END OF TERM LETTER / RETURNING TO SCHOOL IN SEPTEMBER 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
We would like to take this opportunity to write to you to address the return to school for all students in September.
All the staff here at the Coleshill school are thoroughly looking forward to welcoming all students back on site, full time, in September. We recognise that returning to school is vital for the cognitive and academic development of our students and their well-being.
Using the guidance and framework issued from the Department of Education, we as a school, have undertaken substantial planning and consultation to effectively manage and minimise the risks associated with COVID. Through rigorous preparations and a range of protective measures we are taking the necessary steps to mitigate risk as far as possible and promote a safe school environment, whilst still providing a high-quality educational experience, where students can thrive and grow.
Therefore, as a result of the guidance provided to schools and control measures we have adopted, we have had to make some substantial and temporary changes to the routines, systems and organisation of the school. These are outlined below.
Hygiene, Health & Safety
The safety and well-being of our students and staff continue to remain a high priority and as such to minimise risk, we have taken the preventative/protective measures outlined below:
Promotion of good hygiene routines remain the most effective way of limiting the spread of infection. This includes robust hand and respiratory hygiene. Students will be encouraged to regularly wash/sanitise their hands and use tissues to catch it, kill it, bin it. We strongly advise that your child always has tissues and a supply of hand sanitiser with them. However, tissues and hand sanitiser will also be provided in each classroom. We will operate in year group bubbles and group students together to avoid mixing between groups, whilst continuing to encourage social distancing where and when possible. Limiting movement around the school where possible through timetabling students into zones/areas thus reducing the mixing of students outside of their bubble. Creating forward facing classrooms to encourage social distancing where possible. Establishing rigorous routines by all stakeholders to regularly clean and sanitise equipment, workspaces and communal areas.
It is expected that all students will follow and fully participate in maintaining good hygiene and reinforcing the protective measures we have implemented. This will include students sanitising specific equipment: for example, in an IT lesson, every student will be expected to wipe down the mouse and keyboard before and after use. Such measures will allow us to run a full curriculum and support every student and member of staff in the school.
Any person showing signs of COVID must strictly follow the government guidelines and advice, which is available here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Anyone who displays symptoms of COVID (which includes a new continuous cough, or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in their normal sense of taste or smell) must stay at home and book a COVID test through the NHS testing and tracing for corona virus website (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/) or alternatively this can be ordered by telephone via NHS 119 for those without access to the Internet.
Please note in line with the government guidance, if your child becomes ill whilst in school and exhibits COVID symptoms he/she will be isolated, to reduce the risk to other students and staff and you will be called to collect them.
There has always been a clear link between good attendance and good progress in school.
In the current climate, this is more important than ever before. In accordance with the government guidance, it is important to emphasise that whilst we provide support where needed, attendance is compulsory for all students, and it is the parents or carers duty to ensure that their child attends regularly. We will continue to work with our families to ensure good attendance.
We appreciate that some households may be reluctant or anxious about returning and we would like to reassure you that we will endeavour to put the right support in place to address this. This may include students who have themselves been shielding previously but have been advised that this is no longer necessary, those living in households where someone is clinically vulnerable, or those concerned about the comparatively increased risk from coronavirus , including those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds or who have certain conditions such as obesity and diabetes.
Whilst I hope the information in this letter provides reassurance around the measures we are taking, please contact the relevant year group leader at the earliest opportunity if there is a specific issue or concern you would like to discuss further.
If your child is absent from school, please continue to report and inform the school of their absence on 01675 462435, option 1. Please ensure that you give a clear reason for why your child is absent.
We are pleased to confirm that we are continuing to offer a broad and balanced curriculum in all year groups and have endeavoured not to remove any subjects or lesson time from the curriculum.
Subject leaders have been working hard over recent weeks to adapt planning for September to ensure that learning time is maximised to review and re-teach key concepts as well as focusing on teaching to build new knowledge, understanding and skills. Please continue to reassure your child that they do not need to worry about lost learning, missing out or catching up. We will do our best to ensure that no student will be disadvantaged as a result of being away from school during lockdown.
