Letter to Parents – Face to Face Support – 15th June 2020
10th June 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
When I wrote to you last week on 4th June, I promised to update you with more detailed information regarding our plans to extend provision in line with Government ambitions and expectations.
From Monday 15th June, we will welcome Year 10 students, in phases, for some ‘face to face support’ with teachers to ‘supplement their remote education.’
Newman College has remained open to vulnerable students and those whose parents or carers are key workers since the start of lockdown in March and we will apply and enhance the current established practice on a larger scale to protect all members of the college community to the very best of our ability.
Given the complexity of the situation and the restrictions that we must adhere to in order to maintain high standards of hygiene and social distancing at all times, the college must operate very differently to how it would do normally as described in this letter.
We are only permitted to have one quarter of the Year Group on site at any one time meaning that it is our intention to invite students to attend college on one specified day each week. Therefore, I must remind you that remote learning remains the predominant mode of education for the remainder of this term.
To control the spread of COVID-19 in schools, the Government has set out five overarching principles that have formed the basis of our thorough and rigorous, Local Authority approved risk assessment.
- Minimising contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend college.
- Cleaning hands more often than usual – hands must be washed for 20 seconds with running water and soap and dried thoroughly. Alternatively, alcohol-based sanitiser must be applied to the hands ensuring that all parts are covered.
- Ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
- Cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, using standard products, such as detergents and bleach.
- Minimising contact and mixing by altering, as much as possible, the environment (such as classroom layout) and timetables (such as staggered start times) to facilitate this.
In order to achieve and maintain all elements of the five principles the following expectations must strictly be adhered to by all.
- Parents/Carers will be asked to and must declare any underlying medical conditions that their child has.
- Children who are in a high-risk group will be assessed for suitability to attend college.
- Children who are classified as clinically extremely vulnerable – as defined here, must not attend college.
- Children who live with someone who is extremely vulnerable must only attend college if stringent social distancing can be adhered to.
- Children who are classified as clinically vulnerable – as defined here, must take extra care in observing social distancing.
- The parents/carers of any child developing coronavirus symptoms, however mild, will be instructed not come to college and remain at home for a minimum of 7 days from when their symptoms started.
Should this apply to your child, then please ensure that they are given enough time off to recover fully in addition to the guidelines on self-isolation.
In addition, if any members of your household have the virus or is displaying symptoms then your child must not come into college and remain at home for the next 14 days.
- Should your child develop coronavirus like symptoms whilst on site attending the college, then parents/carers will be contacted. You will be asked to come into college to collect them (and any of their siblings) and follow the guidelines found here.
- Please note that whilst waiting for parents/carers to arrive, a child with symptoms will be asked to wait in a separate ‘quarantine room.’ Here they will be monitored by a member of staff, following strict Government Guidance. A clean, disinfected bathroom will be available to them to use whilst they wait.
Most people with coronavirus have at least one of the symptoms described below (as published by the NHS):
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to the touch on your chest or back
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
If you suspect that your child of secondary school age has coronavirus because they are presenting with one or more of these symptoms, then you are advised to use the 111 online coronavirus service NHS 111 online – About coronavirus (COVID-19) (for children under the age of five you are advised to call 111).
- Where a student or staff member tests positive for coronavirus, parents/carers will be contacted immediately and the rest of their group or ‘Social Bubble’, including staff, will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days.
- From 15th June, on any given day, a total of 60 students will be invited to attend college. 30 students will attend the lower A hub of the college from 9.30am to 12.30pm and a further 30 will attend the lower B hub of the college from 10.30am to 1.30pm. Further details regarding the face to face contact with staff, the physical layout, routines and facilities are detailed in the sections below that describe ‘Routines and Expectations.’
- Each hub consisting of 30 students will be staffed by: two teachers, one Learning Support Assistant and one Pastoral Coordinator. Members of the Senior Leadership and Safeguarding Teams, a designated SEND lead, and Pastoral Care lead will be on site in addition.
The sections that follow will help you to develop an understanding of the new routines, expectations and safety precautions that have been put in place to keep all members of the college community as safe from coronavirus as we possibly can.
Routines & Expectations (1): Staggered Student Arrival to College
Students arrive at their designated start time wearing uniform (except jumper and blazer) and without a school bag (all materials required for learning will be provided by the college).
Students must always maintain social distancing and follow the ‘supermarket style queuing’ system in place outside main reception.
Staff will always be on hand to uphold and enforce social distancing.
Parents must not accompany children to the building. If you are dropping off or collecting your child, then please do utilise the drop off facilities at the San Rocco restaurant on Broadway (previously known as the Ancora).
Routines & Expectations (2): Temperature Scanning
Each students’ temperature will be routinely scanned upon entrance into the Main Reception.
