September Opening

Date: 14.07.20

Dear Parents and Carers,

As we come to the end of what has to be the strangest school term in modern history, I wanted to write to you thank you for your efforts in assisting with the students remote learning, and ensuring that the students stayed safe and out of harm’s way. We of course at AMSI have been open throughout the lockdown period, providing provision for vulnerable students or those whose parents are critical workers, as well as Face to Face sessions for our Year 10 Students. However, September will see us reopen to the entire student body of the school. I am sure that you can appreciate that the planning and implementation of this has been no mean feat. In order to ensure that we are able to welcome students back safely and comply with government guidance, we have had to consider a number of changes to how we have previously done things. The emphasis will be on:

  • The delivery of a broad and balanced curriculum
  • Good hygiene, cleaning and safe practices e.g. Designated toilets
  • Staggered start/break/lunch/end times for Key Stage 3 & 4
  • Extending the principle of bubbles within Key Stages
  • Social Distancing whenever possible to protect staff and students

Bubbles

Students will spend their day within ‘Bubbles’. This will minimise the social contact students have with others. Each Year group will be zoned both for their lesson time and unstructured times. Movement between these groups will be minimised as much as possible, although there will be some times when students will leave their zones – for lessons that require specialist equipment such as PE, or to use the canteen, The zones will be as follows; 

Year Group Zone for Lessons
7Ground floor B block
8First Floor B Block
9First Floor A Block
10Second Floor B Block
11Second and Third Floor A Block

Note: It also follows that each year group will be zoned across the school site for break and lunch.

Attendance 

As of September 2020, attendance at school is mandatory. Every student has a target of 100% attendance to school, and to arrive punctually. We do not expect students attendance to fall below 96% (this would mean that students would have missed around 6 days at the end of the school year). There are of course COVID 19 related exceptions, such as a student having been advised to self-isolate through track and trace or by a clinician. In such circumstances, we will keep in regular contact with students and provide work remotely.

Arriving to School 

Students will be given a window to arrive at school, and will be expected to line up before their registration. KS3 students need to arrive between 8.15 and 8.30, and KS4 students between 9.10 and 9.25. Students arriving after their allotted time will record a late mark as previous.Students will also access and exit the school at different points, outlined below;  

Year Group Arrival Window Entrance/ExitEarliest Exit time 
78.15-8.30Marriott Road (Back of school)2.15
88.15-8.30Marriott Road (Back of school)2.15
98.15-8.30Front Entrance2.15
109.10-9.25Marriott Road (Back of school)3.10
119.10-9.25Front Entrance3.10

In-School 

To keep students and staff safe, we will be making the following changes to our in-school practices; 

  • Silent Transition Between Lessons – We expect students to remain silent in between their lessons, to minimise the transmission of water borne droplets. Students will be sanctioned should they not adhere to this expectation. 
  • On The Way, Underway – We will have windows for transition between lessons. When movement to specialist areas is needed, should students arrive after the transition window closes, they shall be marked as late.
  • Cleanliness – There will be more hand sanitisers fixed on walls that we will expect students to use. Each year group will also have a zoned toilet to use – they should not use any other undesignated toilet. We are also encouraging you to send your child in with anti-bacterial wipes for them to use.
  • PE/Dance – When students have PE lessons, they should wear their PE kit into school that day (we will not be opening our changing facilities). Please note, should students wear something other than our approved PE kit. They shall be sent home to change. 
  • Behaviour – Students that do not consistently follow instructions with regard to social distancing could face sanction – we take the view that this is dangerous behaviour which puts the wider community at risk. 
  • Detentions – We have altered the length of detentions. Should students receive a referral detention, they will serve a 45 minute detention at the end of the school day. Should this detention be escalated, they will serve a 75 minute detention the following day.

Curriculum

There will unfortunately be missed learning in the 19-20 academic year that will be addressed. All subjects have adjusted their content to take account of any gaps that have occurred as a result of the lockdown. We are however committed to offering a broad and balanced curriculum in 20-21. Our assessment will be rigorous and take place in a variety of ways to make the best use of lesson time.  The subject content will be adjusted as necessary to ensure that no students are left behind. Our students’ progress is important to us and as such all efforts will be made to maximise the time we have forthcoming as well as addressing any well being issues that may arise.

Remote Learning

We have contingency plans in place in case of a local lockdown. This will mean reverting back to remote learning during this time. We need to know if your child has access to a device as well as the internet; please let us know by completing a survey – the ‘Chromebook Scheme Form’  found below. Moving forward, it is essential that your child continues to supplement their learning at home via completing their homework on Google Classroom and regular revision. However, we will be sending home a paper booklet at the end of the first half of the Autumn term which will have all of the content which should have been learnt; this will happen each half term to support home based learning as necessary.

Timetable 

The timetable will change significantly to facilitate the staggered start times that the guidance requires. KS3 students will begin school at 8.30am and end at 2.15pm. KS4 students will begin school at 9.25am and end at 3.10pm (unless they are involved in a supervised after school activity or a detention). Below is the structure of the day that each year group will follow.

School Uniform 

AMSI uniform remains the same, and can be purchased from Rough Cuts Casuals on Chapel Market http://www.roughcutcasuals.co.uk/home/ . I would like to remind you that blazers are compulsory, as are black school shoes – black trainers are not to be worn. The only exception to this is on the day that students have PE. 

Chromebooks

Arts and Media School plans to introduce a Chromebook Scheme for students to enhance the teaching and learning experience from September 2020. We believe that using Chromebooks will empower our students to become well informed, responsible digital citizens and lifelong learners.  Once our students have access to their own devices, we firmly believe the scheme will bring enormous educational benefits. We are offering a Chromebook Scheme which would allow parents to purchase a device for their children. The cost of the device is £145. Please complete the Chromebook Scheme Form to register your interest. Further details will be posted on the school website in due course. Chromebook Scheme Form   

First Day Arrangements

To help the students get into new routines, we have arranged staggered starts for our students. Year 7 and Year 11 will begin school on Monday 07 September. Years 8, 9, and 10 will begin on Tuesday 08 September. 

Over the summer, we will of course keep you updated on any changes. Please regularly check our website under your child’s Year Group tab, or the main page for up to date information. 

We look forward to welcoming you all back to the AMSI Community in September, and all have a restful break with your families. 

Susan Service

Headteacher

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Just to say........

Wishing you all a safe and enjoyable summer holiday from all the staff at AMSI.

Susan Service   Headteacher
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