This is an incredibly difficult and unprecedented time for everybody. We have followed the government’s guidance throughout.
We are now looking forward to welcoming all students back in September. To do this safely we have made a number of changes.
- We have hand sanitizer stations throughout the school
- Children and staff sanitize on arrival
- We have reduced the amount of movement around corridors.
- We have put in place some staggering of lunch and break times
Frequently Asked Questions
The government’s view is that with the much lower incidence of the virus in the community and the generally mild symptoms that children suffer, the risk of staying out of school is greater than the risk of going to school. I agree with this and look forward to children being back. We are working hard to make the school as ‘covid secure’ as possible.
1. You must not visit the school without an appointment and where possible use a phone or zoom etc.
2. If you or somebody in your support bubble has any of the following
- High temperature (fever)
- Change or loss of taste or smell
- A cough
- Then you and your support bubble must self isolate and get a test. Please graphic below:
From September the government’s guidance is that children do not need to stay two meters apart, instead they should be organised into groups (bubbles).
- We have reorganised the timetable so that we are able to keep children in ‘bubbles’; in most cases this is a year group.
- In the main school we will be staggering breaks so that children are able to remain in their bubbles during break times.
- Due to bus timetables we are not staggering the start and end of day; Instead we will encourage students to stay at least 2m apart from children not in their bubble.
- As staff will work across year groups, we will be trying to maintain a 2m distance between adults and children.
- We are encouraging students and staff to wear masks in school corridors unless exempt.
We have increased cleaning across the school and will be providing wipes so that children and staff can wipe their desks etc. We are also providing hand gel and will be asking children and staff to regularly sanitise their hands.
The curriculum will largely be back to normal in September, although we will be reducing movement around the school. Where there are changes, we will explain this to the children in September.
Supporting our children with their mental health and wellbeing is a key priority. I recognise that this time will have affected children differently. I know from talking to children and parents that some children have enjoyed the lockdown whilst the majority have found it very difficult. I hope that the phone calls have helped children feel connected to the school and we have been training all staff in attachment and working with trauma. We also continue to have mentoring and other support through Place to Be and Dare to Differ.
It is clear that there will have been a significant impact on students’ progress and this will be particularly important for Year 11 and Year 13. Teachers have been working hard to put in place ‘recovery plans’ to support students. We are also dropping an option in Year 11 to give more time for English and Maths. Together we will ensure that children get the results they deserve, but we will have no time to waste. As the government releases more information, we will continue to work on what additional support we can provide.
We hope not! It is however out of control. The government has said that they are unlikely to lockdown the whole country and that with local lockdowns they will try to keep schools open.
As a school we are committed to keeping the school open if at all possible.
We are going to be training students on how to use google classrooms once we reopen. We are intending to deliver a full curriculum using video via google classroom. This means that students will have access to a full timetable and instruction from their teacher.
We trialled this in July and it worked well.
We are intending to continue putting all resources online. We are also hoping to have teachers recording instruction. This will mean that students should be able to access all of their learning.
Unless exempt. Children should wear a mask on public transport. In line with WHO advise we also strongly encourage students to wear a mask in the corridors. Students are welcome to wear a mask at other times if they wish to.
Please see our factsheet for more information.
Many children will feel some level of nervousness as they have been off school from a lengthy period. As a school, we will be supporting all children in their transition back.
For lots of resources please check out our Mental Health Section which we regularly update.
To reduce transmission students need to bring in their own equipment. See letter for full details.
We have purchased visors for all staff and encourage staff to wear them when:
- In corridors during change over
- On duty inside
- Where 2m distancing is not possible. This may include classrooms
Staff can wear a mask if they wish and we will keep this under review.
Students are being encouraged to wear masks in the corridor
The government recognises that 2m distancing is not possible in a school environment. Instead, students are placed into bubbles (primarily year groups). There is no expectation that students will distance within these bubbles.
Staff cross bubbles so should endeavour to remain 2m distance or 1m (with mask/visor) from other staff and students.
The government is strongly encouraging students to cycle or walk. Where children have to use public transport they must wear a mask unless exempt.
Kent County council has stated:
All of our transport services will be running as usual but there will be some differences designed to make sure that there is enough space for all children needing to travel and that the transport is as safe as possible.
Social distancing will apply to most buses, however the government have said that some services that are mainly used for schools can be changed to only carry school children. On these buses, operators can then use more of the space on the bus making use of all forward facing seats.
We have also been given funding to provide extra buses where we are worried about social distancing space. From the start of the new academic year, we expect over 80 extra buses to be running with fewer children on board. Therefore we are confident that there will be enough space.
If there are any problems, then we will work to fix them by providing alternative transport.
For students travelling to school by bus, they must:
- observe social distancing rules put in place
- be seated at all times
- use contact-less payment or travel cards where necessary
- not eat or drink on the bus
- keep all windows open for ventilation
- follow instructions provided by the transport provider
- wash or sanitize their hands before and after their journey
- wear face coverings.
Transport provider guidance
To ensure the safety of children travelling to school, transport providers must:
- raise cleaning standards and pay attention to high contact areas
- increase ventilation by keeping all windows open (where possible)
- work with schools and colleges to support any staggered start and finish times and “bubbles” where possible
- wear face coverings for all staff unless separated by a perspex screen
- work with schools to cater for staggered times (where possible)
- ensure passengers sit on front facing seats only
- accept all bus passes to allow the student to get to school
- provide extra vehicles on busier services for students only (where possible)
- monitor all services and new guidance for any changes.