Dear Parents and Carers
Plans for the return to school in September 2020
We are all really looking forward to seeing our school full of students again and so the main focus of this communication is the plan for our return in September.
The school’s plan is based on the guidance for schools issued in June 2020 and updated risk assessment s are being put in place to cover the changes for a full return of the whole school for September.
A parent/carers guide to this can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/
All of our planning is based on the current guidance and is therefore subject to change if the course of the pandemic changes over the summer break. We will of course inform you of any changes via email and on the school’s website.
The following will be in place:
Hygiene in school – students will be asked to sanitize their hands at the start of every lesson. They will also be asked to wipe down their work area before they settle at their desks. Students will be reminded to wash their hands thoroughly after visiting the toilet.
Mixing of students – each year group will be treated as a ‘bubble’. They will attend lessons together and take break and lunch in separate areas to the other year groups. No mixing of year groups during the school day will be allowed, except in exceptional circumstances, at which point social distancing should be observed.
Movement around school – each building will have a clearly defined one-way system in place. All staff and students will follow these one-way systems, even if this extends the distance of their journey significantly. Students will be reminded that they must not mix with (or attempt to socialise in any way with) students from different years.
Clubs and activities – all clubs and activities will be reviewed and some will continue to run. They will all be for single year groups only or if they are a consistent group, this may be allowed.
Uniform – we will be following our normal uniform rules. The guidance from the government directs this as there is no evidence to suggest that clothes need to be washed any more regularly provided the other safety measures are in place. Coats (not hoodies) will be needed for the wet / cold as usual.
Equipment – staff have been told that they should not lend any basic equipment to students. All students therefore must bring basic equipment (and spare pens/pencils) every day. The expected basic equipment is listed on the school website under uniform.
Start and end of the day – we are not staggering our start and end times. However, students should aim to arrive between 8:15 and 8:25 and move directly, via their year group’s designated entry route, to their form rooms for Tutor time; this is to maintain the integrity of the year group bubbles. At the end of period 6, all students, apart from those attending clubs or catching the school buses, must make their way off site immediately. Students attending clubs should go directly to the club at 2.45. Students waiting for the school bus must do so in year group bubbles and we advise that they stay within these groups when travelling to and from school.
Behaviour management policy – our normal approach to behaviour management will not change. We will continue to promote positive behaviour and de-escalation and will also continue to operate Restorative Approaches if poor behaviour is evident. One small change to the systems will be that students removed from a class and ‘parked’ in another classroom must only be parked in a class from the same year group.
Mobile Phones – our Policy will be as before, phones are to be switched off at all times.
Timetable and start dates – we are running the full timetable for all students. Students will be issued with their timetables as normal on their first day of term. Term starts on Friday 4th September for Year 7 for Welcome Day and then on Monday 7th September the updated plan is –
Friday 4 September – Year 7 only
Monday 7 September – Year 11 only
Tuesday 8 September – Year 10 only
Wednesday 9 September – Year 9 only
Thursday 10 September – Year 8 only
Friday 11 September – Year 7 and Year 11 only (this has changed from Year 7 only)
From w/c Monday 14 September – all year groups in every day
Canteen – At present, no food or drinks will be available except for those entitled to a free school meal. Break will be at 10.25 until 10.45 and all lunch breaks will start at 12:25 and finish at 13:05. The Canteen will only be available at lunch time for free school meals.
Breaks and lunches – Break and lunchtime areas will be assigned by year group and students will only be allowed to use the canteen at lunch time (not break time), if they are in receipt of a free school meal and will do so by year group. All other students must bring in their own lunch and we ask all students to use their own reusable water bottles.
PE lessons – Students will continue with PE lessons and will need to wear their PE kit to school one day per week. Further information about this will be given to the students during w/c 7 September.
Face masks – these are not mandatory at present in school.
Illness / illness in school – Any student who is unwell will be sent home immediately. If you have changed your telephone/mobile number or email address, please ensure that you access the SIMS App and update your details. If your child is ill and will not be attending, please follow the normal procedure and call the absence line.
Travel to school– we actively want more students to walk / cycle if they can to school but obviously many will still need to use the school buses and trains. As per guidance, face masks must be worn on public transport.
School transport – students will be asked to sanitize their hands before boarding buses. They will sit in year group blocks and all students will need to wear face coverings on the school buses. Face coverings should then be removed (carefully) when they get off the bus at school. Safety is of utmost importance.
Lockers – will not be available for the majority of students.
Drop off / collecting students: We request that all parents ensure a safe drop and collection of students. We have increased our student numbers as a school and now have over 800 students arriving and leaving every day.
Visitors /Parents in school – we will not be able to see any visitors/parents without an appointment. Please telephone the school prior to arriving to ensure a member of staff is available to see you.
Socialising after school – students will be escorted off the school grounds and we ask for your support to remind them that socialising in large groups is not allowed.
We understand that you and your child may have mixed feelings about returning to school full time in September. Please be assured that although the measures required to keep staff and students safe are rigorous, staff will always be student friendly.
We also know that some students will need additional support to make the transition back to regular school; this support will be in place from all staff. Please take some time over the summer break to reassure to your child about the expectations when they return to school. Please reassure them that we know it will feel strange to be coming back to school after such a long break but that we are all here to support them. The well-being of students and staff is always our primary concern and we look forward to working with you to make sure we start the next year positively and well.
If you have any questions about how the school will operate in September please do get in touch.
Wishing you a safe and restful summer break.
Inset Days for 2020-2021
Thursday 3 September 2020
Monday 12 October 2020
Monday 4 January 2021
Inset Days 4 and 5 – to be confirmed