reopening

Reopening Plans 2020 - 2021

Dear Parents,

We hope you continue to keep safe and well during these unusual times. As has been communicated previously, we are in the fortunate position of being able to open for the new school year with 100% of students on-site for the full school day.





In this communication we want to explain to you the systems and processes in place to ensure our students’ safety, as well as detailed explanations of what the Academy day will look like for our students. This overarching communication for the whole Academy will also be followed up by communication from each of the individual phases.

To ensure a successful start to the school year and to ensure our parents and students have a clear understanding of what is required, we will be having a staggered start. We realise this staggered start may inconvenience some families, for which we apologise, however, it is vital our students feel comfortable returning and that all community members understand the safety requirements. We cannot put this in place if 1000 students all turn up together on the first day

School Opening

To ensure a continuous flow throughout the morning we are asking children to arrive at school so they can make it to their classrooms at the following times. We would ask that only one member of the family is here to drop students off and to try and do this as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Day

Time

Group

Sunday August 30

7:45am

Foundation Stage 1 – ‘Group 1’ students

All Foundation Stage 2 students

9:00am

All students in all year groups who are new to the Academy this year

10:30am

Foundation Stage 1 – ‘Group 2’ students

Monday September 31

7:45am

Foundation Stage 1 – ‘Group 1’ students

All Foundation Stage 2 students

All Secondary students (Year 7 to 13) who are in Onyx and Pearl

8:15am

All Year 1 to 4 students

8:30am

All Year 5 and 6 students

10:30am

Foundation Stage 1 – ‘Group 2’ students

Tuesday September 1

7:45am

Foundation Stage 1 – ‘Group 1’ students

All Foundation Stage 2 students

All Secondary students (Year 7 to 13) who are in Ruby and Emerald

8:15am

All Primary students (Year 1 to 6)

10:30am

Foundation Stage 1 – ‘Group 2’ students

Wednesday September 2

7:45am

Foundation Stage 1 – ‘Group 1’ students

All Foundation Stage 2 students

All Secondary (Year 7 to 13) students

8:15am

All Primary (Year 1 to 6) students

10:30am

Foundation Stage 1 – ‘Group 2’ students

Thursday September 3

7:45am

Foundation Stage 1 – ‘Group 1’ students

All Foundation Stage 2 students

All Secondary (Year 7 to 13) students

8:15am

All Primary (Year 1 to 6) students

10:30am

Foundation Stage 1 – ‘Group 2’ students

NB: Secondary students who are not at school on Monday or Tuesday will have set work to complete delivered via school platforms. More information to follow.

Foundation Stage students will continue their staggered start in the second week of the new academic year. Further information around the FS staggered start will be communicated separately.

Entry

To ensure we meet social distancing requirements as well as ensure that students entering the building do not have a fever, we will have designated entry points for each year level. Each of these entry points will have thermal scanners to check temperatures.

No parents will be able to enter the Academy building unless authorised 

  • All FS1 and FS2 students will enter the building via the FS entrance to the right of the main reception building. They will be greeted in the FS reception by a Teacher or Teaching Assistant. The child will be escorted to their class by a member of staff and parents will leave via the sign-posted one-way system. No parents are permitted to visit classrooms or learning spaces.
  • All students in Year 1 and 2 will be met outside in the playground, adjacent to GEMS International School, by a Teacher or Teaching Assistant and escorted to their class.
  • All students in Year 3 and 4 will be met out the front of the school, inside the school gates, by a Teacher or Teaching Assistant and escorted to their class via the doors just to the right of the main reception building.
  •  All students in Year 5 to 13 need to be dropped at the gates outside the school and will enter the building via the doors just to the right of the main reception building. They will then turn left and make their way to their designated classrooms.

Buses

All school buses will be operational for all year groups but will operate at 50% capacity with seats marked for guidance. Students will have their temperatures checked before boarding the bus. On arrival at school, Foundation Stage to Year 4 students will be accompanied into the building by Academy staff. Students in Year 5 to 13 need to enter the building as outlined above. All school buses will be thoroughly disinfected after each journey.

Educational Provision

Foundation Stage, Primary and Secondary phases will send out more detailed information regarding how the teaching and learning will occur in each year group. The outlines below are to provide an overview of how the day will work for each section whilst ensuring the relevant safety guidelines are met.

Foundation Stage to Year 1

Students will be divided into ‘stable’ groups of 10 students in neighbouring classrooms. The teacher will alternate between classrooms and deliver face to face lessons to both groups. Teaching assistants will supervise and support children in the room where the teacher is not. Specialist teachers will visit the children’s classrooms. A modified provision will be delivered to ensure children receive the curriculum in a safe and controlled manner.

Year 2 to Year 6

Each class will be divided in half and split between two neighbouring classrooms or learning zones. This will ensure the social distancing guidelines of 1.5 metres can be met. Lessons will be live-streamed between the classrooms with a teaching assistant supervising and supporting the room where the teacher is not. The teacher will alternate between classrooms both during and after every lesson. Specialist teachers, including Arabic and Islamic, will visit the children’s classrooms. A modified provision will be delivered to ensure children receive the Primary curriculum in a safe and controlled manner.

