T: 01429 273790 | E: admin@ems.bhcet.org.uk

Category Archives: Year 8 Parents/Carers

Dear Parent/Carer

I hope this letter finds you safe and well. As we come to the end of a very challenging year for many of us, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support.

As the Government’s plans to return to a greater level of normality begins later this month, we will be working closely as a Trust and with Public Health England to ensure that any changes we make in September will have our students and staff’s safety at heart. All of our communication will continue on the app and all the letters for your son / daughter can be found on the ‘Parent’ tab and then click on year group and then letters home. We do have to carry out two lateral flow tests just before students return in September and within 5 days of each other. Similar to last year, it will mean a staggered start due to the logistics of this task. We will be in touch in the coming weeks, but we are planning to get Sixth Form and Year 11 completed as best we can before Monday 6th September and start with Years 7 & 10 on the Monday 6th. This would mean Years 8 & 9 would return on Tuesday 7th September. We will confirm this once guidance and plans are completed.

Can I also take this opportunity to say how proud I am of all of our students. The way they have responded to the challenges has been inspirational. It has been a privilege to be their headteacher. Although many of our Year 11 Students will return in September to our Sixth Form, I want to single out Years 13 & 11 students, in particular, for their tenacity and resilience. We look forward to celebrating their success this summer. All of the details for this summer’s results can also be found on our website.

It is also a time we say goodbye to special members of staff. Mrs McHugh has been at EMS for a year and has now secured a full-time position. Mr Hall leaves us after 7 years as an invaluable cog in our Pastoral wheel. Mr McAllister has been with us for 9 years and has been pivotal in some of the most memorable shows and performances the school and college have ever seen. Mr McMahon leaves us after 17 years as our Deputy Headteacher. He has made a huge impact on many families in our town leaving a legacy that will live for a long time to come. Mrs Carr is retiring after 18 years at the School, and we all know that her optimism and cheerfulness is going to be sorely missed. Last, but not least, Mrs Hickey is also retiring after 19 years (I know she doesn’t look old enough!). We will deeply miss her unstinting dedication to the students and the dignified, humble way she serves our school. Good luck and God Bless to them All.

As many of you know I also will be retiring this summer. After 33 years as a teacher and 11 years as a headteacher, I have experienced many changes and challenges. Over the past 6 years I have had some of the most exhilarating times in education whilst at EMS. I do feel however, that now is the right time to hand over the baton to Mrs Crawshaw. Mrs Crawshaw and I have been working closely over recent months and I am incredibly positive about the next chapter of this unique school. Our recent inspection in March 2021 was very positive and I feel the school is now ready to come out of the other side of this extraordinary period changed, yet ready for change, in equal measure.

I would like to leave you with one of my favourite quotes which has provided solace to many people during this pandemic. It comes from a religious book called ‘Revelations of Divine Love’ from 1393. It was the first book ever written and published by an English woman, during the Middle Ages and during a global pandemic;

“ but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”

I am confident that all will be well going forward for this wonderful School and the wonderful people of this Town.

Have a peaceful, relaxing and enjoyable break.

Stephen Hammond

Dear Parent/Carer,

Following advice from Public Health on a positive lateral flow test result within the Kitchen we are taking precautions and closing the catering service until the PCR result is received.

Please can you ensure your child brings a pack lunch to school tomorrow. We will have a limited supply of sandwiches available for our Free School Meal Students.

Once we have a further update we will be in touch, we thank you for your understanding.

The confirmation preparation process is starting in the new year for anyone in Year 8, Year 9 and above.

You’ll join a group of other people your age to discuss and question what faith means and who God is to you? This isn’t just for people certain of what they believe; it’s for you too!

We are still confirming details of how and where we can meet in person in a COVID secure way. Sign up here to register your interest. 

Our process starts with Alpha. Alpha is not just for people certain they want to be confirmed, it’s for anyone who has questions.
In your small groups, you can be as honest as you like about what you do or don’t believe or what you disagree with about religion. 
It’s an open space to explore the meaning of life with friends.

Watch the video below for a taste of Alpha.


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/Carer,

I would like to invite you to attend our Year 8 Parents’ Evening on Thursday 24th June 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 24th June at 1pm. 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 in their lessons and strategies that students can use to improve further.

Science: To maximise the amount of slots for available, most of you will only be able to book an appointment for Physics.  The teacher you speak to will chat to you about Biology & Chemistry also.

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  and I am always available throughout the year via email fhall@ems.bhcet.org.uk or by calling school 01429 273790 ext 104

Yours sincerely,

Mr Hall
Pastoral Manager for Year 8

Dear Parents/Carers

As we approach the half-term break, I would like to thank you for your continued support for and partnership with our school community.

As the lifting of lockdown continues, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of a few important messages to keep our school community safe.

Lateral Flow Tests
Students and staff should continue to test themselves twice over the half-term break. All students should have enough LFT kits to last them. Results should continue to be logged on the NHS Test and Trace website.