In the event of a future lockdown
In the event of a future localised lockdown we will be using Microsoft teams and Gs4Schools to notify and organise students to transition across to remote teaching. This will be the platform from which students will be able to access their lessons, engage in dialogue and feedback with their teacher and submit work. From September our home learning will be set using G4S and live lessons via Microsoft teams. Please ensure that your child familiarises themselves with this platform to aid with a smooth transition to remote teaching, in the event of a local lockdown. As part of our induction process we will be providing training and guidance for all students on how to access and effectively use Microsoft teams, to ensure maximum engagement. This will take place during their ‘remote learning’ induction when they are at home. We would appreciate your support with this, encouraging your child to access and engage with this to ensure that we are able to provide a high-quality provision no matter the circumstance.
One of the most significant measures for the school is the creation of curriculum bubbles, which allows students to be maintained in specific groups, limiting interaction with other bubbles as much as possible.
We have organised students into year group bubbles. Each year group bubble will be allocated a specific set of classrooms, which is, effectively, an area of the school in which the vast majority of their lessons will take place. Teachers will move to classrooms throughout the school day rather than the students to limit the amount of movement around the school.
Where specialist rooms are required, for us to continue to offer a broad and balanced curriculum offer, for example, in DT, art, music, PE, IT or science, specialist rooms are not allocated to a specific year group and will be timetabled and available for use as required. However, in line with our protective control measures there are specific and robust cleaning protocols that will be implemented in between use by different groups to minimise and reduce risk. PE will take place and is timetabled. We want to encourage and allow students to continue to participate and enjoy exercise as part of their education to promote physical and mental well-being. However, using the most recent government guidelines and advice the PE Department have planned and designed a variety of sporting activities in accordance with dynamic risk assessments to ensure health, safety and well-being of all their participants.
Please see the grid below for an outline of the school day
Travel to and from School
For the safety and well-being of the staff and students and to ensure that our cleaners are able to undertake and complete a thorough cleaning of the school, I must stress that students should not arrive onsite before 8.30am (unless their school bus arrives before this time). Students who are walking or cycling to school must enter through the Packington Lane entrance at the back of school.
When students arrive on site, they will be directed to their arrival zone (see above grid) which will be within their year group bubble.
Similarly, the departure from school will be slightly staggered to avoid the mixing of students. All students are to leave the site promptly (and are not to linger and wait for their friends) once they are dismissed from their final lesson of the day. Again, your support in this matter is essential.
The government advice is that public transport use is minimised, and alternative methods of transportation are used where possible.
If your child travels by public transport he/she must wear a face mask or covering, on both the journey to and from school and will have to abide by the guidelines as set up the transport company. Please be aware capacity on public is significantly reduced at this time. Please see the detail below for the specific protocols and measures that are to be followed on arrival to school when wearing a face mask or face covering Where using designated school buses, students are able to sit side by side in mixed year groups, but still must wear a face mask/covering.
Public Health England does not (based on current evidence) recommend the use of face makes/coverings in schools. They are not required in schools as students and staff are mixing in consistent groups, and because misuse may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission. There may also be negative effects on communication and thus education.
However, face masks/coverings are required at all times on public transport and designated school buses for all students. For students using a face covering on their way to school, there will be specific protocol to be followed on arrival. This will include:
Not touching the front of their face. Wash or sanitise their hands immediately on arrival. Disposing of temporary face coverings in the bins provided or placing reusable face coverings in a clear plastic bag that they can take home with them and then clean/sanitise their hands again before entering a classroom. It is expected when using disposable masks, it is the parent/carers responsibility to ensure that their child has enough face masks/coverings for the journeys to and from school.
Students are expected to wear full school uniform as outlined on the school website. We recommend that you check the school website carefully, paying particular attention to the school’s expectations in regard to acceptable footwear.
