Coronavirus Update
Last updated 10th September 2020

It has been a busy summer at Becket Keys Church of England School with some important works to our site mainly around further improving outside spaces, increasing ventilation in corridors, creating one-way systems, installing more hand sanitiser dispensers and ensuring that all corridor doors are automatically held open.

Attendance – see guide

The government has made clear that school attendance will again be mandatory for all students. The usual arrangements for reporting student absence will apply, i.e. use the ‘Studybugs’ app (a link to download the app is available from our website) or leave a message on the student absence line by calling 01277 286612. Please follow this link to our webpage for more information on the school’s approach to attendance matters: https://www.becketkeys.org/attendance.php.

Compliance with Test and Trace

Students exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus (high temperature; new continuous cough; loss of sense of taste and smell) should not come to school. Symptomatic students should be taken for testing as soon as possible. Please notify us (via email to office@becketkeys.org) if you are taking your child for a test and inform us of the outcome as soon as it is available. Families should follow government guidance on isolating if a member of the household is symptomatic or tests positive. We have clear processes in school for safely isolating anyone who becomes symptomatic on site and will contact parents/carers to request immediate support with any such students.

Enhanced Hygiene Measures

We will be maintaining enhanced cleaning measures, including more frequent cleaning of commonly touched areas during the school day, and more frequent cleaning of toilets. All students will be required to sanitise their hands on entry to site – this will be supervised. Hand washing facilities will be available to all students and routine hand washing will be frequently promoted. Hand sanitiser will be available around the school and in each classroom, along with sanitiser spray and wipes. Lidded bins will be available, along with a supply of tissues for all. We are receiving no additional funding for cleaning and hygiene supplies so it would be extremely helpful if you could send your child into school with their own portable bottle of sanitiser for personal use. We are also thankful to those families who have offered financial support and donations towards our more enhanced hygiene measures and new door systems.

Risk Assessments

We have worked closely with The Russell Education Trust to update our general risk assessments for students, staff and visitors in readiness for the wider re-opening in September. We have also compiled risk assessments for our school specific arrangements.  All our procedures are compliant with the national advice and we will continue to review and update them as the local and national situation develops.

Travel to and from School

Students are strongly encouraged to avoid public transport for their journeys to school wherever possible. As ever, we encourage walking and cycling to school as green modes of travel with clear health benefits. However, we recognise that it will not be feasible for some students to walk/cycle to our site. The next best option is the use of a car or taxi – if doing this please do not come into Sawyers Hall Lane or surrounding roads (unless disabled in which case please contact the school about driving into the road). Please find a good drop off point and ask your son/daughter to walk the rest of the way.

Some students will still need to travel on bus or train. We strongly encourage students to sit with students in their year group ‘bubbles’ or with brothers and sisters at all times on public transport. Students should wear face coverings when travelling on school buses and carry and use hand sanitiser. Face coverings used on public transport should be removed before entering site and disposed of or stored securely (students can use a fresh face covering if they wish on site).

Arrival at School and Dismissal from School

As usual, students must arrive at school before 8:25am, otherwise they will be recorded as late and get a lunchtime detention (see attendance guide for more details). “Early is on time, on time is late and late is unacceptable!”

All students will enter through the student entrance near the Bike Racks. A member of staff will supervise students’ arrival onto site, and they will then (depending on the time) either go directly to their tutor base or wait outside. The breakfast service will be running in the Bistro, as usual, however, our indoor seating will be working on a rota system.

At the end of the day students will still be dismissed at 3:10pm. Students should have appropriate outerwear to enable them to travel/wait outside should the weather be inclement. Our students should avoid shops and gathering in groups. The school site will remain open to students as usual after school allowing a staggered departure. We know many students prefer to wait on the playground or go to Homework Club; these opportunities will still be available.

Break and Lunch Times and Catering

A high quality (and only slightly reduced) catering service will be available to all students and staff. Students will be able to use cashless catering accounts to pay for food and drinks, as usual. Students in receipt of free school meals will be able to use this service in the way they normally do.

We are operating staggered breaks and lunches. A copy of our adjusted timetable is below:

 

Timetable

Period

P1

P2

Break

Tutorial

P3

P4

P5

P6

Timings

8.30-9.20

9.20-10.10

10.10-10.35

10.35-11.00

11.00-11.50

11.50-1.30

1.30-2.20

2.20-3.10

Y7

L-50

L-50

B-25

L-25

L-50

B-50

L-50

L-50

L-50

Y8

L-50

L-50

L-25

B-25

L-50

L-50

B-50

L-50

L-50

Y9

L-50

L-50

B-25

L-25

L-50

B-50

L-50

L-50

L-50

Y10

L-50

L-50

L-25

B-25

L-50

L-50

B-50

L-50

L-50

Y11

L-50

L-50

L-25

B-25

L-50

L-50

B-50

L-50

L-50

Y12

L-50

L-50

B-25

L-25

L-50

B-50

L-50

L-50

L-50

Y13

L-50

L-50

L-25

B-25

L-50

L-50

B-50

L-50

L-50

L = LESSON B=BREAK e.g. ‘L-50’ = a 50-minute lesson; ‘B-25’ = a 25-minute break

 

Year groups will be kept separate through these break and lunch times. We will operate separate queues and restaurant spaces.

In case of wet weather, students will need good outerwear. We do have outdoor covered spaces, but there is a limit to how many students can use these. In extremis, we will open additional spaces, but we often find students prefer to be outside and we encourage it as much as possible. Fresh air is best! “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing!”

