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Further update re: return to school

Mr Cummins has written to parents and carers to update them following the Government announcement yesterday regarding the reopening of schools in January 2021.

Dear Parents/Carers,

I am writing to update you following the Government announcement yesterday regarding the reopening of schools in January 2021. The following sets out key dates for each year group in the school over the coming weeks.

I am aware that there were other events planned for the first two weeks of term. We will update you on these once term starts.

INSET Day and Mass COVID-19 Testing

The school has an INSET day on 4th January 2021 to begin to plan for the roll out of ‘mass testing’ in schools. At the moment we have very limited information on how this will work. We have undertaken some initial contingency planning but require further guidance before this can be implemented. As soon as we have this information I will share this with you at the start of term. Just for clarity there will be a process of consent for this and no learner will be tested before consent has been received.

Vulnerable and Critical Worker Children

From Tuesday 5th January 2021 priority learners (referred to in the guidance as vulnerable learners) and critical worker children will attend school.

All learners will attend school at the normal time and will be in full school uniform. There will be no PE lessons in this week so full school uniform can be worn all week. School Transport will operate as normal. Access to the school canteen and other areas will be as normal.

Learners who are in school will be working in their year groups, as far as possible, and within consistent groups until they join their own year group, and will be supervised by school based staff who will support them in accessing their on line learning which staff will be providing.

Learners are to go to the Year 7 area, opposite the Hub, where they will be organised into their year groups.

Priority learners will be supported by the Support Department of the school and will have consistent staffing as far as possible.

Critical Workers and Priority Learners (Vulnerable) are defined by the Government in the following document.

If you feel your child is a priority learner and you have not already received an email and / or you would like your child to access the provision for Critical Workers please email . We will send confirmation emails on Monday to all those parents who have applied for Critical Worker places where the criteria for attendance is met.

Year 11 and Year 13

Learners in the above year groups will receive on line learning from Tuesday 5th January 2021. This will follow their normal timetable and will be accessed via Google classrooms. An individual email will be sent to each home contact and learner on Monday 4th January to confirm the expectations.

From Monday 11th January 2021, Year 11 and Year 13 will attend school as normal. We will confirm the arrangements on Friday 8th January via email. The current plan is that learners will return as normal and access their normal teaching area as they did before the holidays.

Year 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12

Following the Government announcement there is not an expectation that all learners in these year groups will receive remote education. This is in order that staff can be released to support the setting up of mass testing. We are however, making a commitment as a school, to provide work for as many lessons as we can for the above Year Groups. This work will be set on Google classrooms and learners and home contacts will receive an email regarding the details of this on Monday 4th January 2021. This remote learning will commence from Tuesday 5th January 2021.

From Monday 11th January 2021 we will be setting remote learning for all learners and classes in the above year groups.

Learners in the above year groups will return to school on Monday 18th January 2021. We expect learners to return and for the school to continue to operate in the same manner as it did prior to the holidays. Again, a confirmation email will be sent to parents on the 15th January 2021.

Contact Tracing

Before the holidays I asked if you could please inform the school, via the email address, of any positive COVID cases affecting learners on Sunday 3rd January. This is now only strictly necessary for learners who should be attending school on Tuesday 5th January 2021. However, we would appreciate you continuing to inform us from this date in order that we are aware of any learners who may have difficulty accessing online learning through illness and also so we can support any learners and families during this time.

Further Information

I hope that this email provides you with the information that you require for the start of the academic year. I did not intend contacting you during the holidays however, I felt it was important that we updated all parents and learners with the most up to date information.

I do hope that you all have a lovely start to the New Year and I look forward to continuing to work with you all as we navigate our way through the next term.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Cummins