At the very end of last week, the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced that all pupils in all year groups will go back to school full-time in September. He said that the government was “signed up … to bring every child back, in every year group, in every school.” We’ve yet to receive further guidance as to how this might happen. So … we have the long-awaited answer to our first question (when can we fully re-open?) we now await the answer to the second, trickier, question … how to deliver this? I am optimistic and I know that with the right people around the table a workable way forward for opening schools will be put together at the DfE shared and with us within the next couple of weeks. I will be sure to keep you posted on any developments. Watch this space!
Whilst we wait we’re doing what we can to reach out to all students. This has mainly be via telephone calls, Microsoft Teams and email. However, this is set to change for the better following some additional guidance posted on the Local Authority bulletin to schools …
We know that secondary schools are keen to invite pupils in other year groups in for a face-to-face meeting before the end of this term, where it would be beneficial. As long as this happens in line with this and wider protective measures guidance, and guidance on the numbers of pupils permitted on-site at any one time, we would encourage this where possible.
From Tuesday next week students in Years 7, 8 and 9 will be taking up our offer of a 15-minute face to face meting with their Tutor. This will be a chance for teacher and student to look at the progress that has been made with home learning and to try and address any problems that there may have been with either work or wellbeing. In essence we want to ‘touch-base’ and reassure children before the return to school in September. I hope that as many students as possible manage to get into school for their allotted slot.
For those students who are already coming into school (vulnerable children, children of key workers and 20% of Year 10 per day) it has been a busy week. Maths, English and Science for those students taking their GCSEs next year, and a range of outdoor and indoor activities and on-line learning for the others. The heatwave was welcome on Tuesday but by Thursday it was pretty unbearable … not being allowed to use air conditioning (part of our Covid-19 Risk Assessment) didn’t make things any easier! But we got through … and as I sit here writing this update a cool breeze is building in strength and the temperature is dropping. With any luck this will mean the contractors putting in our new school gates will be able to lay the tarmac … apparently with temperatures as they have been tarmac will ‘fail’ in the form of excessive deformation and loss of texture depth. You learn something new every day!
This week we have also put plans in place for a couple of Transition Days at the end of term for Year 6 students who are due to join us in September. This would normally be done en masse but Covid19 means we have to do things a bit differently this year. We have put a welcome video together and we are inviting students into school on July 29th and 30th in groups of thirty. It’s a slightly unusual introduction to the school but it’s going to be very welcoming.
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!