COVID Info Letter to Parents 26th September 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,                                                                                                         26th September 2020

We continue to be impressed with the superb attitude and work ethic of our students; in these difficult times their resilience continues to amaze us.

However we are still receiving complaints from members of the public about the behaviour of a minority of our students on their way from school and in these cases a picture is always invaluable in allowing us to take the appropriate action, but please do remember to delete the photo from your phone straight after you have sent it to us.

We have also been approached to request that parents do not park on the kerb by the Pure Drop pub at the end of the school day as there are safety concerns over this practice.

We are also very aware that because the first and middle schools have closed their car parks, there is now increased traffic along Cherry Grove, which means that it is now very congested and parental access times for the upper school are much increased. We are now considering whether to shut access to the top car park to stop this and we will keep you updated over this situation.

Thank you for your feedback on face masks, 60% of parents felt that it was appropriate for students to wear them and a further 25% of parents felt that we should make this move after a confirmed case. Whilst we do not yet have a confirmed case, most of our other local schools do, so we have decided that it is now prudent to move to the expectation that from Monday 5th October, all students will wear a face mask while inside the school, with the exceptions being while in lessons (although students can still choose to wear masks in class if they wish) or whilst eating.

Face Masks

To summarise, from Monday 5th October, the wearing of face coverings will be mandatory for all students and staff in communal areas whilst inside the school building. Students will not be expected to wear their face coverings whilst they are seated in their lessons. Students and staff who are exempt from wearing a face covering, as per the government’s guidance, will not be expected to wear one.

Our expectations are as follows:

  • All students should bring two ‘washable’ face coverings to school. Disposable coverings are only effective for three hours.
  • Coverings must be plain in design (ideally blue or black) and contain no logos or motifs.
  • Snoods or scarves are not acceptable.
  • All students should put on their face covering before they enter the school building.
  • Coverings should be removed when students are sitting at their desks in their classrooms.
  • Students should bring in a small hand sanitiser for personal use as they will be expected to sanitise their hands before and after removing their coverings.
  • Coverings should be worn in the corridors during lesson transitions, in any inside social space (this includes classrooms during breaks if they are not eating), in the hall, canteens and in the toilets.
  • Coverings should be placed in a clean, sealable plastic bag when not in use. These can be stored in a pocket during lessons.
  • Students will not need to wear a covering when they are eating in the café, hall or in allocated classrooms or whilst outside.
  • Students must wear face coverings on public transport and school transport.

Exemptions

Students must be mindful and respectful of other students or staff who are not expected to wear a face covering. The reasons for this may not be visible to others. If you feel that your child is exempt from wearing a face covering because they fall into one of the categories below, please contact your child’s Pastoral Manager or Sarah Clay (SENCo).

  • People who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability.
  • Where putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress.

Our behaviour policy is in the process of being updated to reflect our new expectations and this will be available on our web site early next week. The school rules have always stated that chewing gum should not be brought into school. Given the heightened risk of COVID transmission with chewing gum, under no circumstances should this be brought into school by students.

Thank you for your continued support, by working together we will ensure that your child receives the very best education possible under these difficult circumstances.

Stay safe,

Philip Jones