Autumn Term Opening FAQ's
Students will begin to return to school from Wednesday 25th August.
To enable them to adjust to being in school and get used to the new routines necessitated by the government guidance we will be inviting year groups in as follows:
|Wednesday 25th August||Year 7|
|Thursday 26th August||All Years – Staggered return|
Year 7 are invited in on their own on the first day as they missed out on all their induction visits so we want them to have a day on their own to get used to the school. This staged introduction to school life will enable all students to become familiar with new safety measures and the one way system within the school as there are new routines for all to get used to.
We have adjusted school start and finish times for each year group :
|Year Group||Entrance / Exit Area||Start Time||Finish Time|
|Year 7||Student Reception Gate||8.40am||2.55pm|
|Year 8||Student Reception Gate||8.40am||2.55pm|
|Year 9||Sports Hall Gate||8.40m||2.55pm|
|Year 10||Sports Hall Gate||8.30am||2.45pm|
|Year 11||Student Reception Gate||8.30am||2.45pm|
Our new year based tutor groups will mean that students will get pastoral provision suited to their age.
We have carefully planned our tutor time programme to help students settle back in and re-form relationships with teachers and peers. We will consciously and explicitly teach students our new routines and explain the reasons behind these routines as this will really help them to settle back into school. Teachers and other staff have had special training to enable them to help students to adjust back to school routines. Rest assured, student wellbeing will be our top priority when we open and throughout your child’s time at Orchard Mead Academy.
If you have any specific concerns please contact your child’s tutor, Assistant Head of Year or Head of Year – contact details can be found here.
We have implemented the following systems of control to help prevent the spread of the virus:
1. Students will be asked to follow a strict one-way system between lessons;
2. Individuals who have symptoms does not attend school;
3. We have sanitising stations at all entrances to school and throughout the site;
4. We will ensure good respiratory hygiene by all individuals, closely following and promoting ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’. We have enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, using approved cleaning products;
4. Student start and finish times have been staggered;
5. Social times have been separated into year group bubbles;
You can view a copy of our Schools Risk Assessment here.
It is no longer necessary to keep children in consistent groups (‘bubbles’). This means that bubbles will not need to be used schools from the autumn term.
As well as enabling flexibility in curriculum delivery, this means that assemblies can resume.
If an outbreak occurs, the school has management plans that cover the possibility that in some areas it may become necessary to reintroduce ‘bubbles’ for a temporary period, to reduce mixing between groups.
Any decision to recommend the reintroduction of ‘bubbles’ would not be taken lightly and would need to take account of the detrimental impact they can have on the delivery of education.
Face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas.
The government has removed the requirement to wear face coverings in law but expects and recommends that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don’t normally meet.
This includes public transport and dedicated transport to school or college.
In circumstances where face coverings are recommended
If there is an outbreak in the school, the Principal might re-introduce the wearing of face coverings temporarily in communal areas or classrooms (by pupils staff and visitors, unless exempt). The outbreak management plan covers this possibility.
In these circumstances, transparent face coverings, which may assist communication with someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate, can also be worn. Transparent face coverings may be effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19. However, the evidence to support this is currently very limited. Face coverings (whether transparent or cloth) should fit securely around the face to cover the nose and mouth and be made with a breathable material capable of filtering airborne particles.
The main benefit from a transparent face covering is that they can aid communication, for example enabling lip-reading or allowing for the full visibility of facial expressions, but this should be considered alongside the comfort and breathability of a face covering that contains plastic, which may mean that the face covering is less breathable than layers of cloth.
Face visors or shields can be worn by those exempt from wearing a face covering but they are not an equivalent alternative in terms of source control of virus transmission. They may protect the wearer against droplet spread in specific circumstances but are unlikely to be effective in preventing the escape of smaller respiratory particles when used without an additional face covering. They should only be used after carrying out a risk assessment for the specific situation and should always be cleaned appropriately.
The use of face coverings may have a particular impact on those who rely on visual signals for communication. Those who communicate with or provide support to those who do, are exempt from any recommendation to wear face coverings in education and childcare settings.
We will make reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils to support them to access education successfully. Discussions with pupils and parents will take place to ensure any reasonable adjustments are considered to support an individual.
School attendance is mandatory and it is a priority to ensure that as many children as possible regularly attend school.
If your child is required to self-isolate or quarantine because of COVID-19, you need to follow the public health advice on when to self-isolate and what to do.
Children should not come into school if they have symptoms, have had a positive test result or other reasons requiring them to stay at home due to the risk of them passing on COVID-19 (for example, they are required to quarantine).
Government guidelines are very clear that all students are expected to return to school, this includes most children who have previously been shielding. If your child remains under the care of a specialist health professional you may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school (usually at their next planned clinical appointment). We will support families to ensure each student attends fully.
