Letter from the Headteacher 25th September 2020

Dear Parents and carers,

I am writing to you at the end of our first two weeks back both to thank you for the overwhelming support for our return to on site education and to update you on on-going issues and adjustments.

There is a great deal to celebrate about our students returning to school. In particular the way that they have been able to re-focus on their learning and how well they have adjusted to the new measures in place around school. 

Teachers and support staff have been delighted to see how well our students have settled back to work with a strong ambition to do well. During leadership walks around school it has been wonderful to see and hear the familiar sights and sounds of purposeful learning.

Students have adapted exceptionally well to the new seating plans used for lessons, the dining hall and advisory time. This is to ensure that if we need to, we can implement track and trace very quickly. In addition, students have been extremely compliant and thoughtful about using hand sanitiser and wearing their masks in the appropriate areas whilst remaining in their bubbles. I would like to thank you for your support in making sure all our students attend school with their masks. I am aware that false information has been circulating on social media around an outbreak of Covid-19 in school. If school is made aware of any Covid-19 cases we link closely with Public Health and the Department for Education. Parents and carers will be made aware if we are advised that any students should isolate or if any other action needs to be taken. This is a very challenging time for all of us, I ask parents and carers to ensure that they take information from our official social media pages, text messages or letters home and to avoid speculative sources of school information.

Attendance
Obviously, it is really important that our students benefit from being able to learn from their teachers in person, which requires them to be in school. We understand that families may have concerns, but it is really important that unless your child is genuinely ill or isolating due to Covid-19 symptoms in the household or direction from track and trace, that your child attends school.  In addition, if you are in a position where your child has to be off school for a Covid-19 related reason, please ensure that you can provide evidence to cover this absence. It is normal for children to get winter illnesses, but unless symptoms of Covid-19 appear students should to come into school if they feel well enough. We want every child to aim for at least 96% attendance.

Website
We are updating the Covid section of the website regularly as we review daily and adjust our practice in the light of experience and the reality of 1200 students and 120 staff on site. Whilst we are delighted with how well things have gone, equally we continue to work to improve and adjust where needed. Please make sure you check this area of the website to ensure you are familiar with the Covid-19 information.

Arriving to and leaving school site
Students should wear masks on public transport and maintain social distancing on the way to and from school in line with Government guidelines. We have asked students to ensure they are courteous towards local residents by behaving sensibly on the way to and from school and ensuring any litter is put into a bin. We would appreciate your support in reinforcing this message at home.

We would like to thank parents and carers for being conscious of our neighbours when picking up and dropping off students by car.

We will be monitoring well-being of students carefully and ensuring that everyone is adjusting as well as possible to a return to different routines and systems. Please continue to let pastoral staff know if you have any concerns. Thank you for your support which has clearly prepared the students well for their return, this is not unnoticed and is very much appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Allie Denholm
Headteacher

© Heworth Grange & Consilium Academies 2020
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