Letter to Parents - 17/07/2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

 

As the school Summer Term ends today, I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support during these unprecedented times. Over the last few weeks, it has been wonderful to welcome pupils back to school and I wish to congratulate them all on their superb behaviour and attitude and tell you how impressed we have been, as a staff, with the levels of maturity shown by each and every one of them. I also wish to congratulate all of our pupils, who have shown great resilience over these last few months and to say how proud we are of their efforts with our ‘Google Classroom’ online learning programme, which has been very well received.

 

In this letter, I have tried to summarise the following key information for you as parents/carers:-

 

  • Plans for the return of pupils in September
  • Uniform, equipment and biometric information for September
  • Further information updates throughout the Summer

We will also be sending all families a letter from the Director of Education for RCT, Gaynor Davies today and a link to the Frequently Asked Questions information on the RCT website.

 

Plans for September

 

Last week the Education Minister for Wales, Kirsty Willliams, announced that all pupils would be going back to school by September 14th 2020. Since that announcement and the issuing of guidance to support schools, the Senior Leadership Team and Governing Body at Mountain Ash Comprehensive School have been very busy planning for this return.

 

The return to school will not be ‘business as usual’. There will still be considerable restrictions in place to ensure the safety of all learners and staff. Welsh Government have recently published ‘operational guidance for schools and settings for the Autumn Term’. Therefore, Tuesday September 1st and Wednesday September 2nd will be Staff Planning and Preparation Days.

 

To ensure that we are all properly prepared for this return in September, I will be issuing further guidance to you later this summer, providing details of the safety measures that will be in place and clearly outlining our expectations, to help you to prepare your child for their return to school.

 

We have taken the Minister’s advice to plan a staggered return to the start of our school term in September, prioritising the return of the key year groups of Year 7, 12 and 13 on Thursday September 3rd, which will be the first day back for pupils. Thereafter, we plan to introduce an additional year group each day, which we have highlighted in bold in the table below, so that all pupils will be back in school by Wednesday 9th September 2020.

 

Date

Plan for return

Tuesday September 1st

Staff Planning and Preparation Day

Wednesday September 2nd

Staff Planning and Preparation Day

Thursday September 3rd

Years 7, 12 and 13 in school

Friday September 4th

Years 7, 11, 12 and 13 in school

Monday September 7th

Years 7, 10, 11, 12 and 13 in school

Tuesday September 8th

Years 7,9,10,11, 12 and 13 in school

Wednesday September 9th

Years 7,8,9,10,11,12,and 13 in school

 

There will be an induction programme for pupils in Year 7, 12 and 13 on Thursday September 3rd. Specific details of this will be shared later in the summer.

The wellbeing of all of our pupils will be our priority in September and we are mindful that many of children have not been in school at all since March 2020. To support this, for the first week of school, from Friday September 4th to Friday September 11th  there will be an extended tutorial period for pupils with their form tutors from 8.45a.m. -10.05 a.m. each day.

 

I will update you with more specific details on the return for each year group later this summer.

 

School Uniform

 

Our normal Uniform policy will apply in September 2020 and we are expecting that all pupils can attend in full school uniform. Uniform requirements are outlined on the school website and you can also find information regarding our uniform suppliers there.

 

Equipment for learning

 

I wish to encourage parents to purchase equipment/stationary over the summer as we will not be in a position to loan equipment to pupils when they come to school in September. Pupils will need:

 

  • Pens (some spares if they run out)
  • pencil
  • 30cm ruler
  • rubber
  • glue stick
  • pencil sharpener
  • scientific calculator
  • coloured pencils

 

Biometric payments

 

I would respectfully ask that all parents/carers of pupils in Years 8 upwards to look at using online payments over the summer for catering services at the school, to avoid use of the biometric payments machines in school in September. Year 7 pupils will be registered on the system on their first day at school on Thursday 3rd September.

 

Further information updates

 

As I have outlined earlier, it is my intention to issue further details on the return to school for pupils later this summer. I hope that sharing more detailed information as we move towards September will reassure pupils and yourselves as parents and carers and help us all to ensure that the return to school is as smooth as possible for all. Please expect further updates from the week commencing 10th August 2020.

As we close school for the summer holidays, I wish to thank you all for the support that you have shown the school over this very difficult time and wish you and your family a wonderful break over the summer.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Mrs S Evans