You will be aware that the government has stated that it intends for schools to open more widely from 1st June subject to certain safety measures being met. For secondary schools the guidance is to provide some form of face to face teaching to supplement the online provision. This guidance clearly states that this is not about Year 10s returning to any form of full timetable. We will begin to bring students in from the week commencing 8th June at the earliest. There is a review from the government on 28th May that will confirm if the government think that opening schools is safe.Insert link to gov doc.
We have been giving this a lot of thought over the last two weeks since the announcement was made. We have researched all of the information that we have been provided with about how to enable our year 10 students to have some face to face interaction with teachers whilst also manging the safety risks during this period. This opening to year 10 also has to be co-ordinated with still providing a safe place for children who are vulnerable, have a Education and Health Care Plan and the key workers’ children that qualify for provision.
We are sharing this model with you now to reassure you that we are working hard to plan for this potential extension of opening and we will continue to review our model if the advice changes. We also wanted to give you an opportunity to ask any additional questions or share any concerns – please respond via the SurveyMonkey link below.
We also wanted to share this with you so that you can make an informed decision about whether you send your child into school. By confirming your current intentions, we are able to plan more effectively, but please note that we will send a later email requesting a definitive response as we will need to know exactly which children are attending before we open in order to safeguard children and be able to advise parents/carers if children do not arrive at school as expected.
Please complete this survey by Monday evening at 6pm to help us to plan.
Miss G Greenhalgh
Questions you may have
What is the purpose of re-opening to Year 10?
The purpose is to help to supplement their online learning. This means we can see students, check how they are finding the work and what they have completed. We can give them work to physically take home with them such as worksheets. We can help to prepare them for the work that we will set over the coming weeks.
Will you be teaching them regular lessons?
No. We will not be able to cover significant content in the time that they will have in school. We will be reminding them how to use strategies to help them work independently – how to reflect, plan and evaluate their work. How they can function when they are finding something challenging or they are stuck.
Will you be giving them any pastoral care whilst in school?
Yes. In their first session we will give them an opportunity to share with us any concerns that they have about school work or anything else. We will then look through this information and work out a way to provide them with some personal support that may be a meeting in school or via telephone. We will also present an ‘assembly’ (not all together) about the challenges of the current situation and how to support their mental health and wellbeing. We will also ask for parents’ and carers’ feedback on their child before they return to school.
How will you minimise the number of children that my child will meet with?
The government have recommended that children be put into ‘bubbles’. This means that we will divide the year group into groups of 12-15 students. At all times that they are in school, they will be in the same bubble of children. This will allow us to trace who the children have been in closer contact with in school.
How close will they be to other children and teachers?
In school, everyone will be expected to follow stringent social distancing rules. Students and teachers will be instructed to remain at least 2 metres apart from each other at all times.
How will you ensure that they are socially distancing in lessons?
All classrooms have been set up to ensure that there is 2 metres between each student and the teacher. We have measured every classroom, spaced out the children so they are seated on their own table, are two metres apart and removed the extra tables. There is a line marked on the floor that the teacher must remain behind to ensure that they are two metres away from any child.
How can they socially distance in break and lunch times (unstructured time)?
We have made the decision not to have unstructured times at this stage as we believe that it is safer to avoid this. Therefore school will be opened to students for approximately 2.5 to 3 hours. We are still working on the detail but we expect that students will be in a face to face session with their teacher for this length of time -possibly 10am-12.30pm. If students attend for this time for an extended lesson, they will not require a break time all together.
This is quite a long time to concentrate with one teacher. How will you manage that?
The teacher will build into the lesson opportunities for breaks from the work where the students can stand and move on the spot and they will use activities to stimulate their brains and help re-engage them. But they will remain in the classroom for the full session.
What if my child needs the toilet?
They will be allowed to go to the toilet when they need to. A member of staff will make sure that there aren’t any other children in the toilet as the toilet blocks are not wide enough to take more than one student.
How can you social distance on the corridors or whilst waiting for the toilet?
We are only opening up B Block for the students. We have made the corridor a one way system. We have marked the floor with arrows and each arrow is two metres apart. Students will maintain that distance in much the same way as people queue at the supermarket. If more than one student wants the toilet at the same time, they will queue and use the marker to maintain distance.
