Dear Parent/Guardian and Pupils
Further to my letter last week, I am writing to provide more guidance on your child’s return to school.
Return to School
On Monday 8th March, all pupils in Year 10 and Year 11 will return to school. Y11 must arrive at 8.30am and Year 10 at 9.30am. All pupils in Year 7, 8 and 9 will continue with online lessons.
On Tuesday 9th March, Year 7, 8 and 9 will also return to school. Staggered starts for each year group are indicated in the next section of the letter in the guidance for parents and pupils.
COVID-19 Testing in School
Thank you to all parents who have replied to request COVID-19 rapid tests for your child.
We will be testing all participating pupils three times over the next two weeks. The Government has said that the first test has to be taken before pupils can return to school. As a result:
- The first test will be on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th March of this week. If you have requested a test for your child, our admin team will have contacted you to arrange a time on one of these days to test your child. Your child will need to attend school for 10 minutes at the agreed time.
- The second test will be on Monday 8th March (Year 10 & 11) and Tuesday 9th March (Year 7-9). The third test will be on Thursday 11th March (Year 10 & 11) and Friday 12th March (Year 7-9).
After this round of three tests, pupils will be provided with two rapid tests to use each week at home.
Rules & Expectations
Please read the guidance on the next few pages and encourage your child to follow all of the expectations of them. We will share more information with your child when they return to school.
In particular, we need your child to follow each of the rules outlined below (for all pupils):
- Only attend school if you and all members of your household do not have Covid-19 symptoms.
- Wear a face covering in the classroom, when moving around school and if using the bus.
- Arrive to school and leave to go home at the designated time. Do not congregate in school.
- Use a sanitiser to disinfect hands on entering and leaving school and each lesson during the day. Wash hands with soap regularly during the day.
- Stick to your bubble and home base at all times.
- Avoid physical contact at all times. Maintain as much distance from others as possible.
- In the classroom, do not move the table or chair. Avoid touching displays and other surfaces.
- At break and lunchtimes, go outside (if weather is good) or designated venue (if weather is poor).
- Do not share belongings (stationery, food etc) with others.
- Use your designated toilets only. Only enter the toilets if there is a free cubicle.
We really appreciate your support with this. If you have any concerns or queries, or need support in any way, please contact the school.
I want to reassure our parents, carers and pupils that we will make every effort and do our best to support our pupils to return to normality as quickly as possible. We have missed them. We hope that this is the last time that we have to go into a national lockdown and that face to face teaching in school quickly becomes the norm again. Support mechanisms are in place from our safeguarding and pastoral team so that we can respond quickly to the needs of pupils and secure their well-being if needed. We are all looking forward to seeing all pupils on either Monday 8th or Tuesday 9th March.
Mr Gaetano Ferrante
Guidance for Parents and Pupils
What should I do if my child (or someone in our household) has symptoms?
Please read our guide on what to do if your child, or someone in the household, is affected by COVID-19. This is available to download from the website
If your child (or anyone in their household) develops the symptoms of COVID-19, please:
- Keep them at home to isolate with the rest of the household (including all siblings). If they develop symptoms (or test positive) at school, we will keep them away from others and ask you to take them home.
- Book a test immediately.
- Inform the school that your child has symptoms and email the outcome of the test result to us so that we can keep the whole school community safe.
What should I do if my child is sent home (due to close contact with someone with COVID-19)?
If your child is sent home because they are a close contact, please ensure that:
- They do not leave the home at all for 10 days from the last possible close contact.
- You inform the school and get them tested if they develop symptoms during their isolation.
- They participate in all of their lessons online, starting at 8.30am each morning. If your child needs to borrow a laptop for this purpose, please let the school know.
Please also note that:
- If your child is sent home to isolate due to a possible close contact, siblings can still attend school.
How should my child access online learning if they are isolating?
If your child is isolating at home, they should access their learning online using MS Teams (as they have been trained). Please remind your child of the following etiquettes when learning online:
- Be organised and ready.
- Have your laptop charged and Wi-Fi, learning packs, quiet space and working microphone ready.
- Get dressed and be ready on time at 8.30am. Attend form time, assembly and all lessons.
- Avoid interrupting the teacher. Use ‘hand’/chat.
- Be patient. The teacher is delivering to pupils in front of them at the same time.
- Only put things on the chat that you would want your teacher to read. Be polite, just like in person.
- Answer questions verbally. It is quicker and helps the teacher to check your progress.
- Make amazing notes. You will need them to revise.
- If you need full topic packs, we can get these ready to collect (or send home if everyone is isolating).
Arrival and Leaving times by Year Group.
