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Owing to the unprecedented national situation, safeguarding of course remains the school’s priority whilst the majority of students are studying remotely at home. As well as providing some face-to-face provision for students in Year 10 and Year 12 with effect from 15 June 2020, the school is also operating a Hub provision for children of key workers and vulnerable children. All other lessons are happening remotely online. In line with government direction, the school must prioritise places for children requiring the Hub provision but aims to ensure equitable access to tutorials for students in Year 10 and Year 12.
During this time, the following adjustments of usual practice are in place:
- While the school is closed, students are remotely registering as an alternative to morning and afternoon registration; this permits the school to internally track any potential absence/safeguarding concerns and to monitor levels of engagement. Concerns are being followed up on a daily basis with families. We will be ensuring that families are also contacted on the first day of absence for any children who do not arrive for their scheduled tutorials with effect from 15 June. Parents/carers should continue to report their child’s absence to us via our attendance email account.
- We recognise that some families find themselves in challenging circumstances as a result of the national pandemic and endeavour to provide lesson resources that permit students to potentially complete lessons on a different timescale compared to school. We continue to encourage all students to engage with school and lessons according to their usual timetable if at all possible.
- Our usual systems of safeguarding are in place and, in fact, we have taken advantage of the lockdown to ensure that all Heads of Year now have enhanced safeguarding training to the level required by Designated Safeguarding Leads. Weekly DSL team meetings continue throughout the lockdown and we continue to engage with all external agencies as required. All concerns are logged electronically via the My Concern platform and are monitored closely.
- While online lessons are the normal for all students, the Online Safety Policy and the Acceptable Use Agreement previously signed by parents and students are paramount. Through our usual systems of safeguarding we continue to investigate and react to incidences of inappropriate online behaviour, and we remain in contact with external agencies as necessary. Our weekly letters to parents regularly contain E-Safety updates, and we have also launched an online E-Safety Newsletter to react to the present situation.
- The daily tutor time activity timetable has been temporarily replaced by topical and remotely interactivethoughts for the day, led by the Heads of Lower School, Upper School and Sixth Form.
- Alongside some access for students in Year 10 and Year 12 during term 6, all students will undertake remote assessments that will inform teachers’ planning of our Recovery Curriculum from September 2020. All staff have received training in the Recovery Curriculum and realise that students’ lived experiences in recent months will be diverse – our planning for September 2020 is taking into account the needs (both pastoral and academic) of students and staff, as well as the possibility of further national disruption as winter flu season arrives.
- With wider reopening taking place from 15 June we have carefully risk-assessed the site and our practices, providing guidance to students and staff about keeping themselves safe whilst in school and when travelling to and fro. The full Trust risk assessment document can be viewed on the VIAT website. Provision has been made for tutorials to be centred around two main sites of toilets/hand-washing facilities and additional sanitising stations have also been created. The school has adapted its cleaning routines to ensure that regular cleaning takes place, including that of toilet facilities and frequently-touched surfaces, and each tutorial room is only being used once to minimise the risk of cross-contamination. Students and staff have been allocated small “bubbles” for their tutorial sessions and students are not permitted to mix from one bubble to another, in line with national expectations.
- Consideration has been given to:
- Marking and observing 2 metre intervals in communal areas (e.g. corridors and toilets);
- Staggering of student arrival and departure times;
- Capacity of classrooms and their proximity to WC facilities;
- Regular cleaning routines, particularly but not exclusively of frequently-used surfaces;
- Availability of toilet facilities, and regular cleaning of these;
- Location of hand sanitiser and/or hand washing stations;
- Implementation of student ‘bubbles’ and minimising interaction between ‘bubbles’;
- Locating different ‘bubbles’ in separate rooms, to minimise cross-contamination;
- Staff and students only attending the school site by prior appointment;
- Parents/carers/other visitors attending the school site by appointment only;
- Reminding families that clothing should be washed following any time in school.
- With effect from 15 June, when the national plan is to reintroduce students in Year 10 and Year 12 back into school for some face-to-face contact, our outline plan is as follows – please note that all curriculum lessons for all year groups will continue on line as they have been since March (the national expectation is that online lessons will remain the predominant method of teaching for students in these year groups):
- w/c 15 June: Year 10 in school for hour-long wellbeing tutorials;
- w/c 22 June: Year 10 in school for hour-long progress discussion tutorials, let by a core subject teacher;
- w/c 30 June: Year 12 in school for one and a half hour-long tutorials that will amalgamate wellbeing, progress and UCAS-related discussions. Students will be able to book meetings with members of the Sixth Form team up until the end of term, and this includes making an appointment with Mrs West our Careers Adviser if required;
- w/c 30 June: Year 10 students in school for a 3-4 hour Science-focused curriculum lesson;
- w/c 6 July and 13 July: Year 10 students in school for a 3-4 hour English and Mathematics-focused curriculum lesson;
- w/c 6 July to end of term 6: students in Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 will be invited into school for a two-hour face-to-face tutorial to discuss wellbeing and progress.
- Note: parents do not have to send their child into school for these face-to-face tutorials and there will be no penalty issued for this.
- According to the government guidance, students and staff who are displaying Covid-19 symptoms or who have had a positive Covid-19 test result must not attend school. Where this is the case they must stay at home and self-isolate for seven days. Individuals who have a member of their household who is displaying Covid-19 symptoms or who has had a positive Covid-19 test result must not attend school. Where this is the case individuals must stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days. Similarly, as you would expect, any member of staff who is displaying Covid-19 symptoms or who has had a positive test result, or who has a household member in isolation with symptoms must also not attend school, and they will also self-isolate. In addition, anyone who has been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and advised to stay at home and self-isolate must not attend school. Part of our contingency-planning process is to consider a back-up staffing rota to cover possible staff illness.
- A number of school trips have had to be cancelled owing to the pandemic and we are working to obtain refunds for parents as swiftly as we can – we will write to you if you are affected and will explain how the refund will be made.
- Admissions appeals are being conducted remotely rather than face-to-face.
- Induction of our new Year 7 students from Year 6 is happening remotely, as we are unable to run our usual transition days. Families should be receiving regular updates from us but, if not, please contact us. Our Induction Handbook is here and can be navigated using the menu on the left of the screen.
- The Department for Education has stated that it does not expect schools to handle new or existing complaints while they are partially closed during the coronavirus outbreak, however we are doing our best to respond remotely wherever we can, although time frames may be slightly longer than usual.
- This page will be updated as national guidance, and therefore school practice, change.
- If you have any further queries, please contact us.