As we fast approach Christmas I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your support and understanding during this incredibly difficult year. Pupils on the whole have been magnificent and their resilience has shone through.
Throughout this pandemic we have continuously evaluated the systems that we have in place and we are now in a position to inform you that we intend to revise how we operate with effect from January 18th 2021. The Covid cases at Rushden Academy have been incredibly low and we aim to maintain this by strictly following the Covid safety expectations.
The pupils will return to school on Tuesday 5th January 2021 where they will be taught in their ‘usual zones’ but on Friday 15th January they will be issued with a new timetable and from Monday 18th January pupils will move across school to different classrooms. This means that teachers will stay in their classrooms and their department area. We believe that the 2 week delay from 5th to 18th January will give us a ‘quarantine period’ before changes are made.
We have assessed the number of cases in other schools where they have operated our January 18th revised system and we have not noted significant high risks. We are aware that the local schools have now reverted or are reverting to this way of operating again with TENC pupils following the plan in the New Year.
Having teachers back in their own classrooms will mean that pupils and staff will have access to specialist rooms and resources once more. The risk assessment will be updated with an increased one-way system and we will steer pupils to keep to the left. There will be increased outdoor movement so that pupils do get fresh air when travelling across school. We are fortunate to have a school site where school buildings are spaced apart and we do have plenty of outdoor space too.
We will continue to have year group bubbles. We will continue with the staggered starts, breaks, lunches and ends to the day. The school gates that the year group bubbles use will stay the same, their allocated canteen and outdoor area will stay the same. We will continue to insist on face masks being worn in communal areas including corridors and we will continue to insist on social distancing and sanitizing.
Year 7 will be fully supported to get from classroom to classroom, they will pick this up swiftly as they are much more familiar with the site than previous year 7s starting in September.
So to summarise:
- Changes will take place with effect from Monday 18th January
- New timetables will be issued on Friday 15th January, the only changes made to their timetables are the rooms that they are taught in, and there are no changes to their subject or teacher
- Pupils start times and end times will remain the same
- Break and lunch times will remain the same and pupils will use the same allocated areas as before to get food and to socialise
- Pupils will move to their next lesson when asked and keep to the left and where feasible go around the outside of the buildings
- If pupils are taught on the ground floor they will enter via external doors where possible, rather than going through corridors
Please support the community to keep safe by ensuring your child comes to school with a face mask and that they bring all the belongings they need for the day. Please do not visit the site without an appointment as it is essential that we keep everyone safe.
If you have any issues, concerns please do contact your Head of Year in the first instance. This has not been a rushed decision and you have time to digest and respond before we make the changes. A revised Risk Assessment will be available on our website on 18th December for you to refer to in the Key information: Covid-19 folder.
In the meantime please do have a safe and happy Christmas, albeit slightly unusual.
Mrs J Burton