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01543 622600




Dear Parent/ Carer

Fortunately we have not yet had to send year groups home but I can envisage that this might occur at some point due to Covid 19 related situations including staff shortages.

This is the same procedure which we would adopt for closure due to snow or any other school emergency.

Unfortunately it is likely to be a decision taken first thing in the morning or during the school day as circumstances are unforeseen and unpredictable. In the case of a confirmed case advice would be sought from the County Councils Covid Local Outbreak Team.

If a year group is sent home:

You will receive a text message and email from school and the information will be uploaded onto the website.

Pupils will be dismissed from the school site.

Any pupil who cannot get home should report to the canteen area where they can wait for a short time whilst you make the necessary arrangements.

All lessons would be set remotely using Microsoft Teams, Show My Homework and other online platforms.

Please have a contingency plan in place for this situation. I sincerely hope that it does not occur but we do need to be prepared.

Thank you in advance.

Miss Birchall



November 16th 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope that you are all managing throughout this lockdown and the ongoing situation.

Nobody is unaffected by this situation and I appreciate that everyone is facing their own difficulties. I am aware of many household in our community who have had firsthand experiences of the virus and my thoughts and best wishes are with you.

School is challenging, and to a large extent this is inevitable given the last few months and the uncertainty of the current situation. We have tried wherever possible to adapt our usual rules within school to this situation always putting pupils’ safety first.

Our approach to uniform for example, has been to ensure that pupils stay as warm as possible whilst classroom windows are open and they spend more time than usual outside. If there are any reasons why your child cannot comply with the concessions we have allowed please contact the school. We want your child to be at school and we will make adjustments but at the moment pupils are taking advantage and we are struggling to maintain any uniformity. If pupils have a PE lesson they are asked to wear their PE kit to school. We are seeing very extreme variations of this as well as to our usual uniform expectations .

I have copied the revised code of dress at the end of this letter.

Staff are working exceptionally hard to attend school. Attendance has been remarkable but naturally there are unavoidable situations where staff are shielding or self-isolating and this will impact on lessons. It is not an ideal situation but unavoidable. We have worked hard to negotiate the best subject specialists and most constant supply staff but unfortunately a minority of pupils are showing a lack of respect to visiting teachers which is disappointing and unusual.

Face coverings are mandatory unless a child has a genuine exemption. Many pupils are not equipped and we are forced to issue these on a daily basis, this is an unnecessary task for staff who have to circulate the building checking, or pupils having to visit reception. The idea is to minimize movement wherever possible inside the building. Please check that your child has a covering when they leave the house.

Many pupils do not see any serious threat from the virus and although I am relieved that they are not overly anxious it is concerning that they do not understand that 50% of people can be asymptomatic whilst still carrying the virus back to their households. It also shows a lack of respect to members of our community who have been directly affected or lost loved ones during this pandemic.

The staggered starts and dismissals are working well but in some cases pupils are gathering at the pedestrian gate before entering site and after leaving site. This does defeat the object of this system.

There have been a couple of instances where pupils have household members who are symptomatic or waiting for results but the pupil has attended school. Potentially your child could be carrying and transmitting the virus within school and this will quickly undermine the hard work that everyone is doing in keeping the community safe. Please do tell us in and out of school hours about tests, whether you are awaiting results or have received results. I have put the usual reminders at the end of this letter.

Updated guidance has also been published for parents by gov.uk which was uploaded on to the website at the end of last week.

I would like to emphasize that the vast majority of pupils have continued to demonstrate exemplary behavior and consideration for others during the term. I am aware however that some of the issues I have mentioned need to be resolved so that it does not become a wider school issue and impact on our positive ethos and school pride.

I fully appreciate that some pupils are struggling and we have a dedicated team to help your child with social, emotional, wellbeing and academic concerns. We will get through this, working together as a community, to ensure that school is a safe place and offers normality and good quality learning.

I am extremely appreciative of your ongoing support,

Stay safe and well,

Miss Birchall


Your child should not attend school if:

Please note that household includes support bubble too.

A reminder of our procedure for any absence from school:

If your child is unable to attend school you should inform us by telephone on the Day 1 of absence before 9.00am please by calling our main switchboard 01543 622600, selecting Option 1 and leaving a message with the full details of the absence. Given the current situation, please be very clear in your message as to whether the absence is Covid 19 related. This helps us to identify emerging trends of illness in year groups or classes.

Please tell us if your child or anyone in the household have been for a test and call to let us know the outcome as soon as you receive the result.

After any Covid 19 related absence please phone school before sending your child back to us so we can discuss your child’s planned return date and update our registers accordingly.

Booking a test

www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119

If you have difficulty obtaining a test please do tell us.

Working whilst Absent

If your child is well enough or isolating please ensure that they continue to access their lessons via Microsoft Teams and their homework through Show My Homework.


Code of dress September 2020

Addendum in light of Covid-19

In light of the global pandemic, and keeping the safety and well-being of our students and staff at the forefront of our priority, the school uniform policy is being temporarily amended. This will be under constant review and subject to change.

