Following on from my letter to you last week, informing you of our schedule for lateral flow testing in school this week, I am writing to confirm that we will have a staggered return to school from Monday 8 March. This means that we will expect pupils in school from Monday 8 March (depending on year group) for the second Covid-19 test and school-based learning. Attendance is mandatory for all pupils on their scheduled day(s) regardless of whether or not we have received consent for COVID-19 tests.
The schedule for the staggered return to school-based learning is as below. Pupils must ensure that they wear a face covering and have all their equipment when coming to school. It is important now more than ever that our pupils are well organised and ready for school each day as we will not be allowing pupils to share basic equipment.
|Day||Year groups in school||Year groups doing remote learning|
|Monday 8th March||Year 11, 12, 13||Year 7, 8, 9, 10|
|Tuesday 9th March||Year 9, 10, 11||Year 7, 8, 12, 13|
|Wednesday 10th March||Year 7, 8, 11||Year 9, 10, 12, 13|
|Thursday 11th March onwards||All year groups||None|
Our provision for vulnerable pupils and children of critical workers will continue as normal. However, pupils will join their year groups on the days their year group is expected in school.
Please remember that you must not send your child to school if they are unwell or displaying any of the following symptoms of Covid-19:
- New continuous cough
- High temperature
- Loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell.
Pupils showing any of these symptoms, must get a confirmatory PCR test to check if they have coronavirus and stay at home until they get the result.
The school kitchen will not be opening until Thursday 11 March. All students are therefore required to bring in a packed lunch from Monday 8 to Wednesday 10 March when attending. To ensure that we continue to operate a safe school environment, we have devised a rota to ensure that all pupils, including post-16, are able to have hot food each day. We will go through the lunch rota as well as breaktime arrangements with pupils during their first tutor time session.
Year 9 Options Process
Plans for this are far advanced and will be shared with parents and carers this week in a separate letter.
Uniform and Behaviour Expectations
As I mentioned in my first letter to you, we will have very high expectations of behaviour and will not accept any behaviours that undermine our Behaviour Charter or the teaching and learning process. Pupils who choose to ignore these expectations will be sanctioned as per our policies. I will urge you, as parents and carers, to help us maximise learning opportunities by talking to your child about the higher standards of behaviour we will be expecting of them. On our part, we will spend some time to go through our expectations on the first few days back so that our school rules are fairly and consistently applied.
I would like to emphasise that we expect our pupils to return in full school uniform from Monday 8 March. Wearing the correct uniform is important to our identity and we recognise the importance of establishing our school as a family of learners. Pupils who do not arrive in the correct school uniform, worn with the pride it deserves, may therefore be isolated and their parent / carer may be contacted to take them home.
Throughout the lockdown period our pupils have been accessing their work via their chromebooks. In most cases they would have completed their tasks in their Google classrooms. However, as we return to school, it is important that we get them back to writing in books. This is not only necessary for improving their handwriting, it is also a crucial skill to have for examination purposes whilst also giving us the necessary screen breaks. We will ask therefore that, as part of their school equipment, pupils bring along their school books and chromebooks for each of their lessons.
COVID-19 Testing in School this week
Finally, I would like to remind parents / carers of the Covid-19 testing opportunities we are offering to our pupils, in school, from this Wednesday 3 March. Details are in the letter I sent to you last week. If you cannot make the scheduled time slot for your child, we advise that you visit a local symptom-free testing centre. The link below takes you to the Kent County Council website where you can view the testing sites available in the local area and there is guidance there on how to book a symptom free lateral flow test.
This may also be more suitable for families with multiple pupils enrolled within our academy.
We would be grateful if you could let us know the outcome of any lateral flow test taken at an external testing centre via firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can update our records.
As we look forward to welcoming all our pupils back to school, we would like to thank you for all your support in what has been a very challenging and disruptive time.
Dr F. Donkor