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September Reopening - Information for Parents
Thank you for supporting your daughter with her remote learning during lockdown. We are very grateful.
We have created a presentation to help you to prepare your daughter for her return to school in September. It covers arriving at school, learning, the school day, what to do if you daughter is ill, and more. Attendance is compulsory for all students from September.
Start of term dates
There will be a staggered start to the autumn term.
Thursday 3rd September - Year 7 only - 8:20am arrival at the sports gate
Friday 4th September:
- Year 7 - 8:20am arrival - please go to sports gate
- Year 8 - 8.50am arrival - please go to sports gate
- Year 9 - 8.20am arrival - please go to main gate
- Year 10 - 8.50am arrival - please go to main gate
- Year 11 - 9:20am arrival - please go to main gate
A letter from the principal
Dear parents and carers,
As you know, we have been focusing for some time on how to ensure that our school can safely open to all pupils in September – something we are all so much looking forward to. Now that the government has published its guidance for schools, we are in a position to update you on our plans.
The first thing to say is that we are absolutely delighted the government has said all pupils can come back, subject to final consideration of the coronavirus data on August 11th. We have learnt a lot in lockdown about how to deliver virtual education, and families and staff have been outstanding, but children need the routine of normal school life and they also need to see their friends and teachers. It is vital that we get all pupils back to school in September.
Having already done a lot of preparation and groundwork, we are in a very strong position for September. Pupils who have been in school so far are used to washing their hands and having to remove masks or gloves before they come inside, and these measures will remain in place.
Once pupils are in school, they will wash their hands regularly, including before they eat, and they will wash them again before they leave. They will also be placed in a protective bubble with the rest of their year group. Bubbles will not come into contact with each other, which will help to reduce the risk of an outbreak and minimise the number of children who have to isolate in the event that there is a case.
The timetable has been re-written so that these ‘bubbles’ of pupils will remain consistent. The arrival and lesson times of pupils have been staggered and each year group ‘bubble’ will have different arrival, break, lunch and departure time to reduce social contact.
At the end of this letter, you will find further details of this, along with details of the staggered start and end times we will be operating next term. Please ensure that you are clear on the timings of your daughter’s school day as they will change from those she’s had this year. It is absolutely crucial that your daughter arrives at the time indicated on this letter. The staggered starts are essential to the school managing hand washing on arrival for our 860+ pupils. Please encourage your daughter’s excellent punctuality so we can manage this effectively.
In addition to all of these measures, which are very much focused on safety, we are also well prepared in terms of securing the wellbeing and academic progress of pupils – both those who have not been able to return to school this term and those who will be taking important public examinations next year.
Every child, and every home, has had a different experience with lockdown and home learning. We recognise that there will be learning gaps to be filled when the pupils return and have planned a ‘recovery’ curriculum for the autumn term so that everyone has the chance to catch up. We will also ensure there is time devoted to the emotional wellbeing of pupils. In preparation for this, all members of staff have completed training run by an organisation called Trauma Informed Schools UK. 6 staff have trained as mindfulness coaches and they will use their expertise to support our pupils. These two training courses will allow us to be responsive to the needs of all the children when they return to school. Our health hut and counselling services remain open to pupils as required and the Heads of House are available to offer advice and support to you and your family.
We will, of course, also need your help and support to keep school safe as we return. Obviously, if your daughter (or son in post 16) has any symptoms they must stay at home. You must report your child’s ill health to the academy promptly so that we can take advice. You must ensure that your child is tested if you believe they may have Covid-19. It’s important that if you or anyone in your household is unwell, that your child self-isolates. We anticipate that everyone in our school community will act responsibly to keep us all safe.
Everyone will need to play a part in keeping the virus out of school. Government guidance is, understandably, constantly evolving and we will write to you during the summer holidays to provide the most up-to-date information; but we are likely to ask pupils to avoid going into shops on the way in to school and that, if they have to use public transport, they wear a face covering while travelling which is in line with current government advice. Pupils will be required to wear full uniform next term and we will ask that this is washed as often as possible, ideally daily.
The summer term has been long and tiring for families and staff, but it has also been inspiring and uplifting. The whole community has pulled together to ensure pupils felt safe and supported, and we have shown just how much can be achieved in the most difficult and challenging of circumstances. No matter what your experience of lockdown, parents have been terrific: on behalf of all staff, we want to thank you for everything you have done to support your children’s success over this period.