Welcoming back our students!
The day has arrived! We’re welcoming back your children
with open arms (washed for 20 seconds and from a safe
distance, obviously). We’d have a fanfare and a parade if it
were allowed! The school has been a hive of activity this
week as we prepare for everyone to return, and we genuinely
can’t wait for students to arrive! A particular warm welcome
to our new Year 7 students who have had a very limited
Transition. Don’t worry. We’ll look after you.
It has been a tough time for everyone since March, and I’d
like to thank you all for your patience whilst we have been
navigating through the various challenges we’ve faced as a
school. It is thanks to the ongoing dedication of staff that
we are ready to return. Staff have been busy: communicating
with each other and students via MS TEAMS and Zoom; updating
the Curriculum; writing and re-writing schedules and
groupings (many times); learning about new procedures;
continuing with the EHCP process; and supporting each other
emotionally. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but it
demonstrates a real commitment to what we know is a vocation
and not just a job.
Please be assured that school will be a safe environment for
your children as we have put many measures in place for staff
and students, along with increased hygiene equipment, arrows,
signs about hygiene, social distancing and a one-way system
(clockwise where possible – but we’ll be flexible with this
as we know many of our students wont be…). We’re also
avoiding the use of lockers as students will be class-based,
but again, we’re being flexible.
As you know, we’re starting off with packed lunches, but will
review this as soon as we are all settled back in, as I know
many enjoy a hot dinner at lunch time – particularly as we
head into the colder months.
For the first two weeks of term students will receive the
Recovery Curriculum, which is to support their mental health
and wellbeing whilst they settle back into their routine.
However, we will continue to provide our bespoke broad and
balanced curriculum which challenges our students to help
them reach their individual potential. Therapists and
peripatetic teachers will be encouraged to work remotely
where possible, but will be allowed on site if necessary,
providing they are wearing PPE. Other visitors won’t be
allowed for the foreseeable future, unless by specific
arrangement. When dropping your child off you will need to
follow our socially distanced arrows, keeping 2m away from
others at all times. We appreciate your co-operation in
this. And don’t forget we now finish at 3pm for students to
allow for social distancing at home-time.
We will do our utmost to react promptly and efficiently to
any teething problems as they arise, but I am happy in the
knowledge that we have a committed, enthusiastic, resilient
group of staff, who have all worked extremely hard to get
classrooms, the wider environment and the curriculum ready
for the new term. We have the added excitement about our two
satellite sites at Wentworth and the Deans in Swinton, which
has enabled us to open fully whilst social distancing. Staff
at both sites have pulled out all the stops under challenging
circumstances to provide new learning environments. I hope
our students settle in there quickly, and I will be popping
to both sites to see how everyone is doing.
Here’s to a safe, happy, successful return for everyone.
Yours, Helen (excited Headteacher)