Arrangements for Monday 29 June 2020 Onwards
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Dear Parents and Carers
Re: Arrangements for Monday 29 June 2020 onwards
I am writing to confirm that we will be reopening Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA) to larger cohorts of students in years 10 and 12 from Monday 29 June onwards. I look forward to welcoming your child back to the academy and to working together to ensure the final weeks of this academic year remain productive.
I recently posted details of the day your child can attend BOA for face-to-face support sessions. If you have not received this letter (via Royal Mail), please contact me on the email address at the bottom of this letter and I will ensure an electronic copy is sent out to you. As we have been instructed to accept 25% of the cohort on any one day, it is important your child only attends BOA on their allocated day. For the remainder of the week, students will take part in virtual classrooms and must complete the activities being set via our online learning platforms. I have attached an updated schedule, which takes into account the days when members of staff will be on site (Appendix1).
Health & Safety:
To ensure we uphold guidance on social distancing and ‘mixing’ in order to minimise the risk of transmission, we have put the following measures in place:
- ‘Staggered’ starts and finishes – Lessons will start at 10.00am for Year 10 and will end by 2.30pm. Year 12 must be in lessons by 10.30am and will end by 2.00pm.
- Social distancing and mixing – students will taught in ‘static’ classes (or bubbles) for the remainder of the year, at the same desk in the same classroom with the same set of students and teachers. In addition, Year 10 will be taught in a separate part of the building to Year 12.
- Lunch break – the lunch breaks for Year 10 and Year 12 are at separate times during the academy day. During lunch break, students must observe the 2-metre rule and should avoid congregating in large groups. Students should also ensure all food packaging and scraps are placed in the nearest bin.
- Hygiene – Students must ensure they follow the guidance on handwashing and the use of hand sanitiser, particularly after coughing or sneezing or using the toilet facilities. There are numerous hand-sanitising stations throughout the Academy, with hand sanitiser dispensers available on all floors of the building. Students should also wash their hands before and after eating.
- Freshly-laundered clothes – Advice from the UK Government asks us all to wear clothes that are machine-washable. Students and members of staff should ensure they wear freshly-laundered clothes when they attend lessons on the academy site, including any dance kit they may change into while on the academy site. Students do not need to wear BOA uniform for the remainder of this academic year but they must carry their ID cards with them at all times.
- Bags and equipment – Students should not bring any unnecessary equipment or belongings to the Academy. On a related matter, school bags and pencil cases should be of the type that can be easily cleaned / sanitised. Students are also advised to bring a clean plastic bag to put any extra clothing into while on the academy site.
NB: I have attached an Essential Equipment list to this letter (Appendix 2)
- Use of PPE – Students must wear a face covering if using public transport and it is a good idea for them to carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer. Once entering the building, students should remove their face coverings and place them in a small plastic bag, either for disposal or storage in their bags.
BOA expects all students who attend on-site support sessions to follow the guidelines concerning social distancing and ‘mixing’, which have been put in place to reduce the risks of Covid-19 transmission. The maximum number of Year 10 students on site at any one time will be 45, with class sizes of no more than 12. As Year 12 students will also be on site in smaller groups, the maximum number of BOA students on site on any one day will be 128. With such reduced numbers and the measures in place to reduce ‘mixing’, we are confident we will uphold all health and safety measures put in place to reduce risk. This – of course – is dependent on the good conduct of students when they are on the academy site.
NB: Please refer to the addendum in the Behaviour Handbook on BOA’s website, which outlines expectations of students whilst on academy site and during virtual classroom sessions.
Keeping your child at home:
If you have concerns about your child attending BOA for the face-to-face support sessions over the next few weeks, you have the right to keep your child at home and to continue to access daily learning activities via BOA’s online learning platforms. The Department for Education (DfE) has commented that attendance records will not be affected by a parent’s and carer’s decision to keep their child at home. At the time of writing, arrangements for face-to-face on-site support sessions have been sent to all students in years 10 and 12. Please ensure you notify us of your decision to keep your child at home, either by phoning BOA Reception (0121 359 9300) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If your child will be using public transport to travel to and from the academy, please ensure you have looked into the travel times and whether it is necessary to pre-book your child’s inbound and outbound journeys.
BOA’s canteen will not be in operation during the final three weeks of this academic year. Students must bring a packed lunch and any snacks they require. Vouchers will continue to be sent to students who receive free school meals and this arrangement remains in place for the summer holidays, as per the guidance from the Department for Education. On a related matter, the water dispensers have been taken out of service to reduce the risk of possible cross-contamination. As a result, please ensure your child brings a suitable supply of drinks.
Pastoral care arrangements:
Events that have taken place over the past few months will undoubtedly have unsettled and upset many – if not all – of our students and their families. I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the support in place for students at BOA. As we begin the process of reintegrating students back into full-time education, if parents and carers wish to talk to the Pastoral Care Team (Mr Pitt and/or the Heads of House) regarding any concerns or to pass on any need-to-know information, please make contact through BOA Reception (0121 359 9300) or email email@example.com
Where to get information on Covid-19:
We add regular updates to the Covid-19 webpage, which can be found in the Parent Section of BOA’s website. The webpage contains links to the latest updates from the UK Government and the National Health Service, as well as information on symptoms of coronavirus and how to access testing. You can find the information via the following link:
NB: If your child or any member of your household displays any of the known symptoms associated with Covid-19, please help to reduce transmission by keeping your child at home. In addition, please contact BOA so we may take steps to reduce the risk of transmission.
And finally… thank you!
I would like to end this letter by thanking you all for your unwavering support. Since taking up post, it has been incredibly reassuring to receive so many messages of encouragement. I would also like to thank the students of BOA, who have demonstrated great dedication to their studies throughout the lockdown period. As mentioned in a previous letter, we remain committed to nurturing the talents of our students and we will ensure they are given the opportunities they deserve to demonstrate both their academic and creative abilities.
If you have any queries, please contact me on the email at the bottom of this letter.