11th December 2020
Dear Parent / Carer,
We have almost reached the end of a very long and very complicated term – thank you all for your incredible support, patience and resilience in these months, it is appreciated by all the staff here. However – it is nearly the end of term and I want to reassure that there is no change to our term dates, despite what has been reported in the media!
End of Term: On Friday 18th December we will be holding our Christmas Jumper Day, where students can come in wearing a Christmas Jumper with their uniform (ie under blazer etc). We are going to finish early however – students in all years will be released on a stagger from 12o’clock, so you can expect them home a little bit earlier than normal, but we will try to tire them out for you first!
During the holidays: If your child tests positive for covid during the period until 24th December please email email@example.com with their name, year group, the last date they were in school, the date of the positive test and the date any symptoms started. This is so that we can apply our usual contact tracing for this period.
Returning in January: As you know I have been trying to find ways to reduce the size of our bubbles so that any single positive case doesn’t result in as many young people being asked to isolate. I have managed to redesign the timetable so that KS3 students can be limited to one bubble of around 30 students (plus social contacts) and KS4 students will be in a bubble of 30 for half their lessons, which will mean they can still access their full timetable. It means that students in all year groups should in theory be less likely to need to isolate. However, applying this model means changing several things about our day – and I need to brief the students very carefully on that as they will need to know the new expectations in order to return safely to the new system.
Therefore, after discussing things with the Local Authority, I am going to stagger the start of term in January. This means that:
Y11, Y7 and Y8 will return on Jan 4th – at specific times (see below) for their Health and Safety Induction session with me and others on the senior team, to receive their new bubble timetables and to understand the new expectations.
Y10 and Y9 will return on Jan 5th – at specific times, for their Health and Safety Induction sessions. After they have had this session, they can then follow their new timetable. It is essential that they attend at the right time for their induction session.
For the specific times that your child will return, please see the table below:
The students will use the same doors they have used so far when they arrive at school, and we will give them some instructions about what to expect before the end of term next week.
From January we will also be able to use the PE changing rooms again as we have access to some more efficient cleaning resources and sanitising options, so students will no longer be allowed to come to school in their PE Kit and will need to be in uniform as normal. They can still wear a plain navy blue jumper or hoodie over their shirt and tie but under their blazer while the weather is cold and the windows are open. Please be aware though that the students have allowed this to slip a little this term – and we understand that it is cold, term is nearly over etc – but from January this needs to be better – no labels, slogans etc, just plain navy blue. There will be no need for trainers either, as they will be in uniform and can wear school shoes properly once again, just bringing kit and trainers for PE as normal.
Finally from me, I want to say how incredibly welcoming the students have been of me this half term – as they have got more used to me being around they have been chatting to me and sharing some of their stories, and I have to say they are a joy. I know that this year is – and continues to be – very unusual, but through that there have been some amazing moments so far and there will be more. Keep safe, follow the guidelines, and as ever, get in touch if there is anything we can do for you.