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Headteacher Update – 31.12.20

31.12.20

Dear Parent/Carer

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and managed some sort of break with your loved ones.  Please accept my apologies for waiting until now before communicating with you. As the situation is changing constantly, we thought it best to wait until we knew the details of the communication from the Government on 30 December 2020.

The Government announced that all secondary schools would be required to start the Spring term with a period of online teaching.  Following yesterday’s announcement, this is a little clearer and as a result, we have had to adapt the start of term as follows:

Monday 4 January 2021

This will be an additional Professional Day so that planning can be conducted to implement remote learning and testing.

No pupil should attend Swanmore College on Monday 4  January 2021.

Year 11 will receive live lessons via Google classroom.

All other years should work independently on recapping their work from the autumn term. Please encourage your children to use online resources such as Mathswatch, Seneca and BBC Bitesize.

Tuesday 5 – Friday 8 January 2021

Only children of critical workers, ‘vulnerable’ children (those with an EHCP or LAC)  should attend Swanmore College.  Those pupils should attend at the usual time and go straight to the Swan Café and await further instructions. We will contact the families of vulnerable children on Monday 4 January 2021 to confirm arrangements. The buses will run as usual to accommodate these pupils.

If your child needs to be on site because you are a critical worker, please confirm this by emailing enquiries@swanmore-sec.hants.sch.uk

We will require evidence of your critical worker status.

If you have contacted us already, we have a space allocated for your child but may need further evidence of your critical worker status. We will contact you in this regard in due course.

During this time, all other pupils will receive online ‘live’ lessons at home via Google classroom.

All pupils will receive ‘live’ lessons from their usual teacher wherever possible. They should access these lessons through Google classroom, following their normal timetable. Details of how to support your child working online will be on the Swanmore College website from Monday 4 January 2021.

All pupils who are onsite must wear full Swanmore College uniform. Please ensure that your children are suitably dressed. We advise a warm coat, hat, scarf and gloves. The buses will be running as usual to accommodate these pupils.

Critical Workers

At present, this is defined by Swanmore College as the children for whom at least one parent/carers is employed in the NHS/Health care or a blue light service. The definition of vulnerable can be found within the relevant DfE guidance at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/schools-and-childcare-settings-return-in-january2021/schools-and-childcare-settings-return-in-january-2021

Monday 11 January 2021

This is our original Professional Day. No pupils should attend Swanmore College and there will be no live lessons. Staff will be involved in training all day.

There are scheduled exams in Cambridge Nationals PE for some Year 10 pupils. These will go ahead as planned. These pupils should attend Swanmore College as agreed previously.

Tuesday 12 – Friday 15 January 2021

Year 11 pupils return to Swanmore College for their mock examinations. The study leave arrangements, which were  previously will still apply.

Children of critical workers, ‘vulnerable’ children should continue to attend Swanmore College also.

All other pupils should remain at home and access live lessons, following their usual timetable. As before, certain lessons (practical) will not be live.

Monday 18 January 2021 onwards

There is an expectation that all pupils will return to Swanmore College during this week. We will communicate plans for bringing pupils back on site in due course.

The Swan Café will be operating fully from the start of term. From 5 January 2021, hot and cold food will be available for those children who are accessing their online learning on site. Additional vouchers will be issued for free school meal families.

Lateral Flow Testing

The Government announced that all secondary schools would be expected to put in to operation large-scale ‘lateral flow testing’ for staff and pupils; the guidance that has been issued to schools can be read at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-asymptomatic-testing-in-schools-andcolleges

The simple tests will be offered to all Swanmore College staff on a weekly basis in order to identify asymptomatic staff cases. Daily tests will be available to pupils and staff who are identified as a ‘close contact’ of somebody who has tested positive. This will allow them to remain in school rather than self-isolate (assuming that the daily test is negative).  Testing will be undertaken only where parents/carers and staff have given their written consent; those who do not wish to be tested will still need to self-isolate as per current regulations.

We strongly advise all parents/carers to give their consent for their children  to be tested. This will be hugely beneficial to them and to their educational experienceThe testing programme for pupils will start over the next two weeks and will require parents/carers to bring their child onsite for the tests.  We will need to conduct two tests (within 5 days of each other) before your child is deemed to be clear of Covid. Further information will follow in due course.

I know you will appreciate that organising and implementing such large-scale testing, in readiness for January, will be a significant additional burden on the College and throughout next term. I would ask you to be patient with us during this time.  Any changes will be communicated to you as quickly as we are able to do so.

I wish you all the very best for the new year and pray that it is a better one for us all.

We very much look forward to welcoming your children back to Swanmore College.

Yours faithfully

R K Jonathan

Headteacher

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