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UCAS: Covid Impact Statement
Due to Covid19, Valley Park School was closed to all sixth form students from 18th March 2020 with teaching being via distance learning only until July 17 2020. Our distance learning strategy for sixth form provided students with varied online content for each subject. This is in contrast to the eight to ten hours per fortnight of contact teaching time usually timetabled. No formal assessments in controlled conditions were able to take place during this time.
From Monday 7 September 2020, all sixth formers returned to Valley Park School where teachers took a blended learning approach alongside a recovery curriculum. Any isolated students continued to access content from home using a variety of online learning platforms whilst the remaining students returned to their normal timetabled lessons.
Owing to the unprecedented national situation, safeguarding of course remains the school’s priority.
During this time, the following adjustments of usual practice are in place:
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 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 have been the normal for students during lockdown and beyond, 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.
Our planning for September 2020 onwards takes 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.
The full Trust risk assessment document can be viewed on the VIAT website.
The school has adapted its cleaning routines to ensure that regular cleaning takes place, including that of toilet facilities and frequently-touched surfaces. 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 year group ‘bubbles’ and minimising interaction between ‘bubbles’;
- Members of the school community wearing face coverings;
- Parents/carers/other visitors attending the school site by appointment only.
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. 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.
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.
- This page will be updated as national guidance, and therefore school practice, change.
- If you have any further queries, please contact us.
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