Update letter for parents
21 May 2020
As I am sure you will be aware, the Department for Education released guidance last week on schools reopening, in a phased way, for some students in June. This guidance states that: “For pupils in Year 10 and 12, we are asking schools and colleges to supplement remote education with some face to face support for these year groups from 1st June”. The government have also released some information pertaining to this for parents and carers; for more information, please visit:
You will appreciate that this guidance raises many questions for us as a staff team about how we might approach any limited or phased return for our students and staff safely. There are many options and implications that we need to consider and consult upon. This week, I have asked all form tutors of Year 10 students to call home and consult parents on the reopening of school. The feedback we have received is helping inform our future plans, along with feedback from our staff team.
In the short term, there will be no immediate changes to our online learning provision and remote support systems. I am really proud of the way our whole school community has adapted to Microsoft Teams. As a school, we have looked to maximise the technical capability we have to ensure that the curriculum continues as positively as possible for our students. We have also been delivering home learning packs, revision guides and computing equipment for those who need it most.
I would also like to reassure you that, whilst we want to do everything we can to get our students back into education and support you as parents/carers to return to work, the health and safety of our students, staff and families will always be our first and main priority. We are working extremely hard to find a balance that is effective, inclusive and safe for everyone. We are conscious that not all families have access to sufficient IT provision at home and that Year 10 will be sitting their GCSEs in 12 months’ time.
As such, we have taken the decision to reopen school on Tuesday 2nd June 2020 for Year 10 students only, taking Monday 1st June 2020 as a staff training and preparation day. Throughout the first week of reopening, we will begin with a phased approach, with one session per day for students with staggered starting times (tbc). They will be taught in ‘bubbles’ of no more than 15 students, with one member of staff. From week commencing 8th June, we will potentially increase that offer to two sessions per day. I must stress that this will not be ‘school as normal’, there will be strict rules in place regarding the movement around the building and clear structure regarding regular hand sanitisation and toilet breaks. More specific details regarding the reopening will follow next week, pending further Department for Education guidelines. As such, our current plans are very much subject to change.
However at this point I must stress that parents must indicate in advance whether they intend to send their child to school. Please could all parents of Year 10 students send a short email to firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm if you intend to send your child to school from 2 June 2020. If a student does not attend school on the first day of the school week, they will not be able to attend school until the start of the following week, in order to maintain continuity of class ‘bubbles’. This is Department for Education guidance.
I am grateful for your patience and support, as always, as we figure out the best way to move forward in the coming months. I hope you and your families are all keeping safe and well.