Spring Term Arrangements from 4th January
On the afternoon of 30th December the Education Secretary announced a revised plan for the staggered return to school for the Spring Term.
This was in recognition of the rising rates of Covid-19 infections and to allow schools to focus on establishing a fully operational testing facility in the first week of January. Sadly, this new guidance dictates changes to our original plans.
Our new plan for the return to school is now as follows:
Week beginning Monday 4th January
Year 11, 12 and Year 13
ull online, remote education via MS Teams at home from Monday 4th January starting at 11.15am (Period 3).
Normal timetabled lessons and timings will run online for the remainder of the week.
Tutor Time will resume online from Tuesday 5th January onwards. All students are expected to attend their usual, timetabled lessons online and a register will be taken during each lesson.
BTEC exams that are due to run on Thursday 7th and Friday 8h January will go ahead. More details will be sent out early next week regarding these examinations.
Key Workers & invited Students
On site provision from Monday 4th January.
Students should arrive to school at 11am and make their way to the main reception.
Students will be dismissed at the end of Period 5 (2.15pm).
From Tuesday 5th January students should arrive at 8.45am. Students will remain in their bubbles and use their regular social spaces.
Please note that there will be no canteen facilities during the first week so students should arrive with a packed lunch.
We will only be admitting key worker and invited students on site during this week. A reminder: if you are a key worker and you wish your daughter to attend school during this week (and you have not done so already) you must email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can plan accordingly.
Please note that if your daughter can stay at home, then we recommend that they do so. If you are unsure about whether your daughter falls into one of these categories, please contact us on this email address for confirmation.
Years 7, 8, 9 and 10
work will be set from Period 3 onwards on Monday 4th January via Show My Homework. Students must check their email and calendar regularly as there will be some online MS Teams lessons arranged from Wednesday 5th January, in addition to the work set on Show My Homework. These MS Teams lessons will be based around their usual timetable. There will be no tutor time activities during this week.
More guidance on remote learning will follow in due course but there remains an expectation that all students will complete their work and attend their online MS Teams lessons when expected to. The initial communication from the Education Secretary and subsequently the media may have given a sense of maligned hope that there was no school for some students! However, I assure you this is not the case! We were not able to offer such a comprehensive online curriculum previously due to a lack of resources however we have worked incredibly hard to ensure that learning can now continue, regardless of the circumstance. Therefore, it is important that every student engages with these expectations and their lessons for the maximum benefit of everyone. If you do have any problems with IT access, or any further questions about this provision please contact your daughter’s Head of Year in the first instance. Click here for contact details.
More information will be sent about the subsequent weeks in due course but for now the headlines are currently:
Week beginning Monday 11th January
- Year 11 and Year 13 – return to school.
- Key workers and invited students – continued on-site provision as above.
- Years 7,8,9,10 & 12 – full online MS Teams remote education at home.
Week beginning Monday 18th January
- All year groups return to school.
Free School Meals
For those in receipt of Free School Meals we will continue to issue vouchers via Wonde this week. A separate letter will be sent out to all parents that this impacts on. Please note that if your daughter is an ‘invited student’ they must bring a packed lunch to school each day during the first week as there will be no canteen facilities.
Mass testing programme
One of the key reasons for the Government’s plan for a staggered start to this term is to give schools time to put in place a programme to carry out tests for those without coronavirus symptoms using the quicker COVID-19 tests known as ‘lateral flow tests’. Setting up this programme in schools is an incredibly complex operation and we will begin doing this from Monday 4th January with the intention that we can begin testing from Monday 11th January. Please note that testing is entirely voluntary, and we will require consent, however we would encourage all students to take part. I will send out a separate communication next week providing more details on this including how we will obtain consent and how the tests will be administered.
Our initial planning, using the government guidance, indicates that we will require 16 additional members of staff to be able to carry out these tests. Given the limited timeframe within which we are working, this as you can imagine is going to prove to be a major challenge.
Therefore, we are looking for expressions of interest from any parents/carers or any of their friends or relatives who would be interested in becoming employed by the school for the purposes of helping to carry out the testing programme. The roles we are mainly looking for people to perform are:
- Processor - Prepares test sample for analysis, conducts processing of LFD and interprets result. Provides results to Results Recorder. Ensures cleaning of processing bays.
- Tester - Provides guidance and supervision to subjects on swabbing as requested. Collects completed swabs and pass them to the Processor. Ensures cleaning of swabbing bays.
- Registration Assistant - Responsible for ensuring subjects have registered and distributing test kits on arrival. Ensures orderly entry of subjects onto the testing site.
Further details can be found in the testing handbook for schools and colleges, which can be accessed using the following link: Schools & Colleges handbook (publishing.service.gov.uk)
If you are interested in any of these positions, please contact my PA, Mrs WIllard, using the email email@example.com for further details.
Finally, there are still further updates and information that I will need to share with you in the coming weeks and days, but I hope this will give you for now some clarity around our return to education next week. I share your concerns about the untimely receipt of this information, having only received it myself at 4 o’clock on 30th December. Despite this, we will continue to fulfil our role during this pandemic, as is now customary for us, with the safety of our staff and students and the continuation of a high quality education remaining at the very forefront of all our planning.
Please continue to follow the Tier 4 guidance and I wish you all a Happy New Year for 2021.