Dear parents/carers,

RE: Arrangements for school reopening

Following the government’s announcement that schools may reopen on 1st June for our year 6 students, I am writing to share with you the arrangements we have implemented to ensure the safety of all staff, students and visitors to the school. These arrangements have been put into place following a robust risk assessment process.

We are looking forward to seeing all the students once again, but I would like to reassure you that the safety of our school community is our priority. We will continue to review the arrangements we have implemented at this stage and update you with any changes as and when we make them.

We recognise that some of you may have some concerns about your child returning to school and that for some children another change will be unsettling for them. We also understand that the past weeks will have been challenging for many families. If you would like to talk to us about your child and any concerns you have about their return to school, please – in the first instance – contact your child’s form tutor via email (which are all listed on the school website). If you child has an EHC plan please contact the school acting SENCO, Mr J Worton, who will support you and your child with their return to school.

Based on the number of students we have been informed will be attending should we open on 1st June 2020 we are anticipating 15 students in a school that has capacity for 600.

Arriving

Our Key Worker and vulnerable student group will enter the school via the annex where a sanitation station will be set up and students’ temperatures will be taken.  Students in this group will then be taken to room 16 where they will complete their online curriculum with an assigned member of staff.

Year 6 students will enter the old year 5 block where a sanitation station will be set up and student’s temperatures will be taken. Students in this group will then be taken to room 19 where they will complete their online curriculum with an assigned member of staff.

Toilets

One student will be permitted to use the toilets at a time. Year 6 will have access to use the toilets by room 19, Our key worker and vulnerable student group will use the toilets by the Phiz Lab. All urinals around the school are out of use.

Desks

Students will be allocated a seat where they MUST sit each day – this is vital to ensure we can manage out infection control.

Uniform

All students must be in full school uniform.

 School staff

Our staff will be working on a rota basis as the majority of the staff body will be continuing to work at home. Your child will not have the same member of staff each day.

 Maintaining a safe school environment

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the preventative measures the school has put in place in order to minimise the spread of infection.

As per the advice from the government, the following actions for infection control remain in place:

  • Displaying coronavirus infection control measures information posters around the school
  • Encouraging good hygiene by promoting the importance of handwashing for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap in the following circumstances:
    • Before leaving home
    • On arrival at school
    • After using the toilet
    • After breaks
  • Before eating any food, including snacks
  • Before leaving school
  • Installing alcohol-based hand sanitiser dispensers that contain at least 60 percent alcohol throughout the school
  • Ensuring students and staff understand that they must cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue away
  • Ensuring frequently touched objects and surfaces are cleaned and disinfected more regularly than usual
  • Calling NHS 111 if someone becomes unwell, isolating any unwell people in a separate room, and providing a separate bathroom, where possible
  • Telling staff to stay at home for seven days if they develop symptoms of coronavirus
  • Compulsory handwash every hour.
  • One-way systems being operated around the school

As an important part of our school community, I would ask that you continue to encourage good infection control practices, such as thorough handwashing, at home and keep your child informed about the things they can do to discourage the spread of infection.

As per the current NHS and government advice, you should keep your child at home if they develop coronavirus symptoms for a period of seven days. Symptoms include a high temperature or a new, continuous cough. Where symptoms continue after seven days, or begin to worsen, you should call 111. If someone in your child’s household has symptoms, your child must self-isolate for 14 days from the day the other person’s symptoms started. This is because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear. More information regarding symptoms and actions can be found on the NHS website (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/).

If you think your child may have been exposed to or has coronavirus, please contact the school on 01527 892867 at the earliest opportunity.

Arrangements for the start and end of the school day

 The beginning and end of the school day are the busiest times for children and adults congregating together in one place and maintaining safe distances within normal arrangements can be a challenge. However, due to the small number of parents who have indicated that they will be sending their child in to school we do not deem it necessary to change or stagger the start or end of the school day. We are therefore going to be operating the normal school timings with the exception of slightly changed lunchtimes, more information on this is detailed below.

