Plans for return of students from 8 March

Monday 1 March 2021

Dear Parents/Carers

Thank you for your patience as we have worked through the plans for the safe return of all students from 8 March 2021. I apologise for the length of this letter but there is a lot of information to share with you and I want to make sure I provide as much detail as possible.

As advised earlier this week, there will be a staggered return for students during the week beginning Monday 8 March. Work will continue to be set on Google Classroom for those students learning from home until their return date. The return dates for each year group are below.

Monday 8 MarchYear 7 return
Tuesday 9 MarchYear 8 return
Wednesday 10 MarchYear 9 return
Thursday 11 MarchYear 10 return
Friday 12 MarchYear 11 return

Covid-19 Testing during week commencing 1 March

In order to support our testing capacity we are inviting some students in to have their first test later this week. (We are required to test students a total of three times every 3 to 5 days and we have a plan to manage this over a period of two and a half weeks). Students invited should attend school for their test only before returning home. Parents will not be able to enter school with their child but may wait outside if they wish. Appointment times will be sent to parents separately but we plan to invite the following year groups.

Wednesday 3 MarchYear 7
Thursday 4 MarchYear 8
Friday 5 MarchYear 9

Testing for other year groups will begin when they return to school.

In order to test students, we must have consent. Testing is voluntary but strongly encouraged. If you have not done so already, please complete the consent form by following this link: https://forms.gle/CEJsAmvh1Utp5FGC8

Reporting results – We will only make contact with you if your child tests positive in school. Following a positive result from a test in school, the child and their close contacts will be required to isolate for ten days.

Masks

The DfE now recommends that face coverings should be worn in classrooms or during activities unless social distancing can be maintained. This does not apply in situations where wearing a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity, for example in PE lessons. This is an additional precautionary measure for a limited time during this period of high Covid-19 prevalence in the community. These measures will be in place until Easter and we will take account of requests for exemptions from this, please contact us about this. Children who are already exempt do not need further evidence or communication with school, the exemption still applies to all areas. Face visors or shields should not be worn as an alternative to face coverings.

Year group bubbles

We will operate the same arrangements as we did in the autumn term and a reminder of these is below.

  • Each year group will continue to have its own entrance and exit to the school building. Students must use the entrance specific to their year group regardless of whether they pass other entrances on the way or not.
  • Students will study their usual timetable and subjects, including their full option choices in Year 10 & Year 11.
  • Students will be taught by their usual, subject specialist teachers.
  • The school has been split into five zones to keep year groups apart throughout the day.
  • Each year group is allocated separate social spaces and mini canteens offering a limited menu. Free school meals will continue to be made available to eligible students.
  • We are still unable to offer our free breakfast club due to the need to keep year groups in separate areas of the building. This means students should not arrive on site before 8:45am.
  • Students are not permitted to move to a different zone during lessons or at break and lunch time.
  • Students will only go outside of their zone to attend lessons that need specialist classrooms. All English, mathematics, humanities and MFL lessons will be taught in the year group zones.
  • When using a specialist classroom, cleaners will work through the day to make sure areas are cleaned between sessions of different year groups.
  • Hand sanitisers are placed throughout the school building and students will be expected to use them regularly.
  • All students must understand that these measures are for the safety of all those connected to the school and are not negotiable or optional. Any student who chooses not to follow these systems, and does not immediately respond if challenged, will be sanctioned.

Uniform

All students are expected to wear full school uniform including school shoes, details of which are available on our website. If you require items such as blazers, skirts or PE kit from Whittakers please let us know so we can make arrangements with them. Non essential shops are currently due to reopen on 12th April.

Physical Education Lessons

Students will be expected to wear their PE kit to school on the days when they have their PE lessons. A tracksuit may be worn over the top if the weather is poor. If a student wears their PE kit on a day they are not timetabled to have a PE lesson they will be sent home to change into their uniform. Masks will not be worn in PE lessons.

Paying for Lunch

Please ensure your child’s lunch account is topped up before they return. The cash top up machines in school are still closed down to prevent the spread of infection. If you are unable to top up online due to your personal circumstances please contact us directly so we can find a solution for you.

Free School Meal provision for week commencing 8 March

Packed lunches will be available for collection daily for students who are still learning from home during the staggered start. Further details on how to order these will be provided.

School day times

A reminder that the school day starts at 8:55am and students should be on site by 8:45am. School finishes at 3pm Monday – Thursday and at 2:35pm on Friday for those students who have not received a correction during that week.

Laptop/Chromebook returns

If your child has loaned a laptop or Chromebook, please return this on their first full day in school. We will also send reminders directly to those families that this affects.

And finally,

I’m sure that there will be many of you, parents, carers and children, that are anxious about the return to school. This is completely normal and to be expected under the current circumstances. However, I am confident that we have systems in place that will support everyone’s safe return and get the children back into their learning as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Thank you for your continued support during this time, we are really looking forward to having all students back in school.

Yours faithfully,
Mark Harrison
Headteacher

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