I hope this letter finds you well and that you share in our excitement ahead of the new academic year. It was only a fortnight ago that we had the pleasure of seeing our year 11 and year 13 students collecting their fantastic results and look forward to helping another cohort of students to achieve their potential. We are looking forward to welcoming all students back to school throughout the course of this week and details of the testing arrangements and return dates for each year group were included in the letter shared on 6 August. The link to that letter can be found here for your reference. If your child has not already noted the date and arrangements for their return to school, it is important that they do so as this is different for each year group.
Please can I ask that all students attending school for their test do so in full school uniform, allowing us to clearly identify everyone on site as a member of the school community. Students should enter the school from the Broadway entrance for their first test, making their way to the sports hall. There will be staff on hand to support students, particularly those in year 7 who may not be familiar with the site. You may have seen that there is extensive scaffolding around the sports hall and gym that is in place whilst investigative works take place. There is clear signage in place, however, we will be talking to students during their first assembly about being safe and sensible when moving around this area of school.
We will also be talking to students about the daily routines in school such as breaks, lunches, face masks, the use of hand sanitisers, expectations and the new gates around the perimeter of school. For many students, they will not have experienced our ‘normal’ routines due to the covid restrictions that have inevitably been in place to adhere to government guidelines and we understand that it will take a few days for students to commit these to memory. We will be working with students to ensure that the return to these routines is as smooth as possible and ask that, as always, all students listen carefully to any instructions given by staff.
We will continue to follow government guidance in relation to covid protocols but would like to add further clarity specifically to the wearing of face masks. The government has strongly recommended that face masks are worn on public transport and whilst there is no legal obligation, we will be encouraging students to do this where possible. Face coverings are no longer advised in schools, either in the classroom or on the corridors, however, any child who would like to wear a face mask will be supported in doing so. If there is any change to the guidance from local or national government regarding face masks or any other covid safety measures, we will keep you informed. In this instance, however, exemptions would remain in place for any child with a medical condition or in situations where the wearing of a face mask causes any unnecessary stress or anxiety.
The fence and gate system around the school site is now fully installed and functioning. The gates will be open each morning from 8am until 8.45am following which they will close and lock. Any student arriving after this time will have to enter through the main reception on Green’s Lane. Please could we ask for your continued support to ensure your child arrives promptly to school, prior to the 8.40am start time, as we want to work with you to ensure that your child’s attendance and punctuality is excellent, allowing them to make the most of all the learning opportunities available. School attendance nationally was obviously significantly reduced during covid and we will be placing great emphasis on this issue on our return.
Finally, I would like to remind all parents of the ongoing pastoral support we have in place, including the Mental Health in Schools Team for years 7-11 and Lancashire Mind in the Sixth Form. As well as our own experienced staff, we continue to actively work with over 50 external agencies to offer specific and specialised support where it is needed. If you do feel your child would benefit from additional support in relation to their emotional wellbeing, please contact the relevant head of year in the first instance.
If you have any concerns regarding this letter or would like to discuss any issue, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Russell Clarke, Headteacher