From Tuesday 9th March, there are special arrangements to ensure that all pupils arrive and leave as safely as possible. Pupils will use the vehicular entrance which will be closed to cars during arrival and leaving times. The timing of the start of the school day have been staggered: –
Year 7 will be expected to arrive at between 8.25-8.30am
Year 8 will be expected to arrive at between 8.20-8.25am
Year 9 will be expected to arrive at between 8.20-8.25am
Year 10 will be expected to arrive at between 8.15-8.20am
Year 11 will be expected to arrive at between 8.15-8.20am
Year 7 will leave school at 3.00pm on Monday -Thursday and at 11.50am on Friday
Year 8 will leave school at 3.05pm on Monday -Thursday and at 11.55am on Friday
Year 9 will leave school at 3.00pm on Monday –Thursday and at 11.50am on Friday
Year 10 will leave school at 3.10pm on Monday -Thursday and at 12.00pm on Friday
Year 11 will leave school at 3.10pm on Monday -Thursday and at 12.00pm on Friday
Where families have siblings, pupils should arrive at the designated time for the younger siblings. Once main school pupils arrive, they should report immediately to their designated line up area in the school playground. Pupils must not congregate in corridors, library or the Dining Hall. Unless your child has a medical need or other vulnerability, parents should avoid coming to the school reception. If you need to do this, please drop off your child after 8.15am. Upon entering and leaving the school, pupils will be asked to use a hand sanitiser.
Uniform & Equipment
All pupils are expected to wear the full uniform.
- Shoes must be plain, black, traditional in style and have a flat sole.
- Pupils who have PE on that day will be allowed to wear their PE kit. A blazer must be worn over their PE top to wear around school.
- Pupils should only bring the necessary books and stationery for each school day.
- Pupils must not share stationery or equipment with others.
Unless they have a medical exemption, all pupils are expected to wear a face covering.
- Pupils are expected to wear a face covering:
- When arriving or leaving school.
- In the classroom during lessons (except PE lessons).
- When moving around school.
- When putting on the face covering, pupils should:
- Cover the nose and mouth and secure the covering below the chin.
- Sanitise their hands afterwards.
- When putting on or removing their face covering, pupils should use the side, avoiding the front of the covering.
All pupils should maintain the best of hygiene at all times.
- Pupils must sanitise their hands at the start and end to all lessons.
- Pupils should wash hands with soap regularly during the day, particularly before and after eating and after sneezing, coughing or using the toilet.
- All surfaces in classrooms, toilets and dining areas will be disinfected regularly throughout the day. Specialist classrooms will be disinfected between each use.
Year group learning zones – teaching ‘bubbles’.
Each year group will be in their Year group educational bubble and based in learning zones. Pupils will follow their normal timetable in their usual groups with the specialist teacher for each subject. They will use specialist rooms for Art/DT, IT and PE.
Year 7 will be based in Science
Year 8 will be based in Art/DT and a couple of classrooms on the first and second floor
Year 9 will be based in Humanities and Spanish
Year 10 will be based in Mathematics
Year 11 will be based in English
Please note that pupils in Year 7-10 will remain in the same classroom for the majority of the week, leaving only for break times, lunchtimes and if they have an option lesson. Year 11 will continue to move from classroom to classroom with in their learning zone bubble to access provision.
Each year group has an allocated set of toilets. At all times, including break and lunchtimes, pupils should use their designated set of toilets. Pupils should only enter the toilet area if a cubicle is free.
Year Group Toilets:
Year 7 – toilets by Computing/RE
Year 8 – toilets by Art/DT
Year 9 – toilets by Humanities
Year 10 – toilets by Mathematics
Year 11 – toilets by English
Break and Lunch Time
To avoid year groups mixing, and minimise crowding, break and lunch times have special arrangements. There will be staggered timings for break and lunch times. These will be shared with all pupils when they return to school. Pupils will be asked to wash hands/sanitise before and after eating. Pupils are only permitted to use the Dining Hall if they are getting a snack or lunch, otherwise, they will go outside to their designated outdoor space. Other than the Dining Hall, pupils are not permitted to be in the building during break time. During poor weather, pupils will be allowed in their allocated dining area.
Attendance to School
Please find below the term dates for the remainder of the year.
- The Government has said that all pupils are expected to be in school unless the pupil has been recently designated as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV).
- It is understandable that some parents and pupils, particularly with clinically extremely vulnerable family members in their household, may be anxious about the return to school.
- If you have any concerns, please contact the school so that we can share with you all of the measures we are taking to ensure school is safe.
- It is really important that pupils attend school fully. Each year, pupils with the worst attendance make less progress and achieve lower grades in their studies.
- In line with Government guidance, the school will insist that pupils attend school fully, mark absences as unauthorised unless there is a statutory reason and ask the Education Welfare Officer from the Local Authority to visit homes for pupils with poor attendance.
- As you know, the school is not allowed to authorise any trips abroad during term time, particularly during this challenging time. Thank you for your support with this.
SPRING TERM 2021
Return to school Monday 8th March (Y10-11) and Tuesday 9th March (All students)
Closure after school on Thursday 1st April 2021
Easter Holiday Friday 2nd April – Friday 16th April 2021
SUMMER TERM 2021
Re-open on Monday 19th April 2021
May Day Closure Monday 3rd May 2021
Mid Term Closure Monday 31st May – Friday 4th June 2021
Closure after school on Friday 16th July 2021
‘Eid ul Fitr 1442 * Thursday 13th May and Friday 14th May 2021 *
* Please note that Eid dates may be revised slightly depending upon sighting of the moon. The school will communicate with all parents in due course regarding religious observation days.