Academy Re-opening Information
Reopening from September 2020
We plan to re-open the Academy to all students in September 2020. Click here for the information letter, including a video version [please note, the guidance on face coverings and the size of social times grouping has changed since these were published].
You can also read the start of term reminders information here.
Principles of re-opening in September
The core principle of the government guidance for secondary schools is to reduce mixing between groups. We will therefore, wherever possible, keep year groups separate within the Academy and take steps to prevent large groups from congregating together. This means that year groups will be taught separately from one another. We also intend them to have separate areas of the Academy site at break and lunchtime.
Central to the success of our planning is the full cooperation of our students with our expectations. We cannot and will not tolerate silly behaviour, or students not following instructions. Such behaviour could undermine all our careful planning and put the health and safety of students and staff at risk. We are very clear that any breaches of the COVID-safe Code of Conduct, or any behaviour which presents such a risk, will be dealt with very seriously. We are prepared to use the full extent of sanctions available in our behaviour policy and procedures to enforce this in school.
Classroom layouts and routines
Social distancing is still important to prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, social distancing will be required less in schools than previously. Students will be able to sit next to each other at classroom desks. However, they will not be permitted to gather in large groups. The relaxation of the social distancing requirements will enable us to use classrooms to their full capacity. Where possible, students will be seated side-by-side rather than face-to-face, to reduce the risk of transmission.
Transitions and movement between classes will be carefully managed. Students must be scrupulously punctual and enter classrooms promptly to avoid crowding in corridors or on staircases. All students will have designated seats within each of their classrooms – they must sit in their designated seat every lesson.
We are fitting hand sanitiser dispensers inside every classroom. Students are expected to use the hand sanitiser:
- On entry to the room (every time)
- Before leaving the room (every time)
- Before eating
- After eating
We are also ensuring that all classrooms have boxes of tissues and pedal-operated lidded waste bins. Everyone is expected to use the “catch it, bin it, kill it” approach: cough or sneeze into a tissue, and dispose of it in a bin.
We have removed all biometric fingerprint readers. From September, all students will be issued with a cashless payment card for use at catering outlets.
Please note: the advice on face coverings was updated on 8th September 2020:
- Must wear a face covering:
- On school transport (bus and/or minibus) – for the entire journey
- Moving between lessons
- In indoor social spaces (except when eating or drinking)
- In tutor time
- Should not wear a face covering:
- In lessons
- Face coverings need not be worn outdoors.
We will therefore need each student to bring a face covering to school with them. Face coverings should be made of reusable and washable fabric. Inappropriate face coverings will not be accepted. We have a supply of disposable face coverings for students who lose or forget theirs.
Students have been reminded that the safe wearing of face coverings requires cleaning of hands before and after touching – including to remove or put them on – and the safe storage of them between uses. Where a face covering becomes damp, it should not be worn and the face covering should be replaced carefully. We recommend that students bring a sealable plastic bag to store their mask in when they are not wearing it.
If you have problems with supplying your child with a mask, or if your child is exempt from wearing a mask for any reason, please contact us to advise. We will provide a mask or an exemption card.
All students will need to bring their own stationery and school equipment. An equipment list can be found on the Uniform and Equipment page. This is essential as we cannot share out equipment such as scissors, glue sticks and so on as we normally would. Equipment packs will be provided to all students eligible for pupil premium free of charge, and may be ordered by all students via ParentPay.
We also advise that all students bring their own tissues and hand sanitiser, to avoid crowding around the classroom dispensers.
Tutoring and assemblies
Vertical tutor groups are the foundation of our pastoral system at Churchill. Re-organising tutor groups would undermine the very basis of our pastoral care system. Therefore, vertical tutor groups will remain in place. Students will be seated according to year group (i.e. Year 7 students sat together, Year 8 students sat together) in tutor groups, separated by social distancing from other year groups. Students may wear face coverings in tutor time.
House Assemblies will not take place in the Academy Hall as it is not currently advised to bring such large groups of students together in one place. We will be providing video assemblies which will be broadcast in lessons and tutor periods to ensure consistent and common messages reach all students.
Breaks and lunchtimes
Each year group will be assigned a designated area for dining at break and lunchtime. Families may wish to consider providing packed lunches to reduce queuing and crowding at food service points.
Each year group will also be assigned a designated social area for good weather and wet weather. It is essential that each year group remains in its own designated area and does not mix.
