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Category Archives: Year 11 Parents/Carers

We have great pleasure in announcing that The English Martyrs Catholic School and Sixth Form College are once again hoping to run our annual ski trip to Austria departing Saturday, 16th April 2022 and returning Saturday, 23rd April 2022.

This is on the proviso that all current travel and Covid restrictions have been lifted.

We are only able to offer this trip to students who will be in Years 7-10, and Year 12 next year due to the importance of exams and revision for Year 11 and 13.

The cost of the trip is provisionally £859, paid on a monthly basis. This price includes:

      • 5 days skiing with 5 hours of instruction
      • 8 day coach hire and return ferry crossing, Dover-Calais
      • 5 nights’ accommodation, bed, breakfast and evening meal
      • Hot lunch voucher for each day skiing
      • 5 day lift pass
      • 5 days hire of ski equipment and helmet (clothing not included)
      • Fully comprehensive insurance
      • Personalized ‘hoodie’ as a memento of the trip
      • Evening entertainment entrance fees
      • Full 24 hour resort representation through IBT Travel

Additional costs may include:

      • Hiring of a jacket and salopettes, if required, approximately £50 from Sayers of Yarm
      • Any extra drinks you may purchase during the day
      • An up to date passport

At present we are assessing interest in the trip and whether there would be sufficient students for the trip to be viable.

If this trip sounds like something you would be interested in, please can you complete the following form. Click Here for Form.

Completion of this form does not guarantee you a place on the trip, nor does it commit you to the trip.

Should you require any further information please contact Mr East or Mr Cooksey by email.

Mr M. East

Mr J. Cooksey


Dear Parent of Year 11 student

Your child’s time at secondary school has almost come to an end, and they are now looking forward to a well-deserved summer break.  I would like to make you aware of some activities that they may be interested in, and also to give detail of our continued support to them, throughout this time.

If your child would like to continue their personal development and careers preparations during the summer holidays, please consider the National Citizenship Service (NCS) https://wearencs.com/  Alternatively, they can continue with the work experience opportunities shared to them on their Year11 Careers Teams portal.

My support is available to your child throughout the summer term therefore if you, or they, have any queries or require any careers advice or support I can be contacted via the school teams, telephone, by email or meeting by arrangement.

We regularly monitor our careers services provided to our students, and parents perspective is critical to this audit.  This is to ensure we continue to improve and provide impartial careers support which is both useful and purposeful to you and your child.  With that in mind I would be grateful if you could log into and complete our careers and guidance survey.   https://forms.office.com/r/yLhjMSFg3d

As we progress beyond this year, we would love to hear about your child’s career journey and success. If you would like us to follow their careers success, please ask them to provide us with their personal email and keep us updated and email is as we would be thrilled to see how they are progressing with your career and would love for them to a part of our growing alumni.

May we take this opportunity to wish them well with their future plans and to say that it has been a privilege to work with them.

Mrs J Liddell
Head of Careers and Work-Related Learning

Dear Parents/Carers

I hope this letter finds you safe and well.

The vast majority of assessments are now completed. All will have been completed by lunchtime on Friday 28th May. Can I congratulate our students on the way in which they have applied themselves to this prolonged period of assessment. Thank you too, for the support and encouragement you have given them along the way.

Here is a link to the Ofqual document: ‘Student guide to awarding 2021’ 

The first section of this document outlines all of the key information that students and parents need to know about the awarding of grades this summer and where you can gain further information.

Friday 28th May will be the last day that we expect our Year 11 students to be in school as a full year group.

Many of them have Science assessments during periods 1 and 2. We have arranged for small treats to be distributed during period 3 and we will finish the day together with a ‘leavers liturgy’ from 14:30-15:00.

One of the traditions for school leavers is to have their school shirt signed by their peers and teachers. There will be plenty of opportunity for this – but we have asked that students bring a shirt in their bag for this purpose; not to use the one they are wearing.

After half term, activities will be available on our Microsoft Teams platform. This will include resources to prepare students for the world of work and bridging units in subject areas that we offer at A Level. We would encourage all students to make use of these resources.

GCSE results day is Thursday 12th August 2021. We look forward to welcoming our fantastic young people then – and hopefully celebrate their successes.

