Phased re-opening of College

Dear Parents and Students

I am writing to you with further details of our plans for the phased reopening of Sir John Deane’s for year 12 students from Monday 15 June in order that some students receive face to face time with their teachers. Each student will be allocated one day per week for the three weeks left of the academic year. During their day in College a student will have lessons in all three of their subjects.  I believe that students will benefit enormously from this time with their teachers, and it is hoped that this can be the start of working towards a more familiar normality. I understand that families will have concerns about returning to College and the guidance document which was sent to you via email seeks to give you as much detail as I reasonably can to help you make a decision which feels right for your child.  I should add that the situation remains dynamic and should plans change in the light of new guidance and information, I will keep you informed and up to date. 

Remote education remains the predominant form of education.  Students who are unable to attend College will have access to the same materials and indeed similar opportunities as those who attend and students will not be disadvantaged. I would however, encourage students wherever possible to return, to have the experience of being in College in order to rebuild confidence and to feel revitalised and re-energised.

College looks and feels broadly the same, the campus looks beautiful and the street is pristine, having been freshly painted, and along with all other areas thoroughly cleaned.  However, there are significant changes which are vital to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone.  There are posters giving clear instructions, including an explicit indication of what 2 metres looks like in College.  There is a new one-way system which is logical and well planned.  Visitors to College will be by invitation only and the gates to the campus will be locked throughout the day.  Students will need to be ‘self-sufficient’ in terms of bringing their own snacks, lunch and refreshments, including water for the day as the dining room, vending machines and water fountains will not be open.

On the first day of College students will be taken through a detailed induction which will give them clear guidance on how they are expected to behave for their own safety and the safety of others.  The student day begins at 9.30 am, when they must go straight to their lessons, and ends at 2.30 pm.  The campus will be a closed site for much of the day, with access gates open from 9.00 am to 9.30 am and 2.00 pm to 2.45 pm for dropping off and collecting students, and for those students making their own way to College on foot or by bicycle.  Parents driving onto the campus may do so only between the stated times and whilst waiting they must remain in their car at all times, this includes all passengers.  A team of marshals will actively manage the campus and I anticipate your full support in making the environment as safe as possible.  Students should wear comfortable clothes with no unnecessary accessories and as windows will be open in all rooms it is advisable that they bring a pullover in case they feel chilly.

Students may only attend College on their allocated day and a text and email has been sent to studnets with confirmation of this. If for any reason a student arrives at College on a day other than their timetabled day, they will be supervised in a safe place until parents can collect them or arrange for them to return home.  They will not be allowed to join classes.  We must ensure that on any one day we do not exceed the planned total number of students in order to secure, as far as possible, everyone’s safety.

Students will most often be in classes of seven, and movement has been limited as much as possible.  Students will be supervised at all times and care has been taken to actively manage all areas including toilets, corridors and outdoor spaces.

At the end of the College day all students, including those students who are making their own way home, will be directed to go straight home and I would very much appreciate your support in reiterating this message.

It is with genuine regret that I confirm that College buses will not be in service for the remainder of the term.  In line with advice that public transport should be avoided at this time, as a College, together with the coach operators, we feel that it is best to exercise caution in order to ensure the safety of students.  I have been reassured that guidance should be available in the near future which will allow us to plan with certainty and confidence for the new academic year.

I understand that this new experience of College will be different and more structured, but I would wholeheartedly encourage students, where possible, to take full advantage of this opportunity.  I should reiterate that it is our dearest wish to rebuild our College community in a safe, measured and thoughtful way, whilst adhering to guidelines from Public Health England and the Department for Education. Be assured that we will not act alone.  We are continuing to listen, take advice and pay close attention to all the information available to us.

I look forward with hope and optimism to seeing year 12 students.

Yours sincerely

Miss K E Kirkwood