- Our school reopening risk assessment can be seen HERE
Government Guidance for Parents
- Read the Returning to secondary school: what parents need to know document
- DfE website
- We intend to send regular communication via ParentMail during the first few weeks of term 1 in 2020-2021. Please make sure you can access ParentMail and we encourage you to also download the ParentMail app. If you need any additional information or assistance, please visit the ParentMail help site: www.parentmail.co.uk/help/parenthelp/
- The latest letter sent to all parents via ParentMail can also be seen below:
Letter to Parents/Carers sent: Wednesday 26th August 2020
Re: Return to School
I hope you and your family have enjoyed the summer despite the restrictions posed by Covid-19.
We are really looking forward to welcoming all our students, including our new Year 7s, back into school from next week according to this schedule:
- Tuesday 1 September INSET Day - no students in school
- Wednesday 2 September INSET Day - no students in school
- Thursday 3 September Only Year 7 and Year 11 in school
- Friday 4 September Only Year 7 and Year 10 in school
- Monday 7 September Only Year 7, Year 9, and Year 12 in school
- Tuesday 8 September Only Year 7, Year 8 and Year 13 in school
- Wednesday 9 September All year groups in school from now on
While most parents/carers and students will probably agree that the benefits of returning to school outweigh the risks, some anxiety will still naturally exist. I would like to reassure you that we have been hard at work planning how best to minimise the risk of transmission in line with government guidance.
Our main adaptation is to eliminate mixing between year groups on site by creating year group ‘bubbles’ with their own facilities in separate ‘zones’. Within each ‘bubble’ we will be minimising contact and maximising social distance where possible as well as implementing strict hygiene and cleaning measures.
I can now share with you our latest risk assessment for reopening as submitted to our governing board, the River Learning Trust and teaching unions. We welcome your feedback on this document or any other queries about our reopening arrangements via our usual general enquiries form.
I would also like to reshare with you the key points that were sent out before the summer break. Please do take the time to reread these as they contain some updates and additions which are italicised.
- Face Masks
- Currently, it is optional for students and staff to wear face masks or visors in any area of our site, including classrooms, at any time. This is a live issue as I write and our guidance may change at a later date in response to government pronouncements and feedback from our community.
- We pride ourselves on our extremely high standards of behaviour at WPS. This year, all lessons will start with silent activities to ensure a calm and purposeful learning environment from the beginning, especially because there will be greater teacher movement between classrooms than usual due to the zoning system.
- We will be enforcing our behaviour policy as rigorously as ever to ensure students comply with all our safety measures. Students who deliberately threaten the safety of others through their actions may be externally excluded for the safety of all.
- PLEASE DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD IN IF THEY, OR ANYONE ELSE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD, HAS CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS. FOLLOW THE GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE FOR HOUSEHOLDS WITH POSSIBLE OR CONFIRMED CORONAVIRUS INFECTION AND ARRANGE A TEST.
- PLEASE ALWAYS BOOK APPOINTMENTS WITH STAFF IN ADVANCE UNLESS IN A REAL EMERGENCY.
- Travelling to school by car
- IF DROPPING OFF OR PICKING UP YOUR CHILD AT SCHOOL, PLEASE ONLY USE THE SIXTH FORM CAR PARK AND DO NOT ENTER THE SCHOOL VIA THE ROAD THAT LEADS THROUGH THE MAIN SITE TO THE PARK SPORTS CENTRE.
- PLEASE DO NOT DROP YOUR CHILD OFF OPPOSITE THE SCHOOL ON THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO HOLTON VILLAGE OR USE ANY PART OF THIS ROAD AS A TURNING CIRCLE - THIS HAS CAUSED A SERIOUS ACCIDENT AND SEVERAL NEAR MISSES IN THE PAST.
- Please consider dropping your child off further away from the site than usual and allowing them to walk the final part of the journey to minimise congestion.
- Travelling to school by bus
- Wherever possible, parents/carers are encouraged to seek alternatives to bus transport such as walking or cycling where feasible.
- If your child is entitled to free home to school transport or currently travels on a spare seat concessionary travel pass, you should have been contacted directly by Oxfordshire County Council about arrangements for September.
- We will work with Oxfordshire County Council to try to ensure that students are seated in year group ‘bubbles’ on school bus services.
- Commercial bus services (such as the U1) are likely to be operating at reduced capacity and increase the risk of transmission as students will potentially be mixing with the wider community.
- Students who have no option other than to use a school bus or a commercial bus should wear a face covering and wash their hands before and after travel.
Please see this letter from Oxfordshire County Council for further information regarding transport.
- Where to go on arrival
- Heads of Year will contact students in advance to let them know where to go on their first day back. Students will receive comprehensive briefings about all our new arrangements on these days.
- School uniform and PE kit
- Students are expected to wear full school uniform as usual in line with our uniform policy. (Please remember your children may well have grown out of uniform items during lockdown!)
- Students are to come to school in standard PE kit on the days that they have PE lessons.
- Students will not be reprimanded if they are missing the branded jacket/blazer or school tie while our uniform suppliers, Stevensons, continue to face Covid-19-related supply issues. If this is the case, parents/carers should provide a written note of explanation to their child's tutor and work on obtaining the missing items as rapidly as possible.
- Food and drink
- School catering facilities will be accessible in such a way as to avoid different year groups mixing but students are advised to bring packed lunches where possible initially.
- Clubs and Trips
- Sadly, no after-school clubs or school trips will run in Term 1 due to safety concerns and an anticipated reduction in staff capacity.
- Breakfast Club
- Breakfast Club will not operate initially but students will have access to their year group zone from 8:00am each morning.
- Additional Recommended Equipment
- To minimise the use of shared equipment and support our resourcing, we would very much appreciate parents/carers equipping their children with the following strongly recommended items in addition to the our compulsory ‘6+1’ equipment list where possible:
- A personal supply of hand sanitiser
- A pack of antiseptic wipes
- A set of headphones (for teacher-authorised use only)
- A small set of colouring pencils
- A glue stick
- A highlighter
- A book to read for pleasure
Note: the recommendation to bring scissors has been removed in response to some safety concerns
For general information about aspects of school life that are separate to our Covid-19-specific plans, please refer to our Key Information for Parents guide which has been updated on our website here.
This school year will undoubtedly pose significant and unprecedented challenges for all of us but I am confident that with your highly-valued support we will overcome them so that your child(ren) can continue to learn and thrive under our care.