Weekly update from all at Harton

Dear parents/carers/students

I hope that you and your families remain well and many thanks for your continued support and very positive feedback. The news for this week is as follows, but I will finish with an update on our provisional plans for September.

  • We have had between 17 and 19 key worker and vulnerable students in attendance this week, studying a range of subjects and some VLE work: Art, Science x2, Dt, History x2, Geography, RE, ICT x2, Music and PE.
  • We will be closing at 12.15pm next Friday 17th to celebrate the retirement of some notable staff – more details next week!
  • The year 10 attendance this week has averaged at 51.5% and they have been studying English in the morning and maths in the afternoon.
  • The year 12 attendance has also been around 50%, with lessons in Option E subjects, Physics, Economics and Psychology.
  • More and more laptops have been issued to staff (almost 100) and students (around 60). Some parents and students have not picked up their laptops as they would rather wait until September now – that didn’t really come as a surprise!
  • A video message and montage of photographs will go out today to our year 13 students.
  • A video message and guided virtual tour will be going out to our year 6 students next week once it is finalised – of course today would have been the second of their two Transition days in school.
  • The pastoral and SEN staff continue to liaise with numerous families and tutors have completed all of their calls home, as far as has been possible.
  • The year 13 ‘A’ level results are now likely to be posted and e-mailed in time for results day on the 13th August. Appointments will then be available for any students who require specific University advice and support.
  • Similarly, the year 11 GCSE results will be posted and e-mailed out in time for the 20th August. Appointments will be issued for enrolment into our wonderful 6th form and we hope to have in excess of 100 Harton students remaining with us.

The main activity this week apart from the teaching has, of course, been the planning for September. Fuller information will be provided in due course and there will be briefing sessions for staff during the INSET DAY on September 7th.

  • The detailed and revamped 29 page Risk Assessment will be shared on our website next week after it has been passed by the Directors and Unions.
  • The first normal day back (famous last words) on Tuesday September 8th will be year 7 and year 12 only returning in the morning to meet with form tutors, have a meet and greet in the hall with key staff, have photographs taken, become familiar with lunch arrangements, have a guided tour with tutors and receive their timetables.
  • Other year groups will arrive on a much more staggered basis in the afternoon for 2 hrs 15 mins each to meet with tutors and receive essential information, timetables etc. They will only be able to have a video assembly, which I will prepare over the summer when I am slimmer, more tanned and have had a haircut and a rest!
  • The real challenge begins on Wednesday 9th September, when we will have staggered arrivals, dismissals (different entrances/exits), year group specific break and lunch spaces (MUGAs, field, 3G pitch, area between the two main buildings), and children taught in year group ‘bubbles’. Clearly that means the bubbles are very large (279 in the case of year 7) and so we have had to assign different areas of the school to certain year groups.

This will mean teachers travelling for the most part to the students so flat shoes will be recommended!

Year 7 – 1936 building – ground floor
Year 8 – 1936 building – ground/upper floor
Year 9 – 1936 building – upper floor
Year 10/11 – Science or maths corridor plus specialist rooms in DT
Years 12/13 – 6th form classrooms plus any other available space.

As you can imagine this has been an enormous challenge and one which is still work in progress. Heat/temperature cameras, automatic ‘swipe’ doors etc. are being installed over the summer and simple considerations like stationery, files, books etc, have been the subject of much discussion. Different coloured files (by year group) plus dividers and file paper will be issued to all students for them to have in each of their lessons. This will mean that teaching staff do not have to carry lots of books and equipment from one classroom to another. Students will have to face the front and at least 2 metres from the teacher’s desk. Staff will be briefed on the INSET day about marking, feedback and assessment arrangements for the foreseeable future.

We will issue you with further, more detailed information in due course but rest assured that we are doing everything in our power to ensure that we adopt the safest possible working practice whilst adhering to the DfE’s 37 page guidance document.

Many thanks once again – I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Take care and very best wishes,

Sir Ken