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French Trip June 2020 Update

17th June 2020

The finance department has begun to refund payments made for the Paris trip. Each individual payment has to be refunded separately, so refunds will arrive in a few installments. Please don't be concerned if you have only received a partial refund so far, we estimate that these will take around a week to complete.

Thank you for your patience.

5th June 2020

As you know we have been waiting for our trip to be cancelled by PGL in order to try and acquire refunds for the deposits we've paid. On Monday we received confirmation from PGL that as government advice on travel has not been lifted, our trip has been officially cancelled from their end. We are incredibly disappointed to say that despite this, they are refusing to refund deposits.  We realise that many families may have financial concerns at this time and therefore the school is going to provide refunds to our parents/carers and claim the money back from the school's insurance. We are confident that we can reclaim all the money paid so far. 

We are currently working with ParentPay in order to make this happen as soon as possible. We will be in touch again when we have details of the date on which you should expect a full refund of all payments made towards the trip. 

Thank you so much for your patience whilst we have been sorting this. 

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Year 10 School Re-opening FAQs

Will the classes be with their usual teacher and students?
Class groups will not be the same as they were before the pandemic. They will consist of 8 students per class. The sessions will be taught by subject specialist teachers, who may be the same as before the pandemic but not necessarily.

In the Pastoral session students will be in groups from within their tutor group led by their form tutor. For the maths session students will be in groups according to the set they are in.

What will be taught in the sessions?
They will be taught by subject specialists who will gauge the progress students have made over the last few weeks. Errors and misconceptions will be addressed and new material delivered according to the progress made by the students. 

Will the content of the sessions be online too?
Yes. The materials used will reflect the remote learning content for that week. 

Will students wear uniform?
To help students back into the routine and culture of school they will wear a modified school uniform – school trousers/skirt and school shirt/blouse. They will not be required to wear school jumpers, blazers or ties. 

What protection methods are in place to prevent COVID-19?
The Government released COVID-19 protective measures for schools and these have been implemented in school. They include an emphasis on handwashing and hygiene. Hand sanitiser has now been located throughout the school, including entrances and exits. Each of the 12 socially distanced classrooms will have a dedicated hand sanitiser.

The cleaning routine in school has been enhanced. There will be more regular cleaning during the day and a focus on frequently touched surfaces.  A full bleach clean will happen at the end of the day.

What equipment will students need to bring?
Students will need their own stationery – pen, pencil ruler etc – and a calculator for maths and science sessions.

It is important that students only use their own equipment and do not share equipment with others.

They should bring with them the relevant books for each session.

Where are the entry and exit points to the buildings?
On Broadway students will enter school via the art corridor and use the exit via the gate by food technology.

On Foxland students will enter using the main entrance, and they will exit either by the gate under the “bridge” or at the exit at the bottom of the maths tower.

A map will be sent showing the one-way system and entrances/exits before students are due to be in school.

Can students bring their own hand sanitiser?
Yes. We would recommend students bring their own supply of hand sanitiser and tissues, although these will be available in classrooms.

How will families and students declare they are symptom free?
If a student or member of the household has symptoms of COVID-19 then the student is not allowed in school. In this situation families must phone the school reception and record the absence as COVID-19. School has to notify Public Health England of instances of COVID-19.

We will be reliant on the civil duty of families to inform the school.

On entering school, all students will again be asked if they, or a member of their household, has COVID-19 symptoms.

Do students have to attend?
These sessions are not compulsory and students will not be made to attend. Families and students will not be penalised for non-attendance.

How will you monitor if a student is symptomatic?
Teachers and students are aware of the main symptoms of COVID-19 as per the government guidance.

Both our welfare assistants are trained ex-nurses and will be in school each day to help assess any people showing suspected COVID-19 symptoms.

Will students need to line up socially distancing by 2m?
Social distancing will be applied in school. Indicative 2m markers have been placed at those areas where students are likely to queue, e.g. entrances and outside classrooms.

Why are longer sessions not being organised?
The government  have advised that only a quarter of Year 10 are allowed in school on one day, classrooms must be socially distanced, students are not allowed to mix groups during the day, and am/pm rotas are not permitted.

We have adopted this model because we believe it provides an appropriate balance between what can be delivered and the level of risk that may produce. We will continue to review our offer throughout the summer term and as government guidance changes.

What about the key worker provision, will it continue?
The Key worker provision will continue. It is very important that families complete the Key worker provision booking form the week prior to it being needed. This is so that the capacity can be managed to maintain social distancing and staffing ratios.

Key worker parents of Year 10 students must understand that their child cannot attend the Key worker provision and the Year 10 school provision on the same day. These cohorts have to be kept entirely separate according to the government guidelines.

Will students have their temperature taken and need to wear masks?
The current government guidance is that temperatures of students do not need to be taken in school, and we will not be checking temperatures on entry.

Students and staff will be free to wear masks, but at this stage we are not insisting upon this.

This will be under constant review.

How will teachers assess and fill gaps in learning for Year 10 ready for the GCSEs?
On this issue Government and the exam boards recognise the difficulties of this issue, and are currently considering possible solutions. Further information will be released by them as soon as possible, and they have indicated this should be available before the summer holidays. As yet Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examination Regulations) has not released information regarding any proposed changes to how the summer 2021 GCSEs will be assessed. 

