Arrangements for pupils in September 2020
16th July 2020
Re: September arrangements for pupils
I’d like to start with a huge thank you for your patience as you waited to hear our plans for September. You will be aware that the government guidance for schools was only released just over a week ago, since then we have been working at pace to plan and ensure we are ready. We have worked fast, but we have been very careful and cautious to ensure the safety of all staff and students in September. This letter and the accompanying ‘Parents and Carer Guide’ aims to tell you everything you need to know prior to September and the joyous moment when we will welcome all of our students back into school. The staff are very excited!
The last few months have been very odd, uncertain and concerning, but it finally seems as though we can see the blue sky through the dark clouds. None of us know what will happen long term, but as the country starts to reopen it does feel like we can see the ‘next step’. I love the quote above from the beautiful book ‘The Boy, the mole, the fox and the horse’. Our ‘next step’ is for the students to re-join us in September… all we need to do is take that. Some students will be delighted and anxious to come in to school. Some of them will be just anxious… As you would imagine, we have put a huge amount of careful thought into both the practicalities of returning, and most importantly the students experience and their curriculum.
No child is ‘behind’. Our teachers and leaders are experts at planning the learning that each child needs and we will do this with extra care when the students return so that they can rebuild their confidence and learning habits (PRIDE). Some students will need a rapid push to deepen their thinking, others will need slow and careful confidence building. We will do whatever each individual child needs. We have so far and will continue to talk to students about three things, we would appreciate it you could re-enforce this at home: (they are easy to remember as they make an ABC…)
You are not Alone
You are not Behind
You are Capable
How will it all work?
We have worked very hard to make things as safe as possible. I have included as an appendix to this letter the system of controls that we are following. The school’s plans and risk assessment has been constructed carefully with detailed checking and input from experts in health and safety, the school governors, trade union representatives and representatives of The Futures Trust. The Parent and Carer guide attached gives lots of detail. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us.
Each Year Group will have their own ‘Zone’ of the school, other students will not be allowed in their zone unless they are accompanied by a teacher. Each zone includes its own dedicated classroom, toilets and social spaces (inside and outside) so that each Year Group cannot mix with other students. In addition to this we have reduced movement of pupils around the site as much as we can. Staff will move to the students. The school has employed additional cleaners, it is being fully deep cleaned over the summer break and new stringent daily cleaning regimes will be in place. Each Year Group will have their own equipment which will not be shared with other year groups. There is hand sanitiser, tape, Perspex screens and lots of other controls all over the school.
Students will still receive a full timetable of lessons and all their normal subjects. Some practical subjects are more limited than normal in what they can offer, but we have worked hard to make sure that pupils can still do PE, Music, Art, Food Tech, Science and IT safely. It is important that their learning is as broad as possible and these subjects are particularly important as part of students ‘reconnecting’ with themselves as learners and the school community.
We plan to be very cautious in September so we have taken the difficult decision that there will be no enrichment or clubs running in the first few weeks as we carefully make sure all of our new systems keep the students as safe as possible. This means that Breakfast Club will not be running. The school gates will not open until 8:20. However, Year 11 and 13 intervention sessions (additional support and teaching to help them get ready for their exams) will start straight week beginning 14th September, as this can be delivered within the ‘zones’. These are really important sessions, especially given the difficult time Year 10 and 12 have had this year in missing so much school at a crucial stage in their education. Generally these will take place after school 3pm-4pm on most days.
When will school open?
Tuesday 1st September is a Training Day and so the school is closed for all pupils as the staff work hard to get everything ready for them at the start of a new and complex year.
Wednesday 2nd September is also a Training Day, however, we will welcome all new Year 7 students into school for the day, this will give them a chance to spend a day on site meeting the staff and other students in The Bridge without the older students on site. It replaces the transition day we normally hold in July. Pupils should arrive at main reception and be ready to start the day for 8.40am, so should arrive before this time. They need to arrive in their school uniform and bring with them their ‘5’ (1. A Pencil case containing pens, pencils, ruler, sharpener, rubber 2. A scientific calculator 3. A dictionary/thesaurus and 4. A challenging reading book. A planner will be given to your child when they arrive and this will be used to record their homework). They will be dismissed at 2pm from the main car park gate, if you are collecting your child please wait outside the school gates for them. Pupils do not need to bring any money to school with them, as break and lunch snacks are paid via your ParentPay account, please find details of this attached to this letter. Pupils can bring with them a packed lunch if they wish to.
