Pupils at Hartford Church of England High School

Covid-19 Update 12th June 2020

12/06/20

Dear Parent

I hope you have had a good week. It has certainly been a very busy time in school this week as we have rolled out our live lessons for all year groups as well as more recorded lessons and the continuation with work set on Google Classrooms. This is a new world for all of us and we are very pleased with the way things have gone; we will continue to tweak what we do to improve the delivery still further moving forward.

I can also confirm that we will be opening more widely for students in Year 10 on Monday 15th June. The Governing Body met virtually on Wednesday evening and approved the risk assessment and wider opening checklist that we have been working on during the last 12 weeks of lockdown.

We are delighted with the incredibly positive response from Year 10 students and parents to our attendance survey. School will be a very different place for students for some time to come and for Year 10 students that starts next week. We are so much looking forward to welcoming more of our young people back to school again. I have copied below the letter sent to all Year 10 parents on Monday so that all parents can get an idea of the specific planning we have carried out. I would also ask Year 10 parents to read through this letter again with your children and emphasise the key points with them.

In Caritas et Veritas,

Mike Holland

 

Email to Year 10 Parents:

Dear Student/Parent

 

RE:

 

  • WIDER OPENING OF HARTFORD CE HIGH SCHOOL TO YEAR 10 STUDENTS
  • ATTENDANCE SURVEY OF YEAR 10 STUDENTS

 

It is still our intention to restart school for Year 10 students in the week of Monday 15th June. We are delighted that we will be able to see some more of our students in school again and we will do everything we can to ensure a safe and happy return. We are very much aware that families will have some concerns given the current pandemic and hopefully this letter will explain exactly how we are going to return to school safely. If there is any change to the stated date of wider opening we will contact parents on Friday of this week.

 

Please forgive me for the fact that much of what follows is blunt and to the point. If you have stayed with me during the ramblings of my emails to parents over the last 3 months you will know that I always look for the positives and that I always try to maintain a sense of humour where appropriate; but we all know we are dealing with a serious situation. Students missing valuable education is also a serious situation.

 

The current regulations will allow us to have 25% of students in Year 10 in school on any single day and below I set out how the school day will look for students. Please take the time to read this letter together with your child. I know there is a lot to digest but it is essential that we all understand the new procedures that we will have in place for the next few weeks of term.

 

A very small number of students will be unable to return to school currently because they are shielding or living with someone who is shielding and have been advised (medically) accordingly. We hope to see all of our other students in school; we are delighted with the positive response to learning from home that so many of our young people have shown, but there is no real substitute for being in school with your teachers.

 

EXPECTATIONS OF PARENTS

 

  • Please read this letter with your child and reinforce the key messages on social distancing, hygiene, health and safety and behaviour.
  • Insist and ensure that your child travels to and from school safely.
  • Ensure that your child has a face covering if they are travelling on public transport. This is a legal requirement from Monday 15th June.
  • If you are dropping off/picking up your child, please do so in the bus bays or the college car park and not in Carriage Drive.
  • All contact with school will need to be via telephone or email – our current risk assessment only allows for essential adults to enter the site.
  • Ensure that your child is fully equipped for learning.
  • Ensure that your child has a packed lunch including drinks for the day; there will be no catering provision on site.
  • Please let us know if you think your child needs any specific pastoral support on the first day of their return to school.

 

STUDENTS ON SITE

 

  • Students will be placed into one of 20 groups; each of 12 students maximum.
  • 5 groups will attend school on Mondays, 5 on Tuesdays, 5 on Wednesdays and 5 on Thursdays.
  • In time, students who are taking some GCSE subjects with a large practical element may also be asked to attend on Fridays.
  • Personal timetables will be sent via email by the end of tomorrow.
  • We will continue to provide education on site for children of key workers and vulnerable children.
  • There will be no unsupervised time for students in school.
  • Please let us know if at any time you would like to speak to one of our pastoral support team.
  • Students are expected to wear full school uniform except for their school tie.

 

 

TRAVEL TO AND FROM SCHOOL

 

  • School will be open for students from 8.40 am.
  • Students should enter school via the Carriage Drive gates; they will sanitise hands on arrival in school before going to their classroom. This will be supervised by senior staff.
  • Students should not travel to school in groups.
  • Please encourage your child to go straight to school/home if they are walking and not to congregate around local shops on the way.
  • This link is useful: Travel advice for parents and pupils. The Department for Transport has issued advice on how parents and pupils can travel to school safely as part of the #TravelSafely campaign. Resources have been developed to help parents, students and staff to stay safe on the public transport network. This includes information on how to cycle and walk safely, where possible.
  • Remember it is a legal requirement to wear a face covering if you are travelling on public transport from Monday 15th June.
  • If you are dropping your child off by car please drop them off in the bus bays (the college car park is also currently still available) and not in Carriage Drive; they can then trudge the 1 minute walk to the Carriage Drive entrance.
  • Students will leave the site via the Carriage Drive gates. If you are picking them up please do so in the bus bay area (or the college car park). Do not get out of your car to talk to other parents if it risks breaking social distancing guidelines and do not offer lifts to children who are not part of your household.

