Further to our announcement on Wednesday we would like to offer more detail on our reopening arrangements.
- Exam certificates will be given out from Activity Studio as planned on Monday 4 January.
- Those coming into school for examinations next week, please report to reception where you will be directed to your exam room.
- The school canteen will be closed next week and Free School Meal vouchers will be provided. The following week it will be open for year 11 and 13 students, with vouchers available for those at home.
- Students who are eligible under the government scheme for a laptop will be contacted on Monday 4 January to organise collection. Sadly, unlike with the first lockdown we are not able to facilitate the loaning of equipment outside of this scheme
- Critical workers and parents/carers of those classed as vulnerable, can find further information about supervised online sessions in school by emailing email@example.com
- We will contact school transport at Worcestershire County Council on Monday 4 January and publish further information after speaking to them.
We will be asking teachers to follow our normal daily timetable structure, with some online learning offered in each slot:
08:50 Session 1
09:45 Session 2
10:55 Session 3
11:50 Session 4/lunch 1 & 2
12:45 Session 5/lunch 3 & 4
13:40 Session 6/lunch 5
14:30 Session 7
Tutor sessions (10.35) will continue, focusing on tutors offering wellbeing and pastoral care and support. All other tutor time activities such as PSHE, assembly delivery etc will be suspended until we return fully on 18 January. Further mental health and wellbeing support during this time of uncertainty can be found here.
Teachers are asked to offer video sessions where possible as seeing the teacher improves student engagement with the lesson. They will use a blurred background for privacy if teaching from home, with students using sound only.
At the start of the Christmas break, the government offered schools the option:
- To test staff regularly and offer close contacts of COVID-19 cases daily testing as an alternative to self-isolation
- To mass test the whole school population at the start of term before teaching starts
For each individual student and staff member testing is optional, and no-one is forced to take a test. Tests are Lateral Flow Tests (LFT) and are self-administered with support. The results are available within 30 minutes. Anyone testing positive is sent home to book a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, to confirm the result. If you have not yet given consent to be tested but wish to do so, the link to our online form can be found here.
As a senior team we are committed to making our school as safe as we possibly can. Whilst the timing and communication of this offer by central government has been problematic, we are nevertheless keen to offer tests to our whole school population if we realistically can. You may be aware from other communications that we have been in extended negotiations with Worcestershire County Council to reopen Bewdley Youth Centre. The eventual aim when restrictions are lifted is to reopen it as a Youth Centre.
We are currently negotiating a 25 year lease with the Council, but they have kindly agreed to offer us an ‘emergency license’ to use the premises as our COVID-19 testing centre. This will take some time to set up as the building has been closed for many years, but we have been working on this over the holidays and will reopen the centre as quickly as possible. In the short term we will not be using the school gym for curriculum delivery until 18 January, so this may be used as our backup testing centre until then.
Testing kits are due to arrive in school on Monday 4 January, and whilst teachers will have an online training day, senior leaders will be reviewing the guidance and materials provided by the government and attempting to turn them into a detailed testing plan. The government have provided an estimate of funding of £15,300 to set the test centre up and staff it, and as such we have advertised for paid and volunteer staff on our vacancy page. If you are interested in helping in any way, please do get in touch. We will also be reviewing these applications on 4 January.
Please note that all our latest news and information in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.
The new variant of COVID-19 appears to be more infectious to young people than the original strain, and we will keep you updated of further measures in this rapidly changing situation.
Thank you for your continued support, and Happy New Year to you all.