Covid-19 News & Updates to March 2021

Online Learning Provision January 2021

School Opening Action Plan

Risk Assessment

Overview of Opening Plans

Please refer to the linked documents below for a chronological order of letters from September 2020. The most recent documents appear at the top.

Letter sent 5th January 2021

Dear Parents and Carers 

National Lockdown – school online services 

I am so sorry to be writing to you all with the news that we must follow Government guidance and so all of our students at both Notre Dame and St Boniface need to stay at home for the rest of this half term, with the exception of certain vulnerable children and Critical Workers’ children. The public exams will go ahead on Thursday 7th January, Friday 8th January and Monday 11th January and students should arrive one hour beforehand with face masks and all exam equipment in a clear plastic case. 

We will provide an online live teaching service via Google Classroom to all Year groups, following the normal school timetable for your son or daughter, and we will do our very best to keep to the timetabled times for lessons as follows: 

Tutor time 8.50 – 9.15 Lesson 1 9.15 to 10.15 Lesson 2 10.15 to 11.15 Lesson 3 11.45 to 12.45 Lesson 4 12.45 to 13.45 Lesson 5 14.20 to 15.20 

Where we have previously had some lessons with 30 minute breaks in the middle, we have adjusted them for online work to be a straight one-hour session. 

Year 11 Mock exams at Notre Dame have been put back to after February Half Term, by when we will know more about their structure, content and their relevance in assessing final student GCSE grades. Meanwhile it is essential that Year 11 and Year 13 students remain motivated and continue to work hard, attending all online lessons, despite the frustration of not knowing how they will be assessed this year as yet. We do deeply share that frustration! 

If you believe that your son or daughter may be eligible for Critical Workers’ children supervision that you wish to access, please email or providing brief evidence of your Critical Worker status (such as a photo of your work ID or a photo of the heading and job role on your pay slip). Please be aware that we will provide your son or daughter with a computer terminal and will expect them to follow all of their lessons online if they access this provision. They will receive the same education service as students who remain at home and they will not be in the classroom with their teachers, who are busy delivering the online sessions. 

If your son or daughter cannot access the internet at home please let us know at or 

Yesterday a small minority of students were disruptive in online lessons. Access to lessons will be blocked for any disruptive student, this will be logged on ClassCharts, their parents will be contacted and this may affect their chance to participate in their own lessons during the Lockdown period. We expect all students to arrive at their correct lesson on time, to participate well in the lesson, completing all work to the best of their ability. Students should be fully dressed, have all the equipment they usually need for lessons and should have their cameras on but their microphone muted, unless they are called on to speak by their teacher. Students may only attend classes where they have been invited by their teacher and must not visit other lessons. We believe we now have this set up securely so that 

it is not possible to visit other people’s lessons. Headphones would help students to be able to hear the lessons clearly. 

Parents, if you are supervising your child at home please do not engage online in your child’s live lesson, but thank you for contacting staff separately if there are any issues. Thank you for the alert from parents yesterday about the disruption. It is not always apparent to the teacher when students are disrupting each other. 

I am so sorry that this has happened to us all, just when we were preparing to roll out the Covid testing process in schools too. Please let’s all continue to do everything we can to beat the virus together, keep safe and we will do our very best to educate your children well and safely until we can welcome them physically back into school – something for which we are truly longing. 

Yours sincerely 

Mrs Kate White


otre Dame School, Plymouth

St Boniface Catholic College, Plymouth 

Letter sent 18th December 2020 regarding return to school in January

Dear Parents, Carers and Students of Notre Dame and St Boniface’s College,

Online lessons only for Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 in the week 4-8 January 2021

Following the announcement by the Department for Education last night, both of our schools will comply with their direction that we will only be open to Years 11 and 13 and vulnerable students in the first week of term from 4th to 8th January.   All other year groups will have online lessons, 

All Year 11 and 13 students, vulnerable students (SEND or with a social worker) and all staff will begin the new Lateral Flow tests during this first week. These are NOT invasive tests – there is no need for concern. They involve placing saliva onto a test stick. We will be trained in how to administer the tests correctly and we will have trained staff to supervise the process.  We encourage every student to take the tests. We will require every member of staff to take the test every week in the Spring term. Results are ready in 30 minutes. The test is 50% reliable in identifying positive cases. It will be repeated 3 days later. Any positive student cases will be asked to isolate in school until a parent can collect them to take a more accurate test at a testing centre. Any positive staff will also be directed to a testing centre and will isolate at home.

