Update from Mr Brady (23/2/21)
Please read Mr Brady's latest update on the way forward to re-opening the school...
I would love to be in a position to be able to tell you all of the details of the return in March, but you can probably guess that this is still a work in progress.
I did want to reassure you that all of our plans are looking at the right balance between keeping everyone safe and reintroducing as many great things back into school life, so that we all feel the benefit in coming back. It is strange to think that we have staff and students who have not yet been in Dene Magna for a normal full year and they do not yet know what a great school this really is! That is unbelievable and probably helps you understand the depth of thinking we are doing about the school experience when we return.
The current planning is that students will be in year group bubbles for their social time (break and lunch) but we will be allowing teachers to take ownership of their classrooms again and the students will be the ones moving to the rooms. The thinking behind this is that it will allow students to move, be outside (where transmission is negligible) and they tend to walk with the same friends they are in lesson with. It will make a huge difference to the culture of the school and staff will be at the door of THEIR classroom to welcome students. Just like the old times!
Of course, we are still waiting for confirmation on the fine details of testing, but I can say that in order for that to happen correctly, it will mean we have a staggered return from w/c 8th March. I will let you know the actual details of this, but as we are being asked to do up to three tests for students, you can appreciate that this will take time and space. We can do it, and we will do it, we just need your support in the timing of it.
Can I take this opportunity to remind you to return your signed COVID testing forms if you give permission for your daughter/son to be tested. Having these back by Thursday will help us know the numbers we need to plan for (email us on firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you in advance for that!
We are still working through revisions to our risk assessments and we propose to start sending out some really detailed and interactive guides about our return as soon as we can. We know that Y7 have not had a chance to get to know the school yet, so things like this are all being looked at. We also know that Y12 have not yet had the real experience of being in the sixth form and this is also a crucial element in our planning. It may be that we need a couple of time slots over the next two weeks to get the site and classrooms ready for our return, so I thank you in advance of that.
I hope that gives you a bit of reassurance about what is to come, even if it doesn't yet give you any real details. Sorry about that, but as of now, the information you had last night is about as much as I have now!
In the meantime, we continue with our online learning and now look forward to everyday being a step closer to being back as a family.
I will update you when I have more concrete dates and strategies and as ever, I thank you for your continued support.