Parent/Student Guidance for a full return to School, September 2020

In setting out the following guidance for staff, PHE guidance has been followed in terms of a system of controls:

  • People who are ill must stay at home.
  • Robust hand and respiratory hygiene is essential.
  • Enhanced cleaning arrangements must be implemented.
  • Active engagement with NHS Test and Trace.
  • Formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and maximise distancing between those in school wherever possible and minimise potential for contamination so far as is reasonably practicable.

 

This document contains detailed guidance on the following:

1. Student mental health and Wellbeing

2. The School Day

3. Grouping of children

4. Measures within the Classroom

5. Curriculum – what will students be taught?

6. Attendance expectations

 

The full guidance from the DFE can be found here – we would strongly advise you to read it in full:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

 

In Summary (full details set out in this document):

  • Full school uniform will be worn
  • No lockers for the first few weeks
  • Year Groups will be taught in geographically zoned areas
  • Students will be taught the majority of their lessons within these areas
  • Staff can move between areas but students cannot
  • The full breadth of curriculum will be delivered, albeit with adjustments for teaching in non-specialist classes
  • Years 7 to 11 will be taught in set groups
  • Where possible, desks will be forward facing
  • Students will need to hand sanitise or wash their hands at the start of every lesson
  • Staggered start, end and break times in zoned areas
  • Year groups will have a specific canteen to use at break and lunchtimes. 
  • All social time will be spent in designated areas

 

1. Student mental health and Wellbeing

 

At Cheam High School the mental health and wellbeing of our students is of paramount importance to us.  At this current time, we recognise our students have been faced with additional challenges to their usual lives and comprehensive support is in place to provide a sense of care, kindness, safety and community so that students can achieve their very best.  Where appropriate, the school will continue to work with external agencies to support our students with any additional difficulties as effectively as possible.

 

2. The School Day

 

Parents must inform the school if a member of the household or someone with whom your household has been in contact, develops COVID-19 symptoms. Following this, you will need to follow the government’s self-isolation guidance. This is currently to isolate for a period of 10 days for those who have tested positive, and 14 days for anyone in the household.

 

NOTE: Please do not send your child to school if you are quarantining following foreign travel to affected countries until the quarantine process is completed.  Attendance procedures will be adjusted to account for this, and other Covid-related issues.

 

Guidance states that ‘schools should consider staggered starts or adjusting start and finish times to keep groups apart as they arrive and leave school…but retaining the same amount of teaching time’.

The reality is that in order to achieve this, the length of the day would need to be extended and this creates issues with both staffing and transport to and from school. Therefore, small adjustments to the timings of the day for KS3 and KS4 classes have been made which are outlined below:

 

Year groups

Start time

Break time

Start                       End

Lunch time

Start                       End

End time

7 & 8

8.20

9.45

10.10

12.05

12.40

2.40

9

8.30

10.50

11.10

12.40

1.10

2.45

10 & 11

8.30

10.50

11.10

1.10

1.50

2.50

12

8.30

9.50

10.10

12.10

12.40

2.50/3.50

13

8.20

10.50

11.10

1.10

1.50

2.50/3.50

 

Travel to and from school and information on the start/end of the day:

Students are still permitted to use the bus but social distancing will be difficult, if not impossible, to maintain on some bus routes. We would encourage you to make alternative arrangements where possible. If bus travel is essential, students should:

  • Wear face coverings on a public bus
  • Face coverings are advised to be worn when waiting for the buses, but this is student choice
  • Students should try and "wait" with students in their Year group and should keep socially distant from others
  • Students are advised to wash their hands/sanitise when they get on and off the bus

 

  • If students are dropped off by car, this should be done quickly and with no social interaction between adults and children from different households. Only the student attending school should get out of the vehicle.
  • Students should arrive at school as close to their allocated time as possible – no later - and go directly to their tutor time, or to their allocated break area if they are early (see second table below).
  •  

During the day:

  • Break/Lunch times have been staggered to each year bubble to have their own area.  Students will be supervised at all times.
  • For now, no extra-curricular activities will run after school, apart from homework club which will be based in year groups, catch-up intervention for invited Year 10 and 11 students.

 

Uniform and use of masks:

  • Students will wear correct, full school uniform, and the usual school rules will apply as regards jewellery, makeup and haircuts, as set out on the school website.
  • Every child MUST bring a face mask and a bag to put it in every day.
  • The face mask must be plain and have no writing or logos on it.
  • When students move outside their year bases to specialist teaching areas then they could be asked to wear their face mask if it is likely they will come into contact with students outside their bubble e.g. in corridors near specialist rooms. 
  • Students who have a relevant medical condition will not be expected to wear a face mask and a ‘pass card’ will be issued. Please email the school if your child has a medical condition meaning they cannot wear a mask.
  • At break and lunchtime as students are in their year bubble, and largely outside, they will not be expected to wear a face mask.  However, if they wish to wear a mask at this time then they may. 
  • When coming into and leaving the school site, we recommend that all students wear face masks as they could come into contact with students outside their year bubble. 
  • As per government guidance, students should also ensure that they wear a face mask on public transport if they need to use this to travel to and from school.
  • Students will be asked to wear face masks in certain lessons to allow particular practical activities to take place which may need the close support of staff. 
  • Please note that there may be other times or events when students will need to wear a face mask e.g. during a fire drill. 
  • We recommend that, in general, students do not wear masks in lessons to enable best possible communication between students and staff.   If your child wishes to wear a mask in all their lessons, please email the school so that staff are aware.

