I hope that you and your family are safe and well.
As we reach the end of an extraordinary term, I would like to thank you for your cooperation and support.
The government has now published the guidance to schools on re-opening to all pupils in September on a full-time basis. The full and lengthy guidance may be found here
I am pleased that this guidance is designed to ensure the safety of pupils and staff whilst at the same time allowing us to provide an excellent standard of face-to-face education. I am writing to explain our future plans to reopen the school safely to all pupils at Reddish Vale High School. The school will need to make some adjustments to the normal routine in order to maintain appropriate distances between pupils and to minimise contact between different year groups. For the most part, however, we will be able to offer the usual range of teaching and learning activities. I very much look forward to welcoming the pupils back to school in September.
Please note that the start of term will be delayed due to an additional Inset training day on Wednesday 2nd September to ensure all staff are suitably briefed regarding the changes. This will be followed by staggered induction days for different year groups for the remainder of the week with the view to a full start to lessons the following Monday.
During their induction, your child will be spending most of their time with their form tutor where changes to routines and their timetable will be carefully explained to them. It is essential that all pupils attend their designated induction sessions to prepare them for the revised standards and expectations now in place.
Returning to school and what it will be like
In order for us to minimise contact between individuals we have adhered to the government guidance and taken the following precautionary measures;
- A revised risk assessment completed, this is available on the website through the attached link
- Individual assessments for clinically or extremely vulnerable
- Pupils are grouped in Year group bubbles and assigned designated classroom hubs, seating plans, zones for break/lunch times and allocated specific entry and exit gates.( See zone map)
- Year 7 classes to be taught in mixed ability classes within form groups
- Pupils remain in their hubs for core and classroom based lessons, teachers move between classes
- Introduced staggered starts, finishes, break and lunchtimes ( See year group timetable)
- Introduced a one-way system around the building
- Redesigned classroom layout and spacing
- Regular cleaning and hygiene programme in place with hand sanitiser readily available
- Identified specific serving areas for serving lunch
- PPE and training provided for first aiders
- Additional support staff recruited to support with wellbeing and pastoral needs
- Staff briefed and trained
- Pupil inductions planned to share expectations and safety guidance
- Plan in place for individuals who show any symptoms consistent with Coronavirus or who live with someone showing symptoms
Changes to the school day
In general, Year 7/10/11 will follow a similar pattern to current arrangements for the school day. This means presenting at the correct designated Year group gate to start school at 8:35am. They will have the early break and lunchtime slot and be escorted off the school premises at 2:45pm.
Year 8 and 9, during the first phase will have a later start time of 10:00am going directly to period 2. The period 1 lesson will be delivered remotely and be set the day before. Pupils will have a later break and lunch with a split lesson during period 5 before attending their form group session at the
end of the day and finishing at 3:00pm. The modified timetable enables limited entry and exit movement around school and allows for timely split breaks and lunches.
The intention is to move the start time to period one for Year 8 & 9 once routines are safely embedded, we will review this weekly and update you on any changes. Extended period 6 lessons are to be introduced to support Year 11 intervention as the term is underway, details to follow.
During break and lunch times, each year group is allocated a specific zone of the school to dine and socialise in. They must remain in their zones and adhere to revised rules and expectations, including the one-way system, when conducting themselves in and around school. The behaviour policy on the school website outlines the amendments made that will be strictly monitored and sanctioned.
In order to limit contact with the finger print machines, parents are advised to use the parent pay system in school rather than providing cash. Although hot food is available, there may be limited options on offer in the first instance to allow a safe and efficient service.
Uniform and equipment
All pupils will be expected to come to school in full school uniform in September. Please note that jewellery, false nails and eyelashes, mobile phones, Apple Watches and IPODS are not permitted in school for health and safety reasons. All pupils are expected to bring their own stationery and equipment so we can minimise the resources that are shared between pupils. As a minimum, please ensure your child has a pencil case with pens, pencils, a glue stick, pencil crayons, ruler, pencil sharpener, pair of child's scissors, a calculator and a reading book. This will ensure your child is prepared for learning and will save time in lessons if your child comes fully equipped.
Curriculum Century Tech
It has been encouraging to see how well our pupils and staff have adapted and responded to the various online learning platforms, live lessons and remote exams and assessments introduced in order to maintain a high quality educational programme. The end of term assessment process has supported us to identify gaps and plan ahead to remedy these in the coming year. I would welcome your support in encouraging your child to maintain a strong work ethic and positive attitude to learning to complete work set over the summer in response to assessment outcomes.
Attendance at school is compulsory for all pupils from September. There is a direct link between attendance and academic success so it is important we all work together to ensure your child is in school every day. I completely understand you may have concerns and reservations regarding pupils returning to school in the current climate. I can reassure you that as Headteacher I am
personally overseeing the plans for return and that the school is following all guidelines in order to risk assess and put plans in place to minimise risk. Although I have no idea what the future may hold, all decisions are constantly under review to reflect the latest recommendations and current state of play.
Pupil Absence related to Covid 19 should be supported with test evidence. Any pupil who begins to display Coronavirus symptoms while in the setting will be isolated until they can be collected. In this situation we would ask parents/carers to organise a test for their son or daughter and to notify us of the test result.
It may be reassuring for you to hear that the Year 10 return to school plan went very smoothly and I received a number of positive feedback messages from parents and pupils in relation to how our plans were communicated and executed.
I have given even greater depth of consideration to managing the full return to school however if you have any questions or queries a member of the Senior Leadership Team would be happy to discuss these with you. A question and answer facility is available all day Wednesday 15th July. Please book a telephone-meeting slot through my PA Vanessa Deans on 0161 968 4212 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continued support and cooperation. I wish you a safe, happy and restful summer holiday.