Return to School: Coronavirus Update – Autumn Term 2020

CHECK IF YOUR CHILD HAS CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS – Letter to parents \ carers 14.09.2020

We are receiving a large number of enquiries about COVID-19 and school attendance.

This is the latest guidance from the NHS: 

Check if you or your child has coronavirus symptoms

If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), get a test as soon as possible. Stay at home until you get the result.

Main symptoms

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

– a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)

– a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

– a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.

What to do if you have symptoms

If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:

Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.

Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.

Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get your result.

Get a test to check if you have coronavirus

Please visit for further details.


Steve Walton (Deputy Headteacher)


Monday 14th September 2020

Year 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 13 in school (no Year 12 – remote learning)

We have successfully inducted Year Seven, Ten, Eleven and Sixth Form students into our new way of working at Chauncy School.

We now feel that we can welcome back Year Eight and Nine on Monday 14th September 2020 alongside Years Seven, Ten, Eleven and Thirteen.

We will be asking Year 12 to work remotely next week and lessons will be held via Zoom and work set on Google Classroom. 

We will make a decision about week commencing 21st September once Year Eight and Nine return.

We will have a full return to school when we are satisfied that the measures that we have put in place have been implemented successfully and our staff and students are safe. 


Steve Walton (Deputy Headteacher)


Parents and friends of Chauncy

We have been working carefully to try to keep our children and adults safe in school. The students have, so far , been great and seem to enjoy the full variety of lessons, including practical work. They are smiling a lot – possibly from the joys of education or maybe because they are with friends.

Without the adults who work in the school there would be no lessons, no food and no safety so I take my legal duty of care to adults as seriously as that of the young people. Having a teacher at home for 14 days as the track and trace system found her, though negative in 3 tests, and she is now zooming. Another member of staff has had a test even though he shows no symptoms and to stay off work until Monday. I am fully in support of staff keeping to the safety rules but covering for absent colleagues can only get worse and we just don’t have the spare people to cover.

We are slowly, and carefully, reopening our school canteen. At the moment we have packed lunches for free school meals kids and sandwiches to buy for others. The fantastically positive, smiling Year 7s get free toast at their morning clubs and others can buy toast or bacon rolls from 8.00am. From tomorrow, Thursday, we will be selling paninis and other ”grab food” at lunchtime.

Children and young people do not and will not socially distance but we are trying our best. They have been brilliant in wearing masks between lessons – just two people at present who have difficulties with this. I know they don’t wear them in our annex – ASDA – and that is a shame beyond our control.

We have had some parents complain that we are not yet open to all students and two have lodged complaints with MPs. Their stated concerns seemed to be that I was not prioritising their work commitments. This is the same as the government’s current opinion. Up until this week you will have been told that young people are safe in schools and that the virus really only affects old people like me. Suddenly, secondary school students are at risk of catching and spreading the virus. I have had two MPs tell me that Mr Johnson sees our full re-opening as a moral imperative. Then the Local Authority told me to open and then the DfE told me, followed by the Regional Schools Commissioner and finally, twice so far, the National Schools Commissioner. Not one of these people has ever worked in a secondary school and all are still working from home so I have been explaining things carefully and slowly.

Our Chair of Governors has been superb throughout all this pressure and my regular invite on 3 Counties Radio has been more gently supportive and frequent than is usual. My stance is doing what I think is right to protect children and adults and I will continue to do so. I’m not that keen on bullying.

We are building towards full attendance and from next Monday 14th all years except Year 12 will be in until the virus demands otherwise. Year 12 will be at home for next week. We cannot cover dozens of lessons so if staff go sick or are told to isolate I may have to send classes or year groups home. There are at least two secondary schools near us who have already sent year groups home. For those of you who don’t read The Mail here’s this morning’s:

“Dozens of schools across England and Wales reported cases of the virus, resulting in children and staff being sent home. At least three shut completely while others delayed their openings or told dozens of youngsters to stay away from lessons.”

So, for those of you hoping, expecting or declaring, even demanding, that we open fully so that everyone can go back to work, please hold your breath (unless wearing a mask).

I was in school for most of lockdown and the summer when we made and delivered visors to care homes, nurseries, primary schools, doctors’ surgeries and paramedics. We also delivered food vouchers and then food parcels wonderfully donated by Cynthia Stroud at Steve Walton compensated for the woeful government scheme by organising/purchasing/delivering 30 computers to kids without. We looked after key workers’ kids, taught Year 12 and 10 as expected and got a slap from the local authority for doing some magnificent, socially distanced transition sessions with our new year 7s.

Di Carey, Steve, Pablo and the exams team calmly managed the A Level, BTec and GCSE exams fiasco fielding 30 or so enquiries from parents and students. Because next year’s exams are not going to take place in the same manner as in 2019 students in Years 10-13 are being strongly advised to do their best work now in every assessed piece of work.