All staff and students arriving on the school site will be required to have their temperature tested prior to entering the school building. Should the temperature be higher than the government recommended temperature they will be required to go home and follow the isolation guidelines.

Arrangements for breaktimes and lunchtimes

We recognise the importance for all students to have a break from learning and to enjoy time outside during the school day. Reconnecting with friends will be an important aspect of students settling back into school life, but we have had to make some adjustments to break and lunch times which will now be staggered to ensure we can adhere to the social distancing measures.

A packed lunch provision will be provided by our onsite catering contractor AiP.

The school day

The school day timings will remain the same. Students should arrive at school by 08:45 and we will finish at 15:00

Support for students and families

 We do not underestimate how difficult the recent weeks have been for us all and we all will have been touched in some way by the coronavirus pandemic. We recognise the need to focus on our student’s emotional wellbeing as well as their return to learning. The following support is in place for all students once they return to school.

When students return to school we are aware that everyone will have experienced the pandemic in different ways. We as a school will ensure pastoral support and student well-being is our highest priority. When we open our doors wider to more pupils in the future again this support will be available to all.

Whilst the majority of our community will still be at home please ensure you visit our ‘Wellbeing’ section on the online curriculum for direction to external support and self-help.

 If a student has experienced loss of a family member or friend please contact the school for us to make any arrangements we can to support the student and their family.

Samaritans – call free 24 hours a day on 116 123

National Domestic Abuse Helpline – call for free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247

Shelter provide free confidential information, support and legal advice on all housing and homelessness issues if you call 0330 0536 083 (please note, this is not a free phone number and your call will be charged). A free webchat is available at https://england.shelter.org.uk/get_help/webchat

I hope that these arrangements provide you with the information you need to support your child to return to school. I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for supporting the school over recent weeks and supporting your child with their home learning.

COVID-19 Reopening Plan for Year 10 Students.

As we adapt to the new guidance and measures put in by the government we are changing our approach in school to Year 10 in line with the latest recommendations from the DfE. Year 10 students will initially have the opportunity from the 1st June 2020 to attend a meeting with each of their subject teachers to receive some 1-1 intervention or support. We must stress this is for the students to discuss directly with their teacher and will be booked on an appointment basis but is not a parents event as there will be an appropriate time to do this in the future.

The aim of these sessions is to raise any issues or difficulties with subject work and praise those who have completed work at a high standard and suggest any further improvements. Staff will complete these meetings in the dates between the 1st and 8th June 2020. As a parent you may want to discuss with your child some pre planned questions so they can make the most of the time with their teacher and gain maximum benefit.  Further plans and face to face contact for Year 10 students are being put in place, all of which are dependant on the achievement of the government’s five tests.

How will this work?

Since closure we have been so proud of all of our students who have embraced the new technology the school has implemented and we have been blown away by their commitment and flexibility when having to adapt to a new delivery of their education. We intend to use this software at a new level to maximise student experience throughout these meetings by having ‘face to face’ video calling.

Epraise

You as a parent will be familiar with our online booking system for parents evening and this will be the facility used for parents to book their child’s meeting with their teacher, giving them a time slot.

Microsoft Teams

Once the staff have received the time slots, they will then invite each child to a meeting online which will appear in their calendar on Microsoft Teams. At the time of the meeting, your child needs to simply:

  • Open Microsoft Teams
  • Click Calendar
  • Find the meeting
  • Click Join

*It is important to remind everyone in this process that all conversations will be recorded to ensure we are safeguarding both staff and students.

Attendance to these meetings is vitally important for your child to receive subject specific feedback and we strongly encourage all in year 10 to attend. We as a school will be monitoring the attendance of these meetings and contacting those who have not attended to see if we can offer more support.

Yours sincerely,

Mike Bennett

Head Teacher