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18th September 2020
I am writing to update you on the start of the new school term and how the school community has returned under these new and challenging circumstances. It has been a smooth and orderly start to the new term, and we have been delighted to welcome the pupils back into school.
As you are aware, all pupils across both phases are grouped in specific year group ‘bubbles’. This includes lesson time, break time and lunchtime. Teaching staff move to the specific year group areas and when pupils access specialist teaching areas such as PE and Technology, they remain in their year group ‘bubbles’.
The year group ‘bubble’ formed on entrance to the school is intended to allow the school environment to be as usual as possible and to limit the spread of the virus. Clearly some pupils will travel to and from school in mixed year groups and we would ask that you encourage your child to avoid mixing year groups if at all possible.
The response from the children and staff to these new arrangements has been exemplary. There is a palpable eagerness to restore our school community systems and continue learning and working together effectively. Pupils have adapted well to the new processes and across both phases have been positive and enthusiastic.
Drop off and collection
We appreciate that there have had to be adjustments to how pupils arrive and exit the school site. We ask for, and appreciate, your continued support with this. If dropping off or collecting a child at the Primary Phase, please adhere to the allocated time, and ensure that social distancing measures are adopted whilst waiting for your child.
Similarly, to those families collecting any pupil from the Secondary Phase, please adhere to social distancing expectations if waiting to collect your child. Parking restrictions and guidelines must be followed to ensure the safety of the pupils exiting the site.
Pupils are allowed to travel to school on public transport in mixed year group bubbles and we would ask that you speak with your child to explain the additional measures they can take to keep themselves and their family safe. Face coverings must be worn when on public and school transport. Pupils need continued encouragement and expectations to sanitise and regularly wash their hands when applicable. This, along with social distancing, will reduce the risk of any pupil being unwell and unable to attend school.
Actions in the event of a positive test for Covid
The school has not yet had any staff or pupils on site test positive for Covid 19. Should the school have a pupil who develops Covid symptoms and subsequently tests positive for the virus, we will work swiftly and effectively with the Local Authority to establish the sensible and appropriate action. In the event of more than one positive case, we will also contact and work with Public Health England to follow their guidance and advice. One possibility is that a year group of pupils will be asked to remain off school for a set period of time to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms. Should this happen, the pupils in the year group affected will not be expected to access a test unless they develop symptoms or are directed to specifically by PHE/NHS track and trace.
It is imperative that families continue to monitor for any Covid symptoms and inform school if your child has developed symptoms whilst at home and is therefore accessing a test. The result of this test must then be communicated to school before an agreed return date is established.
In response to the recent changes in Government guidance, we have reviewed some of the events scheduled for this half term. We have had to postpone the School Walk scheduled for 8th October although we hope to reschedule this event later this academic year in 2021.
The INSET day scheduled for 9th October will still be held; school will be closed for all pupils on this day. We are continuing to review the plans for the Meet Your Coach Day (MYCD) scheduled for 21st October and will be in touch over the coming weeks to inform you how these important meetings will take place.
Pupils have been involved in class circle time in the Primary Phase and ‘class coaching’ in the Secondary Phase. This has enabled us to continue to work closely with pupils, ‘knowing our pupils well’ and as ‘partners in learning’. We know that pupils, staff and families will be keen to meet in their usual coaching groups and starting this week we have been able to facilitate this in both phases on a rota basis where groups meet adhering to social distancing in a suitable space.
Your child’s usual coach will be available through the usual points of contact, and will be liaising with class coaches as well as phase and year managers to ensure that relevant information is shared. Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s usual coach if you have any questions or queries.
Flexible Learning and After School Clubs
Flexible Learning for all year groups will start on Monday 21st September within the PE department only. Initially, each year group ‘bubble’ will be allocated a particular day of the week, for them to undertake a selection of sporting activities. From 28th September, a wider range of activities and events from across school will be added to the programme and will run similarly within year groups. These will be held between 3.00pm – 4.00pm on every day of the week.
At the Primary Phase, Child Seasons After School Club has resumed this week and are working closely with us to ensure that all our health and safety measures are maintained – the children are enjoying the activities in after school club again!
In the near future we will also begin flexible learning clubs after school. These will have a RESTORE focus and will be run on a year group bubble basis for health and safety reasons. We are exploring what the children want and need from flexible learning clubs and will then create activities for flexible learning for each year group within the next few weeks.
This week, all pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 have been provided with a Further Learning booklet of activities that relate to the curriculum being taught this half term. These booklets are also available on the school website at: www.carrmanor.org.uk/further-learning. Pupils are also expected to engage in the activities assigned to them on our online learning websites HegartyMaths and Educake. Teachers will communicate directly with children about when these activities should be completed and returned to them.
We are making changes to how Key Stage 4 pupils learn beyond the classroom in order for them to be prepared for important examinations and used to the approaches used in colleges and sixth forms. Pupils in Years 10 and 11 will be set weekly assignments for each subject on their timetable from Monday 21st September. We are using a new digital learning platform, Microsoft Teams, to communicate these learning activities. Children have been introduced to this new technology in their Independent Learning lessons; this includes logging in to Teams, using email and sending completed Independent Learning work to their teachers. Microsoft Teams is available on smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers and is completely free to our pupils. Later this term, after-school Independent Learning sessions will be available each day from 3pm until 3:45pm. All pupils in Years 10 and 11 will be expected to attend at least one after-school session per week.
Thank you for your ongoing support.