Letter to Y7 Parents regarding Reopening to All Years in August 2020.
10 July 2020
Dear Parent/Carer and Year 6 students,
We are very much looking forward to welcoming you to the Priory Belvoir Academy on Wednesday August 26th 2020. Despite not being able to run our normal transition day, I hope you have enjoyed our virtual transition resources which are on the academy website and that they gave you a good insight into life at Belvoir.
As we are still working with restrictions due to Covid-19, the normal routine of school will be different this year. Year groups have been zoned into areas of the school. Year 7 will be based in the Debdale building and they will form their own ‘bubble’. In many ways, this will be similar to their way of working at primary school, where student are taught in one room rather than moving around the school for every lesson. For the time being, they will be taught in their form groups; this affords them the opportunity to develop and cement new friendships. The Debdale building is a well-equipped and resourced building with its own hygiene facilities and where classrooms open out onto the school field which will be perfect in creating a safe and contained space for our youngest students.
We are operating a staggered start and end to the school day, therefore on the first day back, if you are dropping your child off by car or on foot, they will need to arrive at the gate adjacent to the Tennis court for 8.25am and be picked up at 2.50pm. If you child is travelling by a designated school bus, their arrival will be managed by the Senior Leadership Team. All students will be supported to the Debdale courtyard by members of the Senior Leadership Team and lined up in their form groups before being taken into the building by their form tutor. Year 7 will spend the morning with their form tutor going through a range of information about the school and will be involved in some ‘getting to know you’ activities which will support them in feeling confident and settled.
I know you as parents will be nervous and want to wait until your child has gone into the school building but please rest assured that we are highly experienced at inducting new students and therefore, in line with government guidance, I would respectfully request that you drop your child off promptly, socially distant from other adults and depart promptly so that we can welcome all students back at their designated start time safely.
I have attached the whole-school letter sent to all parents for more detailed information about the arrangements for the first day back. Please read this carefully and support us in the protective measures and pay particular attention to the meal arrangements and equipment.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the academy.
Re-opening to All Year Groups
We have arrived at the end of an exceptional academic year having worked through what will be a significant period in history and as an academy, we have the met the challenges of working within restrictions and home learning head-on and with a high degree of success. Thank you to all those parents who have taken the time to email us to acknowledge the hard work and extensive support that our staff have provided for our students; I am proud to be the Headteacher at Belvoir and privileged to lead and work with such a dedicated and highly effective team of staff. I would also like to congratulate our Year 10 students who have been returning to school for their dedicated face to face support days and our Key Worker students. They have worked with diligence and without exception, adhered to all of the protective measures so that we could re-open to them safely. I am confident our Year 11 students will be successful in the forthcoming examination results day and will write to Year 11 students and parents separately to outline the arrangements for results day on Thursday 20th August.
You will now be aware that the Government has announced that all pupils are able to return to school after the summer holidays. I am pleased that I can now outline how we are able to welcome back all of our students, in line with Government guidance commencing on Wednesday 26th August 2020, at the start of the new academic year.
The planning and preparation has included a thoroughly considered risk assessment which can be found here https://www.belvoiracademy.co.uk/news/?pid=10&nid=3&storyid=107 and consultation with staff using the latest government guidance documents, in particular Coronavirus (COVID-19: implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings and Guidance for secondary school provision from 15 June 2020 and the more recent document, published on 2nd July 2020 Guidance for full opening: Schools.
Our approach is to keep as close to a normal school day, in a Covid-19 secure way and enable the delivery of a full and as broad a curriculum as possible. This means we are able to offer the full range of subject provision for each year group.
Each year group, is in effect, a bubble and has been ‘zoned’ to an area of the school where most of their lessons will be delivered, unless they need to access a specialist teaching room such as, for example, Food Technology or Art. In general, teachers will move and students will largely remain static. This is the opposite way around to how schools normally operate and is in place to reduce student movement around the school and to mitigate and reduce the risk of students mixing outside of their year group ‘bubble’.
At break and lunchtime, each year group will be allocated an indoor and outdoor space which will be supervised by staff. All arrangements will be explained to students on the first day back in tutorial time.
We will be operating a staggered start and end to each day and would ask that parents and students support us with this:
Staggered Start Times
Staggered Finishing Times
There will be an additional communication following this letter to both parents and students in the week commencing 17th August, with details of their Year Zone and allocated rooms. It is important that students arrive to school on the 26th August 2020 knowing this information.
