1st September 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope this letter finds you well and refreshed after the summer break. We are very much looking forward to having our young people back at the academy and making up for the learning time that has been lost. We have continued to follow government guidance closely throughout the summer and can update you about how we will reopen as safely as possible. I am aware that we all have various concerns especially as the Covid issue has not been resolved and we must remain vigilant as we move forward into autumn and winter.
As we approach the new academic year, there are a few key reminders I’d like to share with you and I have also attached a quick reference guide for you.
We will be unable to operate social distancing in the same way as we have managed previously once all students are back with us. In other much larger schools they are operating year group bubbles of over 100 students. As we are a small academy in a grade 2 listed building we just do not have the space to accommodate this. As such we will operate as an academy bubble. Both Staff and students will be required to maintain social distancing of 1 metre or more from each other where possible.
Our main priority is to ensure that students who are unwell do not attend the academy and that high levels of hygiene are maintained through regular hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer when arriving at the academy and at the start of every lesson. As before, temperatures will be taken upon entry to the academy and we ask that if your child is ill that they remain at home.
Over the summer we have adapted our outside space at High Pavement to accommodate safely and securely bikes, so if your child wishes to ride into school please encourage them to do so. Please ensure that they wear a helmet if they are travelling into the academy by bike.
Please be aware that IF Nottingham city becomes an area where additional coronavirus restrictions are introduced, due to rising numbers of cases then these expectations will change and become more strict including compulsory wearing of masks and a change to attendance arrangements.
We understand that you know how important these measures are to keep us all safe but any behaviour that wilfully undermines the safety measures that the school has put in place or risks the safety of students or staff will not be tolerated. If incidents occur, then they will be treated as high level behavioural incidents and sanctioned accordingly. This will mean that parents/carers will be contacted and students will be asked to leave the academy and potentially fixed term exclusion will be considered.
Please discuss this with your child and emphasise the importance of respect and safety for all.
Examples of unacceptable behaviour might include:
Final note: The issue of face masks/coverings
The World Health Organisation published a statement on 21st August about children and face coverings. They now advise that “children aged 12 and over should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults, in particular when they cannot guarantee at least a 1-metre distance from others and there is widespread transmission in the area.”
Nationwide, the government is not recommending face coverings are necessary in education settings generally because a system of control, applicable to all education environments, provides additional mitigating measures. Schools will have the discretion to require face coverings in indoor communal areas where social distancing cannot be safely managed, if they believe that it is right in their particular circumstances.
Therefore we will recommend the wearing of face coverings – for pupils, staff and visitors – in communal areas of Stone Soup Academy where the layout of the school makes it particularly difficult to maintain social distancing when staff and pupils are moving around the premises.
The wearing of masks will be optional for staff and students but recommended. Please be aware that masks worn must be suitable for the Academy and not inappropriate.
Returning to Stone Soup is going to require a significant amount of adjustment on all our parts. For some, the return will be welcomed and for others it will be more challenging. Your child’s attendance to us is crucial. We will continue to work closely with you to manage and implement any changes necessary to ensure we are as safe as possible in this new and strange educational environment.
As always, if you have any concerns or queries, please contact us.