We thank you in advance for your support and recognise that the vast majority of our students come to school every day looking smart and proud to wear our school uniform. However, we also request that if you feel there will be a specific barrier to meeting the uniform policy, or if you are facing particular hardship, you should contact your child’s year leader at the earliest opportunity to discuss the support that we can provide.
Adjustments for days on which students have timetabled PE
If your child has PE they should arrive at school in their full school PE kit on that day to avoid any need to use the changing rooms. Please support us in ensuring that your child is organised and:
Dress appropriately for the weather bringing the school PE fleece to keep warm. Hoodies and branded clothing are not permitted as alternatives. Plain black base layers: sport leggings or long-sleeved top (no visible branding) are allowed and can be worn underneath (not instead of) the school PE kit.
To help minimise and reduce contact between students, they will not be able to borrow equipment pens pencils etc when they come into school. We will be providing paper textbooks and exercise books as normal.
Therefore, we require all students to bring the following items into school every day. Please support us by ensuring that your child has the following:
Pencil and pen (black, red) Glue stick Ruler Calculator (scientific) Pencil crayons or felt tips Clear sealable plastic bag if travelling by public transport and using a face covering or mask Hand gel with 70% plus alcohol content (hand sanitiser)
Whilst not compulsory items of equipment, we also strongly advise that people have their own:
Please note that students will need to bring their own water bottle filled with water, as the communal water fountains will not be available for use during the school day.
Catering and break time
There will no opportunity to purchase food before lunchtime, students are therefore encouraged to have breakfast before arriving to school and should bring a snack for breaktime. ‘Grab and go’ items will be available to purchase at lunchtime. However, we would encourage students to bring a packed lunch. Students in receipt of Free School Meals will be entitled to lunch as normal. The morning break will be carefully controlled with student in zones and not all students allowed out every day, to reduce mixing between the year group bubbles.
Behaviour Policy & Expectations
As I am sure you appreciate the arrangements outlined within this letter are for the safety and security of all pupils and staff. As a school, we have always expected the highest standards from our students, and this will remain the case. We also recognise that the overwhelming majority of pupils will continue to meet our high standards for conduct and behaviour every single day.
It is essential and right that our focus is on reinforcing excellent routines, relationships and delivering high quality learning and teaching experiences.
Students, therefore, will be expected to abide by the full remit of the behaviour policy- and in light of the changes outlined above, please familiarise yourself with the new addendum, which reiterates and reinforces the protective measures and health and safety expectations. This also includes the continued operation of detentions and internal exclusion. This can be found on our school website.
Given the time already missed, we cannot allow individual pupils to risk any further disruption to learning.
However, we also fully understand and appreciate that a great many pupils will have faced a diverse range of personal, social and emotional challenges during this time. And we are committed to providing the right support for all our students.
Our policies, approach and curriculum in the first term, and beyond, will have an explicit and consistent focus on well-being, positive relationships, and clear routines to ensure that students are able to access the support they need and re-integrate positively back into school and continue their learning.
Parent and carer access to the school site
In accordance with the guidance above, we will need to carefully control visitors to the school site.
Whilst we continue to highly value the relationship and communication between home and school, parents or carers are not permitted on school site unless there is an emergency and you have been contacted. Where contact is needed between school and home, this will be through Microsoft teams or a telephone consultation.
Please see the plan below for returning back to school in September. There is a deliberate staggered start to school to give us the time and space to reintegrate our year groups, by providing them with the opportunity to engage in a comprehensive induction programme that is focused on student well-being, re-establishing positive routines and practices to promote good hygiene and social distancing. In addition, we will need students to familiarise themselves with the new layout of the school, in anticipation of the completion (in the summer) of the new Wilson Block.
In the days that your child is not attending school (see above) they are expected to participate in Remote Learning at home- ‘live lessons’ via Microsoft teams (schedule to be confirmed and issued on Tuesday 1st September). Many of our students have already been engaging with live lessons, however, as part of our induction process we will be providing additional training and guidance for all students (particularly with Year 7 and 12) on how to access and effectively use Microsoft teams, to ensure maximum engagement.
