Frequently asked questions
Plans for reopening
We are continuing to work on the guidance issued from the government for the full reopening of schools in September.
The changes to our school are significant including the introduction of a one-way system and change of the school day. We will also need to close the carpark at the front of school as this will become pedestrian only.
The plans have been created with the support and advice of staff, our CEO and governing body. They reflect the government guidance reducing the likelihood of transmission, whilst maintaining a broad and balanced curriculum with specialist teachers.
They are subject to evaluation and change.
The government guidance for parents can be found at:
How will you induct students to the new arrangements?
On Tuesday September 1st we will hold staff inset day to complete final preparations to site and to complete induction to the revised site for staff.
We will be conducting a phased opening by year group.
Wednesday September 2nd Year 9 students
Thursday September 3rd Year 11 and 13 induction
Friday September 4th will be Year 10 and 12 induction
We will look forward to opening to all students on Monday September 7th.
Where students are not in school for the first week lessons will be set via insight by staff who were due to teach periods 2 and 3 on each day and for period 1 where they are not delivering induction.
Where should I go when I arrive in school?
When you arrive through your nominated entrance, you should go to your form tutor base. Staff will be on hand to tell you where this is and we will share this information with you prior to reopening via insight.
Year 11 JCB
Year 10 Back Lane
Year 9 Front gates
Post 16 socially distanced through any entrance.
How do I know what lessons I have?
We will be sharing your timetable with you via insight at the end of the holidays but will have a paper copy ready for you when you arrive on your first day.
I have collected my exercise books should I bring these with me?
Yes, we need you to be responsible with the exercise books we have provided you with. These are for next year and must be brought into school. Teachers are not able to give out exercise books. Please check insight each day and bring the correct exercise books and the equipment listed below with you.
How will I find my way round the new layout?
During your induction day your teacher will walk you through the one-way system. You will also practice a socially distanced fire drill.
Has the time of the day changed?
The start and the end of the day will remain the same. We will start lessons at 8.40am and finish at 3.05pm.
How will my child wash their hands more frequently?
Sanitisers will be in each classroom for students to use on entry and exit.
Will you be using ‘bubbles’ to minimise students mixing?
Yes, we will be putting in place measures to reduce mixing of different year groups. For instance, year groups will have different times for their breaks and lunchtimes and will be kept in separate rooms for their teaching, support work and interventions. We will have 4 bubbles: Year 9, 10, 11 and sixth form.
What is the most significant change?
The structure of the day has changed so that we can reduce the number of times students need to move across the building in a day. Instead of having 6 sessions in a day (5 lessons and form period) they will have 3 lessons each day. Each lesson will now be at least 100 minutes. This model has been used by schools for many years and allows us to keep students with their specialist teachers whilst reducing movement. The timetable will move to a 4-week timetable.
We have also introduced a one-way system.
When is form period?
For year 9, 10 and 11 they will have 3 extended sessions with their form tutor over 4 weeks.
When are breaks and lunchtimes and have these changed in length?
Their breaks remain 20 minutes long and lunch is 40 minutes. The breaks and lunch times will be staggered across the day for different year groups.
Can lunch be eaten on a corridor?
We have created dedicated lunch spaces for you to prevent any disruption to lessons during staggered breaks. No students should be on corridors other than when they are moving between lessons.
Where can we go at break and lunchtime?
We are planning to serve food in our school canteen for Year 9, 10 and 11. The canteen has been adapted in light of guidance. For instance, all cutlery will be removed, and meals will be served in disposable boxes rather than on plates. The canteen space is only for students who are buying food from the canteen. The Theatre and Ede studio will also be set out so that students bringing sandwiches can eat indoors if they wish. The basketball court will be available as an outside space for students.
Won’t having staggered breaks cause noise when others are in lessons?
We will be insisting that students make their way quietly from their classrooms to their social space, be that the theatre, Ede, the canteen or basketball court, to prevent disturbing others who are in lessons.
Will students mix on buses?
The advice is that students should avoid public transport wherever possible. The school buses will be running, and we will share guidance from the Local Authority with you when we have it. The expectation currently is that students wear masks on the bus. They should bring a ziplocked bag with them to school to put their mask in.
Will classes be different?
Classes will remain the same. Schools are asked to welcome all students back to school fulltime and therefore we cannot create smaller groups.
Can my child wear a mask in school?
Current guidance from the government is these must not be worn in school. Guidance continues to change and we will let you know if there are further updates.
What is the school uniform?