 

LESSONS

 

  • The school day (Monday – Thursday) will be split into 3 sessions: 9.00 – 11.00 am, 11.00 am – 1.00 pm and 1.00 pm – 3.00 pm.
  • It is possible that you will enjoy being in lessons again and this may be demonstrated with a smile.
  • The timetable will consist of English, Mathematics and Science lessons.
  • All lessons will be in the same classroom for the whole day.
  • Each two hour session will include a break or time for lunch. This will allow us to stagger movement around school and the time students spend outside; this will allow us to ensure effective social distancing.
  • All lessons on Monday - Thursday will take place in Caritas. We have well established one way protocols in this building.
  • Lessons on Friday will take place in Veritas.
  • Online learning in English, Mathematics and Science will continue as well as online learning and live/recorded lessons in all other examined subjects for Year 10 students.
  • Work completed in class will not be handed in; any work that needs to be assessed will be submitted electronically via Google Classrooms.
  • Students must not enter the teacher area within the classroom.
  • We will not gather together for Assembly; there will be a Thought for the Day, Monday – Thursday.

 

 

HEALTH AND SAFETY AND BEHAVIOUR

 

  • Each day will begin with a very clear emphasis on Health and Safety and behaviour expectations.
  • Any student who chooses to deliberately ignore Health and Safety and behaviour expectations will be dealt with through our usual graduated response but I will reserve the right to use the whole range of sanctions available including permanent exclusion.
  • Students will be required and expected to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • Students will hand sanitise every time they leave their teaching room and every time they return.
  • We are asking all students to bring a packed lunch and a water bottle – enough water to last for the whole day. For now we will be avoiding using indoor areas where the potential for undermining social distancing arises. As such our canteen spaces will remain closed.
  • Students will need to come to school fully equipped for learning – there can be no sharing of resources/equipment with other students.
  • Students must use a tissue if they cough or sneeze. This must be binned immediately.
  • Students must not deviate from instructions given with regards to movement around school at any time.
  • Hair must be tied up and off the face and students will be expected not to touch their faces.
  • Some families may wish to provide their children with their own hand sanitisers and tissues to bring to school.

 

LUNCH AND BREAK TIMES

 

  • All students will bring a packed lunch.
  • If dry, lunch will be taken outside; if wet lunch will be taken in classrooms.
  • Students in receipt of Free School Meals are still being issued with vouchers and they are also required to bring a packed lunch.
  • Students will be required to socially distance when they are outside. They will be allocated a specific outside area of the yard and they must not interact with children from other groups.

 

 

SYMPTOMS

 

  • If your child has any of the following symptoms please do not send them to school but inform the school and arrange for a test:

o   A fever/high temperature

o   A persistent dry cough

o   Loss of taste and sense of smell

  • If you, your child or any member of your family display any of the symptoms above – then your child must not come to school. You should book a test and if the test is positive you must again inform school.
  • If a student feels ill or develops symptoms during the day:

o   They must speak to their teacher straight away.

o   They will be placed in our designated medical isolation room and a parent will be called to collect them immediately.

o   You will be expected to take your child for a test if the illness is linked to the symptoms above and inform the school immediately of the result so we can follow our own procedures.

 

CHILDREN WHO ARE CLINICALLY EXTREMELY VULNERABLE OR SHIELDING FAMILY MEMBERS WHO ARE CLINICALLY EXTREMELY VULNERABLE

 

  • A handful of parents with children and family members in this position have already contacted us to say that the medical advice they have received is that their child should not return to school at this point. We understand this and will continue to work with these children as positively as we are able.
  • If your child falls into this category and you wish for them to return to school then you will need to seek medical guidance and email me to say that this has been done and they are able to come in to school – this is YOUR decision; email to say that you have read, you understand and that you will follow the new procedures. Ensure that your contact details are fully up to date because if we need you in an emergency then we will need you to answer immediately and be able to collect your child as a matter of urgency.

 

OUR RISK ASSESSMENTS

 

We have spent a lot of time during lockdown reviewing all aspects of Health and Safety to ensure that our wider opening for students is as safe as possible. Our 2 major documents: the formal Covid-19 risk assessment and the wider opening checklist run to many pages but we have always returned to the fundamentals.

 

The most important thing we can do is to make sure our plans adhere to the hierarchy of controls. This is because the hierarchy of controls is based on SAGE modelling to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. They are summarised below:

  • Controlling the transmission of the disease: minimising contact with children and adults who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school.
  • Management and control through personal hygiene: cleaning hands more often than usual - wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and dry them thoroughly or use alcohol hand rub or sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered.
  • Ensuring good respiratory hygiene: promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
  • Enhanced cleaning regimes: cleaning frequently touched surfaces often using standard products, such as detergents and bleach.
  • Minimising contact and mixing:  altering, as much as possible, the environment (such as classroom layout) and timetables (such as staggered break times).

These are set out in the guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings. If our plans follow the hierarchy of controls, we are likely to be in a strong position to manage and mitigate risk.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I know it is a lot of information but it is crucial that you have sight of it for the safety of your child and your family and my staff and their families. I have been as open and honest with you as possible over the last 3 months and I know that we will continue to work together positively for the benefit of all of our young people.

 

In Caritas et Veritas,

 

Mike Holland