Dear Parents and Carers of Year 10
Extension of Year 10 provision
I write to you to set out the arrangements we have made to open Harrow High School for some learners in Year 10 from Tuesday 23rd June. There are many details below but I would like you to feel confident that we have given this considerable thought.
Before I set out these arrangements, I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents and carers for their understanding and cooperation since we had to close to the majority of children from Monday 23rd March. I know that this period has been challenging for many families, particularly when juggling work commitments with managing childcare, monitoring home learning and trying to motivate learners to submit work during this new and unusual way of working.
The government announced on 25th May that secondary schools are able to offer some “face to face” support for 25% of Year 10 and 12 cohorts at any one time from 15th June (subject to continued scientific advice). Years 10 and 12 have been prioritised because they are preparing for key examinations next year and will be most impacted by falling behind due to time out of school. Due to the incredible success of our Year 12 online lessons, we will continue with this for now and will bring Year 10 into school on a rotating basis from the Tuesday 23rd June.
Safety on site
First and foremost, it goes without saying that the safety of your child and of our staff is our top priority. Since the guidance was published, we have been working on the risk assessments and planning to ensure we are operating in a way that minimises the risks for staff and learners. I am aware that it is vital that the school reopens in a safe way. This will allow us to partially open as safely as possible, focusing on measures that will help limit the risk of coronavirus transmitting within our setting. I need to stress that total elimination of risk is never going to be possible. A full risk assessment is available from the school website if you required further information than is stated below.
For the vast majority of children and young people, coronavirus is a mild illness. Some categories of children with specific serious health conditions should still not attend school. Staff will be calling all Year 10 parents / carers to discuss whether you will be sending your child in or not. We have to take note of the reasons for learners not attending for the DfE however, all absences will be authorised for whatever reason. The Government has made it clear that parents will not be fined for their child’s non-attendance during this time.
Some of the steps we are taking in readiness for reopening include:
Asking that anyone who is displaying coronavirus symptoms, or who lives with someone who is, does not to come onto the school site. That includes learners and staff who work here.
A maximum of 38 Year 10 learners will be in school at any time. This means learners will attend school for one day per week
Keeping our learners in small groups with as much consistent staffing as possible, and minimising contact with other groups around the setting. Learners will be placed in a new teaching group and not be allowed to mix with any other students who are on site even at break times.
Cleaning our hands more often than usual, especially on arrival and at key times during the day, washing them thoroughly for at least 20 seconds using running water and soap and then drying them thoroughly. Alcohol hand rub or sanitiser to be used where soap and water are not available and this will be provided in some locations, including outside each classroom and in reception.
Ensuring our students understand and follow, at all times, good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ approach and ensuring a good supply of tissues and bins throughout the setting.
Implementing an enhanced cleaning schedule, ensuring surfaces touched by students and staff are cleaned regularly and throughout the day, including bannisters, door handles and taps.
Asking learners not to share any pens or resources and to only bring in essential items from home to the setting.
Asking parents and other adults not to enter the school site under any circumstances with all communication to staff being done via email or telephone.
On what day will my child come in?
A personalised email will be sent to you with the day of the week and the room number learners have been allocated to. This will be their group name. eg ‘Tuesday L2’ or ‘Thursday E8’ etc
As already mentioned above, a member of staff will phone you to confirm these groups and make sure you have seen the emails sent out.
The face to face support we are able to offer is to “supplement” the remote education, with a clear expectation that this remote education will continue to be the predominant form of educational delivery for Year 10. Our on-site provision will consist of some core subjects having some dedicated lesson time in Year 10.
No more than a quarter of Year 10 will be allowed on site at one time and learners will have an individual timetable for the days and dates they will be on site. There will be 12 new small teaching groups – your child will be in one day a week. This will not be their normal timetable. It will not be full time education on site. For the remainder of the week, learners will continue with their online studies They will not be allowed on site at any other time.
The plan is to teach each quarter of year 10 in the core subjects for 1 day a week with a maximum of 38 learners attending school on any given day.
No Year 10 lessons will be on Mondays.
One group of learners will attend on Tuesday. Another different group on Wednesday and so on. On each day the group attending school will have three teaching sessions in Maths, English and Science. The timings for each day (Tue – Fri) will be:
Arrive at school no earlier than 9:45 – queue up outside the school gate until invited in.
Session 1 10:00 – 11.05
Break * 11.05 – 11.20*
Session 2 11.20 – 12.25
Break * 12.25 – 12.40
Session 3 12.40 – 1.45
* Please note that no food will be provided, learners must bring their own snacks and water. School water fountains will be turned off.
