Letter to Parents 16th July 2020

                                                                                                            16th July 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,                                                                                                        

I am writing to share with you the arrangements that we have implemented to ensure a safe return to school in September. The guidance is arranged as a ‘COVID-19 A-Z’ document and covers all key areas; such as student zones, staggered breaks, the school’s one way system etc. If, after reading this document, you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact any member of the school community, our email addresses are our first names and surnames followed by @fernup.dorset.sch.uk.

Ferndown Upper will re-open fully on Monday 7th September for Year 9 and Year 12 and then Tuesday 8th September for the remaining year groups.

The main piece of news is that the government have informed us that students should not wear masks in school and that the students are also permitted to sit side by side at desks, facing forward, when there are not enough desks in the room to have the students sitting alone at a single desk. However, where possible, we will always seat students on their own desk. We will also allow students to wear a mask if that is their preference because we realise that returning to school after such a long period could be very challenging for some students and we will therefore make any necessary adjustments to make this process as easy as possible.

Tutor Groups

With the implementation of year group bubbles, we have had to move to year group tutor groups. This will mean that in September, the current tutor groups will have been reformed and your child will find out their new tutor group via Go4Schools on Monday 7th September.


The government have instructed us that normal attendance expectations will resume in September.

School Uniform

All pupils will be expected to return to school in their full school uniform. In accordance with DfE guidance, uniforms now do not need to be cleaned any more often than is usual, nor do they need to be cleaned using methods which are different from normal.

Travel to School

We encourage pupils to walk or cycle to school if possible and to avoid public transport where possible. If your child travels to school using public transport, we must remind you that it is a mandatory requirement for them to wear a face covering. This does not apply to school buses.Please see the instructions in the COVID-19 A-Z guide on where students should sit on the school buses.

Entering and Exiting School

Pupils in each year group bubble have been allocated different entrance and exit points to the school and again this is detailed in the COVID-19 A-Z document.

One Way System

A one-way system has been set up in the school corridors to minimise face-to-face contact between pupils and to make it easier to follow social distancing guidance. This is also detailed in the COVID-19 A-Z document.

Symptoms of Coronavirus

As per the current NHS and government advice, you should keep your child at home for a period of 7 days if they develop coronavirus symptoms and update the school straight away. Symptoms include a high temperature, a new continuous cough and a loss of taste or smell. If someone in your household has symptoms, your child must self-isolate for 14 days from the day the other person’s symptoms started. More information regarding symptoms and actions can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.

Anyone showing signs of COVID-19 must book a test immediately. Information on booking a test will be provided by the school office. Please remember to inform us of your test result, even if it is negative.

If someone your child has been in close proximity to has tested positive for COVID-19, you may be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service. Information on the NHS Test and Trace service is available here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/nhs-test-and-trace-if-youre-contacted-after-testing-positive-for-coronavirus/.

The Best Way to Stay Safe

Handwashing for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap in the following circumstances; before leaving home, on arrival to school, after using the toilet, after breaks and sporting activities, before food and before leaving school. The school has installed alcohol-based hand sanitiser dispensers that contain at least 60 percent alcohol throughout the school to help with this.

Support for Pupils and Families

We do not underestimate how difficult the recent weeks have been and we recognise the need to focus on pupils’ emotional wellbeing as well as their return to learning, so the following support is available over the summer break: SOS (Save Our Summer) information which signposts pupils to different organisations for help: https://fernup.dorset.sch.uk/information/coronavirus/sos/ and Kooth counselling.

The following measures have been put into place for pupils once they return to school:

  • A tutor time and assembly focus on wellbeing (with a range of approaches).
  • Pastoral Manager appointments – pupils just need to fill in a request form.
  • Peer mentor support for pupils to work together to help to reduce their worries and anxieties.

And remember that if your circumstances have changed, you may now be eligible for free schools meals, you can apply using this link www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support over the recent months.

We look forward to welcoming all the students back in September.

Stay safe,

Philip Jones

Dear Parents / Carers,

As we approach the summer holidays, the Pastoral Team wanted to remind you of the support available for your child over the summer holidays while the school is closed. We know that for some mental health is a greater concern than normal and so we have put a few things in place to support you and the students.

  1. A SOS over the summer webpage which signposts you and your family to where to access support for different needs https://fernup.dorset.sch.uk/information/coronavirus/sos/
  2. cid:image001.jpg@01D65C1A.BA034590Students in school have been given a SOS card with all the details from our SOS website. We’ve encourage them to store the card in their wallet or phone case. If you would like a card, please let pastoral know and we can arrange for you to collect one Friday. All students will be issued with these in September.
  3. Kooth – https://student.kooth.com/ provides support for students. On Year TEAMs pages, a video reminder of Kooth and how to access it has been sent to all year groups.
  4. We’ve encouraged students through an assembly to take time away from screens to recharge over the summer. Where students have been online more over the last few months, you might want to look at the support offered through  https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/Support-tools/home-activity-worksheets/14-plus/?utm_source=Thinkuknow&utm_campaign=097f621f2b-TUK_ONLINE_SAFETY_AT_HOME_14_06_20&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0b54505554-097f621f2b-64768717. There are 15 minute activities targeted at families with children aged 14+.

Our school safeguarding page (https://fernup.dorset.sch.uk/information/safeguarding/) has information about what to do if you have concerns for a child. If over the summer, when school is closed, you have a safeguarding concern about a child – please contact Children’s Services (ChAD) direct on 01305 228866 for a child that lives in Dorset. If the child lives in Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole, please call 01202 735046 or if out of office hours, please contact the Out of Hours Service on 01202 738256 or use the details at https://www.dorsetlscb.co.uk/contact/.  For all emergency situations please call 999 and ask for the police.

The summer assembly for students is on their Year TEAMS pages and also on our website, with a focus on taking time to recharge, to spread some kindness and on staying safe.

We wish you a happy and safe summer and cannot wait to welcome students back in September.

Take Care Jo Taylor and the Pastoral team.