September return to school – Update

Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope that you are well and that you and your child/ren have enjoyed a restful summer break.

I wrote to you on the 16th of July with the initial details of our response to the Department for Education’s guidance for full opening. Within this I included arrangements for the first week of the new academic year which I have copied below for your convenience.

Tuesday 1st September is a Staff training day – students are not expected to attend school
Wednesday 2nd September is a Staff preparation day – students are not expected to attend school
Thursday 3rd September is an Induction Day for Years 7, 12 and 13 only – no other year groups are expected to attend school
Friday 4th September is an Induction Day for Years 8, 9, 10 & 11.  Years 7, 12 and 13 will also be expected to attend school
Monday 7th September will see all students following their full timetable

I can now share with you further details for our plan for students to return to school full time from the beginning of the Autumn Term.
Our aim is to ensure that all our students receive the full breadth of the curriculum, taught by specialist teachers in specialist rooms. We realise lockdown will have had a significant effect on some students and recognise the importance of returning to a full curriculum as quickly as possible to ensure that gaps which may have widened during school closure are identified and narrowed.

Following the Department for Education’s recommendations we have created year group bubbles and will operate a staggered start and end to the school day.
Students will be expected to arrive at the following times and use the following entrances:

Year 7, 8, 12 & 13: 8:30am
Year 7: Main Entrance, Via Student Reception
Year 8: Bromfords Drive
Year 12&13: via staff car park

Year 9 & 10 11: 8:55am
Year 9: Main Entrance
Year 10: Bromfords Drive
Year 11: via staff car park

We are retaining our 5-period day with 55-minute lessons, the reduction from 60 minute lessons allows for movement time. Movement time has been introduced between lesson changeovers to accommodate students moving in whole class bubbles and being delivered and collected from their central gathering points:

Year 7, 8, 12 & 13
Tutor: 8:30 – 8:55
Period 1: 9:05 – 10:00  
Period 2: 10:10 – 11:05
Break: 11:05 – 11:25 – No Catering
Period 3: 11:25 – 12:20
Period 4: 12:25 – 13:55
Period 5: 14:05 – 15:00

Year 9, 10 & 11
Arrive: 8:55
Period 1: 9:05 – 10:00
Period 2: 10:10 – 11:05
Break: 11:05 – 11:25 – No Catering
Period 3: 11:25 – 12:20
Period 4: 12:25 – 13:55
Period 5: 14:05 – 15:00
Tutor: 15:05 – 15:30

In order to maintain year group bubbles, we will operate a staggered lunch in two venues. The times are:

Years 7 & 10

  • 12:25 – 12:55 – Lunch
  • 12:55 – 13:55 – Lesson 4

 Years 9, 12 & 13

  • 12:25 -12:55 – Lesson 4
  • 12:55 – 13:25 – Lunch
  • 13:25 – 13:55 – Lesson 4

 Years 8 & 11

  • 12:25 – 13:25 – Lesson 4
  • 13:25 – 13:55 – Lunch

We are asking that where possible students bring packed lunches and snacks as we have no break time catering provision and the selection available at lunch time will also be reduced.
There is an expectation that all students will return to school in full uniform. As outlined in the DfE guidance, uniforms do not need to be cleaned any more often than usual, nor do they need to be cleaned using methods which are different than normal. Given the difficulty in managing changing rooms for PE lessons, students will be permitted to wear their PE kit to school and during school on days they have PE. Government guidance still maintains that masks do not need to be worn in schools, however, any child who wishes to wear a mask may do so.

It is essential that as a school we keep the loaning of equipment to an absolute minimum. To this end it is vital every student has their own basic equipment with them every day. This consists of black/blue writing pens, pencil, rubber, ruler, calculator, PRIDE card and student planner.  For all students but particularly Upper School (Year 9-11), it would be useful to have a set of mathematical equipment which includes a protractor and compass.

Hand sanitising stations have been installed around the school and are clearly marked. I would encourage students to bring their own hand sanitiser where possible, but each classroom will have hand sanitiser provided for student use. With regard electronic equipment, wipes will be provided for computer keyboards and a system for maintaining the hygienic use of our biometric payment system is in place.

It is crucial that students maintain the highest standards of behaviour and follow guidance and direction in order to maintain a safe environment for all. I’m sure that you will understand that unsafe behaviour, whether intentional or not, cannot be accepted at this time and I would ask you have a conversation with your child/ren to ensure they understand the importance of the arrangements we have put in place to keep them safe.

The government guidance is clear that attendance is compulsory from September. Whilst I’m sure we are all in agreement students should now return to school, I appreciate that you may be anxious about your child/ren returning. I can assure you that as a school we have and will continue to take sensible and reasonable steps to ensure the site is always as safe as possible and ensure students have access to as much of the curriculum as possible.

If you have returned from holiday destinations that have restrictions and are quarantining as a result at the beginning of September, please inform us to ensure we can correct code your child/ren’s attendance and provide the work they will be missing.

Thank you for your continued support and I look forward to welcoming your child/ren back for the new academic year.
Yours sincerely
Mr Neil Dunn