Principal’s Letter 5th June 2020

Principal’s Letter 5th June 2020

5th June 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope that you and your families are all still keeping safe and well.  As many of you will already know, over the May holiday the Government released guidelines stating that secondary schools should be working towards putting opportunities in place for students in Year 10 and Year 12 to have some face-to-face time with their teachers.

A section from the guidance stated:

‘Schools have the flexibility to implement face-to-face support for year 10 and year 12 pupils in the way that best suits their circumstances, including considerations around staff availability and workload.  It is up to schools to decide how they want to use face-to-face support in the best interests of their pupils e.g. additional pastoral support, academic support, practical support, or a combination of these.  There may be some pupils who would particularly benefit from more face-to-face support, such as disadvantaged pupils or pupils who have not been engaging in remote education.  These pupils may attend more frequently than others as long as schools ensure that only a quarter of the year 10 and 12 cohort are in school at any one time.  This should be alongside full-time attendance of vulnerable children and children of critical workers in all year groups.’

As a result of all of the information and guidance provided, we would like to share an overview of our plans with you for the summer term.  These plans will, of course, be subject to review as the situation changes on a national level, as we receive further guidance from both the Government and local authority, and as we monitor staff availability.

Below you will find an overview of the provision that we are hoping to implement to support our Year 10 and Year 12 students.

Details of provision are as follows:

The TST Secondary Small School will continue to operate daily from A Block for vulnerable and critical worker children.

The TST Primary Schools will operate daily from T Block for identified year groups.  Primary staff, pupils and parents will operate in bubbles and be kept separate from Homewood staff, students and parents.

Additionally, there will be three small provisions for Year 10 which will operate from Monday 15th June and which will be on an invite only basis.

  • Two Year 10 Key Skills groups. Students will be invited to attend every Monday between 9.00am and 3.30pm. Students will be taught English and Maths in an allocated room with the same 2 members of staff each week (concept of a family bubble).  The start date will be Monday 15th June and this provision will continue for 5 consecutive Mondays.  Sessions will be by invite only and parents will be contacted by Tuesday 9th June if this provision applies to their child.
  • Two Year 10 groups of students who need more support to enable them to return to school will attend every Monday between 9.00am and 3.30pm. Students will complete their online learning in the same computer room with the same staff each week (concept of family bubble).  The start date will be Monday 15th June and the sessions will continue for 5 consecutive Mondays. Sessions will be by invite only and parents will be contacted by Tuesday 9th June if this provision applies to their child.
  • Two Year 10 groups of students who need further encouragement to complete their work at home will attend every Thursday between 9.00am and 3.30pm. Students will complete their online learning with the same staff in the same computer room each week (concept of family bubble).  The start date will be Thursday 18th June and the sessions will continue for 5 consecutive Thursdays.  Sessions will be by invite only and parents will be contacted by Tuesday 9th June if this provision applies to their child.

Face to Face Sessions for the Remainder of Year 10

All Year 10 students who are not attending one of the above 3 provisions or the TST Small School for vulnerable students or critical workers will be invited to attend 3 days in school before the summer holidays and undertake intensive tuition in the 3 core subjects of English, Maths and Science.  One day will be set aside for each of the subjects.

Up to 15 Year 10 groups of between 8 and 10 students will be invited to attend school every Tuesday for 3 consecutive weeks.  Five groups will study English all day, five groups will study Maths all day and 5 groups will study Science all day.  A member of specialist staff will teach the group for the time that they are in school.  Staggered starts, breaks, lunchtimes and end to days will be in operation to minimise the potential spread of infection.  The same groups will remain in the same room for 3 consecutive Tuesdays and will be taught a different core subject on each occasion by a specialist member of staff.  The dates will be Tuesday 30th June, Tuesday 7th July and Tuesday 14th July.

A different set of 15 Year 10 groups of between 8 and 10 students will be invited to attend school every Wednesday for 3 consecutive weeks.  Again, five groups will study English all day, five groups will study Maths all day and 5 groups will study Science all day.  A member of specialist staff will teach the group for the time that they are in school.  Staggered starts, breaks, lunchtimes and end to days will be in operation to minimise the potential spread of infection.  The same groups will remain in the same room for 3 consecutive Wednesdays and will be taught a different core subject each week by a specialist member of staff.  The dates will be Wednesday 1st July, Wednesday 8th July and Wednesday 15th July.