School uniform is our usual uniform without a blazer. We ask that students replace the blazer with a plain black sweatshirt.
My child is shielding: what should I do?
Please contact us at school to discuss a risk assessment for your child. Please email Mrs Maingay at email@example.com
How will you reduce congestion?
We have allocated separate entrances/exits for each year group.
Year 11 will be asked to use the entrance opposite the bus station and near our JCB/Maths/Science blocks.
Year 10 will use the entrance from Back Lane.
Year 9 will come through the front gates.
The school will operate a one-way system inside the building.
Will my son or daughter receive their normal curriculum, or will the curriculum be narrowed?
As a 14 – 19 school, it is crucial that the provision we put in place allows students to receive teaching from their specialist teachers in preparation for their GCSEs and A levels. For this reason, we decided to keep the curriculum our students study the same. We will still offer all subjects to our students.
Will you be cleaning school more often?
Yes. We previously employed cleaners only at the start and end of the day. We will now be having 4 cleaners working throughout the day in addition to the cleaning at the start and end of the day.
What equipment does my child need?
In addition to the exercise books we have provided student with. We are advised to minimise sharing of equipment and so where families are able to we ask that all students arrive in school with:
2 Black biros
1 green biro
Pencil crayons (ideally Crayola).
If you need support purchasing this equipment, please email Mr Godwin at firstname.lastname@example.org
When can I collect my exercise books?
Thank you to everyone who has collected your exercise books for September. If any current Year 9 or 10 student has not managed to pick up their exercise books, please collect them any day during week beginning 13/07/2020 during school hours. You will need to ask reception to direct you to your books. There are tasks to complete over the Summer which will help you on your return. It is important you complete these.
Current year 8 students will receive their books during the summer induction and sixth form on your induction days. If anyone cannot attend summer induction, we will provide your exercise books on your induction day.
How do I access my Locker?
On your induction days you will be given the opportunity to collect any items that have been left in your lockers. If you are currently in year 11 or 13 this can be done on Thursday or Friday week beginning 13/07/2020 or after the Summer. All items will be kept in a safe space for you.
How have you created a one-way system round school? For instance, the Science staircase has a narrow staircase leading up to it?
As far as possible we are hoping to have a one-way system across the school site especially indoors. This is required because we have some very narrow corridors. We will be creating a new corridor across the top floor of the Science corridor to improve circulation. We will walk you through it on your induction days.
I usually have my drama lessons in Ede but it is being used for lunches where should I go?
We are creating a new space for drama lessons and will update you during your induction.
Do I need to wear my full sixth form uniform when we return?
During September, sixth form students will not need to wear a blazer unless they wish to do so. It is a safeguarding requirement that all post-16 students always wear their sixth form lanyard/ID card.
What about my study and Sixth Form 7 periods?
Students are welcome to remain on site during these times and will have dedicated areas for their personal study. To support the safety of our school community, we will temporarily allow sixth form students to work at home when they do not have timetabled lessons.
Can I do paid work if I am not in school for a lesson?
No. School hours will remain 8.40am – 3.05pm and therefore, completion of paid part-time work during this time is not permitted. If students are not on site during this time, it is expected that they will continue to develop and expand on their independent learning skills by completing school activities e.g. sixth form 7 whilst at home. All sixth form students will be asked to sign a sixth form code of conduct to show that they understand this.
What about food – will I still be able to go into town?
Our priority is to make the school as safe as possible, and therefore upon return we request that the sixth form do not go into town to purchase food or other items. However, we will be providing a sixth form servery where students can purchase food which will prevent the need to leave site. As always, students are welcome to bring their own food with them to school.
Can we use the common room?
Yes, the common room will continue to be a dedicated study space for sixth form students. Initially we ask that students do not use the kitchen area, and that they ensure the space is kept tidy without clutter to reduce the likelihood of infection and to support our cleaning team. In addition, we will be changing the seating to ensure that the area is as clean and safe as possible.
Where will we go at break and lunch time if year groups must stay in bubbles?
When we return, we ask that sixth form students stay in the sixth form area during this time, including the lawn area in front of the sixth form block. They must socially distance from all other year groups.
How can we help?
The sixth form can support our school community by continuing to be positive role models to our younger students. We will rely on the sixth form to continue to show the resilience and independent learning skills that they have demonstrated so well whilst we have been out of school. Taking ownership of your own learning is key, especially if working at home. Asking for support where required is also important, so that we can work with you to obtain a positive outcome in all areas of your life and your future intentions.
Take care and stay safe.