Urgent parent survey - Reopening of school - SURVEY NOW CLOSED(Posted on 07/06/20)
The Maelor School – Reopening of Schools as of 7/6/20
Last Wednesday the Education Minister Kirsty Williams announced the reopening of school with effect from the 29th June. We are still awaiting the government guidelines that will support this decision but in order to plan and prepare we really need as many parents as possible to complete this questionnaire
In order to complete it fully, you will need an idea of what is planned. The following is very much still in draft as we have to wait for the guidance and answers to our questions.
What is the purpose of school opening?
The minister describes it as “Check in, Catch up and Prepare”. Checking that pupils are managing the online work, helping them with any errors they may have and helping them prepare for further online work. There is to be a limit of 1/3 of the school in at any one time and schools will need to work towards this number over the next few weeks.
What other changes are there?
The minister also announced an extension of one week to this term, meaning that from the 29th there will be four weeks left not three, as well as an added one week break to the October half term next academic year. We don’t yet know if this added week is before or after the planned October half term.
What will school be like for my child?
School will NOT be returning to normal. Indications are that pupils will be required to be 2m away from others and that there will be limited movement around the school. Our calculations with these restrictions mean that there will be a maximum of 8 pupils in a classroom and that the classrooms will need reorganising to ensure this.
Small classes of 8 will be notified in advance with a start time. They will be in their group of 8 for the day including at break and lunchtime. This will mean that the teachers will move to the class so that the pupils are not together in the corridors at lesson change over. They will have staggered break and lunchtime to avoid contact with other groups.
Due to the limitations on numbers, it is likely that the pupils will have 1 or 2 days per week of this Check in, Catch up and Prepare time. I will be able to say which days and how many once I collect the answers to the survey.
What will they learn?
Work in school will be checking that the pupils understand and can access the online materials. Difficult concepts will be taught but the pupils will not necessarily be with their specific class teacher. Yr 10 may complete elements of their Skills Challenge certificate, which will count towards their GCSE’s
What if I don’t send my child?
The decision to send your child to school is entirely at the parents’ discretion, there will be no phone calls, fines or loss of attendance statistics if you choose that you would rather not attend at the moment.
What about the 6th form?
Year 12 pupils will receive a more bespoke lecture style timetable throughout the week, they may have to be prepared to arrive and leave school at differing times to their friends. They too will be expected to be in small class sizes and “socially distance” when not in class.
What about the school buses?
The free local authority transport is still being worked on by Wrexham LA. They will be wanting the school to inform them of who will need their bus and when. I will contact you about this later in the week if you qualify for free LA transport.
Our PAT’s coaches – as far as we are aware, the social distancing rules will also apply on our PAT’s Coaches. Unless there is a change in the regulations this means that, only a very small number (8 or less) will be able to get each coach. The law states that a school cannot subsidise transport to the school, so the dilemma is that the school either passes on the extra cost to the parents (likely to be at least 4 times higher than existing costs) or that the buses do not run. Given that the situation this end of term is temporary, unless rules change, it is unlikely that the Pat’s Coaches travel will operate. We are keeping this element under review and will inform parents if this changes.
What will I do as I work and will be unable to get them to school?
We anticipate that the majority of pupils who do attend until the summer will come by car. The school is hoping to provide “wraparound” care from 8am until 5.30pm at no cost so that parents could drop and pick up pupils at a more convenient time. Parents will need to sign up to this facility in the next few weeks.
What will they wear and do they need to bring anything?
There will be no school uniform requirements so pupils should wear their own clothes, they should bring equipment (pens / pencils etc.) with them and should not lend them to anyone else.
We will not require pupils to wear a mask, but if a pupil wants to and brings their own face covering then that will be fine.
What else will be in place to keep them safe?
Each room will have alcohol hand sanitiser and disinfectant spray. There will be an increase in the cleaning routines within the school.
What about food?
We are unsure yet if our canteen will be open, we are waiting for more guidance in order to find out. If not pupils will have to bring their own food.
Will the online learning continue?
Yes, the expectation is that the online work will continue to be set and completed by pupils. The time in school is to build on this work rather than replace it.
Why don’t you do live online lessons?
The school received guidance not to teach online lessons, I understand that this is being reviewed. We await clarification as a matter of urgency.
Year 6 and Yr 11
We plan to offer transition days for both Yr 6 and for those joining our sixth form. Further details will be available soon.
Please complete the online survey so that I can plan for numbers, nearer to the start of the provision I will send a further questionnaire asking parents to sign up for a place for their child. This will have the days / details that you need to plan. We await Welsh Government advice and a completed risk assessment before I can send this out.
Many thanks for your continued support in the difficult times,
Simon Ellis - Headteacher