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Letter regarding Arrangements for the New School Year – Sept 2020

September 4th, 2020

Dear Parent                                                                                                 Thursday 3rd September 2020

We hope that you have had an enjoyable and safe summer break and that your child is ready for their
return to school on Tuesday 8th September 2020. This letter will highlight some of the key arrangements
we have made regarding how school will operate for the foreseeable future, so that school is a safe as
we can make it. We ask that you carefully read through this letter and that it will address some of the
questions you may have and also understand that the guidance and information which we receive from
the Government does change on a daily basis and is difficult to keep up with.

The Government have asked schools to:
• manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the school or college, in line with current
public health guidance – this means a child may be asked to self-isolate for 14 days if they have been
in close, face to face contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus
• ensure that everyone cleans their hands more often than usual, including when they arrive, when
they return from breaks, and before and after eating – this should be done for 20 seconds with soap
and running water or hand sanitiser. (At Mowbray we have purchased additional hand washing
stations so that all class bubbles have direct in room access to handwashing facilities.)
• promote the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach, to ensure good respiratory hygiene
• enhance cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces more often,
• minimise contact and encourage maintaining distance as far as possible and for pupils to where
possible stay within specified separate groups (or bubbles)
• all staff to where possible maintain distance between individuals, this includes pupils and adults.

Further information can be found by following this link Government information on ‘What parents need
to know about schools in the autumn term’

We continue to implement strict protective measures in school to ensure pupils and staff are as safe as
we can make it from the virus, with strict hand washing regimes, cleaning regimes and as best we can
implement social distancing.

North Yorkshire County Council have provided health and safety risk assessments for us to complete and
use, for the wider opening of school, this ensures that we have in place recommended procedures.
These risk assessments have been agreed with unions and are fully in place.

Face coverings
The latest evidence and advice from the Government is that children aged 12 and over should wear a
mask where social distancing cannot be safely managed and there is widespread transmission in the
area. There is different advice for Primary and secondary aged pupils on the wearing of masks in school;
when they are to be worn; how children should put them on (hand washing prior to putting them on
etc.); if the school is in an area of national intervention and when social distancing is extremely difficult.
Our view is this, if parents feel their child is safer and are able to wear a face mask, then we will
respect their decision to do so.
Our position on the wearing of face coverings by staff has not changed from last term, staff are strongly
encouraged to wear either face masks or visors in the school building.

Transport arrangements to school and on any school trips,
Children’s arrival and departure times are now staggered to reduce congestion in school and reduce
potential risks, your transport operator should have contacted you with specific information relating to
your child, these times are;
08.45 drop off and 14.45 collection
09.00 drop off and 15.15 collection
09.15 drop off and 15.15 collection

NYCC advise where it is possible for SEND pupils to use a face covering that they should do so, but
understand that some pupils will not be able to do this due to the nature of their individual needs.
Government and DFE advice are changeable , the decisions on wearing face masks by staff and pupils is
one which we have the discretion to make and have detailed our decisions in the above paragraphs.

Other information
All pupils in school will be taught in their class form groups, these groups are known as ‘bubbles’ and all
pupils have already been grouped by need and ability. The pupil’s will, where possible, work solely in
these groups and spend the whole day working in the class groups with the same staff, this will reduce
the chance of anyone catching or spreading the COVID19 virus. However, specialist teachers in our
secondary department, will be allowed to teach the specialist qualifications to pupils in different
‘bubbles’. Therapist’s, such as Speech and language, Physiotherapists, Occupational therapists and
other visiting health care staff will resume working directly with pupils.
Pupils will have breaktimes, however the timing of these will be staggered so that pupils are as far as
possible not mixing with other pupils outside of their ‘bubbles’. Similar arrangements of staggered
timings will be made for eating lunch and arriving and leaving school. There will not be large gatherings
such as assemblies, whole school breaktimes and lunches will be served and eaten in classrooms.
When pupils return in September, they must wear school uniform and for hygiene reasons possessions
brought into school must be kept to a minimum. Those pupils who are able to use their own
pen’s/pencils etc, are asked to bring them into school and take them home each day, this will reduce the
transmission of the virus.
Currently an additional sick bay is being built opposite the school entrance on the Bedale site, this will
be completed by Tuesday 8th September, this is so we have the capacity to isolate pupils who may be
displaying symptoms of COVID19 and it will in the future be able to be used as either office space or a
learning resource.
Building work on the Ripon site has continued during the holidays, with the first phase of building work
now completed, creating three additional new classrooms, link corridors with learning areas, work areas,
toileting facilities and outside play areas. The second phase of build work to create two additional
classrooms; changing areas, PPA work areas and an office, is well under way. The facilities at the Ripon
site have now been brought to the same high standards as our Bedale site, meeting the needs of both
pupils and staff.
For several months considerable work and thought has gone into how school will fully open and how it
will run, however due to the complexity of arrangements, high numbers of pupils and staff, there may be
some problems and glitches, but we know that they we will be well managed and quickly addressed.
The COVID19 pandemic is something which we continue to live with and as we fully open with the return
of all pupils and staff, there will naturally be an apprehension which pupils, families and staff may feel.
We know from the practices and procedures which we put into place last academic year that we will be
operating in the safest and best way we can. As is very clear when the new school year starts, we
anticipate a great excitement from our pupils, who will be keen to return to school, not just to learn, but
to see their friends and see all of us again. There is no doubt that there will challenges ahead, but
together we will address these and support our pupils, our families and our staff, as we always have
done.
With regards,
Jonathan Tearle, Executive Headteacher Karen Pickles, Head of School