National restrictions #2
As you are aware, on Saturday 31 October 2020 the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced there will be a further period of national lockdown beginning on Thursday 5 November 2020. This was then debated in the House of Commons and was confirmed on Wednesday 4 November following a vote.
The government’s intention is clear: schools in England will remain open and attendance is mandatory:
‘Being at school is vital for children’s education and for their wellbeing. Time spent out of school is detrimental for children’s cognitive and academic development, particularly for disadvantaged children. This impact can affect both current levels of education, and children’s future ability to learn. It continues to be our aim that all pupils, in all year groups, remain in school full-time.’
We received specific guidance for Education and Childcare Settings at 4:30pm on Wednesday 4 November.
In response, we are currently reviewing our actions plans and risk assessments. Schools are now required to:
- Ensure face coverings are worn by pupils and staff in communal spaces, outside classrooms where social distancing is not possible. This is now mandatory in all secondary schools and following our decision to introduce them at the beginning of October, is already in place. Please make sure your child continues to bring a face covering into school, wears and looks after it appropriately. Read about wearing face coverings at Deer Park...
- Advise clinically extremely vulnerable staff to work from home. All other staff should continue to attend work including those living in a household with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable. This also applies to clinically extremely vulnerable pupils who. if they are in receipt of a new NHS letter advising them to do so. should continue with their learning at home and in line with our remote learning plan. Read about our COVID Response Plan...
- Cease all extra-curricular activities except any provision of after school clubs specifically for childcare. As a secondary school, we do not offer ‘wrap around care’. Regrettably, we have had to cancel activities such as our Craft and Ukulele clubs with immediate effect.
- Continue to work towards exams which the government are clear will still go ahead next summer. This means we will continue to teach GCSE Statistics and Additional Maths which are taught after school, as scheduled lessons as a part of our extended curriculum. We will also conduct any practical exams and activities which are already scheduled with pupils in and after school and are directly related to their learning and/or GCSEs.
- Follow the guidance for teaching Music, Drama and Physical Education. These lessons can continue within the normal school day as long as safety precautions are in place. At Deer Park we have enabled our pupils to use our specialist facilities and we have established clear and consistent wipe down routines. We are grateful to our pupils for their cooperation.
- Confirm that parent/carers cannot visit the school for the purposes of new admissions, settling in or to attend organised performances. At Deer Park we are finding new ways to share information with parents such as our live Virtual Open Evening and Learning Conferences. This year we will also be conducting our Parents’ Evenings online. More information will follow nearer the time. However, we encourage parents to continue to contact us by email or telephone should you have any questions or concerns about your children’s learning and progress.