We would like any parent who does not wish their child to be tested to write to us to inform us of this before testing begins. Please email us at the below email address, and include your child’s name:

St Boniface’s College – 

Notre Dame –

However, we strongly encourage every student to take the tests, as it can potentially protect all of our community – home and school – from spreading the virus unknowingly.

Year 11 students at Notre Dame will follow the Mock exam timetable, already issued, during the week and must attend fully every day. We will arrange the lateral flow tests around your exam timetable. Year 13 students must only come to school for their A Level lessons during the week and we will arrange the lateral flow tests in your lesson time.

For all other Year groups 7 to 10 (and Year 12 at Notre Dame) all lessons will be delivered to you at home via online provision at the correct timetabled time during that week from 4th – 8th January. Students need to log on to Google Classroom to access all lessons and to complete all work from home for that week from 8.50am to 3.20pm each day, according to their normal Week A timetable. Registers will be taken – do not be late or miss lessons.

Two Exceptions

Year 10 Child Development students at Notre Dame who have an exam on Thursday 7th January.  There are 27 candidates and they should come to school for the full day on 7th January from 8.50am to 3.20pm. There will be revision sessions before the exam and we will offer them the lateral flow test in the morning, with results after the exam.

Year 12 Health and Social Care students who have an exam on Friday 8th January. There are 24 candidates and they should come to school for the full day on 7th January from 8.50am to 3.20pm. There will be revision sessions before the exam and we will offer them the lateral flow test in the morning, with results after the exam.

Free School Meals – for students eligible for Free School Meals. in Years 7 to 10 and Year 12, you have already been provided with a code for the school holiday period. An additional code will be sent to you for the first week of the Spring term.

Please visit:
 to read the guidance from the DfE that schools received last night, if you would like to understand this decision in more detail.

I hope you understand the very last minute information that we have received as a school and therefore the reason for such late notice. We do believe that, although this is disruptive, it will help to keep all of our families safer in the Spring term, so we are willing to manage this very difficult process for the greater good. 

We hope you will understand and support us in this and we wish you all a very happy, holy and peaceful Christmas break.

Yours sincerely,

Kate White


Posted 24.09.2020

Posted 16/09/2020

Posted 09/09/2020

Update 03/09/2020

Back to School/Face Covering Guidance

Yesterday we wrote to all parents and carers to advise them that following government guidance on 28th August, face coverings (masks or visors) will be compulsory for all students and staff in corridors and communal areas. This is an extra measure to ensure that we are protecting others in our community.

We realise some students and staff will be exempt on medical grounds from wearing face coverings. The government have outlined who this exemption applies to, those who:

cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment or disability
speak to or provide assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate
SEND and pastoral staff will liaise with families to establish which students fall under these categories for exemption. A hidden disabilities lanyard, also called the “sunflower lanyard” because of its appearance – a strip of green with a pattern of yellow sunflowers, will be issued to these students to act as a discreet sign for others in our community that they are exempt from wearing a face covering.

Please ensure that your child is equipped with a face covering to wear:

  • To/from school if they are travelling on public transport
  • At school in communal areas and corridors and in classrooms where they cannot be forward facing
  • Students should wash their hands before and after touching their mask – including to remove or put them on – and the safe storage of them in individual, sealable plastic bags between use. Disposal of temporary face coverings should be into a ‘black bag’ waste bin (not recycling bin). Reusable face coverings should be placed into a plastic bag when not in use.

The government guidance in full can be found here:

Posted 02/09/2020Letter to Parents 02/09/2020 

Letters from from Summer Term 2020