Planned return to school
Dear Students, Parents and Carers,
We are very much looking forward to welcoming all students back on the 3rd September.
We will shortly send out further details of the enhanced safety protocols in place to ensure we reduce the risks from Covid to the lowest possible level.
However, in the meantime, we just wanted to ensure everyone was clear about arrangements for the first day back in September
Student well being
We understand that some students will be anxious about coming back and so wanted to reassure you that over the Summer we have been making plans for your return and to keep you as safe as possible. We will discuss all the new safety protocols through with students on the first day and through Lesson 42 sessions over the coming weeks. If students need further support, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Pastoral support will look different this year due to restrictions on the use of office space.
All students are expected to return in appropriate school uniform. As ever students arriving in incorrect uniform or with extreme haircuts or piercings will be taken out of lessons until the issue can be resolved. If you have any questions about what is appropriate, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our pastoral team via our website who will be happy to advise.
Keeping year groups separate from each other
As part of trying to keep different year groups separate from each other we would like different year groups to arrive at different times. Students will also need to arrive by different entrances and make their way to different holding zones allocated to each year group while they wait to be collected.
Please note that Post-16 students will be contacted by the Post-16 team directly about the individual arrangements for them.
If arriving by bus, please go to the appropriate holding zone upon your arrival.
Year 7 to arrive at 8.30 and go to the Tennis Courts on Green Close via Gate 1
Year 8 to arrive at 9.00 and go to the Basketball Courts on Green Close via Gate 3
Year 9 to arrive at 9.30 and go to Car Park 1 (behind the Dance studio) on Green Close via Gate 2
Year 10 to arrive at 9.00 and go to Car Park 4 via Gate 4 on Gipsy Lane
Year 11 to arrive at 9.30 and go to the car park outside Reach on Gipsy Lane via the Main Gate
Staff will be there to welcome you. While waiting in these areas to be collected, can you please remind your child to maintain their social distancing as far as possible, particularly when talking together with friends. Even though this will be difficult we would also ask that you speak to your child about maintaining social distancing on their way to and from College and to avoid mixing with other year groups.
Arrangements for the first day
We will start the day going through with the students in their tutor groups all the protocols that we have put in place to keep everyone safe in addition to meeting their tutor, issuing timetables and going through the school rules. We will not be able to hold any assemblies. We understand that this will be very different to normal and daunting for some students, so please do not hesitate to get in touch if your child does not understand or are unduly worried when they return home. Over the following weeks in Lesson 42 (Personal Development) we will have a package of lessons in place to help students to understand and process what has happened in order to look after and support their mental health. Again, should you have any concerns please do not hesitate to get in touch so we can provide additional support where required since everyone's needs and circumstances will be different.
At the end of the day students will also leave through different exits, depending on where their final lesson is, as outlined below,
Turner block (English): Gate 1
Languages quad/Hitchens (Music/Art/Science): Phear Park Gate
Technology/Science: Gate 2
Humanities (Religious Education/History/Geography): Gate 3
New Maths block – Tennis Centre Gate
Telfer/Health and Social Care/Technology/Media - Nursery Gate
ICT/Maths/Business/Science -Main Gate
Maths quad rooms – Gate 4
Students will also leave at different times as indicated below:
Year 7 3pm
Year 8 3.05pm
Year 9 3.10pm
Year 10 3.20pm
Year 11 3.30pm
For students travelling by school transport they will be allowed to leave class at their normal time.
Breaktime and Lunchtime
Students will have staggered breaks and lunchtimes so that they cannot mix with other year groups. Initially the canteen staff will type in the student name and check the student’s identity using the photo on the system to avoid students repeatedly touching the finger sensor. In Year 7 their photos will be taken on the Friday of the first week.
Collecting your child
Particularly for the younger students who are just joining the College, we know that parents and carers will be eager to meet their children after College. In order to reduce the risk of infection can we ask that parents and carers do not congregate in groups or arrive too early to minimise risks. Please note that if arriving by car, car parking in and around the College will be even more limited than normal due to the holding zones for students taking up much of the staff car parking that would normally be available on site.
Key student equipment
As we mentioned at the end of the Summer term, staff will manage when and how students enter and exit teaching blocks so we can avoid the possibility of overcrowded corridors, ensure hands are sanitized on entry and provide time for classroom furniture to be sanitised as classes swap rooms. Students will therefore queue in the appropriate holding zone and so will be more exposed to the elements than normal while waiting to be collected so please ensure that:
Strong waterproof coat
Full water bottle
Complete stationary kit (it will be harder to share equipment since it will need to be sanitised after use)
Sturdy waterproof shoes
Please do not bring in footballs or skateboards.
PE lessons and changing rooms
To avoid congestion in changing rooms if your child has a timetabled lesson for PE they are required to come to College in their PE kit on that day. This will not be needed on the first day. Please ensure that your child's PE kit is appropriate (ie not very short shorts) and will keep them warm and dry for the day. The PE kit can only be worn on a day when your child has PE and at no other time.
Currently, the Government is still not recommending face coverings in schools. However, we are keeping this situation under review since there are undoubtedly some strong arguments for their use in situations where social distancing is more difficult to retain such as crossing the bridge, social times such as break and lunch and while queuing for lessons. We have asked staff and students to wear face coverings on the GCSE and Post-16 results days in College and feel that this has gone well and given everyone a bit more confidence when they have to be closer to each other. Could I therefore ask that you obtain a couple of face coverings that are appropriate for use in College should this guidance change or the evidence becomes such that the leadership of the College believes that this will provide enhanced safety for everyone.
Devon County Council have now issued their protocol for students using school transport. Social distancing guidance will not apply on transport since the Government believe the risk to young people is low, students aren’t mixing with the general public on these journeys, the same groups of students are carried and the services are more predictable allowing for more protective measures with regard to cleaning and trying to maintain year group bubbles as far as possible.
Devon County Council, with the support from Public Health England (as was), have recommended that young people aged 11 and over wear a face covering when travelling on school transport. A face covering is a covering of any type which covers their nose and mouth. Students will also need to carry their own plastic/freezer bag so they can put their face covering in their school bag during the day to ensure that it remains as sterile as possible. Students should not discard these masks on the College site. Please get in touch with us if you feel your child may have needs which may exempt them from the stipulation.
Year 7 induction events
Unfortunately, we had to cancel the transition evens we had planned for Year 6, however, we are delighted that we will now be able to provide these events for Year 7 students joining the College when they first join. For further details please see the letter sent via email to prospective parents and carers by Mr Turner at the end of the Summer term which contains all the timings. If you have any further questions please do not to hesitate the Key Stage 3 team on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further queries or did not receive the email.
As mentioned above we will send out further information over the next couple of days about the longer-term plans which the Governors will be consulted on. As ever, if you have any concerns or questions please do not hesitate to contact us through the College website or social media.