Weekly update from all at Harton

Dear parents, carers and students

I hope that you and your families remain well. This week’s update is as follows:

  • Massive thanks to one and all for your continued support and lovely comments
  • We have had 6, 6, 8, 4 and 7 students in on the days this week – a MEAN of 6.2, a MEDIAN of 6 and a MODE of 6!
  • The students have had a range of experiences once again including Maths, Science x2, English x2, Art, ICT, Geography, General Studies and Technology. Many thanks to the teachers and support staff who continue to volunteer.
  • Thanks again to staff who continue to provide and assess home learning using an ever increasing range of innovative approaches.
  • Many thanks to all tutors, Pastoral and SEN staff for the huge number of calls and e-mails to all year groups to check on the students’ welfare – that has been greatly appreciated by all.
  • Many thanks once again to Mr Reiss and DT staff for the continued production of Face Masks – approaching 3500 now! There was a lovely article in the press this week https://www.shieldsgazette.com/education/south-tyneside-school-teachers-praised-after-producing-over-3000-face-visors-key-workers-2855071
  • We are well placed to submit the final grades to the exam boards on or after June 1st, which is the earliest submission date.

At the time of writing, we still await the SECONDARY SPECIFIC GUIDANCE from the DfE. However, we have a plan and risk assessments and are ready to return whether that be June 15th, 22nd, 29th or even September.

The intention is, of course, to have a maximum of 7 or 8 in any classroom and to have a maximum of 30 students arriving at any one time or indeed having break, lunch or departing. The full procedures will be shared with you once we have sign off from the Directors and further information from the DfE.

The following timeline gives you an idea of what we are thinking now:

w/b May 25th – CLOSED for Deep Clean
w/b June 1st – Further planning for any imminent return of year 10 and year 12 students (once we receive DfE guidance).
w/b June 1st – Questionnaire to staff about availability to return (those who are vulnerable, shielding or self-isolating will not be expected to return, which will also apply to students).
w/b June 1st – Questionnaire to parents about whether they intend to send their children back to school once they know our plans.
w/b June 1st – Directors’ meeting to consider and approve plans for the return of more students (Thursday June 4th).
w/b June 8th – Possible staff training/planning time in small groups by department – over 3 days.
June/July or September – phased return of year 10 and 12.

‘Plans are useless, but planning is everything” (Dwight D. Eisenhower)

With that in mind, we have been planning in anticipation of a return but the latest information would seem to suggest a possible ‘U’ turn by the Government within the next few days. Our plan and any return of students will only be finalised once all external tests have been met.

I will write to parents and students once we have concrete dates, which enable us to finalise our planning.

Enjoy some rest next week over half term and hopefully we will have some clearer information in due course.

Take care and very best wishes,

Sir Ken