Information accurate and correct as of Monday 13th July.

You can download the guidance below in PDF format (PDF, 1.3mb)

Any changes made will be referenced below:

Changes

  • Two amendments made under ‘uniform’ with reference to the school skirt, the school blazer and face coverings. Changes are highlighted in red text. (Thursday 16th July. 7.00pm)

The information for this guide derives from The Department for Education briefing on Thursday 2nd July 2020 (link) and has been supplemented by additional information from Kingdown School. 

Welcoming students back to Kingdown School

We are looking forward to welcoming our students back to our school community in September, following the government’s plan that all children and young people, in all year groups, will return to school and college full time from the beginning of the autumn term. We have missed working with our students and can’t wait to get up and running again with their learning.

We are acutely aware of the anxiety many parents, and students, may be feeling at the prospect of returning to school. We hope that the information included below will satisfy you over the great lengths we have gone to, to ensure that the return of both students and staff to the school site is safe, and any risks have been mitigated as far as possible.

If you require clarification on any of the points below, or require any additional information not covered, please do get in contact via return@kingdown.wilts.sch.uk

Return to school dates: Consultation Outcomes

We will be taking two Teacher Development Days at the start of Term 1 – these will be on Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd September, to allow for detailed staff training on the new protocols we have been developing this term. We will then be offering an induction day to new Year 7 students on Thursday 3rd September, and a joint Year 7 – Year 12/13 induction day on Friday 4th September.

We consulted with parents over two possible models for our full return following this period. Can we pass on our thanks for the significant level of response in a very short turnaround period – almost 600 completed surveys, covering all year groups in approximately equal numbers.

Two models were suggested:

  • A full return on Monday 7th September, meaning all students will return on this date.
  • A graduated return from Monday 7th September, with all students being in school from Monday 14th

The results of the survey were as follows:

  • Model 1 – 68% of parents were happy for students to return on this basis. 32% were not.
  • Model 2 – 95% of parents were happy for students to return on this basis, with 5% not.(of the 95% of positive responses, 20% asked for additional information on a return using Model 2)

Return to school dates: Year Groups

We have therefore decided to go ahead to plan for a graduated return to school, which we believe will enable all students to return to school in a safe manner, and allow students the chance to come to terms with the range of new working protocols we have needed to develop to ensure the school is a safe environment within which to work moving forward.

This will take the form of:

  • Thursday 3rd September Year 7 only
  • Friday 4th September Years 7, 12 and 13
  • Monday 7th September Years 7, 12 and 13
  • Tuesday 8th September Year 11, plus Years 7, 12 and 13
  • Wednesday 9th September Year 10, plus Years 7, 12 and 13
  • Thursday 10th September Year 9, plus Years 7, 12 and 13
  • Friday 11th September Year 8 plus Years 7, 12 and 13

Monday 14th September – Full return, all students back in school.

Finally, please note that these plans are correct at the time of writing and are subject to further revisions in light of additional government guidance being developed across the coming weeks / summer holiday. We will post any updates to the above plans via the school website, and via email.

The school site: keeping students safe

The biggest protection students can offer to themselves is to maintain excellent personal hygiene. We will be asking students to sanitise their hands at several times during the school day – for example, before entering lessons, and before and after eating. We strongly encourage students to bring their own hand sanitiser to school, but we will of course be supplying hand sanitiser to those who need to use it.

The government’s guidance on keeping students safe within a school environment has changed as the rate of Covid-19 infection amongst the community has decreased. The key factor identified for schools is to limit the potential number of interactions an individual experiences across a school day through the creation of ‘Year group bubbles’ – ensuring that students in any given year group only interact with peers from within the same group. This guidance is mandatory for schools, and obviously does not fit in with our vertical tutoring system, nor with the usual movement of all students around the school site.

From September, we will be introducing ‘zones’ in the school, within which students will be taught all subject areas.

These will be:

  • Year 7 Languages and Science S1 – S4, S11 – S14
  • Year 8 English S17 – S22, Science S6 – S10 and S15 – S18
  • Year 9 Humanities
  • Year 10 English E1 to E19
  • Year 11 Maths and Business
  • Years 12 and 13         Maths M9 – M12, Performing Arts and Art A1 – A4

Please note that where Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 classes require specialist teaching space, such as a Design Studio, classes will be timetabled into these areas. Rooms will be sanitised between different classes’ usage.

