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03/03/2021

Letter from Mr Mirams - 3rd March 2021

3rd March 2021Dear Parents

I am writing to you as we approach the return of all our pupils at both schools on Monday, 8th March 2021.  The next few weeks will continue to be challenging for all of us in the community as we attempt to bring over 1600 children with an age range of 4 – 19 back into the school environment.  This is a welcome return to some normality for all of us in the school and we have been overwhelmed by the messages of support from so many of you in the last few weeks.  There will be many amongst us who will be anxious about a full return to school life but I would like to reassure all of you that the health of our community is at the forefront of our thoughts and I would ask for the support of everyone in the coming days. 

We are exceptionally proud of the work that staff have been doing to support the children since Christmas and we will continue to slowly return to normal school life for all.  Our aim is to ensure that children return in a safe environment which reduces their anxieties and prepares them for the next stages in their life.  As Headteacher I have experienced with all of you the emotional ups and downs of the last year and we will continue as a school to do what is right for our community.  I hope that this letter provides further clarity for the restart of school.

TESTING:

I would like to thank our community for the way in which they have supported our in school testing and would ask that all Secondary pupils embrace home testing from next week.  We will be distributing home test kits and it is a parent responsibility to report all results from next week to NHS Track and Trace.  We will provide further guidance on home testing for pupils once we have clarification from the Government.  After this Friday pupil testing will become a parental responsibility and you are able to use asymptomatic test centres if required.  As a school we are unable to continue with testing following our drive through as we need to focus on the education of the children.  Staff testing will take place twice a week alongside home testing for pupils and it is imperative that the school are told if there is a positive test. 

POSITIVE CASES OF COVID 19:

The school will continue to liaise with Public Health England, NHS Track and Trace and the Local Authority if there are positive cases within the community.  We will then take action in line with the latest guidance as we have done before.  I will have no hesitation in taking clear and decisive action if we have any outbreaks of Covid 19.

FACE COVERINGS:

We are advising the wearing of face coverings by all staff and secondary aged pupils in line with Government advice.  A number of you have asked about our school face coverings that the staff wear and these are now available for £3.50 through ParentPay for pupils.  It is likely that Government advice will remain in place until at least Easter and our aim is to ensure that we keep infection rates low to allow schools to continue with education.

SCHOOL TIMES:

I would like to reiterate the school times that will be in place from Monday, 8th March 2021.

PRIMARY

  • 8.30am – 8.40am – KS2 arrival and straight into school from the main gates
  • 8.40am-8.50am – Reception and KS1 arrival and straight into school from the main gates
  • Pick up will start at 2.45 for Year R,1 and 2
  • Pick Up will start at 2.55 for Year 3,4,5,6 and siblings.

Please wear face coverings at drop off and pick up times as well as social distancing.

SECONDARY

Pupils use the same entrances as Term 1.

  • 8.30am - 8.35am – Year 7 and 9
  • 8.35am – 8.40am – Year 8 and 11
  • 8.40am – 8.45am – Year 10 and Sixth Form
  • Gradual dismissal of year group PODS from 2.15 to 2.30pm

EXPECTATIONS:

You have already received letters from both Primary and Secondary staff in regard to the expectations of pupils on their return.  This includes information in regard to uniform, equipment, work ethic and the need for pupils to follow school rules.  We are extremely proud of our school community and what has been achieved in the last year and I take exception to any pupil who cannot follow or live up to our expectations given the huge amount of work and support that the school staff have given.  I know that in almost every case you will support us.

CANTEEN PROVISION:

Both canteens will return to pre Christmas working and meals can be paid for through ParentPay and the use of pupil cards.  We have now moved to a no cash system and I would ask that ParentPay is used for all purchases within the school unless otherwise directed. 

SECONDARY EXAMINATIONS:

We will be advising all pupils to continue to work hard in all of their lessons and this will support us in ensuring that pupils studying examination subjects are rewarded with the grades that they deserve.  We are going to continue to assess pupils to gain evidence of the grades for the end of this year but we are also going to ensure that we keep pupil anxiety levels as low as possible.  I would like to remind all of you that staff will not be able to discuss possible grades and we will ensure that pupils gain the grades that their work deserves.  This means that pupils will have to continue to earn these grades and we will not just be providing pupils with the grades they think they should get.  We are currently awaiting guidance on how grades will be checked.  Our message therefore is to continue to work hard. 

FURTHER DATES:

We are reviewing dates and deadlines for Year 11 and Year 13 pupils.  We will provide clear dates of when these year groups may finish the academic year once we have clarification from the Government.  At this point in time there will be no leaver events planned but once again this maybe something that maybe reviewed as part of the Government’s lockdown roadmap.  Our main priority is ensuring fair grading for our pupils. 

VISITORS AND CONTACT INFORMATION:

At this point in time we will continue to have a no visitor policy and parents are only allowed on the school site if permission is given through senior members of staff.  Please ensure that all communication is through the school telephone numbers or the email addresses as follows:

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I believe we all acknowledge that we remain in a pandemic situation and that we are still some way from the normality of a year ago.  However, as a school we will continue to take the first steps and embrace the growing positivity that regular testing and vaccinations are bringing.  The aim for the rest of this term is to establish clear routines, face to face learning and engagement for all our children.  As a school we do not underestimate the resilience that has been shown by our community and we strongly believe that such experiences have simply made us stronger together.  We will continue as a school to do what is right for all individuals and as the light grows brighter we will continue to ensure that we provide a pathway forward for everyone. 

I look forward to seeing you all on Monday and rest assured we will do all we can for the children and families involved with us.

God Bless You

Adam Mirams

Headteacher