28th August: Update to Parents on Reopening

28th August 2020

Dear Parent,


I hope this letter finds you and your family well, and that you have had a positive summer break in readiness for September. We are delighted that we are able to open for all pupils in September, and have been busily working to prepare everything for the start of term.


Where can I find out what I need to know?

In July we published a large amount of information about how we intend to open in September. This can all be found on our website under "September Reopening": https://www.st-annes.uk.com/web/september_reopening and I would strongly encourage you to read it in preparation for the start of term.


There have been some updates to the information over the holidays. There is a section called "Updates since first publication" which will point you in the direction of changes that have been made. Some of the largest ones I will address in this letter.


Face coverings

You will have seen the recent national news about face coverings in school. We have reflected on it and, in discussion with other local schools about their approach, have decided that rather than make it optional we will expect all members of the community to wear face coverings in communal areas (not classrooms) from the start of the academic year. Students and staff with health reasons for not being able to wear a face covering are obviously exempt in the same way they are for shops.


I know this goes beyond the national guidance at the moment, but the reasons we feel this is the right approach are as follows:


  • The wearing of face coverings has become much more commonplace and accepted in just the last month within society.
  • It is a visible constant reminder that we need to take care, and that we’re taking care of each other, as masks protect those around us more than they protect ourselves.
  • It will help more anxious children and staff feel safer as they return to school.
  • There is a sense of “all in it together” as a community rather than some students or staff feeling self-conscious if they are in the minority (either way!) if we made it optional.
  • We have a feeling that it is likely that this will be where we end up as a country anyway and so it will avoid changing our school behaviours mid-way through the term.
  • If, God forbid, there is an increase in cases in the region, and it becomes mandatory anyway for this locality, we’ll already be in good habits as a school community and have protected ourselves as much as possible in the days leading up to the increase.


It will be expected that students and staff wear a face covering in communal areas. This includes corridors and the playground during social times. They will not be worn for the duration of eating food or drinking. It is expected, therefore, that there will be some variability of use in the playground during social times as some are eating and others are not. When worn, they are to be worn correctly, covering the nose and mouth fully. Guidance on how they should be worn can be found here. They are not to be worn in classrooms. Students will remove face coverings before entering the classroom and stored in a sealable bag and then use the hand sanitiser at the door. Staff will also follow this procedure to model correct usage. Face coverings can be plain or patterned, but should not have obvious logos or words on. Scarves or large pieces of cloth cannot be stored in sealable bags between use and so are not suitable as face coverings. Sadly, it is unfeasible for the school to provide face coverings or sealable bags for staff and students. Public Health England has provided guidance on how to make a face covering can be found here. We would recommend that face coverings used are reusable ones which can be washed, both for financial and environmental reasons rather than use disposable masks. We would ask that any disposable face coverings are taken home to dispose of rather than thrown in bins around the school to reduce the risk of a build-up of soiled masks around the school.


Separately to this, as staff are moving between year groups over the course of the day, we will be providing all staff with visors to wear within the classroom during lesson time if they wish.


I hope you can see that, on balance, this seems the right way to go, and I thank you for your support in advance with helping every member of our community feel safe.


Tuesday, 8th September 2020

As we said in July, the first day of term for all pupils will be a staggered part-day to allow us to meet each year group separately. We will have an assembly in two halves of the year, give them a tour of the school to see the adaptations, and they will have some time with their tutor and tutor group to acclimatise to being back on the school site. We will then be ready to move back to normal lessons the following day. This is on top of the year 7 transition day on Friday, 4th September, which is just for our new year 7 pupils.


The timings for each year group on Tuesday, 8th September only are as follows:



Arrival time

Departure time























Pupils will all enter via the main quad gate. There will be no official lunchtime or breaktime on this day, so pupils may want to bring something to eat that they can have on the way to or from their time onsite. For those pupils in receipt of free school meals, we can provide a packed lunch for them to pick up. Please let us know on this online form by Friday, 4th September that your child requires one.


If, as a family, you have significant issues with these timings due to arranging drop offs and pick-ups, please complete this online form by Friday, 4th September so that we can support you with keeping your child safe while they wait to leave.


From Wednesday, 9th September, they will be the usual school day timings with a staggered dismissal from 15:20-15:25 depending on classroom location.


Start of the day

We originally said that we would ask students not to arrive before 08:30 if possible. On reflection, we are removing that request. Students can arrive from 08:00 and we will ask them to wait in one of their year group tutor bases. This will help reduce the numbers of pupils arriving between 08:30 and 08:40.


Using toilets

Unlike previous years, we have decided to actively encourage pupils to use the toilets during lesson time rather than wait until social times to reduce the usage at busier times of the day.


Canteen Use

As we said in July, we would strongly encourage children to bring packed lunches to school to avoid crowding the canteen. However, if the canteen is going to be used by your daughter or son, it is worth noting that the cash machines in the vestibule are not being used by the catering company and so the only way to top up your child's account is via ScoPay.


Paying for school-related items

Like many shops, we are not going to be handling money at school in September, and so all such transactions need to go through our ScoPay system.


Seeing our school adaptations

We will be creating a video walkthrough of the school to show examples of the adaptations we are making which will be available next week. For those that would like to, we will have limited spaces for a tour of the school site at 2pm on the 3rd September. If you wish to bring your daughter or son you can, but it can be no more than one adult and any children that attend this school. No other family members such as other children or relatives can come. You will be expected to wear a face covering on arrival and for the duration of the visit. If this is something you would like to take up, please use this online form by the end of Wednesday, 2nd September.


Uniform Issues

We have been made aware by SkoolKit that there are some issues with getting hold of uniform. Do please keep trying, but don't let incomplete uniform stop your child from attending school. We will be understanding of the issues.


Transport to and from school

We understand that this may be more difficult than usual at the start of term for those that use public transport, particularly as schools go back and there will be an increased demand on buses and trains. Please leave plenty of time for the journey as it may be that buses or carriages have lower capacity than previously and your child may need to wait longer to board. In the first few weeks, as the transport system adapts to meet this increased need, we will be very understanding about this issue. However, we would urge families to do all they can to ensure that their child arrives before 08:40 so that they do not miss important messages at the start of the day, or lose any more learning time than they have already. We would urge children to walk or cycle if at all possible. If you intend to drive your child to school, I would advise dropping off away from the school and for your child to walk the last section. It is worth noting that some roads close to the school have been pedestrianised on a trial basis which will be good for walkers and cyclers but may be an issue for those trying to drive up to the school. More information about this can be found here.


Equipment List for students

We have asked for only essential items to be brought in for each day as lockers will not be in use. We would suggest the following equipment would be helpful: 2x pens, 1x pencil, 1x white board pen, 1x eraser, 1x sharpener, 1x ruler, 1x calculator, 1x pair of compasses and 1x protractor. Having this available will reduce the amount of equipment that will reduce the need to transfer equipment.


PE Days

To avoid the need to use the changing rooms, we ask that students who are doing PE come into school wearing their PE kits, which they will be able to wear for the whole day. They may wish to wear their school jumper or blazer over their PE kit for other lessons.


We look forward to seeing your daughter or son again, and hope your final week of the holidays is a positive one.


God Bless

James Rouse


Telephone: 023 80328200 Email: info@st-annes.uk.com