September 2020 – Return to School
I hope that you have had a restful summer and that you and your loved ones are keeping well.
I am writing to you in advance of the planned school opening for September 2020. We are very excited to welcome students back and would like to extend a warm welcome to our new Year 7 students.
All of the information regarding the return to school in September can be found below, as well as information about the changes that have been implemented to ensure that our school is COVID compliant.
Keeping ourselves and each other safe is a collective community effort. That is why it is imperative that you read and understand everything outlined on the website, and share this information with your child.
We appreciate your support in helping us implement these changes, and we will continue to review and develop areas of the school where necessary.
I hope you enjoy the remainder of the summer break, and look forward to seeing all students back in September.
Mr P Woods
Return to School
We have put together a Loom video to outline the changes to the school day and return to school in September (click here to view) It is imperative that you and your child also watch this video to provide you with visual images and information regarding the changes to the school site. It is important for families to watch the loom videos together and talk through how daily routines may need to be changed to ensure that government guidance and new school rules are followed.
The start of the school term is on Tuesday 1st September, this is an INSET day, so no students will be on-site. There will be a second INSET day for staff on Wednesday 2nd September.
Following this and in order to support students in understanding how the school routines have been adapted, we have put in place an induction day for each year group on either Thursday the 3rd or Friday 4th September. Students will have time with their form tutors to help them to understand the structure of the school day, arrangements for lessons, break and lunch time and the way in which movement will be around the school.
The induction days will be as follows:
|Thursday 3rd September (times vary for each year group, please see below)||Friday 4th September (8.50am-1.20pm)|
|Year 7 – entry via Bromley Street Gate, 8.30am-1.20pm||Year 8 – entry via Copley Street Gate|
|Year 9 – entry via Copley Street Gate, 8.50am – 1.20pm||Year 10 – entry via Stepney Way Gate|
|Year 12 – entry via Stepney Way Gate, 8.50am-1.20pm||Year 11 – entry via Bromley Street Gate|
|Year 13 – entry via Reception on Bromley Street|
All year groups will be back full time from Monday 7th September.
We have also completed a comprehensive risk assessment to ensure that we are COVID compliant (view risk assessment on the policies page). This is a working document that will be reviewed and updated regularly and as needed. All updates will be posted on the school website and where necessary families will be informed of any changes that will affect them.
As per government guidance all students are expected to return to school full time in September and the attendance policy will be followed as usual.
Any students experiencing COVID symptoms should stay at home for 10 days and take a COVID test. Parents should contact the School Attendance Officer immediately to explain why your child is not attending school. If your child has tested positive for Coronavirus please inform the school immediately, and continue with the quarantine. If the result is negative, your child should return to school the next day.
If your child is having to self isolate after coming in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus and your child has developed COVID-like symptoms, they should self isolate for a period of 14 days and a test should be taken as soon as possible. If the test proves negative, your child should return to school the next day. If positive, your child should quarantine for the remainder of the 14 days.
The symptom and suspected cases flowchart shows what steps need to be taken by parents. This document can be found on the last page of the risk assessment document.
First Aid and Medical Needs
Support will continue for any students with a healthcare plan. Parents are reminded to ensure that students carry any relevant medication with them at all times in case it is needed at school, during sporting activities or on their way to and from school. In addition, spare medication must be provided to the school’s Medical Coordinator and will be stored in the medical room in case of emergencies. It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that an adequate supply of medication is supplied to the school, and to check expiry dates regularly.
Any students who begin to experience or develop COVID-like symptoms during the school day will be sent to the medical office immediately. If concerned, the Medical Coordinator will contact parents and advise on the next steps.
Groups and Zones
The school has been separated into zones that have been allocated to different year groups. Each year group will spend the majority of their time in their allocated space; only moving for practical subjects, break time and lunch times. Further details regarding movement around the school are provided in the Loom videos as described above.
The timing of the school day has been changed to stagger the arrival and departure times to help all members of the school community to socially distance, as has the structure of the day in terms of form time. (The new timetable can be viewed here)
Entry and Exit Information
In order to support social distancing, there are no common waiting areas in the school for students to use before or after school. It is important that students arrive within their arrival window. Similarly, students should not be waiting on the school site or around the school site for friends from their own or other year groups. If students need to wait for siblings from other year groups, we ask that families talk through this with their children at home, and arrange a local meeting point away from the school site where siblings can meet before going home together.
Each year group will be briefed about which entry and exit gate they will use when they arrive and are dismissed. If parents have arranged to collect their child from school, we ask that they do not collect students from the gate. Instead they should arrange a meeting point away from the school site to avoid over crowding.
Students should be on time every day and should arrive to school within their allocated arrival window. We ask that parents discuss routines at home to ensure that their child wakes up and is ready and fed for school in good time. Lateness has a negative impact and eats into learning time.
If a student does arrive late, they should report to the school reception on Bromley Street and sign in. Once signed in, they should make their way as quickly as possible to join their lesson.
We have every confidence that students will follow and adhere to the new rules and processes, and an outline of the addendum to the behaviour policy will be given to all students and is also available to view on the policy section of our website. Behaviour that falls below our usual high standards, especially those surrounding hygiene will be dealt with in accordance to the behaviour policy.
Uniform and Equipment
At this stage we can confirm that students should not wear any SJCR branded items of clothing and will not need to wear a blazer in September. Students should attend school in a white shirt, mid-grey trousers or skirt, mid-grey v-neck jumper (optional), their year group coloured tie (new Year 7 students will receive their year coloured tie on induction day) and sensible school shoes. Students who wish to wear a jacket to school may wear a smart black or navy jacket or coat to and from school. The coat should not be worn on school premises.