The rational behind this amendment is focusing on:

Since the return to school in September, the school has taken a slightly more relaxed approach to standards in uniform. As a school, there is an acknowledgment that these unprecedented times present not only the possibility of financial difficulty in sourcing uniform, but also the logistical difficulty in physically getting to and from shops to purchase uniform. Parental support in maintaining the standard of uniform is hugely appreciated.

As the colder months draw closer, and pandemic continues, it is necessary to keep pupils outside in the fresh air as much as possible, and to have windows and doors open to ensure that the environment has the best possible ventilation. In an effort to ensure that students are comfortable to optimize their academic progress, we are amending the uniform policy until February half term 2021, when it will be reviewed again.

The school uniform policy remains unchanged with regard to the style of trousers and skirts (please see current policy). Pupils should still wear a white shirt, and currently they do not have to wear a tie. They are expected to wear their school blazer. Pupils are encouraged to wear a plain black V-necked jumper. This does not have to have the school logo.

Concessions in the current situation are:

On the days pupils have PE, they are asked to come to school in their full PE kit. The school’s PE kit must be adhered to: red PE top or black school rugby shirt, red PE hoodie, black shorts or (amended in light of Covid-19) plain black tracksuit bottoms or plain black sports leggings. It is suggested that a red or black base-layer (see suggestions below) is worn for additional warmth. Branded tops and tracksuits are not permitted. 

Helpful links to suggested items of clothing:

Uniform suppliers:

Crested Schoolwear   https://www.crestedschoolwear.co.uk/

Uniform Plus              https://www.uniformsplus.co.uk/


Suggested ideas for external coats (but not limited to):

Sports Direct              https://www.sportsdirect.com/back-to-school/school-clothes/school-jackets-and-coats#dcp=1&dppp=120&OrderBy=rank&Filter=AFLOR%5EUnisex%20Kids

Tesco                           https://www.tesco.com/zones/clothing/school-uniform

ASDA                          https://direct.asda.com/george/school-uniform/D10,default,sc.html

Next                            https://www.next.co.uk/shop/gender-olderboys-gender-oldergirls-gender-youngerboys-gender-youngergirls-productaffiliation-schoolwear-0#1_0


Suggested ideas for base-layers (but not limited to):

Sports Direct              https://www.sportsdirect.com/kids/clothing/base-layers


Suggested ideas for hoodies/sweatshirts (but not limited to)

Tesco                           https://www.tesco.com/zones/clothing/school-uniform

ASDA                          https://direct.asda.com/george/school/jumpers-sweatshirts/D10M1G1C14,default,sc.html?start=0&sz=20

Next                            https://www.next.co.uk/shop/gender-olderboys-gender-oldergirls-gender-youngerboys-gender-youngergirls-productaffiliation-schoolwear-0#1_0

Should you have any queries regarding uniform, please convey them to the school office via office@nortoncanes-high.staffs.sch.uk




Dear Parents and Carers

I hope that you have had a good half term break and your families are staying well and managing throughout this difficult time.

As you are aware Staffordshire is moving into Tier 2 as from today. Government guidance was posted on the website yesterday outlining what that now means for us all.

There is also updated guidance for parents here

Moving into tier 2 now means that face coverings are mandatory in schools. I have copied parts of the relevant section from the government guidance at the end of this letter.

When pupils return on Monday each year group will have a briefing in their leisure zone. The key message is this:

Everyone has to have an appropriate (plain) covering and sealable bag if it is reusable.

If disposable they should be placed in the appropriate bin provided.
Coverings to be put on before entering the building.

Taken off in the classroom when the teacher advises (in a controlled manner)
Placed in the bag immediately and sealed
Everyone to sanitise before and after touching the covering

Avoid touching the covering whilst it is being worn
Must be worn on corridors, toilets and canteen and all other communal areas including the sixth form common room.
Placed in the bag when eating. Not left on tables or hanging off ear.

Coverings must be used wisely and safely.

It is possible that for a small number of people the wearing of a covering may not be appropriate and we will discuss this with you.

Please do read the following to help keep everyone safe

Your child should not attend school if:

Please note that household includes support bubble too.

A reminder of our procedure for any absence from school:

If your child is unable to attend school you should inform us by telephone on the Day 1 of absence before 9.00am please by calling our main switchboard 01543 622600, selecting Option 1 and leaving a message with the full details of the absence. Given the current situation, please be very clear in your message as to whether the absence is Covid 19 related. This helps us to identify emerging trends of illness in year groups or classes.

Please tell us if your child or anyone in the household have been for a test and call to let us know the outcome as soon as you receive the result.

After any Covid 19 related absence please phone school before sending your child back to us so we can discuss your child’s planned return date and update our registers accordingly.

Booking a test

www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119

If you have difficulty obtaining a test please do tell us.

Working whilst Absent

If your child is well enough or isolating please ensure that they continue to access their lessons via Microsoft Teams and their homework through Show My Homework.

Minor Adjustments this half term

Year 8 will no longer lose learning time during period 3. They will have access to the canteen at 10.45 and go to period 3 as usual. They should continue to bring a snack for lunchtime

Year 9 will eat at 12.40 slightly earlier. They should continue to bring a snack for break time

Year 10 will no longer lose time from period 3. They will now access the canteen at 1.00.

