Letter to Parents 15 October 2020

Dear Parent,

 

I am writing to you at the end of what has been a challenging and unusual half-term for all of us. I would like to begin by acknowledging the efforts of everyone in the school community to make the return to school as smooth as possible and, in particular, I would like to commend our pupils who have co-operated with us so well in complying with all of the guidance and working hard to make learning as meaningful and enjoyable as possible.

 

As you will now be aware the Minister of Education announced yesterday that in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19 all schools will now have an extended two weeks’ half-term break, with pupils returning on Monday 2 November.  The Minister has stated that there is to be no remote learning next week. We do acknowledge the importance of pupils and their families being able to rest and relax together and we hope that there will be opportunities for that. However, I am sure that you will understand that teaching staff are concerned about this further loss of teaching time. So, whilst no work will be set via Google Classroom nor will any uploads be expected, examination classes will be expected to do some work at this time, whether that be completing homeworks, essays or coursework or engaging in revision or preparation work in advance of next term. This would be the normal practice over half-term in any other year. Our hope this year is that pupils can complete all of this work next week and then have a full week to rest after what has been a challenging few weeks.

 

We know too that parents will be particularly concerned about the prospect of their children taking examinations after the ongoing disruption since March. As a school we are currently working on a document in response to the Minister of Education’s letter (dated 9 October) regarding the delivery of GCSE, AS and A Level qualifications in 2020/21. We raise a number of concerns in this letter and we want to assure you that we will do everything in our power to ensure that our pupils will not be adversely affected by circumstances which are completely beyond their control.

 

One thing we have learned as a school community after returning to school in August is the importance of working together as teachers, pupils and parents, as we move into a new educational setting. Google Classroom has been an important tool for us in this regard. We have already had half a year group having to self-isolate at home, an experience which underscored the importance of virtual engagement via Google Classroom. Unfortunately, there could be more pupils having to self-isolate as we move into the winter season; hence, the importance of all students being confident in engaging with learning via this platform. Pupils have watched a virtual assembly highlighting the importance of Google Classroom and helping them with additional features they may not be currently using. Please stress to your son/daughter the importance of keeping up to date with their studies and utilising the powerful tool that Google Classroom is.

 

This term has been challenging for everyone, but by working together – teachers, pupils and parents – we can fulfil the potential of every pupil. I would like to thank you for your continued support and wish you and your family well.

 

Please note when your son/daughter returns on Monday 2 November they will be on Week 1 timetable.

 

Yours sincerely

 

N McCLEMENTS
Principal

Congratulations Mrs Hamilton

 

 

We are delighted to learn of the recognition given to another past pupil and former teacher, Mrs Margaret Hamilton.

 

Mrs Hamilton has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community in Cookstown in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

 

Mrs Hamilton, the Rainey family is so proud of you!

Congratulations Elizabeth Ferris

We could not be more proud of our past pupil Elizabeth Ferris, who has just been awarded the British Empire Medal for Services to Disability Sport in the Queens Birthday Honour’s list. Since leaving the Rainey in 2003 Elizabeth suffered spinal cord injury. However, this has not held Elizabeth back. She graduated as a Doctor in 2017 and is the founder of Dundee Dragons Wheelchair Sports Club. Last month she received a Special Recognition Award from Scottish Disability Sport for Services to Disability Sport in Scotland. Well done Elizabeth! The Rainey family is so proud of you!

PPTC Information for Parents

 

 

PPTC have released a PowerPoint presentation to provide updated information for parents with regard to the GL Assessment. The presentation can be downloaded by clicking here.

National Poetry Day 2020

Creativity continues to flourish in the Rainey in 2020. With National Poetry Day coming up on Thursday 1st October, judging of Year 8 haiku is underway. Sixth Form Literature students have been inspired by the vision of our Year 8 poets.

Letter to parents 28 September 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian

 

I wish to inform you that a member of our school community has tested positive for Covid‑19.

 

I have sought the most up-to-date advice from the Public Health Agency (PHA) and ensured that the affected area in the school has now undergone an enhanced clean. The pupils and staff that are affected have been notified separately and will now be required to isolate for a period of 14 days in line with advice from PHA.

 

I do appreciate the concerns of parents, pupils and the wider school community and wish to reassure you that every precaution has been taken.

 

Ensuring the safe return of pupils and staff to school is my absolute priority and I will continue to monitor this situation carefully and keep you informed.

 

Parents with any questions or concerns are welcome to contact the school office.

