Month: September 2020

Covid Security/Academy Procedures

Dear Parents/Carers
RE: Covid Security/Academy Procedures
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all, especially our students, for responding to our covid-security measures with positivity, dilligence and resolve. I am thankful that the vast majority of students are adhering to our expectations around hand washing/sanitising, wearing face coverings in communal areas, new formal seating arrangements in classrooms, and the need for them to be mindful at all times of the potential risks we all face during this time.
I wish to clarify the arrangements for students who present with covid symptoms if I may. First, if your child develops a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or suffers a change in taste and/or smell, we request that you do not send your child into the Academy. We advise that you follow the Government guidance for households with a suspected case (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection), which states that you should arrange for a covid-test, and that your household should isolate accordingly. Following clarification from Stoke City Local Authority, we are not able to accept siblings into the Academy during this period – although obviously a negative test will remove the need for isolation.
If your child develops symptoms during the Academy day, they will be isolated from their peers until we have contacted you and arranged for them to return home safely. Again, this would apply to all members of your household in the Academy. If your contact details have changed recently, please contact the Academy Reception on 01782 883500 to provide an update. We fully appreciate that there have been difficulties in gaining access to the NHS Testing programmes, but unfortunately this cannot be taken into account when discussing appropriate actions in these circumstances. At time of writing, we have sent home less than 3% of our student population with perceived covid symptoms, and have had no confirmed cases.
Whilst a small number of students are medically exempt, a few non-exempt students have been attending the Academy without an appropriate face covering, and we have been offering students a washable covering without charge. The coverings provided by Thistley Hough Academy are not clinical or medical quality, and as such do not offer that are strongly advised to provide your child with their own face covering to use in the Academy as students will only be offered one as a last resort. Accordingly, Thistley Hough Academy and the Creative Education Trust accept no responsibility or liability in relation to the use of face coverings provided. Please remember that, should the area and the Academy be placed into “Tier 2”, the Government mandates that all non-exempt students wear a face covering in communal areas of the Academy building.
In both cases, the advice from National and Local Government is updated regularly, and we respond to any changes accordingly.
Finally, I would like to reassure you that Thistley Hough Academy is continuing to do everything we can to deliver covid-security, and hence minimise the risk to everyone in our community. This includes:
• 20 additional hand sanitising stations being installed at entrance/exit points, increasing our capacity to around 50 points throughout the building.
• Every classroom, office and workroom has further santisiing capacity, and we have a working stock of 100s of litres of santiser on site.
• The Reception area has been fitted with hand wash stations to ensure good hand hygiene of those coming into the building, and we have implemented a “restaurant-style” track-and-trace system for the limited number of visitors to the Academy, through a QR code and website link.
• Our newly refurbished student toilets are all restocked with supplies every morning, checked and replenished repeatedly during the day. They are cleaned and sanitised before and after students access them in their break and lunchtime to maintain hygiene standards.
• Our team of “housekeeper” cleaners are moving around the building constantly, ensuring that contact points such as door handles, rails and banisters are sanitised as students move through areas.
If you have any queries regarding our approaches to covid-security, please begin by referring to the Full Opening Risk Assessment that is available via the Policies section on our website.
Thank you, as ever, for your continued support.
Yours sincerely
Jayne Schofield
Principal
Dave Fenney
Assistant Principal – Quality of Education
Health and Safety Lead

Virtual Open Day 2020

Thistley Hough Academy offers a state-of-the-art, modern learning environment close to the heart of Stoke-on-Trent. Join us for our Virtual Open Day – our dedicated teaching team will be available to answer any questions you may have.

The event will begin with a welcome from Principal Jayne Schofield and Vice Principal Ian Brailsford, who will deliver an informative presentation followed by a live Transition Q&A session, covering everything parents and students need to know about starting their journey with Thistley Hough Academy.

  • Tuesday 22nd September at 16:00
  • Tuesday 22nd September at 17:00
  • Wednesday 23rd September at 16:00
  • Wednesday 23rd September at 17:00
  • Thursday 24th September at 16:00
  • Thursday 24th September at 17:00

To book a slot, visit our event website here: https://thavirtualopenday.eventbrite.com/

If you’d like any further information, please contact us on 01782 883 500 or email enquiries@thistleyhoughacademy.org.uk.

Letter From The Principal: Welcome Back

Welcome back – 11 Sept 20

I am delighted that we have seen an excellent, albeit very different start to the new academic year. All students have adapted to the ‘new normal’ brilliantly and it is truly amazing to have them back in the building. Additionally, it is absolute pleasure to welcome our new Year 7 students as they start their journey in secondary education with us.

