The CCHS Blog:

Chris Taylor, Head of School9th November 2020

We have completed the first half of the autumn term and are now on the lead up to Christmas. Despite national restrictions just imposed, school life remains very busy and there is, as ever, a lot going on!
Upper school students are hard at work preparing for GCSE/ BTEC mock examinations, some of which will take place just prior to the holidays and others straight after we return in the new year. The importance of these examinations cannot be underestimated as the outcomes might be called upon later in the year to contribute towards any future centre assessed grades; such is the uncertainty surrounding summer examinations, at this stage. Very soon, students will receive an exam timetable to help organise and aid their revision preparations, your support will be vitally important in helping your child achieve their best.
For every student, in every year group, attitude to learning (ATL) and understanding that ‘every lesson counts’ is exceptionally important. Excellent attendance equals maximising potential; please ensure your child attends school regularly and punctually. However, a reminder for everyone, if anyone in your household develops any symptoms directly associated with the COVID-19 virus, all should self-isolate and anyone with symptoms must get tested. Students should not return to school until the outcome of the test is negative or the period of self-isolation is complete.
Although school life has been a little different for students since September, one thing that has not changed, and which I see as I walk around the school each and every day, is the excellent teaching and learning that is happening in lessons. It is an absolute pleasure to see the students so engaged, so many amazing interactions with their teachers, and despite what they may say, it is evident that education is very important to them, and likewise, educating them is very important to us!
This year, many of the extra-curricular and community activities we had planned have not been able to happen. However, we are determined to continue with our annual shoebox appeal to provide gifts for the residents of Holly Court, sheltered accommodation in Clacton. This year we are doing something slightly different, but which still relies upon the generosity and kindness of our students and their parents. Tote bags are replacing shoeboxes! We will supply the tote bags, but we need your help to fill as many as possible. Students can still bring suitable items into school, but this year we are also able to accept donations via Parent Pay, you will find a link on how to do so when you login to your account. We are hoping to ensure that each person in Holly Court receives a bag of gifts and we will use any donations received to purchase appropriate items to fill the tote bags.
Disappointingly, for the first time in over two decades, the Christmas Day lunch organised by the Rotary Club for the elderly and lonely people in Clacton had to be cancelled. The Rotary Club are organising goody bags to deliver to those people that would normally attend. Please rest assured, dependent on the success of our Christmas Tote Bag Appeal, anything that we have in excess will be donated to support the Christmas Day plans of the Rotary Club.
This year, giving and supporting each other is more important than ever, especially as many people are feeling isolated and anxious. We are very PROUD to be able to help and support our community at this time.
It is so important that we follow the guidance issued by the government and wearing masks within social settings and where the 2m distance rule cannot be maintained, will help to mitigate the risks of spreading the virus. Please encourage your child to follow the mandatory guidance by wearing their mask at all times as required including the wider community.
As has been said on so many previous occasions, stay safe and stay well!
Chris Taylor, Head of School

14th September 2020

A warm welcome to our new Year 7 students and their families and a huge welcome back to our existing students. After such a long period away from school, it has been great to see the children back in classes and learning; it has been too long! Meeting our new students and then seeing the return of familiar faces has been an absolute pleasure.
For students in Years 8-11, things are quite different to when they were last here, with the set-up of separate year group zones, which has restricted movements around the school, and break and lunchtime arrangements being at staggered times. Overall students have settled very well to the new arrangements and timings.
We are working hard to make sure that despite the differences, school remains a safe and welcoming place, where students are happy and can continue to develop a love of learning and fulfil their aspirations. Full attendance is important and so far, this has been excellent; let’s keep this momentum going.
In the current climate, it is more important than ever that we follow the guidance and recommendations to keep us all safe and well - read more......

School Canteen Payment Cards - Our sincere apologies to all parents and students who have encountered difficulties with using the new canteen payment system. This was to replace the fingerprint biometric system and to mitigate any risk associated with the spread of the Corona virus. Unfortunately, this week we have experienced some unexpected technical problems, which are being resolved - read more......