COVID 19 Symptoms
If your child develops symptoms then you should arrange a PCR test. Positive results need to be reported to the school via email (admin@ems.bhcet.org.uk) up to and including Tuesday 1st June. This is to enable us to identify and contact any other students to advise them of the need to self-isolate. Your child would also need to self-isolate for 10 days; along with any family members who have had close contact with them.

We are striving to get students back into the routines of school life after two lengthy periods of lockdown. In the remaining six weeks of this academic year, we will be having a big push on standards – ensuring that our students are always striving to be the best that they can be.

I would like to remind you of the following elements of our uniform policy (full details are available on our website):

Black Skirt (A-line, flared or pleated of a knee length) to be worn with plain opaque black tights. Skirts with front or side splits must not be worn
We insist that all students wear formal plain black shoes.

Students must have a bag suitable for bringing planners, books and other basic equipment(pen, pencil, ruler, rubber, all books for the day’s lessons, PE kit when required) to the academy each day.

Hairstyles are expected to be reasonable with no obvious artificial colouring. Hairstyles incorporating shapes/patterns are not acceptable. Any student attending with an unacceptable hairstyle will be unable to access lessons in the normal way until this has been attended to. This action is to save the student involved from possible humiliation and embarrassment and to maintain high standards. Similar action will be taken with regards to shaved eyebrows, body piercing and tattoos. Boys must be clean-shaven unless for reasons of religious observance.

Apart from the items below, the wearing of jewellery is not allowed:

Students may wear a wristwatch and one small stud in each ear lobe.

There is a risk of accidental injury from wearing jewellery in the academy and we cannot take responsibility for loss or damage to items of jewellery.

The wearing of make-up, nail varnish false eyelashes and false nails is not allowed.

School resumes at 08:45 on Monday 7th June and we close for the summer break at 15:00 on Friday 16th July.

With every good wish

Stephen Hammond


In June, the HPV Vaccination will be offered to ALL Year 8 students. This offers protection against HPV infection to help reduce the risk of cancer.  If you wish for your child to have the vaccinations, consent forms are now being completed online.  Please see the following letter from them for more information.  Please complete the form as soon as possible.  Thank You.

Dear Parent/Carer,

The immunisation team are due to attend your child’s school in the next 3 weeks to vaccinate Year 8 pupils with their first HPV vaccine.

If you have not already consented for your child to receive these vaccines, and would like your child to receive them, please visit https://www.hdft.nhs.uk/services/childrens-services/imms-cdurham-darlington-teesside/and use school code 140867 to give your consent.

The last date to be able to give online consent is at 23.59pm on 2nd June 2021.


If you have no internet access, please call the immunisation consent line on 01423 557693 and we can take your consent over the phone.

If you have already given your consent for your child to receive these immunisations, then you do not need to do anything.

If you have given consent to the school based team to give these vaccines but think that your child has been given it elsewhere (eg at the GPs) then please contact us at least 48 hours before the session so that we can check your child’s vaccination status.


I am not sure if I have already given my consent, do I need to do it again?
If you are unsure if you have already given consent, please contact the immunisation team via email on hdft.immunisationteam@nhs.netwith your child’s name, date of birth and the school they attend, a member of the immunisation team can check this for you.

My child is unable to attend on the day – how do I cancel/rebook?
If your child will not be in school on the planned session date, you do not need to contact us. If you have consented online, your child’s consent form will be automatically transferred to our catch up list and we will either catch your child up in school later this year or invite them to a catch up clinic.

Can we organise this vaccination at my GPs instead?
GPs are not commissioned to provide routine school-age immunisations and will refuse in the majority of cases.

My question is not answered here. How do I contact you?
Please contact us directly by emailing hdft.immunisationteam@nhs.net – when emailing the team please provide us with your query, your child’s full name, DOB and the school that they attend.

Please note, we are a very small team, and it can take us up to 24 hours to respond to emails. Please do not contact your child’s school – they are not directly involved in the planning and delivery of the immunisation session.

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 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


Dear Parents/Carers

May I begin by thanking you for your extraordinary efforts and support during this half term. The transfer of our curriculum to remote learning has been largely successful with over 96% of students regularly participating in their live lessons.

Feedback from our student voice surveys shows that the vast majority have coped with the transfer and have benefited from the support given to them by their teachers and teaching assistants.

I hope that students try some of the suggested strategies we have given them to support their mental and physical wellbeing – both today and continually during lockdown and beyond.

As you will be aware, The Government have said that they will review the national data on 22nd February before deciding the next steps in terms of a return to school. They have said that they will give parents and schools two weeks notice of any return.

In effect, this means that our current arrangements will remain in place after half term until at least Friday 5th March.

I will write again as soon as we are given any additional information which enables us to firm up arrangements.

May I wish you all a peaceful, relaxing and enjoyable half-term break.

Many thanks

Stephen Hammond