FAQ information for parents and carers

Please download the latest FAQ information on students returning back to school.

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Will I be fined if I don’t send my child in?

No, there will be no fines if you choose to keep your child at home. If you decide that this is in the best interest of your child, we will continue to support you with online learning and home learning packs if this works for you and keeping in contact. We’ll also put in place a transition plan when you feel it is the right time for your child to return. We won’t be able to provide food boxes however due to staffing.

Why are the times of the day different?

Children are to be dropped off between 9 and 9.30 and collected between 2 and 2.30. A shorter day is sensible at this moment to ease children into what is going to be a different school day with less variety in what they do. We would like children to be dropped off between these times to ensure that our entrances are kept clear. Also, as many of our staff have children, their children’s schools are implementing staggered drop off and collection times, meaning that without child care support from extended family members, we will not be fully staffed until just after nine.

What entrance do we use?

Primary will enter through the KS3 entrance as their rooms have been changed (the old primary entrance for those that remember!) KS3 will enter through the old KS4 entrance and KS4 will go to the old primary building as this is now the KS4 unit. Parents and carers should not enter school and instead contact admin if they need to speak to a member of staff or email their child’s class teacher/tutor.

Why have KS4 moved into the old primary building?

We’ve had a dozen year 6 pupils move into secondary this time round with very few leavers, so we’ve needed more classrooms for secondary classes.

How are you managing social distancing?

All children will be in a bubble which contains no more than 8 pupils – although for the first four weeks this will be no more than 4 – and 2/3 members of staff. They won’t mix with pupils from outside of their bubble at any point and will remain in the same room for all lessons, unless they use the outside area. They will have set times to use the outdoor space. The staff will be the same each day, unless there is staff absence. The classrooms can accommodate this number of children and maintain that distance. By bringing children in slowly and in small groups, we can work with them on how to keep those distances to keep themselves and others safe.

We hope that due to the academic pressure being limited and fewer peers in classes, children will be more relaxed, meaning they are better able to self-regulate.

What if someone has COVID-19 symptoms or tests positive?

If someone in a ‘bubble’ has symptoms everyone in that bubble will be asked to self-isolate as per the government guidelines and that bubble will revert back to online education until adults and children are cleared to return. The idea of the ‘bubble’ is that if someone does have symptoms we as a school can track and trace and ask people to isolate.

What can I do to help?

Please do not send your child in to school if they have any of the symptoms! You can get them tested (we know the symptoms can be other things!). Also, please adhere to social distancing guidelines outside of school to help prevent the spread. We know it’s difficult, but if we can keep to our school and household bubbles, we have a better chance of getting back to ‘normal’ quicker.

What will my child do in school?

The focus for all children is to start to get back into a school routine and about supporting their mental health. We know our children struggle emotionally. This is why we are gradually restarting school and beginning with much smaller class groups so we can give individual support to help children understand what we and they are doing to keep everyone safe, build friendships and social skills (while at a safe distance) and learn in a more holistic manner – this may actually work well for a lot of our children

Secondary children will not have lessons delivered by subject specialists. Subject specialists will advise the teacher leading each bubble on skills and knowledge but school work is likely to take a more topic based approach focusing on functional maths and English skills. GCSE options will not run at present, but teachers will continue to set guided work through Edmodo that will support the resumption of these lessons.

Shared resources will not be available and each child will have their own stationery pack. We ask that children do not bring in their own resources and limit what they bring in from home. Access to computers will not be available at first.

What about transport?

We have been getting in touch with transport to let them know the days when pupils have been invited in. It’s worth you speaking to transport to get further information, if you wish, on how they are managing social distancing and hygiene in taxis, and whether your child’s passenger assistant is available.

What happens if my child is in a physical intervention?

Given that the ‘stress factors’ of many other children and the demand for academic work will be lowered, we are hoping that children do not become heightened. We only hold children as a last resort, and would obviously do this to keep a child and others safe. Any holds would be carried out by adults in the child’s bubble. If a child is becoming heightened and verbal de-escalation techniques aren’t working, we may call you to ask you to collect them to prevent this from happening. If a child is regularly becoming heightened then we may look at whether home learning via Edmodo or learning packs is safer for them and others involved, or whether we need to look at a more graduated approach to restarting onsite education.

What if my child is deliberately trying to get sent home?

If a child is deliberately trying to be sent home (and we know this happens!) ideally we’d look at an alternative of them working in a separate room with one member of staff and putting some support into place to break this cycle of behaviour. Being able to do this at this time depends on room availability and staff availability, so we would have to look at what we are able to do on a day to day basis.

Do they have to wear uniform?

We know our children are more in ‘school mode’ if they wear their uniform and we would prefer them to wear that. However, guidance suggests that wearing clean clothes can help prevent the spread, and we understand that no one can do washing every night! We will not be issuing sanctions if children aren’t in the correct uniform during this half term.

Why aren’t they in full-time?

By halving class sizes we are able to maintain social distancing in classrooms between tables and chairs. We only have enough classrooms to do this if children are on a rota’d timetable for when they’re in. We are also able to do more individual work on the changes in school and let children adapt without the pressures of most their peers. Primary children and KS4 will be in two days a week to begin with, with KS3 starting with one day a week initially. From here, we can work with each child on an individual basis as to how quickly we can increase the number of days they attend, depending on how well they adapt to the social distancing measures in place, only staying within their classrooms and not mixing with anyone outside their bubbles. Some children will have bespoke plans depending on their individual needs.

On the days children aren’t in school, they will be encouraged to do work set by their teacher. This may be preparation for the following day or work from subjects they do such as computing, but aren’t accessing at school.

On Fridays, we will have key children in for session work with support staff from their bubble, prioritising key worker children. This is when teachers will focus on preparing online work for those children who are not attending school and for the following week.

As children become more settled and we have further information from health specialists around the spread of the virus, we will look to increasing the length of the school day back to normal and children working towards being onsite full time, but at present, we can’t give a time scale for this.

Can my child bring in a packed lunch?

Yes, but we ask that everything that is brought in is disposable and can be thrown away straight after. Plastic lunch boxes are not allowed as an extra precaution around cross-infection.

In addition:

Fortunately, we have the ability to personalise the reintegration back to school working with yourselves and the young person. This is dependent on staff staying healthy, so we do ask that if your child is showing symptoms or they have mixed with someone who is, please keep them at home. If you need any information on how to get tested for COVID-19, please give us a call! It’s also dependant on each young person, their understanding of the ‘new normal’ and them being able to socially distance outside of school also. If you want any support with talking to your child about this please get in touch.