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Information for Parents about Returning to School - Part 1

Please find below further information about the reopening of Lady Manners School in September.  The information is in a question and answer format and we hope that this will provide you with a clearer picture of how the school will operate from September.  We will be writing to you again later in the summer as further details are finalised.  Within that communication, there will be information of how to contact the school should you have any questions or require further clarification.  We know that there will be lots of useful questions from parents and carers, but if we could respectfully ask you to wait until the second communication has been sent out to contact the school, we would be very grateful.

For your reference the latest government guidance for parents and carers can be found here.

Parent/Carer Information - Reopening of Lady Manners School in September

When will my child return to school?

In order to ensure that the students have time to get used to the new arrangements in school, we are staggering the start of the new term for each year group.

  • Year 12 and Year 7 students start on Wednesday 2 September
  • Year 8 and Year 10 students start on Thursday 3 September
  • Years 9, 11 and 13 start on Friday 4 September.
Are you staggering the school day?

No, our school day will start at 9am and finish at 3.35pm for all students.

What happens when my child arrives at/leaves school?

Each year group will have a designated entry and exit around the school and students will be directed to their entrance from the bus bay/drop off point. The buses will use the bus bay and parents and carers can use the drop off bay in the morning. We ask that you drop off your child and then leave the site immediately so that we can move students efficiently to their designated teaching areas. At the end of the day, students will return to their buses in their year group bubbles. Students walking, cycling or being picked up by car will make their own way. If you are collecting your child, please be aware that the bus bay will be unable to accommodate any cars at the end of the day due to the amount of buses on site. We ask that you park farther away from the school and that your child walks to meet you, taking care not to mix with students from other year groups.

How will the school transport work?

The school buses will be running as planned, however we are awaiting further guidance from both Derbyshire County Council and the government which we will update parents/carers with in our next communication. The government is encouraging students to walk or cycle to school, where possible, and we are looking at how we can accommodate more students’ bicycles. The government guidance is that all students over the age of 11 wear face masks when using public transport and this includes the school buses. Students will need to bring a plastic bag for their face mask and adhere to good mask hygiene. The bus companies will be aware of our arrangements for ‘bubbles’ and the students will be encouraged to sit with other students in their bubble.

What does my child need to bring?

Your child will need all of their normal school equipment. In their pencil case they should have the following items:

  • Pen
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Calculator (scientific)
  • Eraser
  • Highlighter pen
  • Glue stick
  • Compass
  • Protractor
  • Small box of coloured pencils
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Small pair of safety scissors

Limiting the sharing of equipment helps to reduce the spread of the virus, so it is important that students have their own equipment. Other than their school bag and equipment, students should not bring additional bags to school. Students will be informed of where they can leave musical instruments.

What does my child need to wear?

Students will return to school in full school uniform. There may be instances on days where students have PE, that full PE kit may be worn all day to avoid the use of changing areas and further information about this will follow in due course.

Will my child be in a bubble?

Yes, we will be operating in year group bubbles. Each year group will have designated classrooms and social space. This information will be shared and explained to students during their first day at school.

Does my child need to socially distance?

Good hygiene and social distancing are major factors in reducing the spread of the virus, so we will be asking students to be vigilant. Social distancing does not need to happen in the classroom between students or between students in a bubble. However, we will ask students to avoid gathering in large groups within their bubble at break or lunch and there will be orderly queuing systems for entry into classrooms and lunch areas. In accordance with the government guidance, students must socially distance by 2 metres from all staff members.

Will my child need to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser?

Yes, students must clean their hands when they arrive at school, when they return from break, when they change rooms and before and after eating. Hand sanitiser is available in every classroom and in communal spaces, such as corridors. Toilet blocks with hand basins will be available to each bubble.

What will happen at break and lunchtime?

During both break and lunchtime, students will remain in their bubble. At break time, students will need to bring their own snacks as there will not be an opportunity to buy food. The catering team will be providing all lunches (hot and cold) in a grab bag and students will be seated for their lunch. To avoid the use of the biometric system, students will be given a coloured lanyard and card holder to hold a new lunch card pass. Between uses, the dining areas will be cleaned ready to welcome the next bubble.

How will form groups be arranged?

Form groups will be in rooms within their designated teaching area. Students will have additional time with their form tutor in the first week so that all of the new arrangements can be clearly explained.

How will the lessons be arranged?

Students will remain in their bubble for their lessons and in their designated teaching rooms for most of their lessons. There will be occasions where they may move to a specialist area, such as PE, but this will be managed in order to minimise contacts with students in other bubbles. If different bubbles use a specialist area within one day, there will be cleaning time in between the groups to ensure that it is prepared for the next group.

How will the classrooms be arranged?

In line with the government guidance, classroom desks will be arranged in rows. Where possible, there will be a designated teacher space at the front of the classroom. Where possible, doors will be propped open and the windows will be open for increased ventilation. In rooms where the furniture is fixed, additional safety measures have been implemented, such as screens between facing computers.

Will there be any visitors allowed on site, such as peripatetic music teachers?

