Parent Bulletin Issue 20

Friday 22 May 2020

Issue 20 Parent Bulletin 22-05-2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

It was my pleasure to write to you earlier this week with the great news from our recent Ofsted inspection. It is right that we take a moment to celebrate just how far the school has come. But our attention must now turn back to the task at hand – keeping our students safe and continuing to provide a high-quality education.

Following my recent emails to you, I am writing to update you on our planning for students in Year 10 to meet with key staff for some ‘face to face support’ to supplement their live online teaching before the summer holidays. We are hoping to organise the first opportunity for Year 10 to come into school to be around the second week of June. This will take the format of a small group academic and well-being tutorial.

Government guidance currently stipulates that only Year 10 students will be permitted onto the school premises. This means that, until we are informed otherwise, students in Years 7, 8 and 9 will continue to follow their existing programme of live and online learning supported by their key member of staff.

The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone in the school is our highest priority. We are planning how to put into place the measures needed so that our school can be run safely, hygienically and with appropriate procedures in place when we re-open. I have every confidence that we will be able to make the necessary adjustments.

The Government has stressed that all re-opening plans will depend on infection rates decreasing and it won’t make its final decision on whether schools can reopen until May 28th. This uncertainty makes planning a little more challenging, but we will continue to develop our strategy to welcome Year 10 children back into school – not least because we really miss seeing them!

The Government guidance says that no more than 15 children can be in a secondary classroom when schools re-open. It has also said that students will need to sit two meters apart. We will therefore need to carefully manage how to limit the number of pupils and staff who mix with each other whilst in school. In addition, it will be important that we avoid large numbers of students gathering when arriving at or leaving school. This will mean we will have staggered face to face meetings so that small groups arrive and leave at different times.

We are expecting further guidance from the Department for Education over the coming days. We will then contact you to book a time for your child to attend a small group face to face support meeting. To minimise disruption to the live online teaching programme it is likely that all meetings will take place on the same day and lessons will be collapsed to facilitate this. We are also considering how we might facilitate end of Year 10 exams to assess learning, identify any knowledge gaps and provide parents and students with meaningful end of year feedback in preparation for Year 11.

If your child is already attending our Community Classrooms for key worker and vulnerable children, they can continue to do so regardless of which year group they are in and we encourage and expect them to attend. Further information on Community Classrooms can be found here.

Children who have been classed as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ due to pre-existing medical conditions have been advised to shield. We do not expect children in this category to attend school, they will continue to be supported to learn at home. Further information on whether your child is eligible to attend school can be found here.

I will write to you again after May 28th when I hope to be able to share some more specific arrangements and plans. Please do bear with us, I know that many of you will already have lots of questions, but I would ask for your patience and understanding as we continue to organise the return to school.

In the meantime, and for all our students in Years 7, 8 and 9, please continue to encourage your child with their remote and live online learning – your support with this to date has been invaluable.

School now breaks for half term with lessons recommencing on June 1st. I wish you a safe and relaxing half term.


Rhys Spiers