Letter from the Headteacher - 15.7.2020

Dear Parents/Carers


I hope this email finds you well and you are all looking forward to the summer break?

The final week of remote learning has gone really well with lots of positive feedback coming in about the key stage 3 activity week tasks, the Year 12 progression events and the Year 10 Option Subject focus.  As usual, I want to thank all parents for their support of these events and your strong support of South Craven and our students throughout this school year.

The main aim of this email is to give you some key information about the full opening of school in September.  As I stated in my last communication, the DfE guidance for schools about reopening is extremely detailed, so we have spent lots of time analysing the information and making sense of it for our setting.  As always, the work we have done places the safety of our students and staff as the highest priority, with the aim of making our plans realistic and manageable for a school the size of South Craven as we try to minimise the risks as effectively as possible.

As a school we are very happy to be reopening to all our students in September. We know that the risk to young people of becoming ill from COVID-19 is low but also that as parents you may be concerned about your child returning. In my opinion the below quote from the government guidance sums up the most important reason for children returning to school:

“Returning to school is vital for children and young people’s education and for their wellbeing. Time out of an education setting is detrimental to cognitive and academic development, particularly for disadvantaged children and young people.  This impact can affect both current levels of learning and children and young people’s future ability to learn and therefore we need to ensure all students can return to their setting sooner rather than later”

I want to make it clear that South Craven will still be the same school when your child returns – with the same high expectations, brilliant facilities and focus on developing successful South Craven Learners. Below I have listed the various measures we are considering implementing in September, but please be aware that these plans are only our initial thoughts as we await further guidance from the Government in August:

  • Adaptations made to all classrooms with all desks facing forwards (where possible), the removal of all unnecessary furniture and indications of where teachers should remain to ensure they maintain 2 m distance from students.
  • The creation of ‘Year group bubbles’ and the encouragement of students to keep their distance from each other and staff to minimise the number of contacts students and staff have each day.
  • Staggered breaks and lunchtimes for different year groups to avoid mixing, and clear procedures for the start and end of lessons.
  • The organisation of a one way system with clear signage around the school site to avoid the year groups meeting on congested corridors, exits and entrances.
  • The possibility of zoning year groups into designated teaching spaces to keep movement around the site to a minimum.
  • Clear procedures in place for hand washing, removal of face coverings and the use of and sharing of classroom equipment and the sanitising of desks and chairs at the end of each lesson.
  • The introduction of enhanced whole school cleaning schedule during the school day including regular cleaning of toilets and social areas and daily classroom sanitisation.
  • Ensuring there are clear procedures in place to manage suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in school, including the provision of a designated room and clear instructions for staff, students and parents.
  • The completion of a revised health and safety risk assessment with full consideration of the possible impact on vulnerable staff and students.
  • Revision of the format of any large gatherings to ensure distancing, such as assemblies.
  • Clear communication with parents and students about the processes in place and revised behavioural and attendance expectations.
  • Ensuring parents encourage students to walk, cycle or to receive a lift to and from school rather than take public transport, due to our providers being unable to transport students in ‘Year group bubbles’.
  • Careful management or cancellation of the extra-curricular offers and trips to minimise mixing between year groups.
  • Clear plans in place to support the wellbeing of vulnerable or anxious students following lockdown.
  • Clear plans in place to ensure the school implements an ambitious broad curriculum for all students and is able to cover missed content and identify students who need additional support following lockdown.

As I stated earlier, these measures are not yet set in stone as circumstances may still change during summer.  The next step from me will be to contact you again during August with a more definitive plan for September.  I know you may have questions to ask, but we still have a good amount of work to do before we are in a position to fully answer them.

I can confirm that the school will close fully for the summer holidays on Friday 17th July at 12:15pm and will reopen to Year 7, 11 and 12 students on Tuesday 8th September and to all other students on Wednesday 9th September.

This week Mr Snowden will contact all Year 10, 11, 12 and 13 students and parents with full details about results days. 

Finally I would like to bring the links below to your attention, the first is our regular webpage that contains details of all the websites and support agencies available to you as parents or your children. The second is an Anna Freud website which has created a Selfcare Summer booklet for secondary schools.

I hope you and your family have a great summer holiday and I will be in touch soon with further details about our plans for September.

Yours sincerely

Martyn Hill


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