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End of Term Message to Parents – 18th December 2020

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our families.

I am writing to you as we are grappling with the latest DfE news story that schools will become testing centres for their staff and children and that we need to plan a staggered return to school in the new year!

This is a lot to comprehend and plan for in a few hours before we break up for a much deserved rest this Christmas. At the time of writing this message, we are still unclear about the details for January but wanted to share with you our current thinking, however, please check our website throughout the Christmas season, particularly from 1st January 2021.

Start of term

As you will be aware, we have a pre-planned staff INSET day on Monday 4th January 2021. This time has already been allocated to staff development and the recent government guidance says schools can use an additional INSET day to plan for the new testing regime. We will put a message on our website on 1st January 2021 if we are having an additional INSET day on Tuesday 5th January 2021.

Currently all students are expected to return to school for face to face lessons from Tuesday 5th January 2021. However, the latest government guidance is that schools should plan for a staggered return with only Year 11 students, plus students who are vulnerable, or children of critical workers in school, until Friday 8th January 2021. All other students are to stay at home to receive full time remote learning and return to school for face to face lessons on Monday 11th January 2021.

Again, we will clarify this with parents on 1st January 2021.

Vulnerable and key worker provision

We have already identified our vulnerable students and are asking for parents who are critical workers to complete the below form no later than Tuesday 29th December 2020.

Any students who are working remotely and are eligible for free school meals will be provided with a voucher for the first week of term. If you have any queries regarding FSM vouchers or your child’s access to a digital device for remote learning, please contact firstweek@kingsway.stocport.sch.uk 

Rapid testing

We are currently awaiting clarity on the government’s expectations of schools to conduct rapid COVID testing for staff and students. As previously mentioned, we will update our website in the new year with any details we have received. Please continue to inform the school of the outcomes of any COVID tests using our dedicated website covid@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk.

Finally, whilst this won’t be my last communication of 2020, I would like to pass on my thanks and festive wishes to all our parent community who have been immensely supportive during a uniquely tough term.

Mrs Lowe
Headteacher

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Year 11 Update – 19th November 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

Following the letter sent earlier this week, regarding proposals for Year 11, we have been listening to your feedback. It is clear that there is a wide range of views and there is not an ideal solution which will satisfy everyone. What we do know is that in our local area the rates of COVID-19 are particularly high, and therefore we cannot rule out the possibility that more families will test positive for the virus and some students will need to self-isolate. This causes disruption to students’ learning and teachers’ plans for teaching. 

Our immediate concern is to protect the Year 11 Pre-Public Examinations which take place from Friday 27th November to Friday 11th December. Already, we are well aware that the preparation for these exams has been affected for some students by the need to self-isolate for periods since the beginning of September. The aim is to minimise the risk of disruption during the exams themselves.

Having reflected on our proposal we have decided to modify the plan. Next week Year 11 students will attend school as normal, receiving their timetabled lessons in school. However, once the examinations start, students will only be expected in school when they have an examination. At other times, they will receive live lessons according to their timetable. For those students who have both morning and afternoon exams, they will remain in school and attend their timetabled lesson for period 3.

Our intention is to provide students with continuity in their studies and to reduce, as much as possible, the risk of spreading the virus between students during the examination period. There will be further information about the last week of term, but at present this is planned to be a normal school week.

The current situation is deeply unfair for our students, especially because schools in different parts of the country are not experiencing the same disruption.  We are making our concerns clear to the relevant authorities and parents have asked how they can support us. With this in mind, accompanying this email are two letter templates which can be sent to Gavin Williamson (Secretary of State for Education) and Andy Burnham (Mayor of Greater Manchester).

Thank you for your continued support in these most difficult of times.

Mrs J Lowe
Headteacher

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Year 11 COVID-19 Update – 17th November 2020

The close contacts have now been identified for the latest Year 11 case of COVID-19. All the close contacts have received a phone call and had an email containing the letter from Public Health England. They will return to school on Wednesday 25th November.

Those students who have been isolating, but have since not been identified as close contacts, will be able to return to school as normal tomorrow, Wednesday 18th November.

Work will be posted on Class Charts and available either on Google Classroom or with links to live lessons.

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Year 10 COVID-19 Update – 13th November 2020

Last Update: 15:00pm

This morning we were informed of a second case of COVID-19 within Year 10. This time we implemented a modified approach in our response. This is a trial to see if it is a better way of handling cases of COVID-19. Instead of sending the whole Year group home we have only sent home those students in the person’s friendship group, or who have been in a lesson with them during the infectious period. This has allowed about half the Year group to remain in school. Our experience has shown that there is little risk of keeping these students in school.

We are now identifying the close contacts from those students who were sent home. Families will be contacted by the end of today if they are a close contact. Close contacts will need to self-isolate until 24th November, and other students will be able to return to school as normal on Monday.

There was a supply teacher for 10X Science set 1 and we have used the usual seating plan. However, should your child believe they were in a different seat during the lesson then please contact school.

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COVID Safety and Visitors to School

May we remind parents that visiting the school is not allowed, unless you have been given an appointment. This is a key part of our COVID safety risk assessment.

Students should ensure they bring the correct equipment to school each day including a mask, homework and PE kit where necessary, as unfortunately parents cannot be admitted onto the school site to drop these off.

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

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