There are, of course, a lot of uncertainties at the moment around school opening and we are following the government advice and remain closed other than to parents of key workers, vulnerable students and some Year 10 students. I hope to be in a position to share more information with you about possible induction events, virtual or otherwise, in the forthcoming weeks in order that you are as well informed as possible about our school and can feel confident that your child will be in safe hands when they join us at Pleckgate.

We would usually have at least two induction events prior to your child joining us in September. As it is not possible for us to have any induction events in school before September, we will have a virtual tour hosted by the Head teacher and virtual introductions to the form tutors, which will all be available on the school website. There will be further follow up meetings in order for parents to meet with staff and form tutors as soon as school has opened again.

A full list of the school uniform including PE kit is on our school website under ‘Our school’.

Pleckgate High School uniform can be purchased from either Grays, 68 Northgate, Blackburn: 01254 51425 or Whittakers, 20-26 Church Street, Blackburn: 01254 676047 or The School Uniform Company, Unit 1, River Street, Blackburn Tel: 01254 658787

We can offer financial support with discount vouchers for families that are facing financial hardship. If you require additional information regarding this, please email info@pleckgate.com

We expect each child to be well organised and be well prepared for learning by having the following equipment with them each day: a pen, a pencil, a ruler, a scientific calculator and a geometry set. Individual subject areas will provide guidance on other specialist equipment required once students start school. Please see below for details on the school iPad.

All students at Pleckgate High School are provided with an iPad for home learning. Students in year 7 are usually provided with an iPad during the first half term as all parents are invited to a briefing session when more advice and guidance is provided.

There is usually a small charge to cover insurance for the iPad in case of loss or damage. More details will follow once school is open.

We are very proud of our pastoral care which has been recognised as a strength of our school. Our traditional school day begins at 8.30am with a 20-minute form period, however we expect all students to be in the school building no later than 8.25am which allows time to visit lockers and prepare books and materials for the day ahead. Students are welcome to take advantage of our breakfast club from 7.30am each morning and students who are on free school meals are provided with a free breakfast.

The school day ends at 3.00pm but we have a homework club available for Year 7 students if parents wish their children to complete their home learning in school. The breakdown of our school day is available on the school website under ‘Our School’.

However, under the current restrictions the structure to our school day may need to be developed. All changes will be communicated with parents as further guidance is released.

If you are currently eligible for free school meals, this will be protected until Universal Credit is introduced (expected March 2022) even if your circumstances change. If you are still in education on this date, you will be eligible until you finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they are in.

However, if your family circumstances have recently changed and you believe you may now be eligible for free school meals then you should visit https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals to access the information on how to apply.

We do not encourage students to bring money to school and we use ParentPay which is a secure website that will allow parents/carers to pay on line for items such as school lunch, equipment and school trips. Some parents will already be familiar with using this service through primary schools.

During the first week of term parents will be given an activation code to be able to access this service.

We run a school bus service every day at the low cost of £2.50 per day return payable on a termly basis. The bus service is provided by Moving People, Blackburn. Parents can book places for their child through ParentPay for both year 7 students and their siblings, but places are limited.

The bus timetable and routes are available on our school website in ‘Parents’

Currently our school bus service is suspended due to the COVID-19 lockdown, however, as the school returns to a wider opening for other year groups, the service will be reinstated. All students who access the bus will also need to wear face masks in line with current government guidance.

Your point of contact is the school SENCO, Miss Janet Knowles. Over the next few weeks, Miss Knowles will be liaising with your child’s primary school and parent/carers in order that we can ensure the individual needs of each child are well catered for. We also have a dedicated learning supporting unit in school and a bespoke curriculum to allow all children’s learning needs to be supported.

Although we appreciate it is difficult for parents to juggle working and supporting their children with home learning, we would encourage parents/carers to try and establish routines with regular work particularly in Maths and English.

Transition work has been developed by our English and Maths departments to support your child’s learning and to prepare them for their start at Secondary school. This work will be in the transition packs that will be available to you in July 2020. You will be informed what date you will be collecting the pack, to allow social distancing requirements to be adhered to.

We would also encourage you to be reading with your child. Further guidance on how parents/carers can support the reading of a secondary school child can be found on our school website under ‘Reading school’.