They should bring a snack for break time

Leisure Zones

Year 9 will move to the right hand side of the tennis courts

Year 10 will move to the lower compound area by the mobiles

Year 11 will move to the left hand side of the tennis courts

This is not going to be an easy half term and we must continue to work together and get through this together safely. Pupils have been very respectful to adults in relation to social distancing and they are to be commended. They have not grasped however the risks they pose to each other and are not distancing from each other. Up to 50% of people can be asymptomatic whilst still transmitting the virus. Aerosols and droplets pose a significant risk and this is why ventilation in classrooms is so critical. Lots of layers and a waterproof!

Thank you again for your unrelenting support and continued communication with us.

Take good care everyone,

Miss Birchall


Guidance taken from ‘Guidance for wider Opening of Schools’ updated 22nd October

Where local restrictions apply

When an area moves to Local COVID Alert Level: high or very high, in settings where pupils in year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.

Safe wearing and removal of face coverings

Schools should have a process for removing face coverings when those who use face coverings arrive at school, and when face coverings are worn at school in certain circumstances. This process should be communicated clearly to pupils and staff.

Safe wearing of face coverings requires cleaning of hands before and after touching – including to remove or put them on – and the safe storage of them in individual, sealable plastic bags between use. Where a face covering becomes damp, it should not be worn and the face covering should be replaced carefully.

Pupils must be instructed not to touch the front of their face covering during use or when removing it and they must dispose of temporary face coverings in a ‘black bag’ waste bin (not recycling bin) or place reusable face coverings in a plastic bag they can take home with them, and then wash their hands again before heading to their classroom.

Further guidance on face coverings


Dear Parents/ Carers,

Thank you for your continued support this term. Nobody has an easy job at the moment and I thank you for helping to make ours more manageable with your understanding and cooperation.

I am pleased to say that we have not had any confirmed cases yet in the school and this is due to your vigilance and adherence to the Covid 19 guidance. As we are all aware the infection rate is rising steeply and it is within our local community. Bearing this is in mind we need to follow the guidance strictly for household isolation and contacts who are positive to prevent the virus from coming into school.

Pupils find the concept of social distancing difficult. Provision is in place for pupils to socially distance in the school setting by using outside leisure zones, a staggered start and end to the day, staggered eating times and restrictions in toilets. It is not always possible to do this in classrooms hence the need for ventilation and open windows. The heating has now come on in school which will ease the situation a little but please encourage your child to wear base layers and a permitted hoody. It is of course impossible to monitor pupils keeping apart in their free time and we do not go into toilets to check, together we can only continue to educate our children on why it is so important to do this and the potential risk they could pose to themselves and to others by transmitting the virus.

In the event of a local lockdown, restrictions or pupils having to be sent home to self-isolate please ensure that you have a contingency plan for your child staying at home. Please check too that they have all the necessary information that they need to continue with their learning remotely. Let’s hope this does not happen.

Before half term your child will be bringing home some of the work that they have completed so far. This cannot be stored in school and their folders are getting very full.  Please ensure that this work is kept in a safe place as it will be needed throughout their school life.

Just a reminder

Your child should not attend school if:

They or anyone in the household shows Covid 19 symptoms, are waiting for a test result or have tested positive.

They or anyone in the household have been in contact with a confirmed case or have been contacted by test and trace.

They or anyone in the household are returning from a destination where quarantine is required.

They have been advised to continue shielding by an official medical source

A reminder of our procedure for any absence from school:

If your child is unable to attend school you should inform us by telephone on the Day 1 of absence before 9.00am please by calling our main switchboard 01543 622600, selecting Option 1 and leaving a message with the full details of the absence. Given the current situation, please be very clear in your message as to whether the absence is Covid 19 related. This helps us to identify emerging trends of illness in year groups or classes.

Please tell us if your child or anyone in the household have been for a test and call to let us know the outcome as soon as you receive the result.

After any Covid 19 related absence please phone school before sending your child back to us so we can discuss your child’s planned return date and update our registers accordingly.

Booking a test

www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119

If you have difficulty obtaining a test please do tell us.

Working whilst Absent

If your child is well enough or isolating please ensure that they continue to access their lessons via Microsoft Teams and their homework through Show My Homework.

You have recently received information regarding:

If you have not received any of these communications please contact the school office.

We will shortly be reintroducing instrumental lessons into school and opening up the sports hall as the weather becomes colder and wetter.

We are not in any way relaxing measures but the pupils have shown that they can follow the advice and safety measures sensibly.

Please look out for a draft version of our Relationships and Sex Education Policy and presentation which will be available shortly from Miss Powell. Your feedback will be appreciated.

Stay safe everyone and in good health,

Miss Birchall



Dear Parents/ Carers

Welcome Back

It has been wonderful to welcome your children back into school and especially to meet our year 7 pupils who have settled in so well under such strange circumstances.

I am impressed with how pupils have adapted to the new school life and learnt new routines quickly. They have not complained and I think can appreciate that any measures in place are to keep everyone safe.

I am particularly impressed with our older year groups who are managing the situation with real maturity and setting good examples to our younger pupils.

