Statements from the HeadteacherLast update: 2020-07-17
Statement from the Headteacher (17th July 2020)
September 2020 Return to St Edmund’s
We are delighted with the government announcement confirming that all students should return to school in September as we had planned. Having reviewed the guidelines https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak issued to schools we are now in a position to share how learning will look when our children return.
Our main priority is to ensure that all students return full-time and experience a normal curriculum with as many activities/experiences as possible to enrich the education of our children. To achieve this, we have carried out a number of risk assessments which can be found on the school website. As with any aspect of life there are no guarantees but we have endeavoured to minimise risk, whilst achieving our priority of all students returning. Our risk assessments have been reviewed and approved by Governors and we are confident that, as always, we have looked at the practicalities of daily learning within St Edmund’s.
As a result, there will be some considerable changes as to how school life will operate when we return in September. The key aspects of these are as follows:
- Start and Finish Times
There will be different start and finish times during the first week as we return and then throughout the first term.
Students must be in full uniform.
From 2nd September: First week only
Wednesday 2nd September 2020
Year 7 arrive at 08.20 and line up as for assembly, then Tutor Time until morning break.
Year 11 to arrive at 09.30 and line up as for assembly, then Tutor Time/Introduction to timetable and year ahead.
Lessons to begin Period 3.
Thursday 3rd September 2020: All Years
Year 7, 8 & 9 arrive at 08.20.
Year 7 and 9 attend registration.
Year 8 08.25 line up for assembly.
Year 9 08.50 line up for assembly.
Year 10 arrive at 08.45 go to tutor and line up for assembly.
Year 10 assembly at 09.20 (gym).
Year 11 arrive at 09.50.
Lessons to begin Period 3.
Friday 4th September 2020: All Years
Year 7, 8 & Year 9 arrive at 08.20. Students go to tutor.
Year 10 arrive at 08.30. Attend registration.
Year 11 arrive at 08.30. Line up for assembly.
Lessons to begin Period 1.
End of Day:
3pm Years 7 and 9.
3.10pm Year 8 and Year 10 (and Year 11).
4pm Year 11 (from 14th September onwards).
From 7th September onwards:
Tutor time starts at 08.20: Years 7, 8 & 9.
Tutor time starts at 08.30: Years 10 & 11.
- Daily Timetable
The guidelines advise that students should exist in year group ‘bubbles’ where possible. To accommodate this, we have created a system which involves year groups having different break times and/or separate areas to access the canteen. A copy of the new timetable can be found here.
This will benefit students as there will be less queuing and more space. However, there will be more restrictions on where students are able to play and relax. Within class students will be seated facing the front where this is possible. There is no social distancing required of students in school.
- Hygiene and Health & Well-being
Over the summer, the school is being adapted to ensure that outside all classrooms there is access to hand sanitiser as well as increased hand washing facilities. All students will be required to use hand sanitiser during morning registration. They will be advised to use this throughout the day and after certain activities/lessons. Students arriving late will be required to do the same. Students may bring their own hand gel and I strongly recommend that if possible they do so. If students are not in school uniform they will be sent home.
Any student who has Covid-19 symptoms, feels ill, or have tested positive in the last 7 days should stay at home (https://www.saintedmunds.org.uk/corona/support). The school has created clear guidelines and procedures for anyone who develops or shows signs of Covid-19 symptoms. In such cases, individuals must be sent home immediately. They then should follow the ‘stay at home’ guidance for households. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-an-antigen-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/
The school is fully stocked with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) which will be used where required. Students and staff are NOT permitted to wear masks or gloves in school.
We have also created a Mental Health & Well-Being package which will be delivered by tutors during the first few weeks of a full return to school. Our Well-Being Co-ordinator will continue to support individuals/groups as has been the case throughout lockdown. Any students who have concerns in relation to returning may book an appointment during the first week and final week of the summer with Miss Yung Hok by telephoning 023 9282 3766 extension 240 or by emailing Victoria.Yunghok@saintedmunds.org.uk.
- Behaviour & Equipment
As you are aware, the school has been open throughout the Covid-19 lockdown and providing education for between 40-70 students each day. Governors have altered the Behaviour for Learning Policy to reflect issues of the Health & Safety of students relating particularly to Covid-19. The policy can be found on the school website and the changes shared with students when they return.
They key change is that any student who behaves in a way that is a Health & Safety risk in relation to Covid-19 will be removed from learning and sent home. They will not be permitted to return until there are guarantees that such behaviour will not reoccur. For continued breaches this will result in an exclusion/permanent exclusion. I feel sure that you want students/staff to be safe and not risk a potential school or local lockdown situation.
Next year we are asking students to bring all of their own equipment as normal with the addition of pritt stick (glue stick), scissors and small earphones (with a jack not with I-phone connections). We will continue to issue/lend/utilise equipment, but students having these limits the change of contamination and reduces cleaning/sanitisation requirements. Where students do not have basic equipment parents will be required to bring this into school prior to students being able to attend lessons.
- Moving around the school
Students will move around the school as ‘normal’ during lesson changeover. The government states that movement around the “corridor or playground is low risk”. Whilst there is no social distancing of students required, they are requested to avoid contact where possible. This will be the responsibility of students. Our experience with the children who have attended throughout this crisis is that they quickly forget. We will remind students but not reprimand unless it is a behavioural issue. There will be one-way systems and new ‘no entry’ areas. Doors/windows, where possible, will be open and staff will supervise key areas. Where students move in an unorderly way which puts others at risk they will be removed from learning and may be required to return to live learning at home. Students should use hand gel/wash hands in-between lessons, but particularly after a break.
I realise that for many families these continue to be worrying times. The school will work over the summer to ensure we are fully prepared to September and that we further develop our contingency should there be a second outbreak, or particularly, year groups are required to isolate.
It is impossible to give every detail within a single letter. Should you have any concerns/questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org prior to returning and we will endeavour to help you.
"Having faith does not mean having no difficulties but having the strength to face
them, knowing we are not alone." Pope Francis
These words of Pope Francis are words of encouragement for our journey together at St Edmund’s. As a family we will be a sign of hope for one another and bring hope and life to others.
I wish you all a great summer and look forward to the reuniting of the St Edmund’s family in September.
Mr S Graham
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