letter to parents/carers from mr sheeran (return to college)

Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope you and your family are well.  As we approach the end of the Summer holiday, I would like to update you on our opening arrangements for September.   We are very much looking forward to all students returning to Cowley however, to ensure a smooth and safe return to Cowley there are some key points that everybody needs to follow. Many of these points are mentioned in Mr Bennett’s PowerPoint; I encourage all parents and students to watch this detailed voiceover  http://www.cowley.st-helens.sch.uk/index.php/return-in-september-2020/.  I am extremely proud of how staff have adjusted the site, curriculum and timetable to enable the safe return of all students in line with government and local guidance and to be ‘COVID secure’.

Start day

Year 7 start on Friday, 4th September at 8.30am. We are using one of the staff training days to enable Year 7 induction to take place and support their transition.

All other year groups start on Monday, 7th September at 8.30am.

College times

The college day has been adjusted to enable students to have lunch and break at different times.  The revised timings are 8.30am to 3.15pm each day.  The buses have been adjusted accordingly.

Arrival to college

To avoid congestion, we will use more entrance gates with each year group allocated a preferred gate.

YearEntranceMeet and greet zone
7Gamble Avenue and canteen gateCanteen
8Lower Gamble Avenue gateLower West playground
9Princess Avenue gate (bottom of playground)Lower East playground
10Gamble Avenue or East Wing gateTop West playground
11East entrance by science or Gamble AvenueTop East playground


Following Government guidance, your child will be in a year group bubble.  Each year group will have a different teaching, lunch and break area.  Social distancing will be difficult in a large school and therefore the model we have developed will enable minimal contact with other bubbles.

Lessons and classrooms

Your child will have their full curriculum and be taught by their specialist teachers.  They will be based in their year group corridor to avoid mixing of bubbles.  Where possible, classrooms have been rearranged so students are facing forward.  Hand sanitizer is available, and cleaning has been increased.

Personal hygiene

The college has increased the amount of hand sanitiser stations with dispensers across all areas of the site and in every classroom.  However, we expect students to be independent and responsible by increased hand washing for 20 seconds and by using hand sanitiser throughout the day and on the journey to and from college.  All areas will remain well ventilated with windows and doors left open.

Face coverings

There has been a significant amount of media coverage about face coverings in schools.  At this point in time (but this could change), if students and staff wish to wear face coverings inside the building, corridors etc, they are more than welcome to.  Students will not wear face coverings in lessons. All masks must be standard with no designs.


Each year group has been allocated toilets which should be used during their allocated break and lunch times.  We try not to disturb lessons and learning by visiting the toilets during lessons, however, if the request is urgent the usual procedures will apply.


High expectations of standards of uniform and equipment remain.  Please have a look at Mr Bennett’s guidance on essential and desirable equipment items.

PE Kit

On the day students have PE or games on their timetable, they are required to come to college in their PE kit, and wear their blazer.  Students may wear plain black tracksuit bottoms over their PE kit.  These tracksuit bottoms will not be worn in PE lessons.


The government has distinguished between school buses and public buses.  Whilst we advise students to find other methods to travel to college, e.g. walking or cycling a bike, if a bus is essential, students should wear a face covering.  


We expect all students to be in every day.  However, accurate and prompt communication about absence is essential for the college and local community.  The college will be working very closely with the LA and Public Health England to ensure that any suspected cases, or confirmed cases are responded to quickly with parents and students being informed and given next steps guidance.  Please inform us promptly if your child is going to be absent for any reason.

Thank you for your support and patience; I have full confidence in our students being wonderful Cowleians when they return, as we navigate through this next phase.  If there are any questions, or ways we can help, please do get in touch with your child’s year team and as always, we will do our utmost to help alleviate any concerns which haven’t previously been addressed or to support individual students.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Sheeran

Executive Principal