Headteacher Update 13th July 202013/07/20
I hope you are well and have been able to enjoy the weekend with your family. Today is the last day of our Keeping in Touch appointments for Years 7 – 9 and we have been delighted with attendance. Thank you for ensuring that your child has been able to come into school to meet with their Form Tutor. We have turned a blind eye to a handful of uniform infractions given the current circumstances, but our usual standards will apply in September – full uniform, no extreme hairstyles/colours, one piercing in ear lobes.
You should also know that our Virtual Commendation Day will be available on the school website from this Wednesday morning. We are determined to celebrate our many successes of this academic year.
I am sure that all students will be very pleased to hear that we will not be setting work over the summer holiday; although we would expect that students who have fallen behind with online work ensure that they are up to date by the start of the new term.
We have been able to firm up our intentions for September over the past few days and below I outline things for you in a little more detail. Clearly, anything we put in place at this point in time has to be provisional and will be subject to potentially late change.
FRIDAY 28TH AUGUST YEAR 7 IN SCHOOL FOR INDUCTION
TUESDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER INSET DAY
WEDNESDAY 2ND SEPTEMBER YEARS 7 AND 11 IN SCHOOL
THURSDAY 3RD SEPTEMBER ALL STUDENTS IN SCHOOL
I have highlighted below the fundamental principles that we will be following in bold (these were shared with you last week); I have also added further detail where relevant as to what this might mean in practice. These principles are in line with national guidance:
- Being Covid secure is the responsibility of all of us
The school has to produce a formal risk assessment which then needs to be approved by the governing body. We then have to ensure that we do what we say we do. As parents you also have responsibilities. If your child is travelling to school on public transport they will need to follow the national guidelines and wear a face covering. All students and staff should make every effort in school to socially distance.
We have less control over what happens when students travel to school but we implore you to ensure your children travel to school sensibly and safely and that you do not allow your children to go to the shops on the way to school.
- The safety of our students and staff is always a top priority
This means that we will do everything reasonable to ensure that the school environment is as covid secure as possible.
- Robust hand and respiratory hygiene
Students will hand sanitize when they enter every classroom and will always have soap and water available for when they use the toilets. You may also wish to provide your child with their own hand sanitiser and tissues.
- Enhanced cleaning arrangements
Cleaning staff will be on site during the day and not just at the end of each day. A cleaning schedule will be in place so that all frequently touched items such as door handles and bannisters will be cleaned more often than usual. Toilets will be cleaned after every break and lunchtime.
- Active engagement with NHS Test and Trace
Anyone displaying symptoms of Covid-19 should not come to school – you should arrange for them to be tested and if the test is positive the whole family should self isolate in line with the guidance. If a student displays symptoms at school, they will be isolated and you will be asked to collect them and take them for a test; if the test is positive the whole family should self isolate. If we have positive tests of students or staff in school we will consult with our local Public Health Board and follow advice accordingly.
- We teach a full curriculum. This means:
o Year group bubbles – but we accept that complete separation of year groups around school is not possible.
o Students move to lessons; we manage the movement and put in place one way systems but accept that year group bubbles will cross in corridors.
o Intervention and extra-curricular provision will be as normal – as far as possible – but all of this will have to be in year groups.
o Movement around school: no staggered start/end to the school day; clear one way systems between lessons; movement times between lessons; staggered/split breaks and lunchtimes; no tutor time – Thought For The Day will be delivered where students have lesson 5.
We intend to have both canteens open and they will only be used by one year group at a time at break and lunch. We have also taken the decision to go entirely cashless so the cash machines for paying in will be removed over the summer – all pre-payments will need to be made online. A separate email will follow this week outlining how meal provision in school will look in future.
The planning has tried to create as normal a school day for students as possible given the circumstances. I will write to you in more specific detail in the second half of August when we have had further guidance and the situation is a little more certain.
I hope that paints a fuller picture for you of what school will look like in September. I will email again with a final update and reflections on the school year later in the week.
In Caritas et Veritas,