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Southfields Academy

Southfields Academy

Headteacher's Letter

The Headteacher has written to all parents.

5th November 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

I hope that you and your family had a restful break over the half-term holiday period.

As you will be aware, the Government is clear in its intention to put in place a second national lockdown from Thursday 5th November. This time there are some differences in the restrictions that will be put in place; most significantly, schools are to remain open and students are expected to attend school.

Safety measures
Naturally we will follow the Government guidance with the aim of keeping our students and teachers as safe as possible. We have been most fortunate that we have not had to send home any students/groups for Covid-related reasons. Students have been kept in bubbles and zones.  Any time not spent in lessons, students have been outside. 

Face coverings
Shortly before half term we changed our rules on face coverings on site:

  • Face coverings are compulsory in communal indoor spaces, such as corridors.  Your child may also wear one in lessons but this is optional.
  • Your child should have at least two separate sets of face coverings – one for travel to school i.e. the bus and one for school.
  • Face coverings are going to be a feature of school life for the foreseeable future, so please make provision for your child to have a sufficient supply of clean face coverings each day.  
  • Please remind your child they must not share their mask and that face coverings must be washed regularly.  It is recommended that face coverings are changed every three hours.
  • Face coverings must be plain, without obvious logos or decoration.
  • Although we have reusable face coverings for sale, sending a child to purchase one is disruptive for the student and the member of staff who has to accompany them so we would ask that your child arrives each morning with an appropriate face covering.  
  • If there is a medical reason why your child cannot wear a face covering, please inform your child’s Head of Year.  Your child will be given an exemption lanyard or pass attached to their diary to denote this.  Some students find a plastic visor a suitable alternative.  If a student can’t wear a face covering, they must maintain social distancing indoors at all times.
  • A reminder that face coverings are compulsory on all public transport.

Please help us keep all members of the community safe by ensuring your child can comply with face covering and distancing regulations.

Other hygiene measures
We know that good hygiene is effective in reducing the spread of the virus.  Please remind your child to continue to:

  • Wash their hands with soap regularly
  • Use a tissue if they sneeze and dispose of it carefully i.e. “Catch it, bin it”
  • Use the provided sanitisers on arrival at school, when entering dining zones, every classroom and upon exit

Before and after each lesson, surfaces used by students are cleaned with anti-bacterial cleaner, and each dining table in the dining hall is cleaned in between year group bubbles’ use.  Toilets are also staffed by cleaners during break times and are cleaned frequently.

During this next lockdown, the Government has made it clear that schools are to remain open and students are to attend unless:

  • They are ill
  • They are displaying Covid symptoms
  • They are self-isolating having been traced as a contact/living with someone who has tested positive or awaiting test results

We cannot begin to provide a full remote learning experience (Virtual school) for students until the Government asks us to move from Educational Tier 2 to 4.  Tiers are explained in the table below:

Those students who are forced to self-isolate for Covid-related reasons will be able to access some of the learning materials from the lessons they have missed. If your child is self-isolating for Covid-related reasons please make contact with your Head of Year and they will provide you with access to these materials. 

Wet and cold weather
Temperatures are now dropping as we head into winter. At the same time ‘lockdown’ restrictions mean we will not be able to bring students indoors unless it is for lessons or the short period they have in their dining zone. We are also required to keep windows and doors open in classrooms to help with fresh air circulation. Similarly, all doors to the outside are being kept open. It is important for students to stay warm in order to keep all infections at bay.

Please make sure your child has warm layers under their uniform and that they arrive to school with a warm, waterproof black jacket/coat and, where appropriate, an umbrella. In order to avoid losing heat through the head, we will allow your child to wear a woolly hat outdoors. 

Temporary additions to the uniform:

  • Face coverings, plain and without logos
  • Woolly hat, plain, preferably black but dark blue or dark grey will be permitted (no logos, no caps)
  • Gloves, plain 
  • Umbrella

As the Government updates guidance for schools, I will communicate any changes that will impact our community. Thank you again for your continuing support.

Yours sincerely

Wanda Golinska, Headteacher

You can download and print a copy of this letter by clicking the link below.