JPA - Letter to Parents - 5th June 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

I am now in a position to give you more information about the partial further reopening of the school. I apologise in advance for the length of this letter, but it contains important information and I thought it easier to try to put as much of it as possible all together.

We are also asking all parents to provide information to us via an online survey (Parent/Carers of students in Year 7,8,9,10 or 12 - Linked here), which will help with not just our own internal planning but also providing additional information for the government.

The government has outlined its expectations of schools:

We are also asking secondary schools, sixth forms and colleges to provide some face-to-face support for young people in year 10 and year 12 to help them prepare for exams next year.

Other children will continue to be supported to learn at home. You can access more information on the opening of schools and educational settings to more pupils from 1 June for parents and carers.

I have written a summary of the key points from the linked government document, which is on our website as a separate document.

Bearing all of the government guidance in mind, we have been planning our further opening from 15th June. However, we will be unable to confirm this until we have received the necessary health and safety supplies to support social distancing and good hygiene. Supply chains are slower than usual at present and we are still waiting for a lot of essential items that we have ordered.

This is our planned approach and response to government guidelines:

  • Year 10 will be able to attend school on a rota basis, one day per week.  They will have initial 1:1 appointments in the first week, followed by subject specific support in some of the weeks beyond that, taught in small groups of no more than thirteen.
  • Year 12 will have 1:1 support sessions with their tutors and some small group support sessions with subject teachers.
  • The children of critical workers, those with EHCPs, those with social workers and those who are vulnerable are encouraged to attend, regardless of their year group.  They will continue to be accommodated separately in groups of no more than ten.

 

School safety measures

Student groupings:

  • Students will be divided into a number of small groups of no more than 13. 

  • The small structure will help to reduce the number of people students and staff are with, helping to keep them safe. 

  • Each group will work in a dedicated classroom.

 

Hygiene and cleanliness:

  • We will have additional hand washing stations at the entrance and exit to the building. 

  • Classrooms, toilets, doors and high contact areas will be cleaned during the course of the day and after each session at the end of the day. 

  • Classrooms will have boxes of tissues, lidded bins, sanitation wipes and hand sanitiser for use by staff and students. 

  • Classroom doors and windows will be open to aid ventilation. 

  • Water fountains will be taken out of use.  Students should bring their own personal bottle of water, filled, to school.
  • School staff may choose to wear PPE.
  • Lockers will be taken out of use indefinitely.

Travel to and from school

  • If possible, we are asking students to walk or cycle to school. 

  • They must only walk to school with members of their own household. 

  • If they see friends on their way, please maintain social distancing. 

  • If they are traveling in a car with people, only travel with members of their own household. 

  • Student drop off remains off site.
  • Parents must stay in their car and not come onto site. 

  • When using public transport students must wear 
face masks/covering and should minimise the 
surfaces they touch.  School can provide a face mask for any student who cannot source his or her own. We have planned groups so that there is an even distribution of students coming from each postcode area, to minimise numbers using public transport at any one time. 
  • Bus queues will be managed and students must follow social distancing measures when queuing.
  • Students may have to wait longer than usual for buses, as we have been informed that double deckers will be limited to 20 passengers.
  • Students should not travel in groups to school.
  • Students should not congregate outside of school.
  • There will be no access to the school from the rear carpark.

Entrance to school

  • Students will line up outside their designated entrance, as directed by staff. 

  • They will be instructed by staff when they can enter the building. 

  • There will be 2m floor markings to ensure social distancing. 

  • Students will wash hands on entrance into building at hygiene stations. 

  • 2m markings and one-way systems will ensure social distancing. 

  • Clear signs to remind students about hygiene and social distancing. 


 

Social Distancing - In the Classroom:

  • Classrooms will look different to usual. There will be fewer desks and students.
  • Students will sit at their own table/desk. 

  • They will not share any equipment. 
School will provide a pencil case of essential equipment for each pupil.
  • They will maintain the 2m distance at all times. 

  • Students will only move from their desk when asked 
by the teacher. 

  • Students will remain in one classroom for the day, 
only leaving for breaks and lunch.
  • Teachers will move to classrooms when necessary, rather than students moving around the school.
  • Practical or physical activity lessons will be suspended.
  • There will be no school trips or use of the school mini bus.

