School reopening to Year 10
Dear Students, Parents and Carers,
I hope you are all keeping well and following government guidelines regarding lockdown.
I would like to thank many of you who have sent messages of thanks for the work that our teachers, Pastoral and Progress leads, teaching assistants are doing, ensuring that your child can access the work that is being set online and not fall behind.
You will have seen the announcement on May 10th regarding the phased opening of schools for some year groups. We have been planning for this and deciding what is manageable for our school. Every school is different, both in size and the number of staff available to return to work, so there are many factors to consider and still ensure the 2m social distancing rule and maintain both student and staff safety. With this in mind, I would like to confirm that we will be inviting Year 10 only to return to school on Monday June 15th. I also strongly believe that all our Year 10 students should have this opportunity not just those identified as ‘disengaged’ or ‘vulnerable’ by the government.
Some key questions you may have:
Why Year 10? As per guidance from DfE. Given the cancellation of GCSE exams this year and the reduction in school preparation time for next year’s GCSE exams, we believe that Year 10 are the most vulnerable group of students needing to have greater time with their teachers to prepare them for the 2021 GCSEs.
Why not other Year groups? With the need to continue protecting staff and students and maintain the 2m social distancing, we have to reduce the number of students in each class. This therefore entails more teachers (approximately 6/7) teaching what was one class. This reduces the number of students we can have in school to maintain safety. We will constantly review this number and if restrictions are lifted and numbers can change then we will evaluate. Government guidance has stated that there is no expectation that Year groups other than Year 10 will return to school this academic year. We are very mindful of the hard work and efforts with the on-line learning that all our year groups are involved in. I want to assure you that the same high quality work and feedback can be expected for all students. Please remind your child that they can contact any teacher or member of the pastoral support team should they wish to, while they continue to learn from home.
What will the school day look like?
- Students must NOT come into school if they (or anyone in their household) are displaying symptoms of CV-19. Should they become ill while in school they will be sent home and parents must come and collect them. Your child will be isolated until you pick them up.
- Parents of Year 10 will be surveyed to ascertain if they will be sending their child to school, so that we can plan effectively. With this in mind, I need the parents of Year 10 to indicate whether you intend to send your child to school with the phased reopening. Can you also indicate their mode of transport as public transport is not advised. Please reply to email@example.com soon as possible.
- Year 10 students will be issued with their personalised timetable prior to their return to school, so it is important that they check their school email account to know which day to come, which school entrance to use and which classroom to attend. This will remain their classroom for the day. The start of the day will be staggered to reduce student contact. Students will attend school from either 9-1pm, 10-2pm or 11-3pm. Each Student will be in school once over a 2 week period. School will be open for Year 10 from Monday to Thursday only. This is so staff have sufficient time to also plan on line work for those students at home.
- Wherever possible students should not use public transport to travel to school, but ideally walk, cycle or be dropped off by car.
- Initially there will be 4 students per class with one teacher, for one subject lesson. Teachers will circulate to the classroom, not the students.
- The class will have 4 x 1h periods: English, Maths, Science + 1 Ebacc subject (Geography/History/French or Spanish)
- Students must bring in their own pens, pencils, calculator etc. to ensure no cross contamination.
- Students will leave the school site at the end of their 4th lesson (see times above).
- Students must go straight home when dismissed from school, not linger in public areas and not wait for other students. Students must maintain the 2m distancing rule when walking to and from school.
- There will be a short break after the 2nd lesson to allow time for supervised toilet breaks, before returning to the classroom
- All students, including those on free school meals* will need to bring food for the break at the end of Lesson 2, if they wish. The canteen will not be opened. (* FSM vouchers will continue to be delivered to those families who have applied for them until such time as the canteen can reopen). Students must bring a full water bottle to school as there will be limited opportunities to refill.
- Students do not need to move around the school, however there will be a one-way system in place and tape on the floors of the corridors to indicate the 2m distance students need to maintain.
- There will be more staff on duty to remind students of the 2m distancing rule and the need for hand washing before and after school and before and after break and toilet use.
- There will be hand sanitizer and tissues available in each classroom in use and covered bins for their disposal. Students will be expected to wash their hands before entry to the room.
- Any student unable to follow the social distancing rules will be sent home, so please ensure your child is very clear about the 2m distancing and no physical contact with any other person in school.
- School will remain open Monday to Friday, 8.40-3pm, for the group of students who fall into the vulnerable category and/or are children of Key workers (as now).
- Home learning work will continue to be set on line for all year groups, Year 7- 10, until such time as all students return to school.
- I strongly advise that each student showers and washes their clothes on return from school.
What support is there for my child’s wellbeing? The pastoral support team will be available to work with students who may feel nervous returning to school. Students can email Mrs Lainsbury, Ms Olesky or Mrs Schofield to set up some 1:1 support. They can be reached on their school email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, the tutors, Progress and Pastoral leads are also available by email as well. There are wellbeing resources on our website. There will be time during the day to have conversations with the staff in school should the need arise.
My child has fallen behind in their learning, how can they be helped? Teachers will assess what each child has achieved during the lockdown period. They will use this information to plan their lessons and ensure that prior learning is consolidated, misconceptions explained and new learning supported. Teachers are expert at planning for different levels of need within their classroom. SEND students may be able to receive more tailored 1:1 or small group support from Learning Support. We will monitor and evaluate the gaps in learning and where necessary, put additional interventions into place, when possible.
My child and I are anxious about a return to school? I am aware that some parents and students may be feeling like this, however, we will do our best to provide reassurance through frequent communication between home and school and providing the support outlined above in order to provide a safe environment for all.
Will Year 10 Work Experience still go ahead? You will be aware that we have cancelled Enrichment Week – you have all received an email from Miss Claringbull to this effect. Refunds for Enrichment week activities are currently being processed by our finance team. Those students who have organised their own work experience for July 2020, should contact their work placement and enquire as to whether the placement is still willing to take them. Companies may change their mind, as might you! I will ask for feedback on this so that we can plan for this period of time for Year 10 students who would then normally be involved in school activities. Due to the loss of teaching time during lockdown we plan to use this week as a normal teaching week.
I hope that you feel reassured by our plans. If you have any questions, please contact me on email@example.com. I look forward to an early response from Year 10 parents.
Dr Kathy Janzan
Head of School