Headteacher’s Letter to Parents/Carers

28 August 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

This is the final week of the summer vacation and I thought it would be useful to re-issue the letter sent at the end of the term to all parents.  The information, in the main is the same with some additions about masks for students and visitors wearing masks on entry to the College site.  Please follow the arrangements for your child as stated for the different Year Groups.

We will be delighted to welcome all our students back to College in September for a full-time education.  Staff are ready to welcome and support the students to ensure that they have a positive start to the year following the lockdown period. Our Site Team have been working tirelessly to ensure that the site is safe for your child.  We will review our procedures daily and amend as required.

We have been planning since the Government announcement for the return of all students, and have made plans that would endeavour to create a safe and rich learning environment that also minimises the risk of transmission of the virus in the College.  The broad and balanced curriculum that HTC provides is paramount to a successful education and we have taken this into account in planning the format of the College day.

 

This letter will contain the information that you will need to ensure that your child is ready for the return in September.  We have tried to make sure that the Public Health information we are required to provide is concise.

Start of the Autumn Term 2020:

Year 7 to start HTC on Thursday 3 September (the day will run from 8.25am to 3.05pm).  This will be the only Year Group on site allowing for the Year 7 Induction Programme to operate.  Year 7 should arrive and exit via the front gate.  Year 7 should meet in Barton Hall initially.

Years 8 and 9 to start on Friday 4 September (the day will run from 8.25am to 2.10pm).  Students will spend 2 periods with their Tutor before the full timetable operates starting with Period 3.  Year 8 should arrive and exit via the front gate and Year 9 via the back gate unless they are on the bus.  Tutor Groups and the allocated room will be sent out via the Year Leader.

Years 10 and 11 to start on Friday 4 September (the day will run from 9.25am to 3.05pm) so that Years 7, 8 and 9 are not arriving and exiting with Years 10 and 11.  Students will spend time with their Tutor before the full timetable operates starting with Period 3.  Year 10 should arrive and exit via the front gate and Year 11 via the back gate unless they are on the bus.  Students in Years 10 and 11 should not arrive before 9.25am.

During the Tutor periods on these days, students will receive their timetable and information on how the day and breaks will operate to ensure high quality learning and teaching, and student safety and well-being.

From the week beginning 7 September and thereafter.

 

Year Mon, Wed, Thurs Tues, Fri
7-9 0830 to 1505 0830 to 1410
10-11 0925 to 1600 0925 to 1505

 

Getting To and Arriving In School:

  • Where possible students should walk or cycle to College if at all possible and avoid congregating either outside the College or on the Campus.
  • There are no changes to Bus Route The updated timetable can be found on the website.  All students must wear masks (the Bus Company will not be providing them).  Students will be turned away if they are not wearing a mask.
  • College will start for students in Years 10 and 11 at 9.25am (the bus will only operate at the normal time in the morning and students arriving will be given a place to study independently, the bus will not be available at the later time for Years 10 and 11, students will have to make their own arrangements, we apologise for the inconvenience of this).
  • All children receiving transport this year, and who are due to receive transport next year, should expect the same arrangements to apply. For students who travel by bus, this year’s bus pass can be used in September 2020.  You must keep it and use it when school starts again after the school Summer holidays.  If your child is joining a transport arrangement for the first time, e.g. due to start in Year 7, the Local Authority Transport Team is finalising those arrangements and these will be confirmed to you before the end of August.   You are respectfully asked to wait for a member of the Team to contact you and not to contact the service directly, before the information is available.

Actions Related to Public Health Advice to Minimise Coronavirus (COVID19) Risks

  • Students should stay at home if ill.
  • Students should practice social distancing.
  • Students should and will be encouraged to wash their hands and use anti-bacterial cleaner frequently and more than usual – it would be helpful if students could bring their own anti-septic hand cleaner.
  • Students should practice ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ when sneezing and or coughing.
  • The College will be cleaned regularly and to the required standards.
  • The College has a policy and system for students who present symptoms and will engage with the NHS Test and Trace process and follow any advice from the local health protection team.
  • At this time, Public Health England does not recommend the use of face coverings in College where the local area is not classified to be at high risk. However, in light of recent national discussions students and staff can wear a mask if they choose to do so travelling to and from College and between lessons and during break periods.  Students will be asked to remove masks during lesson and assembly time.
  • Students will be seated facing the front of the class where this is possible.
  • Assemblies will only occur with the same Year Group.

The Health and Safety Risk Assessment is available on the HTC website.