We appreciate that you may still have further questions, however, we anticipate that many of these will be addressed during our rigorous induction process in September, and as such we ask you to reserve these questions until after this has taken place.
We would like to thank you for taking the time to read the information contained in this letter and thank you for your continued support. We are very much looking forward to welcoming back our students to the school and we eagerly look forward to seeing them all in September.
A Level results will be available on Thursday 13th August
GCSE results will be available on Thursday 20th August
Please read the following important letters regarding collecting A Level and GCSE results in August 2020:
Headteacher’s Blog 25th June
Parent and student video for using MS TEAMs
We continue to develop our use of Microsoft TEAMs.
Miss Scattergood, one of our amazing teachers, has recorded a help video which you can view by clicking this https://www.loom.com/share/c36cd8394d1f47c1a73045fd08250349
The powerpoint that is explained in this video is available on our website using this link:- Teams Guide
Remember that TEAMs can work on a mobile phone, so even if devices are an issue for you in your household hopefully your child can access on their phone.
Tutor Meetings on TEAMS
Tutors for Year 7-9 are arranging meetings with the students in their tutor groups on TEAMs, if they have not already done so, during the next week. I hope students make the most of this opportunity. Turn your screens on and say hello to your friends in your tutor group!
Live maths lesson on TEAMS for all of Year 8 and Year 9
To demonstrate how TEAMs works for lessons the maths department will be running live lessons for Year 9 at 10.30 and Year 8 at 11.30. Please watch the video link above or read the instruction sheet on how to access TEAMs so your child can attend their year group’s session with a maths teacher.
Year 10 using TEAMS
It has been wonderful to welcome back Year 10 students in their bubble and they have been pleased to see us. We have used a simple survey to get them to reflect on the work they have been doing at home. Attendance has been good, well above the national picture; we look forward to seeing the other family bubbles next week. We have been working hard with those students in school to get them logged in and working with TEAMS. This is really important as, whatever school looks like in September, TEAMS will be a major part of our work with Year 11 students for revision.
Next week Mr Jordan, Assistant Headteacher leading Year 11, will be sharing a Loom video (like the one in the link above) around the importance of engagement, motivation and organisation for Year 10 students as they go into the summer.
It is important to emphasise that, despite what you may hear and read in the national media, many of our subjects are well ahead in Year 10 and students will have completed most of their courses in a number of subjects. We will be focusing on skills and revision when we return to school, as well as finishing any remaining units. It is important that students are working through what is being set and getting organised, but that they are not worrying about the impact of this time on their final outcomes. This is a national issue and they will be in a similar position to other students nationally. We are calm and positive about how the students will return and will ensure they get the very best support when they do.
Black Lives Matter 500 words writing competition
Next week there will be a variety of activities to engage students with the Black Lives Matter movement. There will be an assembly uploaded onto our You Tube channel and website, tutor activities and an opportunity for students to write 500 words on the subject. Students in Year 7 and 8 can then enter their writing into a national competition.
“500 Words” is the world’s largest story-writing competition for children. Over a million stories have been submitted since 2011, in response to everything from technology to climate change. Now, 500 Words want to bring children’s voices onto the themes and issues emerging from the Black Lives Matter movement.
From 6:30am on Monday 29th June until Friday 3rd July at 11.59pm 2020, children aged between 5 and 13 are invited to respond in whatever way they wish in no more than 500 words, in the form of a story.
The narratives written and shared matter. 500 Words asks children to draw on their own experiences and feelings to create a story that can be as imaginative and visionary as they want. Storytelling is a must!
We at Coleshill support this opportunity for our Year 7 and Year 8 students to get involved, get creative and share their views. So, as well as promoting submission to 500 Words, we are running our own competition alongside it. If you decide to send your story in to 500 Words, send it to us too! All your submissions will be read by a panel of judges in school and the winner and runners up will receive a prize as well as having your story published on the school website.