We have got off to such a positive start and I am keen that it continues. It is vital that our pupils feel happy, safe and reassured yet at the same time do not become complacent or relaxed around hygiene regimes. I am sure you continue to follow the media coverage of the virus and will be talking to your child about keeping safe and the real dangers that the virus continues to present.

We have been lucky with the warm weather but pupils will need to be prepared to wear extra layers when winter starts and have waterproofs. The outside leisure zones are very safe and working well, moving inside will be a last resort when the weather is extreme.

Thank you for being so vigilant about not sending your child into school as appropriate.

A reminder:

Pupils should not come into school if they:

Please tell school immediately of test results whether positive or negative.

In the case of a negative result your child should only return to school if they have no Covid symptoms and are well enough to do so and nobody in the household is symptomatic, confirmed positive or awaiting a test result.

Contingency Planning

Fortunately, we have not had a confirmed case yet. Please be mindful that should this happen you will receive notification possibly at short notice of year groups who may need to self-isolate. We do not know the process yet as we have not had a case but we assume that a text will be sent home with a letter to follow. Public Health England will notify us of the actions to take. In the event of infection rates rising locally, we may be directed to reduce numbers on site and send year groups home to continue with remote learning. I stress that this is not currently the case but feel that parents should be aware so you can consider arrangements now.

Inset Days Please note that school is closed on these dates for staff training.

September 25th

November 27th

April 30th

Thank you to everyone for your support and cooperation during this time, your vigilance is fundamental to keeping everyone safe. There is a real sense of working together, I am sure that with our united approach, and Norton community spirit we will remain as safe as is possible.

Best wishes for this term and good health to all.

Miss Birchall


August 28th 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope that you have had an enjoyable summer and that everyone has stayed well. I also hope that your children are looking forward to returning to school next week. I do hope that some of the good weather returns as this will help a great deal with the start of term.

It will be very good to have some normality and even though we are all going to have to adapt to a new learning experience we are determined that school will be an enjoyable and safe place to be.

You will have had a copy of the risk assessment which is also posted on the website and I hope you have had a chance to read it. This is a different document to the September plan that I sent to you just after we had broken up. Details have also been posted recently regarding transport.

The government have issued updated help and guidance for parents which can be found here:

Back to School .gov.uk
Back to school Safely
Guidance for Parents
Public Health England Resources Hub

Not a great deal has changed since writing that plan but please note the bullet points below.
School will be closed on Monday 31st August but open on Tuesday and Wednesday so if you have any specific queries please contact us before the pupils start returning on Thursday. Their time next week will be spent with their tutors and a year group assembly to outline all the changes and give everyone a chance to ask questions.

Looking forward to the new term!

Best wishes,

Miss Birchall

• Self-Isolation.
Self-isolation period is now 10 days for anyone displaying symptoms

• Face Coverings.
All pupils should bring a face covering to school and a sealed plastic bag. They must be worn on all transport including school transport. There will be specific times that we may ask for them to be worn for example when some groups change lessons.

• Arriving at school.
When pupils arrive to school they must not enter the school building. They will be met by their first teacher of the day and brought to the learning zone.

• Pupil times for next week are:

Thursday September 3rd
Yr. 7 All day 8.45 – 3.10
Yr. 12 Registration 10.30-1.00 Common Room
Yr.11 10.00 -12.00
Yr. 10 1.10- 3.10

Friday September 4th
Yr. 13 9.00- 11.00
Yr. 9 10.00 -12.00
Yr. 8 1.10-3.10

Pupils should wait in the area outside the theatre by the music room fire doors, they will be met and shown where to sit.

• Where there are health concerns regarding a child or household member It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure they have taken advice from their GP or relevant medical advisor regarding the child’s return to school
• Pupils must NOT attend school if they or a household member or anyone they have been in close contact with has Covid 19 symptoms, is waiting for a test result, or is confirmed as having Covid 19

• They should not attend if they or a household member are self-isolating or have been contacted by test and trace.

• Parents are requested to engage fully with the testing process and NHS test and trace process.

• Parents must inform school immediately of household circumstances relating to Covid 19 and any suspected or confirmed cases

• Parents must follow the advice in not sending their child to school and must be prepared to make arrangements for their child to go home if they are displaying symptoms at school. School will support your decision in not sending your child if you are at all uncertain.

• Parents are not allowed on site and must not gather by the school gates.

• Pupils must be fully equipped as per previous letter and this should now include a face covering and plastic bag that can be sealed.

• Remember to pack a snack for break or lunchtime as pupils will only have access to the canteen once during the day.



July 20th 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Today is the first day of the summer holidays and I hope that you are looking forward to a well-deserved break from home schooling. Please see below further details for the September reopening. The principles have not changed. It has now been approved by governors and staff have been consulted.
We are in the process of completing a revised risk assessment with a health and safety working group comprising of governors and staff members, it will be posted on the website after local authority approval and can be viewed by parents and unions.

I have tried to reduce the content of this plan but I’m afraid that this is still quite a lengthy document.
If you would like to see the guidance that schools are following it is here.

Guidance for full opening of schools

There is also Guidance for parents.