With every good wish

Stephen Hammond

NCS Audience with Parents/Guardians

You are invited to a zoom session aimed at parents/guardians of Year 11 and 12 students NOT yet signed up to NCS Summer 2021.

We would usually have had the opportunity to meet with several of you at parent’s evenings and events at the school – since this hasn’t been possible, we would love to give you the chance to hear all about NCS in this online forum. You will learn how to get your teen signed up to the programme and have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

NCS is a summer programme for young people aged 15 to 17. It is a government funded initiative available nationally. NCS is a great experience for young people, intended to build confidence, promote independency and provide a fun and safe environment for young people to develop their skills. Previous participants have commented that they have made friends for life and felt that they had gained experience to help them transition into further education or the world of work. To learn more, please join us for our online event which will take place on MONDAY 24TH MAY 2021 @ 5.30PM. Please follow the link below at the time of the event. The event will last approximately 40 minutes.

The Tees Valley NCS team are inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Parents info session

Time: May 24, 2021 05:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 849 9672 6972
Passcode: 5FmveF

Dear Parents/Carers

Can I firstly thank-you for your support over recent months as we have navigated the ever-changing landscape of this summer’s teacher assessed grades process. The exam board materials which were promised to us by the end of March were not provided until our return from Easter. This made it more difficult to plan the final summative assessments for subjects as Heads of Department needed to see the kind of materials and guidance that were being provided.  

As well as the letter I shared at the start of March, we followed this up with a podcast for students in March and then a further podcast on our return after Easter. These can be found on our school website (Letter to Year 11 & Year 13 Parents: Exams – English Martyrs (bhcet.org.uk) and https://ems.bhcet.org.uk/year-11-13-teacher-assessed-grading/

I have also placed the 10th May summative assessments schedule onto our website and shared this with students in assemblies this week.

I apologise that this has taken a little longer to share the final version. By trying to avoid doing the assessments in the sports hall the logistics of arranging these in classrooms needed some final alterations. 

I think we will all be glad to complete this process as smoothly as possible. It has been a challenging time for all concerned. 

Best wishes

Stephen Hammond

Please see below a short video from Mr Dickson of how Teacher Assessed Grades will be determined and how important it is to give your studies your full attention between now and 10th May.  The JCQ Guidance booklet he talks about can be downloaded here

Dear Parent/Carer,

I would like to invite you to attend our Year 11 Parents’ Evening on Thursday 15th April 2021, 16:00pm – 18:30pm

The school has introduced a new intuitive and easy to use online appointment booking system. This allows you to choose your own appointment times with teachers and you will receive an email confirming your appointments. We are confident this will be an improvement to the previous system and welcome any feedback.

Appointment booking is now open and will close on Thursday 15th April, 9am. Should you wish to make any changes after this date please contact the school office.  Teacher slots are limited so we advise booking early.

Please visit https://englishmartyrs.schoolcloud.co.uk/  This is the portal to book and attend your appointments.  A handy guide of how the system works can be found here. 

When logging on, you must ensure that the details you input match those which we have on file for you and your child. We sent this information with the letter welcoming you to the My Ed App.

This evening will give you an opportunity to speak with staff about individual student progress and strategies that students can use to improve further in the coming months. Please be aware that teachers have been instructed not to enter into conversations about teacher assessed grades at this time. Thank you for your understanding with this.

Combined Science: If your child is taking Combined Science your appointment will be with one of their Science teachers as in previous years. During this appointment you will be given feedback on all aspects of the course including information from their other teachers. If you would like additional feedback from one of their other teachers please ask the teacher to arrange this during your appointment and we will contact you, or you can contact the appropriate teacher directly using the following email addresses:

Mr Baker – tbaker@ems.bhcet.org.uk
Mr East – meast@ems.bhcet.org.uk
Mr Walton – dwalton@ems.bhcet.org.uk
Miss Dunn – edunn@ems.bhcet.org.uk
Mrs Moss – cmoss@ems.bhcet.org.uk
Mr Brown – pbrown@ems.bhcet.org.uk
Mr Read – jread@ems.bhcet.org.uk
Mr Dunn – ndunn@ems.bhcet.org.uk
Mr Bennett – sbennett@ems.bhcet.org.uk
Miss Manning – smanning@ems.bhcet.org.uk

Also, unfortunately Mrs Hannah & Mrs Pearson will not be available for appointments on the evening. If you have any concerns about your child in History, please contact Mrs Rich (lrich@ems.bhcet.org.uk) and she’ll be happy to help.  Mrs Pearson will arrange phone calls at a later date and has already informed her students of this.