 

Yours sincerely

N McCLEMENTS
Principal

QUB Undergraduate Virtual Events

QUB are running a series of live virtual events with the aim of providing you with the knowledge, confidence and skills to make informed choices about your future learning and career. Please join them at the events listed below to gain an insight into life at Queens, along with useful information and advice which will guide you through your journey to University. A pdf version is also available.

Updated COVID 19 Guidance

Updated COVID-19 guidance has been issued by the Chief Medical Officer. The full letter is available here.

An instructional letter, available by clicking here, outlines actions which should be taken by parents and carers if their children develop Covid-19 symptoms. A mobile friendly version is also available.

Rainey Endowed Examination Success

We are delighted with our pupils’ examination results this year. At A level our results were outstanding with 26% of all passes at A* grade while 63% of results were A*/A grade. We wish all our A level pupils well as they embark on the next stage of their careers whether in education or employment. Our AS results were also excellent with 65% of results at grade A. Our 6th form pupils have built a strong foundation to pursue their A2 studies.

 

The GCSE results at Rainey Endowed were excellent.  25% of all passes were at A* grade and 61% at A*/A grade.  100% of all pupils achieved 7 or more A*-C grades including English and Mathematics.

 

Over 55 pupils in the year group had at least 6A*/A grades.

 

This is a fabulous display of the ability of our pupils. Year 12 pupils should be proud of their achievements in these challenging circumstances. It is great to have our Year 12 pupils back to start their AS courses.

Full gallery of images available here.

 

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Virtual Open Day

Usually at this time of year, Ulster University and QUB run their open days in order to supply prospective students with as much information about subjects, the Universities and the student experience as possible.  Due to current covid restrictions they are now running the following virtual open days:

 

Ulster University Saturday 5th September – 10am-2pm

QUB 10th-12th September 12pm-6pm.  Please see schedule here.

 

Any student in Year 13 or 14 who is considering these Universities as a post-18 option, please register using the links below.

 

Register QUB – https://www.qub.ac.uk/about/Visit-Us/UndergraduateOpenDays/

Register UU –  https://www.ulster.ac.uk/open-days

 

Entrance Assessment Update

2nd September 2020

 

    P7 pupils to be provided with more time to prepare for the Entrance Assessment

  • PPTC has been informed that the Education Authority has been able to move the Transfer Form deadline from early February into March 2021.
  • As a result of this information from the EA, and following discussions with GL Assessment, PPTC is now in a position to hold its Entrance Assessment on Saturday 30th January 2021. This new date will provide all pupils with an additional 8 weeks preparation time before they sit their Assessment.
  • It is planned that Entrance Assessment results will be posted to parents on Friday 5th March 2021.
  • Given that parents need to have received Assessment outcomes before the Transfer Form deadline to help inform school preference choices, PPTC is pleased that it is possible for pupils this year to have much more time in P7 before they sit their Assessment.
  • The Supplementary Entrance Assessment will be held on Saturday 6th February 2021.
  • Any parent who has already submitted an Entrance Assessment Registration Form for their child does not need to complete a new Form. All existing Registrations remain valid but the January 30th Entrance Assessment date and related dates will apply.
  • PPTC had previously announced in May its intention to hold the Entrance Assessment on 5th December 2020. At the time of that decision, that was the latest date possible to ensure that parents would have their Assessment outcomes on 30th January 2021, before the normal “early February” Transfer Form deadline.

Education Restart

Tuesday 11 August 2020

 

Education Restart

 

Dear Parent

 

As the end of the summer approaches, we are looking forward to welcoming Rainey pupils back into the building for the first time since March. You will be aware that the Minister for Education has stated that all pupils should begin to return to school during the week beginning Monday 24 August and that all pupils will re-commence full-time, onsite education from 1st September. After such a long absence from school, we are keen to facilitate a smooth and safe return for both staff and pupils. Therefore, it is our intention that each year group will be phased in during the week commencing 24 August in preparation for the return to normal schooling by 1 September.

 

A comprehensive COVID-19 plan for opening, including risk assessments, has been conducted. We have secured additional cleaning provision and handwashing facilities throughout the school. Clear signage to encourage social distancing, high standards of hygiene practice and the safe usage of the school premises has been produced.

 

During these phased induction days pupils will be given an overview of health and hygiene and social distancing considerations, arrangements for break and lunch and teaching & learning provision. They will also be given information about September 1 when school will re-commence for all pupils.