As mentioned previously we will ensure that parents do not incur any additional costs as a result of the name change. Once the new logo has been finalised and produced we will provide patches to cover the old logos on blazers and will swap any SJCR branded uniform items.
Water fountains are still available for students to use, however students will need to bring a reusable and labelled drinking bottle to fill up from the fountains. The water fountains should be used for filling up water bottles only, students should not drink directly from the fountains.
Students should be equipped with what they need in all lessons. In their school bag they should have black or blue ball point pens, pencils, a rubber and a ruler. It is useful for students to have equipment such as highlighter and glue sticks also.
ID cards will be issued to every student and must be worn at all times. ID cards will be used in place of the finger scan system when paying for meals. The ID card is a new addition to the school uniform, and students will need to pay a replacement fee of £5 should they require a replacement.
On the days where students have PE lessons, they should arrive to school in their PE kit. The changing facilities in school we be closed based on government guidance. This means that students should arrive to school in their PE kit, complete all lesson in their kit and go home in their kit. As the old PE kit was branded, we ask students to wear a plain red PE t-shirt and navy PE tracksuit bottoms. If students do not have this colour kit, they may wear a plaint t-shirt and tracksuit bottom (not leggings or running tights) of a different colour as long as the colour and fit are both appropriate. On these days, students will obviously be wearing suitable PE trainers for their PE lesson. This is the only time that students should be wearing trainers.
Face masks must be worn when moving around the school. This is due to the fact that our corridors are narrow with low ceilings. Once outside the building and in lessons these do not need to be worn. Face masks should be appropriate and not have a slogan written on them. If students are wearing a reusable facemask, guidance suggests that this should be stored in a plastic bag when it is not being used to prevent it from getting dirty or picking anything up from surfaces. Reusable facemasks should be washed regularly at home.
Hygiene and Social Distance
Staff have been advised to maintain, where possible, a distance of 2 metres from students for the majority of the time. Staff are able to work more closely with students to support them in learning during the course of the lesson where needed. Staff will be provided with face masks and/or face shields on request, so students may see these being worn by teachers in lesson.
We have installed additional hand washing troughs in each playground and additional sanitising stations around the school and in each classroom to ensure that students can wash and sanitise their hands regularly, and we will encourage them to wash their hands when entering the building, prior to eating and when leaving the building to reduce the risk of any potential spread. Classrooms have been arranged to be forward facing towards the board. We also want to re-iterate the importance of ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ to reduce any spread of COVID.
Students should not use toilets during lessons. Extra cleaning times are in place to ensure that these are ready for use during break and lunch times. Students need to plan their day to ensure that they have used the toilet before school and, when needed, at break and lunch times.
We have put in place zoned eating and playground areas. In addition we now have hand washing troughs in both playgrounds to encourage hand washing at the start and end of the school day, and also at lunch and break times. In order to ensure that all of the students are fed and can move about their zones safely, we have modified the food menus on offer. The lunch menu can be viewed here. For the short to medium term, we will not offer any breakfast or break time provision. Should students want a snack at break time, they should bring this to school with them. It remains the case that students are also able to bring packed lunches to school and they will be able to eat these in their playground zones.
As mentioned, all food will need to be paid for or free school meals claimed using the new student ID cards. For families who pay for lunches, please ensure that you have logged in to Parent Pay and have ensured that your child has enough money on their account to pay for food. This will ensure that the shortened lunchtimes run smoothly.
The new timings for the school day means that there is only a 30 minute lunch, so students need to be organised and ensure that they have eaten, been to the toilet and washed their hands in time so that they are prepared for the afternoon in school.
Extension Classes and Extra Curricular Activities
Extension classes will run as in previous years for the relevant year groups. In terms of extra curricular activities, we plan that there will be a revised programme to ensure that year groups are kept in their own bubble. Form tutors will share information with students in due course.
Students who play a musical instrument and have music lessons are still able to have these lessons. Students are able to make their way to the music block via Stepney Way and enter the building through the West playground.
We are in the middle of an exciting project to refurbish the school library. This will be a bigger and brighter space for students to relax, read and study in, and it is anticipated that this project will be completed by October. As a result, the VLE is now a key stage 4 and 5 revision library, details about usage will be sent to students via their form tutors.
During lockdown, as you will know, staff supported students with their virtual learning via Google Classroom. To support students’ return to face to face learning, staff have prepared four weeks’ worth of learning to support students to review the ideas, topics and skills that have been taught during this period of lockdown. Staff will use this time to explore and unpick the more challenging concepts that students have been learning about, and give students an opportunity to get support with those areas they found most challenging.
At the end of these four weeks, students will undergo assessments to help both students and teachers see the progress they have made and to help teachers identify those areas that still may need further support.
In order to minimise the risk of spread, and in line with government guidance, all schools are to limit visits to the school site as much as possible. Consequently, parents will not be allowed to visit the school site to drop off items for their children. Please use this as an opportunity to help your child to organise themselves each evening to ensure that they have everything that they need for school the next day. Should there be a need for a member of staff, such as a Head of Year to meet with a parent specifically, details of how to access the school site will be given to ensure that all parties are working with each other safely.
An accurate record of any essential visitors will also be kept in order to support the government’s track and trace system.
Any communications with the school can be made via telephone or email.
Communications with Parents
In our bid to go paperless and also to avoid the possible spread of Coronavirus, we aim to communicate with parents primarily via email and phone calls. It is your responsibility as parents/carers to ensure that the school has the correct contact information so that we can communicate with you efficiently.