Guidance for parents and carers

I have used extracts directly from the guidance which is shown in italics
Please note that any references to government documents highlighted and underlined in blue could change before September so always check up to date ones if you use them.
I do hope that it all makes sense and provides you with some reassurance about sending your child to school in September. The success of this planning is now dependant on everybody doing the right thing and behaving in the most responsible manner possible both in and out of school. I am determined that our school community maintains good health and can enjoy their return to school whilst recognising that it will be a different school for a while.

I will continue to update you if the guidance changes.
Stay safe and well, good health to everyone during the summer holiday and beyond.

Best wishes,
Miss Birchall

Click here for Full letter and September Plan


July 9th 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

We are all pleased and excited at the prospect of opening school fully in September. You will be very keen to know exactly what is happening and undoubtedly have many questions. As you know I will not publish a plan hastily but as I also hope you know it is being drawn up with precision and attention to detail with careful consideration given to the quality of education we can offer safely

There are some general principles that I can share now which are unlikely to change but could change. It still needs to meet all staff and governors’ approval and is subject to change.

Please check the website regularly during the summer holiday.

The most fundamental part of our pupils’ safety is that you do not send your child into school if they or anyone in the household have COVID symptoms. We will ask you to engage in the testing facility and comply with the NHS test and trace process of self-isolation. Communication with school in relation to suspected or confirmed cases is vital for us all. Confidentiality will always be maintained.

Our overriding aim is that pupils minimise contact with other pupils beyond their bubble and minimise movement around school.

First Week of Term

Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd September will be INSET. No pupils on site

Thursday 3rd September

Year Groups remain with tutors in the learning zone when present for their designated time
Yr. 7       All day with tutors.

Yr. 12    Registration Times to be confirmed
Yr.11      10.00 -12.00
Yr. 10    1.10- 3.10

Friday 4th September

Year Groups remain with tutors when present for their designated time

Yr. 13    9.00- 11.00
Yr. 9       10.00 -12.00
Yr. 8       1.10-3.10

All pupils will remain in their allocated zone area and receive timetables and safety briefings.


Week commencing September 7th

Year groups (bubbles) will be taught in learning zones (dedicated classrooms per bubble) and remain in these zones for all lessons. There will be a fixed seating plan for classrooms.

There will be designated toilets, entrances and exits for each bubble.

As far as possible classes will remain the same for all lessons apart from option subjects at KS4 and core subjects in years 11.

There will be outside leisure zones cordoned off for each bubble where pupils can eat and use for break and lunch times.

The structure of the school day will remain mainly unchanged but there are slight adjustments to the start and end of the day allowing bubbles to be kept apart.

Breaks and lunchtimes remain mainly the same but each bubble will only have access to the canteen for food at either break or lunchtime and will need to bring a snack or lunch for when they do not have access.

There are no plans currently to reduce the curriculum but this may change depending on arrangements for year 11 exams next year, there is currently a consultation underway and we are awaiting advice on how and when exams will run in 2021. Individual decisions about subjects studied may also be made with pupils (as it is now). Whatever decisions are made will only be in the pupils’ best interest.

Practical lessons will be infrequent especially in the first 4 weeks. Classes within bubbles will have allocated time in specialist rooms but the room will then be unused for 3 days to reduce the risk of transmission.

We are awaiting further guidance regarding transport. Face coverings will be worn on both school and public transport.

Hygiene, social distancing, catch it kill, it bin it will be a natural and key part of the school day. Pupils who do not adhere to the strict rules will not be allowed to remain in school.

Equipment will not be loaned or shared. Pupils need a bag to fit all books in, pencil case and sufficient water.

There will be some uniform concessions however false nails/eyelashes will not be allowed.

Parents will not be allowed on site without an appointment

I hope that this gives you a feeling of how things will look in September. Please be assured that we will update you when we have firm plans that have met with full approval and will be circulating a revised risk assessment for you to look at.

For recent Government advice for parents click here.

Thank you as always for your support.
Keep safe and well.

Miss Birchall


June 29th

Dear Parents/ Carers

I hope you and your families are keeping well.

I am aware of some (and I am sure unaware of others) who have been affected directly by the virus, my thoughts are especially with all of you that have suffered during this time or lost loved ones.

As we near the end of term it is vital that we finish the term with any unresolved issues as far as possible being dealt with now. Please do contact us if you have any concerns.

Mr Stokes has prepared a safeguarding newsletter which will be published shortly. This provides invaluable information in relation to support networks for both parents and pupils to access over the summer break (and any other time).

School will be closed during the summer holidays unless government plans change. This will give a good opportunity for deep cleaning and enable us to make final preparations for September.

Currently the government have stated that all pupils will return in September. We will await further guidance as to how this might look and I will be updating you when plans are established between now and September.

The tutorials over the last two weeks have gone really well and I believe that pupils in years 10 and 12 benefitted from having the opportunity to review their learning, establish their next steps and talk openly to their mentor. Thank you to those who gave such positive feedback.

Preparations are underway for group teaching next week. There have been some minor amendments and additions to the offer from the previous plan. Please note these in the following link.

Please also read the safety notes page again and talk this through with your child. It is imperative that all the guidelines are followed so that everyone feels safe and confident and we can actually focus on enjoying our learning again back in the classroom!

