Friday 26th February 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
Returning to College March 2021
We are delighted to be planning the safe return of all students and staff to college from the 8th March. Staff have been briefed and are excited to welcome students back and to begin a really important process of socialisation again for everyone, placing wellbeing at the heart of everything we do. The learning will come naturally after that. I would like to reiterate the messages sent by Sarah Busby in our MLP Newsletter earlier this week. We are not going to worry about gaps in learning. There will be some gaps and misconceptions and not all students will have coped with the demands of the work during lockdown but these things can be overcome in time. S6C staff are passionate about supporting every student to build strong relationships and connections again, and find a positive working rhythm that all young people will feel is manageable and effective.
Year 13 students will return to college on Monday 8th March.
Year 12 students will return to college on Tuesday 9th March.
Students will be contacted individually next week to confirm when they are scheduled for their first voluntary lateral flow test, but students should expect to arrive at college for their normal timetabled lessons on either the Monday or Tuesday.
Students became very accustomed to the safety procedures we have in the building and these will continue on our return. Our processes continue to be:
- On arrival to the building, including on the forecourt, students will be required to wear a face mask. They should use hand sanitiser on entry.
- The one way system around the building is to be respected and used at all times by all members of the community. Signage has been refreshed for clarity.
- Hand sanitisers are on each floor of the building to be used and sani wipes are in classrooms for students to clean their hands. Hands should be washed before entering a classroom. Students are reminded of the combined importance of hands, face and space.
- The lift is only to be used by members of the S6C community that have a medical reason. A lift pass can be agreed by Nicky Miller with confirmation from parents/carers where appropriate.
- Year group bubbles still apply and the allocated zones for Year 12 and 13 are still signposted for breakout spaces and the cafe area. For this term, we have swapped the lower ground floor cafe area to be year 13 break out space and the ground floor for year 12. All other spaces remain the same.
Our important message that we will be reinforcing is that we expect all of our community to be ‘socially distanced at all times where possible’.
The government has made an exception to the ongoing strict lockdown so that young people can access the very clear benefits of onsite education as we enter phase 1 of moving out of lockdown. Students need to be vigilant and cautious even when they may have a negative lateral flow test – it is an indicator that you are unlikely to have COVID, but the risk is not removed.
Wearing of face masks
As a Trust we have made the collective decision that we are following Government guidelines that schools and colleges are strongly recommended to wear face masks as at all times on site.
This recommendation will remain in place at S6C until further notice and we are anticipating that we will review this at the end of Term 4 at Easter.
This means that students will be expected to wear a mask at all times in the building. The only exceptions are :
- physical exercise during sports lessons or actively exercising in the MUGA at break or lunchtimes
- when students are eating or drinking
- If a student is able to work in the study centre where desks are 2 metres apart, a small office space for individual study,, or doing self directed study in an empty classroom where there is no other student within 2 metres of them. Study space lists are posted around the building.
- Nicky Miller can agree to a personal exemption based on an individual’s medical needs with confirmation from parents/carers where appropriate.
It is important that all students have a spare mask in their bags in case their mask becomes soiled or damp during the day. They should have individual, sealable plastic bags for safe storage of masks when not in use.
Staff will continue to wear face masks in all communal areas and where they cannot maintain physical distancing of 2 metres from students or colleagues in offices or classrooms. Where staff can maintain a 2 metre distance in a classroom to teach, they will be able to teach with their mask removed. Any movement in the classroom will require the teacher to keep a mask on and they are reminded to socially distance.
Adjustments to the college day
The wearing of masks for a prolonged period of time is not going to be easy for any member of our community. We all know the discomfort it can create, but we also know that this is a short term expectation that increases our safety. With that in mind, for the remainder of the term until the Easter break, the college day will be adjusted to allow for more opportunities for students and staff to go outside, get fresh air and remove their masks. We will be actively encouraging students and staff to do so for their wellbeing.
The college day therefore for Term 4 will be scheduled as:
|Period 1||9.00 – 10.15|
|Period 2||10.45 – 12.00|
|Period 3||1.00 – 2.15|
|Period 4||2.45 – 4.00|
Morning and afternoon break times have been extended to 30 minutes, allowing sufficient time to leave the building and be punctual again for the next lesson. Lunchtime has been extended to an hour and we will be actively encouraging our community to take fresh air and exercise. Staff may set Spring wellbeing activities on some days for students to participate in if they wish.
Students are reminded that once they have left the college premises – strict national lockdown rules apply, which, at the moment, mean that they can meet with one other person for exercise and recreation outdoors.
Please can you contact firstname.lastname@example.org if your child has a medical exemption or may have difficulties with wearing a mask all day. If you feel that your child might have difficulty learning if the teacher is wearing a mask please also let us know.
Safe Travel to and from College
Masks continue to be mandatory when using public transport unless you have an exemption. Students using public transport to get to college will need to follow the guidance detailed at; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#public-transport
Students should be rigorous about hands, face and space when travelling, in order to protect themselves and others.
Registration for lateral flow testing
The Government is actively encouraging all students to participate in the voluntary lateral flow tests, which can help identify cases of asymptomatic covid. Students that have attended the Hub weekly have completed these with ease and no discomfort. Students will be required to undertake three lateral flow Covid tests on their return to college, 3 – 5 days apart. After these tests have been completed, students will then be provided with test kits to complete at home. In order for us to process these, we need to ensure that students are registered on the testing system.
It would be really helpful for ALL students to register for their lateral flow testing before arriving on site for their first day back.
Below is a step by step process in registering:
- Go to https://www.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/report-result/login-choice
- Click on ‘Sign In or Create An Account’
- Add in email address (students need to be able to access this to confirm their email address by responding to an email sent immediately)
- Create a password and confirm
- Enter their mobile number (students will need to submit the authentication code sent to them)
- You should then see ‘Welcome to Your Test and Trace Account’
- Make sure you know the password you have set up, you will need it to register your first test.
- Do not go any further until you attend your first test.
- If you experience any problems with registration, don’t worry, Staff will be assigned to help with any issues with registering when you attend your first test.
As I am sure you will appreciate, the required testing is a massive undertaking for the college, so we would appreciate it if students could make every effort to attend their designated slot. These slots will be communicated to students in the next week.
We really look forward to all students returning back on site and getting back to more normal patterns of working and interacting again.