If above 37.7oC, a retest will be completed after 10 minutes quiet rest in a private room. If still above 37.7oC, the student will be kept in the quarantine room and parent/carers will be contacted.
Designated staff with PPE will be the only people able to go into this room to offer care and support.
Please note that this routine applies to all staff accessing the college site.
Routines & Expectations (3): Hygiene – Hand Sanitiser
Once accepted into the main building, alcohol-based hand sanitiser must be applied before proceeding further and additional hand sanitiser will be available in the classroom and hub spaces.
Routines & Expectations (4): Hygiene – Handwashing
Individual students will be escorted to their designated hub bathrooms where they must wash their hands, using liquid soap for a minimum of 20 seconds and dry them thoroughly.
Techniques for thorough and effective handwashing will be explicitly taught to all students.
Handwashing must be repeated prior to and after eating/drinking, coughing or sneezing or using the toilet.
Toilet numbers will be limited at any one time to prevent crowding at toilet facilities.
Routines & Expectations (5): Good Respiratory Hygiene ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it!’
Staff and students will be encouraged to practice good respiratory hygiene and must sneeze into a tissue or sleeve, not their hands.
Tissues will be readily available throughout the college.
Used tissues must be disposed of in the designated ‘used tissue bins’ straight away and staff and students must wash their hands thoroughly immediately after.
Used tissue bins will be regularly emptied throughout the day by members of the site cleaning staff who will always be on patrol.
In addition, students and staff will be reminded not to touch their face.
Routines & Expectations (6): Personal Hygiene
Students and staff will be reminded:
- not to touch their face throughout the day and
- that once they arrive home, they should get changed immediately and wash their clothes.
Routines & Expectations (7): Ventilation
All learning and circulation spaces will be well ventilated using natural ventilation. Windows will be opened where possible.
Doors will be propped open, where safe to do so (taking into consideration fire safety and safeguarding), to limit use of door handles and aid ventilation.
Routines & Expectations (8): Social Distancing During Learning
Double classrooms will be opened to adjoining hub spaces and desks arranged to maintain 2 metre distance between students and staff.
Each desk will be strategically positioned so that all students can face one of three projection screens comfortably.
Students will remain at their own specified desk throughout the day (consisting of 3 sixty-minute lessons).
Routines & Expectations (9): Specified Seats and Personalised Equipment
A seating plan, like those used during examinations will be determined by staff prior to arrival and students must remain at their specified desk throughout their time in college.
Students will be provided with an individual pack of resources including a pen, pencil, and mini white board. These will be stored until the following week and only they can use them.
Students must not bring their own equipment or bag into college.
Routines & Expectations (10): No formal Socialising Breaks
To remove the risks posed by increased mixing of students at social times, there will be no formal breaks.
The college day will consist of three consecutive sixty-minute lessons.
Students must not bring food or drink into college.
Each student will be provided with a bottle of mineral water.
Lunch can be ordered (from a limited choice available) during student registration and collected on the way out of the building. Please note that the cost of the lunch will be charged to the student’s account. This will be completed by the Admin Office and students will not be required to use their fingerprint. Please can parents/carers top up their child’s account using ParentPay as we cannot accept cash at this time.
Routines & Expectations (11): Staff Guidance
Staff are to provide safety, guidance, wellbeing and support to students for their remote, online learning
Staff must only take their laptop into the teaching area and may make use of the visualiser. There will be nothing else available on the desk.
Staff must disinfect the teaching desk and board at end of each lesson.
If a member of staff asks a student to leave the teaching space because they are disrupting learning, they will not be able to return for the rest of that lesson. The students will be supported and managed by the Pastoral Coordinator
Teachers must make expectations regarding students conduct explicitly clear. They must encourage, remind, monitor and challenge students in order to ensure that social distancing is always maintained.
Staff must note and draw to students’ attention the clear markers in classroom spaces for social distancing.
Where worksheets are to be used during lessons, they must be handed out and placed on desks ready prior to students’ arrival.
Routines & Expectations (12): Support for Learners
Learning Support Assistants and Pastoral Coordinators will be based within each teaching area to offer personalised learning support and to assist staff and students in adapting to the ‘new environment and routines.
It is accepted that significant time must be invested in communicating and explaining the new routines to students and staff for success to be achieved. The ‘new norm’ is not something any of us are familiar with yet and we must take steps and apply reasonable adjustments to educate and inform everyone of what will become a new way of life for the time being.
Routines & Expectations (13): Cleaning
Engie staff will deep clean each teaching area and bathrooms on a daily basis.
Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned at regular and frequent intervals using standard products and detergents.