With no clear information at this stage we are assuming that there are no changes. Therefore, we are currently:

  • providing teachers with a range of assessment strategies to be used during face to face lessons and remotely to establish the gaps than students have developed since the lockdown began
  • supporting Heads of Departments in reviewing their year 11 curriculum plans to ensure that students are taught key concepts which will support them in being able to make connections in their knowledge and understanding.

Will the pupils who have been completing the remote learning be held back by those who haven’t?
No. Teachers will use  arrange of assessment methods to identify the progress made by students during the pandemic. Gaps in learning will be pinpointed and ways for students to address these identified.

Does the school expect student grades to drop?
The government has not yet decided about the examination season for 2021, how these will be assessed and whether any changes are needed in the courses. It is therefore difficult to predict what the grading system will look like. We maintain regular communication with the professional organisations to ensure that we are up to date with current thinking; but much is to be finalised by them at this time.

What will the school put in place to support those who have fallen behind?
Heads of departments will be considering which learning in their syllabus is most critical and ensuring that those students who need it, get the support in gaining this key knowledge. 

Will English and maths be prioritised?
For the summer term face to face sessions, English, Maths and Science will be the initial focus along with support for students' in managing their well-being in respect of the losses they have incurred as a result of the pandemic.

Why are Year 10 only back for 2 hours a day?
In our provision we have followed the guidelines and recommendations from the government and Public Health England. The safety of staff and students is our priority. As a school we will be taking small steps in our wider opening to ensure that we are not risking any increase in the transmission of the virus. We will be constantly reviewing our plans to look at how we can increase the learning but not at the risk of increasing the spread of the virus to our community.

How will school feedback to parents because there has not been a parents evening and, in particular, Year 10 are concerned about GCSEs?
We will be addressing this issue during this term. Students will have received monitoring information prior to the closure of school. Following the first wave of face to face sessions, there will be communication with parents, particularly in terms of what their child can be doing at home (inc. during the summer holidays) to help them with their learning.

Will GCSE students be able to appeal their GCSE grades if they are not happy with them?
Ofqual has released the following statement to schools:

Under the circumstances, the normal arrangements for reviews of marking and appeals will not apply We are considering what arrangements might be put in place to allow an effective appeal and will consult on proposals shortly. Centres should expect the possible grounds of appeal to be relatively narrow and based on the application of the process.

Students who feel that their grades from the summer do not reflect their ability will have the opportunity to take their exams in the autumn series or summer 2021.

The autumn series is currently under discussion between the DfE, Ofqual and exam boards.

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ParentPay & Canteen Update

Dear Parents/Carers of Key workers,

If your child is in school from next week (15th June) can you please ensure their ParentPay account is topped up if they wish to purchase food and drinks from the canteen. During the first stage of lockdown, food and snacks have been provided free of charge as a goodwill gesture, however as we start to see increased numbers into school we will need to revert back to a paid facility. The canteen will slowly move towards increasing the food offer but will remain a limited service until fully reopened.

Due to the COVID-19 risk assessment cash will not be accepted in school therefore we encourage you to log in to ParentPay as soon as possible to add funds. Support is available via the school website if you have forgotten your login details. Alternatively, students can bring in a packed lunch to school.

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COVID-19 Uniform Update

Dear Parents and carers,

We are writing to reassure families that we are sympathetic to issues that some parents have raised with us with regards to returning to school in uniform.  As many of you will be aware current government recommendations about uniform are to come to school with daily laundered clothing. We have been working on trying to strike an acceptable balance - as we know many students will already have their uniform and we are expected to consult with the uniform suppliers 12 months before we make any changes; but we are also aware of the financial pressure that many of our families may find themselves in due to COVID-19

Our school uniform and preference would be to maintain the current uniform standards and expectation but because of the reasons outlined above at this unprecedented time we are making a COVID-19 exemption to uniform as follows:

With the following concessions of the blazer, tie, and the PE top, all other clothing can be non-branded as long as they follow the same design principles and closely match existing uniform e.g. a navy pleated skirt, v-necked navy jumper, white knee length sports socks and navy sports shorts.

With regards to the daily wearing of a blazer we will make further decisions about this closer to the time, in line with government guidance, but if these are required to be worn they should be branded as per the normal uniform policy. Any change to this will be clearly communicated in advance of students return to school.

We believe that asking students to return in uniform is important as the students will identify themselves as part of the Kingsway community, be ready to learn, and will eliminate issues with inappropriate dress or additional financial pressures to wear the latest trends or designer labels. Emotionally it will maintain the status quo as much as normal and ease the return to school by minimising significant change.

As we return to normal the expectation would be that the students would move back to the published uniform policy.

As with any other year if a family is finding any financial difficulty in providing their child with a school uniform, they are urged to contact the school directly so we can discuss further.

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Wellbeing Conversations

Over the next couple of weeks Form Tutors will be contacting all students on a rolling programme. This may be via a phone call or through Google Meet.

Tutors will be asking students how work is going and if there is anything they can do to help them as well as catching up and seeing how everyone is. Any queries should be directed to Form Tutors or Raising Standard Leaders.  A code of conduct has been sent to students via Class Charts and both parents and students should take a couple of minutes to read over this if they are accessing Google Meet. The code of conduct is also available below.

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