The reason Coleshill are supporting and promoting this story writing competition is to encourage children to tap into their own creativity and imagination, using storytelling to share their experience and understanding of how different ethnicities and cultures interact.
To submit your story to 500 Words, please follow this link https://500words.me/ . To submit to Coleshill School, send to your form tutor via Microsoft Teams.
Sixth Form Induction Day
I am pleased to announce that we will be having a Virtual Sixth Form Induction Day on Wednesday 8th July, starting at 10am. Although we cannot have our induction for Year 11 in school, as we normally would, we feel it is important that students have an opportunity to find out about what it is like to be in the Sixth Form and find out about the subjects that students are interested in taking in September.
The letter inviting prospective sixth formers will be sent to students today and can be accessed here: Induction Letter
Headteacher’s Blog 10th July
2020 vision-looking back and looking forward
This will be my final blog of the academic year, as next week I will be writing to all families with the detailed plans for how all children will return to school in September. When I look back at my blogs from September I am sure you will agree none of us could have imagined how this academic year would pan out.
2019/20 started full of promise with a fantastic autumn term. Construction had begun on the Wilson Block and Year 7 went on our first year group residential to PGL. We had trips to all sorts of places and raised over £1200 for Children in Need. Students demonstrated their SPIRIT skills, with ‘The Big Idea’ STEM day in Year 8 and our school sports teams flourishing across the region. The school was full of Christmas spirit when our magical musical ‘Alice in Wonderland’ hit the stage and the staff enjoyed some treats in our ’12 Working Days of Christmas’.
2020 began with our staff joining with over 1000 colleagues from across ATLP, at the National Motor Cycle Museum to hear a number of speakers. A memorable moment for me was hearing from ‘Mushy’ who struggled through his childhood with a stammer but managed to speak with the support of his English teacher; what an inspirational story. I was also inspired when I watched our GCSE dancers working with Motion House theatre in January and was amazed at the leadership skills of our Sports Leaders as they worked with hundreds of primary schools as part of our School Games events.
The month of March was one of the most eventful in my time working in schools. It started with 60 students from across ATLP joining us for a Crystal Maze Challenge and a visit from Ofsted. We were thrilled with the outcome of the inspection and the wonderful feedback we received from the inspection team.
Then my blogs served a very different function…
From 20th March schools across the country closed to all but Key Worker children and we had to get used to ‘working from home’. As I acknowledged in my blog on 27th March, this presented challenges for all of us. My blogs over the next few weeks were all about the development of our remote learning, from the setup of online support for Oak Academy lessons to the development on Microsoft Teams for remote learning. None of us could have foreseen how we would be adapting to this ‘new normal’ and I am grateful to the school community for adapting and supporting each other during this difficult time. This week 70% of students in Year 8 and 9 enjoyed live maths lessons, which shows how far we have come in this new way of working.
There have been some good news stories during Lockdown though: Noah McClarney in Year 7 raised money by selling sweet treats, the Lockdown Legends colouring book was a big hit with our Key Worker children in school, we had students sharing their talents such as Emily Taylor’s beautiful piano piece, Angus Glover’s drum solo and the wonderful drawings by Lauren in Year 8. We also had an incredible set of photos from Antarctica, where our Year 8 flag competition winners’ actual flags are flying!
For our Year 11 and 13 students it has been a particularly challenging time, as the normal examination series and end of year events were cancelled. It was wonderful to see over 75 Year 11 students join us for our virtual induction to Sixth Form on Wednesday and much work has been going on behind the scenes to support Year 13 with their next steps. We will be writing to families of these two year groups about the arrangements for results days next week.
It has been great to see Year 10 and Year 12 re-joining us over the last half term. Mr Jordan, Assistant Headteacher, will be sharing some thoughts about revision and organisation, through a letter and a video presentation, in order for students to make the most of their time over the summer, in preparation for a busy Year 11.
In September we will be welcoming all of our children back to school. This is something we are all very much looking forward to and have been preparing for, following the government announcement two weeks ago.
