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Reopening of our School from September 2020 (Update 2)

August 26th, 2020 Comments off

Dear Parents and Carers

Introduction

I would like to start by saying that we are looking forward to seeing all our students return to school at the start of September and, in particular, meeting our new Year 7s in person for the first time. I hope over the last few months, despite the challenges we have all faced, families have been able to spend some quality time together and have enjoyed something of a summer break.

This September we are very excited to be fully reopening and welcoming all of our pupils back to school, it seems such a long time since we were all together at Harrow Way. Our school has been welcoming students in Year 10 back to school since June. We approached this with great caution, reviewing all the scientific advice to ensure that we could be as safe as possible. This has gone extremely well, as our safety measures and risk assessments were excellent. 

The Government has stated: ‘Given the improved position, the balance of risk is now overwhelmingly in favour of children returning to school. For the vast majority of children, the benefits of being back in school far outweigh the very low risk from coronavirus (COVID-19)’. Read more…

September 2020 Reopening

July 16th, 2020 Comments off

Dear Parents and Carers 

Reopening of our School from September 2020

You will have heard the government announcement that schools will be open for all students’ full-time education from September 2020. This letter is primarily designed to explain the provision that has been put in place for the start of next term. Our school has been welcoming students in Year 10 back to school since June. We approached this with great caution, reviewing all the scientific advice to ensure that we could be as safe as possible. This has gone extremely well, as our safety measures and risk assessments were excellent. Thank you to all those parents who sent your children back – it has been lovely to see them. 

The Government has stated: ‘Given the improved position, the balance of risk is now overwhelmingly in favour of children returning to school. For the vast majority of children, the benefits of being back in school far outweigh the very low risk from coronavirus (COVID-19)’. 

The guidance we have been given from the DfE has been thoroughly scrutinised by the senior team and we have developed an approach that, we believe, suits our students, parents and staff. At this moment in time, this is our plan but it may well change if further guidance is given stating we need less or more measures to protect those in the school. We will keep you updated via the school email/school website. Videos for the students are being created to get them ready for September and the changes that are being implemented. We will send these out before the start of term.  For Years 8-11 Term starts on Tuesday 8th September at 8.45 am. On the first morning, Students will be based in their tutor bases with their tutor getting used to the “new normal” and re-establishing relationships with staff and their classmates. Year 7 Students have two days’ induction on Friday 4th and Monday 7th September.

In preparation, there are some key points that you need to be aware of to ensure that your child is safe.

Read more…

Year 10 Phased Return

June 9th, 2020 Comments off

Dear Parents/Carers and Students

I am writing to you again to outline arrangements for the return of Year 10 pupils to Harrow Way School in line with the guidance received from the Department of Education. Below are the arrangements for the return from 15th June 2020. Places have been given to families that responded to our questionnaire about whether they would be able and willing to attend school. If you did not complete the original questionnaire or have now changed your mind about coming into school then please email jonathan.mann@harrowway.hants.sch.uk.

Arrangements 

  • We will not follow a normal timetable, nor will all students be in at once.  As I have previously mentioned, these lessons are not compulsory, and some parents may wish to keep their children at home even if schools do return.  A maximum of 25% of the Year 10 population will be in at any one time – 40 students
  • For Week 1 and Week 2 Students will receive face to face support in English, Maths, and Science. The groups will be based on teaching groups for Maths lessons
  • The table below shows which Maths class is on which day and how these groups are then divided by last name on those days

Read more…

Year 10 Return Update

June 2nd, 2020 Comments off

Dear Parents/Carers and Year 10 Students

Year 10 return: – Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on Sunday 24th May regarding the return of Year 10 and 12 pupils, I have received further guidance from the Department of Education on how this is to be implemented.  Clearly as a result of this guidance, the school is having to adjust the draft plans for year 10.  Over the next week, more steps will be taken to prepare the school for Year 10 to return.  I will share the plans  with you next week.  I will also produce a short video to show how the school site is ready for the return of Year 10 students.