It looks like our builders have paid nobody, anywhere, and we have dismissed Honeybourne. The timber frame manufacturers are asking for lots of money for the materials we have already paid for via a “vesting agreement” drawn up by our solicitor, but practically useless. There is a governors’ enquiry into the building disaster. The National Schools Commissioner keeps asking how the lack of 8 classrooms could possibly affects the space available to teach and learn and I can assure you of my continued patience, “tottering on the edge of incredulity.”

Thanks for all the kind words during the past months, and for the support you always show. It’s so nice having the kids back and happy.

Dennis O’Sullivan (Headteacher)

Letter from Professor Jim McManus – Director of Public Health, Hertfordshire: 08.09.2020

Letter from Professor Jim McManus – Director of Public Health, Hertfordshire that concerns the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in young people and what parents and young people must do to prevent school closures and further disruption.

Phased Return to Chauncy SchoolOnline Learning Work for Students in Year Eight and Year Nine: Week commencing Monday 7th September 2020

In Year 8 and Year 9 teachers will be running Zoom based ‘Live Lessons’ in the timetabled slot for their subject.

Part of the ‘Live Lesson’ will be setting work including a piece of extended writing which students must submit, teachers will mark and feedback will be given.

Details of Zoom ‘Live Lessons’ should be sent out via Edulink Homework so both students and parents can receive it.

All work set should be recorded and sent out via Edulink Homework so both students and parents can receive it.

We are going use Google Classroom where possible for distributing resources and collecting completed work.

Assessment scores will be aligned to review grades, e.g. Chauncy Progress Points, GCSE, A Level or vocational qualification equivalent where possible.

Gold, Silver and Bronze Rewards will be given out via BehaviourWatch in the usual manner. Parents will continue to receive the reward e-mails each Friday.

Teachers will be making a record of who has and has not attended the ‘Live Lesson’ and will be recording those students who have not completed work set.

We will contact parents \ carers of those students who do not attend the ‘Live Lessons’ or do not complete the work set.

Log in Help

You can view further information about the packages we use here:

Please e-mail if you have read the information on the webpage above and still can’t login.

Curricular Help

If you have difficulty with the work set or want to ask your teacher a question please e-mail them.

You can get your teacher’s e-mail address from the Edulink app \ webpage or you can find the entire school contact list here: we will try to reply ASAP.


Students in Year 8 and 9 do not have to wear uniform for ‘Live Lessons’ however we ask that you dress in a suitable manner as you would for a non-uniform day.

Wellbeing Information

We have collated a series of support website and telephone services to help students and their families during the pandemic.

Please visit:

Online Safety

As we are forced to communicate and engage with the world via the Internet, it is important to keep ourselves safe online.

The Department for Education recommend these websites to parents to help keep their children safe:

Internet matters – for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online:

London Grid for Learning – for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online:

Net-aware – for support for parents and careers from the NSPCC:

Parent info – for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online:

Thinkuknow – for advice from the National Crime Agency to stay safe online:

UK Safer Internet Centre – advice for parents and carers:


We have three trained Designated Safeguarding Leads in the school.

They are: Steve Walton (Deputy Headteacher), Maria Ingrao (Pastoral Support Officer), Hayley Derrick (Learning Coordinator).

If you have any safeguarding concerns please call 01920 411200 and ask to speak to any of the staff listed above.

Alternatively, please e-mail and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

Urgent child protection concerns should be reported to: Hertfordshire County Council: 0300 123 4043 – call at any time if you’re a child or young person being abused.

Hertfordshire Police: Call 999 if there is immediate danger or if a crime is being committed.

Return to Chauncy School – A Guide for Parents, Carers, Students and Staff – 31st August 2020

Please watch the following video which summarises how we will open in September:

To view just the individual information clip, please click on a title below:

Uploaded 31st August 2020

Music by

How to Travel Safely from Home to School Using Buses

Risk Assessment – 01.09.2020

Return to School – A Guide for Parents \ Carers – 01.09.2020:

Equality Impact Assessment – 30.08.2020:

Letter from Dennis O’Sullivan (Headteacher) – 27th August 2020


We will not be serving food in the normal way.

Students should bring a packed lunch and water bottle.

Students on free school meals will be given a packed lunch by the school.

There will be some sandwiches for sale at lunchtime.

Remember we are cashless. 

There are no staff meals either.

We will open fully when possible.

Dennis O’Sullivan (Headteacher)

Letter from Steve Walton (Deputy Headteacher) – 26th August 2020


We ask that all students and staff wear a face mask when they are travelling inside the school buildings

This will mean wearing face coverings when:

  • On the Corridors
  • Using the Toilet Facilities
  • Visiting Offices 
  • Entering the Dining Hall
  • Travelling on Public Transport

At present students will not have to wear face coverings unless they want to when:

  • In classrooms during lessons
  • Outside on the playground or backfields
  • Travelling to and from school by foot, bike, scooter or private car

This may change at any time

The school will not be providing face coverings for students and staff so it is important that face coverings are packed with the other essential items daily.

