I hope you and your family are safe, well and have had a good Christmas break. As I am sure you will appreciate, yesterday’s announcement from the government to “extend the phased return to face-to-face education for secondary-age pupils”, once again has come late in the day and left my senior team and me with a lot to digest, as well as huge logistical challenges to work through.
As always I wanted to be transparent and communicate with you as quickly as possible, however much of the exact details regarding what your child’s provision will look like over the coming weeks will not be finalised until we return to school for our INSET day on Tuesday 5 January. The government’s plan is for us to administer asymptomatic testing to all students during the week commencing 11 January, with vulnerable students and students in Years 11 and 13 being prioritised. We are still working through the logistics of this and will be in touch next week to clarify that position.
So that you have as clear a picture as possible, the blueprint for the ‘phased return’ will be as follows:-
Week commencing 4 January
- Only “vulnerable children” and “children of critical workers” will be allowed on the school site. There will be classroom supervision for these students as there was throughout the initial lockdown period, but the provision for these students will be the same as other students in their year group, detailed below.
- Year 11 and Year 13 students will receive online ‘live’ teaching from Wednesday 6 January (our advertised first day of the school term), via Google Meets, in accordance with their structured timetable.
- Years 7-10 and Year 12 pupils will receive set work via Google Classroom to complete independently and staff will periodically be monitoring the Google Classrooms.
Week commencing 11 January
- “Vulnerable children” and “children of critical workers” will continue to be allowed on the school site.
- Year 11 and Year 13 students will be on site full time and receive face-to-face teaching.
- Years 7-10 and Year 12 provision will be finalised as soon as possible but will be in accordance with resources available and the priority of ‘setting up and administering testing’.
At present these will go ahead and we will be in touch on Tuesday 5 January with full details of how we will administer these. Please ensure that all students who this affects are revising and are ready for these next week.
I must stress that the government’s plans for this ‘phased return’ is to allow schools more time to focus on preparations for additional coronavirus (COVID-19) mass testing and provide a longer period following Christmas to reduce mixing, ahead of a return to full-time, on-site education for all. Therefore, we really need to try and limit the amount of children on site in the first week to ensure that our staff can focus on the various new challenges we have been presented with.
If you feel as though your child qualifies as being “vulnerable” or you feel you need support as a “critical worker” please contact your child’s Achievement Leader/Assistant Achievement Leader on, but not before, Tuesday 5 January. As always we will do everything we can to support families and the community.
I fully appreciate that the timing of these decisions is far from ideal, however I want to stress that we only received this information at the same time as it was shared with the rest of the nation at 16.30 yesterday.
I will endeavour to communicate clearly and in a timely manner with you all next week, but for now I want to wish you a happy and healthy new year and all the best for 2021.
Mr S Huntington