17th July 2020
This will be our final letter of the year. As already shared with you, this has turned out to be a hugely challenging year due to the pandemic and the worry that it has caused us all. However, we are so proud of how students and staff have adapted to these challenges, it’s almost impossible to describe.
Over the next few weeks, we will be keeping a very close eye on how the pandemic moves on. We have plans for various scenarios, but we continue to hope for the best and that we will be able to return in September as we have planned.
In the meantime, we wish you all the very best for the summer holidays. We hope that weather is kind to us all and that all parties connected to the Trust can ‘get away from it all’ in whatever form that may take.
Please see extracts from last week’s letter in relation to September.
How will we return in September?
We are working with the idea that we need a number of plans! They are as follows:
In normal circumstances, we would return in September and all students who are currently on role return on the usual date, which will be Thursday, 3rd September. We then add our new year 7 students in each week, so that we grow from a starting number of 46, to 58 students over the first few weeks.
This is a great Covid-19 type plan, and this is how we aim to return in September. This would be combined with all of the points below.
Localised outbreaks are more apparent, and the infection rate has started to climb, but there is not a lock down situation. If this were the case when we return, we would contact you in advance and inform you of how we will operate. It may well be very similar to how we are currently operating.
Second wave scenario or repeated lockdown situation. This is the situation we all want to avoid! However, it is a possibility and if it does take place, we would reduce numbers/days/hours etc. to continue to pursue the principle of ‘do not harm’ as best we can.
Please do remember that the complexity of the virus and the rules connected to it, are still likely to lead to disruption. For example, as long as there is a continued need to self-isolate for personal reasons or due to family reasons, staffing could easily be affected, and changes may need to take place.
General changes that will be in place whichever plan is adopted
Please see the revised operating procedures below. They are based on the principle that as a school we are our own bubble. As you are aware, we are no larger than a single year group at a mainstream school.
The plans have been revised to allow us all to stay as safe and healthy as possible as the Covid-19 pandemic continues.
Procedures for entering and exiting the building:
Procedures when boys are in the school building
Ø Lessons will be organised so that sharing of large amounts of equipment or body contact (i.e. rugby) are scheduled for later in the school year.
Ø Staff and students will be expected to abide by the one metre plus social distancing rules.
Ø Boys, parents and staff are not to enter the front office. They should speak to the admin team via the glass window. This will help keep a 1m plus distance between everyone.
Ø Boys and staff must keep travel around the school to a minimum. This helps maintain the 1m plus distancing in corridors etc.
Ø Staff will make sure the boys wash their hands regularly i.e. at least once per hour. There will be sanitiser and bins with lids in each classroom.
Ø We will keep windows open when possible whilst temperatures allow. This helps with contamination.
Ø Classrooms will be organised so that students face the front and can maintain social distance. The boys must not adjust these arrangements as they are there for their health and well being
Ø First aid will be administered by a first aider wearing a visor and gloves.
Ø The staff and boys are to stick to the priority one-way system. This will be explained again in September in form groups.
What to do when your son feels unwell
Ø Do not send your son in if he feels unwell in any way.
Ø Staff will initially check how the boy feels via conversation.
Ø A member of SLT will be alerted if it seems that the child has possible Covid-19 symptoms or may need to go home unwell.
Ø The boy will be taken to the meeting room by walking them around the outside of the building. This is where they will remain until we can get them home.
Ø When possible, we would get all boys and staff in that class tested ASAP. The class would also be deep cleaned ASAP. The idea of test/track and trace would be implemented to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Taxis and handing things in.
On Local Authority Contracted Routes social distancing will not be required on LA contracted transport. Transport providers are therefore planning to run these contracts as normal although with additional health and safety precautions to minimise the risk of spreading infection:
Ø Drivers will wear masks
Ø Boys must wash/sanitise their hands prior to boarding transport at the beginning and end of the day
Ø On larger vehicles (minibuses) boys will be directed to sit (as far as possible) in the same seat, with the same child/ren on every journey to minimise contact.
Ø If a boy shows any symptoms of coronavirus at school, they will not be allowed to travel home in their usual vehicle. They will be isolated, and their parents contacted.
Personal Transport Budgets (PTBs)
Ø County would like to encourage the uptake of PTBs. Given the concerns many of you may have about your child returning to school and/or travelling on contracted transport, a PTB is an option that some of you may wish to consider. PTBs are calculated on the basis of 0.45p a mile, using your home-school distance and four journeys a day, for example a child living 10 miles from school would receive a PTB of £18 a day (0.45 x 10 x 4).
Ø If you are interested, you should contact the SEN transport team via email to email@example.com
On arrival in school
End of the day
Helping students return to ‘normality.’
At Brandles, we have planned for the possibility that the virus and its impact on daily routines will have affected many students, with some loss of learning during that time. When we return, we are planning on making quick and student friendly assessments of where students are, and then taking appropriate actions. This is likely to be in the form of specific interventions in small groups or ‘one to one.’
As always, if you have any questions about this letter of anything connected to September, please do contact us and we will be happy to help you.
Thank you for your help and support during the last year. It is easy to say but so very true; we cannot do what do, without your support.
Wishing you a restful, relaxing and safe summer,
S D Trimble D J Pearce
Executive Headteacher Headteacher