Key points from the secondary guidance are as follows:

  • Any plans that secondary schools have made for pupils to return earlier in June should be amended to commence from 15 June.
  • Secondary schools should offer this face-to-face support to supplement the remote education of Year 10 and Year 12 pupils, which should remain the predominant mode of education during this term for pupils in these year groups.
  • Schools are able to have a quarter of the Year 10 and Year 12 cohort (for schools with sixth forms) in school at any one time.
  • Secondary schools should aim to practise social distancing in line with the measures the government is asking everyone to adopt in public and in workplaces, including keeping pupils 2 metres apart from each other where possible.
  • Ensuring sufficient distance between pupils is likely to mean classes are no more than half their usual size.
  • Mixing between different groups of pupils should be kept to a minimum.
  • Where rotas are used, secondary schools should avoid split day rotas within the same day and ensure that only a quarter of children are ever in the school on any one day. Vulnerable children and children of critical workers in all year groups should still be encouraged to attend full-time.
  • Within the guidance above, schools have the flexibility to implement face-to-face support for Year 10 and Year 12 pupils in the way that best suits their circumstances.
  • Vulnerable children and children of critical workers in other year groups should be accommodated as currently.

M J Serridge

Year 10 Students – parent update

May 22nd, 2020 Comments off

Thank you for completing the google form that was sent through on Monday. After careful consideration, I have decided that the earliest we will consider opening for year 10 students in any form will be the week beginning the 8th June. The 1st June was always more an ambition than an expectation and I can state categorically that Harrow Way students (except those already being accommodated) will not be back in School that week.

Since the Prime Minister’s announcement on the 10th May and the subsequent release of guidelines covering so many areas of life and particularly those pertaining to the education sector, it has been an absolute whirlwind with endless discussion and speculation. The situation, however, requires calmness, clarity, a solution-focused approach and, most importantly, time.

The next phase must not be rushed. In schools, this is the week where our preparation for a partial re-opening has become very real. We have already put in orders for signage, hand sanitizer for all classrooms being used. This week, I have personally, along with other senior colleagues and the site team, looked at rooms that could realistically be used whilst maintaining the required social distance and how we would implement a one-way system of movement around the site where required.  Please be assured that both supporting the learning and wellbeing of students and maintaining the health and safety of us all will remain the key factors in anything that we decide.

Once we have a clear path through this, I plan to share with all of you how we have prepared the school site for the return of Year 10 students. Please remember the intention and instruction for secondary schools is not to reopen fully for year 10 but to offer some form of time in school for students with teachers to support and inform the remote learning taking place at home.

Further details will follow after half term.

Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 – parent update

May 22nd, 2020 Comments off

Firstly can we say a huge thank you for supporting your child during this difficult time. Without parental support we could not continue to educate your children – you really are a vital part of our school community.

Guidance from the Government has obviously changed in recent days and we are preparing to welcome some students back during the next few weeks. However, it is clear that the vast majority of Years 7, 8 and 9 WILL NOT BE RETURNING to school before September.

This means that home learning is even more important. Students will need to keep up with their studies if they are to hit the ground running in the new academic year. Not only will it benefit them educationally but it will also help to improve their sense of wellbeing. Research has shown that having a routine, staying busy and active (mentally and physically) can all have huge benefits for young people.

Your child will continue to be set work in line with their normal timetable. This can be found in student diaries. This will mean that they will be set more work for Maths, English and Science than other subjects. It is expected that your child follows a normal school day – with breaks and down time – in an aim to replicate a usual school day. Every Monday morning the Harrow Way Cast will be sent to all students so that we can come together as a community and hear what you have been up to at home. In addition, we will share National Academy’s thought-provoking assemblies as well as Year team assemblies. Please also encourage your child to take part in the House competitions – these are posted on Show My Homework and cover a wide range of interests.

