September Return Update

September 1, 2020 4:38 pm

We are very much looking forward to welcoming students back to school from Thursday 3 September. These strange times have meant that we have felt very disconnected to each other and I, of course, am looking forward to meeting many students and staff for the first time.

I write to remind you of our plans for students’ return and in order to communicate some new guidance about the wearing of face masks. There has been much in the media in the last week and after greater clarity on Friday evening, in the event of local lock down measures, I wanted to write to you to clarify the students’ return to school.

We continue to follow the government guidance for the return of all students to schools, the most recent full guidance can be found here:

Student return (as previously stated)
Our plans for students’ return remain as they were at the end of the summer term. As communicated with you in July, in order to help students and staff adjust to a “new normal”, establish routines and communicate as personally as possible,term will start gradually .We will have a maximum of three year groups each day for the first three days of term. Other year groups will remain at home.

  • Thursday 3 September: Year 7 and 13
  • Friday 4 September: Year 8, 10 and 12
  • Monday 7 September: Year 9 and 11
  • Tuesday 8 September: all students for all days from now on

In order to manage student and staff movement and in order to limit mixing, we have made some changes to the school day. A longer break time has been implemented and a shortened lunchtime. School transport has been arranged to accommodate these timings.

Normal day
9.00 Form time
9.30 Lesson 1
11.00 Break
11.30 Lesson 2
1.00 Lunch
1.40 Lesson 3
3.10 End

PSHE day
9.00 Form time
10.00 Lesson 1
11.20 Break
11.50 Lesson 2
1.10 Lunch
1.50 Lesson 3
3.20 End

During the staggered start (Thursday 4 September to Monday 8 September) each day will be a PSHE day timing. This will allow time with the Form Tutor at the start of the day to ensure that personal contact is re-established with someone who knows them well and well being remains at the heart of students’return.

Face masks
You will have seen and heard in the news over the last few days, commentary from the government with regard to the wearing of face masks in school. Whilst the press has reported that the government has said that these must be worn in schools in England, the guidance is in fact more specific; the government state that face masks should be worn in communal areas in the event of local restrictions. Should you wish to read the full guidance, it can be found here:

As you know, students will be taught in bubbles on their return to school, they will remain in zoned areas of the school and they will spend break and lunchtime outside. The benefits of wearing a mask can be outweighed by the transmission risks of handling these as students take their mask on and off. Our decision with regard to masks has taken these two elements into consideration. From return on Thursday 3 September, we are asking the following:

  • Students must wear face coverings on school (public and service) transport – as we have already stated.
  • Students must wear face coverings on their way to and from school in areas where there are significant numbers of students (such as the subway, in essence a corridor).
  • Students must wear face coverings in corridors, when moving between lessons.
  • Staff will wear face masks when moving between lessons.
  • Face coverings must be plain and should not simply be a bandanna or scarf.
  • Disposable face masks will be available for any student with an inappropriate covering.
  • Good hand hygiene and appropriate placement and removal of face masks is paramount.
  • Students do not need to wear face masks when they are outside.
  • Students do not need to wear facemasks when they are in the classroom.

Thank you in advance for your patience as we continue to manage the return to school of all students and I look forward to having conversations which focus more fully on the learning and development of our young people in due course.

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