Dear Parents and Carers

Thank you for your patience in waiting for me to send you information regarding September.

I include below the headline points that I think you will want to know right now. However, we will create a short video and send out to all families in early August, explaining all of the detail in a more user-friendly way. We will also send out key information like students’ timetables prior to them starting back in September.

After reading the points below, I am very happy for you to email me/talk to me and pose any questions you may have. No question is too small and I’m happy to either talk on the phone, or for you to email me directly.

Email: rbp@clarendonacademy.com

Telephone: 07732 800899

Key dates for the start of September:

Wednesday the 9th September is the start of the year for all students. However, we will be running induction days for students leading up to this. These induction days are compulsory for students.

  • Monday 31st August: Bank Holiday
  • Tuesday 1st September: Training day for staff only
  • Wednesday 2nd September: Training day for staff only
  • Thursday: 3rd September: Training day for staff only
  • Friday: 4th September: Year 7 induction day
  • Monday 7th September: Years 8 and 9 induction day
  • Tuesday 8th September: Years 10 and 11 induction day
  • Wednesday 9th September: Start of term 1. All students return full time

Please Note: Years 12 and 13 will return from Thursday 3rd September. Mr Griffiths will be in touch with the relevant families about how this will work.

Rationale: 3 training days are there to ensure the staff have proper time to train (in smaller groups). It is really important that I ensure all of the staff know the new systems and procedures and that things work like clockwork by the time the students come back. The government guidance has arrived so late, that we need 3 days in September to ensure everything is safe and secure at school.

We also must have designated induction days for students to ensure they get properly trained in our new ways of working. We also need to test out all our new systems a few year groups at a time. Everything will work well, but I’d rather take it slowly to be absolutely sure.

The way it will work from the 9th September:

All Year groups will be placed in “zones” and will become year group sized bubbles. The bubbles will work in the same way as they do now, just on a larger scale. If we have a positive test, the bubble closes and we track and trace all those who have been in contact with the bubble.  To view our “Zones” please click here.

The “zones” (where students will have the vast majority of their lessons):

  • Year 7 will be based in the DT block
  • Year 8 will be based in the science block
  • Year 9 will be based in the Social sciences block
  • Year 10 will be based in Maths
  • Year 11 will be based in English and MFL
  • Year 12/13 will be based in the Oliver, AG and part of the Spectrum

Externally accessed classrooms:

To allow us to teach the full range of subjects to students, certain rooms which can be accessed through external doors have been left out of the “zones” and these can be used by classes via a booking system. These include rooms in: DT, Science, Art, IT, PA. I’ll explain more about how this will work in the video; but in short, it allows students to have as much proper practical teaching as possible.

Classrooms:

The students will stay in their zone and have the vast majority of their lessons in one or two classrooms. Teachers will move to them: it’s a complete role reversal of what we normally do in secondary schools.

Start of school and end of school and entrance/exit gates:

We have slightly amended start times and end times by ten minutes for certain year groups; this is to prevent any 2 year groups coming through the same gate at the same time. This won’t affect your child’s learning in any way, as those coming in early will go straight to their tutor base 10 minutes earlier than usual. Those leaving early, will have a slightly shorter Period 5 and leave at 2.50pm. At worst, a student may miss a maximum of 10 minutes’ learning in a day. We’ll let you know your son/daughter’s start and finish time and the gate they should use when we send out their timetables; these will be sent to you before their induction day, in the first few days in September.

Induction Days:

I promise that we will go everything in detail with your son/daughter on their induction day, so they are fully ready for school come the 9th September. All students must attend these days.

Attendance:

The Government has made it very clear that providing schools follow the proper social distancing guidelines, it is perfectly safe for students to return to school. We have followed these closely, and therefore, fully expect students to return to school. Please do contact me before September if you have an up-to-date letter from your GP or consultant advising your son/daughter to shield. If this is the case, we will of course support you. However, all other students will be expected to attend school.

Student Break times:

Students will remain in their zones with a designated outdoor space and use of eating venues on a rota. We have created more eating venues to accommodate this. We’ll explain more in the video.

Tutor Groups:

To avoid mixing bubbles, we will need to temporarily move  away from our vertical tutor group system. We will move, in the short term, to a model where students have a tutor group of their own year group, but still in their same house. They will be allocated a new tutor and room within their zone. Again, we will let your son/daughter know who and where when we send out their timetables.

The Curriculum:

We will aim to teach the full curriculum to all students, though it may mean that some practical based subjects (DT, IT, Drama etc.) do a bit more theory based learning during this period. We launch our new and exciting KS3 curriculum in September as planned, and I look forward to seeing this in action.

Cleaning:

We are actively recruiting cleaners to work throughout the day. We aim to have at least one cleaner in every zone. They will work throughout the day cleaning toilets and wiping down surfaces etc.

Teachers and students will be asked to use the wipes the school provide to wipe over their work area before leaving a classroom. Teachers arriving for a new lesson will give everything a wipe. Our basic rule is we wipe everything before and after use.

Hand Washing and use of Hand Sanitizer:

Students will be asked to wash their hands and use sanitizer regularly across the day.

School Uniform and Equipment List:

Students will be required to wear full school uniform. Please see our website for all the information you need on this: http://www.clarendonacademy.com/parents/uniform/

Students can wear their PE kit for days where they have Games, PE, Forest School or Dance.

Equipment list (please ensure your son/daughter is fully equipped with at least the following):

  • Hand sanitizer  – please encourage your son/daughter to bring a  small bottle of hand sanitizer with them for regular use throughout the day
  • A school bag
  • A pencil case
  • A pen (blue or black)
  • A purple pen for responding to feedback
  • A pencil
  • A ruler
  • A calculator
  • A small pack of colouring pencils

Note: Please contact me directly if you need any assistance in purchasing uniform or equipment. I am happy to discuss individual needs with you and may be able to offer support.

Mobile phones:

We recognise that most secondary school children own a mobile phone. We believe it is important for their safety, particularly when travelling to and from school. Therefore, students are welcome to bring their phone to school and can use it at break and lunch, but at no other time during the day. They are not to be seen in lessons or whilst walking the corridors to lessons. We will confiscate them if this is the case.

Trips and after school clubs:

Unless directly related to your son/daughter’s curriculum, we will not be running/planning trips in the first term. We will also postpone after-school clubs for the first term.

The School Calendar:

I attach, along with this letter, our school calendar for the year. Please note: we have written it as if it were a “normal” year. We will of course, postpone/cancel key events (particularly in term 1) if social distancing and safety rules dictate that we cannot run them. To view our Calendar please click here.

We will be in touch very soon with the video, explaining all of this and more. We will also be in touch with timetables in the first week of September.

Very best wishes
Mr Price