This means that, rather than students moving around the site to their next lesson and potentially contacting students from other year groups within corridors, teachers will move around the site to students. We have also made year group zones available for social times, as noted in the ‘Timetable’ section below.

For this period, we have re-organised tutor groups into horizontal (year-based) groups, rather than using our vertical (all year groups) system. Please note that house allocations remain unaffected; each house will contain two tutor groups for each year group (one in Year 12 / 13). Students will be notified of their new tutor group allocation, and tutor, as soon as practicable.

These are going to be enormous changes for all of us and will be maintained for the time indicated by governmental advice.

The one-way system around school

Year group zones around the building

We will be continuing to encourage students to socially distance wherever possible and have been removing furniture from classrooms to maximise floor space within classrooms. Students will have access to both internal and external spaces at social times, as well as their new tutor base. This will allow those students who wish to maintain a strict social distance from others to do so.

Although governmental guidance states that face masks are not required for students or staff in school, if you or your child feels more comfortable wearing a mask in school then we are quite happy for this to happen – you do not need to seek permission.

Please note also that we are required to ensure strict social distancing takes place between staff and students, to prevent any potential cross-contamination between year group bubbles (staff will, of course, be teaching all year groups). This also brings challenges, in that the normal staff-student interactions will be significantly more difficult; a 2m zone will be created in each classroom from where the teacher can teach and students will be unable to enter

In line with Public Health guidance, students will be required to sanitise their hands on entering every classroom. Please consider equipping your child with their own sanitiser that they can keep handy in a blazer or bag pocket. Please note that if your child suffers from e.g. eczema that you supply a suitable hand sanitiser suitable to their needs.

We will have in place a significantly enhanced cleaning regime in place from September, including:

  • Sanitisation of any shared rooms between year groups, between use
  • Regular cleaning and sanitisation of high-frequency surfaces e.g. banisters, doors
  • Hourly cleaning of toilets
  • On-call cleaners to respond to arising issues
  • Deep cleaning and sanitisation of classrooms at the end of each working day
  • We encourage students to bring their own hand sanitizer to school. Staff will continue to check that sanitizer has been used by students before entering the school. 

 

Timetable

To make available staggered break times, we have altered the timings of the school day. As you can see in the table below, lessons are now 55 minutes in length and there are two tutor group sessions per day.

The first tutor time of the day will be following a weekly pastoral curriculum as usual.

The second daily tutor slot will be given over to time for reading, completing homework, and 1-2-1 discussions with tutors. There will also be opportunities to extend learning from the morning tutor time slot. Year 12 and 13 students will be able to access food from the Sixth Form Centre.

Attendance

It is vital that children and young people return to school and college – for their educational progress, for their wellbeing, and for their wider development. School attendance will again be mandatory from the beginning of the new academic year. For parents and carers this means that the legal duty on you as a parent to send your child to school regularly will apply. Usual school attendance procedures will recommence in September, which can be found here.

A small number of pupils will still be unable to attend in line with public health advice because they are self-isolating and have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves, or because they are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19). If your child is unable to attend school for this reason, you need to contact Kingdown School on 01985 215551.

Shielding advice for all adults and children will pause on 1 August, subject to a continued decline in the rates of community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). This means, that the small number of pupils who will remain on the shielded patient list can also return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding.

Some pupils no longer required to shield but who generally remain under the care of a specialist health professional may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school in September (usually at their next planned clinical appointment). Where children are not able to attend school as parents are following clinical and/or public health advice, the attendance will not be penalised. Please contact your child’s Head of House for advice if this situation applies to your son / daughter.

Holidays

Many families will want to take a holiday over the summer period which may involve travelling abroad. As ever, parents should plan their holidays within school and college holidays and avoid seeking permission to take their children out of school during term time.

Ultimately, local authorities and schools have a range of legal powers to enforce attendance if a child or young person misses school without a valid reason. 

