15th May - A Message from Our HeadBack to News
Dear Parents, Carers, Families, and Students,
I hope that you are well and that you have had an enjoyable week and that you have been able to take advantage of the slight lifting of lockdown regulations in order to get out for more exercise.
I continue to receive frequent Green slip nominations and see examples of excellent student work and am proud of all the hard work that our students and staff are putting in. Please continue to let us know if we can be of any help and support and I hope that you and your families are managing to stay calm and positive in these strange and challenging times.
I am sure that you, like me, are watching the news and reading various Government publications with interest and a degree of trepidation. As a Senior Team we have, of course, begun to discuss the implications of any re-opening of the school, in terms of logistics, learning, safety and support and are exploring various different scenarios.
Some guidance has been outlined by the Government suggesting the areas to consider on re-opening. However, it is still too soon for us to commit to a specific timeline, way forward or timetable, and it would not be appropriate yet for us to outline a detailed plan for this eventuality.
Over the coming days we will be given more information and guidance. Today or on Monday we expect to be given further information following the meeting of Teacher and Headteacher Unions with Scientific Advisers today and we expect to receive a publication from the DfE with further updates. Using this information, we will then finalise our draft plans for partial reopening and will share them with parents, students and staff in due course.
A key piece of information to note from Government guidance is this:
“From 1st June 2020, we expect that secondary schools and colleges will be able to offer some face to face contact with year 10 and year 12 pupils. This will not be a return to full timetables or pupils back in school or college full time, rather some support to supplement pupils’ remote education.”
Therefore, at some point, after 1st June, we expect to open in some way for students from Years 10 and 12, whilst continuing to provide remote learning for these year groups, however, it is likely that our re-opening will be very gradual and we will follow a phased approach.
We are a very large school with a large cohort of vulnerable and key workers’ students, a large sixth form and a large Year 10. We are conscious of the need to ensure good social distancing and the need to limit the contact of groups of students with each other and with different staff. We will follow all County and Government guidance when planning for any re-opening. We would also like to ensure some consistency with local schools when planning when and how we open.
We know that according to current guidance Years 7, 8 and 9 will not be returning to school before September and we will need to continue to work on providing these year groups with a positive experience of Remote School. This week we started to survey students to gain their insight into their Remote School experience, this will stay open for students to collect all responses and will be using this information to ‘reboot’ Remote School after half term. We plan to write to each of these year groups with an outline of expectations for next half term when we return after the break.
We will continue to accommodate the children of key workers and vulnerable students in our Mini School provision. As the numbers attending this grow, we will adapt in order to ensure adequate social distancing and safety for students and staff.
We will continue to set online work after half term for all students and will look for sensible and safe solutions to allow Year 10 and 12 students to gradually come back to school in a phased way.
I will write to you again next week, when we have further clarity on the local and National situation, and I will update you about our planned approach at Marriotts. At this point I will also write separately to the parents of students in Year 10 and 12.
Please trust us to work through guidance and advice carefully and sensibly, and in a timely fashion. Please try not to be anxious about what the next phase in this process will look like. Please know that whilst the education of our students and our support for them and their families’ is paramount, the safety and security of all staff and students remains our highest priority.
For the full newsletter, please see below.