Mr Wilding has sent out an update to parents regarding LCS partially re-opening to students.
You can download the full letter in PDF format from Parents > Communications > Letters Home.
To all parents and carers,
Since mid-March, school has been closed for all but vulnerable students and children of critical workers, due to the Covid-19 outbreak. This has created massive challenges for school, students, parents and carers in creating and maintaining an effective education for our young people during school closure. No system in this situation can ever be perfect, but I feel through our close work and communication together we have been able to make the best of the unprecedented challenges we have all had to face.
We are now at the point where government has announced a partial return to school for students in Year 10 and Year 12 for ‘some face-to-face support with their teachers, to supplement their remote education’. The most recent government announcement on 28th May made particular reference to the number of students schools should allow on site at any one time, with around ‘a quarter’ being the guidance offered. As the secondary school with the largest number of students in Derby and Year Groups of around 300, this will pose particular challenges for us in creating a plan for students to return, whilst maintaining social distancing and health and safety guidelines. The plan we have agreed is based on a wide range of considerations, but most importantly is a plan we feel is in the best interests of students and staff welfare and safety.
Our newest and largest classrooms seat a maximum of 12 students, with social distancing guidelines. Classrooms in the older part of the main school building seat a maximum of 8. These restrictions have significantly informed our planning and what we can, realistically, offer to students in Year 10 and Year 12 at this time.
I am aware some parents and carers may be disappointed with the details of our plan and would have wanted additional provision. I also accept some parents and carers will continue to have concerns over sending their children to school at all, at this time. The plan for partial re-opening we have agreed has been discussed with Unions, Governors and the Local Authority and is the best we feel we can offer, at this time.
Vulnerable students and children of critical workers can continue to attend on the same basis they have been since school closure began in March; there are no plans nationally for students in Years 7-9 to return to school until September. We will continue to set work remotely for all students in Year 7-9, with Heads of Year and Form Tutors making additional contact with students from a pastoral and well-being perspective.
The plans outlined below are, therefore, for the attention of parents and carers of students currently in Year 10 and Year 12. I would ask each parent and carer to share the following with their child(ren).
Students in Year 10
- From 15th June, students in Year 10 will be divided into 4 separate groups, who will attend school for one morning session each week. Each group of students will comprise of around ¼ of the Year Group (around 70-75 students), as government guidelines advise. These groups will be based on Science classes, as we feel this is the best way of arranging effective teaching of each group to the appropriate level.
- Students will have teacher-led sessions in English, Maths and Science, with all other subjects continuing to be taught remotely. This is our only practical solution, as there are too many combinations of option subjects to offer face-to-face support fairly, outside of the core curriculum.
- Each group of students will be allocated a separate area of the school site (‘Bubble’) and will then be further divided into 3 classes across 3 separate classrooms. Each classroom will have one class teacher and additional TA support, if and when required.
- Classrooms will be set up to enforce social distancing, with students seated 2 metres apart.
- Social distancing signage will be placed outside each classroom, on entry to the school site and at other points around premises.
- To reduce the movement and ‘mixing’ of students around the site, each class will stay the same each day. All lessons will take place in the same classroom, with teachers and TAs going to the room rather than students moving to them.
- The 3 areas of site we will be using are the Maths Corridor (D Block), G Block and B Block (downstairs). All 3 separate areas will have access to Toilet and hand-washing facilities, so students from each ‘bubble’ do not mix.
- Students will arrive in school at allocated entrances and at allocated times, between 8-45am and 9-30am, depending on their Science group. Students will be on site for between 3 ½ and 4 hours and will then leave from 12-30pm to 1pm, depending on their start time. Students will be supervised on entry and exit to the school site, to make sure social distancing guidelines are being followed.
- Students will be directed to wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer before entering their allocated classroom and at regular points during their time in school.
- Government guidelines state that schools must be able to keep kitchens open to serve food from 15th June, but due to our lack of facilities for students to sit and eat meals while maintaining social distancing, food served will be in the form of take-away options students can purchase at the end of their session. Each ‘bubble' will have access to a food servery, again to reduce mixing between students.
- Students will have a short break part-way through their morning sessions, but will not have a lunch break in school and will leave site when their session ends. Students can bring their own drinks and/or snacks for their morning break.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be set up outside every classroom and supplies of tissues will be made available in each room. There will also be a supply of cleaning materials in each room, with cleaning and site staff cleaning the site regularly during the day.
- Students in Year 10 will attend on either a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, as directed. There will be no in-school sessions offered to Year 10 students on a Friday.
- As students will be in school one day per week only, school uniform should be worn.
Students in Year 12
- In Year 12, lessons will continue to be held remotely with an increased use of Microsoft Teams, as the number of possible student/subject combinations would make it impossible to offer on-site lessons to students at A Level. Mr Archer will issue more details to Year 12 students, parents and carers on this.
