Posted on: 16/10/2020 How Coronavirus has Affected Me and My School This week’s prefect topic is on the Coronavirus pandemic and its impact on young people.
By Hassan A, School Prefect
It’s strange to think that a year ago, none of us had ever heard of coronavirus. Even until January of this year, there were only vague rumours of a spreading virus in some distant city called Wuhan, in China. Nobody could have imagined how many lives would be lost and how many personal freedoms would be lost.
Within a few months, the virus' reach became much wider than just Wuhan, and as we all know, from March the country was told to: “stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives”. Schools were closing, and it’s fair to say that every student relished lockdown for the first month or so, relaxing at home without any worries. Microsoft Teams sessions were running throughout lockdown, which provided something resembling school lessons, but they were never quite the same. Imprisoned at home for so long, there was only so much to do, and the repetitive routine started to get to us.
It wasn’t until lockdown restrictions had eased in mid-June that students were called into school for weekly lessons in class-sized groups. It was a relief for me and many of my friends to be able to get out of the house and see each other again after three long months. I don’t think anybody was ever as glad to go back to school as students this June.
Since September, school has resumed as normal as possible in these strange times. Social distancing and hygiene measures are in place to ensure our safety, and while many students find these precautions cumbersome, they are in place to make sure things don’t get bad enough for us to be sent home again. Above all, I think that’s what we all fear most.
Posted on: 9/10/2020 Mental Health Issues in Young People – Don’t Let Them Suffer in Silence Weekly Opinion Piece from our Prefect Team:
by Ife A, Lead Prefect
About 1 in 5 young people aged 13 to 19 experience a severe mental health disorder at least once in their lifetime. Over one third of students with a mental health condition, aged between 14 to 21, have the highest dropout rate in education of any disability group, highlighting how many people are not gaining support and are just giving up. They cannot find the help they need.
Mental illness is a very important issue. Lots of people have suffered with mental health conditions, such as bi-polar, or have had a history of depression through their lives, and we are now seeing a large chunk of teenagers who struggle with anxiety or depression. If this issue manifests itself in the classroom, then awareness would increase, meaning more establishments would open for support and treatment.
Mental illness starts in early childhood, becoming a normal way of life for adults who remain untreated. This is why we need to offer help at the early stages of development. We need to spread awareness about teenage depression to put a stop to suffering in silence.
Teenage mental health severely impacts a young person’s ability to succeed at school and, in their day to day live, depression and suicide rates increase if left unexplored. We need to protect our young people to keep them safe, healthy and happy.
Too many teenagers continue to feel alone and suffer. By improving education about teenage mental health we can create awareness and hope. We can save lives.
How can we support our friends in school?
Be friendly with people, even if you don’t know them
Be kind - you never know what people are going through
Go the extra mile - check if someone is okay if they look unhappy and offer a helping hand
Speak to someone in school if you are worried about someone.
World Mental Health Day is on 10th October 2020. Look after your loved ones.
Mental Health Charities
Charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.
Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm)
Mental Health Foundation
Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.
Young suicide prevention society.
Phone: HOPElineUK 0800 068 4141 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm and 7pm to 10pm, and 2pm to 5pm on weekends)
Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.
Phone: Parents' helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)
Posted on: 28/08/2020 Returning to School Overview of how school will operate from September 2020:
Please bear in mind that these arrangements will be reviewed regularly. They may also change quickly in the light of amended government guidance in response to the local/national situation with regards covid19.
Students have been invited in to school in year group ‘bubbles” over Thursday 3 and Friday 4 September (see schedule below). They will have the opportunity to see each other in their form groups, have a brief assembly and see what the school looks like, before being dismissed. Students should arrive in school through their dedicated entrance, as outlined below. They should arrive no more than 10 minutes before their allocated entrance time.
Thursday 3 September:
Year 10 9.00 am – 11.30 am. ENTRY POINT A (gate next to Leisure Centre entrance via car park)
Year 11 9.30 am – 12.00 pm. ENTRY POINT C (student entrance on Dean Road)
Year 13 10.00 am – 12.15 pm. Entry through main reception
Friday 4 September:
Year 7 8.30am -11.00 am. Families to drop students off at the front of the school. Students will be walked by staff from the area outside of Reception to their dedicated entry point. Students will leave via ENTRY POINT A (gate next to Leisure Centre entrance via car park)
Year 8 10.00 am – 12.30 pm. ENTRY POINT B (gate at the back of the Kipling building via Dean Road)
Year 9 10.30 am – 1.00 pm. ENTRY POINT C (student entrance on Dean Road)
Please ensure that students have water, snacks and writing equipment with them.
1.Travel to and from school:
All students are encouraged to walk or cycle to school where possible. They should also try and stay within their “bubbles” and avoid congregating before or after school. If the use of public transport is unavoidable, then students must wear a face covering for the duration of the journey. We will advise the students as to how to remove face coverings safely on their arrival in school. Further guidance on this can be found at the end of this letter.
2. Attendance in School:
All students are expected to attend school full time from September, in line with government guidance The controls we are putting in place operationally are designed to make the school a safe place for all Information about reporting a suspected Covid infection can be found in the revised behaviour policy.