A minimum of 3 teaching staff (one for each core subject) will deliver this programme. In so far as is possible, each member of staff will only work with one group of 36 learners
The curriculum to be delivered will complement the online work
Each day there would be 6 additional staff to monitor the arrival and dismissal of the learners, as well as supporting throughout the day. At least one of these members of staff will have first aid training.
There would be a staff training day for all staff involved on Monday 22nd June. This will ensure that the staff are fully briefed on all aspects of health and safety, social distancing and hygiene
We aim to ensure that contact between people is reduced as much as possible by working in small and consistent groups that are located away from other groups. The classrooms that are being used are arranged so that there is at least 2 metres distance between tables
The classrooms to be used are the largest classrooms in the school to allow for effective social distancing.
All learners enter the site from the front gate and are then directed to their allocated classroom. Learners in E3 and E8 will be escorted to these rooms via the lower English entrance and learners in L2 will be escorted to these rooms via the side entrance opposite Sheepcote Road.
These three classrooms will be used for each teaching session. Learners will always be in the same classrooms to minimise the risk of transferring the virus. Learners will be in the same group for all three subjects and would be expected to sit at the same desk each day. Staff would rotate around the three classrooms.
Learners have been placed into new teaching groups based on their Science classes
At the end of each teaching session the classrooms will be thoroughly cleaned and then locked and will remain locked until the following day. Any shared materials or surfaces will also be cleaned and disinfected
Each classroom will be arranged to have a maximum of 12 desks and chairs which allows for suitable social distancing. All unnecessary furniture and other items will be removed from the classrooms to allow for maximum space.
All classrooms will be well ventilated using natural ventilation (open windows) or ventilation units. Doors to all classrooms being used would remain open to limit the use of door handles and aid ventilation
We aim to limit the amount of shared resources that are taken home and also limit the exchange of take home resources between staff and learners
Classrooms will be provided with pedal bins if possible for used tissues
Learners will be expected to distance themselves from others within the current guidance at ALL times. Floor markers will be in place across the school to reinforce this requirement.
During break time and the start/end of the school day learners will not be allowed to mix with any learners from a different group they have been studying with in the classroom.
By coming into school, the learner and their parents/carers automatically agree to abide by all rules including the special addendums and adjustments made during this COVID period. In addition to the social distancing measures that have already been identified in the classrooms we would ensure that the following additional social distancing measures are put in place:
Learners and staff would be encouraged to travel to and from school by foot, bicycle and car. We would ask all learners and staff to give careful consideration to which mode of transport they choose.
SLT on gate duty will ask learners if they “have displayed any symptoms of COVID today?” (a sign will also be at the gate) If they say yes, they will be sent home and parents will be called.
The arranged timetable will ensure that learners and staff who do need to travel by public transport will not be travelling during peak travel times which should allow for greater social distancing on buses and trains
SLT will present social distancing reminder to all learners at the start of every day
During lessons, toilets will be locked and learners will only be allowed to visit the toilet if the member of staff who is teaching them calls for Learning Walk to escort them there – only one learner will be allowed in the toilet at any one time
o Learners in L2 will use the toilets on lower L corridor
o Learners in E3 will use the toilets on the lower English corridor
o Learners in E8 will use the toilets by the 1923 entrance
At break times, learners will be able to use the toilet. Each toilet will be supervised by a member of staff. Teachers will have a break.
In corridors that are in use there will be tape placed on the floor to indicate 2 metre distancing and all staff and learners will be expected to follow this. In addition there will be 2 metre distancing markings painted on the ground outside the entrances that the learners will use.
At the front entrance and at two other identified locations there will be a symbol painted on the ground that will indicate what 2 metres distancing looks like and learners will be reminded of this as they arrive at and leave the school site
All doors in classrooms and in corridors will be propped open to ensure that there is a smooth flow of corridor traffic
On arrival at school learners will be directed straight to their identified classroom so they will not have the opportunity to meet up with their peers. At the end of the day there will be a staggered dismissal which will be coordinated by the SLT lead. This will also be supervised by the additional staff on site
At break the three groups of learners will use different stairs to exit and enter the building. They will have a designated area where they will spend their breaks:
o L2 – Use lower L corridor stairs to move to the inner quad
o E3 – Use lower exit at far end of English to move to grass area by English and 6th form block
o E8 – Use stairs by 1923 entrance to move to main playground
There will be 3 identified areas for the teaching groups to move to in the event of the fire alarm sounding. 2 metre social distancing will be expected when learners are lining up.
o E3 – line up by the pitches
o E8 – line up on playground opposite canteen
o L2 – line up in front car park
The Behaviour Policy has been amended to identify what course of action will be taken against learners who do not follow these social distancing rules or other rules
Cleaning and Hygiene
The following measures will be put in place to ensure the best possible cleanliness and hygiene in the school:
Learners should wear school uniform. The only exception is that ties and blazers are not required. If learners have white summer polo shirts from last year they can be worn but we are not asking parents to buy new ones – normal white shirts with no ties are fine if old polo shirts from last year don’t fit.