Finally, just a reminder that our Careers Team are always available to offer advice and guidance. They can be contacted on: ems-careers@ems.bhcet.org.uk.

I also have slots available if you wish to talk to me on the evening. I hope you find the evening useful and the new system easy to navigate.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Wilson
Pastoral Manager for Year 11

Testing in school

Up to one in three people who have COVID-19 can spread the virus without knowing. This is because they have no symptoms. To reduce the spread of the virus, we need to identify those individuals.

As you are now doubt aware we are in the process of carrying out lateral flow testing in school and all students have been given the opportunity to be tested three times over a two-week period.  This process is almost complete and we are now asking parents to support us in continuing the testing programme at home.

Testing at home

We understand that each child has individual needs. Many children will adapt to testing becoming part of their routine, others will find it more challenging. Taking part in testing is voluntary and all children will be able to attend school whether they take part or not. We hope that the option to take the test in the morning or the evening will support families to test at home. 

If you agree that it is appropriate for your child to be tested at home, they will be able to collect their home test kits from their form tutors.  Sixth Form students will be given their kits during PDD

We would like them to take their tests each Sunday and Wednesday.

Tests are free of charge. Your child will receive a pack of 3 tests in a box with a leaflet on how to take the test and report the results.

Students should ensure that they have enough time to do the test before going to school. However, we understand that for some people this may be challenging. Therefore, tests can be taken the evening before if needed.

There is no need to keep used test equipment. After the test result has been reported, you can put it in your normal bin (household waste).

This does not replace symptomatic testing. If you have symptoms you should self- isolate immediately, book a PCR test and follow national guidelines.

Test results

Once you have completed the LFD test you should:

  • If your child or anyone in your household tests positive your household and any support bubbles you are part of should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days.
  • You need to report your result to both NHS Test and Trace and school.
  • You should order a confirmatory PCR test if you are testing at home (confirmatory PCR tests are not needed if the test was conducted at the Asymptomatic Test Site at School).
  • If the result of the test is unclear (void) you should do another test.
  • Negative and void results need to be reported to both NHS Test and Trace and school.
  • A negative result does not guarantee that you are not carrying the virus. So, you should continue to follow social distancing, and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing your hands and observing social distancing.
  • If you or anyone in your household gets symptoms of the virus you should follow national guidelines on self-isolation and testing.
  • You need to report each test result by using the NHS Test and Trace self-report website: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result
  • You will also need to tell the school the result of each test using the following link https://forms.office.com/r/ctmpp4Qrke

Taking part in testing is voluntary and all children will be able to attend school whether they take part in testing or not.  I am strongly encouraging all children to take part. Testing at home will allow your child and other children to attend school and help to reduce the spread of the virus. 

Please contact Sarah Tait, our COVID Coordinator, if you have any questions or concerns about home testing.

Yours faithfully

Stephen Hammond


Dear Parent/Carer

I understand that many of you will feel anxious about this summer’s exam grading. I am writing to you in the hope that I can provide more clarity and some reassurance.

Last week, the Government announced outline plans for the awarding of A Level and GCSE grades. Details are still emerging or yet to emerge from examination boards – but most of the guidance still to come relates to schools and how we are to administer the system.

From a student’s point of view there is now a bit more clarity. We know the following:

