Message from the Headteacher

14th July 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

As we come to the end of an extraordinary school year, I wanted to share my reflections and explain the plans for our full reopening in September.

Year 11

We are still chasing The Queen’s Hotel regarding a new date for the Prom. Currently, government guidance means they are unable to host large events, however we are hopeful that as lockdown measures continue to ease, this restriction will be lifted and we will be able to secure a date. We are very much looking forward to welcoming our Year 11s to receive their GCSE results on Thursday 20th August. A letter has gone home to these parents explaining the procedure for this day.

Year 10

It has been wonderful to welcome our Year 10 students back into school over the last month or so. We have been so impressed with how maturely they have approached our ‘new normal’ in terms of our Covid safe procedures and their learning both in school and at home.

It has been my absolute pleasure to interview students for the roles of prefect, Head Boy and Head Girl over the last week. The applications get stronger every year and I have been blown away by the calibre of this year’s applicants. The school vote is now open so please encourage your child to cast theirs by Thursday, as their voice is incredibly important and will help me to make my final decision.

Years 7, 8 and 9

Although we haven’t been able to see our students from these groups in person since March, the feedback from our tutors about our live tutor sessions has been overwhelmingly positive. We have been pleased with the levels of engagement in online learning and are very much looking forward to seeing them all in person in September.

Key Worker School

The school has been open to children of key workers and those who are vulnerable since 23rd March. Their engagement in learning and their behaviour has been exemplary and I am excited to see them become excellent role models in September; supporting their peers and helping them develop the habits they will need to cope with the new protocols in place for September. This provision will end on Friday 17th July at 2.30pm and will not run during the summer holidays.

Chromebook Leasing Scheme

We are keen to build upon the skills your children have developed, using digital technology to support their learning. We have written to you with details of a very affordable Chromebook leasing scheme for parents, which we are launching in our two Trust schools. Our ambition is that every child will have their own Chromebook to use in school, in their lessons and at home.

Even in a ‘normal’ school year, we expect this will enhance their progress significantly, but the year ahead remains an uncertain one and we know there is a distinct possibility of a local lockdown in the event of an increase in Covid-19 cases. If families are required to self-isolate, in response to NHS Test and Trace protocols, we anticipate this Chromebook will be invaluable to ensuring all children can maintain access to our high quality education whether they are at school or at home. We want the Chromebook to become as essential to your child’s learning as the equipment in their pencil case!

Full Opening in September

The government has directed all schools to fully reopen in September and we have been working at a fast pace to create our plans to safely reopen in-line with government guidance.

Our students have experienced extraordinary change over the last few months and we are therefore committed to keeping the school day as close as possible to their usual experience. We will deliver the full curriculum to all children, with lessons taught by specialist teachers in their specialist classrooms.

Vertical tutoring will continue, as it is central to our school ethos and I know how highly parents and students have valued the regular contact with their tutor: this has undoubtedly strengthened our home-school partnership, which supports your child to grow and flourish in their learning. We also recognise how important social time with peers is for children and so want to ensure we retain those opportunities within the school day.

Full school uniform will be worn from September, in accordance with government guidance, so please check the school website to ensure your child fully understands our very high expectations in this area. The only exception to this will be on the days your child has PE, when they will be asked to wear correct PE kit to school to avoid changing. We will be unable to lend equipment to students during lessons and therefore, it is essential that all students come to school with their basic equipment. Basic equipment is a pencil case containing a pen, a pencil, a rule, an eraser, a protractor, a pair of compasses, a scientific calculator (we recommend Casio FX-83GTPlus or Casio FX- 85GTPlus) and a reading book. All students will be provided with their own green pen to add to their pencil case. Students will still be able to purchase items using their praise points as usual.

Please do not hesitate to contact the school to discuss any barriers to students being correctly dressed and equipped from September: [email protected].

There will obviously need to be significant changes to mitigate the risk of transmission of Covid-19 within our school community and we will insist all children and adults comply fully with these procedures. The health and safety of every member of our school community has to be the top priority for us all, at all times. Everyone is expected to comply fully with the NHS Test and Trace protocols and self-isolate as instructed so we can keep the school community safe.

Houses will have designated entrances and exits to the school building and there will be staggered start times and departure times each day, to minimise contact and reduce the flow of children inside the building.

School will start at 8.50am and will finish at 3pm, but it is essential that students only arrive to school at their allocated arrival time and that parents never enter the school site. When students arrive, after washing their hands, they will be expected to make their way to their tutor bases:

House

Entrance A (south drive)

Entrance B (Main

carpark)

Arrival Time*

Britannia

/

 

8.35

Sovereign

 

/

8.35

Victory

/

 

8.45

Temeraire

 

/

8.45

* Please note start timings are different for the first two days.

Our break and lunchtime will also be slightly staggered. We have created a fourth food service point in the Main Hall for students in Years 10 and 11 and have allocated the other three points to students in Years 7-9. We have also created external access points to classrooms by opening South Drive during the day and have designated stairwells for accessing identified classrooms, to limit the number of students moving inside the building. Students will be encouraged to be outside as much as possible and social distancing will be encouraged during social time.

We have recruited additional cleaning staff to enhance our processes during the day and have installed 12 external handwashing stations and 24 hand-sanitising pumps in high flow areas inside the school. Students will be asked to clean their hands frequently.

Classroom layouts will change so all desks face the front, unless social distancing is possible. As the government guidance is for staff to maintain social distancing at all times, staff will continue to wear face visors when they are walking around the building and when working closely with children.

