Return to School – Final Information – September 2020

Dear parents, carers and students – the tables below detail the final plans for our return to school next week. The information is much the same as that which was issued on July 21st but there is some additional very important information as follows:

FACE MASKS – Government guidance is very much that face masks are to be worn by staff and students in corridors and communal areas. However, as you can see from the following paragraph, schools have the discretion to make their own decision unless there is a local lockdown. Should that be the case, then further information will be published.

In the meantime, as our students are largely confined to year group bubbles, we are going to make it voluntary rather than mandatory, but will encourage staff and students to follow the government guidance and wear a face mask when in corridors and communal areas. 

Updated guidance on the use of face coverings in education

On 21 August, the World Health Organisation (WHO) updated their advice on when children over the age of 12 should wear face coverings. The WHO now advise that “children aged 12 and over should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults, in particular when they cannot guarantee at least a 1-metre distance from others and there is widespread transmission in the area”.

As a result, the government has revised the guidance on face coverings for staff and children in Year 7 or above in England. From 1 September new advice will apply to the use of face coverings by staff and pupils in school years 7 or above and learners in further education in England.

In areas of local intervention, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils in secondary schools and colleges when moving around, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Nationwide, schools and colleges will have the discretion to require face coverings in communal areas where social distancing cannot be safely managed, if they believe that is right in their particular circumstances.  

Monday 7th September –  INSET DAY – Staff only 

Tuesday 8th September Please see tables below, which show the times of arrivals and departures for the various year groups. Please note that ONLY our new year 7 students will attend all day whilst only year 12 students will attend in the morning.

Our new Year 7 students have staggered arrivals (according to form classes), staggered breaks, lunches (no money required as school will pick up any costs), and dismissals. They will have an assembly with myself and key staff in smaller groups in our main hall and will enter the school via the main 1936 building entrance. They will receive their timetables, have photographs taken, be issued with lunch cards and have a longer tour of the school (1936 building and dining hall) with their form tutors. Please note that the new year 7 students have only been given an arrival time at this stage and will be allocated their actual form class by Mrs McConville on arrival into our main hall. 

Year 12 – all will arrive for 10am and there will be staggered assemblies in the Lecture Theatre with myself, Mr Burroughs and tutors. They will meet with form tutors, have a tour of the 6th form block and be issued with their timetables and lunch cards.

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Year 8, 9, 10, 11 and 13

The following table summarises the arrangements for these year groups:

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As you will see, there are the inevitable staggered arrival and dismissal times. Years 8 and 9 will be in the 1936 building, whilst years 10, 11 and 13 will be in the new building. They will spend the time with their form tutors and be issued with information, timetables and lunch cards etc.

Wednesday 9th September until further notice:

A great deal of planning has gone into ensuring that the school is able to operate within discrete year group ‘bubbles’.  We have a full risk assessment in place in order to safeguard all staff, students and visitors according to government guidelines.  This can be located by clicking on (insert risk assessment). 

Each year group has its own colour and students will be issued with A4 ring binders which represent the colour of their respective year group.  These also correspond to the entrance and exit points in order to maintain year group ‘bubbles’.

  • Year 7 – Orange
  • Year 8 – Yellow
  • Year 9 – Purple
  • Year 10 – Red
  • Year 11 – Blue
  • Year 12 – Green
  • Year 13 – Black

Year groups will have specific arrival and departure times as shown in the table below.   

Students must bring in their own packed lunch and bottled water for 4 days per week, with them having an opportunity to a buy a hot lunch once a week within their year group ‘bubble’. 

If your child is entitled to Free School Meals, you should already have been contacted to order their packed lunches in advance (with the exception of year 7 who will be approached sensitively on September 8th).   

Students must bring a school bag, every day, to carry their lunch, water, A4 ring binder and any stationery.

All students, in Years 7 to 11, must remain on the school site for the full day and are not permitted to leave for lunch. Years 12 and 13 will be allowed off site for lunch, but they will, of course, be expected to observe social distancing and wear face masks in any shops.

As per government guidelines, we urge our students to walk or cycle to school.  Details regarding the scholars’ buses are to be issued separately but the good news is that buses will be available from September 8th.  Parents may drive their children to school, but we ask you to park as far away from school as practically possible. Typically, there are pavement repairs currently going on immediately outside the Lisle Road entrance! We have urged the Highways Department to complete the work before next week.

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I am sure you all appreciate that plans may be tweaked slightly as we see how things progress. However, we have done our utmost to ensure the safety of students and staff. 

We are well aware that the staggered start and finish times will cause some concerns for parents and carers but we have had no choice in order to maintain the integrity of the ‘bubbles’. I sincerely hope that these temporary plans do not last for too long and that we return to normality fairly quickly. 

Staff will be fully briefed at our INSET Day on September 7th and students will, in turn, be fully briefed on September 8th.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Sir Ken