 

The school will now adopt the following arrangements:

 

 

Monday 24 August Staff Development Day
Tuesday 25 August – Year 11 9.30am – 12 noon
Tuesday 25 August – Year 13 1pm – 3.30pm
Wednesday 26 August – Year 12 9.30am – 12 noon
Wednesday 26 August – Year 14 1pm – 3.30pm
Thursday 27 August – Year 9 9.30am – 12 noon
Thursday 27 August – Year 10 1pm – 3.30pm
Friday 28 August – Year 8 9am-1.30pm
Monday 31 August Bank Holiday
Tuesday 1 September

All pupils and staff in registration rooms periods 1-3 (admin)

Period 4 – phased lunch times

Periods 5 & 6 – full timetable operational.

 

All pupils are asked to meet in the new Sports Hall not the main school building at the time given for their year group. Pupils attending a morning session should bring a break with them; canteen facilities will not be available.

 

I look forward to welcoming your son/daughter back to school over the coming weeks.

 

Best wishes

 

Mr N. McClements

 

Acting Principal

 

 

 

Annie Production Postponed

 

As you know, we were very much looking forward to our production of ANNIE in the Autumn term.  Unfortunately, because of the current pandemic, we are having to postpone the production until October 2021. This is beyond our control because of social distancing guidelines.  For now, enjoy the summer holidays and see you in the new academic year!

Abaana 2020

Our Uganda 2020 team had to postpone their trip to Rainey Primary this June/July however, we have been following the efforts of Abaana in helping communities in Uganda deal with the corona virus crisis.

 

Abaana are in regular contact with the 15 communities that they work with, to assess where the greatest needs are. To date, they have raised over £25,000 through social media which has helped provide an estimated 30,000 meals to help the families at Abaana schools & support the emergency relief of street children.

 

This time last year we were getting ready to welcome the Abaana New Life Choir – the families of the choir children were recently given funds to help them buy essential items during the crisis, such as beans, oil, flour, tea, salt, rice, bread & soap.

 

There will be no Abaana teams heading out to Uganda this year but the work of our school charity continues.

 

 

New Intake for September 2021

The Post Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC) has announced its intention to hold the 2020 Entrance Assessment on Saturday 5th December 2020.

 

PPTC been working with its assessment provider GL Assessment and coordinating with the Association for Quality Education (AQE) in its planning.

 

There are still many unknowns regarding what will be possible right across society in the late autumn. PPTC recognises that its plans may be affected by the unfolding situation.

 

The full information released today is:

 

Entrance Assessment date: Saturday 5th December 2020

PPTC has been able to delay the Entrance Assessment date by three weeks to allow pupils extra P7 time and yet also to ensure that outcomes will be available to be posted to parents ahead of Transfer Form Completion.

 

Outcomes will be posted on 29th January 2021 to arrive on Saturday 30th January 2021

 

Registration period: Monday 1st June 2020 – Friday 9th October 2020

 

The 2020-21 Registration Pack, which includes the Entrance Assessment Registration Form, will be available on the PPTCNI website from Monday 1st June.

 

PPTC has delayed the start date for parents to register their children to sit the Entrance Assessment from mid-May 2020 to 1st June 2020 to provide more time before registration decisions need to be made. PPTC has also extended the Registration deadline to 9th October 2020 to provide additional registration time when pupils are in P7.

 

Supplementary Entrance Assessment Date: Saturday 19th December 2020 (This assessment is available for a very small group of pupils, typically less than 1% of pupils sit the Supplementary Entrance Assessment)

 

PPTC will continue to make further information, including the full 2020-21 Registration Pack, available through its website: www.pptcni.com

DE Education Resources

 

The Department of Education has collated a range of online resources which are intended to be helpful to families and pupils during the Covid-19 situation. These are listed below:

 

BBC Bitesize – information and tips for children in Key Stage Three

 

The CCEA website contains information and resources for children in Key Stage Three and those who are 16 years of age and older.

 

The CCEA website contains a lot of information and resources for young people in Key Stage Three and further resources can be found at CCEA Home Learning and for those who are 16 years of age and older.

 

BBC Bitesize – information and tips for those at GCSE stage

 

Further information is available for children aged 11 and above on the Twinkl website.

 

Libraries NI provides an online resource with e-books available to read for free.

 

Staff Virtual Choir

Hello Rainey pupils,

 

We hope you are all well and we miss seeing you in school. While you were enjoying a break from online learning last week, some members of the Rainey family recorded this message for you. We hope you enjoy it and that it makes you laugh. Remember though, your teachers are only ever an email away if you need us.

