternoon. Can I urge parents to be respectful of our neighbours and mindful of the pupils. We have received a number of calls from concerned residents regarding congestion and safety worries. Please observe the yellow markings and traffic cones and don’t drop off your children on or opposite these points. If you do use the bus siding to drop off, please do not linger as this area is used by the school busses and other parents. Ideally, your child could be dropped off away from Royal Avenue and asked to walk the short distance to school.



This Christmas period may well be very different from ones we have enjoyed in the past, but I hope that it does bring you some rest and joy. 

On behalf of all staff and governors, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Yours Sincerely,                                     

Mr P Thompson



Access to online learning

Dear Parent / Carer,  

If your require a laptop or internet access for your child please can you make this request by Wednesday, 16th December.

Please email


Mrs C Loftus 

Assistant Headteacher - Quality of Education

Hamper Winners

Winners will be contacted by the School Office to arrange collection.


End of Term

Dear Parent/Carer, 

School will be open as planned on Friday 18 December. We will close at 12.30pm and busses have been booked for this time.

Thank you, 

Mr P Thompson



Dear Parent / Carer, 

Further to my previous communications, a reminder that the money raised by the own clothes day on Friday, 20th November went towards the production of Christmas hampers which will be raffled off in a live draw this evening.

Please click the link below for the live draw at 4:30 pm on Thursday, 10th December.

Winning families will then be able to collect their hampers from school during the final week of term or they may choose to ask school to donate them to the Leyland Food Bank, based at St Mary’s Parish Church.   

May I take this opportunity to wish you, your family and friends a very peaceful Christmas. 

Best wishes, 

Mr P Thompson


New Uniform Supplier



Dear Parent / Carer, 

You will recall that pupils and staff participated in an own clothes day on Friday, 20th November.  

The money raised went towards the production of Christmas hampers which will be raffled off between all participants.  

We will be holding a live draw on YouTube at 4:30 pm on Thursday, 10th December. Winning families will then be able to collect their hampers from school during the final week of term or they may choose to ask school to donate them to the Leyland Food Bank, based at St Mary’s Parish Church.   

May the peace of our Saviour’s birth live in your hearts this Christmas and in the New Year. 

Best wishes,                                                

Mr P Thompson