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Posted: 02/09/2021

Arrangements for September and Beyond

 

 

September 2nd 2021

Arrangements for September and Beyond

Dear Parents

Following the latest changes to Gov.uk Schools’ Operational Guidance

we are making some minor changes to our practices, in order to reflect these changes whilst maintaining our absolute focus on providing a full secondary school curriculum to all our students throughout the coming school year, whatever challenges may arise along the way.

Our approach will be cautious and we will stand ready to follow advice from Public Health England and re-impose or tighten restrictions in the school should infections amongst students or staff increase.

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, as we navigate these changes. None of the arrangements should be a surprise to them but your reinforcement and reminders that it is important we all remain cautious will be very helpful, as we go forward into what we hope will be and remain a more ‘normal’ future and school environment.

We will maintain some of our by now very familiar routines for everybody’s protection as we move forward.

Each day students start their day with their Daily Tutor period from 8.30am until 8.55am, which will be continue to be delivered by their subject teacher for period 1 on that day. Literacy, Numeracy, PSHE and matters relating to Careers will continue to be delivered in this Daily Tutor period. Students’ Thursday Daily Tutor will be their Academic Tutor for the coming school year.

This avoids unnecessary movement on the site and the unnecessary mixing of Year Groups, whilst allowing students to access their full curriculum in specialist accommodation.

Health

Students must not come into school if they have COVID-19 symptoms or have received a positive test result and need to self-isolate under prevailing Gov.uk guidance. However, there are important changes to Guidance in respect of self-isolation.

Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

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. Testing will take place on each student’s first day back at school and then continue once weekly in school throughout the first half of the autumn term, and we reiterate our request that all students test at home once weekly to our already published timetable and that you upload their test results to Gov.uk. This enables the Government to understand and react to rates of transmission in schools and communities. As stated in previous correspondence it is possible to withdraw consent from testing.

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).

Attendance

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

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 Arrangements

Literacy, Numeracy, PSHE, Careers and the Weekly Quiz will be delivered by students’ Daily Tutor, who will then teach them their period 1 subject lesson. 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 still as far as possible only mix with their own year group, once in school.

In the Sixth Form this also means that as far as possible, students will continue to mix only 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, students will move between lessons and mix with other students in order to experience the full curriculum and benefit from specialist facilities.

We aim to manage the number of student contacts in classrooms via our use of identical seating plans across as many subjects as possible, and where this is not possible, for the seating plans to be as similar as possible.

Movement between lessons and around the site

To avoid congestion in corridors we will continue to operate a strict one way system in buildings and around the campus between lessons. This one way system has greatly improved the ‘flow of traffic’ as we all move around.

We will maintain 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 remain your primary point of contact and students will retain their Academy identity.

Buildings and washing facilities

Students now make regular and frequent use of the extra outdoor hand washing facilities around the site. Works to improve ventilation in buildings remain ongoing and will form part of a bid for funds to the DFE. We will continue to open windows in all classrooms for maximum ventilation, whatever the weather. Students and staff are now well used to just putting their coats on, where necessary.

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 in the Sixth Form Area for any non-taught study lessons and then undertake private study in the Sixth Form Area. Students should maintain social distancing as far as possible in the Sixth Form Area.

 

Travel to School and the Starts and Ends of school days

At the end of the day, students will continue to board buses in Year Groups. Gov.uk Guidance has now evolved further around face coverings face coverings on public and school transport, as well as in school. Students will be expected 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 school 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.

Where it becomes clear a student has removed their face covering on school or public transport, we will not hesitate to apply a disciplinary sanction and / or will assist a bus company in refusing future travel.

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 three occasions last school year our staff and the children witnessed or even were subject to very poor behaviour on the part of adults, who simply became impatient at the amount of traffic. We always report such incidents - and anywhere our site staff instructions are disregarded - , provide CCTV footage and, where possible, identify perpetrators to the Police. We hope very much this will not be necessary during the 2021 – 22 school year.

Face Coverings and PPE

We will not require our students and staff to wear a face covering in school. However, we will expect staff and students to maintain social distancing, wherever this is possible.

We will fully support those members of staff and students, who wish to wear a face covering.

Where staff and students opt not to wear a face covering we will ask that they are sensitive to social distancing, particularly in respect of those who do.