Last two weeks of term

You will have been notified already and seen the updated risk assessment but it appears below again. This is ensuring that everyone understands that there will be some crossover of groups. This affects year 12 A level lessons and tutorials where classes will comprise of different students and also years 10 and 12 key worker/ vulnerable students who will cross from their keyworker/ vulnerable group into lessons and tutorials.


Year 10 mentors will send out medical questionnaires again before students attend their year 10 teaching sessions and tutorials.

Year 12 teachers will contact students directly with the medical questionnaire. Year 12 mentors will also contact their mentees ahead of the tutorial group (not all students will be attending a lesson)

Only one further medical questionnaire (two for some year 12s) will be completed so it is imperative that you contact the school if there are any changes to your child or household. 

Thank you to all of our parents and carers for the way in which you have worked with us during this time.

The staff have been remarkable with their creative approaches and relentless hard work and we are fortunate to have such a strong staff at our school.

Our students have been extraordinary during this time and I am proud of how they have adapted, and how committed the majority have been to keeping on track and find new ways of learning. We hear lots about ‘catching up’ and ’falling behind’. I will be bold and disagree as I believe our students will have developed exceptional skills for life and characteristics that will be immeasurable.

Please also see this link regarding “The Wider opening of schools – open letter to parents and carers” from Philip White Cabinet Member for Learning and Employability


Miss Birchall


June 10th 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

I am pleased to inform you that the Governors have approved our plans for Years 12 and 10 pupils commencing June 15th.. It has also been passed to the LA.

I hope that the plan is self-explanatory and that the notes page at the end of the plan will address any questions that you may have. If anything is not clear please contact the school office. Please read this through with your child as it addresses key safety points whilst in school.


We have had a health and safety committee working hard to complete the risk assessment which has been approved by governors and also forwarded to the LA. Please read this also:

Risk Assessment NCHS

In the next five weeks leading to the end of term pupils in both year groups will come into school for an individual tutorial session followed by small group teaching in English Maths, Science and a group tutorial. Year 12 will be offered some A level lessons. We are hoping to ensure that your child has a really clear understanding of what they should be doing at home to ensure good progress is being made and that we can resolve any barriers to their learning. We ae really looking forward to seeing our pupils again!

Your child has been placed in a group A – J (1- 3 for year 12) and you will be contacted by the teacher in charge of the group via email to arrange an appointment time for your child. The appointment will be given after completion of a medical questionnaire. Please be aware that the staffing situation in school is a changing one and therefore any staffing plan is subject to change. Pupils in year 10 who are already attending school should continue to do so and join the appropriate sessions.

It is really important after the initial completion of the medical questionnaire that you inform school if circumstances change.

Pupils are not expected to attend if they are in the extremely vulnerable group or live with someone in this group. If a pupil is within the clinically vulnerable group medical advice should be taken first. If a pupil lives with someone who is clinically vulnerable they can attend if they can adhere to strict social distancing and your GP approves this decision. Of course a pupil cannot attend school if they or anyone in the household are confirmed Covid or are showing symptoms or waiting for test results or have been contacted by NHS test and trace. This applies if they or a household member have been in contact with anyone that any of these factors applies to.

It is your choice as to whether your child attends school and we will support your decision if you choose to keep your child at home.

Are you in the Extremely Vulnerable group? Those usually in receipt of NHS letter or advice from clinician.

See Gov.uk



Are you in the Clinically Vulnerable

See Gov.Uk. Further information.



The booklets that have been prepared will be available as a hard copy for your child and will also appear on the website on June 15th.

Details for the assessment week are being formulated now and will be forwarded to you in due course.

There is a wealth of guidance on the Gov.uk site. You may want to read the ‘Guidance for Parents and Carers’ publication. We have followed the ‘Actions for Wider opening of schools’ ‘Secondary School Guidance’ and ‘Implementing Protective Measures’ which you may also want to refer to.

Guidance for Parents available here

Please do not hesitate to contact school if there is anything that you are concerned about. Staff are working really hard through challenging circumstances to offer the best remote learning experience possible being mindful of individual family circumstances and the wellbeing of our families and pupils.

Thank you as always for your support.

Wishing you and your families good health.


Miss Birchall


Thursday June 4th

Dear Parents/ Carers

I hope that you are keeping well and staying safe.

You will be aware that the government have asked that years 10 and 12 potentially return as from June 15th. The current guidance states that schools should offer ‘face to face support to assist with remote learning with up to 25% of the year groups in at any one time.’

We have completed a draft risk assessment that covers the 5 week period to the end of term. When this has been approved by governors it will be on the website for you to look at and provide feedback on. We have not risk assessed beyond this as we do not know what the situation will be in September.

We plan to continue with the safest approach possible so for the first two weeks we will offer individual tutorials (as outlined before) to all pupils in years 10 and 12. The focus will be on academic progress and wellbeing with clear guidance issued from all subject areas.

In week 3 pupils in years 10 and 12 will undertake assessments remotely and then in weeks 4 and 5 there will be taught lessons in a group of approximately 8 in English, Maths and Science.

Pupils will also have a further tutorial session in week 5 in their assigned group (same one that they were taught in) to ensure that any issues arising from their previous tutorial have been resolved and that they are confident and secure in moving forward with a clear plan before we break for the summer.

