Posted: 25 February 2021

Return to School – from 8th March 2021

25th February 2021

Dear Families,

I am sure you are as delighted as we are with the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday that students can begin to return to school from Monday 8th March. We have been carefully planning for how this will happen to ensure the safety of all our students and staff.

 Remote Learning

There will be no ‘live teaching’ on Thursday 4th or Friday 5th March. Instead, lessons will continue and teachers will upload tasks in advance on MS Teams for students to complete independently during their normal timetabled day; the English Department will also be setting some World Book Day Challenges.

 Testing

All students are required to receive a negative test result from a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) before they can return to face-to-face learning in school. They will then require two further tests at school, thereafter completing two LFTs at home every week. In order to facilitate this initial test, students will be invited into school on the following days for the test and then, provided the result is negative, to return to face-to-face learning the next day:

Testing

All students are required to receive a negative test result from a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) before they can return to face-to-face learning in school. They will then require two further tests at school, thereafter completing two LFTs at home every week. In order to facilitate this initial test, students will be invited into school on the following days for the test and then, provided the result is negative, to return to face-to-face learning the next day:

 

Year Groups Date of First Test Return to face-to-face learning
11, 12 and 13 Monday 8th March Tuesday 9th March
9 and 10 Tuesday 9th March Wednesday 10th March
7 and 8 Wednesday 10th March Thursday 11th March

 

There will not be any work set for students on the days that they are in school for their first test; remote learning will continue for students until the day before their test. Further details about testing, including the consent form and exact timings and entrances, will be sent separately next week.

Masks

Whilst schools have taken a range of preventative measures to reduce transmission of COVID-19, it has been recognised that effective social distancing is extremely difficult in classrooms. Therefore, the Department for Education has strongly recommended the wearing of masks in classrooms until the end of the Spring Term, in the first instance. The only exemptions will be made for students who have a physical or mental disability which prevents them from wearing a mask or students who rely on lip reading, facial expressions or clear sound to communicate. If your child is exempt on either of these grounds, please provide written evidence of their exemption to the school before Monday 8th March.

All other students will be expected to wear a mask at all times during the school day, apart from breaktimes (as long as they are outside) or when they are eating in the canteen. Please ensure that your child has an ample supply of masks; we also recommend that they have a plastic bag in which to keep their mask when it is not being worn. We would also encourage all students to have their own small bottle of hand sanitiser.

 Arriving/leaving school

Students should continue to arrive in school through their designated entrances only. Staff will be at the entrances to check that students are in the correct uniform and have the right equipment (including their mask and lanyards). Students will then assemble in their tutor groups before entering the school building. All students should return to school in full, correct uniform; students who are not correctly dressed will be asked to return home to change.

At the end of the day, students will leave school at the entrance closest to the classroom where their last lesson of the day was taught.

 Teaching and Learning

Having reviewed our ‘bubble’ model, students will return to having all their lessons in specialist subject classrooms. This means all students will be issued with new timetables with the new rooms on them on their first day back. We realise this means that, for Year 7 students in particular, they will be moving around the school much more. However, we have taken this decision to ensure that students have access to specialist teaching rooms so that they are able to make maximum progress with their learning. Students will still be expected to line up prior to all lessons and we will continue to have separate designated areas for each year group at breaktime.

Teachers will continue to use MS Teams to communicate with their classes and all learning resources will be uploaded to this platform.

Year 11 and 13 Examinations

You will be aware of the announcements in the media today concerning the grading of Year 11 and Year 13 examination courses. We will be carefully reading the guidance from Ofqual and the Department for Education to ensure that all our students receive the grades that they deserve. Further information will follow; in the meantime it is essential that students remain engaged and focused throughout the last week of remote learning and when we return to school.

We realise that this letter contains a lot of information and indeed further updates will follow. In the meantime, I would like to express my profound thanks for all your support during these extraordinary times and reiterate how pleased we are to be welcoming all our students back to Prospect School.

Yours sincerely,

Mr D Littlemore

Headteacher

 

 

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