I would like to take this opportunity to share some important information and reminders with you to ensure that the Academy expectations continue to be met by students at all times, particularly with regard to Covid-19 guidelines.

Face Coverings

I would first like to thank you for your support in regard to the wearing of face masks by the students when moving around the building. It is evident that students are taking health and safety very seriously during this time. Logo or design free face coverings must continue to be worn by all students, unless your child is exempt for medical or individual reasons. I would ask that you continue to encourage your child to ensure that this becomes part of their routine whilst in the Academy. We would also urge students to pack a spare mask to bring to school if possible, as inevitably masks can sometimes get dropped or lost during the course of the day.

Times of the Day/Attendance

The staggered start and end times to the school day have proved very successful, as have the designated year group entry points and ‘bubble’ arrangements, and it is vital that students continue to adhere to these measures at all times. Punctuality and attendance to school remains an extremely important part of your child’s education and you will find a reminder of the times of the school day enclosed for your convenience. Please may I also remind all parents/carers to use the drop off and pick up point, accessible from Newcastle Lane at the start and end of the school day to ensure that the safety of all students remains paramount at all times. Students who are to enter/leave the building from the upper side of the school can use the footpath from the drop off point to safely access their designated entry/exit point.

School Uniform/Expectations

I am absolutely thrilled with how smart the vast majority of our students are looking in their academy uniform. A reminder of uniform and basic equipment expectations is enclosed should you need it. Please note that as always, a plain grey jumper is compulsory, and trainers should not be worn to school.

Once again, I reiterate my thanks to you all for your support for our academy. It is an absolute delight to have the ‘soul’ of our building back; after all – what is a school without its students?

 

We remain on hand to answer any of your questions or concerns.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Jayne Schofield

Principal

Back to school: what should you expect?

Heading back to school at the best of times can make you feel a lot of different emotions, but given the current circumstances you might be a little more apprehensive than usual.

It is exciting to get back and see your friends but it’s also time for you to get back into the classroom and learn new things.

Whilst you will be excited to get back and see your friends, it’s also time to get back to the classroom, however it will be a bit different for a while. Your return might seem daunting or make you anxious but, as teachers, we’re here to support you and to continue helping you build the confidence and knowledge you need to succeed.

Earlier in the Summer we sent out letters about the changes that you’d see this September.

To help meet all the health and safety requirements that’ll keep you and our community safe, we had to alter how some things happened in and around the Academy.

Here’s a recap of those changes that you can expect when you arrive back at school:

Students and social distancing

All year groups will be returning to the Academy full time from 8 September. Year 7’s will have their first day with us on Thursday 3 September, Years 8 – 11 will then be in for an induction day on 4 September, however, this won’t take all day.

To manage social distancing and government guidance, year groups will be separated across the Academy and will have staggered start and end times. You can check your Year Group information below:

Zone/Floor Year Group Start/End Times
Floor 1 Year 11 09:30 – 15:20
Floor 2 Year 8 and 9 09:00 – 14:50
Floor 3 Year 7 and 10 08:30 – 14:20

During the school day, break and lunch times will also be staggered. This will allow us to keep students in their allocated social distancing ‘bubble’. Over the summer we installed an outside serving area to ensure we can easily provide food and drink for you.

During school time, students will only be able to use the classrooms, break areas and toilets in their zone/floor. To cut down on movement, students will stay in their classroom while teachers move between classes.

It should also be made clear that during the first-half term, while everyone is getting used to the new measures, we won’t be providing breakfast club or after school provisions.

Staying Safe

Students, staff, and visitors will all need to regularly and properly wash their hands when in school. There will be consistent reminders to ensure that this happens.

We’ll be providing hand sanitiser for students to use when coming into the school or their classroom. Students will need to use sanitiser before and after break times as well.

Rooms will be kept well ventilated in line with Government advice. All classrooms, computer rooms and dining areas will be cleaned after they’ve been used.

Are you prepared?

We will be expecting all students to wear full school uniform, the Government no longer advises that clothes need to be washed any differently to normal and so this should be no issue. If you need any support or guidance on school uniform, please contact the office.

Students are expected to take responsibility for their own resources and equipment. You may need to consider buying a school bag to easily carry these resources around, it’s recommended the bag can fit A4 sized books in.

Government guidance suggests avoiding public transport where possible, it’s recommended that walking or cycling to school would be better. If you do travel on public transport you will need to wear a face covering and adhere to social distancing measures.

If you are still unsure about any of the measures in place or if you need any pastoral care support please contact the school on enquiries@thistleyhoughacademy.org.uk.