The arrangements for the eligible pupils who are currently attending will continue.

It is of course your choice whether you send your child to school and if you choose not to, no fines will be issued. If your child or anyone in the household is in the clinically vulnerable or extremely vulnerable (shielding) group it is not advisable for your child to come to school unless you have consulted with your GP.

Pupils, parents, staff and visitors are also not to come on to site if they or any member of their household has symptoms, has been in contact with anyone else with symptoms, are awaiting test results or have been contacted through test and trace.

I will contact you next week with further details, hoping that they do not change but in the meantime please contact the school with any questions or concerns.

Rest assured that as always the safety and wellbeing of your child and your family is paramount.

Best wishes,

Miss Birchall


22nd May 2020

Dear Parents/ Carers

Thank you for your patience during this uncertain time. I know that you will be anxious as we all are to receive some clarification of what exactly is happening from June 1st.

Thank you to all parents who responded to the survey. It was apparent from the results that you are uncertain as to whether you would send your child to school and that it would depend on circumstances.

The government have stated that schools ‘should offer some face to face support to years 10 and 12 to assist with remote learning’.Years 7-9 will continue to learn from home.

We are planning to offer an individual tutorial session for your child at school with an allocated teacher to discuss their next steps in learning across all subjects and to discuss their wellbeing and mental health. Hopefully we will then offer some small group learning later in June.

We are producing a booklet to support these tutorials which will provide advice on all aspects including a support page for parents. The teacher would be the main point of contact to support your child and resolve any issues raised through to the end of term.

The tutorial time will be booked by the teacher on receipt of a clear medical questionnaire in relation to Covid 19 and your child will be met at the room 1 entrance by the teacher.

If it were not possible for your child to visit school we would carry out the meeting via Microsoft Teams.

Governors have approved this plan. The start date would be no earlier than June 3rd for year 12 students with tutorials for year 10 starting June 8th.

There is still however an ongoing debate with government and unions and it is possible that this could still be delayed. No guidance has been issued for Secondary schools yet.

Please see updated guidance published by Gov.Uk for parents and carers and a family health newsletter that has also been put onto the website. There is also useful guidance from the RCPCH offering advice in relation to pupils who are clinically extremely vulnerable and clinically vulnerable. Please look at this if you think your child is in one of these groups.

We will do everything possible to work within government guidelines and to support your child with their transition into year 11, safety for everyone is our priority and any steps taken are very carefully risk assessed.

Your child’s designated teacher will contact you after half term and I will update you as soon as there is further clarification.

Please contact the school office via phone or email with any concerns.

Next week is half term. School remains open for pupils of key workers but work will not be set remotely by teachers.

Please also take time to read the Open Letter to Parents and Carers from Staffordshire County Council

Wishing you good health.

Miss Birchall


14th May 2020

Following the Government Announcement on May 9th

You will all have listened to the latest announcements and will have many questions as to what this will mean for our school and for your child.
The timeline for secondary schools is unclear. We understand that there is an expectation for some Primary school year groups to return as from June 1st and some face to face contact with years 10 and 12 pupils to start at this time.

We are considering various models as to how we can work most effectively to support your child whilst maintaining the safest possible environment. This could include one to one tutorial meetings to assist with both next steps in learning and wellbeing with the potential for some small group work.
Governors are fully involved in the decision making and we will ensure that every possible measure is implemented before any return is announced.

It would be helpful to find out how you are feeling as parents. You will receive a text message later today asking you to complete a short survey. It would be appreciated if you could respond to this.

I would like to reassure you that the safety and wellbeing of our pupils, families and staff will continue to be our first priority.

There are a lot of support networks to assist with wellbeing, learning from home and financial assistance which we can signpost you to. Please remember that we access all phone messages and office emails on school days. We want to support you in any way we can.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding, sending you my warmest wishes and thoughts to your families.
Miss Birchall


27th April 2020

Hello Everyone,

Hope you are managing okay. I know that some of your families are affected by this awful virus and my thoughts on behalf of the whole school are with you and and wishing those affected a full recovery.

I enjoyed seeing some of your rainbow work. It certainly lifted my spirits. Watch out for examples on the website on Wednesday and also something that might make you smile from the staff!

This week as you will be aware we have changed the timetable to make it hopefully more manageable for you.

As I said before, do your best, keep your brain active but every one of you have different circumstances and we understand that. You are probably finding out things about yourself that you didn’t know about before, hidden talents and personal qualities. I know you will be supporting your family members and friends who are in need and appreciating those qualities in others perhaps more than usual.

Norton pupils have courage and kindness and I know you will be doing the right thing through this. It would be great to hear about some of the things you are doing.

Like you, I follow the news and am looking out for key announcements about when and how schools might return. Please be careful that you don’t read too much particularly on social media because it will confuse you and also just worry you unnecessarily.

No decisions have been made about reopening or who will attend, of course we all have our own thoughts about how it might be but the media like us are just guessing. Don’t get drawn in to it!

You will look back at this time and always remember it. However grim it seems I promise that in later years you will have good memories too. This will not hold you back it will spur you on!