If you have any safeguarding concerns regarding a child please call the school and ask for our Designated Safeguarding Lead, who is available from 8am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday on 0116 241 3371.
If you have any safeguarding concerns about a child outside of school hours, please call Social Care on 0116 4541004 or the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.
If you feel that a child is in immediate danger you should call 999.
Concerns can also be sent to school via our email address – [email protected]
We want students to feel safe and as normal as possible when they return to school. In order to support this and to set the correct tone for learning we require all students to be in full uniform, this includes blazers, shoes, ties and their lanyard.
Information on PE uniform will be shared shortly.
- We will continue with a split break to keep year group bubbles separated.
- The only change is we will have a triple split. This is so the year 7 students can use the outdoor space.
- Areas will be rotated every half term for different year group.
|10.00-10.15||Year 11 and 9||9 dining room/ science side|
11 small gym/field side
|10.30-10.45||Year 7||Dining room and full playground|
|11.00-11.15||Year 10 and 8||8 dining room/ science side|
11 small gym/field side
|12.15-12.45||Year 11 and 9||9 dining room/ science side|
11 small gym/field side
|12.45-1.15||Year 7||Dining room and full playground|
|1.15-1.45||Year 10 and 8||8 dining room/ science side|
11 small gym/field side
Provision of food will be available for all students, including for those eligible for free school meals.
To support us in adhering to government guidance the school will now be using a cashless system. Payments for all school items, trips and lunch money will need to be paid online via the school gateway.
You can sign up to the School Gateway system by going to the website www.schoolgateway.com and signing up as a ‘New User’ with the email address and telephone number you have registered with the school. Please contact the school office if you need support with this.
Paying for school items online is quicker and easier for you, safer for children and more efficient for the school.
If you do not have access to the internet please contact the school office and we can provide you with a PayPoint bar coded letter to add money to your child’s account at the local PayPoint.
Where possible we recommend students:
- Walk or cycle to school where possible.
- Please view our Walking and Cycling Maps here
- Travel by private car and do not car share.
You can plan safe and healthy routes to school using the Choose How you Move website.
We have been working closely with the local authority to prepare for the safe return of students to school next week.
We are aware that a large proportion of our students are reliant on public transport to arrive at school and this has been a key focus area for us as we have planned the re-opening of the academy. Our staggered start and finished times have been arranged to enable students who travel on public transport to do so safely without the buses becoming over crowded.
We are pleased to advise that we have been able to secure additional “school-only specials” services which will duplicate the existing First 38/38A service buses at the following times:
Please note the following in relation to public bus travel:
- The normal public bus services are restricted to 50% capacity (timetable attached), however the “school special service” can be loaded to 100% seating capacity in line with government guidance.
- The school special service will be operated by contracted coach companies, however they will only be able to accept prepaid tickets.
- The council have broadened the range of prepaid ‘Flexi’ tickets and introduced promotional fares until the end of September. These are being sold on each of the main operators mobile ticketing apps. You are advised to purchase these ‘Flexi’ tickets, as the enable students to take any bus to and from school within the Leicester area (including the special bus service).
- You can view a bus map for Orchard Mead showing the range of bus services available using a Flexi ticket here.
- Please note that the end of day dedicated 2.45pm school service operated by First bus is not currently operating, students will need to catch their bus from the bus stops on the roads outside the academy, duty staff will support students safely off academy grounds, but may not be able to supervise bus stops.
This info-graphic shows bus stops and routes within a 10-minute walk of Orchard Mead.
Full details of the bus services can be found here: www.choosehowyoumove.co.uk/flexi
Please ensure that if your child does need to travel to school using public transport, that they wear a face covering in accordance with the ‘safer travel guidance for passengers’. Please encourage students to line up for their bus in a socially distanced manner, travel directly to/ from school, washing their hands before they leave home and on arrival at school. All disposable face coverings must be disposed of in our yellow bins, or if they are reusable should be stored in plastic bag within your child’s school bag when they are not in use.
Further information of ways to travel to Orchard Mead Academy can be found on our website here: https://www.orchard-tmet.uk/how-do-i-get-to-orchard-mead-academy/
If your child develops any COVID-19 symptoms or has a positive test , you should follow public health advice on when to self-isolate and what to do.
Do NOT send your child in to school if they have symptoms, have had a positive test result or other reasons requiring them to stay at home due to the risk of them passing on COVID-19 (for example, they are required to quarantine).
If your child school develops COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, you should send them home and they should follow public health advice. A phone call will be made and your child should be collected by a member of their family or household.
Your child will await collection in an open ventilated room. Appropriate PPE should also be used if close contact is necessary.
The household (including any siblings) should follow the PHE stay at home guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
Our latest Risk Assessment can be accessed here :2021-09 – TMET schools-risk-assessment-covid-19-V4
A copy of our Outbreak Management plan can be accessed here: 2021-08 – TMET COVID-Outbreak-Management-Plan V2