Dear Parents and Students,
I am delighted to be starting as your new Headteacher from September, and I look forward to working with you all in the future. I will be explaining my philosophy and long term vision for the school over the coming months. However, our immediate focus is on reopening the school as safely as possible. The Government advice explains that “all schools should plan for a full return of all students from September” and we are intending to reopen to all year groups. It will be great to be together again, after what has been a very challenging few months for many members of our community.
The first priority on return will be that students and staff feel safe enough to enjoy being back in their school, learning together once more. I am sure that you are keen to hear of our plans to manage the Covid risk. Therefore, I have listed the main Covid responses below. Thank you in advance for respecting these changes, which align with the government guidance and have been carefully designed to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Essential information for re-opening:
- Year 7 will start school on Monday September 7th and Years 8-11 will return on Tuesday 8th.
- The full return of students means that we do not have the space for distancing between students to take place all of the time, particularly whilst they are in classrooms. Therefore, we will be advising our students to maintain some distance around the site where possible, and the emphasis will be on these alternative strategies:
- Our students will be in ‘bubbles’ which will be the size of a year group. Students will be moving around the school and using different classrooms, but we will endeavour to keep the year groups as separate as possible by using staggered break and lunchtimes. Each year group will stay in a specific area for their break and lunch.
- We will have a one-way system which will be followed by all members of our community, at all times during the school day.
- We will allow passing of students from different year groups in our corridors during lesson changeover time, as the evidence states that this is a ‘low risk’.
- All students should arrive on site between 8.30am and 8.40am in the morning. Students will not be allowed on site before 8.30am.
- There can be no hanging around prior to school starting. On arrival at school in the morning, all pupils will need to go immediately to their tutor bases. If your child is unsure where their tutor base will be, please check the link that will be on the ‘reopening’ section of website next week.
- We will be encouraging good hygiene at all times. Therefore, all students will be using hand gel at the start and end of every lesson. All students will also be required to collect an antiseptic wipe at the start of each lesson, and will wipe their own desk space before the lesson starts.
- We will be cleaning shared equipment and high touch surfaces very regularly.
- Students and staff are welcome to wear face masks if they wish.
- To align with the science that the Covid risk is higher for adults, students should endeavour to maintain a two metre distance from adults wherever possible.
- We expect all students to attend school every day, and we will be reinstating our full attendance policy from September.
- The science now indicates that school uniforms do not need to be cleaned any more often than usual. Therefore, students will be expected to be smart and in their full school uniform from the start of September. I’m sorry that there have been some issues with our suppliers for skirts. Smart black trousers are an acceptable alternative to the kilt and if you cannot source a tie, please write a note in your child’s planner for the start of term and acquire them as soon as possible after this point.
- Unfortunately, we are not in a position to welcome parents onto the school site yet and also ask that you do not gather at the school gates as this will increase the risk of Covid.
It is very likely that you will have a lot of questions about how we will manage this. Therefore, we are currently updating our website, which will include much more detailed information, explaining how a safe return will be achieved. This will be published next Wednesday. We hope that this extra information will reassure you that we have done everything possible to minimise the risk of Covid within our school community. If you have any further questions after that point there will be a Covid specific email address to use.
Many thanks for taking the time to read this letter and please do check our website next week for further updates.