 

Watch right until the end to see the Rainey’s most obedient dog!

 

Examinations Update

 

On 19 March 2020, the Minister of Education, Peter Weir MLA, announced that the Summer 2020 examination series would be cancelled to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus and that grades would be based on a range of evidence and data, including prior attainment and centre estimated grades. Please see the two links below for full information:

 

Message to students and families

 

Guidance for students, parents and teachers

 

 

24 March Letter to Parents

Tuesday 24 March 2020

 

Dear Parent/Guardian,

 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your understanding over these past few days. We trust that you and your families are as well as can be in these uncertain times.

 

I kindly ask for your cooperation with the following matters:

 

Key Workers

 

We request that all parents who are key workers, and who wish to avail of school provision please let the school office know by 2.00 pm, Wednesday 25 March 2020. This allows the school to plan staffing arrangements.

 

Advice on the Definition of Key Workers as issued by Department of Education. This is available in the link adjacent. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-51972132

 

Children attending school will be required to wear their PE uniform.  Please be advised that we will be providing supervision, rather than teaching.  This will allow pupils to complete work set by their teachers or to engage in quiet study.

 

If possible, alternative childcare arrangements should be sought before deciding to send your child to school e.g. with other family members or friends.  Please try and use the school facility as a last resort.  This is to try and limit the number of children and adults together in line with recent social distancing guidance.

 

COMMUNICATION WITH PUPILS AND PARENTS IN RELATION TO SCHOOL WORK.

 

  • Links for pupils and parents for the work that is to be completed have been sent to all pupils and parents via the APP. This information is also available on the school website under the parents’ and pupils’ tab.
  • Parents and pupils are requested to check emails by 9.30 am and 3.30 pm daily.
  • By 3.30 pm on Friday of each week, subject staff will have sent an email to each of their classes, including work which pupils should complete for the following week.
  • A help sheet entitled Work From Home Help Guide is also available on the school website under the pupils’ tab on how pupils can access school email, Documents, Shared Resources, Fronter, Google Classroom and Showbie.
  • If pupils have concerns regarding their work, please email your subject teacher. Professionalism must be adhered to in all correspondence.
  • A suggested expectation on time to be spent on subjects is to follow the schedule for your timetable.
  • However, we suggest that a time period of 30 minutes per period should be adhered to instead of the normal 50 minutes.

 

 

COMMUNICATION WITH PUPILS AND PARENTS IN RELATION TO PASTORAL MATTERS.

  • Your Tutor will be in touch via email on a weekly basis. Year teams will monitor concerns actions will be co-ordinated by Mr Simpson and relevant staff.
  • Mr Simpson will be highlighting information on how to stay safe and well emotionally.
  • If you have any concerns, please contact Mr Simpson on csimpson698@c2kni.net.

 

I must stress that we are doing as best that we can and please bear with us as we go through this together.

 

Thank you to everyone working in frontline services who provide care, treatment and protection for the community.  We appreciate everything that you are doing.

 

Please continue to adhere to UK government and PHA advice.

 

Take care,

 

D M McCULLOUGH

 

Principal

 

 

 

Friday 20 March

 

RES will be closed on Friday to years 8-10, due to staffing constraints. School will be open to years 11-14.

 

However, RES Board of Governors politely request that parents of year 11-14 pupils must make an informed decision on whether they send their child to school based on their individual circumstances and in accordance with PHA guidance. Further details to follow.

 

Thanks for your support and we wish you all well.

 

 

 

Associated Board music exams

 

Associated Board music exams have been cancelled. The most recent correspondence states that candidates will get a 100% refund. This will be processed in due course.

 

Candidates will have the opportunity to discuss the next steps when they meet with their tutors again.

 

We will continue to keep you updated.

COVID-19 Information

 

If you have been, or a member of your family has been in an affected area, please follow PHA advice. If you wish to err on the side of caution, please do not send your child to school. Their attendance record will not be affected.

 

Parents’ Evenings have been suspended until further notice.

All sports activities are now non-contact.

 

The Public Health Agency has issued the enclosed document below as guidance for schools in relation to COVID-19. This guidance will assist schools and educational settings in providing advice for pupils, students, staff and parents.

 

The document is available here and we will be issuing regular updates in relation to Public Health Agency advice.

 

Letter from Headmaster 10th March 2020: Coronavirus Update.

 

If you have any further questions, please contact the school office.