Head's Blog - 2nd October
(Posted on 02/10/20)
This last week has seen the start of our new mentoring programme, which has been designed to help students reconnect with school life. It is part of our much wider Curriculum Recovery plan, which all departments have contributed to. The plan focuses on four key areas: academic recovery, literacy and numeracy, health and wellbeing and Special Educational Needs. Over the last couple of weeks, all students have been undergoing assessments to find out where they are at in terms of academic progress and wellbeing. This information will help teachers to decide the best possible approach to our intervention plans in order to ensure that students make the progress we expect them to make over the coming months.
As this year’s Open Evening cannot take place, we will be reaching out to our prospective students and their parents by way of virtual events. On our website you will find links to recorded messages, virtual tours of the school and the opportunity for Year 6 parents to ask relevant questions regarding admissions:
Last week, Public Health England sent additional guidance and direction to all Headteachers in Cheshire West. They requested that Headteachers make all parents and carers aware of their new directives to school, these include:
- All adults to wear a face covering when visiting or entering the school premises including outdoor yard areas.
- Parents/carers to arrive and leave promptly when dropping off/collecting their child – please do not congregate and maintain social distancing
- In schools where it has been agreed that a parent/carer can enter the school premises for drop off and pick up, only one adult should enter.
- All staff to wear face coverings when they come out onto the playground during drop off and pick up times.
- Young people to avoid congregating outside school and mixing with other schools and go directly home.
- Strong recommendation for schools to make the wearing of masks mandatory for all students using indoor communal areas
With infection rates rising and areas adjacent to Cheshire West in local lockdowns, we need everyone to play their part in helping to keep school safe. Yesterday, Cheshire was designated as an ‘area of concern' because of an increase in cases and a rising infection rate within Cheshire West and Chester. Previous actions show that such areas move quite quickly from ‘area of concern’ to having restrictions put in place. We are expecting a move to Tier 1 restrictions in the near future. We are constantly emphasising to students the safety message of:
HANDS, (regularly wash hands or use the sanitisers),
FACE, (wear a mask),
SPACE, (keep safe distance).
We have gone to great lengths to keep Year groups apart; our entire timetable has been re-written so that Year bubbles do not mix, including; split starts/finishes and break and lunchtimes – I don’t want to see these safety measures undermined by a lack of adherence to the hygiene message. I would appreciate it if all parents would reinforce this general message.
It’s great to see more students wearing masks as they use the communal areas of school, and I thank parents for encouraging their children to do so. It’s clear that when reminded by staff, a lot of students are carrying masks. However, the number of students wearing face coverings is not high enough and not as high as in other schools. Given the rising infection rates and the advice from Public Health England, from Monday 5th October, I expect all students to be wearing masks when using indoor communal areas, including corridors and in the dining rooms until seated to eat. They do not have to be worn in the classroom and there will be exemptions for anyone with a medical condition that would be compromised by the wearing of a face covering. I know this decision is contentious, I know from feedback received already that some of you will not agree. I have made this decision based simply on advice from PHE and the threat of rising infection rates reported in the locality. We have many teachers who travel to school from those areas where infection rates are high; all staff are expected to wear masks in communal areas to help protect the school population. I urge all parents to support us in this and all students to follow the new rules. We want to keep our school as safe as possible for students and staff alike.
Thank you for your understanding, patience and for your ongoing support; it really is appreciated by all of us.
Have a lovely weekend
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