How to wear a face covering

A face covering should:

  • cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably
  • fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face
  • be secured to the head with ties or ear loops
  • be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton
  • ideally include at least two layers of fabric (the World Health Organisation recommends three depending on the fabric used)
  • unless disposable, it should be able to be washed with other items of laundry according to fabric washing instructions and dried without causing the face covering to be damaged

When wearing a face covering you should:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on
  • avoid wearing on your neck or forehead
  • avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus
  • change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
  • avoid taking it off and putting it back on a lot in quick succession (for example, when leaving and entering shops on a high street)

When removing a face covering:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before removing
  • only handle the straps, ties or clips
  • do not give it to someone else to use
  • if single-use, dispose of it carefully in a residual waste bin and do not recycle
  • if reusable, wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed

The latest advice on face coverings can be found on the website here:

Letter from Dennis O’Sullivan (Headteacher) – 26th August 2020


We will have a phased return to school from September 1st 2020:

  • Monday 31st August 2020 – Bank Holiday
  • Tuesday 1st September 2020 – Staff INSET Day 1
  • Wednesday 2nd September 2020 – Staff INSET Day 2
  • Thursday 3rd September 2020
    • Year 7 and Year 12 only in school
  • Friday 4th September 2020 
    • Years 7, 10, 11, 12, 13 only 
    • No Year 8 or 9 students – remote learning
  • Week commencing Monday 7th September 2020
    • Years 7, 10, 11, 12, 13 only 
    • No Year 8 or 9 students – remote learning all week
  • Week commencing Monday 14th September 2020
    • Year 7, 8, 9, 11 & 13 only 
    • No Year 10 & 12 students – remote learning all week

Details for week commencing Monday 21st September 2020 will follow in due course.  


We will still teach students who are not in school via Zoom lessons in the allocated lesson slot on the timetable. 

Face to Face Zoom lessons are to be approximately 30 mins with self-study activities set. 

Resources will be put in a Classwork task in Google Classroom and posted on Edulink so students and parents have access to the task description.

Zoom meeting details will be posted on Edulink as a separate homework, so students and parents can access log in codes quickly.


8.15am ‘Catch Up’ Clubs will run for Year Seven from September to help stagger the start of the school day. Computer rooms will be cleaned prior to Lesson One.

No morning registration. Period One will start promptly at 8.50am. 

The AM Register will be taken by the Period One class teacher before 9.00am.

The PM registration will take place in a tutor session at the end of the day at 3.25pm.

Travel time will be increased to 10 minutes to allow students to use the one way system effectively. 

  • 8.50am – PERIOD ONE – 60 mins (AM register taken during P1)
  • 9.50am – Travel Time – 10 mins
  • 10.00am – PERIOD TWO – 60mins
  • 11.00pm – Break – 20 mins
  • 11.20am – PERIOD THREE – 60 mins
  • 12.20pm – Travel Time – 10 mins
  • 12.30pm – PERIOD FOUR – 60 mins
  • 1.30pm – Lunch – 45 mins
  • 2.15pm – PERIOD FIVE – 60 mins
  • 3.15pm – Travel Time – 10 mins
  • 3.25pm – Tutorial – 10 minutes (PM register taken in PM Tutorial) 
  • 3.35pm – School finishes

Letter from Dennis O’Sullivan (Headteacher) – 13th August 2020

NEW TERM ARRANGEMENTS will not involve all Chauncy students in school every day.
I have been challenged by a senior government official on this and explained that we cannot keep 1200 students and 130 staff safe if they are all in school together.
We will now be regularly reporting our arrangements to you starting today with the timetable of which year group will be in school which days.

Thursday 3rd September 2020
Year 7 and Year 12 only

Friday 4th September 2020
Years 7, 10, 11, 12, 13 only
(no Year 8 or 9 – remote learning)

Monday 7th September 2020 – all week
Years 7, 10, 11, 12, 13 only
(no Year 8 or 9 – remote learning)

Monday 14th September 2020 – all week
Year 7, 8, 9, 11 & 13
(no Year 10 & 12 – remote learning)

Please note that Year 7 classes start at 8.15am each morning.

The students all have their timetable of lessons and we will offer the full curriculum on the days they are in.
This includes all the practical lessons that many schools will be forced to sacrifice.
On days when they are not in school the lessons will take place remotely \ on-line \ zoomed according to the timetable.
I have a duty of care to students and staff and I will do everything I can, and ask others to do likewise, in order to provide the high quality education for which we have worked so hard.
I know you will have lots of questions and I will be emailing you all regularly next week.
Urgent questions to please.
Of course, government guidance will change, the virus may grow or decline and our arrangements will change to maintain safety and do the best we can.

Dennis O’Sullivan (Headteacher)