Start of term - 4th January update
I wrote to you last on 30th December with information on how this term would start. All of the information in that message is still in place and we have made no changes in our guidance, so please refer again to that message.
At present I still can not confirm the date of return of all students to the school site, apart from those who are in the key worker / vulnerable groups. Whilst we have planned for a staged return for all other students, events over the weekend and ongoing may mean that the planned return of students can not yet be guaranteed. Please be assured that I will confirm this as soon as I can. The published return by the Department for Education is the 11th January, but the need to keep transmission of the virus low; the safety of students, staff and our community; testing arrangements and the availability of staffing will all be issues I will need to consider before we reach that point. I will make a decision regarding this over the next week.
On line learning
In the meantime, our planned on line learning will start from tomorrow (5th January) and students need to be ready to attend their timetabled lessons (it is week two) on time and with the resources from Google Classroom in front of them. It is essential that students get into a regular habit of being on time, logged on and ready for learning. Our staff are all ready to ensure that students have plenty of learning in front of them and are supporting them with advice and explanation.
Tutor group contact
Contact will be made by staff through phone calls or through registration time contact. We want to to ensure that all students are supported and ready for learning. In order to help us, please email your child's tutor as soon as you have a question or concern - please do not wait for the call or other contact. This will help us find the appropriate solution and use our time as effectively as possible.
We are working very quickly to get our mass testing arrangements in place. This will mean that we can offer all students a two stage test before they return to on site provision. This process will obviously take place before we are open for on site learning and we are in the process of asking for consent forms to be completed as soon as possible. Our intention is that this programme will start to roll out before the end of this week.
Free School Meal Vouchers
For students in receipt of free school meals, vouchers have been issued today for a two week period. At present, we do not have catering facilities open on site and so students who are coming in to school must bring a packed lunch.
Next week we have a small number of students taking examinations. We plan that these will take place as normal. Students will be contacted by our examinations office before the end of this week to confirm all arrangements.
I want to emphasise again the change in our on site provision expectations. All staff, students and contractors are expected to be wearing masks at all times, in corridors, social areas and now in classrooms. Where there are exemptions, we will make the necessary adjustments to support the reduction in transmission.
Calendar changes - Year eleven
Our parents evening was originally planned for 14th January. I can not guarantee that all the current uncertainties will be resolved by that date and so have made the decision to move the date to the 4th February. This means that students and their parents will still be able to receive updates from subject staff, but in a climate where there will be more clarity about what still needs to be done, assessment arrangements for the summer and what students need to do.
I am so grateful for the ongoing support that you have given us and we will continue to do everything to ensure that our plans are communicated clearly, openly and in good time to you.
Thank you again.