An online parental survey asking whether your child would like to access this provision will be accessible and available via the school website early next week.  We would ask that this is returned to us no later than Wednesday 10th June.  Once we are able to ascertain those students who will be taking advantage of these sessions, we will send you further details regarding arrangements for the days.  We would ask that all Year 10 parents complete and submit the form alongside their child as there is some very important information about measures that will be put in place to safeguard them and about our expectations of them in terms of social distancing. Please complete the survey even if you do not wish for your child to attend.  If you do not return the survey or contact the school before this date we will assume that your child will not be attending.  As I am sure you can appreciate, we need to know the exact numbers of students that will be in attendance so that we can ensure that the staffing is fully in place and so that measures are taken so that we can ensure that the risk of infection is minimised.  The groups of students (family bubbles) will be compiled once we are in receipt of the parental survey responses and each student will be informed of their group number, their arrival and departure time, their room number and their designated area for break and lunchtime prior to the first session on Tuesday 30th June or Wednesday 1st July.

Face to face Sessions for Year 12

Year 12 students will be invited to attend 3 or 4 days in school before the summer holidays and undertake tuition and support for home learning in their chosen subjects.  One day will be set aside for each of their 3 or 4 options.

All Year 12 students will be invited to attend on 4 consecutive Fridays.  Groups will be organised by option block.  Students will normally have options in 3 or 4 of the blocks and they should attend on the appropriate dates.

  • Block A Lessons will be held on 26th June
  • Block B Lessons will be held on 3rd July
  • Block C Lessons will be held on10th July
  • Block D Lessons will be held on 17th July

Students will follow their chosen option within that block each Friday and, where possible, they will be taught by their normal teachers for the whole day.  This will provide an excellent opportunity for intensive work.  Where groups exceed 15, they will be divided into 2 sub-groups.  Staggered starts, breaks, lunchtimes and end to days will be in operation to minimise the potential spread of infection.

An online student survey to ascertain whether your child will be attending for the relevant 3 or 4 days will be sent to Year 12 students early next week, and we would ask that this is returned to us no later than Wednesday 10th June.  Once we are able to ascertain those students that will be taking advantage of these sessions, we will send you further details regarding arrangements for the days.  Please speak to your son or daughter about this and fill in the form together as it will include very important information about measures that will be put in place to safeguard them and about our expectations in terms of social distancing.  Please complete the survey even if you do not wish for your child to attend. Again, as I am sure you can appreciate, we will need to know exact numbers of students very quickly to ensure that stringent plans are in place and to ensure that we have adequate staffing levels to cover the days.  Students will be advised of their arrival and departure times, their room number and their designated area for break and lunchtime prior to Friday 26th June.

Information for all Year 10 and 12 Students

Please note that Year 10 and Year 12 students will need to bring a packed lunch into school as canteen facilities will not be available.  Due to the current restrictions, students will not be able to leave the school site over the lunch period or during the course of the day.

Whilst in classrooms, students will be allocated their own seat in order to maintain social distancing and students will be encouraged to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser before entering a classroom and before they eat.  Where students do not adhere to social distancing, parents will be asked, in line with guidance provided to schools, to arrange for the immediate transportation home for their child.  We would be grateful if you would speak to your child about social distancing before they return to school.

Please be aware that private school buses will not be running this term.  KCC and the Government advise against students using public transport and have stated that face coverings are compulsory from 15th June if students choose this form of transport. Public buses will continue to run their services, but provision may be restricted.  Please ensure that you check bus timetables should your sons or daughters wish to travel by public bus and make a note of the drop-off and collection points as buses will not be able to come onto the school site.  There will be questions on the online parental surveys for you to complete which will allow you to indicate how students will get into school.

Home Learning

Whilst students are not in school they should be continuing with their home learning programme via Google Classroom.  We are very grateful for parental support with this and would urge you to remind your children to communicate with their teacher as often as they can and hand work in by the set deadlines.  It is so very important that all of our students do their absolute best to complete all of the work set so that they can return to school fully prepared in the new academic year.  Please contact your child’s college should you need support.

I appreciate that there is a lot of information here, but we obviously wanted to ensure that you were all informed fully of the proposed plans.  This is obviously a rather complex process as we endeavour to meet Government guidelines for a gradual reopening, maintain our provision for vulnerable students and the children of critical workers, continue with the remote learning for all students, and ensure that we are able to offer a safe environment for all students and staff.  With this in mind, I would like to thank you all once again for your support and understanding during this very difficult period of time.

I hope that you and your families have a good weekend.

 Yours sincerely,

J K Single

Principal

To view this letter as a PDF, please click here.