It continues to be the Government’s aim that all pupils, in all year groups, remain in school full-time throughout the autumn term. Any restrictions on education would only be as a last resort and may only be initiated following approval from the local authority. We are aligned with these intentions; returning to school is vital for children’s education and for their wellbeing. Therefore, the Hundred of Hoo Academy will reopen as planned to all students on Monday 7th December at normal time.
Time out of school is detrimental for children’s cognitive and academic development, particularly for disadvantaged children. This impact can affect both current levels of education, and children’s future ability to learn. We need to ensure all pupils can return to school sooner rather than later.
We have taken several steps in addition to our existing, robust risk assessments, to ensure the site has been thoroughly deep cleaned in preparation for our return. Staff will also continue to clean desks in between lessons.
Whilst we will continue to do all we can in school, we are reliant on our families’ support outside school to ensure that we can continue to operate effectively. I would appreciate it if you could take the time to read the existing guidance from the government carefully and ensure that both your child and your household are following it. Please also read the safety measures and sanctions below to your child to help keep our community safe.
Symptoms and Testing
To avoid any student bringing Covid-19 into the Academy and transmitting it amongst their year group bubble I would now like to make you aware of the symptoms that were reported following our wave of positive cases:
- Continuous Cough High Temperature Loss of Taste/Smell
- Sore Throat Headache/Migraine Tummy Ache
- Vomiting Nausea (Feeling Sick) Diarrhoea
- Extreme tiredness Muscle Aches/Joint Pain Rash
If you are concerned about your child having covid-19 symptoms then you must keep them isolated at home and book a test, please only send them back to school once they have had a negative result. I believe it is better to be safe than sorry, and test results are now being returned a lot quicker, reducing any loss in education. Remember that if anyone in their household develops symptoms of Coronavirus then the whole household must isolate and arrange a test for the person with symptoms. If the test returns a negative result then the isolation can end. If the test is positive then the person with the positive test result must isolate for 10 days from when the symptoms started and all other members of the household for 14 days. This remains the case even if the other members of the household test negative.
Academy Safety Measures
These are compulsory when moving around the academy. Students may only remove their face mask when sitting in their classroom, eating during break/lunch or when sitting outdoors. If your child is exempt then they must carry their card either on a lanyard or in their hand as they move around the academy. Like a pen, it is recommended to have two in case one breaks.
This is a compulsory part of school equipment and will be checked during morning line up.
Students will be asked to sanitise at the start of every lesson and after break/lunch. There are hand sanitiser stations at the entrance to every building for students to use too.
Students must follow the one-way system, walking at a good pace to ensure minimal close contact with other students. Students should also be facing forward and go directly to their next lesson.
Windows and doors will continue to be left open throughout the day to provide effective ventilation around the academy.
Health and Safety Sanctions
In response to Medway being placed in Tier 3, and following responses via our student leadership teams we will be increasing our sanctions for breaking the Academy safety measures, for example:
If your child does not have a face mask at morning line-up then one will be provided on the first occurrence and social time removed for the day. For a repeat offense the student will work in LSU for the day. If your child is seen moving around the academy not wearing a face mask correctly then they will be placed into isolation for the remainder of the day and the following day. If this happens for a second time then they will be placed in the isolation room for a longer period of time and they will not return to the full school community until a parental meeting has taken place.
If your child does not have a personal hand sanitiser then they will be placed in LSU until a parent is able to bring it to the academy. This will also result in an additional hour being added to their school day.
Whilst we hope we do not need to take these measures, we take the safety of all our community extremely seriously and if any student is putting others at risk then they will be removed from the school population and work in Isolation.
Protecting the community together
There are several other ways that parents are able to support the school and therefore their children. Whilst we continue to be in Tier 3, please ensure that your children are following the rules put in place by the government. I appreciate that some students struggle with not being able to see their friends, however, currently the rules are that young people should not be meeting socially with friends either inside or outside. By minimising contacts in this way, it will help to reduce the number of contacts each child has and hopefully prevent the virus returning into school.
I would like to ask you to ensure that your child is dressed appropriately to keep them warm in the academy. Students should wear the normal uniform,( including grey tights for girls) but I would also request that they wear a plain vest or plain white t-shirt under their school shirt, and I am permitting plain navy (no additional colours) v-neck sweaters as well as the Academy’s v neck jumper, to be worn under their blazer during this pandemic. I have included some links below to help you find the most suitable one for your child:
For those families who are facing challenging financial circumstances, we have access to a Hardship Fund and can allocate a one-off payment to help with the purchase of Uniform. Please apply in writing to Mrs Smith, Vice Principal using the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. We recognise that over the last few weeks financial circumstances may have changed for some of our families and we want to ensure that you have the support you need at this time.
Engagement with home learning
Staff have been tracking pupils’ engagement at home over the last 2 weeks. Whilst the vast majority of students engagement has been relatively good, disappointingly some students have not engaged as they should. In response to this, for children that it is appropriate for, we will be inviting them to compulsory catch up sessions after school for an hour a day for however many days is required for them to catch up from Monday to Thursday for the next 2 weeks.
We appreciate how challenging it is for all but please consider that the Academy team is working in unprecedented circumstances, please do not add to the stress and strain by not following the above instructions. We are hugely grateful for all the support you have continued to provide and are committed to keeping your children safe whilst helping them reach their full potential.
Mr C Guerin-Hassett