How you can help make Kingdown School as safe as possible

As parents and carers, you can support our school by:

  • ensuring that anyone who has coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or has someone in their household who does, does not attend Kingdown School – this means if your child, or someone in your household, has symptoms you should not send them to Kingdown School
  • engaging with the NHS Test and Trace process so that cases can be identified and action taken – this means if your child develops symptoms, you should arrange for them to get a test and you should inform Kingdown School of the results of that test
  • encouraging your child to listen carefully to the new routines and protocols in school, and to follow these closely as required.
  • We encourage students to bring their own hand sanitizer to school. Staff will continue to check that sanitizer has been used by students before entering the school.

Alongside this, the government is asking schools to ensure they are:

  • managing confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the school or college, in line with current public health guidance – this means your child may be asked to self-isolate for 14 days by their school or college (based on advice from their local health protection teams) if they have been in close, face-to-face contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus
  • ensuring everyone at the school cleans their hands more often than usual, including when they arrive at a classroom, and before and after eating – this can be done with soap and running water or hand sanitiser
  • ensuring good respiratory hygiene, by promoting the ‘Catch It, Bin It, Kill It’ approach
  • enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces more often
  • minimising contact and maintaining social distancing, as far as possible

It is extremely important that as parents, you can help us to implement our approaches by discussing with your child the advice set out here, as well as the wider public health advice and guidance.

Arriving and leaving school

Arrival and departure from the school site will be via a single entrance point for each year group. These are:

  • Year 7 – Humanities double gate (adjacent to Dining Hall)
  • Year 8 – Sports Centre side gate (by Languages block / Sports Centre main entrance)
  • Year 9 – Humanities single gate (adjacent to the Humanities block)
  • Year 10 – Sports Centre rear gates (accessed from Sports Centre car park)
  • Year 11 – Design gate (accessed from staff front car park)
  • Sixth Form – Sports Centre rear gates (accessed from Sports Centre car park)

Staff will be available at the entrance points, and around the school site, to help direct students to the correct entrance for the first few days in September.

Any students who arrive at school after 8.30am should enter through the Humanities single gate (8.30 – 8.45am), or through main reception (8.45am onwards)

On entering the site, there will be a strict one-way system in operation around the site, and internally in buildings to again reduce the number of potential close interactions a student has with their peers. Details are shown on the map on the next page and will be shared in detail with students in September.

Where possible, children and young people are encouraged to avoid public transport, particularly at peak times, and to walk or cycle to school.

Walking to school

If your child walks to school, we ask that they try to walk socially distanced and in Year Group bubbles. Students who walk home will be encouraged to walk straight home and not linger waiting for friends. Students who are picked up by car will be asked to meet parents where they were dropped off in the morning, again we request that parents do not drive along Woodcock Road at the end of school. (only school buses will be granted access to the Sports Centre Road).

Arriving by car

If you bring your child by car, please do not drive along Woodcock Road to help avoid congestion. We ask that you drop your child off near Woodcock Road so that they can walk the last 10 minutes to school. We ask that students who walk or are dropped off by parents away from Woodcock Road do not arrive in school until 8:15am at the earliest.

Public transport

Where your child relies on public transport to get to school, and cannot walk or cycle, they will need to follow government guidelines on safe use and, at present (July 7th 2020) wear a face covering.

Dedicated school transport

For dedicated school transport, the bus companies will fill the buses from the rear seats moving forward in the morning, thus avoiding students passing each other when taking their seats. The buses will unload from the front on arrival at school.

Students who catch a bus home will be lined up on the tennis courts in their year group bubbles and directed by a member of staff to their bus according to drop off points (those students getting off last will be seated at the back of the bus first.) Students will put on face coverings before entering their bus.

Face coverings

Face coverings are required at all times on public transport (for children over the age of 11).  All students are required to wear a face covering when on a school bus as they likely to come into close contact with other students outside their year group or who they do not normally meet.

If your child has been wearing a face covering before arriving at school, it is important that they understand how to remove it. We recommend the use of disposable face coverings for ease of use.

