School re-opening arrangements

17th June 2020

School re-opening arrangements

Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope you and your family are well and would like to thank you for your support in helping your child continue to progress in a new way of learning at home. We are now in a position to be able to share more information regarding the re-opening of the school on June 29th. When your child returns to school it will be significantly different both in terms of provision and environment. This letter is intended to help you gain a better understanding of what changes will be put in place.

When pupils return they shall be in small groups in order to achieve 2 metre social distancing. A day will consist of four one-hour lessons with a 30 minute break between the second and third lesson. Separate form groups will attend on different days. To minimise movement around the school pupils will usually be based in one room for each day, this is not always the case for pupils in Year 9 and 10 who will need to change rooms due to a range of option subjects. When in classrooms pupils will follow the ‘check in, catch up and prepare’ Welsh Government principle. Following a brief wellbeing session teachers will check what work pupils have completed in line with set work since school closure. Teachers will support pupils prepare for the next phase of their learning.

This face-to-face time is an important part of the ‘blended learning’ approach. It complements the learning pupils have been completing from home. Pupils may also be provided with physical learning resources (exercise books, booklets etc.) to support their learning. Where pupils do not attend, we shall endeavour to deliver ‘learning packs’ to pupils’ homes. If parents/carers choose not to send their children to school the pupil will be expected to continue learning from home.

We are hoping to give all pupils the opportunity to attend school on at least 2 to 3 occasions between 29th June and 24th July, this will be governed by the final risk assessment. The safety and wellbeing of pupils and staff will remain our top priority. The Local Authority Transport Team will work with schools and settings to determine the demand for home to school transport for eligible pupils and we will endeavour to work collaboratively to meet these requirements. However, with buses operating at around 20% capacity accommodating all eligible pupils this may prove very difficult. If parents/carers are able to make alternative arrangements that would help alleviate the situation.

The timetable for the first fortnight is below. The start and end times for each form is included in the table e.g. 9P pupils need to arrive in school at 9am and leave school at 2pm.  We shall use a number of entrances to the school to support social distancing, staff shall be welcoming pupils on arrival to help them navigate around the school and to reinforce safeguarding control measures. Different pupils shall be learning different subjects each day. We shall endeavour to get this detail for each day to parents/carers separately, as soon as possible, so pupils can bring the correct resources for each day. When finalised, a separate timetable shall be distributed for weeks 3 and 4.

Week 1 9.00 am – 2.00 pm 9.30 am – 2.30 pm 10.00 am – 3.00 pm
Entrance pupils use: Main Underpass Leisure Centre Humanities Block
Monday 29th June 9P 10P 10O
Tuesday 30th June 9O 10N 10T
Wednesday 1st July 9N 10I 10S
Thursday 2nd July 9T 7T 8T
Friday 3rd July 9I 7I 8I

 

Week 2 9.00 am – 2.00 pm 9.30 am – 2.30 pm 10.00 am – 3.00 pm
Entrance pupils use: Main Underpass Leisure Centre Humanities Block
Monday 6th July 7P 10P 10O
Tuesday 7th July 7O 10N 10T
Wednesday 8th July 7N 10I 10S
Thursday 9th July 7A 8P 8o
Friday 10th July 7S 8N 8S

The school will be adhering to the Swansea Council risk assessment policy, in conjunction with Welsh Government guidance. The school retains the right to review its provision in line with guidance and make amendments to its risk assessment policy when and where necessary.

You must not send in your child if they are exhibiting any Covid-19 related symptoms (flu like symptoms, a continuous cough, high temperature, loss of taste and/ or smell). If any pupils develop symptoms during the day, parents/carers will be contacted and expected to pick up their child immediately. Everyone must be aware that the risk of spreading Covid-19 cannot be totally mitigated.

Currently, Welsh Government guidance or the Swansea Council risk assessment policy does not require the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as face masks. However, we would respect the right for any member of staff or pupil to wear PPE.

Pupils shall be informed of social distancing requirements on arrival and within the school. Multiple hand sanitiser stations will be in place around the school. However, soap and water remains the best way to wash our hands and this will be available for all pupils. Pupils must wash/sanitise their hands on entry into the building. Pupils will receive support in using a new one-way system that will be in operation from June 29th.

Since school closure (20th March) we acknowledge that your child may have outgrown their uniform. Pupils will not be expected to wear uniform. Guidance suggests clothing that is suitable for the school environment should be comfortable and easily washable. Ideally, clothing worn to school should be washed on returning home.

Please support our safeguarding and hygiene measures by ensuring your child does not bring chewing gum to school. Chewing gum is banned for hygiene reasons, I am sure you will appreciate the importance of this rule now more than ever.

All pupils will need to bring in their own packed lunch with enough to drink to last the day. There will not be any food or drink available to purchase at school. Pupils eligible for free school meals must also bring in their own food and drink. Unfortunately, we have been advised to disable all our water fountains to mitigate the risk of spreading Covid-19.

Pupils will be required to bring in their own equipment and should not share stationery equipment. Work booklets and exercise books should be brought in only for the lessons they have that day.

Each form group attending will have a staggered start to the day, a staggered break and a staggered end to the day, the same applies for staff.  This is in place to support social distancing. Therefore, we politely request that the drop off and pick up times are adhered to. These times will be distributed as soon as possible.

As you are probably aware, the school has been operating as an Emergency Childcare Setting since 23rd March. This will continue to operate until the end of term that is currently set for Friday 24th July. Our partner primary children and staff have now moved back to their individual schools in preparation for their own re-opening.

Swansea Council have provided additional information and services:

Coronavirus – return to school frequently asked questions: https://www.swansea.gov.uk/returntoschoolFAQs#return%20to%20school

Parents/carers can also contact Swansea Council through a telephone enquiry line on 01792 636033 or 01792 636034 or by email: coronavirusenquiries@swansea.gov.uk .

This link is back to school guidance for parents: https://www.swansea.gov.uk/transitionguideparents

This link is back to school guidance for pupils: https://www.swansea.gov.uk/transitionguidepupils

The patience and understanding of parents/carers and pupils is greatly appreciated. I fully appreciate that for many pupils and parents/carers the coronavirus pandemic has been a difficult time to navigate, and will continue to pose many challenges.

We are committed to continuing to support you, and your child, therefore please remember you can still contact the school via email (info@pontcomp.co.uk ) or phone the school on 01792 884556. Your ongoing support is valued more than ever, and we look forward to the day where life and school can return to normal, in the meantime please keep safe and well.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. G. Rees
Headteacher