Coronavirus Update – 25th May 2020

INFORMATION FOR PARENTS & STUDENTS FOR W/B 25th MAY 2020 and from 1st June 2020

 Dear parents and students;

I am writing with my weekly update so that you are aware of any changes to how education is going to be provided next week. Next week is half-term and so if you wish to have child care in place, this should be booked using the link below.

Half-term w/b 25th May 2020 Please note; for the duration of half-term the Community Office will be providing childcare in school from the following website: https://bookwhen.com/keyworkerscamp

Update on returning to school – 1st June 2020.  The school will continue to be open for children of key workers, children who have vulnerable status (receiving support from the Early Help Hub, Children’s Services or with an allocated Social Worker including Looked After Children) or have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) and there will be a continuation of the full educational programme. If you have not already registered for emergency child care provision and/or education at the school during closure, and wish to do so, please follow the link below. Please note that it is essential that you book a space as numbers of pupils on site are increasing and whilst we have for the week of 1st June increased capacity we would not want to be in a position where we need to turn away a child that is not booked in due to insufficient staffing.

https://forms.gle/LN4dXMr7qY2KUjGy8

You can also find this link on the School Closure page of the School Website. If you have registered for the provision, you should be receiving an email from Mr Bettiss towards the end of every week asking you to confirm your requirements for the following week. Please contact him directly at abettiss@romsey.hants.sch.uk for any queries.

Year 10 return: – We would like to thank all of the Year 10 pupils who have already completed the survey about returning to school. We know from this that 75% of you are keen to see friends but almost 40% of you are a little apprehensive about returning. We know that many of you are concerned about social distancing not only in lessons but at social times also.  Almost half of you are also worried about hygiene and 40% of you are worried about sharing equipment. We also know that for many of you, the top priority is to be able to have some time to catch up with friends.  However there are just as many who are either keen to get back to lessons or meet their teachers. To balance all of the things you want has been a challenge but we have come up with a plan following consultation with staff and governors, which I hope will meet everyone’s requirements and allow you to feel more confident about your education going forward. We have used everything you have said to put this in place and because of this, we will not be expecting groups of Year 10 pupils back on the school site until at least the 8th June.  We want to get it right for you and your parents.

During the week of the 1st June, following consultation with the senior team, I am allowing the Student Support staff including your tutors and Progress Leader to make appointments with Year 10 pupils and vice versa, who may be concerned about returning to school.  Please can you or your parents contact the member of staff directly about this.  It may well be that these appointments are on-line, or by telephone or in school but we want to provide a bit of flexibility over this in order to meet everyone’s needs, given that a quarter of you felt this was important.

From the 8th June, if the Scientific advice from the Civil Contingencies Committee (COBRA) allows, we intend to deliver lessons to Year 10 pupils because many of you want this to happen.  These will not follow your normal time-table, nor will all pupils be in at once.  As I have previously mentioned, these lessons are not compulsory and many parents will wish to keep their children at home even if schools do return and the school will not be issuing any warning letters or Fixed Penalty Notices to parents who would prefer their children to remain at home. This still remains the case. Equally, parents may wish to have a flexible approach, with their children being in school some of the time and remaining at home at other times to continue home learning. We will however expect pupils to prioritize the Core subjects of English, Maths and Science should they wish to come in. A summary of the plan so far is below;

  1. Only half a year group will come in at any time – 120 pupils.
  2. This will be based on those who study Triple Science and those who don’t.
  3. Pupils will be allocated to a teaching group which they will have for all their English, Maths and Science lessons. They will be in this group for the remainder of the year and will always be in the same three classrooms.
  4. Pupils will have the core subjects on Monday to Wednesday.
  5. There will be no social mixing between the groups (bubbles) during this time and they have been allocated a social area on the field. Social bubbles (teaching groups) will not be allowed to mix.
  6. Where possible, they will always have the same three teachers for English, Maths and Science.
  7. These groups will be set in advance.
  8. There are two 30 minute breaks during the day, Monday to Wednesday.
  9. Option subjects will run on Thursday and Friday – two extended periods for each option block with a break in between.  Therefore the days will start later on Thursday and Friday and end earlier.
  10. Because there will be more social mixing on Thursday and Friday during lessons, all pupils will then have a week off being in school and not return until the following Monday.
  11. On-line learning will continue for all year groups including Year 10 for those who do not wish to come into school.