Uniform, Equipment and PE Changing

Students are expected to wear full school uniform in line with government guidance. Students should wear PE kit all day including to and from school on days when they have PE. Students may wear tracksuit bottoms (black) around school before and after their lesson. Students should bring all their own stationery and classroom equipment with them as normal for their personal use. We do sell some items in school, but it is important that students are responsible; they will face detentions if they are not properly prepared for school. “Fail to prepare; prepare to fail.”

 

School Routines and Procedures

We will be operating a one-way system around the school site and will be emphasising to students the need for them to consistently and respectfully comply with this. A lack of respect will always be a disciplinary matter, but particularly with regards to these routines put in place to protect the health of all members of the school community. The one-way system will be explained and shown to students on the first day back. Signs will clarify round the school.

Students will be required to sanitise their workspace at the start and end of a lesson, this process will be supervised by classroom teachers and materials will be provided for this purpose.

Of course, Becket Keys students demonstrate excellent conduct at all times. Our usual consequences will apply for any conduct which goes against our expectations and Christian values. Where necessary, detentions will be used to help students learn from their mistakes. Everyone will want to avoid these. Moreover, exclusions will also still be used for students whose conduct is not in line with our values. Everyone appreciates that time away from the classroom, or worse, from school, is going to be a real blow in the current situation. Every moment in school is precious – but nothing matters more than good Christian character and conduct and therefore it will remain our priority even to the point of exclusion from school for students to learn that their conduct is not acceptable.

Face Coverings 

Following recent changes in Government advice and WHO announcements, we are slightly amending our approach to face coverings. Although most corridors and walkways are open to the air and ventilation has been improved through summer works, school life relies on movement and it is impossible to eradicate congestion.

Given our risk assessment and the amended advice, we are now confirming the following:

  • Unless this is impossible for personal medical reasons, we ask all students to wear face coverings when they are in common indoor areas and corridors, outside of lesson time (i.e. transitions, before school, at break and at lunch).
  • Face coverings must be worn on public transport.
  • Face coverings can be worn by students in lessons where agreed in advance with a letter from a parent to the Head of Year.
  • We therefore ask all students (unless for medical reasons) to be equipped with a conservatively designed face coverings preferably to suit school colours (white, grey, black, purple).

A face covering should:

  • Cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably.
  • Fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face.
  • Be secured to the head with ties or ear loops.
  • Be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton.
  • Ideally include at least two layers of fabric (the World Health Organisation recommends three depending on the fabric used).

When wearing a face covering you should:

  • Avoid wearing on your neck or forehead.
  • Avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus.
  • Avoid taking it off and putting it back on a lot in quick succession (for example, when leaving and entering shops on a high street).
  • Only handle the straps, ties or clips.
  • Not give it to someone else to use.
  • If single use, dispose of it carefully in a residual waste bin and do not recycle.
  • If reusable, place in a sealable named plastic bag to take home. Wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric on a daily basis.
  • Wash/sanitise your hands after removal.

Code of Conduct

A Becket Keys Addendum to our Behaviour Policy and a new Home School Agreement were written last year to align us with new ways of working due to the Coronavirus. These still apply. You can see them here: www.becketkeys.org/policies.php. There are no surprises here, as ever we expect the best from our students at all time. Everything is aligned to our seven Christian values: respect, responsibility, forgiveness, be caring, be fair, be honest and be trustworthy. Through this crisis we shall continue to teach these values above all else.

Extracurricular Activities and Exam Class Interventions

We will not be running many clubs for the first few weeks whilst we get used to the new ways of working. However, we intend to get afterschool interventions for exam classes (particularly Year 11 and Year 13) up and running during September and additional enrichment for all years will follow as soon as it is safe, practical and possible to do so. Please understand that these may be more limited in scope than in previous years.

Curriculum Changes and Government Funding for Catch Up Work

You may be aware that Ofqual have announced some changes to exam specifications to support students who will be taking exams in the summer of 2021 (i.e. our new Year 11s/13s). A link to their decisions can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/906173/Consultation_decisions_-_proposed_changes_to_the_assessment_of_GCSEs__AS_and_A_levels_in_2021.pdf

Subject teachers will be explaining these changes to students when they return.

 You may also know that the government are giving all schools some funding to support students as they return to school after the COVID closures of 2019-20. We are currently undertaking a process of assessing students’ needs and will then determine how this funding will be used; governors will review and approve our plans for this money. There is a great deal of extra demand on the school’s finances at this time and we will be encouraging those of you who can afford it to once again give generously to our School Fund. This will be arranged via Parent Pay soon.

Visitors to Site

We are keeping the number of external visitors allowed on site to an absolute minimum. We respectfully request, therefore, that parents/carers do not enter the school building at all without an appointment. Teachers may seek to arrange online meetings with you, where appropriate, as an alternative to face to face meetings due to our current revised school procedures.

What staff will be doing

Staff will be following very similar steps to those set out for the students in this letter. They will be wearing face masks when moving around the school buildings and if they need to work closely to a student (e.g. if they have a disability). One or two staff, who are more vulnerable, may choose to wear a clear visor or face covering when teaching. Staff will not be circulating much in classrooms instead they will stay at the front of the classroom most of the time. Work will be collected in and handed out. New hygiene measures have been set up to support use of equipment and books including purchasing extra sets, using hand gel and sanitising spray or, in certain circumstances, use of commercial mist fogger machines.

Although school looks a little different now that our students have returned, we are committed to ensuring that it remains the warm and nurturing place that it has always been. Thank you for your ongoing support as we work with you to navigate this most unusual start to a school year.

Any questions?

Contact school: office@becketkeys.org

Contact specific teachers: www.becketkeys.org/contact.php

 

  

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