Start of Term Arrangements (Sept 2021)
Dear Parents and Carers,
As we approach the end of the summer break, we are looking forward to welcoming all the students in next week.
Start of Term
The plans and timings around the first few days have been shared in more detail previously but a summary is provided below. Students should attend in full school uniform.
Thursday 2 September
- Year 7: 8:30am – arrive at the tennis courts (finish at 1:45pm)
Friday 3 September
- Year 7: 8:30am – arrive at SAM rooms (finish at 1:45pm)
- Year 8: 8:30 - 10:30am (meet at SAM)
- Year 9: 9:30 - 11:30am (meet at SAM)
- Year 10: 10:30am - 12:30pm (meet at SAM)
- Year 11: 11:30am – 1:30pm (meet at SAM)
Monday 6 September
- This will see the start of normal lessons for all students
- This week will be a week 1 timetable
Please note there will be no canteen provision until Monday 6 September.
Each year sees students creeping to the end in terms of shoes, trousers, blazers, skirts, and shirts that only just fit and the summer break is the time to make sure students have the correct uniform. The policy is on the school website here – please make sure your child has everything they need. Of course, the students moving into Year 11 start wearing their Year 11 specific uniform (maroon prefect ties to come for those students who successfully applied). Correct uniform includes meeting our expectations around hairstyles, jewellery, and make-up and nails.
As ever, please get in touch if you feel you may be eligible for financial support.
All students will get copies of their new timetable when they come back in September. Next year we will be moving from Satchel:One to a programme called ClassCharts. This programme allows us to streamline some areas of our practice and should lead to a reduction in the number of apps parents/students need to use. Until the transition has happened, students in Years 8-11 will still be able to view their new timetable, including their SAM room, in Satchel:One from 2 September.
Step 4 marked a new phase in the government’s response to the pandemic, moving away from stringent restrictions on everyone’s day-to-day lives, towards advising people on how to protect themselves and others, alongside targeted interventions to reduce risk. This is of great relief to us and allows us to safely reinstate aspects of normal school-life such as assemblies and to allow mixing at lunch. We have carefully considered some aspects of our previous adjustments and identified certain “Covid-keeps” such as some separate spaces at lunch and break, split access to the canteens to help with queuing, and some of the one-way systems.
Some key mitigations remain in place including ventilation, hand hygiene, and “Catch it, bin it, kill it”. All of this will be discussed with students in their first days back at school. Face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff, and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas but we continue to support those who wish to wear theirs where that makes them feel more comfortable.
Close contacts will now be identified via NHS Test and Trace. Contacts from a school setting will only be traced by NHS Test and Trace where the positive case and/or their parent specifically identifies the individual as being a close contact. Individuals are no longer required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:
- they are fully vaccinated
- they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
- they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
- they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
Instead, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test.
We still expect that students who are displaying symptoms remain off school and arrange a PCR test.
As pupils will potentially mix with lots of other people during the summer holidays, all secondary school pupils should receive 2 on-site lateral flow device tests on their return in the autumn term – these tests will form part of the return to school timetable and previous consent decisions will be carried forward for students in Years 8 – 11 and we have been in touch with parents of our new Year 7s. Pupils should then continue to test twice weekly at home until the end of September, when this will be reviewed by the Government. Students will be given a new supply of home test kits in September.
Our rearranged Open Evening will soon be upon us – this is scheduled for Thursday 16 September. We are excited to be able to invite potential students and parents in and to show off the school – I know a number of students have put themselves forward to support with this important event. To help ensure the school is set-up and tidied away it is worth noting in diaries that the school closes on Thursday 16 September at 1:40pm and re-opens with SAM time at 9:30am on Friday 17 September.
We look forward to a new year and thank you, in advance, for your continued support.
Jeremy Garner, Executive Headteacher Jeff Place, Head of School