I hope you and your family have enjoyed the summer break and you are looking forward to your child(ren) returning to school in September. I fully understand many students, and their parents, may be feeling anxious about returning school, and I would like to reassure you that we continue to make the safety and wellbeing of all our staff and pupils our number one priority.
If you haven’t read my letter dated 16 July 2020, I would urge you do so, as it gives important information about the start of the year and some of the arrangements that will be put in place to ensure this return to school is as safe as possible. The letter can be viewed here.
Our new Year 7 parents should have received a link to a letter to them (available here), which referred to the letter to existing parents. Please note the request for parents not to drive down Greens Lane as the turning circle will not be in operation. New Year 7 parents may want to accompany their children on foot to the sixth form building on Thursday, though minimising the number of adults on site would be a help. Students should arrive at school at 8.35 am. Members of staff will be there to offer a warm welcome our new students; we are all excited at the prospect of new, successful school year!
As I mentioned in my previous letter, the wearing of face masks in school is the subject of much debate, and this continues to be the case, with the advice on this changing overnight. As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to listen to the public health advice, and I will update you if the guidance on face coverings changes. At present, we are not insisting students wear face masks in school as we have taken steps to keep students in their bubbles; they will have breaks and lunchtimes in their year groups and each year group will be taught largely in different areas of school. However, face coverings will be expected on public transport.
Transdev have been very supportive with regards to transport and allocated some current services as school buses, so that the social distancing requirements on public buses are not relevant. I have attached a document they have provided which gives the revised bus times and have copied below the Commercial Director’s summary:
Customers from Bacup, Waterfoot and Rawtenstall. Our normal 844 school bus will run starting at Britannia and picking up in Bacup and Waterfoot then direct to school. A second bus will be provided starting at Waterfoot and this will also pick up in Rawtenstall Bus Station to allow customers to connect from other buses. These buses are ‘closed’ and only available for students.
We have changed the bus in from Rochdale, Norden and Edenfield. This is now service 841 not 842 and this will run five minutes earlier than last year which means it should be more convenient for customers who previously used the X41 from Woodlands Road in Edenfield. We have retimed the afternoon bus so it now leaves at school finish time. This will also serve Edenfield Woodlands Road, so customers who used the X41 to Edenfield should take this bus. These buses are ‘closed’ and only available for students
We have also included times of buses from Accrington and Blackburn which are normal service buses, we will provide a double decker from Accrington which ensure enough space.
Prices are unchanged from last year and term tickets can be bought on their app, at Rawtenstall Bus Station or online. Singles, returns, day and week tickets will be available from the driver, too. Students are requested to wear face coverings on the school buses and are required to try to sit with students in their year group wherever possible.
Whilst we are delighted to be welcoming all students back next week, and focusing on teaching and supporting them all, we cannot return to ‘normal service’ in September. We will be informing all students about how the school will operate and our expectations, via an assembly on their first day back; each year group will be split into three to ensure that our arts theatre will allow some social distancing and numbers of students to be limited.
I have really appreciated the very significant amount of support I have received from parents over the last six months in particular and look forward to this continuing over the next term as we continue to try to manage a unique, complex and rapidly changing situation. We are keen to continue to support the whole school community and answer any questions which you may have, however, we do need to minimise the number of visitors into school. Any meetings in school will therefore have to be booked in advance, via school reception, to ensure that we comply with government guidelines regarding safe practice. If you do have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email at email@example.com