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Preparations For Year 10

Preparations for the Phased Return of Year 10 Week Commencing Monday 15th June

Dear all

I just wanted to make you aware of the considerable preparations that are currently taking place at St Mary’s in order to ensure that the school is as safe as it can possibly be for you and the pupils. The initial 6 points below were included in a ParentMail sent to Y10 pupils. This correspondence was a follow-up to a more detailed letter they received earlier in the week.


  • The vast majority of you will be bringing your child into school by car – please note that we are unable to accommodate pupils on site before 8.30am for a 9am start.  Pupils must be dropped off on the school drive.
  • All pupils must report to Reception following the marked one-way system.
  • All pupils will need a packed lunch/snacks as NO catering services will be available.
  • All pupils must adhere to the social distancing measures, rules and procedures which will be explained to them on arrival and reinforced regularly.
  • All pupils must bring their own equipment for lessons and books/folders relating to English, Maths and Science.
  • Any transport needs should have been communicated in advance to our Finance office


  1. Signs: If you have been into school in recent days, you will have seen the increased signage reminding pupils to maintain social distancing, follow the one-way system, wash/sanitise their hands and describing the symptoms of Covid 19. There is 2m tape on the floor in all key corridors, lockers have clearly been marked as out of bounds. A protective screen has also been put up at the Reception window.
  2. Rooms: Designated teaching rooms have all been set up with social distancing in mind. Group sizes are no bigger than 10 pupils and often just 5 or 6. Pupils will be expected to hand sanitise on entry and exit to the room and be responsible for wiping down their workspace – all of these materials will be available in each of the rooms being used (including a box of tissues per desk). Please can all teachers wipe down their desk at the end of each session. These rooms will then be ‘deep cleaned’ at the end of each day. Vulnerable pupils and those of key workers will be supervised as a separate entity in The Caritas building.
  3. Teaching: In order to uphold the social distancing, it would be safest to adopt a ‘teaching from the front’ approach. This may be using the interactive board, using a powerpoint presentation etc but circulation amongst the group will not be possible. The low pupil numbers in groups should enable a workshop/seminar feel to the sessions, with plenty of time for Q&A. As you can see above, pupils have been told to bring their own equipment and books/folders – sharing will not be possible. I do not foresee the need for Y10 pupils to have use of the library or for them to loan books during this time. The small groups of Y10 will largely stay in the same room at the same desk and teachers will rotate to the rooms to reduce movement around the school and maintain social distancing.
  4. Behaviour: All normal behaviour expectations/sanctions will be in operation. In addition, pupils will be told that if they consciously ignore social distancing protocols they will initially be warned. If they do so a further time in the classroom, they will be removed. Pupils who repeatedly breach the rules will not be allowed in for further contact days.
  5. Modelling: It will be important for all of us to model safe social distancing which will act as a constant reminder to the pupils. Please also regularly remind the Year 10s of the social distancing and one-way protocols.
  6. Staffroom: Alterations to the layout of the staffroom will be necessary, as will restrictions on the number using it at any one time – there will be no morning briefings. More details to follow but I will make sure that alternative tea/coffee making facilities are in operation for break and lunchtime. You will need to bring your own lunch and I would also recommend that communal mugs/plates etc aren’t used or left dirty in the staffroom.  Your own ‘takeaway’ coffee cup would invariably be the safest option. Weather permitting, pupils will be encouraged to eat outside using distanced picnic tables at break/lunch.
  7. Cleaning: Door handles, toilets, hand rails, frequently used surfaces etc will be routinely cleaned throughout the whole day and then thoroughly at the end of each day. There will also be some cleaning of frequently used outdoor pathways. Rooms not in use will be locked. We are well stocked with cleaning materials.
  8. Risk Assessment:  I have conducted a thorough Risk Assessment which has been sent to the LA and placed in the Virtual Staffroom (MST). This will be held under constant review. I will shortly be conducting telephone risk assessments with colleagues who have underlying health conditions and/or who have been shielding.

The list above is not exhaustive but gives an indication about the preparations and precautions undertaken. There is a clear rationale behind the decisions that we have made about groups, rooms, timings etc. It may be different to what you have heard other schools are proposing or the arrangements in schools that your own children attend and this is to be expected. If you have any immediate queries, please email them to your line manager in the first instance, as this will make the process of responding manageable.

I will not hesitate to make alterations to the arrangements above as and when necessary. Thank you for your ongoing cooperation and support.

Stuart Wetson