We Are All In This Together - It continues to be unprecedented times for everyone. As throughout the pandemic, things change, often at quite short notice and society responds and adapts swiftly to any requirements and guidance.
School is no different, each day we are making adaptations to ensure the day runs smoothly and staff and students remain safe and secure as much as we can. Our children’s education must continue and with home and school working together in partnership we can get through this; at present, it is just a different way of working.
If you do have any concerns regarding your child’s education or well-being, please do not hesitate to contact the school via the admin email in the first instance; and a member of the pastoral team will get back to you as soon as possible. Please see our Weekly Newsletter to read more.......
Chris Taylor, Head of School

24th August 2020

As the 2020 summer exam season was cancelled, this year’s Year 11 cohort have been awarded grades by the exam boards, based on information supplied by the schools (Centre Assessed Grade). The exam boards have then applied their own calculations, taking account of performance in previous years, to generate a Calculated Grade. In line with the A Level changes earlier this week, students will receive the higher of the Centre Assessed Grade or the Calculated Grade. None of the usual benchmark data or headline figures which lend themselves to comparisons between this year and other years, or between schools, have any validity this year.
Without doubt, sitting exams would have been stressful enough for these young people, but losing the chance to prove what they can achieve has been even more so. Thankfully, our students are now able to celebrate and there were some stunning individual outcomes and amazing stories of success that have enabled all our students to progress onto apprenticeships, sixth form or further education. I would like to congratulate the students and thank the staff through what has been a challenging few months.
This summer has been unprecedented for all young people taking their GCSE exams. It is good news that the issues are now resolved regarding the A Level and GCSE grades awarded and we are now eagerly awaiting the release of the vocational and technical qualifications.
Despite the turbulence surrounding the results, I am delighted for our students who have worked hard over the last few years to achieve these outcomes; congratulations to all of them and to their families. I would also like to pay tribute to the commitment and efforts of their teachers who have supported our students every step of the way.
Chris Taylor, Head of School

20th July 2020

The end of academic year 2019-20 has arrived, whilst this has not been the year any of us could have anticipated we are all looking forward to the start of the new academic year in September and welcoming our students back to school. It has been too long since we last saw them and we are equally excited about meeting our new Year 7 students. We have been working extremely hard planning for the safe return to school and making sure that we follow all of the guidance and expectations in line with the government’s requirements and are very excited about the opening of our new sixth form college, Sigma Sixth, in Jaywick Lane. It is important to note that now both the 1st and 2nd September are non-pupil days. Following this, the first 2 days of term, i.e. 3rd and 4th September have been dedicated to settling the new Year 7 into school and making sure they are completely familiar with the school site and expectations. The first half of the autumn term will be quite different to ensure that we are meeting all of the government guidance for keeping all members of our school community safe, staff and students and there are five important things to bear in mind:
1. Student Zones - All students will be taught within a year group zone and will enter school via a designated entrance and have an allocated base room, school starts prompt at 8.45am, students should not arrive prior to 8.20am. There will be a staggered finish time between 2.50 and 3.50pm.
2. Catering – there will be no hot food offer at break times, hot food will only be available at lunch time for each year group on rotation, twice weekly. On other days, all students should bring a packed lunch including a snack for break time if required. All students should bring their own filled water bottle, which must be named.
3. Uniform – full school uniform is required. However, as changing rooms are not open, on the days when PE is timetabled for Years 7-9, students should attend school in kit but wearing their blazers. For Years 10 & 11 lessons are theory only for the first part of the autumn term.
4. Equipment – Students cannot share equipment. Therefore, students will need to bring a bag to school with their own writing equipment in a pencil case.
5. Attendance – From September, all students must attend school.
In preparation for next year, the school has put together a Curriculum Micro-site - Available to View Here, which gives details of all of the subjects available at CCHS and the topics of study for each year group within the subject areas, year on year.
The CCHS Careers Hub is worth a visit for lots of information and resources - Available to View Here; it is never too soon to think about the future.
I hope that you all have a lovely summer; that the weather continues to be favourable to us, and please continue to stay alert and stay safe and I look forward to seeing all of our students on Monday, 7th September at 8.45am.
Chris Taylor, Head of School