Headteacher Update

Headteacher Update

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope that you and your families are still coping with the lockdown and are staying safe and healthy.

These are very challenging and unusual times, something that is being said so often but it is so relevant in any actions we take.

Getting back to “normality” is everyone’s hope and goal and as a school we will endeavour to work within Government guidance and increase the scope for opening the school to more students from 1 June 2020.

Every school will have its challenges in increasing opening to more students, as at the heart of any increase in the school population is safety first. School must be a safe place to send students and staff, otherwise the efforts of the last 8 weeks could be in vain.

Our school has its own unique challenges in allowing more students into the school. This is mainly around the size of the classrooms which are much smaller than a mainstream classroom. Given the importance of “physical distancing” this limits the number of students we can put in one room and how we manage students around the building ie entering and exiting, using toilets.

There is also the availability of teaching staff to return to work to consider as we do have staff who are in or have dependants in the “extremely critically vulnerable” category and must continue to “shield” which restricts our curriculum offer.

Smaller rooms combined with fewer staff will restrict our offer to students and the number of students we can safely manage.

A comprehensive risk assessment must be in place which has to be strictly adhered to, this will include;
• Personal responsibility – what the individual should be doing
• Cleaning protocols – how do we keep the school clean
• Movement – which rooms can be accessed and how

A simplified version of this will be made available before students return
At this time the school will not be extending the range of students who can come into the building.

At this time the school is open to;
• Students who are considered vulnerable under the latest guidance
• Students who have a parent who is a critical worker under latest guidance.

If your child is in this category and is not attending school please speak with your childs key worker on your daily contact, confirming if they will be attending school.

It is our intention to expand the offer of “in school” provision to all Y10 students as soon as it possible to do so. I am hoping that the next SAGE guidance will relax rules on “physical distancing” and those deemed at risk, this will give the school greater capacity and more staff, allowing us to bring more students in to the classrooms.

At this time any student attending school will be accessing our E-Learning platform under the supervision of staff. There are no teacher led lessons and we are unable to move to teacher led lessons at this time. All students are receiving the same quality of provision.
As a school we are responsible for the education of all students therefore teachers must also prepare lessons for all those students who cannot or choose not to attend school.

Moving to teacher led lessons will be restrictive and complicated if we are to ensure that all students can access their subject teachers, there are also some subjects we just wont be able to offer such as PE due to the close proximity, likewise we will be unable to use the school minibus.

This diagram outlines the potential difficulty in teaching all students face to face with a teacher.

We can safely admit 24 students at one time and this would require 12 teachers. That’s 2 students per class.
This leaves 40 students at home on any given day.

Our current action plan is;
1. Establish which parents will send their children to school, this will be achieved through a survey on 1 Jun 20.
2. Build a timetable around these numbers.
3. Allocate times for students to come into school on a rota basis. This will be effective from 8 Jun 20
4. Continue with E-Learning in school and at home.
5. Aim is to build up to teacher led learning in class whilst continuing with E-Learning.
6. School will still maintain daily contact.
7. Increase number of students as guidance changes.

Thank you for your continued support at this time.

Best wishes
Andrew Murray, Headteacher

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