- Year 12 students will be offered face-to-face support with Form Tutors in small groups in the afternoon, after the last of the Year 10 students have left the school site. Students will be able to attend one session per week, as with Year 10. There will be some Teams lessons offered to Year 12 students on Fridays. Again, Mr Archer will issue separate details of time/group allocations.
- Different rooms will be used for Year 12 Tutor meetings than Year 10 sessions. Rooms will be set up in line with social distancing guidelines, as with Year 10 classrooms.
- Processes for cleaning of rooms used for Year 12 Tutor sessions will be the same as in Year 10 classrooms.
- Usual dress code rules for students will apply.
Whether you are a parent or carer of a student in Year 10, Year 12 or your child attends as a vulnerable child or child of a key worker, students must not be sent into school if they are displaying Covid-19 symptoms. Students displaying symptoms during the day will be removed to a room on their own until they are collected by parents or carers. Students who go home in these circumstances will be asked not to return until their period of self-isolation is complete, or if proof is provided of a negative test result for the Covid-19 virus.
If your child is due to attend and cannot do so due to illness, we ask parents and carers to contact school as per usual attendance policies to inform us of this. If your child is suffering with Covid-19 symptoms, you must inform school of this immediately and not send them in.
Latest government guidance has stated the following in regard to student attendance at this time: We strongly encourage children and young people in the eligible year groups and priority groups (such as children of critical workers) to attend, as requested by their school or college, unless they are self-isolating or there are other reasons for absence (such as shielding due to health conditions). You should notify your child’s school or college as normal if your child is unable to attend so that staff are aware and can discuss with you. Parents will not be fined for non-attendance at this time.
Due to social distancing guidelines related to public transport, students are asked to walk or bicycle to school. If students are arriving on bicycles, helmets should be worn as per usual school policy. We are not expecting the usual school bus to run from 15th June but, if this changes, we will inform parents and carers immediately.
Government guidance on transport to school for students can be found at the following link:
Staff in school cannot handle cash at this time, therefore if students wish to purchase food in school there must be sufficient funds deposited on their Wisepay accounts. Alternatively, students may bring their own food to school, or eat once they have returned home.
Alongside this information, all parents and carers of students in Year 10 and Year 12 will be sent a survey we would ask to be completed and submitted as soon as possible. Once replies to the survey have been received, we will be able to confirm each student’s allocated group, entrance/exit and classroom.
When arriving at school, students must arrive at the time allocated to them and at the correct entrance. Students should not arrive early, as they may not be allowed entry onto school premises. Parents and carers bringing students to/collecting students from school by car must do this outside of the correct school entrance. Parents and carers should remain in their vehicles when dropping off/picking up students from school. Staff will be on hand to supervise entry and exit for students at each entrance and to enforce social distancing.
Students should only travel to school with family members and should only be brought to school in a vehicle with family members residing in the same house.
We would continue to ask for numbers of visitors to school for reasons other than bringing/collecting of students be kept to an absolute minimum at this time.
Our school Behaviour Policy has been amended to reflect guidelines on social distancing and controlling the Covid-19 virus. Staff in school will do as best they can to enforce social distancing, but this can never be completely guaranteed and the responsibility must also be on the individual student to follow the guidance and instructions given.
Our expectations of student behaviour on site and in the community travelling to/from school remains as it has always been. We are sure we can rely on students to follow instructions on their return to school and we hope that behavioural sanctions will not be required, but we will take action against students who are deliberately behaving in a manner likely to endanger the safety of others.
Government guidelines state that face masks should not be necessary in schools if social distancing is maintained, however we will allow students to wear face masks in school if they wish to do so. If face masks are worn, these must be of the disposable variety and not scarves/bandanas or another home-made style. Students will be asked to remove any face covering other than a disposable face mask on entering the school site and anything removed will need to be placed in a plastic bag, inside the student’s school bag.
I appreciate the information above is detailed and will take some time to read and digest. The subsequent survey being sent to you will provide the opportunity to state whether or not you will be choosing to send your child to school at this time, based on the plan outlined above. Within the survey, there is also an opportunity for all parents and carers to make additional comments.
We would respectfully ask that no additional communication be made or questions asked via phone or email at this time and that all comments be made through the survey. If it is clear that further clarification is required once survey results have been collected, additional guidelines will be issued and there will be opportunity to ask personal questions to school at that time.
My next communication with you will be to send the survey via email, which is planned for Monday 8th June. Responses will be requested as soon as possible, but at the latest by 9pm on Tuesday 9th June.
We will endeavour to start with the plan outlined above from 15th June. Final decisions on start dates will depend on the completion of necessary site safety work, as well as staff availability. If the plan outlined above cannot begin on 15th June itself, we will endeavour to begin as close to this date as possible. Final confirmation of this will be issued on Friday 12th June.