Dear Parents and Carers
As you will have read in EBS News, we have an exciting plan to enable us to open East Barnet School in September for all year groups. The safety of our staff and students is paramount and we have been following Government guidance alongside advice from the local authority and from unions in formulating these plans.
We have run a very successful pastoral reintegration programme with Year 10 and Year 12, and as such we will follow a similar support programme for all other year groups from Monday 7th September to Friday 11th September. On Monday 14th September all students will return to a full timetable, but with staggered start times, break/lunch times and finish times. Please read all the following information contained in this letter so that you and your child are clear about the return to school plan and in particular to ascertain your child’s allocated start date and specific arrival time.
If you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the school. In the meantime, please continue to stay safe. We wish you all a fabulous summer break and look forward to seeing our wonderful students in September.
Associate Deputy Headteacher
When will my child return?
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 ensure students are formally inducted back into the building and understand the safety and hygiene measures in place. As such students will all receive a two-and-a-half-hour reintegration session that explains to them the new procedures as well as checking in on them, giving them their new timetable and answering any questions they may have.
Will there be break time and lunchtimes?
For the pastoral reintegration sessions in the first week back there will be no break or lunchtime. Students will only attend school for the allocated morning or afternoon session. From Monday 14th September onwards, students will have staggered break and lunchtimes in their year group bubble. Food is only served at lunchtime not at break time, so your child should bring in a snack. We have students will severe allergies, as a result we are a nut free school, please ensure the snack does not contain nuts. Due to the need for staggered lunchbreaks, snacks will not be served at breaktimes until further notice. Each year group will have their own space to be in and allocated time slot to eat at lunch, to avoid any unnecessary mixing with other year groups. Please ensure that your child’s on-line lunch account is topped up if they are buying food at lunchtime.
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 to minimise contact between different year group bubbles of students and parents/carers. We encourage, where possible all 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.
Parents/carers may drop their child close to or into the school grounds but should remain in the car.
Whilst we want to encourage punctuality, to avoid unnecessary mixing, your child should not arrive before their allocated start time for the week commencing Monday 14th September.
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 procedures. They will also have quality time with their Form Tutor/Head of Year.
We are proud of the broad and balanced curriculum we are able to offer students, and this will resume from Monday 14th September, although some practical activities will have been modified for health and safety purposes.
In order to maximise learning in the classrooms, the normal sanctions and rewards will be in operation, staff will issue warnings as well as house points to students.
Will online learning continue?
Some online learning activities may be set as Independent Learning as apposed to more traditional book work.
Will my child be expected to socially distance and what hygiene measures will be in place?
As previously mentioned, children will remain in their year group bubble throughout the school day and movement around the building will be minimal. Where possible, students will be socially distancing. Upon arrival, students will line up outside the building on markers, they will sanitise their hands on entry to the building, after a break/movement in the building, and on dismissal. Surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned throughout the day and classrooms will always be ventilated and supplied with tissues, bins 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.
What should my child bring to school?
During the pastoral time, students will receive their new planner and timetable. Exercise books will be issued in lesson time. Students are expected to bring their equipment which includes- a pen, pencil, green pen, ruler, eraser and reading book. It is also advised that they have a glue stick, and some colouring pencils. Equipment checks will resume each morning as part of Form Time.
The rule regarding mobile phones will remain in place. Mobile phones should not be seen or heard in the school and if a student does bring their phone in, it must remain off and out of sight. Phones an/ or headphones will be confiscated if this rule is contravened.
If my child/a family member is considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable, should I still send my child to school?
The guidance has said in relation to the clinically extremely vulnerable people, that it is their ambition for all pupils to return to school. However, if your child does fall into this category then please contact their Head of Year so that we can put a support plan in place for them.
Will school uniform be required?
East Barnet School Uniform should be worn. The usual rules with regards to eccentric hair styles, unnatural hair colours, false nails and piercings apply, so this letter should give students enough time to prepare for their return to school. We also request that students wear appropriate school shoes and not trainers.
If anyone has difficulty with school uniform, then they should contact their Head of Year as we have some uniform available to lend to students.
What happens if my child falls ill at school?
Your child should not attend school if they feel unwell and you should report their absence via the attendance line in the usual way. We will have qualified first aiders on site and if your child becomes ill, they will go to a medical room and be assessed. You will be contacted.
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 14 days and instructed to obtain a test. All staff and students in the year group bubble will be sent home until the test result is confirmed. 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.