School Re-opening September 2020

Please find our guidance below which details the arrangements for full re-opening of the school during the Covid-19 emergency in September:

Risk Assessments – These will continue to be reviewed and updated over the summer holidays:

Finally a letter for our current Year 12 students:

Dear Y12 students
Well we have reached the end of a highly unusual year and can now take a well-earned breather from school for a few weeks. I am writing my final letter of the year and wanted to say how very proud I am to be your Head of Sixth Form and to send you all my heartfelt thanks – you have been great!

Thank you for:
– Being calm, sensible and considerate during the school closure and subsequent lock down.
– Engaging with the challenges of remote learning and working hard on the tasks set. Those who did fall behind are now working hard to catch up which is also great to see.
– Positive interactions with all you teachers and pastoral leaders whether seeking or accepting help. Miss Rudman reports that you have all been honest, courteous and appreciate of all she has done for you which is lovely to hear.
–  Excellent attitude and willingness to follow the rules during face to face sessions – the feedback from teachers has been completely positive.
– Your sensible responses to the assessment plans for next term – work hard but keep the tests in perspective please.
– Contributing to a fantastic student transition newsletter
– Finally making sure you are registered for UCAS!!

September Opening

With this bulletin you will find the Y12/13 Student Guide for September. It contains lots of safety and organisation information (most of which I will not repeat here) so please read carefully before coming back next term.

We have worked really hard to make sure that you, as Y13 students with important A level exams, have top priority. I hope that you appreciate our plans for a full opening that ensure you all get your full timetable of lessons and study periods from the start of next term. You may be aware that some colleges have not been able to make provision for all Sixth Form students to be on site every day and are retaining mixed provision in September – I think we are the lucky ones!

You will also all be taught by your specialist teachers (and I for one cannot wait to be working with two Y13 Maths groups next year!) and have access to the labs you need on C floor. Mr. Hirst is working hard to ensure his Art students have good resources and space up there too. You are fortunate so please make sure your teachers know that you appreciate their work in making the return to school work in your favour.

Some of you may be aware that Ofqual have been consulting with schools, colleges etc. about ‘minor’ changes to qualifications for next summer. Most of the suggested changes are about the amount of practical work that will be required. The structure of exams is unlikely to change significantly but, as you will have seen in the news, there is some talk of moving them from May/June to June/July in order to allow for more teaching time. Your teachers will let you know of any changes that affect you once Ofqual confirm their decisions early next term.

You will see, when you read the guidance, that Y12 and Y13 are to be treated as separate ‘bubbles’ next term. Once again we made this decision to protect Y13 as it reduces your chances of catching the virus or being asked to self-isolate if somebody tests positive. It may not be as sociable as a mixed Sixth Form but is does reduce mixing and thus transmission risks.

There are other arrangements that we have made in order to maintain full provision for you:

– The A45 study room, with its suite of computers, will be running from 14/09/20 and you will have a choice about when your 3 sessions are timetabled in order to ensure study time is productive. You can even schedule your sessions in lunchtimes if it is more convenient (more about this in assembly on day 1)
–  No changes to tutors except those previously assigned to Mr. Weston who have already been notified of the changes. He will still be your Y13 Progress Leader next term.
– UCAS process will continue as usual – tutors are on with references for those that have registered.
– Assessments have been planned to allow you to demonstrate your best – we have given you more notice and more detail than usual to help you prepare.
– We think we will be able to create a tarmac covered enclosed space in place of the astro-turf so that the football lads can kick a ball around. I know this will make some of you happy!

There are also some temporary compromises that I need you to understand and accept please:

(i) Y13 will have no access to the Sixth Form block for you as Y12 need the teaching space and easy access to support from Miss Rudman, Mr. Schofield and Mrs. Pennington in the early days whilst they are settling in. We have given you the Conference Suite instead – a lovely big sunny room with its own kitchen and toilet facilities – I don’t think you should see this as anything other than a minor inconvenience given the ‘big picture’ at the moment.
(iii) You will need to use your badge to sign in and out at reception please. If you need to talk to Miss Rudman or Mrs. Pennington then please email and they will come to you. Mr. Schofield will teach Y13 on C floor and I will be around up there a lot if you need help with anything at all. Your job is to keep me upbeat and smiley.
(iv)There will be no revision sessions or extra-curricular sessions will be scheduled for first few weeks. We were not expecting to run those for Y13 until after your assessment tests anyway so there is no real disadvantage to you here.

Please read the guidance and remember that it is vital that you follow the guidance and protocols in school to prevent transmission of the virus as any kind of quarantine would not be in your best interests, either medically or educationally.

The Summer Holidays

It is always important that you stay safe but especially so with the Covid-19 risk still ever-present – use your judgement and take care of yourselves and your families as far as you can. It is also important that you have a proper break and take some time to wind down, relax and enjoy yourselves (safely!). The Autumn Term is long and intense for Y13 students with assessments, lots of learning, UCAS applications, university tests and interviews etc. so we need you to come back well rested and full of energy.

You would be well advised to do some preparation for your assessments and UCAS applications as any work you do over the holiday will reduce the pressure in September but also give you a head start for the real A levels next summer.

Be kind to yourself and accept that the last four months have been highly unusual and that we have all had different, and in some cases, difficult challenges to face. Tomorrow is a new day and September will be a new term so let’s be positive and look forward to being back together and supporting each other.

First day arrangements – a summary of the main points:

– Read the guidance carefully so you know what is happening in school.
–  For Y13 the first day back will be Monday 7th September and everybody needs to be in by 8.30am for assemblies and tutor time please.
– Please sign in at the main reception and sanitise your hands
– Half of you will have assembly in the Conference Suite at 8.30am and half at 9.00 am according to the timetable in your booklet. If you are going to tutor rooms you should use the South Stairs (opposite the Head’s office).
– Timetables will be issued during P1
– Lessons start P2 and continue as normal throughout the day – bring equipment for all three subjects.
– There will be a C6/CC briefing at break time in C3
– Further tutorials take place between 11.50am and 12.20pm today and you will be asked to choose the times of your study periods
–  Please bring enough food and drink for the day as you will not be able to leave the site until after your final lesson.

Please be aware that your teachers and pastoral leaders also need a proper break so avoid sending them non-urgent emails over the holidays please.

My final words today are to give a big ‘shout out’ and a huge ‘THANK YOU’ to Mrs. Pennington who has single-handedly created an enhanced, informative, entertaining and highly individual bulletin for you (and for Y13 before they left) every single school day for the last 17 weeks!! That is some achievement and I hope you all appreciate her messages as much as I do. Thank you Mrs. P

So all that remains to say is
See you all in September! Mrs D