Full return to school

Dear Parents/Carers

As you are aware, we will be reopening fully to students from next week, and are looking forward to welcoming them back to school. We are also testing over 80% of our students for COVID-19, so there must be a staggered return, from Tuesday 9 March. A separate email will come to you regarding your child’s testing, if you have consented for this.

Here are the details of next week’s full return to lessons:

Year group Date and time of their full return
Years 12, 13 and 14 Tuesday 9 March, 9.00am
Year 11 Tuesday 9 March, 8.30am
Year 10 Wednesday 10 March, 8.45am
Year 9 Wednesday 10 March, 9.00am
Year 8 Thursday 11 March, 8.45am
Year 7 Thursday 11 March, 8.30am

The scholars’ bus service will resume on Tuesday 9 March.

From next week, the students will continue with their September timetables, with arrival and departure times to and from school being staggered in the usual way. Monday 8 March is a Week 1 timetable.

From 15 March, lunches will also continue in the same way as before Christmas, with the students eating a nut-free packed lunch in their lesson 3 classroom before they go outside for fresh air. Students in receipt of free school meals (FSM) will be able to go to the dining hall every day for their lunches and each year group will keep their designated hot lunch day in the dining hall as before. Please be sure to top up your child’s lunch account via ParentPay, where you can also can monitor your child’s balance.

The lunch arrangements for the week beginning 8 March only are different to the rest of the academic year:

Day Lunch in Dining Hall Sixth Formers can collect lunch from 12 noon to 12.10pm Lunch in lesson 3 classroom
Tuesday 9th only Year 11s and Key Worker/Vulnerable Children Sixth form – to eat in sixth form area, not dining hall N/A
Wednesday 10th only Year 9s, Key Worker/Vulnerable Children and FSM Sixth form – to eat in sixth form area, not dining hall Years 10 and 11
Thursday 11th only Year 10s and FSM Sixth form – to eat in sixth form area, not dining hall Years 7, 8, 9 and 11
Friday 12th only Years 7 & 8 and FSM N/A Years 9-11

From the 15 March, sixth formers may purchase their lunch from 12 noon until 12.10pm every day. They must eat this away from the dining hall. Due to the high numbers, we do encourage Years 12-14 to bring a packed lunch or to go home for lunch.

Please do note the following changes, which we ask you to discuss with your children:

The wearing of masks/face coverings

Before Christmas, all students and staff wore masks when they were moving around the school or in busy communal areas. The Government has now extended this requirement, recommending that masks also be worn by staff and children in lessons, especially when they are unable to be two metres or more from others. Please note, Harton has always operated a common-sense approach to this, and the students have responded superbly. However, we do ask parents to discuss this matter with their children, encouraging them to do so, if at all possible. The Government will be reviewing this at Easter, in consultation with health experts, and we will keep you posted of any changes to this recommendation.

Year 7 and Year 10 – outside recreation spaces

Please do let your child know that we have swapped the outside recreation areas for Years 7 and 10. From the week beginning 8 March, Year 7 will be on MUGA 2, nearest to the playing fields, and Year 10 will congregate outside the 1936 Building. This will apply to before school, at break and lunch times and will continue until further notice. Please do ask your child to go to these new areas when they first return next week.

A few little reminders

  • Visitors to the school should have an appointment, due to COVID-19 regulations.
  • Masks should be worn (unless medically exempt) by all visitors to the school.
  • All visitors should report to the Main Reception situated in the new building.
  • Receptionists are unable to take delivery of items for students, such as forgotten PE kits. This is to reduce the risk of cross-contamination – please do urge your child to be organised!
  • Parent/carers are requested to be patient with their expectations of members of staff returning their calls.

We appreciate that your child’s return to school may present its own set of challenges, and we are on-hand to support them in any way we can. However, do be encouraged that, once they have re-started ‘normal’ school life, the vast majority of our students will be glad to be back and will be settled and perfectly happy.

In closing, we are extremely grateful to you all for your continued support in these rapidly changing times. Please do be assured that we have your child’s and our colleagues’ health and safety at the heart of everything we are doing as we move out of this, hopefully final, lockdown.

With our very best wishes.

Mr Amos
Head of School