Letter from Principal regarding Tollbar Academy 2020-2021 academic year

Ref: CLY/AKW

August 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

Following my letter at the end of last term, I enclose further details of the reopening of the Academy for all students. These measures have been put in place taking in to account the most recent Government guidelines.

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

Parents are encouraged to visit the latest Government guidelines:

gov.uk/backtoschool

Please find attached the date your child will return to the Academy and the room that your child must go to on their arrival. Year 7 students should report to the Main Reception where staff will meet them. All students should wash or sanitise their hands-on arrival and throughout the day. Staff will be on hand to direct them to their designated classroom.

As mentioned in my previous letter, following Government guidance, students are advised, where possible, to walk or cycle to the Academy where it is safe to do so. Our bike sheds have designated zones clearly marked for each year group. Please can I take this opportunity to remind you that we require all students to wear a cycle helmet and to bring a lock with them to the Academy to secure their bikes.

Date of return to the Academy in September 2020

DATE YEAR GROUPS IN THE ACADEMY
Wednesday 2 September 2020 Year 7 and Year 11 students ONLY to attend.
Thursday 3 September 2020 Year 7, 8, 10 and 11 students ONLY to attend.
Friday 4 September 2020 All Year groups are to attend (Year 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

Please can we ask parents and carers not to enter the Academy site or gather at the entrance or exit gates. If a parent or carer needs to accompany their child to the Academy, then only one person should attend and they must report immediately to the Main Reception whilst observing social distancing. By the very nature of the large size of our Academy, our students naturally arrive in a staggered manner due to the variety of transport methods they use. Students are expected to arrive through either the Main Reception entrance, the bike shed entrance or the main pedestrian entrance.

On arrival, students are requested to report immediately to their assigned location. This will reduce any potential time for students to meet others or feel they must wait for the traditional bell. As usual students are expected to be on site by 8:50am. At the end of the day students are asked to swiftly leave site with reduced contact with others. Staff will be onsite to assist.

In order to minimise contact with other students, we have introduced a slightly staggered end to the Academy day that takes in to account the location of each year group. Staff will escort students as they leave the site commencing at the timings below:

Year 7 3:00pm
Year 8 3:05pm
Year 9 3:10pm
Year 10 3:15pm
Year 11 3:15pm

School Transport and Public Buses

As per Government guidance, if students use public transport they are requested to wear a face covering, these will need to be removed when students arrive at the Academy. Students should not touch the front of their face covering during use or when removing them. They must wash their hands immediately on arrival, dispose of temporary face coverings in a covered bin or place reusable face coverings in a plastic bag they can place in their school bag, and then wash their hands again before heading to their classroom. We ask all parents / carers and young people to be aware of recommendations on transport to and from education or childcare setting.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers

  • Parents/carers of students using the Lincolnshire County Council bus should see the updated website for information and measures that will be in place.

https://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/school-college-transport/covid-19-information-school-transport/1

  • North-East County Council are updating their school transport website with advice and guidance in relation to Covid-19.

https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/schools-and-education/school-transport/

  • Students using the Stagecoach public buses should see the website for the updated bus timetable and Covid-19 guidance.

https://www.stagecoachbus.com/coronavirus

Day Arrangements

In order to adhere to the Government’s guidance, we have made some organisational decisions in order to enable students to minimise the contact they have with other students, whilst also ensuring all students are able to access a full and broad curriculum. Where movement around the site is necessary, we expect students to be mindful of social distancing and its importance in preventing the spread of the virus. Students entering the teaching blocks must do so in a calm and controlled manner. Initially in order to control the entry of students after break and lunch time we will require them to line up in their class group outside and be collected by their teacher. In order to fully ventilate classrooms and teaching blocks, all classroom doors, windows and external doors will be kept open. Where possible the need to touch surfaces around the academy have been minimised this includes using the toilet facilities and lunch serveries.

Year 8 to Year 11 students have remained in their Academic Band. Classes within each Band have been decided following discussions with the Curriculum Leaders for the core subjects. Students in Year 7 have been placed in initial class groups based on the information we received from the Primary Schools which will be reviewed as they adjust in to their Secondary education.

The usual Registration period will take place in the students’ Period 1 classroom with their Period 1 teacher. When all the necessary pastoral activities are completed then the Period 1 lesson will commence. When Assemblies are due to take place, they will be delivered virtually to students during the registration time.

Students in Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 will be taught with the same group of students, in the same classroom for all of their lessons except for ICT and Music when they will be collected by their teacher and taken to a specialist teaching room and fully supervised as they return to their room. All students will take part in Physical Education lessons which will be beneficial for their health and well-being.

