It is our intention to provide regular updates to our parents/carers and we hope this will give you a good understanding of what your child is experiencing at Kingsway Park High School. This letter is long and contains lots of important information; however, you will be pleased to know that future communication should be much shorter.
We must begin by thanking you for your support and for preparing your sons and daughters for their return to school. Students have arrived eager to learn, fully equipped, and the uniform is looking great. Any questions about uniform will be answered here. A key priority is to keep our website up-to-date so that it is the first place parents/carers look for information. Please do continue to check the website if you have any questions and remember the orange button to translate most pages.
Attendance to school is paramount in keeping our students safe, happy, and healthy and, of course, students with great attendance make great progress. However, this is a good opportunity to remind parents/carers not to send your child into school if they have the following symptoms:
> A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
> A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
> A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything; or things smell or taste different to normal.
It is very important that all parents/carers follow the advice from our website if you have any questions: https://kingswaypark.org/additional/letters-covid-19-advice-for-parents/
We have had 4 students who have tested positive Covid-19. We have put clear systems in place around the building and as such, we are able to identify close contacts. A close contact is defined as someone who has been within two metres of the confirmed case for more than 15 minutes; or within one metre for one minute; or has had a face-to-face conversation within one metre. A summary of our cases is:
> Two cases of students who have not been in school.
> One case during week commencing 07/09/2020 resulting in a small group of year 7 students having to isolate at home.
> One case during WC 21/09/2020 resulting result in a group of year 8 students having to isolate at home. These students return to school 02/10/2020.
We expect students who are fit and well to continue with their studies when isolating due to illness within the family home or because they have been identified as a contact. Please follow the website popup to go to the resources for your child’s year group.
Students are advised to check their school email regularly for guidance from specific teachers and to ask teachers for support.
Some students may need to order work packs should they not have the ICT facilities at home. Please order work packs on the home learning websites or contact their year manager for support.
Masks: We expect all students (unless medically exempt) to wear a mask over their mouth and nose when they are on the corridors or queuing for food. We also support students and staff who chose to wear their mask in the classroom. Students and staff have quickly got used to this expectation, but we do occasionally need to remind students to check their mask is covering their nose. We ask parents/carers to ensure their child has a clean robust mask every day. We will provide a replacement mask in an emergency but are very conscious that this is becoming very expensive for the school.
Hand Sanitiser: We expect students to sanitise their hands as soon as they enter school and as they go into each classroom. If possible, please provide your child with their own pocket-sized sanitiser (a minimum 60% alcohol content) to help speed up this process.
Classrooms: Teachers use an anti-viral spray to clean all desks and chairs at the end of every lesson and students take responsibility for drying their desk with a paper towel as they begin each lesson. This system is now working very well as students become familiar with this new routine.
Equipment: Students must have their own equipment each day to minimise contact and to keep everyone safe. Please check your child has packed their bag each evening with the minimum equipment:
> Reading book
> Scientific calculator
Clear pencil case
> Black pens
> Green pens
> Glue stick
> Colouring pencils
Minimising Contact: We have organised the school day so that students from different year groups do not mix. Students are getting much better at walking in single file on the left using the floor markers and we find that this helps everyone maintain a safe distance around school. In classrooms, students are sat in rows facing forward to minimise contact and prevent face-to-face conversations. In practical lessons, teachers have carefully planned activities to minimise sharing of equipment and any resources are thoroughly sanitised and/or quarantined before being used by other classes.
ParentPay: Our new online payment system is working very well and we can see lots of benefits such as parents/carers being able to see how much money is being spent at break and lunch; students are no longer carrying cash to school; and students are able to buy school resources at subsidised prices. Please can parents/carers ensure that their child’s ParentPay account is set up and topped up with enough money each week.
Lunchtime: We are rightly very proud of our lunchtime provision and stand by our decision to provide hot freshly prepared meals every day. We have staggered break and lunch so that each year group remains separate and bubbles do not mix. Students have quickly got used to their new lunch time (the timings can be found on the year group information area of the website and we are very pleased with the way they are keeping a safe distance whilst queuing and for keeping to the safe seating rules in the restaurant and hall. We want to thank the students who have shown respect for our decision to allow them to eat some meals in the yard by ensuring their litter is placed in a bin. This week, we have trialled a new zone in the yard so students can socialise in the small groups away from lessons in the main building and we have been delighted by the students’ meeting this expectation; this means that noise from the yard is no longer travelling into classrooms.
Arrivals and exits: We have been impressed by most students arriving to school at the correct time which significantly reduces congestion in front of school and minimises year groups mixing; however, a small number of students are still arriving far too early and need to plan their arrival time better. If your son or daughter cannot avoid arriving early (e.g. bus times or drop off) please contact their year manager who will try to help. Students are now in good habits of lining up in their year group bubbles, sanitising their hands, and putting on a mask when invited into school and this is helping to create a calm and orderly start to each day.
The end of the day is also much improved. We want to thank parents/carers for wearing their mask and keeping a safe distance from the gates as they collect younger students. We have also noticed that parents/carers are being much more mindful about parking this year and this is greatly appreciated. The council traffic officer does pass by school most days with a camera picking up illegal or dangerous parking e.g. on double yellow lines, grass verges, or in the bus stop and we are pleased to note there has been a significant reduction in our parents/carers receiving fines from Rochdale council.
Unfortunately, we did have a serious accident at the start of term in which a student was hit by a passing car. We do not allow students to cross the road at the bus stop or between parked cars and we ask parents/carers to support us by discussing road safety with their children.
Emergency Closure: In exceptional circumstances schools do have to close. This might be due to health & safety, extreme weather, or Covid-19. All students will bring home a pre-consent form which we ask you to complete and return to school the next day. This information will help us to speed up the communication process as well as making it clear if there are any students who will have difficulty going home safely.
Contact Information: Although we understand that it is very easy and convenient to change mobile phone numbers these days, we do ask that you inform school as soon as you change any of your contact details so that we can contact you immediately should we need to. The school phone number is 01706 716761 and we ask you to save this number in your phone and answer any calls from school. We are also developing our system of sending text messages to parents/carers; therefore, it is imperative that we have the correct mobile number so that you receive all messages.
Holidays: We do not encourage taking holidays during term time; however, if you have exceptional circumstances you should contact school to complete a form to gain consent. If the destination is where quarantine is needed, you should inform the school and your child should complete the period of quarantine before returning to school.
“Due to severe issues with the national COVID-19 test booking system, which are beyond the council’s control, the government has asked us to close our booking helpline, which we had set up to help our residents get tested more easily.
You must now visit nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119 to book a test.
People cannot just turn up and they must have symptoms to be tested.
If a pupil, student or staff member develops one or more of the main coronavirus symptoms, only they should be tested. There is no need for their households to have a test, unless they are also symptomatic.”
Thank you for spending the time to read all these updates. We really do value our partnership with parents/carers and we want to establish clear and regular channels of communication with you.
Mr I. Carey Mr C. Kolbuck
Acting Joint Headteacher Acting Joint Headteacher