September re-opening update

Here we are at the end of what has been a most unusual academic year, and one we hope shall never be repeated! That said, we are incredibly proud of how our students have adapted to the changes – their resilience, hard work and perseverance has been remarkable. Indeed, we also want to thank you too, for the support you have given both our academy and to your child(ren). We know it has not been easy adapting to home schooling and we would of course have much preferred to see all our students in the classroom – which leads us nicely to looking ahead to the new academic year.

What will re-opening in September look like?

Over the course of the last week, we have carried out a new risk assessment based on the guidance released by the government, ahead of the planned re-opening of the academy to all students in September. This risk assessment has now been approved in principle by our Board of Trustees, however it is subject to a further audit in August. This second step is necessary to ensure we take into account any changes to our circumstances, new or updated government guidance or any localised infection control measures required in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

It is our intention to write again to you in the last week of August with more detailed re-opening and joining instruction information specific to each year group; but we thought it would be helpful for you to have an indication of what that will look like now. Our current plans for re-opening require that we make some adjustments to how we usually organise our academy day. The following is an overview of what that will mean for your child(ren):

  • School buses will run as normal. Students should wear a face covering when travelling on a school, or public bus service. However, please note that the drivers have been told by the local authority not to enforce this expectation. It will rely on students following the guidance at all times. No social distancing is required on dedicated school buses, however social distancing measures are required on public bus services. This means that commercial capacity will be reduced on the Nottingham City Transport Number 1 bus route between Nottingham and Loughborough.
  • We sent out a travel survey to parents and carers to establish numbers travelling on each service. This information will be important, so that we can liaise with the county and city transport services to inform them of demand. We will work to try and establish enough capacity on their routes at peak times. If capacity is reduced and this might impact your child’s journey, we will inform you before September, so that you can make alternative arrangements if required.
  • Start and finish times will be the same for all students 08:30 start and 15:05 finish. We are unable to have any staggered start times due to the high percentage of students who travel to the academy on a school bus service.
  • Year groups will be given a designated entrance/exit point to the academy site to reduce contacts when entering the site. Students will only be able to enter and exit the academy via their designated point. This detail will be communicated to parents and students before September within the year group specific joining instructions.
  • Year groups will be identified by different coloured ID lanyards. Students must wear their ID lanyard at all times. They will need their lanyard to enter the building every day. Students will be issued with their lanyard.
  • Students will be taught within designated year group zones. They will not have access to the entire building and will have the majority of lessons within their designated year group zone (specific corridor). Students will sometimes be escorted to specialist facilities outside of their zone when required. E.g. Design and Technology, Music rooms etc. The location of each year group zone will be communicated to parents before September.
  • Break and lunch times will be at the same time for all students. Students will have break and lunch in designated year group zones. Students will not have access to the main dining hall, but will have the opportunity to purchase food and drink within their year group zones. The kitchen team will have mobile serving stations located in the year group zones. This will mean that a reduced menu including both hot and cold food will be available for purchase during these times for students. We would however encourage students to bring their own food where possible to reduce the need for queuing and purchasing food on site.
  • Specific toilet facilities will be designated for individual year groups. Students will need to use toilets designated to their year group and we expect them to be used responsibly. Numbers of students accessing the facilities will be managed to help maintain social distancing.
  • Students will not have access to lockers whilst these current restrictions in movement around the academy are in place. Students will need a bag capable of carrying their equipment and books during the day. Students will need a full set of equipment (see website for equipment list) because they will not be able to share equipment with other students.
  • Hygiene routines: Plentiful hand sanitiser stations will be available on entry and exit points and within designated year group zones. Students will also be encouraged to follow good hand hygiene routines more frequently; particularly before eating. Tissues will also be available in classrooms to promote good respiratory hygiene (catch it – bin it – kill it). Increased signage will be placed around the academy to remind students about hygiene routines.
  • Additional cleaning capacity: Additional cleaning capacity will be in operation for the full return of all students. Ongoing cleaning during the day will focus on wiping down door handles, emptying bins and cleaning facilities such as toilets etc.
  • In September, students will be required to wear full uniform, including P.E. kit. If any families are experiencing financial hardship that will affect the purchase of uniform, please contact the academy.

Detailed joining instructions specific to each year group

Towards the end of August we will send out more detailed joining instructions specific to each year group. Please ensure that you have access to the new Weduc software and download the app. We will be providing any update information over the summer holidays through Weduc if government guidance changes and we need to let you know.

Free school meals during the summer holiday

As previously mentioned, the government has announced that those currently eligible and in receipt of the free school meals scheme will continue to receive this over the summer holiday. In line with this guidance, a single e-voucher from our supplier Sodexo will be provided to cover the period 20 July to 28 August 2020.

Start of the year arrangements

The start of the year will be the same as already published in the school calendar.

DateYear groups in school
Tuesday 1 SeptemberStaff traning - no students
Wednesday 2 SeptemberYear 7, 12 and 13 only, 08:30 start
Thursday 3 SeptemberAll years 7 - 13, 08:30 start

Finally…

So, for now, we wish you and your family a very restful, and importantly, a safe and healthy summer break – and we look forward to welcoming all our students back in September.

!September re-opening update Click for more information
East Leake Academy