Students in Year 10 and 11 will be taught with the same group of students for English, Maths and Science in the same room. In order for students to complete their full GCSE option subjects, they will move rooms and work with other students in their option class to enable them to access resources and specialist teaching staff for their option subjects. We have kept movement to an absolute minimum and we have planned the timetable to minimise potential contact with other students. It is essential when students are moving around the site, that they maintain social distancing and conduct themselves in a calm and orderly manner. Year 10 and Year 11 will also take part in Physical Education lessons which will be beneficial for their health and well-being.

A designated teaching area has been provided for all years with access to toilet facilities and an area for their Break and Lunchtime. This will greatly limit movement around the site and reduce contact with other students in other year groups. All students will receive an initial session with student guidance and advice about how to keep themselves and others safe. We will cover hand washing, ‘Catch It. Bin It. Kill It’ and the new Academy procedures that have been put in place to help minimise contact with others, including social distancing signs and the additional hand washing stations that have been installed around the site. This will be regularly reinforced with students.

Classrooms and toilet areas will be cleaned regularly along with corridors and any areas that students / staff may come in to contact with. Students will be encouraged to enter the toilet facilities one at a time.

  • Students will be expected to remain in their designated year group area and not go into other designated Year areas.
  • Students are expected to wear full Academy uniform (see our website for full details of the Uniform Policy).
  • Students will be expected to adhere to our Behaviour Policy which has been updated in light of the Covid-19 guidelines and can be found on our Academy website.

    https://www.tollbaracademy.co.uk/tmat/media/files/behaviour-policy.pdf
  • Students will need to bring their own equipment to minimise the use of shared resources. We would advise that, where possible students bring the following items:
    • Pen
    • Pencil
    • Ruler
    • Protractor
    • Compasses (only to be brought into school when required for assessments)
    • Coloured pen for self-assessment
    • Glue
    • Selection of coloured pens/pencil crayons
    • Rubber
    • Pencil Sharpener
    • If students wish, they may carry their own hand sanitiser

Break and Lunchtime Arrangements

  • Students should wash or sanitise their hands as they leave their classrooms for Break and Lunchtime and before they return to their classrooms after Break and Lunchtime.
  • Students will remain in their own year group during their Break and Lunch periods. Where possible we will encourage students to spend their time in their outdoor areas.
  • Aspens Catering will continue to a service for students, see our Academy website for information. Students will be able to use the cashless catering system and we advise all parents to top up their child’s Parent Pay to minimise the use of the on-site remuneration units.
  • Year 7 students will have access to Aspens catering at Lunchtime.
  • Students in Year 8 through to Year 11 will have access to Aspens catering at both Break and Lunchtime.

Covid-19 Guidance

The most recent Government Guidance will be followed and will inform future decisions regarding the safety and well-being of all on site. Staff have attended training regarding Covid-19 prevention and measures we are taking on site.

The most important symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

We must remind all parents/carers of the following key points that we expect all to adhere to:

  • Students / staff must not come into the Academy if they have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or have tested positive in at least the last 10 days.
  • All parents / carers / staff must immediately inform the Academy if their child or member of their family are displaying symptoms. They will need to follow the NHS Test and Trace process and follow the guidance; stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’.
  • Students who are quarantining due to travel advice, must contact the Academy at the start of the Autumn term to inform us of the date the child will be able to return.

In line with Government guidance, we will continue to operate an additional separate Medical Room for students to report to should they feel unwell with COVID-19 symptoms whilst on the Academy site. If a student feels unwell, e.g. high temperature or a cough, they must alert their teacher immediately; Government guidelines will then be followed regarding isolation and collection.

Safeguarding

If for any reason your child is unable to attend the Academy please ensure you inform us in the usual way: via calling Reception, using the MyEd app or emailing Tollbar Enquiries email account. In line with Government guidance, if we become concerned in relation to potential exposure to COVID-19, we will contact parents/carers immediately.

In line with the most recent Government guidelines, face coverings are not required, however if your child wishes, they may wear a face covering as they are moving around the site. They must follow the guidance regarding removing and storage of their face masks.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-in-education/face-coverings-in-education

We can assure you we are continuing to keep up to date with all the developments and guidance available and we will contact you should anything change in the future.

This has been a very challenging time for children and their families. Returning to school is vital for children’s health and well-being, their education and their future. We look forward to welcoming your child in September and working with them to help them reach their full potential.

Yours faithfully

Mrs C L Yates
Principal

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Tollbar Academy Principal

Caroline L Yates
BA (Hons).

Tollbar MAT Chief Executive

David J Hampson
OBE, BSc, BA.
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