Our Ref: FCG/SJM
14 July 2020
Re: Plans for re-opening Somercotes Academy for all pupils in September 2020
The Academy will close for the summer for all students on Tuesday 21 July 2020.
Following the most recent government guidance, outlining that all pupils must return in September 2020, I wanted to write to you to explain our plans to bring all students back into the Academy and to inform you of some of the measures that will be in place from September in order to ensure the safety of staff and students.
Student Start Dates
In order to ensure a safe and orderly start to the term, recognising that Year 7 have not been able to have their usual induction days and that many students have not attended the Academy since March 2020, we will be introducing a staggered start to the new term. This will support a smooth transition for Year 7 students, while helping all students to adjust to the new procedures.
|Date||Year groups in the Academy|
|Wednesday 2 September 2020||• Only Year 7 and 11 students to attend
• Years 8, 9 and 10 are not to attend on Wednesday 2 September
|Thursday 3 September 2020||• Only Year 7, 9 and 11 students are to attend
• Years 8 and 10 are not to attend on Thursday 3 September
|Friday 4 September 2020||• All Year groups are to attend|
All children should attend, as normal, from Monday 7 September 2020.
The Academy Day
As most students travel by bus, the start and finish of the Academy day will remain unchanged. Once students have arrived on site, they will be grouped into their year group bubbles and staggered timings will be in place during the Academy day. Our broad and balanced curriculum will remain in place, though movement around the site will be minimised.
Students are asked to maintain social distancing when making their way to and from the Academy. Students must not congregate in groups outside the Academy or elsewhere. If you are dropping your child off and picking them up from the Academy site, please wait in your vehicle at the front of the Academy. Students who are travelling by car or walking, should arrive at the Academy between 8.40am and 8.50am for the start of the day. If your child is going to be late, please ring the Academy in order to make arrangements for their arrival.
Students who travel by bus to and from the Academy, should, where possible, sit only with members of their own year group. At the end of the Academy day, students will be seated on the buses in year groups. All students travelling by bus must wear a face-covering. If your child will be arriving at the Academy in a mask, can you please ensure that a small plastic bag is provided for the mask to be stored in when it is not being worn.
Students will return to the site in year group “bubbles”, situated in defined areas and with staggered lunch and breaks. Every effort will be made to minimise contact between these bubbles during the day.
Social-distancing will be in place as much as possible. Students will be encouraged to wash their hands and to use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day. All rooms used by staff and students will be deep cleaned daily. This will include desks, chairs, door handles, light switches etc. Hand sanitiser units are installed across the site and additional sinks for handwashing have been installed in the playground in preparation for students returning.
To minimise contact between “bubbles”, students will spend as much time outside as possible. Each group will be allocated their own outside area. Can we politely request that your child has a suitable coat to be worn in case of poor weather.
Each year group will be allocated toilet facilities to use. Students will be required to queue at a suitable social distance and to go into the facility one at a time. There will be frequent cleaning of all facilities and high contact surfaces throughout the day.
All students must adhere to the strict guidelines in place to maintain the safety of everyone on site. Full guidance will be given to all students when they return in September. Normal behaviour rewards and sanctions will be implemented. All students must bring their own basic equipment, including stationery and must not lend any items to others. Each student should bring a school bag, a pen, pencil, ruler and rubber, a drinks bottle and a packed lunch if required.
At lunchtime, Aspens, our caterer will provide a menu of hot and cold food. Where possible, to maintain the safety of all students and staff please can I ask that students’ accounts are topped up using ParentPay rather than the onsite machine. Students can of course bring their own packed lunch if they wish. All students will need to bring a filled water bottle to keep hydrated throughout the day. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer a breakfast service at the start of term.
In line with government guidance, students are required to wear their normal Somercotes Academy uniform. Students must bring their Academy PE kits in on their first day and, after that, on days when they have PE on their timetables.
Government guidelines have made it clear that all students are expected to return in September 2020. If you have any concerns about your child’s return to the Academy or would like to speak to a pastoral manager, please call the Academy on 01507 353459.
If your child is due to come in to the Academy but is unwell or unable to attend for any reason, please let the Academy know by ringing 01507 353459 by 9.00am, for each day of the absence.
If your child becomes unwell during the Academy day they will be supported by the medical assistant who will be wearing suitable PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). If necessary, your child’s temperature will be taken and they may be isolated until you are able to collect them. Any room used for this purpose will then be deep cleaned. Please ensure that the Academy is aware of any changes to emergency contact details at this time.
If your child or any member of your household shows any symptoms of Covid-19, you should not send your child to the Academy and should follow the Government guidelines on self-isolating and testing. Please let the Academy know any test results as soon as possible. Please also inform the Academy if your child or any member of your household has had close contact with anyone who is either suffering symptoms or has been confirmed as carrying Covid-19.
Parents will not be allowed into the Academy except by appointment, communication will be via email or telephone. If you do need to come onto the Academy site, please report to reception with no additional people (unless absolutely necessary) and follow social-distancing rules.
As I am sure that you will understand, the safety of staff and students is my priority. It is of paramount importance that all of the above measures are followed to ensure as safe an environment as possible for all students and staff. Any planned measures are subject to change, should government guidance change. Whilst we appreciate that there is a lot of uncertainty at this time, please be reassured that we will endeavour to ensure that every student is given the support, guidance and opportunities they need in order to achieve their full potential. I thank you and your child for your support and their co-operation so far.
Mrs F Green