Thursday 3rd September we open for all students. Arrivals are staggered so that we can slowly and carefully introduce all students to their ‘zone’ of the school and familiarise them with hand cleaning and other very important new systems we have in place to reduce risks. Year groups should arrive through the main school entrance at the times below.
|Thursday 3rd September||Arrive||Leave|
On Friday 4th September we will start using our new staggered arrival times and different entrances for students. This is to reduce the amount of pupils arriving at school at one time. The school gates will not open until 8:20 so please do not send pupils to school early, as there will be nowhere for them to wait. We would like pupils to arrive at these times if possible to minimse risks, although we recognise it may be challenging for some parents. The table below gives start and end times for each year group and shows which entrance they should use. There will be staff on hand at the entrances to greet them to ensure they properly remove the masks they may have worn to travel to school and to sanitise their hands. The students will be introduced to their entrance/exit and new ‘zone’ on Thursday 3rd so will know what to do.
Travel to and from school
We would strongly recommend that wherever possible pupils walk, cycle or get a lift to school to avoid public transport. If they do travel by bus they must wear a face covering and remove it carefully once they get to school. It should be stored in a plastic bag for the day and can be used again to travel home. Pupils are welcome to wear a mask in school if they wish, but it must be a clean one and not the same one used to travel to school.
What if my child or someone else in school has symptoms of Covid-19?
If your child or anyone in your household has symptoms of Covid-19 you need to self-isolate for 7 days. You should book a test immediately for the child with symptoms and you must tell us the outcome. We can help you with this if you are not sure what to do? We will work closely with parents to ensure any child with symptoms does not stay in school and the same will apply to staff.
Uniform / Equipment
All students should arrive to school in full uniform from the first day back, they should bring with them their 5 (we will give them a planner) and PE Kit / packed lunch if required, but should not bring anything else into school.
Reminder about change of uniform: Earlier this year and prior to the Covid crisis, we ran a consultation with pupils, staff, governors and parents to consider changing the school uniform. In February the Governors agreed to the change. The new uniform can be ordered from Cat Ballou and should be worn by all new Year 7 students from September 2020. Existing pupils (the current Year 7-10 who will be Year 8-11 in September) can chose to either wear the new uniform in September or continue to wear the old uniform until Christmas. Our aim is that in January 2021 all students will be in the new uniform. Full information can be found here: https://www.barrshill.coventry.sch.uk/parents/uniform-list/
If there are any issues with the cost of uniform please do talk to us. We have a stock of spares of the old uniform and will be most happy to support by lending or selling very cheaply to help you reduce costs.
Lunch/Food in school
The school canteen will be open with strict controls in place and a limited menu. It will be ‘Covid Secure’. Year 7, 8 and 9 will have access to separate serving points in their ‘zones’. Year 10-13 will be able to pre-order lunch each Monday morning and it will be delivered to them. All payment will take place via parent pay and thumb prints or cash will not be used.
We will be running a very strict visitors policy to reduce the number of people on site. Parents should phone the school to talk to staff, face to face meetings will only take place where absolutely necessary and by pre appointment.
As normal, if you have any questions or concerns please contact us immediately. We will be happy to help. The school is upgrading its IT systems over the summer and so email contact will be down from 4.00pm on Friday 17th July until 9.00am on Monday 10th August
If you are concerned about the safety or wellbeing of any child you can contact the below numbers. Please see the school website for more information: barrshill.coventry.sch.uk/parents/safeguarding/
School Safeguarding Leads: 07724 046375
Neighbourhood Family Hub: 024 7697 8130
Emergency Food Hub : 08085 834 333
Coventry Children’s Services/Social Care: 02476 788555
Free School Meals
Eligible families will receive two vouchers to cover the holiday period. If you need any further
support or advice over the holiday, please contact the Family Hub or the Food Hub on the numbers
I hope that you have a nice relaxing summer and I am looking forward to seeing you in September.
Mr C Jupp