Letter to Yr10-12 parents 15.05.2020

Posted by on May 15, 2020 in News | No Comments

Dear Parent/Carer,

Further to my letter on Tuesday, we have been looking at a range of possibilities about what we can safely put in place with regards to re-opening the school for students in Year 10 and Year 12; whilst continuing to accommodate those children of key workers and others deemed eligible by the Government to attend school during the lockdown. To ensure the safety of students, staff and families, we will take a cautious approach and offer something that we deem to be manageable, but also purposeful and worthwhile.

To work out what we can realistically offer in school, we need to know how many students are likely to attend. Whilst we would like to see every student, we understand that you may feel uncomfortable about sending your child to school in this current situation. Please rest assured that you will not be challenged by our attendance team, nor by the County Educational Welfare Officer if you take the decision to keep your child at home. Each family must decide what is right for them.


To help you make an informed decision, the following are the precautions and procedures we are planning to be putting in place:

In Year 10:

  • Students will be put into groups of 8. To minimise contact with others, each group will be assigned an entrance and exit to the school, a classroom, a toilet block and an outdoor space. We will limit the number of groups in school at any one time. This means only a small proportion of the year group will be in school on any given day.
  • Staff will be allocated to a student group and will not move between groups.
  • Students and staff will be expected to keep 2 metres apart at all times and wash their hands on arrival to school and at regular intervals. Additionally, each area will have its own hand sanitiser station.
  • All areas used throughout the day will be deep cleaned at the end of each day.
  • Any activities requiring that practical equipment be used will adhere to CLEAPPS Health and Safety guidelines.
  • Students will only be allowed to use the toilet one at a time.
  • A one-way system for moving around the school will be in place and, where required, taping will be used to help with the 2 metre distancing.
  • Where possible we will ask students to bring in their own food/snacks. All students will eat their food in their classroom bases or allocated outdoor area so that groups do not have to enter the canteen.
  • Student groups will have staggered break and lunch times so that there will be no mixing of students outside their home group of 8 throughout the day.
  • Any student not adhering to our expectations, either in terms of behaviour, or in terms of social distancing/hand washing, will be immediately isolated or sent home as soon as possible.
  • Any students displaying symptoms of the coronavirus will not be allowed to attend school.
  • If any member of the group develops symptoms after the day, then we will let you know so that your family can self-isolate for 7 days or request a test.

Government advice is to avoid public transport if possible but for those who still require it we have been reassured by the Local Authority that school buses will run, and will be operating the 2 metre distancing regulations as students board, travel and alight. Staff will be on duty at the start and end of the day to help ensure the 2m distancing is maintained as students enter the school. Bus arrival times and leaving times may be staggered to ensure there is enough room.

In order to meet as many learning needs as we can, we hope to structure the week to enable students to have access to English, Maths and Science subject teachers on Mondays and Tuesdays, and Options subject teachers on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Again, these groups will be limited to 8 students in each group. This ultimately means that students will have the opportunity to attend a number of sessions in school between June 1st and the end of the academic year if they would like in both ‘Core’ and Option subjects. We would like to give you the choice of which subjects your child attends. It may be that they feel confident with the online materials in some of their subjects, but would prefer some face-to-face support in others. The Google Form allows you to select the subject sessions you would like your child to attend. If you opt for the ‘Core’ offer then students will remain in their base room all day, except for breaks. The day will be split into three equal sessions, each lasting for 90 minutes, covering each of the Core subjects (English, Maths and Science). Each session will be supported by a subject specialist. The sessions for Options subjects will run for 5 hours: students will spend the whole school day in their option subject. You are welcome to choose either Core or Options or both.

Before we can plan the final timetable, and create groups, we need to know how many students would like to use this offer. So we can have more concrete numbers and arrange school transport, we would ask all parents/carers of children in Year 10, to complete the Google Form. Apologies for the short notice but we need this completed by 10pm on Monday 18th May. The link, to which, is:

https://forms.gle/vnbtdSSreURxsuAT9   Please complete this form even if you do not wish your child to attend.

In order to further enhance our Home Learning offer, I have asked staff to consider the style of lessons they are setting on Show My Homework. I know that many of you would prefer ‘live’ lessons or at least pre-recorded lessons. I would certainly like to offer more interactive sessions for all students in Years 10 and 12. From June 1st we are rolling out a series of lessons which offer narration by the teachers themselves and some lessons will take the form of video-conferencing: we are currently trialling this approach and expanding our current offer. We would also like to give students the opportunity to access their subject staff for Q&A sessions, to support their learning if they are struggling with an issue or concept, especially if they are not coming in to school.

Year 12 students will all have face-to-face meetings with their subject teachers, whether this be in school or via video-conference facilities. More details for Year 12s will follow.

We appreciate that this is a particularly difficult time for all and stressful for our students and families. We would love nothing more than to get back to normality and welcome back our young people. Whilst this isn’t yet possible, we want to be as prepared as we can be.

On Tuesday next week, we will begin to construct the timetables for each Year 10 child who has asked to attend school. By the end of next week, if your child is in Year 10, we will notify you which group your child is in and when they should attend; Year 12 students will also receive details of their programme.

These are challenging times for us all and I remain really grateful for your ongoing support.

With kindest regards,

Kate Littledyke