Dear parents, guardians and families,
I wanted to thank everyone for your support this term. It has been a very successful one at Cathays High School with all pupils making good progress in their studies, most taking part in clubs and fixtures for the schools and many new experiences being enjoyed. You will be aware that tomorrow (Friday 17th December) is a non-uniform day for students and that we are finishing the school day at 1pm.
On our return in January there are some changes to the start of term. I am sure that many of you will have seen the news today of a delay to pupils returning to school in the first week. Pupils will now return on Thursday 6th January at the usual start time of 8.25am.
Tuesday 4th January and Wednesday 5th January have been designated as planning and preparation days by the Welsh Government to allow schools to ensure their COVID risk assessments and measures to reduce the risks from COVID are updated so that they we return to the same level of measures as we had in 2020-21. At Cathays, we have retained many of the changes we made for our first return in September 2020 and therefore much of the school will feel exactly the same for our pupils (mask wearing, hand and work station sanitising, zoned areas at break and lunch and the one-way system around the building). We will be communicating any additional changes to parents on Wednesday 5th January ahead of the pupils return to school. We will also ensure that pupils get a briefing from us during lesson 1 on Thursday 6th January so that they are fully aware of any changes that they need to comply with to keep themselves, their families and the staff as safe as possible through the Spring Term.
The Welsh Government have been clear that should there be any disruption to normal education (such as full or partial closures and the use of remote learning) that all secondary schools should prioritise students in examination years for face-to-face teaching. This would obviously be the worst case scenario and every effort will be made to avoid any students having to miss out on coming to school in large numbers. We will be making every effort to ensure that we are able to safely remain open for all pupils to attend school every day.
Some brighter news is that the company running Maindy Leisure Centre have agreed to open their car park for 40 minutes at the end of the school day for parents to collect their children safely from Cathays High School. Therefore, between 2.50pm and 3.30pm parents will be able to enter Maindy carpark and wait for their child without fear of getting a fine. However, the cameras are automatically programmed and time sensitive so if you turn up prior to 2.50pm (even by a minute) the camera will pick you up and then you will only have the original 20 minute waiting time.
I would like to finish by taking the opportunity to wish everyone a restful holiday and to say a Merry Christmas to all of our families who will be celebrating this year. I wish everyone a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year too!