RE: Full September Reopening of Bodmin College – subject to government guidance
Dear Parent /Carer,
As we approach the end of what has been an academic year like no other, I’d like to extend my thanks and appreciation once again for your continued support, patience and understanding. It has, without doubt, been a challenging time for families, but I’m pleased to be able to share with you now, key information about how we intend to welcome ALL students back to the college at the start of September.
Over the past few days, we have been working hard to interpret the latest government guidance on the full reopening of schools in September. Every school’s context is different and the government guidance is extensive, so this letter aims to provide you with essential information ahead of the holidays. I will write again before the start of term with more specific details for each year group. In the meantime, I would also advise that you read the Government Information For Parents and Carers along with the FAQ section on our website.
As always our key priorities are:
- Safety of all students, staff, parents and their families.
- Highest quality educational experience for all students.
To ensure maximum safety, wellbeing and quality of education, we will endeavor to keep routines as normal as possible whilst adhering strictly to Covid19 protection measures.
Keeping Everyone Safe – Protection Measures
Whilst we have been closed to most students since 20th March, we have been open to provide to care for vulnerable and key worker children. Because of this and our supplementary provision, we already have extensive routines and protection measures in place that are robust and ready to be rolled out across the wider college. These will be communicated in more detail ahead of September and to all students on their first day through a series of MSTeams virtual assemblies streamed into classrooms.
- Minimising contact with symptomatic individuals:
- Procedures for responding and reporting are in place and in accordance with guidance from Public Health England.
- All parents are asked to contact NHS 111 and not to send their child to school if they or anyone in your household has symptoms or has been in contact with someone with symptoms (high temperature, persistent new cough, loss of smell or taste).
- Clean hands thoroughly and more often than usual:
- Handwashing/sanitising facilities already exist at every entrance and classroom area, this will be extended to all areas of the College for September with clear signage and supervision.
- All staff will play a part in educating students in effective handwashing/ sanitising practice. We ask that parents and carers support us at home by reinforcing the importance of handwashing routines.
- Catch-it, Bin-it, Kill-it:
- We already have supplies of tissues and bins in every classroom along with posters encouraging good practice.
- All staff will play a part in educating and supervising students in hygiene measures and again we ask that parents and carers support us in this.
- Enhanced cleaning:
- Regular cleaning will be routine throughout the day with a particular focus on shared surfaces.
- Non-essential surfaces will be removed and doors wedged open where safe to do so.
- Everyone will be expected to take a collective responsibility in adopting hygiene & cleaning routines, wiping surfaces and equipment before/after use.
- Minimising contact with others and distancing where possible:
- In accordance with government guidance, students will be grouped in year group bubbles to minimise mixing. KS3 students will also be grouped in TG bubbles wherever possible. Year 12 & 13 will be classed as a 6th form bubble.
- Bubbles will be kept separated and each bubble will have their own allocated social area away from other bubbles.
- Within bubbles, distancing will still be encouraged where possible.
- The context and layout of the college allows us to ensure that students can receive their normal lessons in their normal classrooms safely. This will be made possible through our planned cleaning routines and the supervised staggering of movement around college within the normal school day.
- Each bubble will have a designated time to use a designated canteen.
- Sharing of resources will be avoided wherever possible or subject to stringent cleaning/hygiene measures.
- PPE where necessary and appropriate:
- The current government guidance states that PPE is not necessary in schools except in emergency or specific government stipulated situations. Supplies of PPE are available for times.
- Current guidance does however, require the use of face-coverings on buses and other public transport. Students will be expected and supported to adhere to the most current government legislation. The guidance for schools, requires students to remove face-coverings on arrival and place them in a plastic bag along with sanitising hands.
- Engage with the NHS track and trace:
- Tried and tested procedures are already in place, and in accordance with guidance from Public Health England.
- The use of bubbles and attendance records will assist with this.
- Manage confirmed cases:
- Again, Public Health England approved procedures are already in place to keep everyone safe.
- By September, the government have advised that we will be provided with our own testing kits to support a rapid response if required.
Preparing for September
Uniform and Equipment:
We will be following the government guidance that advises the return to normal school uniform for September. However, we appreciate that the events of the last few months may have had an adverse financial impact on some families. We have always been mindful of the cost of uniform and have always provided support for families experiencing financial difficulty. This September is no different. If you are struggling to purchase uniform or PE Kit, please get in touch in the usual way.
With the restrictions on sharing resources, it is more essential than ever that students have their own pens, stationery and school equipment. For your convenience, I have included an updated equipment list to help you prepare your child for September. Please note that we have added a purple ball-point pen and a glue stick to the list.
Pastoral and Academic Support:
We know that students will need time and support to readjust to both returning to school and to the changes in place. We have an extensive support programme to meet the needs of each student. In addition to this, we will be operating staggered starting dates at the beginning of term. This will allow us to support each year group bubble and to identify early, any additional needs that have not already come to our attention over the past few weeks of supplementary and remote provision.
With so much uncertainty we are delaying the distribution of the family calendar until nearer September. However, the term dates are outlined below, showing the staggered induction arrangements in bold:
- Friday 4th September 2020 – Year 7 and 12 only
- Monday 7th September 2020 – Year 7, 11, 12 and 13
- Tuesday 8th September 2020 – Year 7, 9, 11, 12 and 13
- Wednesday 9th September 2020– Year 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13
We will be following the Cornwall Council School Term Dates so, should you need to know holiday dates please click on the link above. As normal, we will tag the inset days to the holidays to support families in accessing more affordable travel arrangements. The staff inset days are planned as below:
- Thursday 3rd September 2020 – Staff Inset Day
- Friday 23rd October 2020 – Staff Inset Day
- Monday 4th January 2021 – Staff Inset Day
- Thursday 22nd July 2021 – Staff Inset Day
- Friday 23rd July 2021 – Staff Inset Day
I hope that this letter provides you with all the key information you need going into the summer holidays. It is July now and it goes without saying that a lot can change between now and September. With news of localised lockdowns in other parts of the UK and being mindful of the fact that the government are due to review the scientific data on 11th August 2020, our plans must remain flexible to the situation. Building on our experiences over the past few months, we have contingency plans in place for both partial and full lockdown arrangements. It is my greatest hope that we will not need to use them but please be reassured that we are prepared either way. I am optimistic that the experiences of the past few months can become opportunities for the future.
Over the summer, we will continue to monitor and review the situation and will be in contact again towards the end of the holidays to provide you with final confirmation and more detailed plans pertinent to each year group.
In closing, I want to thank you once again for your patience and support and wish you all the best for the summer.
Mrs Emmie Seward-Adams