School will look and feel very different for both students and staff in September, as we reopen within the framework of the government guidance. I will be writing to all families next week, in bespoke year group letters, setting out all of the details and expectations you need to know, in order for your child to return.
We will be operating in year group bubbles, as per the government guidance to support social distancing, within both lessons and social times. This will mean significant changes to the way in which the school operates; whilst we anticipate that school will begin and start at the normal times the school day itself will look very different for students.
We also have the Wilson Block due to be completed over the summer holiday and so the physical space in school will have changed significantly. There are therefore a number of factors that mean we need to ensure each year group has a full induction to school, so that they can operate safely within the government guidance. To support this students will be returning to school in a staggered approach, with some year groups beginning the term a few days later than others. You will receive the start date for your child via letter next week, so that you have plenty of notice for the new academic year.
End of term arrangements
School will be closed to all students from 3.10pm next Friday 17th July, as we break up for the summer holiday.
Families who are in receipt of Free School Meals vouchers will receive next week’s on Monday 13thand the summer holiday voucher of £90 will be emailed out on the 23/07/2020, to cover the full summer holiday.
Take care and stay safe
Headteacher’s Blog – Remote Learning Update 19th June 2020
In this blog I will be updating you on remote learning activities for each year group in the final four weeks of the academic year. We do not know what schools will look in September, but I can reassure you that we are planning for different scenarios and will be ready, to ensure we give students the best provision we can. In the meantime remote learning remains the predominant mode of education for students.
Wider Reopening for Year 10 and 12
The opening of school more widely to Year 10 and 12 has gone exceptionally well. Attendance for Year 10 has been around 85% and for Year 12 over 95% of children have attended. This is a real sign of the confidence that families have placed in the school and also an encouraging sign that students are keen to get back to school.
Year 10 students have had time with tutors and senior staff to find out what work they have been doing at home and to support them in next steps with remote learning. They are also having some taught sessions in English, maths and science. Year 12 students have been having 90 minute lessons in each of their option subjects.
Remote learning by Year Group
Year 12 students will be set work during their lessons in school, or via online communication from teachers if they are unable to attend. There will be an increasing focus on assessment of students’ work as a key element of their progress on the new units or topics that are being taught by teachers. The feedback given by teachers will enable students to reflect on their progress and address any misconceptions as they complete new topics in their chosen subjects.
Year 9 should have now submitted their responses for Unit 1 to their teachers, via Microsoft Teams. They will now be receiving information from their teachers about Unit 2, which they will be working through in the remaining weeks of the term.
Year 8 students will be receiving units of work to complete through Microsoft Teams, from Monday 22nd June. There will be a range of approaches from subjects and we hope students will enjoy the new work that is being set.
Please see How to get started with Microsoft Teams for further information.
Lessons from the Oak Academy will remain as per the timetable below. There are also a number of projects being set across a range of subjects that we hope students will enjoy! We are going to be launching a Key Stage 3 Creative Faculty competition and there will be projects from drama, art and PE to name a few! There are also Citizenship/RE activities to do, with a booklet on Worship in Islam already set and new booklet on celebrations coming next week. Year 7 students have also been enjoying meeting up with their tutors, doing quizzes and competitions.
Tutor group meetings
To support student well-being in the final few weeks of term tutors will be setting up video meetings with their tutor groups. This will be via Teams and students will receive a link to the meeting in the app on their device and via e mail. Students are encouraged to attend and join in, as we think it will help students to see their fellow tutor group members. The meetings will take place between Monday 22nd June and Friday 3rd July and students will receive a personal invite from their tutor.
PLEASE CAN ALL PARENTS/CARERS AND ALL STUDENTS DOWNLOAD THE MICROSOFT TEAMS APP SO THEY CAN RECEIVE WORK, RETURN WORK AND ACCESS LIVE SESSIONS
GO FOR SCHOOLS WILL CONTINUE TO NOTIFY STUDENTS AND PARENTS/CARERS WHAT IS BEING SET