Changes Within School from 2nd November 2020
This half term has been very different to a typical new academic year and I would like to thank you for your support in ensuring the school has been able to run so smoothly. As we reach the end of the first half term, we have spent considerable time reviewing our current arrangements in school. As a result, there will be some changes within school from Monday 2nd November 2020. These changes affect all students.
The main change is that students will now have most of their lessons in subject specialist teaching areas. The reason for this change is the need to ensure the very best learning experience for students, whilst maintaining a safe working environment. It is clear that the disruption in school caused by COVID-19 restrictions will not be a short-term inconvenience, but instead is likely to be with us for much of this academic year. The current plan was designed with a short time frame in mind. We need to adapt our arrangements to improve the school experience for students and staff. From Monday 2nd November all teaching staff will be teaching from their own subject areas. The aims of these changes are:
- To further improve the quality of education being delivered to all students.
- To enable specialist subjects to be taught in specialist areas (for example, science laboratories).
- To keep all members of the school community as safe as possible.
- To offer further opportunities for after school extra-curricular clubs and revision sessions.
- To give us a sustainable model which we can use throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To help mitigate any risks associated with this change, we have introduced the mandatory wearing of face coverings for all staff and students. Details of this change were communicated in the letter sent to all parents last week. If you require your child to be exempt from wearing a mask for a genuine medical reason only, you are asked to contact the school via email@example.com so that we can provide the student with a lanyard to ensure they are easily identifiable to staff.
Other additional risk mitigation measures commencing on 2nd November include:
- An enhanced one-way system around the school including entrances and exits to the various buildings.
- Tables and equipment being cleaned between all lessons in all teaching areas. Cleaning of all rooms before and after school will continue as normal.
- Shared equipment being sanitised between use.
- Additional hand sanitising stations will be installed outside every classroom.
- More staff on duty at break and lunch times to ensure safe practices.
Extended form period – Monday 2nd November
On Monday 2nd November we will have an extended tutor time to inform all students of the changes to the school day and to emphasise key messages around expectations, safety, social distancing and hygiene. Students will receive a new timetable during this form period. The main change on new timetables will be rooms where lessons are taught.
Timings of the day/arrival to and departure from school/break and lunch arrangements
To maintain our aim to avoid excessive student gathering, the school start and finish times will remain the same as for this half term. The same entrances are to be used by different years groups at the start and end of each day. We will retain staggered break and lunchtime arrangements, where different year groups only mix within their own ‘bubble’. As with this term, no food will be available at breaktime, but students are encouraged to bring a snack if they wish.
Staff have been very impressed with our students’ preparation for learning this half term. It is more important than ever that students have their own equipment for learning. To this end, I would ask that you check that your child has all of the essential equipment for learning. It would be incredibly helpful if you are able to provide your child with a glue stick and a range of colouring pencils as this will reduce the need for sharing and cleaning of these items in lessons.
Wet and Cold Weather
Indoor areas specific to year groups will be made available to use in adverse weather. We encourage students to wear a coat and take advantage of fresh air during break and lunch times.
Current whole school attendance is 95.2%. Whilst this is higher than the national average, it is below our minimum standard of 96%. At this time of year, we would always ask that you send your child to school if they have a minor ailment. Guidance around self-isolating, symptoms and positive tests for COVID-19 can be found on the Government’s website via: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance
We expect that the changes we are making will significantly help your child in their school experience and enable us to provide them with the best possible learning opportunities at this time.