Movement around school:

  • When moving around the school students will be asked to:
  • Follow staff instructions and leave the room when 
told to do so. 

  • Use 2m floor markings at all times. 

  • Wash hands when instructed. 

  • Follow social distancing rules. 

  • Signage around school will remind students about social distancing, hygiene, room occupancy and out of bounds areas.
  • Lifts will be taken out of use.

Use of toilets:

  • Students will be allowed to use the toilets when necessary but must observe the limit of no more than two pupils in each toilet block at any one time.
  • Vulnerable, EHCP and keyworker children in years 7-9 will use accessible toilets in Science and Humanities.
  • Year 10 students will use the Maths and English toilets.
  • Sixth Form students will use toilets in the Sixth Form area.
  • Students must follow all instructions when moving 
around school. 

  • Students will wash hands before using the toilet. 

  • They will wash hands after use of the toilet.
  • Students will use 2m distancing while moving to 
and from the toilets. 

  • Toilets will be cleaned throughout the day.
  • Hand driers will be taken out of use.  Paper towels will be provided instead.

Using outside areas:

  • There will be opportunities during the day for students to use outdoor spaces:
  • Students will have guidance about where to stand / 
exercise when outside. 

  • Students will wash hands before going outside and 
on return to the building. 

  • Students will be expected to follow social distancing 
rules. 

  • Mobile phones are not permitted to be used inside the building as usual and their use outside is strongly discouraged at present, due to increased risk of passing on infection. 


 

Equipment:

  • Equipment will not be shared. 

  • Desks will be equipped with everything students 
need for the day in order to learn. This will be placed in individual files and remain on the desk at all times.
  • Hand gel is available in every classroom. 


 

Uniform:

  • Year 10 and other main school students will wear school uniform & year 12 their usual clothes; clothing must be freshly laundered on the day the student attends school. 

  • The usual rules around uniform, jewellery and make up still apply.
  • Students may wear face masks/covering but this is a 
parental choice. 


Arriving in non uniform will result in being asked to leave the site. 


 

Lunch time:

  • Year 10 students will eat in the main restaurant downstairs only.  Social distancing must be maintained.  Only one student will be allowed to sit at each table.
  • Year 12 students may eat in their bistro but must maintain social distancing. 
  • Vulnerable, EHCP and keyworker students in Years 7-9 will eat in the upstairs restaurant.  They will maintain social distancing, one student at each table.
  • Catering staff will wear PPE.
  • All students should wash their hands before and after eating.
  • Measures to minimise infection include the suspension of the finger scan system.  A paper-based record of spending will be used instead by catering staff.  The machines to allow students to put money on their account will not be used.  Parents must charge their children’s accounts online in advance.
  • We recommend students bring packed lunches.
  • As we will be continuing with the voucher system for free school meals, those pupils will need to bring in a packed lunch or pay for their meal in school.

 

Additional support:

  • We recognise that this has been a difficult time for staff, students and parents and that some may have suffered personal loss.  1:1 pastoral appointments will enable students to discuss any issues or worries with members of staff.
  • Our school counsellor will be available to provide bereavement support.

First Aid:

  • We will have a dedicated first aider for possible coronavirus cases, and other first aiders for other possible illnesses or accidents. They will be stationed in separate rooms in the school.
  • First aid staff will wear PPE.
  • If students feel unwell, they need to let their 
teacher know. 

  • The teacher will follow the appropriate protocol to 
isolate the student in order to reduce risk to others. 

  • Students falling ill during the school day will need to 
be collected by their parents immediately. 


 

End of School Day:

  • Students will be expected to:
  • Follow staff instructions and leave room when told 
to do so. 

  • Use 2m floor markings at all times. 

  • Wash hands on exit of the building. 

  • Leave the school site straight away. Do not stay at 
the school exit waiting for friends. 

  • Students should not congregate outside of school. 

  • Students should not travel in groups from school. 

  • Parents arriving in cars to collect children should remain in their cars off site.  

  • There will be no access to the school from the rear car park.

Behaviour expectations:

  • These are exactly the same as usual, here are some reminders:
  • Mobile phones should be switched off /silent and out of site inside the building.
  • Students should do as asked by staff first time, every time.
  • Be respectful of each other and all staff. 

