As, by Monday 7th September, all our pupils will have returned to school, we wanted to let you know that to manage the risks, things will be different for the foreseeable future.
Strict rules about when pupils should attend school
Pupils will not be permitted on site if they are displaying any of the following symptoms.
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back OR
- a new, continuous cough OR
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
Check if your child has symptoms and get more guidance here:
Parents should report their child’s absence as normal to the absence line.
Social Distancing – Year Group Bubbles Entry and Exit points
We have adjusted entrance points to the building to support social distancing. Different year groups will enter the site through different perimeter gates. School starts at 8.35am and pupils need to be in their designated form rooms for then.
Y7 – Second side gate – Sandy Lane
Gate Opens at 8.15am End of the day 2.50pm
Y8 – Main pupils’ gate – Wallasey Village and stay on GRA.
Gate Opens at 8.15am End of the day 2.40pm
Y9 – Main pupils’ gate – Wallasey Village and move onto Yard not GRA.
Gate Opens at 8.15am End of the day 2.50pm
Y10 – First side gate – Sandy Lane
Gate Opens at 8.15am End of the day 2.40am
Y11 – Back gate – St George’s Road
Gate Open at 8.15am End of the day 2.50pm
Unfortunately, at the moment the canteen will not be open in the morning for breakfast before school.
We practised using these gates with pupils on their induction days.
We have not changed the start and the end of the day timings much, as we are unable to alter the bus and train services, on which many of our pupils depend, to get to and from school.
Social Distancing – Year Group Bubbles – What will a normal day be like?
Once pupils have arrived on the school site they will be required to attend their form room.
At each entrance point there are hand sanitisers and pupils will be encouraged to wash and / or sanitise their hands throughout the day. There is at least one hand sanitising dispenser on each corridor and additional handwashing facilities.
There will be very limited movement around the school during lesson change overs. A typical Year 7 pupil may only move out of ‘their’ classroom for 4-5 lessons per week.
Even in Years 10 and 11, where pupils are moving to some specialist teaching areas, they will spend approximately 50% of their lessons in their year bubble classrooms.
All classrooms have been set up so that they are forward facing. Staff will teach from the front of the classroom predominantly and will do everything they can to ensure that lessons are as productive as possible.
Social-distancing measures are in place during break times and lunchtimes
At breaks and lunch times pupils will be remaining within their bubble of a Year Group. Each year group will have their own dedicated outdoor area each break and lunchtime.
Current government guidance that anyone over the age of 11 must wear a face mask while travelling on public transport. Current government advice is that pupils and staff do not need to wear a face mask inside the school site and buildings unless there is local lockdown in place.
If pupils are travelling to school on bikes, there will be places to leave them on the entrance to their respective bubbles but they must be locked and secured by the pupils.
Given the significant unique details of the daily internal timing arrangements for each of the seven year groups, I have not included them all in this letter but I want to reassure you that they have undergone comprehensive scrutiny including from our external Health and Safety consultants.
As you can imagine, this is proving a complex issue for all schools. At the moment our plans are as follows:
There will be a limited food offer over our staggered morning break which we explained to pupils on their respective induction days. Pupils will be encouraged to bring their own snack on days when they do not have access to the canteen at break.
Sixth Formers will be permitted to go out of the college at break time.
At break time pupils will access the canteen on a rota basis- except for Year 7 who will have the earliest lunch and can bring a snack.
Y8- access to the canteen Monday and Wednesday
Y9 – access to the canteen Tuesday and Thursday
Y10 – access to the canteen on a Friday
Y11 – access to the canteen every day as they have the latest lunch – 1.20pm start
There will be a hot and cold offer over lunch which will be staggered. The canteen is now split to stop Year bubbles mixing and time built in for the cleaning of each area between the sittings of the different year groups.
There will be designated external areas where different year groups can go at break and lunch, again preserving Year bubbles.
Again, the use of our cashless system will help this with wiping down of our finger scanners between users and we would encourage parents to transfer money electronically via ParentPay wherever possible to their child’s account.
Sixth Formers will be able to order “Grab Bags” from the canteen to eat upstairs in the Sixth Form Area. They are also permitted to go out and buy lunch outside of college.
The guidance we have received is that we should disconnect water fountains which require pupils to drink directly from them. We have done this.
Therefore, we would encourage you to provide your child with enough water for the day. There will be bottled water on sale in school.
Please remind your child that fizzy drinks and energy drinks are not allowed in school.
We have significantly increased the number of toilets pupils can use. We have explained which and when (unless there is an emergency) each year group bubble can use their designated toilets as part of their year group induction day. These toilets will be cleaned and maintained throughout the day.
It is essential that all pupils are well equipped for lessons so that we can minimise the need to borrow or share resources. Pupils should have a school bag with their initials (not their full name) on. They also need a pencil case with black or blue ink ballpoint pens, pencils, a sharpener, a rubber, a ruler, a protractor and compass, some colouring pencils and a scientific (natural display) calculator. It would also be helpful if pupils brought their own water-based glue stick (but we will provide one if this is not possible). As mentioned above, pupils also need to bring water in a refillable water bottle in with them.
As you may be aware, the Department for Education has announced that, from 1 September, If your secondary school is in a local lockdown area
- Staff and pupils should wear face coverings when moving around school, such as in corridors and communal areas (unless they’re exempt)
- Face coverings won’tgenerally be necessary in classrooms, even if social distancing isn’t possible
As we are not in a lockdown area at this stage, the wearing of facemasks / visors in school is not mandatory at this time.
We would, however, advise that staff and pupils wear facemasks in communal areas if they feel it appropriate to do so. This is optional at this time but guidance will be updated along with our risk assessments and information from PHE should the advice change.
Any mask worn by pupils should not have logos/slogans and that it is plain in colour.
Please be assured that as part of our staggered return at the beginning of term, we trained pupils in the use of masks and the importance of good hygiene.
We are constantly reviewing our risk assessments to ensure that the school is safe for our pupils and staff and we will keep you informed of changes as they occur. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact school should you have any queries.
It is still compulsory for facemasks to be worn on public transport including school buses and that at the moment children are encouraged to walk or cycle to work if possible.
Hands must be washed or sanitised on arrival at the school, before and after eating, after using the toilet and after sneezing or coughing. Pupils will be reminded of this on entry to the building and on any lesson changeover.
- If a student uses the toilet, they will be required to wash their hands.
- Staff and students will be encouraged not to touch their mouth, eyes or nose.
- “Catch it, bin it, kill it” is encouraged
We will actively teach hygiene through our curriculum and we ask our parents’ support this at home.
Having read this, I hope you are reassured by the steps we are taking to keep our pupils and staff as safe as possible whilst ensuring they continue to get the best possible education in the current circumstances. The enthusiasm for being back in school shown during the induction days last week was a cause for great optimism for us all.
Thank you for your support and understanding.