On arrival at school, students will remove their face covering. If it is a reusable face covering it must be placed into a plastic bag and stored in their school bag. If it is a temporary face covering it will be disposed of in a covered bin. Students will then sanitise their hands upon entry to their first classroom.

Students will be directed to their teaching block immediately on entry into school, tutor bases will be open for students who arrive on early buses.

Sanitising stations will be placed at the entry point to each classroom in the school.

If a student arrives at school after 8:30am they need to enter the via the Sports Centre Road gates where they will be met by a member of staff and registered before being escorted to their lesson.

At the end of school, all students will leave via the gates they entered school in the morning. 

Curriculum

Kingdown School will continue to provide an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects. The government has set out clear expectations on what schools are expected to teach when pupils return in September and our curriculum is in line with these. There will be changes to some subjects – such as PE and design – to ensure they can be delivered as safely as possible.

We will also make plans for the provision of remote education where needed, to ensure that the small number of children and young people that need to be educated at home, for example, due to self-isolation, are given the support they need to continue learning; however, parents must be aware that the pressures on staff in school will mean responses to queries over work may take some time to respond to.

If the national or local Covid-19 situation dictates a further period of lockdown, we will be offering enhanced remote learning – including live remote teaching – for students. Further details will be shared with parents and students in this eventuality.

The government has already announced a package worth £1 billion to ensure that schools have the resources they need to help primary and secondary pupils make up for lost teaching time, with extra support for those who need it most. Kingdown School’s plans for this support are well underway and we will be in touch with parents in regard to how we are using this funding.

Equipment for School

Please can you fully equip your child’s pencil case with the following items so they are not shared in class to reduce the risks of spreading infection:

  • Pens, black
  • Pencils
  • Colouring pencils – small pack
  • Safety Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Ruler
  • Calculator

Assessment and exams

Following the cancellation of Summer 2020 exams, the exam boards will be providing students who were due to sit exams this year with calculated grades. These will be released to students via their school e mails accounts, Go4Schools accounts and posted home on Thursday 13th August (AS and A level results) or Thursday 20th August (GCSE results). School will not be open to students or parents on these days in line with current government guidance.

Please inform us immediately if your home address has changed, by using the exams e mail below.

For all exam questions or address changes please e mail: exams@kingdown.wilts.sch.uk

In most cases, students will use the grades they receive in the summer to move onto their next step of sixth form, college, apprenticeship, university or employment.

If students are dissatisfied with their grade, then the government has announced that there will be an opportunity for students to take their missed exams in the autumn term (October/November). However, the exam boards will base results on students’ performance in exams alone and not on any non-exam assessment (coursework). This means that the grade you get will be based 100% on your performance in the terminal exam, the only exceptions being Art and Design where coursework would have to be completely redone for a new task.

A level Students must inform the school immediately if they wish to sit an exam for a new grade as the exam board closes to entries by 3rd September 2020.

GCSE students should also e mail the school directly, but their deadline is the 17th September.

Please email resit requests to, Mrs Fearon, Exams Officer: lsf@kingdown.wilts.sch.uk

For those pupils going into Year 11 and Year 13 from this September, the government is planning on the basis that GCSEs and A levels will take place as normal in Summer 2021, with some adaptations, what these will be is under consultation and the decisions will be released to schools in August 2020.

Behaviour

As advised by the Government guidelines, Kingdown School has updated our behaviour policies to ensure they reflect any new rules or approaches that are needed from the autumn term. Our first priority is making sure students feel safe and supported in lessons after the lockdown; and that they can settle back into learning quickly.

We are therefore asking students to ‘behave brilliantly’ around school and in class to ensure a settled, smooth start back to school. This is imperative and will help the transition between being at home and back in school and allow for health and safety measure to be supported by the teacher.

Our classroom expectations for all students are:

  • Listen and do not talk when others are.
  • Follow all instructions.
  • Complete work set.
  • Be polite and respectful.
  • Be ready to learn.

Please can you discuss these with your child(ren). Both negative and positive behaviour will be logged on G4S so you can support us and reinforce our expectations at home and we will be putting sanctions in place if these reasonable expectations are not followed; thank you in advance for your support. We will be rewarding brilliant behaviour as much as possible and this will, as usual, lead to certificates, awards and prizes.

