Dear Parents and Carers,
We are all watching and reading reports about what the new ‘normal’ will look like. At Meols Cop we are extremely fortunate because whatever the new normal looks like we will build it on the strong foundations and values we have. Foundations that are driven by safety, support and aspiration.
This last week we have been recruiting staff for September and during one of the interviews this week we were asked a really interesting question. The candidate, who had spent some time with us on placement said she had planned to ask us to describe the culture at Meols Cop. She went on to explain that she was fortunate enough to have lived it and seen our culture in action which is why she wanted to work here more than any school she had ever been to.
Meols Cop has never closed. Throughout this pandemic we have remained open for the children of key workers and for students highlighted by the Government as most vulnerable. The announcement this Sunday means that school will continue to be open for this group only. As always, we will prioritise the health/wellbeing of all members of our whole school community.
You will receive a call from one of the team here at Meols Cop before half term so we can get an update on how students are getting on and how we plan to offer more support in the coming weeks.
We recently sent letters home for each year group, a copy of each is below:
The Government department responsible for the awarding of qualifications, Ofqual, have produced a letter for all students who are expected to sit their GCSE and A' Level examinations this summer. We have sent a copy to all parents using the MyED platform and have also published a downloadable version on our Examinations page, HERE.
What work should my child be doing?
Please keep an eye on the Home Learning Support page on our website. There you will find information, guidance and links for all subjects with regards to work students can do at home. Along with further suggestions to help pass the time constructively.
How does my child access Office 365?
We have printed a document and handed it to all students. There is a further copy published at the bottom of this page.
How does my child access Show My Homework?
We have shared the instructions with all students. There is a helpful document at the bottom of this page.
My child tells me that they don't know their user name and password to log into Office 365 and Show My Homework. What do I do?
Students all know their username and password - it is the same one that they use to log into the school network every day. To log into Office 365, they must enter an email address. This is their username followed by @meolscop.co.uk (e.g. email@example.com). To log into Show My Homework students should use just their login name and not email address (e.g. bloggs-j-23). We do not issue any passwords as the students are only required to remember their own. Further details are shown in the step by step login guides below.
Will all of the arranged trips still go ahead?
We have taken the decision to cancel most trips and educational visits for the foreseeable future. Full refunds will be made for all cancelled trips, where applicable, in due course. Mr Abram will be in contact with updates over the coming weeks regarding the trip to the Battlefields and PSV Eindhoven as these are currently the only trips scheduled to take place.
Is the Year 11 Prom still to go ahead?
We are upset that students will not have the chance to complete their time with us and we fully intend to celebrate their wonderful characters and achievements with a special celebration when the time is right. There will be leavers hoodies available at the right time too and we will contact relevant students and parents nearer the time.
Who do I contact to ask questions related to IT?
Feel free to email our IT network support staff at firstname.lastname@example.org
My child does not have access to a device that can connect to the Internet. Can you help?
In this case, please contact Miss J Filson (Assistant Headteacher) on email@example.com
Meols Cop PPE production at Meols Cop
At the beginning of the period of school closure, we all read about the national shortage of PPE items for our care workers, health professionals and front-line key workers. We tried to use some of our machines and equipment in the design and technology workshop to create something that might help them to fill the gap and after looking at a few designs and and applying some clever modifications to existing products, we created a development of a sneeze/cough visor that both worked brilliantly and could be produced in quantity on our laser cutter. The final missing link was materials. Sheets of polypropylene were needed in order to cut the visors, suppliers were struggling to ship their stock and demand was particularly high.
It was a chance viewing of a social media post which signposted us to contact Dave Connor and Mark Byrne from The Optimum Group. The organisation, who own the largest franchise of Costa Coffee and Kaspa's stores in the North West of England, had also been proactive and had sourced and purchased a huge quantity of materials. They were looking for support from volunteers with laser cutters and we were able to help. The demand for PPE was endless and our staff recognised the importance and immediate nature of its production.
Very quickly, a team of 60 staff volunteers were attending school in order to produce the visors in 3 or 4 hour shifts between 8am and 10pm and this has been the case now for 11 weeks. James Maddocks at Radwraps made contact and helped with some very generous donations of clear materials to provide screens for the visors and also by offering to coat the visors in an antibacteral coating. Mr Hartley has been wonderful, kindly donating a further 2 rolls of materials and helping us link up with a Southport resident, Jess, who has also been working hard to produce much needed units of PPE using a home machine. The laser cutter has been running constantly for 14 hours per day, 7 days per week and representing almost 1100 hours with a production total of more than 39,000 units of PPE.
Our staff and their families have been fantastic keeping the effort running for so long and their passion to help has been matched by the staff over at Costa Coffee. The units we have made have been taken over to Costa in their Crosby, Gateacre and Penny Lane stores where their staff have sanitised, assembled and packaged the units for distribution.
The demand is still great and whilst it would appear that the health carers have sufficient supplies, the rest of the population are now beginning to mobilise and are keen to use PPE more than ever before.
This effort has been an incredible achievement to date. We are keen to provide as much support as we can for as long as we can and to look for further opportunities as they arise in this ever-changing and unsettled time. To everyone who has helped us to help others, thank you eternally.
A few of Meols Cop's PPE Volunteers
Assembling your visor