Further to the letter sent on 17 July, a letter with supporting documents has been sent out around the full opening of St George’s Academy.
As explained previously, there are some key principles, laid down by the government, which we will be adhering to, which I remind you of as follows:
- We will be delivering a full curriculum, so that there is no impact on the long-term educational outcomes for students.
- As far as possible and where possible, students will be kept in bubbles. As with other secondary schools, these bubbles are year groups and so Year 7 will not mix with Year 8 and so on. In reality, the actual bubble that your child mixes with will be a small fraction of the year group.
- As far as possible and where possible, we will maintain social distancing. With the requirement for full opening, class sizes will return to normal, but students will not be facing each other in lessons or in the canteen. Face-to-face interaction has been shown to be much higher risk than side-by-side proximity. The one-way system will remain in place in almost every area, so that students very rarely pass face to face indoors. Outdoors, each year group will have its own zone and intensive duty staffing will be vigilant in keeping year groups apart. Teachers will endeavour to remain 2m distant from students, so that they are in a separate bubble to the students. This is so that the Academy can provide subject specialist expertise for all students.
- We must continue to ensure regular handwashing/sanitising takes place and so we have installed more outdoor sinks and will be continuing with supervised handwashing before school and at the end of each break. We are so proud of how maturely the students have embraced this process during our phased re-opening in June and July. Teachers will also supervise hand-cleansing at the three lesson to lesson changeovers during the school day when students will need to use their own skin friendly wipes (such as baby wipes) or hand sanitiser. It is essential, therefore, that every student has their own pack of wipes or small bottle of sanitiser as part of their daily equipment. The Academy will provide these for students in financial hardship, although supermarket own brand wipes cost about 1p per wipe.
- We must engage with NHS Test and Trace and we will be maintaining remote learning if groups of students need to isolate.
Below you will find links to a range of documents designed to support your child with preparing for the return to school.
The documents in your pack are as follows:
- Student and Parent Charter
As before, this document needs reading, signing and bringing back to the Academy on the first day of term.
Student & Parent Charter
- Student Handbook
This contains further detail around our adjusted routines to stay safe. It is really important that your child reads this, probably at least twice, and you will need to read it as a parent too.
Student Handbook | Staff Handbook
- One-way system maps
These are much the same as previously issued, but there are some changes where we were using an empty classroom as an exit. Note also that the entrances to Science have changed as a result of the new sinks, and the Music block is blocked off due to some building works.
One-Way System Sleaford | One-Way System Ruskington
- Movement guide
This explains the movement routines and has a map showing the year group zone – one of the key principles is that different year groups must not interact, and so it is really important that your child fully understands this document and takes responsibility for following the routines outlined.
Sleaford Break Time Areas | Ruskington Break Time Areas
- Timings of the day card
We have provided your child with a ‘blazer pocket-sized’ card showing the specific timings for their year group. You will appreciate that coordinated handwashing and segregated movement on such a large scale is a significant undertaking. It is of vital importance that students are punctual every day and pay attention to movement times. Due to the staggered timings for all the different year groups, there will be no bells – they would drive us all mad! That makes it even more important that students know what they are doing when. Duty staff, with whistles, will help gather and marshal the students.
Timings of the Day
Other points to note as a parent -
As I mentioned in July, attendance to school in September returns to normal with the usual mandatory requirements. We fully appreciate that some students will be anxious about returning to school, which is why we have worked hard to ensure that safety, well-being and positive mental health are key priorities alongside the academic experience.
Please see our Risk Assessment here - COVID-19 Risk Assessment
- Handwashing begins at 8.25am and students are not allowed in the buildings before then.
- It is really important that your child is punctual.
- They should come straight onto campus on arrival in Sleaford, not going to the shops or meeting up with friends.
- Due to cross contamination issues, all students in Year 7 to 11 will be outside for break-times in all bar the most extreme weather. Consequently, a warm, waterproof coat of decent length, with a hood will be an essential. We have removed the need for this to be a dark colour from our uniform policy.
- You will have noted the need to provide your child with hand wipes or sanitiser for the times where they move from lesson to lesson. We fully appreciate that this is not ideal, especially in terms of environmental impact, but it is the only way we could see of adhering to the requirement to ensure hands are cleaned between lessons when there is only a 5-minute gap. Teachers are not allowed to circulate the classroom and so it is really important that students have their own. We appreciate your support with this in these difficult times.
Thank you for your continued support in our best endeavours to keep your child safe, whilst delivering a full learning experience.