25 August 2020

We are very much looking forward to welcoming students in all year groups back to Oathall in September. Please read on for further information regarding the arrangements for your child’s return.

Keeping the whole community safe from Covid-19.

It is vital that everyone adheres to the government advice about testing and isolating. You can find details of the latest guidance here about what you should do if your child has any symptoms associated with Covid-19 and what to do if anyone in your household has symptoms or tests positive for Covid-19. We cannot stress enough how important it will be for students, staff, and the wider community to follow this advice. 

Means of travel 

If possible, the government recommends that students walk or cycle to school if they can. If you choose to cycle, the cycle rack has now been moved to the reception forecourt.

If you have to drop off or pick up your child do not drive onto the school site. Arrange a safe place nearby to drop off or collect your child and ask them to walk the rest of the way. The school coach will operate at the usual times.

If using the public bus please click here for the latest information regarding routes and stops from West Sussex County Council. Please follow the guidance regarding wearing face masks on public transport.

Arriving at school

On Monday 7 September, students in Y8 – Y11 should arrive from 8:30 and go straight to their tutor room.  Students in Y7 should go to the hall. Doors from the drive will be open as well as the normal entrances into the hall.

The first session of the day will be an extended tutor time where the details of our new COVID-19 safety plans and expectations will be explained. Following this, students will attend period 2 as normal.

From Tuesday 8 September onwards, all students should arrive from 8:30 and go straight to their period 1 classroom where they will be registered by the class teacher.   Period 1 will begin promptly at 8.45.

Entrances

We have three pedestrian entrances into the school (Albemarle drive, Appledore Gardens and Washington Road footpath). We will add to these by opening the double gates on Washington Road that lead onto the field. An enhanced staff presence will ensure students enter the school appropriately and safely.

Break and lunchtimes

Students in Y7-9 will have different break and lunchtimes to students in Y10 & Y11. Students in different year groups will queue at different serving points in the canteen and at staggered times. Each year group has been allocated a separate outdoor space during break times:

  • Y7 & Y11 – DT & top playgrounds
  • Y8 – tennis courts
  • Y9 & Y10 – piazza and top field

Students will only be permitted to use the toilets in their allocated area, which will be monitored by staff.

Canteen & eating packed lunches 

The canteen will be operational at break and lunchtime. There will be a simpler menu and a reduced range of drinks and other refreshments available.  There will be no self-service offer so students will need to select from a menu and the canteen team will serve them at the till point.

We will no longer use biometrics for cashless payment. Instead, we will be using proximity cards & card readers linked to your child’s canteen account. The cards will be distributed to students on their return by their tutor and can be used immediately. You can add funds to your child’s canteen account in the usual manner using School Gateway. If your child loses their card these can be replaced by the canteen team for a small charge. We will not be allowing cash top-ups to a child’s account. If you are not able to add funds from your bank account online, we can provide you with a PayPoint voucher linked to your child’s account, please contact the office if you require a PayPoint voucher. If your child is eligible for free school meals the funds will continue to be added to their canteen account.

Should your child wish to purchase food from the canteen, the queue will be managed by staff who will direct students to either ‘The Hatch’ in the reception forecourt (Y7 & Y11) or the hall (Y8, Y9 & Y10).  Students in Y7 & Y8 will be dismissed slightly early from lessons to control the flow.

More information about the arrangements for school meals can be found here

Assemblies

We will not be holding house assemblies until further notice. Tutor time will be used to convey messages and key themes to students.

After school clubs & PE fixtures

These will be suspended until further notice.

Exiting the school

Students will be dismissed at intervals at the end of the day. As with the arrival on site, the departure of students will be managed by staff. It is imperative that your child leaves the school site immediately and does not loiter or wait for friends.

School uniform & equipment

Students will be expected to return in full school uniform.  However, on days in which they have PE, they should attend school in their Oathall PE uniform (including blazer). If skorts or shorts are worn they must be worn with plain black leggings or plain black joggers.

Students must arrive fully equipped for learning and this is particularly important under the current circumstances as resources cannot be shared. You can find a list of our minimum requirements here.

Hygiene practices

Please remind your child about good hygiene practices, such as: regularly washing their hands thoroughly or using sanitiser; avoiding touching their eyes, nose or mouth; and coughing or sneezing into their elbow or a tissue, and disposing immediately of any used tissues in the bins provided. Please do not allow your child to have any chewing gum in school.

Parents coming into school

To minimise any risk of virus transmission we ask that you do not come on-site without a pre-arranged appointment. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the office and we will attempt to resolve these with you by phone.

No doubt, as the term progresses, and we learn to operate in this new way we will have to amend or change some of these practices. We will continue to keep you informed via our usual channels of communication about any updates.

Thank you very much for your support and cooperation. We look forward to the school returning and students being back and learning again.

Mr E Rodriguez

Headteacher