Dear Parent /Carer
As you know we are welcoming back all students from the start of September. This first communication will be followed by a video release of how systems will operate in school on the 28th August. There will be a final communication before school begins on the 4th September.
As a school we are following the Government guidelines to ensure all students and staff are as safe as possible on their return to school. To ensure this we have made a number of adjustments as to how the school will operate. This letter will summarise the main actions and expectations that will be in place for the school to operate safely.
The start of the school day
The school site will be open from 8.00am. If students want to come into the school site between 8.00am and 8.30am to access the breakfast facilities they will need a pass. We will be in touch to allow parents to request passes via text and email.
School buses will arrive from 8.25am. Disembarkation will be managed by a senior staff member to support social distancing. The buses have been designated as school buses the latest guidance recommends that students of 11 years and older should wear a face covering, this is not the law but a recommendation. This does not apply to those who are exempt from wearing a face covering. Students will need to remove their face covering correctly and place reusable coverings in a plastic bag upon arrival at school or dispose of single use masks in a waste bin.
Students will enter the building and be asked to hand sanitise or wash their hands as they make their way directly to their form base. All students will be in forms from 8.35am supervised by their form tutor to ensure students are maintained in year bubbles.
The school day will begin at 8.45am and form time will start at 8.50am. Students will be asked to sanitise hands on entry into the classroom. Year groups will be bubbled in areas of the school with most lessons taking place in their form room. Students will move groups within bubbles for Maths and Science. Students will be taught in mixed attainment groups across the curriculum in Y7-9.
Students will move around the school to access specialist facilities. When students access a new classroom they will be expected to support the safety of the whole community by sanitising their hands and wiping over their desk and chair with antiseptic fluid and disposable paper towel that has been applied to the surface by the member of staff in the classroom. This small action will support the safety of the whole school community and ensure we are all taking responsibility for helping the school run as normally as possible by letting students access specialist teaching rooms, thereby supporting the best delivery of the whole school curriculum as possible.
Break times and lunch times will be staggered and run across supersized periods 2 and 4. This will mean year groups will be on break for 15 minutes between 10.35 and 11.30 and will have 30 minutes for lunch between 12.30 and 2.00pm. Students will have a period in the canteen and then a period of time for some fresh air. This will be explained in detail in the video that will follow this letter.
While bubbling, students will be expected to maintain social distancing whenever possible and be supportive of the greater risk that COVID 19 poses to adult members of the school community due to age, underlying medical conditions and ethnicity.
Due to the need for staff and students to maintain social distancing wherever possible, we have made a change to our required equipment. We are asking that students come to school with a mini white board pen, mini white board and a cloth/board rubber in order to support safe classroom assessment techniques. Further details on this will be included on the video release. This will be part of required equipment as of Monday 13th September, along with a pen, pencil, ruler, scientific calculator, red pen and a glue stick. If you are unable to purchase this equipment, please can you contact your child’s Learning Leader during the first week so we can support and resolve any issues.
We have increased the number of cleaning staff working during the day concentrating on doorways and circulation areas. We expect students to support the school by sanitising or washing hands when entering classrooms, before and after break, lunch time and on entering and leaving the school site.
On the days your child has a PE lesson, they are required to come into school in uniform. Changing rooms will be in use and pupils will be asked to sanitise the area they use before and after use.
At the end of the school day students will be dismissed from the school site and will be expected to maintain social distancing when possible. Students who use the bus will be assigned a particular bus to ensure that bus usage can be managed and controlled for everyone’s safety. Students will not be able to switch between services as in the past unless previously arranged with the school and will need to be registered before they can board their designated service. Again we would recommend students wear a face covering and observe social distancing when preparing to and boarding the bus.
The school will still operate COVID secure after school detentions and catch up club, by sanitising on entry, wiping down desks and chairs and socially distancing. We will not be operating lunchtime detentions during this time due to the shortened lunches, but we will be operating standards break time detentions for incorrect equipment, late to school and incorrect uniform. The standards detentions will be bubbled by year group.
Clearly, the five key rules reflect infection control measures laid down in the Government Guidance:
- Don’t come to school if you have COVID symptoms. Get a test; if it’s negative return to school. If it’s positive self-isolate.
- Practise good respiratory hygiene – catch it, bin it, kill it.
- Hand sanitise or wash your hands more frequently.
- Practise enhanced cleaning regimes
- Maintain social distancing where possible.
Along with this message we have included student and parental expectations for everyone to be clear on how to work safely with school from the start of term. On the school website you can view a copy of the whole school risk assessment which lays out our plans and approaches in detail. At this point all of these issues can be simplified to the school ethos of:
Everyone Matters – We expect our community to be polite and respectful – this means sanitise, social distance, support the system
Everyone Helps – We expect our community to make sensible choices – this means follow the system to help everyone stay safe.
Everyone Succeeds – We expect our community to work hard to support the system to keep our community safe and COVID free.
For more information on the schools Covid response, including information for parents, students and staff, please go to: rainford.org.uk/covid/