Health and Safety upon return: – We already have in place all of the hygiene measures that you would expect, because we have had a cohort of pupils in school who are children of key workers.  This includes signage, hand sanitizer etc for all classrooms that we are using. We will have canteen facilities and I would encourage you all to use these because we are able to track and trace the source of the foods and minimise infection.  It is for this reasons that no ‘sharing snacks’  eg crisps, sweets etc will be allowed to be brought onto the school site.  Pupils may bring their own lunch, but this will have to be eaten separately and not shared with anyone.  Pupils should bring their own bottle of water and take it back home with them.  We will however have drinks available to purchase on school site. Once we know who is planning to return we can give more information regarding these matters.

Each class group will have its own area on the field, weather permitting of course.  If the weather is inclement, then the class will need to return to their classrooms.  Every group will have the same three classrooms for English Maths and Science and therefore we maintain groups together. We intend to share with you our risk assessment once that is finalised. I have been awaiting feedback from staff and pupils so that we can modify this as needed. This will give a lot more detailed information about the steps we have taken to minimise the risk of transmission and will be available well before the 8th June.

 

Transport: – The buses from Southampton are available and they are modified to take a maximum of 22 pupils each.  Therefore we can accommodate all of the Year 10 pupils who normally travel from Southampton and potentially have room for others who currently travel by train and would prefer not to.  The bus company is willing to vary routes to enable this to happen.  Please contact the finance office if you are keen to use this facility and don’t already do so. Local Authority transport will continue and have all of the necessary measures in place for a reduced number of pupils. Parents who wish to bring their children by car can do so but must not get out of the car and in the afternoon cannot come on to the school site to wait in the car-park until after the buses have left.

Personal safety of Year 10 pupils: – It is likely that more of you will walk to school socially distanced or even on your own.  It is for this reason that we want you to wear your full school uniform with pride.   In these difficult times, a return to some sort of normality is what we all need. The only exception is for those who do GCSE or Cambridge National PE as an option.  On this day, those pupils will be allowed to wear their PE uniform.   I also know that as a year group you are a very affectionate bunch and staff all know that when you see your friends and teachers it will be hard for you to respond in an atypical way.  Please can I ask that you don’t hug each other, especially your teachers!!  A simple smile is the acknowledgement we all need to support our emotional well-being and appreciation of being back amongst each other.

Year 10 Children of Key workers or who have EHCPs: – It will not be possible for Year 10 children of key workers to be in both social groups (bubbles) of pupils at school. Parents will need to make a choice as to whether they continue to remain with the cohort who has been together for the past 10 weeks or to join the Year 10 lessons.  Parents of children with EHCPs should contact Mrs Thomas (Learning Support Department) or Mrs Anderson (ASC Resource Base) for further information regarding provision.

Further communications:- Over the next two weeks, more steps will be taken to prepare the school for Year 10 return and once complete. I plan to share with all of you, a short video of how the school site has been prepared for the return of Year 10 pupils.  Governors and staff will also see this in advance of its publication. This will be on the school’s You-tube site and we will provide links from the website and face-book. This is likely to be broadcast early in the week of the 1st June.  We will also provide guidance about how we will continue to offer on-line learning through Google Classroom for other year groups and those Year 10 pupils whose parents do not wish them to attend school during this academic year.

Parent support – please do get in touch if you are finding circumstances difficult given that many vital services are closed. You can be assured of our discretion and support.  I have retained the information below from last week’s letter about opening times for the school office, and the Food Delivery service. Please email the school directly, including information about who you wish to speak to.

School office – for the duration of the school closure the office will be open every morning. Messages will be picked up and dealt with daily. All messages will be passed on to the relevant person so that they can get back to you but there will be a delay in response. If you have a more urgent query then please email: adminoffice@romsey.hants.sch.uk which is checked throughout the day.

 

Food Deliveries – During these times if you find you are in Food Poverty please contact the Community Office via email. Community@romsey.hants.sch.uk  We understand that circumstances can change rapidly and we do wish to support all of our community whether you live in Romsey or further afield.

Mr McKavanagh (Head-teacher)