26th June 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I was pleased to hear in the Prime Minister’s announcement this week that it is now extremely likely that all children in all year groups will all be back in school in September. We believe that this includes those who have been shielding but we are awaiting confirmation; we will be in touch with the families of the most vulnerable children to discuss our provision and allay anxieties. Although the guidance has not yet been published, we expect it to bring about a return to compulsory attendance for all. We are planning to be fully open.

When term ends on the 17th July, we will close to the children of key workers and stay closed until the start of the next academic year, in line with all schools. Children who receive free school meals vouchers will continue to receive those over the summer holiday.

The guidance on the so-called “air-corridors” to allow holidays abroad is not yet fully in place, but it will be the responsibility of families to ensure that holiday plans don’t lead to children needing to be in quarantine during term time. Please bear that in mind if you are planning on foreign travel.

The start of term will not be exactly the same as it has been in the past, for a number of reasons. We haven’t been able to undertake the normal induction and transition visits with students who will be joining us in Year 7 and Year 12 next year. We are also conscious that we made a lot of progress this year in terms of behaviour and attitudes towards school, and it is really important that we don’t lose any of that. Children will have forgotten some of the good habits they spent last year learning and some of them will be anxious about returning after such a long time away, so we are intending to open in a staggered way, allowing time to re-integrate students into the school environment. We will add year groups gradually until the school is full. We will expect students to wear full uniform, apart from the new Year 7 intake who may not have been able to get uniform by then. They will have a period of time when they are exempt from uniform that I’ll confirm to those parents separately.

Term will begin on Thursday 3rd September for Years 7, 12 and 13

Term will begin on Friday 4th September for Years 8 and 10

Term will begin on Monday 7th September for Years 9 and 11

I am aware that after so many months away from school, children and parents will be frustrated that they are not all returning to school on the previously published start date. However, I am confident that this staggered start is necessary and will lead to a more successful term overall.

We do not yet know the specific arrangements that will be in place in September to limit the potential of Covid infection, but as soon as we have the government guidance we will let you all know what we intend to do. There will be a significant focus on increased hygiene.

You might be interested to know that, according to some data gathered by the National Foundation for Educational Research, around 42% of students across the country handed in the last piece of work they were set. The proportion of students at SWA handing in work is much better than that. Of course, it varies depending on which year and which subject you look at but, for instance, 80% of Year 7 handed in their most recent science assignment, while 88% of Year 10 handed in their most recent maths assignment. Thank you for your support with home learning during this time. It has been invaluable.

Today is the official leaving day for year 11 and year 13.  We wish them all the best for the future and hope to see many year 11 back in September  to continue their studies at HC6. 

Have a good weekend,

Andy Hunter