01 September 2020: Message from the Principal
Dear Parents and Carers,
Face coverings and masks in school
Immediately following my message to families last week where I outlined within an FAQ document our School’s protocols for face coverings, Government issued slightly revised guidance – and I therefore write today to provide you with some additional information.
In the revised guidance, schools will need to enforce the wearing of face coverings in corridors and communal areas if Birmingham should be declared a city in need of local restrictions. Birmingham is not presently in such a position. Therefore in helping your child to be prepared for school from Thursday or Friday this week, please have a plain face-covering ready for their use. At this present time they do not need to bring a face covering to school – unless there are other reasons why they should such as for use on public transport. For the moment, we are just asking that you are prepared.
You may be aware from local media that leaders of Birmingham City Council are advising optional, additional precautions, recognising some local changes to patterns in virus transmission. Therefore, optionally, pupils and students may wear a face covering in communal areas of the school – such as corridors. There are additional control measures in place that limit contact with other people in communal areas, such as year groups operating in bubbles.
The Department for Education remain clear in their guidance that face coverings will have a negative impact on teaching and their use in the classroom should be avoided. If there are particular reasons that you would like us to consider so that your child can wear a face covering in the classroom, such as a known health vulnerability or raised anxiety, please make us aware of this by emailing Ms Cosimetti (email@example.com) here at the school. Our view is that for almost all children this should not be necessary given other control measures in place, but we are always keen to work with our families and to recognise individual circumstances where we can.
We ask for your support for masks and face coverings to be plain in colour – in keeping with a smart, formal appearance alongside the promotion of respiratory hygiene rather than expressions of individual style. They should also be worn properly and applied, stored, and disposed of safely. We shall explain these processes to pupils and students as a part of induction.
We are looking forward to welcoming our young people back to school.
04 September 2020: Message from the Principal
Thank you for the care and commitment you have contributed in helping us to welcome your child back to school today – in most cases the first time since the end of March. This will have been on various fronts, from being prepared on a practical level with items to support learning, school uniform, or hygiene items such as small-sized bottles of sanitizers – to rethinking travel plans, and building the inner strength to deal with any nerves or anxieties at this time.
Our new or revised systems and current ways of working will embed over the coming weeks, but the last couple of days have provided a purposeful foundation for that.
As we move into next week (from Monday 7 September) please be reminded of the interim timings of the school day, and some other pointers until further notice:
- Pupils in years 7, 8, 9: arrive at school for 09:15 (with the day ending routinely at 16:05 Monday to Thursday, and 15:10 on a Friday).
- Pupils in years 10 and 11: arrive at school for 09:45 (with the day ending routinely at 16:15 Monday to Thursday, and 15:10 on a Friday).
- Students in years 12 and 13: arrive at school for 09:45 (with the day ending up to 16:15 Monday to Thursday, and 15:10 on a Friday).
With our staff now working to varied timings, we are not able to welcome pupils and students onsite before 09:00 because of supervision constraints.
If you are bringing your child to school by car, we ask that you follow the route to the drop-off point at the rear of the school building, to avoid congestion around residents’ houses close to our school – as we are keen to do all we can to be considerate to our neighbours and maintain good relationships with them.
And finally, if your child has not signed up for food provided by our caterers for the week ahead, they will need to bring a packed lunch as all school food must now be pre-ordered given our revised arrangements.
11 September 2020: Message from the Principal
At the end of a further week where we are embedding new routines and practices please be informed of the points below:
- You will find here a flow-guide to help with decision making in various health related scenarios moving forward.
- If you find yourself having had a COVID-19 test (these are only available for those with symptoms or having been instructed to do so such as through tracing) please ensure that you notify the School of the outcome (positive or negative) at the earliest opportunity (including evenings and weekends) via: firstname.lastname@example.org . This is a monitored email address and will allow that I liaise at the earliest opportunity with our local health protection team about any necessary school based actions or measures if and when they arise. Please only use this email for this notification purpose.
- You may be aware that from Tuesday 15 September next week, Birmingham and some surrounding districts have been declared areas requiring additional local restrictions. This will require that I mandate the wearing of face coverings in communal areas (such as corridors) at busy times (such as lesson changeovers) rather than this being optional as it is presently – so please equip your child with a plain face covering by that time if they don’t currently have one. Please avoid patterned or fashion masks so they are in keeping with smart dress and school uniform. The safest use of a face covering requires hand sanitation before and after wearing the covering, so it would be advisable for your child to have a personal small bottle of hand sanitiser if you are able to obtain one. Gels are available also in school in the normal manner.
21 September 2020: Message from the Principal
We have been advised by Public Health England that there has been a confirmed case of Covid-19 within our Year 9 cohort of school.
We know that you may find this concerning but we are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with Public Health England. The letter below is to inform you of the current situation and provide advice on how to support your child. Please be reassured that for most people, coronavirus (Covid-19) will be a mild illness.
The contained number of children who have been in direct prolonged contact with the confirmed case will have received an individual letter and will be staying home for a period of self-isolation.
The school remains open and your child should continue to attend if they remain well.