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Arrangements for September
28th August 2020
We are very much looking forward to welcoming the students back to school. We are mindful that students have been out of school for a very long time and the environment they are returning to maybe joining for the first time will be ‘new.’
Please spend time going through the content of this letter with your daughter or son, so they have a good idea of what to expect and what we will expect of them.
We will resume provision of a full secondary school curriculum for all our students, albeit with some changes to routines to accommodate our ‘new normal.’ Each day students will start their day with their Tutor period from 8.30am until 8.55am, which will be delivered by their subject teacher for period 1 on that day. Literacy, Numeracy, PSHE and matters relating to Careers with be delivered in this daily Tutor period. Brockhill accommodation is dispersed over 13 buildings and students will then travel between specialist classrooms during the school day.
Students must not come into school if they need to self-isolate under prevailing Gov.uk guidance. Anyone self-isolating with symptoms must access testing and engage with the NHS Test and Trace process. If a symptomatic student attends school, parents will be contacted and the student will be isolated until they can be picked up. Please discuss the following recommended hand and respiratory hygiene habits with your daughter / son.
Guidance for students
• Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and dry thoroughly (NHS guidelines), or use alcohol-based hand sanitiser to cover all parts of your hands.
• Clean hands on arrival at school, before breaks, after breaks, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing.
•Do not touch your mouth, eyes and nose.
• Use a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze, and use bins for tissues.
•You will be expected to sanitise your hands at regular points during the school day: in the morning at the beginning of Tutor time, as well as before and after break and lunchtimes and when entering a specialist teaching room (Music, Computer Studies, Science, DT, Changing Rooms).
• You must bring own personal learning equipment e.g. pens, pencils, rulers and calculators (see list below).
All students are expected to attend school. If a student is self-isolating or unwell, parents please contact the school by 8.30am on every day of absence. Please do not be offended if the office staff ask for details of symptoms and instruct you to access a test for your daughter or son.
Equipment must not be shared, so please ensure that your daughter or son brings their own personal stationery, including: Pens & pencils (including highlighters), glue stick, eraser, pencil sharpener, ruler, protractor, compasses, calculator
Year group bubbles
Literacy, Numeracy, PSHE, Careers and the Weekly Quiz will no longer be delivered in our mixed age Academy Tutor Groups. These important lessons will now be delivered in Year Groups by the teacher, who teaches a given class for a student’s period 1 of each day. Students will therefore report for morning registration and Tutor period in the classroom and with the teacher, who will teach their first subject lesson of the day.
This means that, as far as possible, students will only mix with their own year group, once in school. In the Sixth Form this means that as far as possible, students will only mix with students taking the same subjects as them, once in school.
In Years 7 & 8 students will remain in the same teaching group throughout each day with the exceptions of Mathematics and Design Technology.
In Years 9 - 13, although students will remain in year group bubbles, they will move between lessons and mix with other students in order to experience the full curriculum and benefit from specialist facilities.
Movement between lessons and around the site
Brockhill’s site is unique and beautiful. Learning and teaching take place in 13 or so buildings across a campus, which is the size of a small village but far more densely populated. In order to provide students with access to a full secondary curriculum we need students to be able to move between classrooms to access specialist facilities. Routes around the school will be clearly marked in order to limit congestion in corridors and around the campus more generally.
To avoid students mixing between Year Groups and congestion in corridors we will operate a strict one way system in buildings and around the campus between lessons, as well as before and after breaks and at the beginnings and ends of days.
It is likely that arrangements will appear quite regimented with synchronised departures from and arrivals to lessons and teachers at doors releasing classes on pips and then receiving them in close cooperation with each other.
Your daughter or son’s Guidance Manager will become your primary point of contact, though students will still meet with their Academy based Tutor from time-to-time via a programme of half-termly Advisory lessons to support students’ academic progress and social development.
Buildings and washing facilities
We have now completed installation of extra outdoor hand washing facilities around the site. We have also begun works to improve ventilation in buildings, though these are longer term projects.
Sixth Form arrangements
Sixth Form students will not be permitted to leave the school site during the school day. Sixth Form students will be expected to register with Ms Castle for any non-taught study lessons and undertake private study in the Sixth Form Area.
Travel to School and the Starts and Ends of school days
Most of our students use busses to attend school. At the end of the day, students will board busses in Year Groups. Gov.uk Guidance has now evolved around face coverings face coverings on public and school transport. Students will be required to wear a face covering to board a bus in the mornings and most bus companies have explicitly stated they will not allow a student to board a bus, where they are not wearing a face covering. In any event, we will not allow a student to board a bus in the evening if they are not wearing a face covering. We will simply telephone their parent and ask that they arrange collection of their child from the school site.
Please avoid dropping your child off or picking them up at school if this is at all possible. Neither the school site, nor the surrounding roads can support current traffic levels at drop off and pick up times, so please expect to be delayed and remain patient, both with our site staff and other drivers, as well as pedestrians.
