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Headteacher Update – 1/9/20

01.09.2020

Dear Parent/Carer

I hope that you have had a pleasant summer and that you are ready to send your children back to school.

On Friday, we welcome our new Year 7 pupils only and on Monday 7 September 2020, all year groups return.  There are no staggered starts and pupils are expected to arrive in plenty of time for an 8.30 am start. We finish at 3.00 pm. I hope you have watched the video on the website as this will ensure that all pupils are aware of which entrance they should use upon arrival.

Transport Protocols – Update

The main change is that all pupils must wear masks on the bus and sit in their year group bubbles.  This applies to public transport, Hampshire transport and the Whiteley bus service. If your child is not wearing a mask they will not be allowed to travel on the bus. The guidance for bus protocols can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/transport-to-school-and-other-places-of-education-autumn-term-2020

Arrival at Swanmore College 

We ask that children walk or cycle to school wherever possible.  If you are dropping your child off by car then please could you use either the Village Hall car park or the skate park, both of which are located on New Road.  This will enable you to turn around safely and not drive past the College, thus easing congestion.  Please do not drive on to the college site.

If your child develops Covid-19 symptoms whilst onsite

If a pupil becomes ill, they will be isolated in a room which is well ventilated.  They will be monitored by staff regularly. It is imperative that they are collected as soon as you are notified.  Please log in to the parent app to ensure that your contact information is up to date and that alternative contacts are available in case you are unable to collect your child.  Please ensure we have 3 emergency contacts before your child returns to the College. If your child has an IHCP, please ensure that this is up to date.

Attached to this letter is information explaining when you should send your child in.  I suggest that this is placed somewhere prominently for easy referral. You should not send your child into school if they are unwell. Instead, we will provide online learning.

I ask you to read this information very carefully because you will be required to get tested immediately if you have any symptoms.

Break & Lunch

Whilst there are indoor and outdoor areas for each bubble, we will be encouraging pupils to eat outdoors wherever possible as this is clearly best practice.

Equipment

Normally, I would recommend that pupils need to develop independence but I would urge all parents/carers to check this every night or morning as we do not want to lend out equipment.

Behaviour

It is essential that pupils realise that the measures we have put in place are for the safety of our whole community.  As such, we have updated the Behaviour Policy on the website to include a special Covid-19 section.  Any misdemeanours which compromise the safety and well-being of anyone will be dealt with robustly. Furthermore, any pupil who deliberately feigns Covid-19 symptoms should realise the potential impact that this might have on their whole family.  If they are sent home then there is an expectation that they must be tested and receive a negative result before they are allowed to return to Swanmore College.

Masks

The most recent guidance that we have received on this matter is a little bit confusing and I have spoken about this on Radio Solent and BBC Radio 4. Our position is simple.  Currently, there is no requirement in England to wear a mask in the corridors or communal areas of the College.  It is your child’s choice whether or not to wear a mask.  However, pupils must wear a mask if they are travelling by bus and this mask must be taken off when they arrive at our onsite sanitizer stations.  Pupils should wear a fresh mask onsite should they wish to do so.

Appointments/Visits

It is imperative that we limit the number of visitors to the site. Therefore, all meetings will be conducted via Zoom for the foreseeable future. Similarly, we will not be able to pass any items on to pupils other than essential medication. If you need to visit the College, please telephone us in advance to arrange a suitable time.

Covid-19 Testing

I should like to reassure you that we will not be testing any pupil without your consent.  We are supposed to be receiving some testing kits before the start of term although these have not arrived yet. The test and trace guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works

 If your child has symptoms then we expect you to collect them as soon as possible and arrange for a test yourselves.  Further information about household isolation can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/906663/20203007_Easy_read_household_isolation_v3.1.pdf

Whilst there will be a huge range of emotions and concerns about returning after such a long time, we have spent a great deal of time making the site as safe as possible within the bounds of ensuring a full curriculum is taught and the usual high standards of behaviour are maintained.

We are looking forward to welcoming all pupils to the start of a new academic year and have ensured that the school is as safe as possible for all concerned.

Yours faithfully

R K Jonathan

Headteacher

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