Start of term - September 2020
With term starting next week, I wanted to update you on the plans we have in place for the school to ensure that we can continue with the business of learning whilst minimising the risk of infection to students, staff and our community.
We are so much looking forward to the school returning to an element of normality but it is clear that there will be significant changes to which staff and students will need to become accustomed. We are planning on the basis that everyone at Chilwell wants our arrangements to succeed. They will be strange and no doubt inconvenient, but for our community to ride the current storm it is essential that we have full compliance with what we ask.
We have seen so many changes of direction on a national basis but I am pleased that the school has been able to communicate clear plans and yet also be receptive to the concerns of students and parents. I sincerely hope that we will not have to fundamentally change our plans, but there is always that possibility. I apologise in advance if we need to, but we will always act on the basis of wanting safety and clarity for students in an environment where everyone can concentrate on doing their best to learn.
Rather than referring you back to the end of term letter, I include the information from that again, as well as some further updates:
Start of term
Tuesday 1st September - Staff training
Wednesday 2nd September - Staff training
Thursday 3rd September - Years seven, eleven, twelve and thirteen students' first day (start 8.50am)
Friday 4th September - Years seven, eleven, twelve and thirteen students only (start 8.50am)
Monday 7th September - Years eight, nine and ten students' first day. All students in school (start 8.50am)
Masks / Face coverings
You may be aware that there has been updated guidance on the use of facemasks in schools. We always want to be as clear as possible with students and parents and so from the beginning of term the following guidance will apply at Chilwell school.
We are recommending to our staff to wear transparent face shields as a minimum measure to give greater protection for our community against infection. This measure is in addition to all of the preventative measures we have already taken. This decision has been made both to offer greater protection and to ensure that as far as possible, students and staff are constantly aware of the need to act with caution and care. All of our senior leadership team will be wearing face shields in order to model our expectations.
There is no insistence at present that our staff or students wear a face shield or a face mask, though we are advising that staff do so and are providing face shields for all staff.
We are also aware that there may be some students who wish to wear a face mask at school. This is acceptable, though all face coverings should be designed as masks and not other items such as scarves, headwear or other material. The masks should also be appropriate for school and not have any inappropriate designs.
At present, neither students nor staff are instructed to wear a mask. Our approach is based upon a recommendation to our staff which we believe will ensure that all members of the school are constantly aware of the need to keep safe.
Students with an underlying health condition or who live with someone in a clinically vulnerable group
For some children and young people who are considered extremely clinically vulnerable and shielding it may not be appropriate for them to attend in school provision. It is advised that parents talk to their paediatric specialist or GP to decide on whether a child or young person should be actively removed from the shielded patient list.
Children and young people who live with someone who is clinically vulnerable or extremely clinically vulnerable can attend school as long as they adhere to the school procedures and government the social distancing guidance.
A reminder that if you have a child that falls into the extremely clinically vulnerable list can you make school aware by emailing Miss Goodhead before Wednesday 2nd September. - L.Goodhead@chilwellschool.co.uk This will allow us to undertake appropriate risk assessments.
All students in key stages three and four are expected to return to school in uniform. The exception for this will be the days when students have physical education lessons. On these days, students should attend school in their PE kit. There will be no changing facilities available. Students should also bring hand sanitiser and a tracksuit top and trousers in order to stay warm for the rest of the day. There is no need at present for students and parents to invest in football boots as the first physical education sessions will focus upon individual athletics. Please can all parents check that your child is in appropriate uniform – we want to ensure that students can concentrate upon their lessons rather than have to go home and change first.
Equipment and school bag
Students should ensure they bring equipment in a school bag every day to school. Parents should ensure that students have an appropriate bag that can carry exercise books and school equipment. Please ensure that equipment is named so that it can be returned to your child if lost.
- Glue Stick
- Colouring Pencils
- Pencil Case
- Black Pens (Biro)
- Green Pen (Biro)
- Pencil case and bag
Arrival at school
These have been shown in the following video on the website – “Arrival at school in September” It is important that students arrive on time and we can then get them into school promptly. Please ensure you have watched the video and follow the guidance. We will open the gates for students to access the site at 8.50am. Students should plan to arrive at their entrance gates up to ten minutes before the gates are open and line up ready to enter. They will be supervised and escorted on to site, with a member of staff providing hand sanitiser before students enter the building. Students should ensure they are always dressed appropriately for the weather and have a waterproof jacket in case it is raining or cold. The gates will then be closed again and students arriving at school after 8.50am will be classed as late.
Transport to school
We have received updated information from the local authority regarding bus travel – see here on our website. Students should have travel cards for travelling, masks should be worn and any student paying by cash must have the correct money as no change will be given under any circumstances
We encourage our students to cycle to school wherever possible. A number of separate cycling storage facilities will be available for students.
We are fortunate that we have a number of entry points onto the wider school site and fields. Students should plan to walk with social distancing in place. Students should be particularly careful when approaching the school and stay separate from other year groups if crossing the bridge. Once on site, student will be guided to their separate year entrances.
Parents should ensure they drop students at the far side of the car park so that they are not exiting the car near other students. This was unfortunately an issue that I have had to address with individual parents a number of times last year where there was some inconsiderate driving. Please drop and collect at the far side of the car park.
A reminder that the day pattern for the year groups is as follows:
Lunch and break food provision
Year groups will have staggered break and lunch times. We are pleased to confirm that we will be able to provide snacks in both outside areas at break time. However, this will be cash only with snacks at 50p and £1.00. Unfortunately, there will be no drinks available No change will be given under any circumstances. We are unable to provide any FSM entitlement at break time and so students with free school meals entitlement will only be able to use this at the lunch break.
Parent contact with school
We always welcome contact with parents to discuss the needs of their children, questions about provision and enquiries about progress. In the first instance please make email contact with school and we can put you in contact with the most appropriate person to help you. In some circumstances it will be appropriate to make an appointment to see a member of staff and if so we will arrange this as soon as possible in an appropriate environment. Please do not come to school without an appointment as we will not be able to see you.
Whilst we are confident that the separate entrance and exit areas mean that students will be able to arrive on site over a period of time and enter separately from other year groups, we will make what we hope is a temporary amendment to the end of the day with years eight and nine students leaving lessons at 2.50pm. The rest of the school will finish at 3.00pm. This is to ensure that the school population of students do not then end up being funnelled into the pathways that lead off the school site and over the bridge. We will keep this arrangement under review and determine whether our arrangements can be amended whilst ensuring that our students remain socially distanced as they leave the site.