Coronavirus Update 25th August

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24 August 2020

Dear Parent/Carer and Student

Following my letter dated 11 August 2020, please find below further details regarding the reopening of the Gateway Academy on Wednesday 02 September 2020.

Start Date for Year Groups
As you are aware, to ensure the Academy is as COVID secure as possible, we have put a number of measures in place. The following are the start dates and times for each year group:

• Year 7, Year 8 and Year 11 are expected to be in school every day with effect from Wednesday 02 September 2020.
• Year 7 – Wednesday 02 September 08:20 - 14:00.
• Year 8 – Wednesday 02 September 08:30 -14:10.
• Year 11 – Wednesday 02 September 08:10 -15:30.

Year 9 and Year 10 are expected to be in school every day with effect from Thursday 03 September 2020.
Year 9 – Thursday 03 September 08:40 -14:20.
Year 10 – Thursday 03 September 08:50 -14:30.

Start and Finish Times for each Year Group
There will be a staggered start and end time to each school day. Year 11 will have additional time to support them in preparation for their GCSE examinations. Timings as follows.

Year Group Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
Start Time 08:20 08:30 08:40 08:50 08:10
Finish Time 14:00 14:10 14:20 14:30 15:30

If students arrive to the Academy between 7:00 am and 8:00 am, the library will be available for them to study in (social distance measures will be in place). Any student who arrives before their allocated start time after 08:00 will go directly to their first lesson and study independently before their lesson begins at the time indicated above.

Year Group Bubbles
Students will continue to have a broad and balanced curriculum, students have been grouped into year group ‘bubbles’ to minimise them mixing with other year groups.
• All Year Groups will have a 20 minute ‘canteen’ break during the day so they may purchase food and have some ‘down time’ with their peers. They will also have a 20 minutes ‘class’ break during the day.
• There will be no morning registration or daily tutor period. Students will have a minimum 20-minute tutor period every Friday, Period 5, Week 1. During this time, their tutor will discuss their wellbeing etc.
• Year 7 to Year 10 will have PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) lessons to support their well-being and ensure they get the opportunity to discuss a broad range of topics.
• Year groups have also been allocated their own toilets to use and will have their own Year Group Base to offer them support. Each Year Group Base will have a Head of Year, Lead Coach and Learning Support Assistant to support students throughout the day.

All Year Groups have been allocated ‘zones’ where they will stay for the majority of their lessons:
o Year 7 – Science;
o Year 8 – History and ICT;
o Year 9 – Humanities;
o Year 10 – English; and
o Year 11 – Maths.
Students will stay in these zones unless they are moving to Technology, Arts, PE and/or IT.

• There will be no big group gatherings such as assemblies. Assemblies will be held online and key messages from myself, the Head of School, will be ‘zoomed’ to students on a regular basis.
• Visitors to the school are not allowed without appointments. Parental appointments will be (unless in emergency cases) over the telephone or online.
• Students are permitted to wear their PE kit on the days that they have PE or Dance (see details below).
PE and Dance Kit Policy September 2020

To address social distancing issues due to COVID-19 PE kit procedures will run slightly differently from September 2020 until further notice. Students will be expected to attend school in their PE kit on days when they have PE or Dance practical lessons; this will remove the need to use the changing rooms in large groups. The following points are to be followed with regards to what we class as satisfactory PE kit:
• T-shirt
o Gateway Academy PE T-shirt.
o Other sport style top as plain as possible, with minimal branding.
o No crop tops.
• Bottoms
o Gateway Academy shorts.
o Plain shorts.
o Jogging bottoms as plain as possible, with minimal branding.
o Sports leggings (these must be sport leggings and not fashion leggings from high street shops).
• Trainers
o Sports trainers.
• Long sleeve top
o Gateway Academy rugby top.
o Plain sports top with minimal branding.
o Gateway Academy jumper which can be purchased from Kit Locker
(link on website – Student Zone >
New PE Kit > Link

If students arrive to school in clothing we feel is inappropriate and not following the guidance stated above, students will be asked to go home to change.

We understand that some students may have PE two days in a row, particularly GCSE students and this is why we have eased the rules on what we class as normal PE kit; however, when we have use of the changing rooms again then we will expect all students to return to wearing the full Gateway Academy PE kit.

Student Equipment
It is important that students bring their own equipment to school, including a reading book, writing equipment, scientific calculator (new students please note that the Maths Team will provide details the first week back of correct equipment to purchase).

PPE Equipment
Students are encouraged to wear face masks. They can also bring their own hand sanitiser to school. There will be hand sanitisation stations set up across the Academy as well.

Students Attendance
As in accordance with recent Government guidance, students are expected to attend school. We understand that staff, parents/carers and students will all have a sense of anxiety about returning particularly after such a long period of absence. Please be assured that we will work with our staff, parents/carers and students as closely as possible in the coming weeks and months to ensure as smooth a transition back to Academy life as possible.

Test and Trace Support for Schools and any suspected / confirmed cases
There has been a lot of information in the media regarding the testing and tracing system in schools, we await further information from the Government and Local Authority regarding this and will then inform parents/carers and students. Students displaying COVID-19 symptoms or confirmed to have COVID-19 are expected to self-isolate. Their work will be available online for them to complete with the school supporting (if possible) with IT access if this a problem.

Regular Cleaning
Hand sanitation zones have been set up in all areas across the Academy including in every classroom, corridor, canteen area, reception, student entry areas, etc. Regular cleaning will take place across the Academy every day and areas in ‘heavy use’ will be cleaned more frequently including the Courtyard Cafe, toilets, etc.

Contact Details
There will be regular communication for all parent/carers over the coming weeks and months. It is therefore, extremely important that we have your most up-to-date contact details at all times. Please ensure that if you are changing your contact details, you e-mail Ms O’Dwyer at

I will continue to write to you every week for the first half term to ensure that you are kept fully informed of how the new procedures are working in the Academy and any changes to Government Guidance.

As always, a massive thank you for your support at this time. We look forward to welcoming our wonderful students back to school next week and continuing on their education.

Best wishes,

Yours sincerely
Mrs G McLaughlin

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