How will you decide who goes in which bubble?
Each student will have at least one 2.5 hour session on English, Maths, Science and either Geography or History. All students study English, Maths and Science and most study Geography or History so these are the only subjects that we can teach in bubbles. The bubbles will be decided by the school based on their Science choice, then further filtered by their History or Geography option.
What if my child does both Geography and History?
They will be placed in one of those groups. There is no possibility of choosing which subject; this will be determined by school.
What if my child doesn’t do History or Geography?
They will be only able to have face to face lessons in English, Maths and Science.
What about the other subjects that my child studies?
We are currently looking at ways to have similar sessions in a different way for other subjects. If the lockdown restrictions are relaxed we can then review if students can come into school, out of their bubble group. If not, we are looking into other IT based options.
How will the bubble groups work?
Your child will be given a group number of 1-15. They will be timetabled in that group. Because of the sizes of the groups and numbers of the staff, as well as staffing for the other children in school, we can only bring approximately a third of the year group in at one time. Therefore it is likely that students will be in school once every three days. For example, if you are in group 1, you could be in school on Monday for English, Thursday for Maths, the following Monday for Science and Thursday for History. To run this cycle, it takes 13 school days. We are looking into whether we can also provide an additional cycle of some of these subjects.
How are you making sure children are maintaining high levels of hygiene?
There are additional outdoor hand-washing facilities for the students. All students will be expected to wash their hands on arrival. This will be monitored closely by staff. There will be alcohol based hand sanitiser in all classrooms. When students go to the toilet, we will also instruct them to wash their hands and when they return they will be instructed to use the sanitiser as this this will ensure safety if they haven’t washed their hands well enough or have forgotten.
We are also giving them a daily reminder of the expectations and risks regarding touching their faces, coughing and sneezing. They will also need to tie back long hair and not wear any nail varnish or jewellery.
How are you keeping the school clean?
By having students in for this period of time, the cleaners can thoroughly clean these areas before the children arrive and after they leave each day. We also have a cleaner on duty during the time the students are in to regularly clean door handles and the toilets. Because we are completely based in the classrooms, once they are in the room, they will hand sanitise and there is little other movement around the school site.
Will you provide equipment?
We will provide each student with their own pack containing all the equipment they need. They will retain their own pack for the rest of the term for hygiene reasons.
Can my child bring food and drink into school?
Students can bring their own drink into school in a bottle but cannot bring any food in unless there is a medical reason.
Are teachers wearing PPE?
No. Guidance from the Department for Education tells us that PPE is not required if we are maintaining stringent social distancing. However, PPE will be used by staff who need to be in close contact with students e.g. when administering first aid. We are told that face masks may stop the spread of virus so staff are allowed (but not required) to wear face masks.
Can my child wear a face mask?
Yes, if they choose to, but we do not expect all children to wear masks.
Have teachers been tested for COVID-19?
No. There is no expectation or requirement from the government to test everyone. However, everyone is now entitled to be tested if they have any symptoms.
Will the start times be staggered for students and how will you manage the movement around the site?
We are planning on using different entrances for different groups of students and there will be supervision throughout the entrance points to register students and maintain social distancing once they arrive at the gates. There will only be movement to the classroom that they will be based in for the session and then they will be supervised as they leave the site to ensure that social distancing is maintained.
Are you using temperature checking devices?
Routine testing of an individual’s temperature is not a reliable method for identifying coronavirus, so we will not be taking temperatures. We advise parents to follow the standard national advice on potential coronavirus symptoms. Please read the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance (which states that the ill person should remain in isolation for 7 days and the rest of the household in isolation for 14 days).
What if a student or member of staff shows symptoms or tests positive for Covid-19?
Below follows the guidance from the Department for Education which we will follow. We are currently speaking to Public Health England to get further advice on how carry this out.
“If anyone in an education or childcare setting becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste of smell (anosmia), they must be sent home and advised to follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance
When a child, young person or staff member develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus, they should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 7 days. Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 14 days. All staff and students who are attending an education or childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus, and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario.
Where the child, young person or staff member tests negative, they can return to their setting and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation.
Where the child, young person or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class or group within their childcare or education setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.”