  • There will be no externally set A Level and GCSE exams this summer.
  • The grades will be based on teachers’ assessments of the standards that students are working at.
  • You can be assured that we will use a range of evidence to inform our assessments, so grades will never be based on a single result in a mock examination or class assessment.
  • We already have some evidence in the form of your Key Tasks throughout the last 5 terms; your mock exams in November (Y11) and Online Assessments in January (Y13). By Easter, the exam boards will be providing us with some additional exam questions we can use in school if we wish to. Our aim is to ensure that every student has the opportunity to demonstrate what they can do.
  • We don’t yet know the leaving date for students in the summer term – but we do know that the school has to upload all results by 18th June 2021. Students and parents can not be told their grades at this stage. Exam boards will choose a sample of schools and look at the evidence and procedures they have used to ensure that grades have been awarded fairly.
  • The school will work with the other 4 secondary schools in our Trust to run a moderation/standardisation exercise across each subject area, to ensure that all submitted grades are fair.
  • Exam results will be published and made available for collection on:
    • Tuesday 10th August (A Level results)
    • Thursday 12th August (GCSE results)
  • There will be an appeal system for any student who believes that their grade has not been fairly awarded. The earlier exam results dates provide time for Y13 students to have appeals dealt with before university places are finalised.

There will be more detail emerging in the coming days and weeks, but much of this will relate to school procedures and how we administer the system. If there is further information to give to students or parents, we will let you know.

Exam years are always stressful and this year is more difficult than most. It is important to focus on the big picture and students should be encouraged to keep working hard , to apply themselves whole heartedly over the remaining weeks and to prepare well for any assessments taken during their remaining study time. They should be reassured that the exam results they achieve will be a fair reflection of their performance across their two years of study and not in one single performance in an exam.

Yours faithfully
Stephen Hammond


Dear Parents/Carers,

We are delighted that the government have announced this week that we can begin welcoming all students back to school, to resume face to face teaching, from Monday 8th March.

A central part of the return plan is that students should take 3 Lateral Flow Tests between 3-5 days apart upon returning. This presents a logistical challenge for us and our only solution is to stagger the return of students across three days as outlined below:

Schedule of phased return:

Year 11, 12 and 13: Return to school Monday 8th March

  • Test 1: 8th March
  • Test 2: 11th March
  • Test 3 16th March

Year 10 and 9: Return to school Tuesday 9th March

  • Test 1: 9th March
  • Test 2: 12th March
  • Test 3: 17th March

Year 8 and 7: Return to school Wednesday 10th March

  • Test 1: 10th March
  • Test 2: 15th March
  • Test 3: 18th March


Lateral Flow Tests

Only students who have been given the consent of parents/carers will be able to be tested – it would be extremely helpful if you could indicate either you consent or refusal to consent by filling in the information for your child(ren) via this link: http://bhcet.org.uk/covid19 as verbal consent cannot be taken.

If a student tests positive on a Lateral Flow Test then they will be sent home and asked to organise a PCR test at an approved centre. Only if this PCR test is positive will close contacts be advised to self-isolate for 10 days.

After the initial 3 tests have been performed in school, all students will be issued with test kits to administer at home. Further information about this will be given nearer to the time.

Safeguards to reduce transmission

Over the next week, we will prepare for the wider reopening. We will work carefully through the government guidance to ensure that all controls are in place in order to ensure a safe environment for all.

We will maintain the discrete bubble system that was in operation in the Autumn term. Year groups will be taught within their bubble and break/lunch sessions will be split to avoid year group mixing. This will ensure that we are able to limit how many contacts each student has and in the event of a positive case will enable us to only have to instruct a smaller number of students to self-isolate.

Face coverings must be worn in all communal areas of the school building and the government guidance has now included a recommendation for this to include classrooms. Unless your child is exempt from wearing a face covering, it is important that they are prepared with a sufficient supply to last the full duration of the school day. Face coverings should be safely stored (e.g. in a zip bag) for when students are eating or are outside.


The wider reopening of schools is a positive step forward in the country’s response to COVID-19. Once school reopens, all students (with the exception of those instructed to shield) will be expected to attend. As a result, our live online provision will not be provided in the way that it currently is.

Students who are absent because of shielding or the need to self-isolate will continue to access their learning resources via Teams


It is important that we all work together to prepare all children for a positive return to school including organising your child’s uniform, planner and equipment, and re-establishing morning routines to ensure punctual arrival at school.

Our school tie will be optional up until the Easter holiday. When we return after Easter, all students will be expected to wear their tie. Ties will be available to purchase from school between the return to school and Easter.

Whilst I am sure you will appreciate we now have to work through our planning and the revised guidance, if you do have any further questions about your child’s return to school, please contact us via your child’s Pastoral Manager or via admin@ems.bhcet.org.uk .

With every good wish

Stephen Hammond