Parent and Guardian Update
- Face Coverings from Monday May 17th onwards
- Safe Cycling
- Hot Choc Mondays and Fridays
- Year 11 Study Leave, Enrichment and Masterclasses
- Year 11 Prom
Face Coverings from Monday May 17th onwards:
As you may know from the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday May 10th, the Department for Education have amended their recommendation for the wearing of face coverings in school from everywhere on school site including in classrooms to everywhere where social distancing of 2 metres plus cannot be maintained.
At Noadswood, in addition to taking seriously this guidance as always we must, we are also aware of areas of the UK where it would appear that this would not be the right thing to do from Monday, given the current prevalence and spread of particular variants of C-19 there of which we are informed, different from what we are currently experiencing here. We are therefore made aware of the following important messaging from Public Health England:
Directors of Public Health may also decide to take additional steps to further reduce risks of transmission in individual educations settings where variants of concern have been identified and may advise the temporary re- introduction of face coverings in all spaces in an individual setting or a cluster of settings where necessary.
Finally, we are also aware of the comments from some SAGE scientists around the pace of this change in recommendation around face coverings in school settings – there is some concern about it, at a time when this sort of control measure appears to them to be enabling a positive impact on the lifting of lockdown restrictions in many other respects.
We are not scientists, and nor do we create the guidance, but what we have a duty to do is to reflect on all of the information we receive from respected quarters and act accordingly.
Therefore at Noadswood, from Monday, our guidance is as follows:
- Anyone – student or colleague – wishing to continue to wear their face covering in classrooms/all learning spaces is very welcome to do so, and we would understand the logic of doing so for the reasons reflected on above.
- It is an expectation that we will all have our face coverings with us at all times and they must be worn in all corridors and in ALL spaces where we cannot maintain 2 metres plus social distancing – except, of course, by anyone who you have advised us is exempt, as always (and do let us know if that applies to your child, and you have not informed us before – it’s no issue).
- We have not struggled to be consistent about wearing face coverings when the guidance stated we need to do so in both lessons and around school site – it is important that this does not slip if people choose to wear them now only in communal spaces/where social distancing cannot be maintained. We need the same consistency.
- Some curriculum areas sometimes require the flexibility to rearrange seating so that students can benefit from all facilities and the highest quality of learning experience, and this could mean that students would not be sitting in rows, facing the front all the time – in ALL such cases, this means face coverings must be worn apart from by anyone exempt. Teachers and support staff will make it very clear when this is the case. Another reason for us all to have our face coverings with us, at all times.
What we attempt to do here is to balance the potential educational impact in the previously recommended use of face coverings with the benefits we are advised that they have in managing transmission in the guidance from the DfE and Public Health England. We will be immediately responsive to guidance that asks us to adjust once again our expectations on face coverings, mindful of a press conference from the PM today.
We are so grateful for our students and colleagues’ ongoing support with this. Should you have any questions, please continue to use our dedicated firstname.lastname@example.org email address as many of you have done throughout this time. We always benefit from your questions, checking and suggestions as we continue to navigate all this together.
It is great to see how many of our students choose to cycle to and from school, but we wonder if we could ask for your very specific support at home with important messaging around safety?
We currently have young people cycling without helmets and cycling without due care and attention when they are on the roads around our school, and, indeed on some pavements. Mr Hewitt, Deputy Head, is doing his all to get round the community following up any areas of concern about this that community members report to us, and we are very glad we do.
However, we do need your support to discuss with your children the expectations around safe cycling and why they are there – we know the roads around our school and our neighbour schools are busy and it seems to us that some students do not regard this with the respect it needs to have for their safety and for drivers’ safety, too.
Tutors will have given out important messaging to your children this morning and we would love it if you could do the same at home – perhaps if we are all resolute with our children about this, we will really see an important improvement that’s in their interests and in the interests of all of us who drive safely in our community.
Finally in this respect, I am keen to hear from you if your daughter cycles to and from school – I had an interesting insight into just how many of our boys cycle compared to our girls, and I would love to talk to your daughter if she cycles, or if she would like to cycle but something is preventing her. Do drop me a line at email@example.com
Hot Choc Mondays and Fridays:
Just a thank you to you all who nominated children in our community for their Magical Moments during the lockdowns we have experienced – it is creating lovely opportunities for me or other members of the Senior Team to meet children to tell them how proud of them we are because of what fantastic young people they are in a whole host of ways.
The stories that you have shared in your nominations of all the genuinely heroic ways your children have conducted themselves through this exceptional year are amazing.
Year 11 Study Leave, Enrichment and Masterclasses:
We've spoken at length about how we can support you in the last few weeks of your assessment window and, along with the masterclasses which we've lined up after May 28th we've looked into our Study Leave provision. More information can be found in the specific message we sent a couple of days ago, including changes from next Thursday, the bespoke timetable of remaining subjects and assessments via ePraise and the enrichment opportunities available to all of Year 11. This can be accessed below (click link):
Year 11 Prom:
Thank you for your patience with us as we establish a safe way to run this important event, and reflect on the cost implications of it for you, and ways we can help.
We are close to being able to issue the details – I know it has been a frustration to some that we have not done so yet, and/or that we consulted students on their preferred type of venue before getting to the nitty gritty of finance. We did that because the cost differentials between types of venue are often considerable, so we wanted to gather student thoughts on that first, but I have reflected on the impact of doing so for parents/carers and we apologise for inconvenience caused.
It’s unique times to be preparing this event – so I do thank you for your forbearance as we do our all to come up with an event to be proud of, if it remains safe to do so according to the ‘roadmap’, in the end.
We are also reflecting on what we will do to celebrate with those who wish to from the Class of 2020 in the Autumn – we haven’t forgotten.
Wishing you all a happy and restful weekend, when it arrives, and the hugest thanks for all of the support and communication we benefit from all the time,
Kathryn Marshall and the Noadswood Leadership Team