Headteachers Letter Regarding September 2020 Return to School – 17.7.2020
Dear Parent/ Carer,
Re: Message about September
From reading student and parent/ carer surveys, as well as meeting with students in their one-to-one sessions and engaging with students remotely during lockdown, staff at Longhill High School understand returning to school will involve a period of adjustment. We also understand that for some, this return will be welcome and for others it will be more challenging. The first step in this adjustment is to relay clear messages about how we will be running the school to maximise safety and to re-establish familiar routines to support learning.
The DfE has outlined how schools can open safely and offer a broad curriculum with specialist teaching. In their document, the government explain that “The risk to children themselves of becoming severely ill from coronavirus (COVID-19) is very low” and that in creating year group bubbles, students no longer have to be 2 metres apart from students within their bubble, they do, however, need to socially distance from other year group bubbles as well as all staff. The government guidance for adults in school differs as they need to “where possible socially distance” from one another and from students (DfE, July 2020). We therefore, share this guidance with you below.
Your child’s attendance at school is crucial as “Returning to school is vital for children’s education and for their wellbeing. Time out of school is detrimental for children’s cognitive and academic development […] This impact can affect both current levels of learning and children’s future ability to learn, and therefore we need to ensure all pupils can return to school sooner rather than later.” (DfE, July 2020).
The First Day Back
- To support students with their return, on the first day back, your child will be with their mentor group for their two hours. In this session your child’s mentor will discuss these changes and the reasons why as well as answering any questions. The new mentor rooms are at the end of this section.
- Year 7’s first day is Friday 4th September 2020.
- Year 8-11’s first day is Monday 7th September 2020.
- Students need to wear school uniform as our high expectations of school uniform still apply.
- Note that students will not be permitted on the school site until 8.15 a.m. (we are in communication with the bus company to support this)
- The day (and every school day thereafter) starts at 8.20 a.m. and ends at 2.45p.m. Students are to use their year group assigned entrance and exit (these assigned entrances and exits are explained later on).
- Where possible, students should walk or cycle to school, however if they are using public transport, they must adhere to the most recent government guidance and the bus company’s guidance, one current rule is to wear a face mask.
- There will be a procedure in place that students must follow for removing any face masks; if students use reusable face masks they need to bring in a plastic bag to place this reusable face mask in once they have taken it off.
- Students and families have a responsibility to maintain the integrity of these bubbles by not arriving to school before 8.15am.
Designated Areas for Year Group ‘Bubbles’
To maintain the integrity of year group bubbles, each year group has its own entrance, exit and designated classrooms, students must stay in their assigned area or ‘zone’:
Year 7 – first floor of A block (entrance through the vehicle gate and the external doors by student services).
Year 8 – third floor of A block (entrance through the vehicle gate and the external doors by the staff room).
Year 9 – T block (entrance through the vehicle gate and in the fire exit by reception, up the stairs and into T block).
Year 10 – first floor of B block (entrance through the large gates at the end of the patio, up the middle stairwell to third floor B block).
Year 11 – second floor of B block (entrance through small gate at the end of the patio and into B block via North stairwell).
All external doors used for bubbles will be clearly signposted.
Students’ Timetable and The Curriculum
- Student’s timetables will be on the school portal on Monday 31st August.
For further information about the school curriculum and how we plan students to catch-up on missed learning see the school website for the ‘Recovery Curriculum & Continued Curriculum’ which is an ongoing document which outlines our strategies and the rationale behind these.
Breaks and Lunches for Students
- To sustain the safety of year group bubbles, there will be designated eating spaces and staggered access to a canteen for each year group.
Health & Safety Measures in Light of COVID-19.
Parents/ carers of children must remind their child of the government rules around keeping safe and that they apply in and out of the school building. The rules are below:
- physical distance of 2 metres kept between your child and any member of staff
- no breaking of the year group bubble (students must stick to their designated year group zones)
- frequent washing of hands using soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds
- students must not touch their face
- if students cough, they must use their elbow or a tissue
- if a tissue is used once it must be placed in a lidded bin (as directed by the teacher)
- students must sit in the seating plan designed by the teacher and stay seated in the classroom unless otherwise directed by a member of staff
- it is students’ responsibility to tidy their work space in the classroom before they leave and the same applies to their eating spaces at breaks and lunches.
- the school’s water fountains are closed in adherence with Health & Safety, therefore students need to bring in enough water to last the entire day
- students should not bring an unnecessary items to school
- students must keep to the left when moving along corridors within the bubbles and move in single file
- students must not stand in corridors; they need to move “swiftly” and sensibly, so they do not create “busy corridors”.
Note that equipment shared within bubbles will be regularly cleaned/ disinfected by the school and that if different year group bubbles share equipment, this will be meticulously cleaned/ disinfected in between bubbles. Hand sanitiser will also be in every classroom and teachers will direct the use of this.
Sanction and Reward System
- Note that in the ‘Warn, Move, and Remove’ system, a ‘Move’ may no longer mean a physical move in the classroom.
- Students will be regularly reminded of the Health & Safety rules and the serious consequences of breaking these, if these are therefore breached, they will be at risk of a severe sanction and if in the classroom, they will be removed.
- The reward system will continue as normal.
- Every student is expected to attend school unless they are unwell.
- Parents/carers of children must closely monitor children for signs of Covid-19 symptoms in line with PHE, NHS, Government & DfE guidelines (e.g. unwell with a new or continuous cough, high temperature, loss of taste or smell) and if they show any signs they must not attend school.
- Parents/ carers of children must not allow their child (ren) to attend school if a household member shows signs of Covid-19.
- The current advice from the government is that: Symptomatic children to self-isolate for 7 days and the members of their household for 14 days. Parents/ carers need to obtain a test for their child and any other symptomatic household members (within age limitations). If negative, the child can return to school once well and family members can stop self-isolating (follow the guidance on testing on the NHS testing web page).
- A student must not attend school with an uncovered cut or graze – it must be covered with a plaster. If they do attend, they will be asked to administer their own plasters/dressing or clean the injury themselves by being given the correct wipes from the first aid kit.
Illness during the school day
- Students who say they are ill or show Covid-19 symptoms will be sent to the medical room where they will be assessed and then sent home.
- Before sending home we will contact parents/ carers to inform you that we are sending your child home so please ensure you are available to answer, or the emergency contact person is available.
- Ideally, you should be able to come and collect them as soon as possible, or if we have your permission, we will send them home.
- In the event of a fire evacuation then students and staff will follow the green arrows as normal.
- The classes will line up at the front of the school on the school field as normal.
- On the school field, social distancing should be maintained between staff and students and students will line up as normal in mentor groups.
Lastly, I would like to thank you for supporting your child with their home learning. I would also like to add that I hope this letter answers most of the questions you have about September. If any questions are not answered, please email school with your enquiry before we break-up, or on Tuesday 1st September onwards.
I look forward to welcoming back all students in September, and for our new year 7s, I look forward to meeting you all.
HeadteacherReturn to previous page