Weekly update from all at Harton

Dear parents/carers and students

I hope you are all well. This week I intend to focus mainly on the detail of the imminent return of our year 10 and 12 students rather than the usual update.

However, I wanted to begin by thanking a former student, Phil Stewart, who I taught maths to in the early 1990s, who very kindly donated a brand new laptop and software to one of our year 10 students. Phil spent 20 years as a RAF fast jet pilot and now works for Jet2.com out of Newcastle so may well fly you, once allowed, to a nice holiday destination!

Return of year 10 and year 12 students:

Having formulated a plan based on one-third of year 10 each day, the DfE decided to issue the Secondary Specific Guidance on Bank Holiday Monday (25th May) at 3.30pm. That meant I had to change the plan to only having approximately one-quarter of year 10 or year 12 present each day.

So, there will be 67 students in year 10 in attendance on any one day. As previously mentioned, they will then be in ‘bubbles’ of 23, 22 and 22 with staggered start times, break, lunch and departure times. Each group of 22/23 has then been split into 3 groups of 7/8 and classrooms have been chosen which ensure that correct social distancing is maintained.

Unfortunately, we have been unable to timetable all subjects and, following advice, have focussed on the Core and EBacc for these 5 weeks.

Year 12 have been assigned a specific week depending on the Option Block so all subjects have been accommodated.

The outline plan is as follows:

Year 10 (4 groups of 67 – one group per day) Year 12
Week Date Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
1 Mon June 15th Ma/En Option B Biology, Business, Comp. Science,
1 Tues June 16th Ma/En Option B Biology, Business, Comp. Science, H&SC, Law
1 Wed June 17th Ma/En Option B Biology, Business, H&SC, Law
1 Thu June 18th Ma/En
1 Fri June 19th
2 Mon June 22nd Science Option D English Lang, Geography, History, Sociology
2 Tues June 23rd Science Option D English Lang, Geography, History, Sociology
2 Wed June 24th Science
2 Thu June 25th Science
2 Fri June 26th
3 Mon June 29th Ebacc Option A Maths, Psychology
3 Tues June 30th Ebacc Option A Maths, Psychology
3 Wed July 1st Ebacc Option A Media, Politics, Philosophy
3 Thu July 2nd Ebacc
3 Fri July 3rd
4 Mon July 6th En/Ma Option E Physics, Economics, Psychology
4 Tues July 7th En/Ma Option E Physics, Economics, Psychology
4 Wed July 8th En/Ma Option E Physics, Economics, Psychology
4 Thu July 9th En/Ma
4 Fri July 10th
5 Mon July 13th Ebacc Option C Chemistry, English Lit, Geography, PE
5 Tues July 14th Ebacc Option C Chemistry, English Lit, Law, PE
5 Wed July 15th Ebacc Option C Chemistry, English Lit, Law, PE
5 Thu July 16th Ebacc
5 Fri July 17th

Some schools are not doing much teaching but we feel that it is important to give some face to face teaching in small groups. Clearly, teachers and SSAs will also chat to the students about their well-being and how they have coped during lockdown.

Staff will be attending briefing sessions in small groups from Monday 8th June to look at the plan, protocols and Risk Assessment

The feedback from the parent/student questionnaire has largely been very positive and at the time of writing, we have had 197 responses (out of 268) from year 10 parents, with 150 (76.1%) indicating that they are happy for their child to return on June 15th. Some students who are shielding or clinically vulnerable will clearly not be attending.

81 year 12 students/parents have replied with 64 (79.0%) able to attend.

I expect that those numbers may grow, once students receive a personalised timetable next week and the word spreads that we are keeping them as safe as possible. However, as part of our Risk Assessment and following my meeting with Directors yesterday afternoon, we will include the proviso that if R>1, we reserve the right to close the school again to such large numbers. I am sure that the calculation of the value ‘R’ may well be covered in some maths lessons!

A few final points:

  • Senior staff and HoYs will be present to supervise students on arrival, break, lunch and departure.
  • Home Learning for years 7, 8 and 9 will, of course, continue for the next 6 weeks.
  • Key worker and vulnerable children will continue to attend every day until the summer (we anticipate two groups from next week).
  • From June 15th students will be expected to wear uniform.
  • Staff will be expected to wear business dress from the 15th June, but can wear flip flops and shorts for the briefing sessions!

No doubt there will be further questions and points I have missed although some may be covered next week with a further letter and individual timetables. However, if you have an important question please feel free to contact me on kgibson@hartonacademy.co.uk – I am not very good with facebook!

In the meantime, have a lovely weekend and many thanks for your continued support.

Very best wishes,

Sir Ken