Students will be working in their normal groups for subjects throughout the day. They will work in their ‘zone’ classroom for the greater proportion of their time. In line with the guidance, classrooms will be arranged so that students are sat side by side and facing forwards wherever possible. Students will need to bring their own stationery and equipment, including a calculator and items such as a glue stick, as equipment cannot be shared with any other person. This means staff will not be able to loan equipment. A full equipment list can be found here: https://www.belvoiracademy.co.uk/page/?title=Academy+Uniform&pid=47. Importantly, all students must have an appropriate reading book as reading will feature as part of the daily routine whilst working under protective measures.
Students are expected to wear full school uniform and bring a bag containing their equipment. We would also ask that you provide your child with hand sanitiser to minimise the need to queue for washing hands and there will be a strict enhanced hygiene routine in place. There will, however, be hand sanitiser provided in every classroom. Again, to minimise the need for movement and queueing, please provide your child with a full water bottle each day, together with a packed lunch; there will be a food service and an opportunity to purchase sandwiches and hot food if necessary. Parents are asked to indicate if they intend for their child to have a hot meal via the survey form which can be accessed by clicking on the link https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=a4b7hEpr50GQiiDXWqYdgalkQtp5do1Imkn61fVBxXhUMEcxTDFSVVE0R0FVVjZBT0lLNVUyNDA1OC4u (this link will also be on the Yr6/7 transition page on the website). This is so we can plan ahead and also manage the queuing to maintain the year group bubbles.
Without exception, all students will be expected to follow the social distancing and protective measures in school including the one way system for movement and staff will outline expectations in detail during tutorial time on the first day back.
We are currently working with local authority school transport providers and will contact parents in the week commencing 17th August with any additional information. All eligible students will need their bus pass, sanitise their hands before boarding and should follow the instructions given to them by the driver about where to sit to comply with protective measures. Students should sit next to others in their own year group or a sibling on each journey. Please be aware that Government guidance stipulates that face coverings should be worn on public transport but is not a requirement on dedicated school transport where students are not mixing with members of the public, however, students are encouraged to wear one where possible. Staff at school will be on duty to supervise students as they alight from their bus. Parents who are dropping their children off by car should follow the one way system into the car park at the designated drop off time. This will assist us in ensuring social distancing. Students who walk to school should come directly to the student entrance adjacent to the tennis courts at the designated start time. All students will be required to use hand sanitiser before entering the gate into the site.
Please note that access through the school grounds from Belvoir Avenue is now permanently closed so that we can extend the safeguarding perimeter fence to include a repurposed building for educational use and incorporate more outside space for students.
To support us in our protective measures, I would respectfully ask parents to adhere to the following:
- Do not send your child to school if they have Covid-19 symptoms or if a member of the household is displaying symptoms.
- Support in collecting your child if we find it necessary to send them home if they display Covid-19 symptoms and get a test. Inform the school immediately of the results, positive or negative.
- If the test is positive, follow the ‘stay at home’ guidance by Public Health England.
- If you need to accompany your child to school, only one parent should attend.
- Do not enter the site unless you have a pre-arranged appointment.
- Adhere to the drop off and pick up times.
- Discuss with your child the need for good hygiene and regular sanitising/washing of hands. There is a programme of more stringent hygiene and cleaning measures in place across the school.
- PPE/face covering may be worn to and from the school site but must be removed and placed in a plastic bag brought from home. This must be taken home and disposed of at the end of the day. Face coverings are not permitted on the school site.
Children who have been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable or who are shielding a household member in the extremely clinically vulnerable group are expected to return to school as shielding guidance is due to finish on August 1st 2020. Please contact us at the Academy if you wish to discuss anything further.
As a staff group at the Priory Belvoir Academy, we are very much looking forward to welcoming all of our students back to return to a new sense of normality. We have missed them greatly and know that they will rise to the challenge of making the school day work safely for all. We are adept at managing change and you can be confident that every child will be supported pastorally and academically in succeeding over the course of the next academic year.
Thank you for your continued patience and support so that we are able to open safely. The Academy site will be closed over the summer holidays and there will be no home learning set. We look forward to welcoming everyone back on August 26th 2020 but in the meantime wish everyone an enjoyable summer break.
Mr L S Newton,
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