We expect students to behave in a sensible and respectful manner when moving around the school site.

All students will adhere to the one way system (above) and will, wherever possible, walk in a socially distanced manner from each other. During break times, students must remain in their designated areas. At all times students will maintain a 2m social distancing from staff.

Uniform

The school uniform in September 2020 will be

  • School Blazer*, these can be taken off inside a classroom
  • Tartan skirt* or dark grey trousers (relaxed fit only, not skinny fit)
  • House tie (two suggested to allow cleaning)
  • White shirt
  • Plain black V neck pullover is optional, but recommended for when the weather turns colder. (No cardigans or hoodies or logos)
  • Charcoal grey, or black, socks, or black tights
  • Black low-heeled shoes (no boots, trainers, boots or pumps)
  • Coat: plain, dark colour
  • Acrylic nails do not form part of our school uniform and in some lessons are potentially dangerous. Nails should be of short length and of nude / natural colour
  • Long hair should be tied back for all PE and practical lessons

Students will be expected to return to school in full uniform from September. However, we are making some adjustments to the application of our uniform code in light of Public Health England guidance to make sure that uniform can be worn safely.

In line with recommendations from Public Health England, students should wash their uniform when they get home from school each day. We strongly recommend the washing of ties along with uniform items. Therefore, please ensure your child has two school ties.

Please see specific comments about the school skirt and blazer below (amended Thursday 16th July)

*The school skirt

We have received a number of queries surrounding the difficulties in washing and drying the school skirt within a short space of time.

Within our existing uniform code, students may wear a pair of smart grey trousers (relaxed fit), instead of the school skirt. In addition, for the period in which the school continues to be affected by Covid-19 and to avoid parents needing to purchase two school skirts, we will also accept students wearing a smart grey skirt (approximately knee-length, non-stretchy material) on days when it is not possible to wear the school skirt.

Please note that students whose preference is to wear a skirt, rather than trousers, will be expected to wear the school skirt as often as is practicable.

*The blazer

We have also received a small number of questions about washing the school blazer. We do expect all students back in school in September to be wearing the school blazer; however, we also fully understand the challenges around maintaining hygiene with this item of the uniform.

We will be altering our application in school of the uniform code, and will treat the blazer as an outdoor coat i.e. students will not be expected to wear this item in classrooms, but will be expected to wear it travelling to and from school and for more formal occasions within school.

We will continue to review our uniform policy in the autumn term to ensure our advice remains up to date, practical and workable. We thank you in advance for your support and understanding.

School uniform on days when they have PE

Students will be asked to come to school in PE kit on days they have PE. There will be no access to changing facilities. We have extended the PE kit uniform list to take account of this; students may now wear:

  • School sports top
  • Optional school black fleece, or a plain (no logo) black sweatshirt
  • Skins (plain red or black only) underneath sports tops
  • School shorts or plain (no logo) black jogging bottoms
  • Skins (plain red or black only) underneath shorts

Students will remain in PE kit for the full day; we recommend the same washing routines for PE kit as for normal uniform i.e. to wash at the end of each working day on arrival home. We also strongly recommend a spare pair of socks for days when your son / daughter has PE.

We will be allowing students to wear face coverings in school if they choose to. These need to be plain, or with a simple pattern. Face coverings containing logos, images or text will not be permitted. Please note that in line with governmental advice, face coverings which have been worn outside of school (for example, on school transport) will not be allowed in school. Therefore, students who wish to use face coverings both to and from school, and in school, will need to bring separate coverings.

The latest government advice states:

Public Health England does not (based on current evidence) recommend the use of face coverings in schools. This evidence will be kept under review. They are not required in schools as pupils and staff are mixing in consistent groups, and because misuse may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission. There may also be negative effects on communication and thus education. Face coverings may be beneficial for short periods indoors where there is a risk of close social contact with people you do not usually meet and where social distancing and other measures cannot be maintained, for example on public transport or in shops.