We will be limiting our visitor numbers on site in accordance with the government guidance. Regular visitors, such as school support workers, will be able to attend the school in their normal capacity. Any parent or carer wishing to visit the school will need to make a pre-arranged appointment so that we can organise an appropriate meeting space.

Will there be any assemblies or large gatherings?

For the first half term, we have taken the decision to deliver our weekly assemblies remotely to the students in order to minimise large group gatherings. These will be delivered via the electronic whiteboard in their form room and we will review this at half term. There will not be any parents’ evenings in the first half term but we are currently planning some virtual information evenings for parents and carers who have children in the examination year groups (Year 11 and Year 13) or who are new to the school (Year 7 and Year 12).

Will there be extra cleaning in the school?

Yes, we have to provide a full risk assessment and part of our risk assessment is to enhance the cleaning regime around the school both during the school day and at the end of the day. In addition to the normal cleaning, frequent surface contact areas such as door handles, toilet blocks and banisters will be cleaned regularly throughout the day. We are also appointing additional cleaning staff to support this important work in school.

How will equipment be cleaned?

Everyday equipment (pens/pencils) will be retained by the students and we will be providing every child with their own mini-whiteboard and dry wipe pen. Shared equipment, such as PE or DT equipment will need to be cleaned after use and there are strict guidelines for the school to follow.

Will extra-curricular activities continue?

During the first half term we aim to offer extra-curricular activities within the year group bubbles.

What happens if someone in the school community contracts COVID-19?

The government has provided clear guidance related to the virus. Firstly, no student or staff member should attend school if they have coronavirus COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive for the virus in the last 7 days. If a member of your household develops symptoms, a test should be arranged and the rest of the household must self-isolate for 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms or until a negative test result is received. If your child develops symptoms at school, they will be isolated in a designated area and you will be contacted to take them home immediately. A test will need to be arranged for your child and we may provide a home testing kit. We ask that you inform us immediately of the results of any coronavirus test for your child. If someone in our school community is diagnosed with coronavirus, we will contact the local health protection team and they will advise the school of the next steps, which may involve the national test and trace programme and asking some students, staff or bubbles to self-isolate. We will have a full and detailed COVID-19 emergency plan in school which will be available to parents and carers in due course.

How can I help my child to understand all of the information?

It would be very helpful if you could talk through this information leaflet with your child. We will be reiterating this information in the first week and regularly as we work through the first half term. Students will need to get into the habit of cleaning their hands when they change spaces and also not sharing any of their equipment. Students should also be mindful of not gathering in large groups during social time. We will be reminding the students about the behaviour policy when they return to school, but we would like to stress that any inappropriate terminology, behaviours or discussion about COVID-19 will not be tolerated. We will all need to be mindful of each other and of each other’s feelings during this time.

Are there any school work activities that my child can engage with over the holidays?

Thank you for supporting your child with remote learning so well in these last few months. It is crucial that all students and parents and carers have a rest over the summer break from school and lessons, so please do encourage your child to have a complete break for at least part of the holiday. However, quite a few students and parents and carers have asked us for some way of keeping in touch with school and preparing for the start of the new school year. Therefore, all subjects have prepared a few optional activities for students over the break these are:

  • Knowledge builders for Years 7-10 - students are familiar with these and they could be used to look back over the topics and areas of study from this year
  • Wider reading/research suggestions
  • 2 to 3 review activities that students can do to help remember key knowledge from this academic year

All of these activities will be available on Myvle under Summer Optional Activities accessed easily via a button on the home page of Myvle with separate sections for each subject and year group, Years 7-10 and 12 (Year 11 already have their own page of induction activities). We completely understand that many students and families will need a complete break for the whole holiday period, so if students do not look at these optional activities please be reassured that it will not disadvantage them at all. Teachers are going to start in September with new topics to ensure that all students start the new year in a positive way and feel that they are all on the same footing. As the term progresses, teachers will start to introduce retrieval activities and ways of identifying any gaps in students’ knowledge and understanding so that we can work to bridge gaps and support students to be on track with their learning.

In addition, we have put together a short list of suitable novels that students may wish to read over the summer as a change from sitting in front of a screen. These are cheaply or freely available from various sources and are listed in the English sections of the optional work pages.

Due to necessary maintenance of our IT systems in school, Myvle will not be available on the following dates during the holidays:

  • Thursday 13 August
  • Monday 24 August to Tuesday 1 September inclusive

There will also not be any access to the school IT systems on Monday 17 August.

Is there any support available if my child is anxious about the return to school?

Our aim is to provide a working environment that is as safe as possible for all of the school community, adhering to the Derbyshire County Council risk assessment, Public Health England and government guidelines. However, we do appreciate that several months of disruption will have affected people in different ways. Our Changing Lives mental health team can offer excellent support over the summer through a self-referral system. Their service offers one to one confidential support and advice to any student or parent, however small the issue may seem. Their contact details and details for other services can be found on the keeping safe page of this website. If your child is anxious, please do contact the school so that we can discuss any further support measures.

Will I receive any further information about the school reopening?

Yes, as more details are finalised, we will write to you towards the end of the summer break with further information about returning to school in September. This will also include any changes to government guidance that we receive and further information about transport.

We hope this information is useful.