Remember that the staff are all working, we are trying to adapt like you and doing our very best. Contact us about anything, worries or good news stories. We are here for you.

The school phone and email is checked regularly during school time.

There are a lot of really helpful links on the website for you and your parents about online learning, staying safe, financial assistance etc. Please ask your parents to have a look and you have a look at the learning websites too.

Stay safe, look for the positives and keep well,
Miss Birchall


20th April 2020

Hello Everyone,

I hope you have managed to have a break from school work and spend some time doing something a bit different.

This week your teachers are going to set everyone work based around rainbows which we will call ‘The Norton Rainbow’ .
Mr Farley is going to showcase your work on the website on the 29th April. Let’s see how creative your teachers can be and how you can rise to the challenge. I am looking forward to seeing your work.

Thank you to those of you who completed the survey on line, I have read them all and will sort out all of the things you mentioned that concerned you.
It is right for you to be doing school work and keeping to a routine but it is not right if you get too anxious about it. This way of school is new for everyone and you can only do your best with the resources you have and the situation you are in which will be different for all of you.

You are not behind with anything, you will not be at a disadvantage, every child in the country is at the same stage so please don’t stress! We will get you to where you need to be, just stay well mentally as well as physically and we will get through it together.  During this time you will be learning, experiencing, and appreciating things that school could never teach you and that other generations will never have witnessed. This learning is something special.

I hope that your tutors have made contact with you. Remember you can email any member of staff or contact staff through SMHW. We are all still here to try and support you as best we can and sometimes a chat with someone at school can make a difference.
There are lots of helpful links for you in the safeguarding section of the website too. (See parents tab/ safeguarding/ helpful apps etc)

These tough times will pass and we will all be stronger as individuals and as a community afterwards.

Take care of yourselves and your families,
Miss Birchall

8th April 2020

Dear Parents/ Carers

I sincerely hope that all of you are staying in good health and managing to cope during this difficult time. The sunshine is most welcome.

Hopefully your child is having a break from school work now and can think of these two weeks as ‘holiday weeks’ as far as possible.

School currently remains open although we may be closed on the Bank Holidays; we are still awaiting confirmation from some people as to whether provision is required.

My overriding mission as always is to keep everyone safe and ensure that our procedures are impeccable. Please can I ask you to read the following:

Do not send a pupil in to school without prior consultation. There are health questions that we must ask in advance. Contact the school office if you are considering requesting a place for your child.

If your child is already attending school please do keep us informed if your chid has or develops any health issues or may fall into the vulnerable or shielding groups (please note that vulnerable in this sense means in relation to health, the government talk about vulnerable children but also those who are vulnerable health wise)

Please tell us also if anyone in the household falls into these groups.

Please do not send your child to school if they develop symptoms, if anyone else in the household develops symptoms or they have been in contact with anyone displaying symptoms. You must follow the isolation guidance as set out by the government and must not come to school.

Pupils attending school have started to ‘relax’ a little with social distancing and they put themselves and others at risk by doing so. Please read the Coronavirus (COVID19) Implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings updated 7.4.20. This document explains in detail about social distancing and what parents can do. There is also a Q and A which the government have asked parents to read.

At school we are doing the following:

 Asking pupils to use one entrance only by Room 1and meet in the canteen at 8.45
 Observing 2 metres distance from each other and staff at all times
 Washing hands before school, before and after break and lunch, whenever anyone has coughed or sneezed and at the end of school. Pupils should wash hands one pupil at a time
 Pupils should only the visit the toilet one at a time. They can only use the toilets by room 1
 We have limited the rooms to 17, 18 and 19 and operate these on a rotation basis.
 Pupils should use the same workstation and chair at all times including in the canteen.
 If equipment is used a member of staff should know so that it can be wiped and disinfected.
 Pupils can also use the canteen area and outside areas.
 No other area in school is permitted
 Doors should be left open wherever possible
 Visitors are not allowed on site including parents except for the car park.

Pupils will be briefed every morning by the senior member of staff on duty but I would really appreciate it if you could support us with these critical messages.

The document Coronavirus Covid 19 Guidance for schools and other educational settings updated
7.4.20 has a wealth of information and links for you as parents regarding staying at home guidance, guidance for households with possible Corona virus infections and many other useful links.

There is also information for pupils in years 11 and 13 regarding the grading of GCSEs and A levels. I hope this information from the government will give some reassurance to these pupils.

Year 11

Pupils in year 11 should be having a call from Gaelle Holford our careers advisor and guidance has been given by Mr Windsor regarding sixth form places and work that both 11 and 13s can be doing to help them prepare for the next stage of their education.

The school answerphone is monitored every day as are emails.

We are working tirelessly to address the voucher scheme issue and the refunds on to Parent Pay. These issues are beyond our control but please be assured we are resolving it as best we can.

I know it is such an anxious time for everyone and a difficult time for parents. I hope that our children look back at this time and feel proud of the person they were through this crisis. We hear so many stories of children congregating, upsetting vulnerable elderly people and risking the lives of people in society. As I read these I am confident that our Norton children ultimately know what it is they should be doing at the moment and will continue to make us proud.

Keep in touch I may not always have the answers but I will do my very best!

Miss Birchall