Coming Back to School

School reopens for all students on Monday 7th September

Lessons start promptly at 8:40pm and school finishes at 3:30pm as normal

 

We look forward to welcoming everyone back to school next week for the first time since all schools closed in March when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK. Back in July, we issued a guide to coming back to school, a copy of which is available on the school’s website. Please take some time to relook at that document ahead of school re-starting by clicking here Guide to coming back to school

 

Last week, 150 Year 11 students came back to school for three days focussing on Maths, English and Science so that they can hit the ground running in September. We also had the pleasure of welcoming over 200 new Year 7 students to our school and we hope that the short time they spent with us will help them to settle in quickly. Having students and staff back in school during the week gave us an opportunity to further review our plans and to take note of the emerging guidance. Overall, the enthusiasm and behaviour of the students who came back to school was outstanding and gave us cause to be confident that we will all settle quickly into a new routine.

 

We said back in July that we would review our arrangements every two weeks taking into account emerging information and the views of parents, students and staff and we will continue to do this. One particular feature of our plans, the wearing of face coverings, has been the subject of much discussion and debate. Following our latest review (w/e 28/8) including taking into account the low rate of CV-19 in our community, we have decided to modify our position and make face coverings optional in classrooms for all students when school opens next week. All other mitigating measures remain in place as planned. Parents are asked to carefully consider their choice regarding face coverings and discuss it with their children. We will support your decision on an individual basis. In addition, teachers will be issued with face visors as an alternative to face masks to use when teaching. Please note, children will still need to bring a face covering to school every day and face coverings remain compulsory on school buses, when moving between lessons inside buildings and corridors and in some specialist areas such as technology, science and during practical lessons. Some students will need to be exempted and we have a system in place to accommodate this. We will continue to keep the use of face coverings and all of our plans under review as promised.

 

I'm sure that all of us share our ambition to get school reopened and to keep it open as we approach the next phase of dealing with the challenges of CV-19. I can assure you all that we will do everything we can to get your children back on track with their studies and to continue to keep our school community safe. All staff return on Thursday and Friday this week which is our opportunity to be clear about the changes to procedures and behaviors that will be needed from all of us over the coming days, weeks and months. We will spend some time talking to students about these changes when they get to school on Monday. Please encourage them over the next few days to have a look at the coming back to school guide that we published in July. It will help enormously to get everyone up to speed quickly. Guide to coming back to school

 

The best way to keep our community safe is to keep CV-19 out of our school completely. Please do not send your child to school if they or any of their household have or suspect they may have symptoms of Covid-19. 

 

Likewise, if you have returned from holidays overseas after Monday 24th August 2020 from any country on the UK quarantine list, do not send your child to school, contact us first. The list of countries on the quarantine list changes quickly so if you are unsure please check the latest guidance at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors

 

If you are for any reason unsure or want to discuss this with us please email on Nocv19@hccs.info so that we can work with you to ensure a safe return to school. 

 

On a final note, we start this year for the first time in 22 years with a new headteacher and I look forward to working with everyone over the year ahead. I can’t think of a more unusual or challenging set of circumstances on which to start in this role but I promise to do my utmost, in partnership with the governing body, parents and staff to make this year a success for all of our students.


 

Nigel Bielby

Headteacher

Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School

& Sixth Form College

 

Selkirk Drive

Holmes Chapel

Cheshire

CW4 7DX

 

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