Hand sanitiser dispensers will be located on the door of each classroom that is being used for teaching sessions. Learners and staff will be required to use this when entering and leaving the classroom
The hand sanitiser dispenser will contain the correct alcohol gel
All surfaces that staff and learners are touching such as books, desks, chairs, light switches, doors and bannisters will be cleaned at the end of every day.
Frequent washing of hands with soap and water will be encouraged for all staff and for learners who visit the toilet
Boxes of tissues will be available in each classroom and learners will be encouraged to ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’. Bins for the tissues will be emptied at regular intervals during the day
Learners do not need to wear a face covering in school as per government guidance. However if you chose for your child to or the learner themselves wishes to do so, this will be allowed. Any face mask worn should be a plain mask and not anything showing an inappropriate logo, image or message. Another item like a bandana (which are banned in school) should not be worn.
Any member of staff who has to deal with a learner who is displaying the symptoms of coronavirus will be provided with disposable gloves, a disposable apron, a fluid resistant surgical facemask and a face visor
The teacher’s work area, desk and computer will be cleaned at the end of each teaching session with anti-bacterial agents
There will be a daily deep clean* of each classroom after it has been used
Toilets will be cleaned after each break time
*All areas that may have been touched by any individual will be thoroughly cleaned with anti-bacterial agents
What happens if someone becomes unwell in school?
If anyone in school becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste of smell (anosmia), they will be sent home and advised to follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance. If a learner is awaiting collection, they will be moved to a room where they will be isolated behind a closed door, with appropriate adult supervision. A window in the room should be opened for ventilation.
If the learner needs to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they will use a separate bathroom to the one being used by other learners. The bathroom will be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else.
PPE will be worn by staff caring for the learner while they await collection from school.
In an emergency, staff will call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk.
What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in school?
When a learner or staff member develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus, they will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 7 days. Their fellow household members will be told to self-isolate for 14 days. All staff and learners at school will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus, and they will be encouraged to get tested in this scenario. The aim is to enable these learners to get back to school, and their parents or carers not to need to self-isolate any longer than is necessary, if the test proves to be negative. Where the learner or staff member tests negative, they can return to school and their fellow household members can end their self-isolation.
Where the learner or staff member tests positive, the rest of their group within the school will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The school will contact Public Health for guidance. The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the learner or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.
As part of the national test and trace programme, if other cases are detected within the cohort or in the wider setting, Public Health England’s local health protection teams will conduct a rapid investigation and will advise the school and other settings on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases a larger number of other learners may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure – perhaps the whole class, site or year group. If the school is observing guidance on infection prevention and control, which will reduce risk of transmission, closure of the whole school will not generally be necessary.
Should the school ask parents to report pupils’ temperatures at the start of each day?
Parents, carers and the school do not need to take children’s temperatures every morning. Routine testing of an individual’s temperature is not a reliable method for identifying coronavirus. Parents the need to follow the standard national advice on the kind of symptoms to look out for that might be due to coronavirus, and where to get further advice. If anyone in the household develops a fever, or a new continuous cough, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they are advised to follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance (which states that the ill person should remain in isolation for 7 days and the rest of the household in isolation for 14 days).
Will learners be eligible for testing?
When the school is open to learners, all those learners and members of their households, will have access to testing if they display symptoms of coronavirus. This will enable them to get back into school, and their parents or carers to get back to work, if the test proves to be negative. To access testing parents will be able to use the 111 online coronavirus service.
I hope that this letter has given you the information you need to understand what arrangements we have made to enable your child to return to us on a phased, part time basis. We are looking forward to welcoming learners back and I hope that you are assured that we have taken all possible steps to ensure safety for all in our setting.
Someone will call you over the next few days to ask if you will be sending your child in, the reason for this and answer any questions you may have.
Please share this letter with your child so they can see and understand the arrangements.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know,
Deputy Head Teacher and Safeguarding Lead