Year 7 to 13

In Year 7 to 13, our class sizes and Academy spaces allow us to meet the social distancing requirements of 1.5 metres between students. Where possible, students will remain in their classrooms with teachers coming to the classrooms to teach. Where movement is required between classes (for example, in option subjects from Year 10 to 13), social distancing requirements will be enforced. Furthermore, Year 10 to 13 will remain separate from Year 7 to 9 to ensure they can remain in a safe and controlled environment. All students will receive their full timetabled provision of lessons across the Secondary school and be taught by their specialist subject teachers.

Remote Learning

Remote learning will be an option for those that need it. The remote learning option will need to be discussed with the relevant Principal of each phase and approved by the Principal/CEO of the Academy.

Remote learning will take the form of synchronised lessons live-streamed from the class each day, as well as uploading of resources to the usual school platforms. Usual assessment and feedback processes will take place.

It will not be possible for students to switch between remote and on-site learning as they please. It needs to be one or the other.

Health and Safety

There are a range of measures being implemented to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff. These include:

  • All students from Year 2 (aged 6) and above and all staff must wear face masks or shields
  • There will be social distancing markers on the floor that need to be adhered to
  • Automatic hand sanitiser dispensers will be placed around the building for all staff and students to use
  • In common areas, disinfection and sanitisation processes will occur at hourly intervals throughout the day as well as a full school disinfection and sanitisation at the end of each school day
  • Signage and posters around the school reminding of social distancing and hand washing
  • All classroom equipment and resources will be sanitised after every use.
  • A strict hand washing regime and adequate hand washing breaks for students will be implemented. Younger children will be assisted with this. Signage will be placed in all washrooms and hand washing areas
  • Prayer rooms will be closed
  • No large gatherings or meetings will be allowed

Health Screening and Contingency Plans

If a student presents at school with a temperature, he/she will be guided to a waiting room and given five minutes to cool down. Parents that have dropped their child off will be contacted immediately and asked to wait. If a second temperature screening detects a high temperature, parents will be asked to take their child home. If students have come to school on the bus, parents will be contacted and asked to come and collect their child. The student will be placed in a staffed isolation room until this can happen.

If staff or students become ill during the day, the following procedures are in place:

  • They will be sent to the medical clinic and assessed by the medical team
  • If symptoms of Covid-19 are present they will immediately be sent to a special isolation room and dealt with by medical staff in full PPE clothing
  • Parents will be contacted via their primary telephone number and asked to come and collect their child within 30 minutes
  • If a parent cannot make it to school within 30 minutes the DHA will be contacted. They will come and collect the child and take them to hospital. The student will be accompanied by a staff member from the Academy to the hospital and will wait with the student until parents arrive
  • The student will need to stay at home and self-isolate for two weeks
  • If a case of Covid-19 is detected, contact tracing procedures will immediately be enacted with all contacts required to stay at home for the next two weeks and a negative Covid-19 test required for return to school

Here's how GEMS Education is ensuring the safety of your child

Toileting

A housekeeper will be assigned outside each bathroom to ensure appropriate social distancing. Only three students will be allowed in the bathroom at one time. Only one child at a time will be permitted to leave class to decrease the amount of traffic to the bathrooms. Bathrooms will be cleaned after every use.

PE and Extra-curricular Activities

PE classes will be run as usual and all activities will follow social distancing guidelines. On the day students have PE they must come to school in their PE uniform and be in this for the whole day as there will be no changing facilities available. There will be no swimming at school during this time, but swimming scholars will receive additional information from Hamilton Aquatics about their programmes. Extra-curricular activities will not be available.

Lunchtime and Breaks

It is vital that during breaks and lunchtimes, students continue to be vigilant with social distancing.

To ensure safety guidelines are met, the following will be implemented:

  • Lunchtime will involve packed lunches only. These can be ordered through Slices
  • In the Primary School, packed lunches will be delivered to classrooms
  • Secondary students can pick up their lunches from the canteen and eat in a range of places as long as social distancing guidelines are followed
  • There will be no water dispensers available at school. All students must bring their own water bottles with enough water for the full day
  • Water will be available to purchase through lunch orders with Slices

We do encourage students to bring their own packed lunch if possible.

End of the School Day

To ensure a smooth end to the day we will be releasing students at different exits, escorted by teachers, to ensure social distancing procedures are followed:

  • Following the staggered start period (the first two weeks), Foundation Stage 1 students will leave school at 12:30pm/2.35pm and be picked up by their parents in the area beside Gate 2 carpark, situated at the front of the school. They will be handed over by their teacher. Pick-up times for the first two weeks will be communicated separately.
  • Foundation Stage 2 students will leave school at 2.35pm and be picked up by their parents in the area beside the Gate 2 carpark at the front of the school. They will be handed over by their teacher.
  • Year 1 and 2 students will leave school at 3pm and be picked up by their parents beside the Gate 15 carpark, situated at the side of the school adjacent to GEMS International School. They will be handed over by their teacher.
  • Year 3 - 6 students will leave school at 3pm and be picked up by their parents beside Gate 6a carpark at the front of the school. They will be handed over by their teacher.
  • Year 7 - 13 students will leave school at 3pm and be picked up by their parents at the gates outside the front of the school. Period 7 teachers will walk them to the exit.

If you have any questions regarding this communication then please do not hesitate to get in contact with our front-of-house team who will be able to direct you to the person who can address your concerns. More detailed plans from the Primary and Secondary teams will follow later this week.

As this is going to be a ‘new normal’ for all of us, we ask for your patience and tolerance as we implement these new measures.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming students back into the building and beginning the new school year.

 

Kind regards,

The Academy Leadership Team

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