 

Please note that parents cannot bring items to school that their child(ren) have forgotten. No visitors will be allowed on site without an appointment.

Students will NOT be issued with lockers so they should be mindful about what they bring into school.

 

3. Grouping of Children

 

Guidance states that ‘schools must do everything possible to minimise contacts and mixing while delivering a broad and balanced curriculum.’

 

For the first half-term (there will be a review after four weeks):

  • Year groups will form ‘bubbles’. Each ‘bubble’ will be kept apart from other year group ‘bubbles’ wherever possible and students will be encouraged to keep their distance within groups.
  • Each year group has been geographically isolated from others, having been assigned a region of the school within which the majority of lessons will be taught, except those subjects which may usually require specialist equipment.
  • The timetable that has been planned for the year will be followed, but rooms may be reassigned to staff and students after half-term.
  • This means that students can be taught within their set groups (years 7-11) as there is no restriction on class sizes – the year group acts as the ‘bubble’, not the class. There is no requirement to clean rooms between use by students of the same year group and the use of sanitiser at the beginning of every lesson will maintain hygienic conditions.
  • Students cannot move between ‘bubbles’ but all teachers and other staff can move between different classes and year groups in order to facilitate the delivery of the school timetable.
  • As far as possible, Staff will remain 2 metres from students and other adults and students themselves need to be aware of their movement in relation to others.
  • Year group ‘bubbles’ will also be allocated a region of the school within which they spend their break times.
  • All zones will be supervised by senior colleagues and any poor or unsafe behaviour will be sanctioned.

 

Year

Entry & before school/Exit point

Year base

Break

Lunch

7

Stoughton Avenue entrance, Canopy area

Science Block

Red Hot diner and canopy area

Red Hot Diner and canopy area

8

Chatsworth Road entrance, E playground

English Block

Phoenix Cafe and M playground

Phoenix Cafe and M playground

9

Chatsworth Road entrance, then through the small gym

B, D and external S block rooms

Red Hot diner and canopy area

Red Hot Diner and canopy area

10

Stoughton Avenue entrance, M playground

Maths Block

Phoenix Cafe and M playground

Phoenix Cafe and M playground

11

Chatsworth Road entrance, MUGA through black gates

Humanities and Languages Blocks

MUGA

Red Hot Diner and canopy area

12

Chatsworth Road entrance, Social Zone

X Block

Social Zone

Social Zone

13

Chatsworth Road entrance,

Duo Zone

X Block

Duo Zone

Duo Zone

 

In the event of any positive case we will take advice from the appropriate health bodies and act accordingly.  This could mean temporary school closure to groups of students.  We will endeavour to minimise the educational disruption to students as far as possible.   

 

4. Measures within the Classroom

 

  • Good ventilation will be maintained at all times by opening windows and propping doors open wherever possible.
  • Classrooms will be rearranged to ensure, where possible, students are sitting side-by-side and facing the front.
  • Seating plans will be enforced and students must not leave their desk for any reason without teacher permission.
  • Hand sanitisers will be provided for every classroom. Students and staff will sanitise or wash their hands as they enter each lesson.
  • Staff should try to remain 2 metres from other staff and students, avoid face to face contact with students and minimise time spent within 1 metre of anyone.
  • When being dismissed for breaks, classes with external fire doors will dismiss students through these, minimising congestion in the corridors.
  • ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’, good hand hygiene and social distancing posters will be displayed in every room to remind students of the importance of these hygiene routines.
  • Students should cough into their inner elbow. If students sneeze or cough into their hands, they will be either sent to the toilet to wash their hands for 20 seconds or asked to sanitise their hands. Toilets and frequently touched surfaces such as door handles will be cleaned frequently throughout the day.
  • Classrooms will be cleaned thoroughly at the end of each day.
  • Support for students who usually access PLUS will continue – details of how this will look will be given to those students.

 

Our behaviour policy has been updated to reflect our expectations relating to hygiene and social distancing expectations. Should behaviour contravene hygiene expectations or bubble arrangements, including the misuse of toilet facilities, sanctions will be implemented.

 

5. Curriculum - what will students be taught?

 

•          It is our intention that all students will receive a broad and balanced curriculum.

•          Students must bring their own equipment as frequently used objects such as pens and pencils must not be shared.

•          Classroom based resources, such as text books, can be shared within a ‘bubble’ although this will be minimised.

•          Students will need to take their exercise books/folders home each day.

•          We will continue to monitor Ofqual’s plans for 2021 GCSEs and review planning and assessments accordingly.

 

6. Attendance expectations

 

•          Now the circumstances have changed, it is vital for all children to return to school to minimise as far as possible the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, wellbeing and wider development.

•          Missing out on more time in the classroom risks students falling further behind. Those with higher overall absence tend to achieve less well in both primary and secondary school.

•          School attendance will therefore be mandatory again from the beginning of the autumn term. This means from that point, the usual rules on school attendance will apply, including:

  • parents’ duty to secure that their child attends regularly at school
  • schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence
  • the availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct

As noted, where necessary, Covid-related matters will be taken into account when attendance procedures are followed.