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Information for Parents about Returning to School - Part 2

Please find below further information about the reopening of Lady Manners School in September.  We have also linked the previous information here that was sent out before the end of the summer term.

When will my child return to school?

In order to ensure that the students have time to get used to the new arrangements in school, we are staggering the start of the new term for each year group. Year 12 and Year 7 students start on Wednesday 2 September, Year 8 and Year 10 students start on Thursday 3 September and Years 9, 11 and 13 start on Friday 4 September. The new school day will start at 9am and finish at 3.35pm for all students.

What happens when my child arrives at school on the first day?

We would like all students to go to the bus bay when they arrive at school. At the bus bay, a member of staff will direct the students to a specified area for their form group and they will then be taken to their form room. After day 1, your child can go straight to their designated social area or form room when they arrive at school, taking care not to mix with other year group bubbles. Students will be shown which route to take through the school to get to their area and to minimise contact with other year group bubbles.

Students will be spending period 1 with their form tutor each day until we have the entire school community back in school. Additional time will be given to the year groups arriving on Friday 4 September. During this time, we will be carefully explaining all of the hygiene and safety measures, the timetables and how the school day will work. This will include arrangements for break, lunch and how to move around the designated bubble zone.

What happens at the end of the day?

At the end of the day, students will return to the buses in their year group bubbles with their class teacher. Students walking, cycling or being picked up by car will make their own way. If you are collecting your child, please be aware that the bus bay will be unable to accommodate any cars at the end of the day due to the amount of buses on site. We ask that you park farther away from the school and that your child walks to meet you, taking care not to mix with students from other year groups.

How will the school transport work?

We are currently awaiting further guidance from Derbyshire County Council and the DfE regarding specific arrangements for school transport during this exceptional period. However, we anticipate that buses will largely run as normal. Students will be expected to remain in year group ‘bubbles’ and to wear a face mask/covering throughout their daily journeys. Students will also need to bring a plastic bag for their face mask/covering and adhere to good mask hygiene. Staff will meet the buses in the morning and will be available to support the loading of the buses, in year group bubbles, at the end of the day.

As you are aware, we are operating a new school day from September. Although the school start time will remain the same as in previous years (9am), there will now be an earlier finish time of 3.35pm. Buses will normally leave the school site at 3.45pm. The vast majority of buses will be able to meet our new school times immediately. However, as mentioned in previous correspondence, there will be a transitional period that applies to a small number of our bus operators for them to realign routes as contracts are renewed or re-negotiated. This situation currently affects the following four of our nineteen routes:

  • Service 016 Great Longstone
  • Service 022 Rowsley
  • Service 026 Taddington
  • Service 151 Rowsley

This will mean that for a limited period as we monitor the number of students using school transport during the pandemic, these buses may leave school at a slightly later time than other buses. In practice, we anticipate that the impact will be minimal and delayed buses will usually depart at around 4pm. Delays caused by congestion as other school buses leave the site will also be avoided. Students waiting for buses will be fully supervised and indoor areas will be available, if required.

We are in regular contact with Derbyshire County Council and are having ongoing discussions with bus operators. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide further updates as appropriate. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please email our Business Manager, Janet Snell.

My child is in the Sixth Form. Will Y12 and Y13 students be able to leave the site and return during the school day?

No. The regulations stipulate that once staff and students are on site, they should stay there until the end of their working day. Sixth Form students will be able to leave if they have a study period at the end of the day, but they will not be able to return until the next day.

What does my child need to bring?

A reminder that it would be helpful if all students could have the following items:

  • Pen
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Calculator (scientific)
  • Eraser
  • Highlighter pen
  • Glue stick
  • Compass
  • Protractor
  • Small box of coloured pencils
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Small pair of safety scissors

Limiting the sharing of equipment helps to reduce the spread of the virus, so it is important that students have their own equipment. Other than their school bag and equipment, students should not bring additional bags to school. Students will be informed of where they can leave musical instruments.

What does my child need to wear?

