Dear Parent / Carer
As we are rapidly approaching the end of September, the normal routines of school life are resuming. We are running lunchtime and afterschool PE clubs in line with our COVID-19 restrictions and are looking to bring back certain music activities from next week. Along with this letter I have also included a letter from Professor Jim McManus, Director of Public Health for Hertfordshire. Please take time to read this important communication.
In my letter dated 11th September, I celebrated the success of our Year 11 and Year 13 students. Unfortunately, I had not done my due diligence on the results awarded to Torin Burrows (Year 13). I reported the grades he was awarded initially (4 A grades) not the ones he was actually given, which was an impressive 3 A* and 1 A grade. We wish Torin all the best at Bath University where he is reading Economics.
Year 7 have now been issued their Chromebooks and I am unsure who has been the more excited, Mr Hankin and Mr Parsons or the 11 year olds who have been introduced to them over the last couple of days. The roll-out of the Chromebooks as part of our Blended Learning agenda places The Priory at the forefront of using technology in schools. We are in the process of looking at fast-tracking our roll-out of Chromebooks to other year groups in the next 6 months.
The Open Evening planned for Thursday 8th October will be virtual this year. A huge amount of work has gone on to ensure we can support prospective new parents and students getting an insight into what The Priory School is all about. If you have time, I would suggest you take a look at what we have put together by going to: https://www.priory.herts.sch.uk/admissions/.
Dropping off and collecting your child
We are seeing more parents dropping off their child(ren) and collecting them at the end of the school day. As the weather starts to turn this will only see more vehicles using our parking facilities. Please can parents ensure that they are being considerate to others. If there are parking spaces please use them first, but also be patient about getting out of the car park. It becomes frustrating when members of my leadership team have to deal with parents ‘behaving badly’ over parking.
Winter is coming
Can I ask that students start to wear coats as the temperature drops and gets colder. This year there is a greater imperative to help reduce the number of colds that young people pick up.
Over the last few weeks we have been updating a number of school policies. The key updated policies can be found on our school website from Monday 28th September. The Behaviour for Learning policy has been updated to include an appendix on COVID-19; this section of the policy has accompanied this letter.
Issues related to COVID-19
The vast majority of students are coming to school with masks and thank you for your support in ensuring that this is happening. However, there is still a minority of students in each year group who turn up every day without a mask. If there is a financial reason why a child does not have a mask then we can look to support that child. From Monday 28th September, students who do not have a mask coming to school (without a good reason) or do not wear a mask in the identified areas will be issued a consequence (see Appendix E of the Behaviour for Learning policy).
We are currently reviewing where masks will be worn as the weather becomes colder and the annual cycle of colds picks up. Students are wearing masks when they get changed for their PE lessons.
Following on from my letter dated 18th September I would like to thank parents for completing the school track and trace document when their child is off awaiting a COVID-19 test. This document template has been shared with all the secondary schools in Hertfordshire and has been incorporated into the MOU between Public Heath England (East) and the Local Authority.
Mrs Higgs our Attendance Office is extremely rigorous in chasing up why a student is not in school and records down the reasons why the child is off.
- If your child is off school because you suspect that they may have one of the COVID-19 symptoms then your child does not come back into school until we have confirmation of a negative test result.
- If the school sends a student home as we suspect that they are displaying a COVID-19 symptom then that child does not come back into school until we have confirmation of a negative test result.
- If a child who has been reported absent by their parents or sent home by the school due to having potential symptoms turns up at school without confirmation of the negative test result then that student will be
We all have a duty of care to ensure that we as a school community shoulder our responsibility for limiting the spread of COVID-19.
In my letter dated 11th September I outlined how the school was going to deliver learning to students if they were self-isolating due to a positive COVID-19 case in school. The emphasis of this was on when student bubbles or partial bubbles were sent home. To give more clarity to the different scenarios that have and will occur with regards to supporting learning at home these are our approaches:
|Situation/Length of Absence||Learning Delivered|
|Up to the first 3 School days awaiting test results for student or member of the household||No setting of classwork. Students will be directed to the Virtual Learning section of our website (https://www.priory.herts.sch.uk/virtual-learning/) and can complete timetabled homework tasks set on Google Classroom|
|4 School days or more awaiting test results for student or member of the household||On day 4 work will be set according to the student’s timetable. This could be: comprehension activities, source and response question tasks, exam questions etc. Homework will continue to be set on Google Classroom for all students to complete.|
|Self-isolating (14 Days)||Work will be set according to the student’s timetable. This could be: sharing of the missed lessons, scanned resources, extended projects or tasks similar to those listed above.
Homework will continue to be set via Google Classroom for all students to complete.
Work will be marked and feedback given on a three-week rotation.
|Larger group self-isolating, for example a ‘Year bubble’ or Form Group required to self-isolate||A full virtual timetable will run, with students expected to ‘register’ during Form Time (8.50-9.10am) and then engage using Google Meet with their classroom teacher at the times dictated by their timetable.
Homework will continue to be set via Google Classroom for all students
Work will be marked and feedback given on a three-week rotation.
Through all of the tiered scenarios teachers may adapt their teaching, resources and tasks to work virtually and ensure that they can be accessed and completed at home. Teachers are available to contact during absences using their school email addresses.
Thank you for your continued support.
Letter to parents and carers from Jim McManus_230920
Appendix E Behaviour for Learning Policy.docx