Standards of cleaning will always be strictly monitored to maintain a hygienically clean environment.
Routines & Expectations (14): Proposed Structure of the College Day
|Week Commencing||Lesson 1|
|Lesson 2 |
|29th June||To be confirmed:|
PSHE: Personal Social and Health Education
Please remember that your child/children will be invited to attend college on one specified day each week. This day will not vary and cannot be changed. Over the course of the five remaining weeks, they will attend on five days, for example every Tuesday.
Routines & Expectations 15: Staff Bubbles
Staff will remain in the same “bubble” of students all day.
The teachers will lead lessons via MS Teams so all three whiteboards in the learning hubs will display the same information.
Each teacher will teach a sixty-minute lesson to support students remote, online learning in that subject (where possible in their subject specialism)
Each teacher will support the other teacher as they deliver their lesson.
Both teachers will then team teach a 60-minute PHSE lesson
Routines & Expectations 16: One Way System
Movement around college will be restricted due to both the pipework replacement and roof repairs that commence on Monday 15th June.
Students will not be permitted access to any areas of the college except for their designated teaching hub.
Just as students are to be escorted to their teaching hub upon arrival, they will be escorted, along a one-way system out of the building at the specified time.
At all times, social distancing must be upheld.
Students should not congregate outside the college premises and must not wait for students from the other social bubble in attendance that day to be dismissed.
Students must immediately make their way home safely.
Should students choose to walk home with their friends, this should not be in groups of more than 6 and they should maintain a safe distance of 2 metres between themselves at all times.
Routines & Expectations (17) Mobile Phones
Students are encouraged to bring their mobile devises to college so that it can be used in the classroom, under staff supervision to support learning.
We accept that mobile devices may assist students to access learning materials and evidence the learning that they have covered. They may not be used in classes for any social interaction or anything else other than learning activities but may for example be used after consultation with the teacher to get in touch with another teacher via the chat facility to ask a question. They must not be used under any circumstances during social times, and I would ask parents to refrain from sending messages to children or phoning them during the day. If you need to get in touch with your child, please contact reception, even (and especially) in the case of an emergency.
Travelling safely from June 2020
You may recall in my previous letter that Government guidance stresses the requirement to avoid travel to college using school buses or public transport if possible.
The following information and advice have been provided by Transport for Greater Manchester.
National and GM Transport challenges
As a result of COVID 19 measures to reduce infection risk social distancing has affected transport capacity. Public transport and school services capacity is limited to around 10 to 20%, which is especially problematic during peak hour traffic.
Given that around one third of Greater Manchester households do not have a car it is important that we keep public transport for those who rely on it. We appreciate that this will be challenging especially for schools with large catchment areas.
Parents and children are encouraged to cycle and walk to school if possible so that school buses (where running) and public transport are available for those with no alternative.
If students must use either the school bus or public transport, then please note that space will be limited due to social distancing.
Parents/Carers are asked to ensure that their child/children keep themselves and others safe by wearing a face covering; keeping their distance; and washing their hands regularly.
We also ask that tickets are purchased online or use mobile apps
A new guide is available to help people understand how to travel safely when they need to during the coronavirus outbreak in England. This advice also applies to pupils returning to school.
Social distancing guidance means our trams would only carry 10% of their normal capacity – so if you need to make an essential journey then plan ahead, avoid peak periods, allow extra time and be prepared to wait if your service is full.
If you have to use public transport wear aface covering, keep your distance from other passengers, clean your hands frequently and use contactless payment. If possible, carry a hand sanitiser with you.
Metrolink is currently running a 12-minute frequency across all lines Monday to Saturday and 20-minute frequency on Sundays.
It’s more important than ever to plan ahead and check the live tram updates before you travel on Metrolink.
I trust that the comprehensive precautions and health and safety measures we are taking, which in many cases go beyond the recommendations made to us by the Department for Education, will help allay some of the anxieties you may be feeling about sending your child back into college.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you once again for your support to date and for taking the time to read the contents of this letter carefully. For your information and reference, please can I ask that you also read the Local Authority approved Risk Assessment and our Behaviour for Learning Policy Appendix for which you will receive details of via MyEd later today. The update will include links to the documentation on our website for your convenience. In addition, you will receive a link to a presentation that will take you through our plans for the wider reopening of the college. All of which should ensure that you are well informed ahead of making the decision whether to send your child into college or not.
Finally, I would be very grateful if you could invest time going through the details of this letter and other appropriate information available with your child/children so that they fully understand the steps that we are taking to keep them as safe as possible. It is essential that we manage the expectations of students (and staff) prior to the wider return to college as the physical environment and routines are completely different to those previously prior to the pandemic.
Mr G R Potts