Well, we have made it to the end of term. What a rollercoaster.
I want to thank you all for your flexibility, resilience and support during this strange time. It certainly wasn’t something we ever imagined at the start of the year.
I also wanted to let you know just how much we have missed the students and cannot wait to have them back in the building with us again. Our school is not a school without them in it. We have missed the noise, the chaos, the laughter, the challenges. We very much look forward to bringing them back together with friends and staff when we return.
We have really enjoyed the face to face sessions over the past few weeks. Our students have found them to be massively beneficial and actually enjoyable too. We see how much our students benefit from being in school with their teachers and are really looking forward to getting back to it in September.
To help you all to relax over the summer, I wanted to give you a very quick overview of our plans for September:
- Different year groups will start back in September on different days so we can safely introduce them to the building and routines. (We will write to you with confirmed days by year group)
- We have introduced staggered start and end times to reduce the amount of movement in and around the building. (We will write to you with confirmed times by year group)
- We have zoned the building so students will have a designated group of classrooms and toilets.
- We have staggered lunch times and break times so students will remain with their year group.
- We have reworked the timetable so students will have double length lessons rather than singles which will reduce movement and disruption.
- Our teaching teams will move between classrooms allowing students to remain in their designated classroom for the day.
- We have introduced a half day on Fridays to allow for a deep clean of the building each week.
- We have increased our cleaning rotas to ensure an even greater commitment to hygiene during the school day.
We have worked exceptionally hard to make plans that feel safe and reflect the guidelines for September. We have done this in school as we know our students and our building better than anyone else. We have used the last few weeks of the summer term to test out these plans with a smaller cohort, so we now feel confident that we have adjusted to the ‘new normal.’ Our school generated plans have been confirmed by the Trust Board and our local Governing Body. We are in the lucky position that many of our governors work in the science and healthcare sectors locally so their advice has been thoughtful and practical, and most importantly based on an understanding of the evidence.
Our plans also reflect the education and welfare needs of our young people. We have revised our plans to reflect the different experiences our young people have had during this time. Many of our young people have expressed just how much they have actually missed being in school and the need to get back to their learning. We are confident that we can help your child to settle back into the school routine quickly and get stuck into their learning.
We will confirm the specific days and times of day for staggered starts and finish of the day to you by letter over the summer.
We do however also recognise that the situation changes rapidly, and we are continuing to evolve to reflect new best practice standards. But please do be reassured that our planning for the return to school also recognises the potential need for increased social distancing or a continued programme of online learning, and we are ready to continue with both as back up.
If you have any worries, concerns, or questions about how things might work best for your child specifically, please do send us an email and we will be happy to talk more.
We hope you have time to take a break and recharge over the summer and very much look forward to getting back on track in September.
Jill Davies, Principal.