Start Of New School Year Information
Posted on August 27th, 2021
I trust that you are all enjoying the summer break, that pupils are feeling well rested and beginning to think about their return to school in September. We appreciate this is a busy time buying new uniform, ensuring pupils have the equipment needed for the start of term and fitting in any remaining family holidays. With this in mind, we are writing to confirm the arrangements for the start of the academic year.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that school attendance is mandatory for all pupils of compulsory school age. It is our priority to ensure that as many children as possible regularly attend school and to benefit from the learning opportunities available. Research shows that pupils who attend school regularly and on time make the best possible progress.
RISK ASSESSMENT AND HEATH & SAFETY NOTICES
The Academy’s Risk Assessment has been updated following guidance from the Department for Education (DFE) as the country moves to stage 4 of the Government’s roadmap. This will be available on the school website from September 2nd. The risk assessment is in line with current control measures outlined by the DFE below:
- Ensuring good hygiene for everyone.
- Maintaining appropriate cleaning regimes.
- Keep occupied spaces well ventilated.
- Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19.
We will continue to work alongside Public Health England and Worcestshire Children First – Local Outbreak Response Team (LORT) to monitor cases, plan for subsequent outbreaks and ensure robust practices are in place to limit transmission and focus on the safety of staff and pupils.
RETURNING TO SCHOOL
Pupils will return to full-time face-to-face educations as follows:
- Year 5 – Monday 6th September
- Year 6 and Year 7 – Tuesday 7th September
- Year 8 – Wednesday 8th September
This will allow Year 5, who were unable to visit the school on Transition Days, to feel more confident in their new surroundings before older pupils return – we understand this is an agreement in place with all local middle schools in Worcestershire.
In addition to this we are also staggering the start of face-to-face education in school for years 7 and 8 to allow for testing. Following DFE advice which states, “Settings may commence testing from 3 working days before the start of term and can stagger return of pupils across the first week to manage this.”
This will allow KS3 pupils to receive Asymptomatic LFD testing onsite prior to their return. Testing will then return to twice weekly, at home from 13th September 21. Please see the separate letter, sent to parents of pupils in Year 7 and 8 with further details.
On Monday 6th September, online tasks will be set for pupils in Years 6, 7 & 8. Year 8 will continue with online tasks on Tuesday 7th September. Further information will be sent to parent(s)/carer(s) during week commencing 30th August. Tasks will be designed to engage pupils in readiness for their return to school, support their well-being and we welcome your support in ensuring these are completed.
RETURNING TO SCHOOL – FAQs
Please take note of the following frequently asked questions based on pupils return to school:
8:30 – 8:45am
- KS3 (Year 7 & 8) enter school using the gate closest to the car park for the local convenience stores and access to the 3G pitch.
- KS2 (Year 5 & 6) use the gate closest to main reception.
- Staff will be on the gates to support pupils and parent(s)/carer(s).
- There will be no staggered start to the school day for year groups.
- At present there are no plans for Breakfast Club and there is no before school wrap-around support available.
8:45am – 3:15pm
- School Day Pupils will be in school for the full school day from 8:45 – 3:15pm and will access five lessons every day.
- There are no ‘year group bubbles’ or ‘designated areas assigned to year groups’ operating in school. At key points at the start of the day, after break, after lunch and between some lessons the pupils will be escorted by their teaching staff from collection points to their classroom but may be in the same corridor as other year groups. A systematic, structured exit from lessons will also allow for filtered entry of pupils to the corridors and prevent congestion.
- Face coverings are no longer required, but pupils who feel more confident wearing these may continue to do so. If pupils have a 1TCA face covering we advise they continue to use these.
- Full school uniform is expected. Pupils will need to wear blazers and school jumpers as windows will be open to aid ventilation. The heating will remain on, so pupils will be working in comfortable temperatures as the weather gets colder. Items which do not match the Academy’s uniform policy will not be permitted and pupils will be instructed to remove these. School uniform expectations can be found on our website.
- Pupils are expected to bring their own essential kit. Details of this are on the website and in school diaries. This consists of: Berol Blue Handwriting pen (or specialist handwriting pen), pencil, rubber, ruler and coloured pencils and/or coloured felt pens. If pupils require equipment, it can be purchased in school.
- All pupils will return to a full curriculum including Music, Computing, Design and Technology and two hours of PE. This means that pupils will be taught by specialist teachers in the majority of their lessons and will move from lesson to lesson.
- Having received positive feedback from pupils and parent(s)/carer(s) this academic year, pupils will be expected to attend school on the days they have PE lessons in their PE kit.
- More information about extra-curricular sports clubs and specific PE days will
be shared in September. The benefits of these changes are:
– Limited use of changing rooms, a confined space with little ventilation available.
– Reduced wear and tear on school uniform and lost items.
– Promoting pupil’s confidence as they no longer need to change alongside
– Increased participation in PE lessons as no changing time is required.
(If there any changes to these arrangements you will be given advance notice.)
- Tissues will be provided to encourage pupils to “Catch it, Bin it, Kill it”.
- Hand sanitizer stations are at the doorway to every classroom to ensure hand hygiene is maintained. Pupils are welcome to bring their own if they wish to.
- Pupils will return to normal toilet arrangements and will no longer have toilets assigned to year group bubbles.
- Pupils can purchase food and drinks during their morning break. A selection of warm and cold snacks will be available.
- Lunch will be served in the school hall. Pupils can purchase lunch or bring their own packed lunch unless they are in receipt of free school meals. A selection of hot and cold foods and bottled drinks will be on offer at lunch – please see the menus on our website and cost £2.30.
- Lunches are staggered, so only one key stage will be in the hall at a time and there will be time to clean between sittings.
- The Academy prefers parents to credit pupils accounts using Parent Mail but understand in some circumstances pupils may need to bring money to pay for food and drinks. Pupils are now able to add credit to their account using the ‘top-up’ facility in the school hall.
- Water fountains will reopen, pupils will need to bring a water bottle to be refilled each day. Please ensure these have been cleaned thoroughly.
3:15 – 3:30pm
- Pupils will finish school at 3:15pm and the gates will remain open, with staff on duty till 3:30pm.
- We request that parent(s)/carer(s) avoid congregating at the school gates when collecting pupils for everyone’s safety as the gate areas can become overcrowded.
- There is no wrap-around care provided by Woodfield Academy.
- Information regarding extra-curricular clubs will be shared with pupils and will be available on the school website within the first few weeks of term.
If you have any further questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact the school office on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact 01527 527081 from 9am on Monday 6th September.
We look forward to seeing all pupils in September ready to start the next stage of their learning journey.
Miss B. Doidge
Interim Deputy Headteacher, Health & Safety Co-Ordinator