When moving around the site and at social times, we will be asking students to take responsibility for ensuring that they gather in groups of six students or fewer. These groups must consist of students all from the same year group. They do not need to stay in the same group all the time – students can change their social time groupings within their own year group as often as they wish. If students gather in a group of five, they will be asked to move apart into a pair and a three, and so on. The intention here is to ensure that large groups of students do not gather together, to reduce the risk of transmission.
Students are expected to wear full Academy uniform in September as normal.
On days when students have PE or Dance, we ask that they come to school wearing their Academy PE kit instead of uniform. We are unable to safely provide changing space at this time. It will also reduce mixing of different year groups of students in these small areas.
We will be flexible with our activities based on the weather so students don't have to spend the day in wet or muddy clothes. Students can wear tracksuit bottoms or sport leggings as part of the PE kit.
Transport, arrival and departure
- Students travelling on coaches or minibuses to school will be seated in year group “zones” on the buses to reduce mixing.
- All passengers on school transport (including minibuses) must wear face coverings. Students without face coverings will not be permitted to travel. Face coverings should be removed once students have disembarked on arrival at school.
At the end of school, students who travel on coaches or minibuses must not proceed to the coach loop until their vehicle is ready to receive them. There will be dedicated waiting areas in school for the W1-4 buses, and for the second-run local authority buses, to avoid crowding and mixing on the coach loop.
We would still encourage as many students as possible to walk or cycle to school. Not only does being out in the open reduce the risk of transmission, but it is also the healthier option and reduces the Academy’s carbon footprint. We continue to work closely with the local authority and community groups to improve the walking and cycling infrastructure around the Academy to make it easier for our students to travel sustainably.
All students will be expected to attend school full time, as normal, from September. If your child is feeling particularly anxious about returning, please discuss this with their tutor or a key worker from Student Services as soon as possible so that arrangements can made to support them.
The golden rule: if you have symptoms, stay at home
Students who have symptoms of COVID-19 must not attend the Academy under any circumstances. If someone in your household has symptoms or a positive test, students should not attend and should self-isolate for 14 days. If that person subsequently tests negative, self-isolation can end and students can return to school if they are symptom-free. Please refer to the NHS guidance on self-isolation for more information. Absence for self-isolation will be authorised.
We have a well-established enhanced cleaning programme in school from our experience with Exam Support and Frontline. Rooms will be cleaned frequently. Touch points (door handles, light switches etc.) and toilets will be cleaned multiple times each day. All staff will have access to cleaning materials to ensure surfaces are kept clean. Computers in IT Suites will be wiped down before and after each use.
Whilst our cleaning staff do a wonderful job, the cleanliness and hygiene of the site is the responsibility of all of us. We will be expecting all our students to keep the Academy spotlessly clean. This is especially true of the toilet and handwashing facilities. We expect every item of litter to be disposed of in a bin.
Due to the success of Google Classroom during our closure, we will be moving all homework over to this platform in September. A separate Google Classroom will automatically be generated for each class in the timetable. This will be accessible for students using their Academy email address and password. The homework function in Insight will be switched off. Parents and carers will be offered the chance to sign up as “Google Classroom Guardians” – this will provide you with a weekly email summary of all homework set, completed and due so that you can support homework at home.
Trips and visits
Overnight trips are currently not permitted to take place. Day trips require additional risk assessment and staffing. It is therefore unlikely that trips and visits will go ahead in Term 1 (up to October half term). We hope to be able to continue our programme of trips and visits later in the year, but this will depend on the public health advice nearer the time. If you have already paid for a trip which is cancelled, we will ensure you are refunded.
We hope to resume our programme of extra-curricular activities wherever possible within the government’s guidance. A revised programme of activities will be published in September.
Parent meetings and visits to the Academy site
We want to keep closely in touch with parents, families and the Academy community. Wherever possible, we will do this electronically – over the telephone, using video-conferencing, or via email. Any non-essential visits to the Academy site should be avoided. Face-to-face meetings are only possible by pre-booked appointment, and you will be offered a phone call or video call in the first instance. We would urge all parents and carers not to come to the Academy unannounced, as we will not be able to safely accommodate meeting you.
The programme of information evenings in the autumn term will be provided as video presentations, with follow-up questions via email.
- The timings of the Academy day are changing - please click here for details
- Please click here for details of uniform and equipment expectations
- The Academy's Risk Assessment for re-opening is available here
- To contact the Academy please click here