On a very small number of occasions our staff and the children have witnessed or even been subject to very poor behaviour on the part of adults, who have simply become impatient at the amount of traffic, and this is completely unacceptable. We always report such incidents, provide CCTV footage and, where possible, identify perpetrators to the Police but hope very much this will not be necessary in school year 2020 – 21.
Face Coverings and PPE
We will require our students and staff to wear a face covering in school. Social distancing is simply not possible in classrooms of 30 or 32 students and Gov.uk now recognizes face coverings provide a measure of protection both to the wearer and those around them.
Students must not touch the front of the face covering during use or removal.
We will limit congestion in the Terrace Restaurant and Saga Café by increasing our Breaktime food offer, so it more closely resembles the Lunchtime offer. We have also installed an extra serving point in the Terrace Restaurant to speed up service.
More use will be made of environmentally friendly take away wrappings, so we can limit the number of students sat in the Terrace Restaurant or Café as necessary.
Keyfobs will be issued to students on their first day for payment instead of the current finger printing arrangement. Please top-up your son/daughter’s account from home to reduce queuing at payment points.
Years 7 & 8 will be released to lunch slightly earlier than other Year Groups and to different venues, on order to ease congestion.
All of these measures will ensure that break and lunch times are as safe as possible.
We will continue to provide a free breakfast from 8am – 8.20am.
After school activities and clubs
We are hoping to run a limited programme of year group-based and possibly remote extra-curricular activities from the end of September but not before.
Meetings in school and school events
Prior to the current pandemic we were always pleased to meet with parents by appointment.
However, from September all meetings will be conducted by telephone or face-to-face via Webex. Please do not attend school without or to make an appointment with any member of staff.
Open Evening for incoming Year 6 and the Presentation Evening for departed Year 11 & 13 students will take place remotely.
Parents’ Evenings will not take place in their previous format and we are now considering alternatives.
We will work hard to identify and respond to emerging student need after the confusion of the last few months, which we are fully aware that that students may have found very hard.
Curriculum 20 - 21
Our Subject Leaders and teachers have been working hard to ensure a ‘Catch up Plan’ is ready for every Year Group in every subject, so all students are back on track by June of the coming academic year. These appear in the curriculum section of our website alongside the complete Schemes of Work on our website. Every Year Group and every child will be our priority.
In order to reduce the amount of paper-based work collected by teachers, the amount of traditional teacher marking will be limited. Students will receive plenty of whole-class feedback and personalised electronic feedback through Google classroom. Most Homework tasks will be set via the Google Classroom, although we will also be strongly encouraging students to read daily!
Dance, PE and Music
Music Lessons that involve singing, chanting, shouting or playing instruments will be limited.
Students will wipe keyboards before and after use and sanitise hands before and after use.
Peripatetic lessons will take place remotely.
Singing will take place in smaller groups.
PE – We will maximize use of our beautiful outdoor environment at Brockhill as far as the weather allows. We will minimize contact sports where possible.
We mill maintain distance between students as far as possible.
Dance - We will maximize use of our beautiful outdoor environment at Brockhill as far as the weather allows. We will minimize contact between students where possible.
Please note Guidance is evolving in respect of these Subject Areas at the time of writing and we will update our practices as necessary in September and beyond.
Remote Learning Contingency Plan
We have adjusted our Schemes of Work for 2020 – 21 to include a wide variety of video clips and ‘live’ material. In the event of full or partial school closure we will activate Remote Learning overnight, set work through Google Classroom and move very quickly to 50%+ live face-to-face lessons with teachers via Webex or Google Meet .
Summary of key safety measures
A full, updated Risk Assessment will be placed on the school website before the beginning of the Autumn Term.
The protective measures include:
• Requirement of use of face coverings by students and staff.
• Tutor Work to take place in Year Group based teaching groups.
• Teaching in year group bubbles.
• Management of movement via one way systems and synchronised departure and arrival to lessons.
• Limited staggering of lunches.
• Hand sanitizing. Dispensers are located in every teaching room.
• Regular reminders to wash hands.
• Regular reminders about the importance of physical distancing.
• Restrictions on sharing of equipment.
• Enhanced cleaning during and at the end of the day.
• PPE available for first aiders and / or all staff.
Gov.uk Guidance will doubtless continue to evolve o and we will update our documentation and practices to ensure we adhere to this.
Please keep this letter to hand, as the school office email account will be attended less frequently during the holiday period for queries.
Students should attend in full school uniform at 8.20am from the day and date shown below, or for Sixth Formers, smart office attire as per the dress code:
Wednesday to Friday Sept 2nd - 4th
Monday, September 7th
Year 7 & Year 12
Tuesday, September 8th
We very much look forward to welcoming students back to school and resuming, hopefully a more normal role in helping you and them prepare their Future.
Thank you so much for all your support – we know it is vital!
Please stay safe.
Senior Vice Principal