Organisation of the College Day

To accommodate the Government guidance and a broad and balanced curriculum and to ensure that students receive high quality learning and teaching, students will be taught and learn in a Year Group learning zone.  Year 7 will be taught in their Tutor Groups.  Students will only move around the College when a specialist room is required for their learning. The movement around the College will be via a controlled one-way system both in the buildings and outside.  This will enable students to access specialist facilities for learning whilst limiting student interaction.

Each Year Group will have their break and lunchtime in an allocated Restaurant and outside area at different times of the day to ensure Year Groups do not mix.  Both Restaurants will provide the full menu for students.

The systems outlined will be supervised, monitored and reviewed regularly.

Student Behaviour and Expectation

We thank parents for supporting the arrangements that we have made to ensure that your child is safe and well whilst accessing full-time education.  It is essential for everyone’s well-being that students follow the systems that we have put in place and behave sensibly and respectfully.  Students who are not co-operative will be sanctioned and excluded when necessary.

Uniform and Equipment

  • Students are expected to wear the full College uniform.
  • On the days that students have PE on their timetable they can wear their PE kit.
  • Students should bring their own equipment to College to include pen, pencil, ruler, rubber, calculator along with their coat, bag and sanitiser. The use of mobile phones is not permitted on the College Campus and will be confiscated with parent collect.
  • Learning surfaces and equipment in specialist areas will be cleaned between classes.

Visitors to the College Site

Under Government guidance visitors to the College site are not permitted unless a prior arrangement has been made, any parent visiting the College will need to phone Barton Hall Reception in advance even if they are leaving something for their child.  If parents want to see a member of staff they are asked to phone Barton Hall Reception and the necessary arrangements will be made.  We are conscious that parents are sometimes required to visit the College at the last minute as perhaps their child has forgotten something.  If you do need to bring in something for your child, please can you leave it in a plastic bag with the child’s name on it and leave it in the Barton Hall Foyer Reception.  Please also telephone beforehand.  Any visitor who arrives without having made contact will be asked to leave.  Visitors are required to wear a mask when on the College Site.  We apologise if this appears unfriendly, we are required to follow the Government guidance.

NHS Test and Trace

Staff and parents/carers understand that they will need to be ready and willing to:

  • Book a test for their child if they are displaying symptoms. Staff and students must not come into the College if they have symptoms, and must be sent home to self-isolate if they develop them in College.
  • Provide details of anyone they have been in close contact with if they were to test positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) or if asked by NHS Test and Trace.
  • Self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone who develops Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or someone who tests positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Anyone who displays symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) can and should get a test.  Tests can be booked online through the NHS Testing and Tracing for Coronavirus website, or ordered by telephone via NHS 119 for those without access to the internet.  Essential workers, which includes anyone involved in education or childcare, have priority access to testing.

The Government will ensure that it is as easy as possible to get a test through a wide range of routes that are locally accessible, fast and convenient.  The Government will release more details on new testing avenues as and when they become available and will work with schools so they understand what the quickest and easiest way is to get a test.  By the Autumn term, all schools will be provided with a small number of home testing kits that they can give directly to parents/carers collecting a child who has developed symptoms at school, or staff who have developed symptoms at school, or staff who have developed symptoms at school.  Advice will be provided alongside these kits.

Parents and staff must inform the College immediately of the results of a test:

  • If someone tests negative, if they feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to Coronavirus (COVID-19), they can stop self-isolating. They could still have another virus, such as a cold or flu – in which case it is still best to avoid contact with other people until they are better.  Other members of their household can stop self-isolating.
  • If someone tests positive, they should follow the Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection and must continue to self-isolate for at least 7 days from the onset of their symptoms and then return to school only if they do not have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste. This is because a cough or anosmia can last for several weeks once the infection has gone. The 7-day period starts from the day when they first became ill.  If they still have a high temperature, they should keep self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should continue self-isolating for the full 14 days.

If your child is absent for any illness, please call Student Support Services on the first day of absence and state their symptoms clearly.  Please also make it clear if your child is self-isolating as this affects our coding for registers.

We are very conscious that students and parents will be apprehensive and we have taken the time to plan thoroughly to ensure that the start of the term will be as successful as possible.  We will keep a watchful eye on all the systems and arrangements to ensure that your children are safe, supported and happy at these unprecedented times and make adjustments if deemed appropriate.

We are pleased to answer any questions that you may have and we will keep parents up to date with the recent Government guidance when we receive it, please contact us on general@horndeantc.hants.sch.uk .  The College Governing Body has been fully involved in the process of preparations for the return to education for all students and has approved the measures implemented for the safety of everyone.

We look forward to seeing all students in September.

Yours sincerely
J A Summerfield
Headteacher