Visitors will not be allowed on site (which includes parents) unless it is deemed absolutely essential; this will usually be at the end of the school day and for pre-arranged appointments only.

Students must walk or cycle onto the school site. If they use public transport then they must wear a face covering and remove this immediately when they enter the school site, put it in a plastic bag inside their school bag and wash their hands.

Our first days of term will be staggered to enable us to brief the children on the new protocols in place to keep us all safe:

Friday 4 September:

Year 7 and 11 students only (parents of new Year 7 students have been contacted separately)

House

Entrance A (south drive)

Entrance B (Main

carpark)

Arrival Time

Britannia

Year 11

 

9.10

Sovereign

 

Year 11

9.10

Victory

Year 11

 

9.20

Temeraire

 

Year 11

9.20

Monday 7 September:

Whole school returns

House

Entrance A (south drive)

Entrance B (Main

carpark)

Arrival Time

Britannia

Years 8,9,10

 

8.35

Sovereign

 

Years 8,9,10

8.35

Victory

Years 8,9,10

 

8.45

Temeraire

 

Years 8,9,10

8.45

Britannia

Years 7,11

 

8.55

Sovereign

 

Years 7,11

8.55

Victory

Years 7,11

 

8.55

Temeraire

 

Years 7,11

8.55

We will constantly review our practice and communicate regularly with parents regarding how we are keeping your children safe.

Farewells

It is the time of year where we say goodbye to some members of staff who are moving on. Mrs Fraser is relocating to Scotland to be nearer her family and Mr Lee has accepted a job teaching in a special educational needs school. We also say good bye to Miss Mulgrew, Mr Dalli and Mrs Keane and wish them all well in their new jobs. Miss Middleton, a member of our reception team, begins University in September and we wish her all the best for the next stage of her education.

Key dates for the autumn term

Our school calendar, containing all key dates, will be available on our school website to view during the summer holidays. However, some key dates for the first half of the autumn term are as follows;

  • Thursday September 3rd: INSET Day
  • Friday 4th September: Years 7 and 11 only (as per the plan above)
  • Monday 7th September: All year groups (as per the plan above)
  • Thursday 17th September: Year 11 tutor evening*
  • Wednesday 23rd September: Open Evening*
  • Tuesday 6th October: PD Day 1: RESPECT
  • Thursday 8th October: Year 7 Tutor Evening*

*all parent events will be virtual for at least the first ½ term.

Government guidance is still advising schools against overnight UK trips or foreign trips at this stage and therefore, it is with great sadness that we are suspending the launch of Activities Week 2021 until we have further information.

Finally, please encourage your children to take part in our virtual sports day today at 10.00am and to tune in for our end of term whole school assembly at 1.10pm, on Friday 17th July.

Thank you for your continued support this year, but especially during our period of lockdown. As a mother myself, I do not underestimate the challenges of home schooling! Trafalgar School is an incredibly special community and one I am proud to lead every day. My staff and I cannot wait to safely welcome your children back to school in September.

Have a wonderful summer break and please, stay safe.

Yours sincerely

Claire Copeland 

Headteacher

 

School closures

No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless directed to do so by Public Health England.

Home Learning – In event of self isolation/school closure

The school has established a Google Classroom for students and a list of other online resources for use at home, in the event of students having to self isolate/school closure.

Click Here

How families can cope with self-isolating together

Please see attached article with suggestions on how to structure the days in the event of a school closure. We will keep you fully informed of any changes.

BBC: Coronavirus: How families can cope with self-isolating together

Help with food

The Salvation Army can provide up to 3 food parcels without a voucher:
Haven Community centre, Lake Road, PO1 4HA: Tuesday 1-3pm, Friday 10am-12pm.

Helpline

The DfE have also launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and students can contact the helpline as follows:

  • Phone: 0800 046 8687
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

24/3/20: The Universities of Oxford and Reading have put together a resource containing advice around supporting young people at a time when anxiety and worry will likely be high.

You can find the resource on the Emerging Minds website here:

https://emergingminds.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID19_advice-for-parents-and-carers_20.3_.pdf

Portsmouth School Nursing Service

Portsmouth School Nursing Service continues to provide non-emergency health related advice and support

eg. sleep, bedwetting, healthy weight, soiling, emotional health and wellbeing, additional and long term health conditions.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of your child’s health or development then please contact us by

Telephone –03001236629 or Text us on 07491163276

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and support for parents and carers (NSPCC) The NSPCC has created a number of resources to support parents and carers during this difficult time. Topics include:

  • Talking to a child worried about coronavirus
  • Parents working from home
  • Children staying home alone
  • Lockdown and separated parents
  • How to cope with tantrums and other difficult behaviour

The advice can be found on the NSPCC website here: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/coronavirus-advice-suppport-children-families-parents/

Updates

You can find the latest updates on COVID-19 on the Government page here:

Updated travel advice for travellers returning from Italy

On the 9th March 2020, Public Health England updated their travel advice, recommending that anyone returning from Italy should self-isolate, even if you do not have any symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, call NHS 111.

The latest travel guidance can be found here:

The importance of hygiene

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.

Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.

In addition to handwashing before eating and after sneezing, both children and staff should also wash hands after using toilets and after travelling on public transport.

Guidance for Education Settings

They have also released the following guidance for education settings:

Coronavirus_advice_for_educational_settings_poster.pdfDownload

You can read the advice given to schools by the Government on the link below, including more information about the Coronavirus which will hopefully help dispel some of the myths that are going around!

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

Risk Assessment

Update Letters