September arrangements for pupils
1st September 2020
Re: September arrangements for pupils
No doubt like me you will have been seeing lots of news stories about schools over the summer break. Whether it be U-Turns on awarding exam grades or updated guidance sent to schools late on Friday night, days before we re open. The staff have worked very hard to respond quickly and ensure that we are well placed to welcome students back in September.
The Government recently issued new guidance around the use of face coverings in schools for the start of term. We have always followed national guidance closely. The new guidance says that in areas of England where there is high transmission of coronavirus, staff and secondary school pupils should wear face coverings in corridors and communal areas. Face coverings are not recommended in the classroom. We are told by the Local Authority that Coventry does not currently fall into a high risk category and that cases in Coventry are low and under control. Our position before the summer was that we were more than happy for any staff or students that wish to wear masks or any other PPE to do so. This is reflected in almost all schools around the city. We will continue with this plan until either the national guidance from the government changes or a local lockdown occurs. In the mean time we have secured a small stock of washable face coverings that we are happy to give to any students that wish to wear them and are unable to source their own. We will of course continue to review this position in conjunction with the local authority and Public Health England and will inform parents if there is any change.
Returning to school
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, and 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 classrooms, 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 has been 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 8:20am. However, Year 11 and 13 intervention sessions (additional support and teaching to help them get ready for their exams) will start in the week beginning 14th September, as this can be delivered within the ‘zones’.
When will school open?
Tuesday 1st September is a Training Day and so the school is closed for all pupils
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. This replaces the transition day we would 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. Pupils can bring 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 8:20am 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 minimise 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. 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 d. 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: Our new uniform can be ordered from Cat Ballou and should be worn by all new Year 7 students. Existing pupils (Years 8-11) can chose to either wear the new uniform or continue to wear the old uniform until Christmas. Our aim is that in January 2021 all students will be in the new uniform.
If there are any issues with the cost of uniform please do talk to us. We have a small stock of spares and will be most happy to support you by lending or selling items 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, cash will not be used at all on site.
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.
I very much look forward to seeing all the students in school this week.
Mr C Jupp