We’ve had a really good week at Patcham High. Lots of hard work but we are moving forward with purpose.
On Wednesday we got the ‘green light’ from the Local Authority to push ahead with our plans to partially re-open to our Year 10 students. In a letter that I have shared with you (and is posted on the school website) the council stated:
We are now able to advise that Brighton & Hove schools and council nurseries should start opening more widely for pupils from Monday 15 June.
This is fantastic news and something that we have been waiting for what seems like an awfully long time.
As you know, the school has never truly been fully shutdown. We have remained upon to some of our most vulnerable children and those children whose parents are key workers throughout the lockdown period. This means that we are familiar with and well drilled in the essential measures that need to be followed to keep everyone safe in school. These measures are set out in a document that we have put together (‘Our Safety Protocols’) based on the advice and guidance that we have from the Government and the Local Authority. It sits alongside a detailed and thorough risk assessment. In essence it has been created to ensure that …
- Staff or students with symptoms do not come to school. Anyone who starts to display symptoms during the day will be isolated and then sent home.
- Staff and students wash their hands regularly throughout the day, specifically when entering and exiting the school building or a room within the school building.
- All rooms have sanitiser or a sink and soap.
- All rooms have tissues, bins and NHS signage to reinforce the NHS message catch it, bin it, kill it.
- Only designated areas of the school that have been regularly and systematically cleaned are used by staff and students.
- A maximum of 15 students, 1 teacher and (when required) 1 Teaching Assistant are in a classroom at any one time.
- Social distancing (2 metres) is practiced at all times.
This has meant changing the layout and routine of the school. We now have a one-way system in operation with arrows stuck to the floor indicating the direction of travel. These are spaced at 2m interval and interspersed with signs reminding students of the social distancing rule. Cleaning and disinfectant is readily available in all areas that students are /will be working in. New washrooms have been set-up and regular handwashing routines are built into the school day. PPE is available as and when required. Cleaning staff have a regular and tight schedule for disinfecting and wiping down exposed surfaces and points of risk such as railings and door handles. Teachers and students are working in ‘social bubbles.’
Things have been a bit of a challenge and at times quite frustrating. Placing orders for PPE, buying cleaning materials and getting hold of signage has not been particularly straightforward. But its been a huge team effort and we are most definitely absolutely ready for our returning students on Monday.
I am keeping my fingers firmly crossed that very shortly we will start to get a bit more clarity from the Government as to what might happen in September. I’m optimistic about the way ahead!
Please can I remind you that you can make an appointment to meet with me on Zoom at one of the ‘Virtual drop-in sessions’ (Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:00-9:30am) by emailing EHolmes@patchamhigh.org.uk
Thank you for your continued support.
Please take care!