Thank you to all those parents and carers that responded to the draft Return to School plan. Your feedback has been invaluable. I would also like to thank parents for their ideas,some of which we are currently considering as part of the plans.
The Return to school plan, which you can find below is, at this stage, the plan we are hoping to proceed with in September. The plan has been approved in principal by the Trust and school union representatives. However, the government are due to make further announcements throughout the summer regarding the easing of restrictions and ‘local lockdown’ procedures and the advice I receive from the DfE following this may mean we need to adjust the plan at some point in the summer. We will endeavour to keep parents and carers fully updated with any changes that may occur over the summer holidays.
Can I thank parents and carers once more for their contributions to the plan. There have been some excellent points raised and many creative ideas shared.
The section below aims to answer the some of the commonly asked questions by parents and carers.
Can my child wear a face mask in school?
No. Following government guidance face masks are not to be worn in school. The government are concerned that this may actually increase contamination and the spread of the virus. The official guidance we have received states:
Schools should also have a process for removing face coverings when pupils and staff who use them arrive at school and communicate it clearly to them. Pupils must be instructed not to touch the front of their face covering during use or when removing them. They must wash their hands immediately on arrival (as is the case for all pupils), dispose of temporary face coverings in a covered bin or place reusable face coverings in a plastic bag they can take home with them, and then wash their hands again before heading to their classroom...
We will be producing video guidance on this if the guidance remains the same before we return in September. Should the current guidance change we will update parents and carers.
Will there be more school buses than normal to support Year group bubbles?
No. The normal school bus service will be operational. We have negotiated with the bus companies but due to their capacity it will not be possible to put on extra buses to school. We are still talking to the bus company to ascertain the number of children they will allow on the bus and we will confirm this as soon as we have a response.
What we do know is that students will need to wear a face mask on the bus as legally it is still classified as a ‘public bus.’ As students from different cohorts and year group bubbles will be mixing on the bus we will need to confirm the distancing arrangements the bus company is putting in place. We are still awaiting this guidance and will communicate this with parents and carers once it has been confirmed.
We would still advise if students can walk or cycle to school that they do this until restrictions are eased further.
What time will the school buses arrive and depart?
The school bus will arrive at 8.40am and will depart at 3.20pm. We will publish an updated timetable for each bus stop once it has been confirmed.
Students in Year 7 -10 who catch the school bus will wait on the bus at the end of the day supervised by a member of the leadership team until 3.20pm.
What provision will be in place for those students who arrive early to school?
We would advise parents and carers to time the journey to school carefully. While we can accommodate those students who arrive early we cannot accommodate large volumes of students arriving too early before their year group arrival timeparticularly if it is raining.
Students arriving 5 mins before their arrival time will not pose a problem and these students will be able to make their way straight to the back of school and begin to line up in their yellow zones. Staff will be on duty at the front of school from 7.30am. The number of staff on duty in the canteen and at the front of school will increase from 8am.
Those students who are travelling to school on the school bus who are in Year 7-10 will have to wait at the front of school or in the canteen/conservatory until their Year group is called to the back yard.
Students who arrive early will have the opportunity to sit in the canteen or conservatory where a hot breakfast will be served from 8am. This will be prioritised for those students in Year 7 and 8. Students will be given an allocated seat which they must not move from until instructed to do so from a member of staff. As cohorts and year groups may mix in the canteen we will be maintaining social distancing in the canteen and conservatory. There will be a capacity limit in the canteen and conservatory. Staff will maintain a ‘flow of traffic’ in the canteen and conservatory to ensure students remain outside as much as possible.
We will try to keep students outside as much as possible if they do arrive early.
Can parents still use parent pay?
Yes. Parents can still use the features of parent pay. This will not change.
What equipment can students bring into school?
Students can now follow our normal expectations on bringing equipment into school. Students will need to bring:
• A Bag
• A Reading Book
• A Pencil Case with a pen, pencil, ruler (minimum)
• Their Planner (will be issued to them when they arrive to school)
We must emphasise that the sharing of equipment between students will not be allowed. Therefore, it is essential that students take care of their belongings and ensure they always have the right equipment.
Equipment checks will take place every morning in EDGE time or at the start of session 1.
Will my child know their timetable before they start in September?
We are hoping to share all student timetables with parents and carers before students return to school via our Parent Portal. This is a complicated logistical process which we cannot guarantee at this stage but we are working hard to do this so students and parents/carers are clear on their timetables before we arrive back in school. Part of the student induction programme will be to share timetables with each student as well as the Remote Learning Contingency Plan should we ever have to go into a local or national lockdown.
How many children will be in each class?
We will be running a normal timetable which will cover the full curriculum for students. It is impossible to reduce class sizes under the current government guidelines without having more teachers and more rooms in the school. We simply cannot recruit more teachers or expand the school. Therefore, class sizes will be their normal size. Every class will be organised in rows so students are facing the front and there will be a strict seating plan in place. Movement in classrooms will be kept to a minimum and students will only ever be in classrooms within the same Year group bubble.
What will remote learning look like should we have to go into lockdown again?
Should we ever go into a partial lock down or full lockdown students will simply follow their timetabled sessions. Sessions will be delivered live at the same time students would normally attend their session. We would remain on the 3 session per day timetable and it is likely we will remain on this timetable for the vast majority of the year until government guidance changes significantly. We will be sharing more details on this when we return in September.
Do I need to wash uniform more frequently?
No. Following the latest government guidance:
Uniforms do not need to be cleaned any more often than usual, nor do they need to be cleaned using methods which are different from normal.
We will expect full school uniform in September in line with our school uniform policy. Please see the uniform section of the Return to school plan for more details on this.