We Can Return to School!
Phased return to school from Monday 8 March 2021.
Following the announcement of the Prime Minister’s ‘road map for leaving lockdown’ on Monday 22 February 2021, we are planning to re-open the school to all pupils in the week beginning Monday 8 March 2021.
We are very much looking forward to welcoming everyone back. However, in order to do this, we are obliged to follow the revised operational guidance for schools provided by the Department for Education. We will be reviewing our risk assessments and strengthening our system of controls.
As during September to December 2020, all pupils will be expected to abide by our school standards and observe the protective measures we have put in place including good respiratory and hand hygiene, appropriate social distancing and staying within their year group ‘bubble’ and designated areas. Furthermore, we will continue to keep our classrooms well ventilated.
On their return to school all pupils should:
- Wear our school uniform correctly;
- Wash their hands thoroughly on arrival and at intervals during the school day;
- Use hand sanitiser on entry to their classrooms;
- Wipe down any equipment and the area in which they have worked using the wipes provided;
- Comply with instructions, such as seating plans, and ensure they face the front at all times;
- Maintain appropriate social distancing between themselves (1m) and with all adults in the school (2m);
- Follow the clearly marked routes and designated one-way systems around the school;
- Report any potential COVID-19 related symptoms immediately.
As you will be aware, from Boris Johnson’s press conference on Monday 22 February 2021, secondary schools are required to put additional protective measures in place. The Prime Minister stated:
‘All the evidence shows that schools are safe and the risk posed to children by COVID is vanishingly small, but to offer even greater reassurance, we’re introducing twice weekly testing of secondary school and college pupils and asking them to wear face coverings for the rest of this term.’
1. FACE COVERINGS
Staff and pupils are advised to wear face coverings in all indoor areas, INCLUDING CLASSROOMS, where social distancing cannot be maintained as a temporary extra measure. The rationale behind this was also explained by Professor Chris Witty.
To minimise the risks and create an inherently safer environment, we will temporarily be implementing this in all classrooms at Deer Park from Monday 8 March to Thursday 1 April 2021. We will expect all pupils and staff to wear face coverings in all classrooms, corridors and indoor communal spaces. Teachers may remove their face coverings when speaking to the whole class, but should only do so from behind the white line at the front of the classroom which marks the appropriate social distance.
We appreciate some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings if they ‘cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical impairment or disability, illness or mental health difficulties.’ Parents are asked to confirm any exemption in writing and we will then provide their child with a lanyard to wear to avoid any unnecessary challenge.
School Standard: ‘We respect and cooperate with each other.’
2. ASYMPTOMATIC TESTING
Pupils will take coronavirus (COVID-19) tests as they return to the classroom. Rapid testing using Lateral Flow Devices will support the return to face-to-face education by helping to identify people who are infectious but do not have any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.
While this testing remains voluntary, it is strongly encouraged. In line with the guidance, pupils at Deer Park will initially be offered 3 tests, 3 to 5 days apart, in school before being provided with home test kits for regular testing. These will be distributed by the school and more information will follow.
To enable pupils to return to face-to-face education after their first negative test result, we propose to phase our re-opening and manage the number of pupils passing through our test centre at any one time.
We will be contacting parents by email regarding consent. Pupils not undergoing testing will return to school with their peers in line with our phased return arrangements.
Our test centre has been operational since Monday 4 January. We have an experienced team and both staff and pupils in school during the period of lockdown have been able to take advantage of the opportunity to have two coronavirus (COVID-19) tests each week. So far over 1,000 tests have been safely completed.
School Standard: ‘We grasp all opportunities for learning so we can achieve our best.’
3. MANAGING THE RETURN TO SCHOOL FOR ALL PUPILS
To help us achieve a smooth transition, the government are allowing schools to exercise discretion on how to phase the return of pupils over the week beginning Monday 8 March 2021.
At Deer Park:
- All pupils will be assigned learning tasks in Show My Homework only from Monday 8 March until their year group returns to school.
- Pupils currently attending our in-school provision will continue to do so from Monday 8 March until their year groups return to school. However, they will be required to wear school uniform from Monday 8 March.
All pupils in Years 10 and 11 will be invited into school on Monday 8 March for coronavirus (COVID-19) tests only. Once parents have completed and returned their consent forms, they will need to book an appointment for their child to have a first test by using our Parents’ Evening Booking system. Pupils in Years 10 and 11 who have had a negative test result will return to school and their lessons on Tuesday 9 March for a prompt 9:00am start. Pupils in Years 10 and 11 will be offered a second test in school on Thursday 11 March and a third test on Tuesday 16 March.
All pupils in Years 8 and 9 will be invited into school on Tuesday 9 March for coronavirus (COVID-19) tests only. Once parents have completed and returned their consent forms, they will be need to book an appointment for their child to have a first test by using our Parents’ Evening Booking system. Pupils in Years 8 and 9 who have had a negative test result will return to school and their lessons on Wednesday 10 March for a prompt 9:00am start. Pupils in Years 8 and 9 will be offered a second test in school on Friday 12 March and a third test on Wednesday 17 March.
All pupils in Year 7 will be invited into school on Wednesday 10 March for coronavirus (COVID-19) tests only. Once parents have completed and returned their consent forms, they will be need to book an appointment for their child to have a first test by using our Parents’ Evening Booking system. Pupils in Year 7 who have had a negative test result will return to school and their lessons on Thursday 11 March for an 8:45am start. Pupils in Year 7 will be offered a second test in school on Monday 15 March and a third test on Thursday 18 March.
|Mon 8 March||Tue 9 March||Wed 10 March||Thu 11 March||Fri 12 March|
|Years 10 & 11||Test 1
|Years 8 & 9||SMHW||Test 1
|Year 7||SMHW||SMHW||Test 1
|Mon 15 March||Tue 16 March||Wed 17 March||Thu 18 March||Fri 19 March|
|Years 10 & 11||Test 3|
|Years 8 & 9||Test 3|
|Year 7||Test 2||Test 3|
- From Thursday 11 March all pupils will be back in school in their ‘bubbles’. They will return to their home bases and follow their timetables.
- Our Year 11 Interim Reports and Parents’ Evening have been postponed while we wait for further guidance on how pupils in this year group will be assessed. However, our internal formal assessments for pupils in Year 11 are now scheduled to take place in school from the week beginning Monday 22 March.
- School attendance returns to being mandatory for all pupils.
- As our pupils return to our classrooms, teachers will recommence face-to-face teaching. This will be our priority. Our Remote Learning Plan sets out the provision we will make for an individual pupil, or small groups of pupils, who need to self-isolate for a short period of time and, therefore, cannot attend school, and the contingency plans we have in place to enable all pupils to continue with their learning in the event of local or national intervention leading to a partial closure or local lockdowns.
School Standards: ‘We apply our best efforts in all we do; we work hard.’
‘We are determined and challenge ourselves to achieve more than we first thought possible.’