Phased reopening of East Barnet School for Year 10 and 12
Dear Parents and Carers
As you will have read in the letter from Ms Swaine early this week, we now have a much clearer idea as to how we will open East Barnet School further to include the students in Year 10 and Year 12 alongside the current provision for key worker parents and vulnerable children. In addition to the government guidance, we have also received guidance from the local authority and from unions representing both our teaching and support staff. We are now able to outline these plans to you so that students can return safely in a phased manner from Monday 15th June.
School will be very different from how we have previously known it. We are operating a phased approach introducing up to half a form group (15 students) at a time. We have produced a detailed risk assessment which directly addresses risks associated with the virus so that we can ensure sensible measures are put in place to control these risks for students, staff, and the wider community. The safety of our students, their families and our staff are of the absolute paramount importance.
Please read all the following pages of information in order to make an informed decision about whether you wish your child to return to school. The information is extremely lengthy as I wanted to include as much detail as possible.
In the meantime, please continue to look after yourselves and your families. If you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the school office via email.
All the staff at East Barnet School are committed to supporting our students and families through this difficult time.
Associate Deputy Headteacher
Will Year 10 and Year 12 definitely be returning week commencing 15th June?
We have carried out thorough risk assessments to ensure the safety of our children, parents/carers and staff. Part of the risk assessment is to keep numbers low so not all students will attend during the week commencing 15th June. Your child will be attending school for a welcome back session on either Friday 19th or Friday 26th June for a morning or an afternoon session– this will be confirmed over the phone next week.
Can my child change or swap session?
As per the Government guidance we are creating ‘bubbles’ of students. These will be form based for the first fortnight and then move into subject based bubbles, therefore, the groups cannot be swapped.
What about break time and lunchtimes?
In order to avoid further mixing, we will be operating half day sessions, as a result there will be no lunch break. Students will have a short break in which they may bring in a snack, this will be outside and within their ‘bubble’ whilst observing social distancing. No food will be served at school.
Will the start and end of the school day timings be the same?
We will be staggering the start and finish times of the school day, and entrance to the school building to minimise contact between other bubbles of students and parents/carers. We encourage students to walk to school and to only take public transport if absolutely necessary. Parents will not be allowed into the school building unless arranged by prior appointment.
We will insist that only one parent/carer drives their child into the school grounds and that they remain inside the car.
The morning session begins at 9:45am and students will be given an arrival time to stagger their entry to school. They should not arrive earlier than this. On arrival students will line up on the white dots (as explained in Ms Swaine’s PowerPoint). Students will be dismissed in a staggered fashion from 11:30 and should immediately leave the school premises and make their way home.
The afternoon session begins and 1:00pm and students should again be lined up according to their start time. These students will have a staggered dismissal at 2:45pm and again should immediately make their way home.
Will the usual school curriculum resume?
At East Barnet School, mental health and well-being will continue to be at the forefront of what we do. The priorities for our students in the first session will be to establish any well-being needs, identify any concerns or anxiety they may have and adjust to the new style school routines and policies. They will also have time with their Form Tutor/Head of Year. During this period of time students will also have the opportunity to log onto the UCAS website and begin the preparation for writing their personal statements. Students should bring their smart phone to school in order to access this. If this is problematic then please contact Mr Pitts.
Curriculum time with teachers is being planned and will be communicated to you after the pastoral sessions have taken place.
Will online learning continue?
We will continue to provide online learning for the students and Mrs Hurst will be writing to you about this and the introduction of Microsoft teams. However from 28th June to 2nd July, staff will not set on line work as we are encouraging students to take some time to research future options including apprenticeships and virtual university yours.
Will mock exams go ahead?
Assessments will not take place as formal mocks this year and will have the primary objective of informing teachers of gaps in knowledge that need to be addressed in future learning. Any predicted grades made in the autumn term will be based on student engagement and achievement throughout Y12.
Will my child be expected to socially distance and what hygiene measures will be in place?
As previously mentioned, children will remain in their bubble throughout the school day. Tables will be spaced out and students will be sat 2m apart. Upon arrival, students will sanitise their hands, no equipment will be lent or shared. After a break and on dismissal students will again sanitise their hands. Surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned after sessions. Classrooms will always be naturally ventilated and supplied with tissues and sanitiser.
The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach will be adopted with regards to coughing and sneezing and students will wash their hands after coughing or sneezing.
Can my child wear a face mask?
The government guidance states that the wearing of face masks by students is not necessary and that it may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission when not used correctly.
However, if your child wants to wear a face mask, it will not be refused but it must be plain with no logos and only cover the face and mouth.
Does DFL still apply to my child?
We want to maintain the high standards of behaviour that we have worked hard to achieve, in order to maximise learning for the students. However, we recognise that returning to school may cause some anxiety and this may manifest in some behaviours. Our IEC will therefore NOT be open, however students who misbehave or don’t follow instructions will receive warnings and will be spoken to by SLT if their behaviour does not improve. Part of the pastoral induction for students will be to talk through the new behaviour policy. Serious breaches of this policy may result in the student being unable to access the face to face contact with teachers in the school.
If my child/a family member is considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable, should I still send my child to school?
The government advises students who have been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable due to pre-existing medical conditions to shield. Therefore, we do not expect these children to be attending school. Parents/carers of students in the clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable) category should follow medical advice. We recommend that before making any decision that you seek and follow advice from your doctor. This recommendation should also be followed if students live in a household with people who fall into these categories.
What happens if my child falls ill at school?
Your child should not attend school if they feel unwell. If they are expected in, you should call the attendance officer as usual. On arrival to school, all students will have their temperature taken, if a student has a high temperature then you will be contacted, and the student sent home. We will have qualified first aiders on site and if your child becomes ill, they will go to a medical room based in an outside classroom and assessed. You will be contacted.
What will happen if I choose not to send my child to school?
The decision is YOUR choice and the government have stated that there will be NO penalties for non-attendance.
How do I confirm my intention to send (or not send) my child into school?
Thank you to those that completed the survey about returning to school, this was very helpful in our planning. As we have now released further details and explained the plan, your decision may have changed. The school will be phoning you over the next week to confirm if you are sending your child to school, and to allocate you a date and an arrival time.
What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus?
If a child or staff member develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus, they will be sent home, advised to self-isolate for 7 days and obtain a test. Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 14 days. All staff and students in the bubble will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario.
Where the student or staff member tests negative, they can return to school and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation.
Where the student or staff member tests positive, the rest of the bubble will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that bubble do not need to self-isolate unless the student or staff member they live with subsequently develops symptoms. This is a vital action to ensure the risks are reduced to all staff and students in the school and help prevent the spread of the virus.