It is important that all students return to school in their full school uniform and all students will be expected to wear full school uniform on their first school day, as there will be no active PE lessons. However, on the day(s) where students have PE, they will arrive in and wear their Lady Manners School PE kit for the full day. If your child has PE, they should bring an additional pair of shoes for the day (to wear indoors) and an additional jumper. On colder days, we encourage students to wear plain navy blue or black tracksuit bottoms. On all other days, where there are no timetabled PE lessons, students are expected to be in their full school uniform. Further information regarding uniform for extra-curricular PE will be shared when the programme is up and running.

Is there further information about the year group bubbles?

Yes, as communicated in our previous email, year groups will have designated classrooms and social space. This is all clearly labelled and we have instigated one way systems and invested in additional toilet blocks for some students. Each year group will have a coloured lanyard which links to their zone and it will also carry their lunch pass as we are unable to use the biometric system in school. This information will be shared and explained to students during their first day at school.

What happens if someone in the school community contracts COVID-19?

The government has provided clear guidance related to the virus and our full COVID-19 emergency plan is on the Policies page. In line with the changes to the self-isolation period over the summer, this has been updated.

In brief, no student or staff member should attend school if they have coronavirus COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive for the virus in the last 10 days. If a member of your household develops symptoms, a test should be arranged and the rest of the household must self-isolate for 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms or until a negative test result is received. If your child develops symptoms at school, they will be isolated in a designated area and you will be contacted to take them home immediately. A test will need to be arranged for your child and we may provide a home testing kit. We ask that you inform us immediately of the results of any coronavirus test for your child. If someone in our school community is diagnosed with coronavirus, we will contact the local health protection team and they will advise the school of the next steps, which may involve the national test and trace programme and asking some students, staff or bubbles to self-isolate.

Is there an update on the cleaning regime in school?

Yes, we have now appointed additional cleaners to support our premises team and we have invested in some anti-viral fogging machines to enhance our cleaning regime. As indicated in our last newsletter, there will be regular cleaning throughout the day of frequent surface contact areas, the toilets and specialist rooms and equipment. We will also follow specific deep cleaning procedures if there is a suspected case of COVID-19 in school.

Can my child wear a face mask/covering and will staff wear PPE?

We want everyone in our community to feel comfortable in their working environment, so we have made available optional PPE items to staff. Staff may wear gloves, face masks/coverings and/or visors. Staff members in school dealing with any suspected case of COVID-19 during the school day have access to full PPE. We recognise that families may also feel that it is appropriate for their child to wear a face mask/covering whilst in school. We are happy for this to be a family decision and we would just ask that if you decide that this is what you would like your child to do, that you talk to them about good mask hygiene.

How can I help my child to understand all of the information?

It would be very helpful if you could talk through this information with your child. We will be reiterating this information in the first week and regularly as we work through the first half term. The key messages to students will be:

  • Good hand hygiene
  • Good mask hygiene
  • Catch it, bin it, kill it (tissues and bins are in every classroom)
  • 2 metre social distancing from all staff
  • Remaining in their year group bubble to avoid mixing with other year groups, including on the buses

We will be reminding the students about the behaviour policy when they return to school, but we would like to stress that any inappropriate terminology, behaviours or discussion about COVID-19 will not be tolerated. We will all need to be mindful of each other and of each other’s feelings during this time.

ClassCharts will be used by staff to communicate rewards and behaviour to our students and to their parents/carers. Therefore, if you have not already done so, it is important to download the app and register so you can see all the good things your child is doing in school.

Is there any support available if my child is anxious about the return to school?

Our aim is to provide a working environment that is as safe as possible for all of the school community, adhering to our full risk assessment and the Derbyshire County Council, Public Health England and government guidelines. However, we do appreciate that several months of disruption will have affected people in different ways. Our Changing Lives mental health team can offer excellent support through a self-referral system and continue to remain available. Their service offers one to one confidential support and advice to any student or parent/carer, however small the issue may seem. Their contact details and details for other services can be found on the Keeping Safe page. If your child is anxious, please do contact the school so that we can discuss any further support measures.

How can I contact the school if I have any questions?

Please email info@ladymanners.derbyshire.sch.uk and your question will be passed on to the person most appropriate to respond.

Will I receive any further information about the school reopening?

If any further announcements or significant changes are made by the government before 1 September, we will send further communication. We will also send a reminder about the information for Day 1 for your child towards the end of the summer break.

We very much look forward to welcoming your child back to school in September.