  • Staff decisions are final.
  • The Praise Code will operate in a slightly modified form, to enable adherence to social distancing.
  • If your child feels worried or has any questions, he or she should tell a teacher and we will help. 


 

Attendance & illness:

  • If you have notified us that your child will be attending school and they do not arrive, we will contact you as usual.
If students have any of the following symptoms they must stay at home and you should contact school to let us know:
    • Cough 

    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fever or chills 

    • Muscle pain 

    • Sore throat 

    • New loss of taste or smell 

  • If there is a confirmed case of Covid 19, all students and staff in that group and any close contacts are to self isolate for 14 days.
  • Anyone suffering from Covid 19 must self isolate for 7 days.
  • Public Health will be informed about any confirmed cases of Covid 19 and their advice will be followed.

 

Visitors to School


School will be closed to all external visitors, other than the emergency services and social workers. Parents cannot enter the school building except in emergencies and in a prearranged way. If you need to speak to a member of staff, please telephone or email school.

 

Parents of Year 10 and 12 students will receive a personalised letter in the next week, informing them about their child’s sessions at school.

Students will receive information about how school will operate under social distancing measures next week. This will be in the form of a letter and a video ‘assembly’.

All parents of pupils in Years 7-10 and 12 are asked to complete the online survey on our website by Monday 8th June, midday. Please complete a separate survey for each of your children.

I apologise that this is yet another survey to complete for parents in Years 10 and 12, but since then the government has requested additional information to be returned to them on a daily basis, some of which we don’t have recorded on our school system.  We also need an indication, given the information contained in this letter, of your intentions regarding sending your child to school, so we can put our attendance and safeguarding procedures in place accordingly.

Home / Remote Learning

The government has made it clear that any contact in school is a supplement to home / remote learning, which will be the predominant form of education for all students for the remainder of the summer term.

We are constantly trying to improve what we do as a school to support students in the following 3 areas: 

Communication - we have made nearly 1000 phone calls over the last few weeks to support vulnerable students, check on access to the VLE and just to say well done to some of the students who have worked really hard during lockdown.  We are really sorry some students have missed out on those calls. We have the fortnightly student newsletter, regular parent newsletters and daily updates on a range of topics on the website, Facebook and Twitter. However we are working to improve communication further so we are activating all students' school e-mail accounts, meaning they will get regular direct messages from their pastoral team, the Teaching and Learning team and also their teachers. It is a two-way communication so we would encourage your child to use it to share work, ask questions or even just to say hello.  Mr Faraday has provided more information via the website and e-mail.

Home Learning - as you are I am sure by now aware that we set new curriculum work fortnightly and this will continue for the foreseeable future. The work is designed so the work is available to all students, regardless of their access to computers. We are also happy to send paper work packs out where there are difficulties accessing work from home and have sent nearly a hundred out in the past month. We are increasingly using narrated PowerPoints or video tutorials to enrich this offer and hope to be able to announce further development on this in the near future. 

I am aware there is somewhat of a clamour for more online video based learning but currently it is only used nationally in about 1 in 10 settings. In addition research suggests it might not be the best method for delivering new curriculum material, hence we are only tentatively exploring this development in our home learning provision. In addition it could disenfranchise and alienate a sizeable proportion of students who do not have computers to support this type of learning so we are cautious about the use of on line 'live' lessons.  

Feedback - there should be an increasing frequency of work that is being set for marking and feedback (especially at KS4 and KS5) through the assignment section of the VLE. However much of the work will remain self assessed. Notwithstanding, we would encourage students to contact teachers via e-mail if they want advice or feedback on pieces of work. Many students currently do this and find it really useful. There are also English, Maths and Science forums available; if they prove successful we will roll them out to other subject areas.

Kind regards,

Karen Blackburn

Acting Headteacher

Survey Link

PDF Copy of the Letter

PDF Summary of government guidelines regarding wider reopening of schools

 

 

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Contact Details

Jesmond Park Academy
Jesmond Park West
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE7 7DP

Tel: +44(0)191 2818486
Fax: +44(0)191 2810381

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Use postcode NE7 7HN, the main entrance is on Newton Road

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