Reopening of School from March 15th 2021

Dear all, 

I am pleased that the Welsh Government have reviewed the scientific and medical data, and that the position in Wales provides the ‘headroom’ for pupils to return to school. The operational guidance has now been updated, and you will find information on the main changes below. 

Reopening and Reintegration of Pupils 

School will open to Year 11 pupils on Monday the 15th March2021, Year 10 will return from Wednesday 17thMarch 2021. Key Stage 3 cohorts will return to school the following week (see below).It is planned so that once a year group return to school, they will then attend subsequent days as normal. However, the Minister has added the caveat that this will be under review, and if the situation changes and infection rates rise, then alternative arrangements may once again be put into place. 

In Summary:

Year 11 will return and remain in school from Monday 15thMarch
Year 10 will return and remain in school from Wednesday 17thMarch
Year 9 will return and remain in school from Tuesday 23rdMarch
Year 8 will return and remain in school from Wednesday 24thMarch
Year 7 will return and remain in school from Thursday 25thMarch 

This arrangement is in full compliance with Welsh Government guidance and provides significant face-to-face contact for GCSE classes, but will also give all year groups some time in school prior to the Easter Holidays. 

Arrangements for on-site provision will be as they were prior to the recent lockdown. Contact groups / ‘bubbles’ will continue to be maintained, pupils will be taught in zones, and all other mitigations will continue. We will continue to operate contact group lunch arrangements as we did previously. This will allow us to return to school and follow the normal timetable – as they did in the Autumn. 

The Local Authority has confirmed that all transport arrangements (busses / taxis) will be in place for those in receipt of a pass or funded transport.  

Pupils should attend in full school uniform. Wrexham supermarkets have opened their school uniform aisles, and RAM leisure are also taking appointments and fulfilling orders. We do understand that there may be some minor uniform issues, with some pupils having outgrown some of the items. If this is the case, please can pupil attend in clothing that is a close match to their uniform e.g. footwear without logos, or suitably plain dark trousers etc… If there is an issue with uniform, please write a note in your child’s planner. We would anticipate any uniform issues to be remedied before the summer term. Please contact the school if you require hardship assistance / help in obtaining a uniform grant from the Local Authority.  

Welsh Government Updated Guidance

Welsh Government have required everyone on secondary school sites are now required to wear face masks. This means thatunless there is medical evidence that allows exemption, all pupils will have to wear a mask at all times (apart from eating, and outdoor PE lessons / exercise). 

The Local Authority have been given money from Welsh Government to provide each pupil with at least two reusable masks. However, in the first instance pupil will need to provide their own (as per the Autumn). 

In addition, Welsh Government are committed to providing Year 10 and 11 pupils with access to Lateral Flow Tests.These are voluntary tests which are to be taken at home. The Local Authority will write separately about this matter. However, it is important that everyone recognises that Wales will be operating differently from England (which has been widely reported in the recent news). Unlike in England, pupils will not be taking three tests in school before they commence home testing – all testing of school aged children in Wales will take place at home.  

Finally, I look forward to welcoming pupils back to school on the above dates. This recent lockdown resulted in another lengthy closure of school. I recognise the struggles that children have battled with over the past few months. However, it is testimony to their determination and resilience that over 90,000 pieces of work have been submitted in Goggle Classroom since January! I am extremely proud of my staff, and am grateful to those of you who have written to commend them on their work under these very challenging circumstances – no doubt many of you will have been present in the room as lessons have taken place! We all recognise that pupils will have responded differently to the challenge of online learning. We are now eager to get back to normal so that we can assess the needs of individual children.  

Mr Wilkinson 

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