Letter to Parents/Carers (07/07/2020)
Dear parents, carers, and guardians,
As we head towards the end of an unprecedented academic year, I would like to thank you for all of your support over these 100+ days of lockdown and share with you our return plans for September. We will be in touch with you towards the end of the summer via MCAS and/or email with the finer details and our return plans will also be published on our website once finalised. We are very proud that we have been able to support critical key workers throughout the lockdown period, keeping the school open, even in some of the holidays, and we are now beginning to look forward to the summer break. Whilst optional online work will be available over the holidays, the summer break is a chance for students and staff to recharge batteries and prepare for the challenges that the autumn term will bring.
We are very much looking forward to welcoming students back to Havelock and will be operating a very positive and safe culture, following the guidance provided by the government. Behaviour expectations must be adhered to for everyone’s safety and students will be reminded of these expectations on their return. There are no excuses or exceptions for poor behaviour or disruption to the safety measures we have put in place. These are for everyone, staff and students, so it is imperative they are followed. We thank you in advance for discussing these expectations with your child and supporting us in this new way of working.
The full guidance from the government can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools
What is clear from this guidance is the expectation that schools will be open to all of our students from the beginning of September, as the guidance says, ‘all pupils, in all year groups, will return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term.’ We have to be aware that the academy cannot be exactly the same as it was before. We are going to have to limit opportunities for students to mix with each other and avoid mass gatherings. Assemblies may well not take place for a long time inside and we have also taken the decision not to run any after school Enrichment sessions for the first half term. Sports clubs and practises may still take place depending on Government guidance when we return (at the moment it prohibits any contact sports), but the Enrichment sessions will cease. We will focus our efforts after school on providing tutoring and intervention to support students who we have identified through lockdown as needing extra support, across all year groups.
The anxiety that some staff, students and families will feel about a full reopening in September is also a concern. In the guidance produced last week, the Government explicitly says that there is ‘recognition that children cannot socially distance from staff or from each other’. We will have some classes with up to 32 students in them, so strict adherence to our safety and behaviour expectations must be in place for everyone. We will be operating in ‘bubbles’ made up of year groups, in order to limit the contact that students have with different groups throughout the day, as far as is possible within the grounds and the building. We will focus on adjustments to our existing systems, with students sitting in rows where possible, maximising ventilation in classrooms, and a strong focus on good hygiene arrangements, including extra cleaning and reinforcing hand washing and regular use of sanitiser.
We have implemented a number of strategies which I would like you to pay particular attention to and share with your child so they are fully aware of what to expect on return.
- Staggered start and finish times – each year group will be given a specific start and finish time and location to allow all students to safely enter the building. Students will be directed along separate paths on the plaza and separate areas for line up when they arrive on site. Students must adhere to those times and not arrive before or after to ensure safety for everyone. Please be assured that there will be a high staff presence on their arrival and clear signs directing students.
- Lunch arrangements – lunchtimes will also be staggered to reduce the number of students in central areas. Students will be dining in year groups and designated areas will be available for them. Students may bring a packed lunch or purchase food in school but be aware that food serveries will be limited (e.g., no salad bar or tuck shop at break). We also strongly encourage meals to be paid for using Parent Pay to avoid excess queuing at the thumb scanner machines and additional cleaning.
- Parent Pay - there will be very limited access to the biometric Thumb Scanners in school for students to add money to their school meal account from September. Students will only be able to access the scanners under supervision on their set day, after the academy day finishes to allow staff to sanitize the sensor after each student touches the sensor. A preferred and alternative way of adding funds to your child's account is by logging on to your Parent Pay account and adding funds to your child's account using a credit or debit card. Please visit parentpay.com to log into your account. If you have forgotten your log in details, you can reset them on the ParentPay website. Please note that the staff who serve the lunches are not permitted to accept money from students. For our new Year 7 group and anyone joining us for the first time in September, you will receive a separate letter about Parent Pay as soon as accounts have been set up for you.