3. The School Day:
We will be operating a two week timetable to facilitate the delivery of the full curriculum on site.
We will remind families and students of which week this is through the website and the weekly newsletter.
We will operate a staggered start and finish to the school day.
The first full week of learning will start on Monday 7 September (week 1)
KS3 (years 7-9) students will be expected in school at 8.35 to start lessons at 8.45 am.
KS3 students will finish their school day at 14.00.
KS4 (years 10 and 11) students will be expected in school at 10.25 am to start lessons at 10.35 am.
KS4 students will finish their school day at 15.50.
KS5 (year 13) students will attend school for their scheduled lessons – this will vary across the week.
Each year group will have a dedicated entry point to school. Please note that staff will collect students from the entry point, and students should not arrive more than ten minutes before their allocated entry time. This is to try and preserve as much social distancing as possible:
Year 7: 8:35 arrival- ENTRY POINT A (gate next to leisure centre entrance via car park)
Year 8: 8:35 arrival- ENTRY POINT B (gate at the back of the Kipling building via Dean Road)
Year 9: 8:35 arrival- ENTRY POINT C (student entrance on Dean Road)
Year 10: 10:25 arrival- ENTRY POINT A (gate next to leisure centre entrance via car park)
Year 11: 10:25 arrival- ENTRY POINT C (student entrance on Dean Road)
Sixth Form: Entry through main reception
Students will be taught in year group “bubbles”, minimising movement through the school day.
Lessons will be taught in 90 minute sessions, amounting to 3 lessons a day for each year group.
Teachers will move to the classrooms to teach, minimising movement around the school.
The early Friday finish to allow for staff PPA will now happen fortnightly at the end of Week 2 only.
KS3 students will finish school at 12.00 pm
KS4 students will finish school at 14.00
4. Learning and Homework:
All homework will be set on Satchel (formerly show my homework), and most of it will continue to be submitted by students on Satchel.
5. Pastoral Support and Well-being:
Each tutor group will have a dedicated area on Teams for notices and activities. Assembly will take place once per week on Teams.
Individualised tutorial support will also take place through the school day in the designated year zones of the school.
The staggered start and end to the day for different year groups will allow for flexibility of providing additional support to students as and when necessary.
The pastoral team will continue to work with students on an appointment-only basis
6. Break and Lunch Arrangements:
Break and lunchtimes will be staggered.
We have moved away from operating a finger print service to pay for food.
All students will be issued with a lanyard and a card for payment.
We encourage children to bring a packed lunch where possible.
There will be no food provision at break time. A limited menu for lunchtime will be available, operating on a pre-ordering system. Details about how this will work will be sent in due course.
Free schools meals will still be provided.
We will not be operating a breakfast club for the first couple of weeks in September. We will advise you when and how this will be running again.
7. Additional Measures:
We will be operating a revised behaviour for learning policy and will send you this once this has been finalised.
The behaviour policy contains information about most of the additional measures we are taking.
The home – school agreement will be amended and sent to you in the light of this.
PE changing rooms will be out of bounds until further notice. Students are asked to attend school in PE kit on the days that they have Dance or PE.
Students will not be allowed to sing, or play a wind or brass instrument.
Peripatetic music lessons will continue virtually.
Students are expected in full school uniform on the days they do not have Dance or PE.
Please refer to the behaviour policy on our website for guidance about makeup, hairstyles, piercings etc.
As the situation has unfolded over the Summer break, we have taken the decision to encourage staff to wear face coverings around school; students may wish to wear face coverings in communal areas in school. Current government guidance does not advise students to wear face coverings in classrooms. Should a student need to wear a face covering in class, then please request this formally by email to your child’s Head of Year, outlining the reasons for this. Extra information about face coverings is included at the end of this article.
Residential school trips are currently not advised by the government.
Please click on this link or paste it into your browser to see the latest advice from the government to families about the start in September. This should help contextualise the steps we are taking in the re-organisation of our school:
8. Face Coverings – additional information:
A face covering is something which effectively covers the nose and mouth. It is not classified as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which is used in a limited number of settings to protect wearers against hazards and risks. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. We also ask that these are as plain as possible and do not carry any advertising or other messages which could be construed as controversial.
A face covering should:
Cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably
Fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face
Be secured to the head with ties or ear loops
Be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton
Ideally include at least two layers of fabric (the World Health Organisation recommends three depending on the fabric used)
Unless disposable, be able to be washed with other items of laundry according to fabric washing instructions and dried without causing the face covering to be damaged.
When wearing a face covering you should:
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on
Avoid wearing on your neck or forehead
Avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus
Change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
Avoid taking it off and putting it back on a lot in quick succession.
When removing a face covering:
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before removing
Only handle the straps, ties or clips
Do not give it to someone else to use
If single-use, dispose of it carefully in a residual waste bin and do not recycle
If reusable, wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed
Once removed, store reusable face coverings in a sealable plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them
If the face covering is single use, dispose of it in a residual waste bin. Do not put it in a recycling bin.