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Year 10 School Re-Opening - Letter to Parents
Important information for Year 10 parents and carers about plans for school reopening.
Your son’s/ward’s education has been hugely impacted by the national school closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic in March. Our staff have worked tirelessly to offer the very best remote learning offer and pastoral support, but nothing can replace actual face to face teaching and interaction. This is even more of a worry for our Year 10 students who are due to be taking their GCSE examinations in less than a year. I am delighted to inform you that from 8 June 2020 we plan on improving our educational offer to include on site, teacher-led learning. The Government has asked secondary schools to offer some face-to-face support for year 10 and year 12 students who are due to take key exams next year. I understand that many of you will be concerned about sending your son/ward to the Academy. However, for those students who can attend I know that this educational and pastoral offer will have a positive impact on their wellbeing through interactions and on their educational development as nothing can match being taught in a classroom by excellent teachers.
From the week commencing 8 June 2020 we will be inviting each year 10 student into the Academy to be taught in a teaching group of no more than 15. We will deliver lessons in their Core GCSE subjects English, Maths and Science. This opportunity to work with subject specialists will have a huge impact on the students’ progress and preparation for the GCSEs in the summer of 2021. Importantly there will be a pastoral and wellbeing session to help the students develop as young adults and deal with the negative effects of the Covid-19 crisis. I also want them to have the opportunity to have a lunchtime at a social distance with their peers with whom they have had no contact for over 2 months. Additionally, each student will have an individual support session with a member of staff. This weekly face to face offer will complement our remote learning programme delivered by subject teachers though MS teams.
I want to reassure you that our students’ welfare and that of our whole Academy community is central to our re-opening plans. We have completed thorough risk assessments and have put in place significant changes to ensure that our Academy is ready for reopening. Our plans adhere to the Department for Education guidance on implementing protective measures for education settings. Measures we are taking include:
- minimising contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend childcare settings, schools or colleges
- cleaning hands more often than usual - washing hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and drying them thoroughly or using alcohol hand rub or sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered
- ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach • cleaning frequently touched surfaces often using standard products, such as detergents and bleach
- minimising contact and mixing by altering, as much as possible, the environment (such as classroom layout) and timetables (such as staggered break times)
Students and staff who have Covid-19 symptoms or live with people who have symptoms should not attend the Academy. The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more
- coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
For the wellbeing of us all it is vital that students with these symptoms do not attend but contact the NHS for testing and support.
We have adapted our Behaviour for Learning Policy to support our students to understand and follow our new social distancing, hygiene and group contact procedures. These changes are to keep your son/ward, your family and our staff safe. We want you to be reassured that the Academy will not tolerate any risks to our collective health. These measures mean that your son/ward and our staff will
be protected as far as is possible in an educational setting. Your son’s/ward’s safety and wellbeing is very important to us and at the heart of our decision to invite him back to the Academy.
Sadly, some of our students will not be able to return for medical reasons or family circumstances. It is important that you inform the Academy if your son/ward or others in your household have been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable due to pre-existing medical conditions and have been advised to shield. We do not expect these children to be attending the Academy. For these students we will continue to support them at home through virtual learning and support. It is important that we have up to date medical information, if there have been changes that you have not informed us of please let us know.
Good communication with you is vital so that you have up to date information about our educational offer and so that we can contact you in an emergency. Our preferred methods of communication are via email, phone and text. If you have changed your details, please can you let us know so we can update our records.
A letter will be sent to you informing you of your son’s/ward’s updated weekly timetable including the day we would like him to attend site and when his live remote lessons will be. This letter will also include our adapted student code of conduct which has been put in place to keep all stakeholders safe.
You will also receive a personal telephone call from a member of our Senior Leadership Team to ensure you have fully understood how the return to school will work and to answer any questions you may have.
Finally, I want to thank you for everything that you are doing to ensure that your children ‘keep safe and keep learning’. Together, as a school community, we are getting through these unprecedented and uncertain times, and emerging stronger as a result.
Peter Groves, Principal