- Uniform – students should be in full Academy uniform. We take pride in the appearance of our students and this remains a priority for us during this time. This includes Academy bags, black, polishable shoes and our Academy blazer. Students will be encouraged to go outside, weather permitting, at breaks and lunchtimes as we know this is the safest place for them so they may choose to wear a coat and we strongly encourage this.
- Equipment – students must bring their own equipment, including pen, pencil, rule, protractor (but no compass), calculator and crayons. For safety reasons, we are unable to lend students pens or any other equipment to avoid contamination. We recommend that equipment is cleaned each evening. Equipment can be purchased from Student Services at break and lunchtime, as well as after school. We will publish a full equipment list and price list for Student Services before the end of the summer holidays, as soon as we have the most up to date prices. Please note that a scientific calculator and a small pack of pencil crayons is being added to the equipment expectations list. Both will be available to be purchased from Student Services.
- Attendance – students should attend every day and arrive on time. Lateness and nonattendance will not be tolerated and we will continue to follow strict measures to ensure high levels of attendance for all students. We will work with families to support. Please take steps to ensure your child is prepared for their return over the summer period. We understand they may struggle to adapt to this following such a long time at home. Thank you in advance for your support with this and please do not hesitate in getting in touch if you require further support from us.
- GCSE & A Level Results Days – in August we will be issuing results to year 11 and year 13 students. We will be inviting students into the academy in groups to avoid large gathering at any one time. We understand this may be difficult for some students and not the celebration they may have hoped for but we must ensure safety of all people in the building. We will be in touch with those year groups separately to share our plans in more detail nearer the time.
We are aware that there will be a period of readjustment in September, but we are confident that we can work together to make this a smooth transition for students. There will be a strong focus on high quality teaching and learning to support our students, backed up by outstanding pastoral support and our culture of high expectations and respect.
In order to continue in their routine of home learning over the summer holiday, we will be providing students with ample work to keep them engaged, with online activities available, but as already stated, it is important that all students take some time off over the holidays for a well deserved break.
Our weekly welfare calls will cease as we break up for the summer holidays but please do get in touch via the firstname.lastname@example.org email if you need any support or have any questions. Please also visit our website, which contains the most up to date information we have available at any time. Our staff have thoroughly enjoyed speaking to each and every one of you during this unusual time and I know all of you have really appreciated it. We are looking forward to continuing to build our relationship with you as parents and first educators of our students. Thank you for your support.
Ms E Marshall
Provisional September Return Dates, Times & Zones: (Further details to be published over the summer)
Thursday 3rd September:
- Year 7 (8.30am) & Year 11 (9.30am) only (all finish 2.50pm)
Friday 4th September:
- Years 7 & 11 (8.30am)
- Years 12 & 13 (9.30am) (all finish 2.50pm)
Monday 7th September:
- Years 7, 11, 12, 13 – Normal Times for start (8.30am) & finish (2.50pm)
- Year 8 (9.50am start)
- Year 9 (11.05am start)
- Year 10 (12.05pm start)
Tuesday 8th September onwards is a normal school day for all year groups:
- Year 7 – Start 8.30am Finish 2.40pm
- Year 8 – Start 8.35am Finish 2.40pm
- Year 9 – Start 8.40am Finish 2.45pm
- Year 10 – Start 8.35am Finish 2.50pm
- Year 11 – Start 8.30am Finish 2.50pm
- Years 12 & 13 – Start 8.30am Finish 2.50/3.50pm
- Interventions, Support Sessions & Detentions finish 3.50pm
- Students should arrive 5 minutes before their start time for line up (see the map below for gates and zones):
Year 7 – Gate 1, Zone 3
Year 8 – Gate 1, Zone 2
Year 9 – Gate 1, Zone 1
Year 10 – Gate 2, Zone 4
Year 11 – Gate 2, straight to tutor rooms (inside)
Years 12 & 13 – Gate 3, straight to Sixth Form Block