We will / would review this position and revise our Risk Assessment and practice in the light of any increase in infections at school or in the community and Gov.uk Guidance or advice from Public Health England.

Social distancing however is simply not possible in classrooms of 30 or 32 students and Gov.uk continues to recognize 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 of a face covering.

Catering

We will maintain our increased Break Time food offer, so it more closely resembles the Lunchtime offer, to limit congestion in the Terrace Restaurant and Saga Café.

We maintain the extra serving point in the Terrace Restaurant to speed up service.

We will limit the number of students sat in the Terrace Restaurant or Café as necessary.

Please top-up your son/daughter’s keyfob account from home to reduce queuing at payment points.

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.

Cleaning

We will continue our current all day cleaning arrangements with our cleaning company.

After school activities and clubs

We will run a limited programme of year group-based and possibly remote extra-curricular activities from the early part of the autumn term.

We will offer remote after school revision sessions to Year 11 in English, Maths and Science and to Year 12 in all their examination subjects. We have found this method of delivery highly successful, and it has overcome the barrier to participation of very many students posed by transport. Please do encourage your daughter or son to attend these sessions regularly.

Meetings in school and school events

All meetings will continue to be conducted by telephone or face-to-face via Webex until further notice. Please do not attend school, even to make an appointment with any member of staff.

Parents’ Subject Consultations will continue to take place remotely via School Cloud.

 Student Welfare

We will continue to work hard to identify and respond to emerging student need as we reach forward to the next phase of each child’s education. Please enable us to do this most effectively by ensuring your child’s 100% attendance to school.

Curriculum 21 - 22

Our Subject Leaders and teachers will work hard to support every student in every subject, so all students access the widest possible coverage of their full curriculum. Every Year Group and every child will be our priority.

Teachers will resume marking of exercise books.

Students will also receive plenty of whole-class feedback and personalised electronic feedback through Google classroom.

Most Homework tasks will be set via the Google Classroom, and we will also strongly encourage students to read daily!

Dance, PE and Music

Music

We will continue school choir rehearsals with using a mix of social distancing, some rehearsals taking place outside and / or students practicing in Year groups. Music Lessons that involve singing, chanting and shouting will remain limited.

Students will still wipe keyboards before and after use and sanitise hands before and after use.

Peripatetic lessons will continue to take place remotely for the time being.

PE – We continue to maximize use of our beautiful outdoor environment at Brockhill as far as the weather allows. We will minimize contact sports where possible. We will continue to 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.

We will update our practices in these subjects as Guidance evolves and / or we receive specific advice from Public Health England.

School Trips

We will continue to seek to provide students with ‘A Window to the World’ through our University Collaborative Project, which provides a wide range of opportunities for students to participate in projects and events brokered by the universities.

We aim to resume a limited range of School Trips but will err on the side of caution and look to our beautiful local area in the first instance. We will not be planning non UK based school trips and / or residential trips in the UK at present.

External Education Professional Support Services

On site delivery has resumed, though much delivery may continue to be virtual for reasons of convenience. We request all providers carry out a Lateral Flow Test on arrival.

Remote Learning Contingency Plan

Our Schemes of Work take full account of both periods of school closure in 2019 – 20 and 2020 - 21 and in the event of further full or partial school closure we will activate Remote Learning overnight, set work through Google Classroom and move overnight to 100% live face-to-face lessons with teachers via Webex or Google Meet, as per student timetables.

Summary of key safety measures

A full, updated Risk Assessment will be placed on the school website before September 6th.

The protective measures include:

 Voluntary use of face coverings by students and staff

• Social Distancing wherever possible.

• Tutor Work to take place in Year Group based teaching groups.

• All teaching in Year Groups.

• Management of movement via one way systems and synchronised departure and arrival to lessons.

• Limited staggering of lunches in September.

• 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.

• Ventilation of rooms by opening of windows.

Gov.uk Guidance will doubtless continue to evolve and we will update our documentation and practices to ensure we adhere to this and / or to any specific advice from Public Health England.

Please keep this letter to hand should you have any queries.

We very much hope this school year will be subject to minimal disruption but will ensure we operate ‘normally’ if this is not the case to fulfil our role in helping you and your children prepare their Future.

Thank you so much for all your support – we know it is vital!

 

Sonette Schwartz

Principal   

 

Charles Joseph

Senior Vice Principal