School food

As note above, we will operate split break and lunchtimes to minimise numbers of students around the school site at any one time, and to allow all students to access dedicated year group dining facilities. These are:

  • Year 7 – Dining Hall (break / lunch time – first half)
  • Year 8 – Snack Shack at rear of Creative Arts
  • Year 9 – Dining Hall (break / lunch time – second half)
  • Year 10 – Snack Shack by Small Hall (break / lunch time – first half)
  • Year 11 – Snack Shack by Small Hall (break / lunch time – second half)
  • Sixth Form – Sixth Form cafeteria

To ensure we are able to serve meals safely and in a timely manner, from September we will be asking parents to pre-order cooked meals in the week before the provision. This will take place through the Wisepay online payment system; further details will be shared in September. Meals will not be available to purchase on the day, as in previous years. Please note however that sandwiches and snacks, such as paninis, will continue to be available through the Snack Shack / dining hall outlets.

Free School Meals – Vouchers

Below is some important information regarding the existing Free School Meals voucher system and the Summer Food Fund voucher to be issued w/b Monday 13th July, 2020.

Edenred FSM Vouchers not redeemed

(These are the £15 per child, per week voucher codes issued by Edenred since the Easter holiday)

  • Please check your emails for codes that haven’t been redeemed yet.
  • Consider the expiry date on the code (in most cases it’s the end of August) You will not be able to redeem these codes after this date and the provision will be lost
  • It is better to redeem all codes and then save the vouchers because the actual supermarket voucher/e gift card has a longer expiry date (in some cases 5 years)
  • The school will only be able to resend codes for previous weeks until 17th July

These weekly voucher codes will end on the last week of term so the last code will be sent w/b Monday 13th July, 2020.

Edenred Summer Food Fund

This replaces the voucher codes above (£90 per child to cover the summer holiday- 6 weeks)

  • You will be sent a voucher code for the value of £90 per child to cover the summer break (6 weeks X £15) If you have two eligible children £180 etc…
  • This will be issued in the same way by Edenred on w/b 13/07/2020
  • It is important that you redeem this asap as the school can only deal with issues until Wednesday 22nd July.
  • Once redeemed as a supermarket e gift card it does not have to be used in one transaction.

Please be aware that the schools ability to help with this will end on Wednesday 22nd July but please contact me via email if you have any issues cl@kingdown.wilts.sch.uk

Also be aware that Edenred are wrapping the whole system up on 10th August.

Below is a link to where you can find guidance https://www.edenred.co.uk/Documents/DfE/DfE_FreeSchoolMeals_ParentCarerFAQs.pdf

School trips

In line with the many safety measures being implemented within the school, we have taken the difficult decision to not run trips and visits during Terms 1 and 2 during 2020-21. We aim to make this provision available again as soon as it is safe and practicable to do so, as we believe learning outside the classroom enhances and deepens students’ education; during 2018-19 we offered over 150 trips across the school year.

Extra-curricular activities

At Kingdown School, we have decided to remove after school activities for Term 1. We very much value the importance and impact that after school clubs can offer to students and will look to be evaluating the decision in late September and look forward to organising these activities once it is manageable given the restrictions we face.

Please note that this means that late buses will not be running during Term 1. Students will be expected to leave the school site by 3.00pm at the end of each school day.

What Kingdown School will do in the event of an outbreak

If a school experiences an outbreak, either because they have 2 or more confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) among pupils or staff in their setting within 14 days, or they see an increase in pupil or staff absence rates due to suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), they will need to contact their local health protection team. This team will advise if additional action is required, though the closure of the whole school will generally not be necessary.

Where an outbreak in a school is confirmed, a mobile testing unit may be dispatched to test others who may have been in contact with the person who has tested positive. Testing will first focus on the person’s class, followed by their year group, then the whole school, if necessary.

In all cases, where groups of pupils need to self-isolate or where a larger restriction of attendance at school is needed, we will be able to continue to support your child’s learning remotely.

Ofsted Inspections

The government has also confirmed that in the autumn term, Ofsted inspectors will visit a sample of schools to discuss how they are supporting pupils back into school. These visits will not result in a graded judgement for the school.

It is intended that routine Ofsted inspections will restart from January 2021, so that parents can have the information and assurances they need and rely on, with the exact timing being kept under review.