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Whole School Update 28.8.2020

August 28, 2020

28th August 2020

Confirmation of arrangements for the start of the Autumn Term

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope that you and your families are safe and well and that you have enjoyed a restful summer. Following my previous letter (13 July) in which I outlined our
provisional arrangements for return to school in September 2020, I am writing to you to remind you of those arrangements and provide further information for the start of the Autumn Term.

In line with the updated Government guidance, we have a number of measures in place to keep students safe in school. First and foremost, we will be focusing on ensuring enhanced levels of cleaning, handwashing and respiratory hygiene as these are the most effective controls in reducing the spread of Covid-19. We also have some additional measures in place to ensure groups of students are kept separate and that mixing between them is kept to a minimum.

Start and finish times

The government recommends that schools have staggered start and finish times, to reduce the number of students at key ‘pinch points’ at any one time.

All pupils at Springwell Dene will return to school on Wednesday 2nd September.

The school day will be as follows for each key stage:

KS1: 845am – 2.30pm

KS2: 9.30am – 3.00pm

KS3: 9am – 2.50pm

All Y11 pupils at Pallion will return to school on Wednesday 2nd September, inductions will take place for all Y10 pupils in the first week, individual appointments have been scheduled in the last week of the Summer holidays.

All pupils must leave the site immediately at their finish times, and ensure that social distancing measures are adhered to carefully.

On arrival to school, pupils in each key stage will enter their own entrances and asked to use the hand sanitiser. There will be regular cleaning throughout the day and children will be encouraged to maintain good hand washing hygiene.

Lunches will be staggered for each key stage with cleaning in between.

 

Pupils will leave school at 12.30pm every Friday (packed lunches will be provided for those pupils on FSM) to allow time for the school to be thoroughly deep cleaned.

Lunch arrangements

In KS1, KS2 and KS3 pupils will have lunch in the dining hall at staggered times, time has been built in for the tables and chairs to be cleaned between each sitting. Lunches will be ordered on a daily basis. Students who are eligible for Free School Meals will receive a lunch free of charge; other students will have to pay the cost of a lunch (£2.20)

At KS4, packed lunches will be ordered for those pupils who require one and pupils eligible for FSM packed lunches will be provided free of charge.

Uniform and equipment

All students should be in school uniform at the start of the Autumn Term. For new starters at either site, pupils will be given 2 x polo shirts and 2 x jumpers Additional uniform can be ordered through the school office.

Travel to school

The government advises parents that the safest methods of travel to school are walking or cycling. Car journeys should not be shared between families. Public transport should be avoided if possible, but if used then we advise that journeys are planned carefully as restricted timetables remain in place in many cases. Pupils are reminded that face coverings must be worn on public transport but removed before entering the school site.

Students travelling on school mini buses will be expected to adhere to the following guidelines.

  • Students aged 11 and over must wear face coverings when travelling on including public buses and school buses. If they do not have a face covering, they will not be able to travel.
  • When boarding the bus, students should fill the seats from the back to the front
  • When leaving the bus, students should disembark from the front.
  • Students should use sanitiser when boarding and leaving the bus.
  • On arrival at school, students should dispose of temporary face coverings in a covered bin or place reusable face coverings in a plastic bag they can take home with them, and then wash their hands again before heading to their classroom. For further guidance on face coverings please
    see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own
  • Students need to remain in their seats for the duration of their journey and behave sensibly.
    • In accordance with government guidelines relating to transport providers, the bus company will take responsibility for wiping down seats and railings. 

Face Coverings

As a school the safety of our staff, children and young people is our utmost priority. Current Government guidance recommends the use of face masks in communal areas and where social distancing measures cannot be adhered to for adults and children that are 11 and over,  in addition they are mandatory in places where that are in local lockdowns. The rest to the decisions is down to the discretion of the head teacher. This advice can be accessed via: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-in-education

Currently, we are taking the decision that the use of face coverings is optional for all staff, parents, carers, pupils and visitors to the site. They are not required to be worn in school. The only place where face coverings will be mandatory for staff and pupils 11 and over is in the mini buses. Should the Government guidance change we will review our current practice.

Behaviour

As outlined in this letter, we have a number of new rules and policies in place in school to keep everyone safe. It is more important than ever that when they return to school in the Autumn Term, students follow all the rules which are in place, particularly in relation to hygiene, distancing and movement around school. We will work with students and parents to make sure our expectations are clearly communicated. An addendum to our behaviour policy is being shared with all parents and students and can be accessed via this link https://www.linkschool.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Addendum-to-Behaviour-Policy-due-to-COVID-19.pdf.

Attendance

From September 2020, it will once again become the legal duty of parents to ensure their children attend school regularly and on time. As a school we will work with pupils and their families to support parents to meet these legal duties and to ensure children  can benefit from attending school regularly. Where you have concerns regarding attendance, we would ask that you contact school as soon as possible  to discuss this with our attendance officer Leanna Malcom.

Coronavirus symptoms

If your child, or member of their household, has any of the following symptoms;

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

then the following actions must be taken immediately:

  • Do not attend school
  • Report the reason for absence to school.
  • Self-isolate
  • Arrange a coronavirus test (for children over 5)
  • Provide school with the results of the test

 

Please refer to Appendix which is a useful flowchart showing actions to be taken if a student or a member of their household has symptoms of or confirmed Covd-19

Children are not able to attend school as parents are following clinical and/or public health advice, absence will not be penalised.

We are really looking forward to welcoming all our pupils back into school in September. All plans and procedures will be reviewed during the first term, to ensure that we continue to keep our school community as safe as possible. I would like to thank you for your ongoing support in these unprecedented times.

Please continue to stay safe and well.

Donna

Headteacher,

 

Contact

Link School Springwell Dene
Swindon Road, Springwell, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear  SR3 4EE

Tel: 0191 561 5777
Email: caroline.granton@schools.sunderland.gov.uk

Link School Pallion
Waverley Terrace, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear SR4 6TA

Tel: 0191 561 4777
Email: anita.blakeman@schools.sunderland.gov.uk