Work will continue to be set via Show My Homework using other applications like Google Classroom, My Maths, Seneca Learning, Tassomai and others. Teachers will record when work is submitted so that parents can check what their children are doing.   Read more…

Government announcement – phased reopening 

May 15th, 2020 Comments off

As I am sure you will have seen last weekend, the Prime Minister announced plans to ease some of the current lockdown measures as part of a “conditional plan” to reopen society. The plans include the proposal for a phased reopening of primary schools from 1st June beginning with Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children. No date was given for the reopening of secondary schools as yet, however, those students sitting exams next year (Year 10 and Year 12) will be prioritised. They indicated this will allow students to get some face-to-face contact with teachers to support their home learning.

It’s a very unsettling time for us all but rest assured that we’re going to be doing everything we can to make sure we’re ready to receive some Year 10 if it’s safe for our school to reopen in the coming weeks.  I will only invite those students back when and if the assessment of the risk is that it is safe for both children and staff to do so.

I want to reassure you that we’re not going to be pressuring any student to come into school. We’ll keep you updated with all our preparations for making sure the school is as safe as possible, so you and your child can make an informed decision about whether to come in. I will send further details to Year 10 parents next week.

Just as we have done over the last two months we will continue to provide parents with regular updates and will continue to share any further information as soon as we can on the timescales for the reopening of schools and the measures we are adopting to help keep students and staff safe. In the meantime, we will continue to focus on the home learning opportunities available for all our families which will include reviewing what we currently have in place. Further details on ‘Home Learning’ will follow towards the end of next week.

Message from Headteacher – 17th April 2020

April 17th, 2020 Comments off

Dear Parent/Carer

I hope you and your family are keeping safe and well, and you had a lovely Easter break. So, the summer term officially starts on Monday, but there is, in my view, no sign of us returning for some weeks. 

We are four weeks into choppy waters, four weeks since lockdown started, and life, as we know it, stopped. Our home, school, and social environments all changed overnight. We’ve found new ways of teaching and leading from home, checking on students, and innovative ways to keep our community feeling and operating as a community, despite our social distancing. Harrow Way was open over the Easter Holidays for the children of key workers and vulnerable students and will continue to be open for these students after the break.

Thanks to all you parents too for your continued support and kind words. A number of you, now with more time on your hands to reflect and put pen to paper, have very graciously been in touch this week to express your gratitude. Read more…

School Closure and Remote Working Arrangements

March 20th, 2020 Comments off

School Closure and Remote Working Arrangements

As you will have heard, the government has taken the decision to close schools for a period of time apart from those of key workers and vulnerable students. 

We expect that most of our Harrow Way families will be able to manage childcare provision. We are making a provision for students who cannot be at home during the school day, but this is only to be accessed if there is no alternative for your child, your family are not self-isolating and do not have symptoms. Details of the arrangements have been sent through to those involved already.

The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear: if children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.

No school buses will be running. Transport to and from school will be parents’ responsibility.

Thank you so much for your amazing support so far! 

Remote Working Arrangements Year 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 – Starting Monday 23rd March 2020

Teachers have been busy putting together work that can be completed at home – the details of which will be found below:

Read more…

Coronavirus Update – 19/03/20

March 19th, 2020 Comments off

School open as normal for all year groups –  Friday 20th March 2020

Last night the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Education announced that schools are to close at the end of the day on Friday 20th March 2020, except for the children of key workers (as defined by the Government) and pupils deemed vulnerable. 

At this stage we don’t know how long this closure will be for but we are working on the assumption that it is likely to be for some time.

We have been working on contingency plans in anticipation of this announcement and with two weeks of term time remaining, we want to reassure you that we will be providing your child with school work. Details of these arrangements will be emailed tomorrow

Schools have been asked to close to everyone except children of ‘key workers’ and ‘vulnerable children’ from Monday 23 March 2020. Please do let us know via the Google Form we have already sent out if you feel that you fall into one of these categories and no later than 10am on Friday 20th March.

All other children must stay at home from Monday 23rd March.

Read more…