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Opening Procedures FAQs
The First Week Back
When will the Academy be re-opening to students?
The Academy will re-open in September 2020.
What are the start dates for my child?
Year 7 students will return on Thursday 3rd September for an induction day, work from home on Friday 4th September and then start in earnest on Monday 7th September.
Years 8 and 9 will work from home on Thursday 3rd September, be in the academy for half a day on Friday 4th September and then start after break time on Monday 7th September.
Full details of timings were set out in the letters sent to parents on 16th July 2020.
Why do different year groups have different start days?
We have not been able to run a formal Year 7 induction day this year in July, so have moved this to Thursday 3rd September. We will use part of this day for Year 7 and the other staggered start days for other Year Groups as an opportunity to induct all students on the new procedures at the Academy.
Travelling to the Academy
How do you recommend students should travel to and from the academy?
The vast majority of our students live within 2km of the Academy. Our advice is to walk or cycle to school. This will not only benefit our students’ fitness but also reduce congestion on the roads, avoid students having to share confined space on public transport, and is free.
Will my child have to pay if they chose to use the bus?
Yes. Current plans indicate all journeys will be charged for most students in September.
If my child needs to use public transport, will they have to use a facemask?
Yes. The law as it stands makes the use of facemasks on public transport mandatory. We expect students to remove and store safely their masks before entering the academy.
If I need to bring my child to school by car, where should I drop them?
We have a safe drop zone located in the old Sutton Hospital Site, approximately 200m from the main entrance to the academy along Cotswold Road. We are asking that you do not drop off or collect on Chiltern Road as this is dangerous for all students owing to the proximity of the zebra crossing and the width of the road.
Uniform and Equipment
What should my child wear to the Academy?
We are expecting students to wear full academy uniform.
What should my child bring with them to the Academy?
For the induction sessions your child should bring a pen and pencil. We will give further guidance on equipment requirements during the induction days.
The Start of the Academy Day
Will you have a staggered start to the Academy day?
No. All lessons will begin at 8.30am promptly. Students that arrive after 8.30am will be marked late at the discretion of the attendance officer.
What is the earliest time my child should aim to arrive at the academy?
Gates will open at 8.15am. Students that arrive early can wait outside on the forecourt, but we strongly advise that parents and students plan travel to arrive between 8.15 and 8.25am to avoid unnecessary gatherings.
What will my child do between 8.15 and 8.30am if they arrive early?
After following the entry protocols students will move to their first teaching room and work independently, read in silence or listen to the radio which will be playing. There will be no pre-school play.
Will you have a breakfast club?
Not when we re-open, but we will monitor our procedures closely and our intention is to introduce one as soon as it is safe to do so.
How will students enter the academy?
Each year group will have a dedicated entrance. Year 7 will enter through the Main Reception, Year 8 through the Student Entrance and Year 9 through the Student and then Sixth Form Entrance. Students will form separate queues on entry and staff will support the correct social distancing measures.
What will happen after entry to the academy?
After entry, students will move to toilets dedicated to their year group and wash their hands. They will then move along to the section of the academy building allocated to their teaching bubble.
Will my child need to observe strict social distancing measures at the Academy?
Yes. Students will be expected to keep as close to 2m as is possible from staff members and as far away from other students in their year group as practicality allows. This may not be 2m. Students will not mix between year groups as they will move and learn in bubbles.
Where will my child be taught?
All lessons will take place in your child’s year group bubble teaching area. Year 7 will be taught in the English classrooms, Year 8 in the maths classrooms and Year 9 in the humanities classrooms. The only exceptions will be for practical subjects: Computing, Science, Art, DT, Music, PE and Performing Arts.
What if my child needs the loo during a lesson?
Students will have dedicated toilets assigned to each year group. When finished they should wash their hands thoroughly and re-sanitise when entering the classroom.
What will my child’s classroom look like?
We have tried to minimise the impact of these procedures on teaching and learning, but we have had to put in place some measures to ensure everyone is safe. On entry to the room all students will re-sanitise their hands. All students will sit in rows and face the front. This is to avoid face-to-face seating. Teachers will have a dedicated “teacher zone” marked at the front of the room that students should not enter. This is to ensure that the 2m social distancing rule between students and staff is adhered to. Students will not be allowed to share equipment or move around the room.
Will the lessons “feel” different?
Yes. We have looked at and are still working on ways to ensure that our lessons are as engaging and dynamic as possible. This is a challenge without student movement or group work.
What will happen at lesson change over?
Between lessons students will stay in their teaching bubbles. Our teachers will move between rooms. This is in order to minimise movement around the building and reduce the possibility of transmission. If your child has a practical subject listed above, the teacher will come to collect the students from the teaching bubble area and move them to their specialist teaching room. After the lesson the teacher will escort them back to their teaching area bubble.
Will some rooms be used by different year groups?
Yes. This will be the case for some practical rooms. These rooms will be wiped down between classes to reduce the risk of transmission between year group bubbles.
Arrangements for Break
Will my child be able to play at break time?
Yes. We have extended the length of break to 30 minutes to ensure students get ample social time. There will be no sports or games permitted, but students can socialise in small groups.
How will break work?
Each year group will have a dedicated staircase to use and move at the end of period 2 to their allocated year group play area. Year 7 will use the Front Playground via the green stairs, and the Main Hall if wet. Year 8 will use the Rear Playground via the purple stairs, and the Dining Hall if wet. Year 9 will use the MUGA via the orange stairs, and the Sports Hall if wet.
Will food be provided at break time?
Yes. We will be selling sandwiches, drinks, and sealed foods (for example snack bars and biscuits) only. These will be provided in the Canteen for Year 8, and via mini selling stations for other year groups situated within their dedicated play areas.
Can my child bring in their own food?
Yes. Please note that we do not allow nut products on academy premises.
What will happen at the end of break?
Students will line up in their playgrounds and be escorted to the next lesson by their teachers.
Arrangements for Lunch
Will all students have lunch at the same time?
No. We have allocated 90 minutes in the middle of the day for each year group during which they will eat lunch, play, and attend tutor time. Students will rotate between these sessions to ensure they all have plenty of time to eat and socialise with members of their year group.
Will you be serving food in the canteen?
Yes, but we will also have a second servery in the Café Area. This will help us to serve two year groups separately at the same time.
Can my child bring a packed lunch?
Yes. Please note that we do not allow nut products on academy premises.
Will you have enough seating for all the students?
We have purchased additional seating for students to ensure all have access to a seat.
Where will my child go to the loo during lunch and break?
Students will have clearly marked toilets for each year group.
End of Day Arrangements
What will happen at the end of the academy day?
After period 5 students will be walked to their year group exit and dismissed by their teachers. They will leave the site via specific routes and we encourage students not to mix in year groups outside the academy and to go straight home after school.
Will you be running enrichment this year?
Yes. We aim to run “bubbled” enrichment sessions from October.
Behaviour and Expectations
Have you made any alterations to your expectations of student behaviour?
No. Our expectations remain high. Ahead of our return in September we will be publishing an addendum to our behaviour policy that will take into account the additional requirements posed by the response to the pandemic. This will address student behaviours that wilfully or persistently fail to observe the new protocols around personal hygiene and social distancing.
What happens if my child is ill with non-Covid-19 symptoms?
If your child falls ill you should make a decision whether to send them in as usual. If you plan to keep your child at home you should call the academy absence line and report the absence.
What happens if my child falls ill with Covid-19 symptoms?
You should keep your child at home and report the absence to the academy, stating clearly that your child is displaying Covid-19 symptoms.
What if a student falls ill during the academy day with Covid-19 symptoms?
We will isolate the student in a sensitive manner and make a call to the parents/carers to come and collect their child.
What measures will you have in place to protect other students in the above cases?
In the case of a reported Covid-19 case in the academy we will be following the government guidelines and working with the Test, Track and Trace (TTT) system. How this works will depend upon each individual case. Through separating year groups and keeping detailed seating plans for lesson times we hope to be able to support the TTT accurately and effectively and isolate any outbreak as soon as possible. Our TTT coordinator will liaise between government agencies and the academy and inform families of what action needs to be taken.
Visits and Meetings
Are parents allowed on site?
No. In the event that the academy needs to communicate with parents on a one-to-one basis we will arrange an online meeting or phone home.
What if my child forgets his lunch / PE kit?
Parents may deliver forgotten items to reception. We ask that you call first so that we are prepared.
I or my child sometimes have meetings at school with other professionals such as Physiotherapists or Social Workers. What will happen in September?
We look at any specific provision or meeting like this on a case-by-case basis. Your child will not be disadvantaged in any way: we just need to make sure the provision is safe for all.