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The Richmond upon Thames School

The Richmond upon Thames School

Excellence Through Endeavour

COVID-19

 

Coronavirus Contingency Plan - October 2020

1. Purpose

This information is intended for parents/carers of students at the Richmond upon Thames School (RTS), so that they know what to expect if the school must educate students remotely for any reason. This guidance has been written in line with the Government on-going guidance, the latest being issued in September 2020.  

1.1 Review of the plan

This contingency plan will be updated regularly according to further changes. 

2. Aims

RTS is committed to ensuring that high quality learning continues even when the school is closed to some or many of our students.  Whilst the school building may need to be closed at times, to some or all learners, learning itself is never “closed” at RTS.  Remote education and on-going communication and feedback between teachers, students and parents/carers will be a priority. 

3. How will the school communicate the need for remote education to parents? 

The start of a closure to students will be communicated in several ways: 

4. What would initiate remote education for students? 

The government, in its guidance, sets out four tiers which would operate if an outbreak of Covid- 19 were to affect the local or school community.  A link to the government guidance can be found here.  These tiers are: 

Tier 1

No changes to education and schools remain fully open, but the local area of Richmond upon Thames or London is likely to have “local restrictions” outside of education. 

At this tier, the wearing of face coverings would be compulsory in communal areas such as corridors and dining areas.  

Note the school at present recommends this, whether tier 1 is in operation or not. 

Tier 2

At this tier, secondary schools would be requested by the government to limit the number of students on site at any one time by moving to a rota model. 

In this circumstance, the school is likely to use a model of “one week on and one week off” timetables, where students would be on site for one  week then off site and working remotely for another one week.   

At this tier, the school would follow what we call our “RTS Online” model.  This involves students following their normal timetable via Google-Classroom using its embedded features. 

This would result in all students having an equal number of face-to-face and remote education and they benefit from the consistency of the same timetable and teachers (and SEND support where applicable).

When students are on their remote week, they will have a mix of 30 mins on/off screen time. See the RTS Online Lesson for more information on how this works.

At this stage, we have considered that we would operate with one week starting with years 8 and 10 followed by one week with years 7 and 9.

Whilst we appreciate that Tier 2 would present some issues for siblings, it would be impossible to arrange for them to be always on the same rota.  

Tier 3

The government would be announcing a partial lockdown in certain areas. 

For secondary schools, this would be likely to lead to the prioritising of certain year groups, vulnerable students and students with key worker parents being on site. 

Under this scenario the prioritised year groups and student groups would always be on site (taught or supervised), as usual with all precautions being taken, and the year groups/students off site would be set remote work in line with Tier 4.

Tier 4

This would be a situation similar to March 2020, when the full national lockdown was first announced, whereby only vulnerable students and children of key workers would be attending on site.  All other students would be working under remote conditions.  

As before, remote education would be monitored through Google-Classrooms, emails and phone calls from academic tutors and follow up by pastoral and senior staff. 

Children who are considered vulnerable and those whose parents/carers are key workers:

Tier 2

This group of students would be able to attend school during their one-week off-site period but would be placed under supervision to carry on with the remote activities (on their iPads) set by their teachers  in one of four year group bubble rooms. 

Tiers 3 and 4 This group of  students will be able to attend school but would be placed under supervision to carry on with the remote activities (on their iPads) set by their teachers  in one of four year group bubble rooms. 

5. Remote education expectations

5.1 Remote education philosophy

At the Richmond upon Thames School, technology is at the heart of everything we do. Students are issued with one-to-one devices on entry to the school and these form an integral part of our teaching and learning philosophy. 

We always strive to enhance our digital and remote education offer to ensure that all students make progress from their starting points no matter whether they are in school or learning from home due to the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

5.2 Remote education approach 

We aim to:

  • Ensure consistency in the approach to remote education for all students (inc. SEND) who are not in school through use of quality online and offline resources and teaching videos 

  • Provide clear expectations to members of the school community with regards to the delivery of high quality interactive remote education 

  • Include continuous delivery of the school curriculum, as well as support of motivation, health and wellbeing and parent support 

  • Consider continued education for staff and parents around the use of technology for remote education

  • Support effective communication between the school and families and support attendance and reintegration into school for those students who have had a prolonged absence due to Covid-19 or local/national lockdown.

5.3 Contacting home about completion of work

We monitor students’ use of learning platforms and completion of activities in Google-Classroom. Contact will be made with parents by email and/or telephone in order to: 

  • Recognise the efforts of students who are completely up to date and/or making on-going effort with work set. 

  • Alert you to pieces of work outstanding and/or lack of effort/engagement with work set.  

5.4 SEND support

Our SEND and Inclusion Team will continue to support students with their remote education through:

  • a dedicated Google-Classroom, 

  • regular contact home 

  • wherever possible, maintaining their allocated in-class support in-keeping with the national restriction tier for education and childcare (explained above) and

  • teachers and learning support assistants continuing to differentiate resources to meet the needs of individual learners. 

Whilst we have high expectations of students and standards of work, we also realise that remote education creates specific challenges for some of our students. We will always be realistic in our expectations and where necessary, and in consultation with parents/carers, make adjustments where required. 

5.4.i Supporting students with an EHC-Plan

Students with an EHC-Plan will receive provision as listed in 5.4 SEND support. With regard to reasonable adjustments, we will be guided by the Department of Education and local authority guidelines.

5.5 Pastoral Support

Pastoral support will continue through any period of remote education.   

Our Student Wellbeing Team Heads of Year, Academic Tutors, Student Wellbeing Coordinator, Learning Mentor, Child Welfare Practitioner, Student Welfare Administrators and Senior Leaders will continue to support students throughout any lockdown period, through regular contact between parents/carers and school and, where necessary, external agencies. 

Students are able to make contact with staff via a Wellbeing Form on their iPad HomeScreen and private comments in their relevant Year Group Notices Google-Classroom, and by ‘phone calls’.  

Tutor teams will continue to contact home regularly, and will provide the opportunity for students to raise any questions or highlight any concerns they may have.  

Our Heads of Year will continue to communicate regularly with the tutor team and monitor the year group.  

6. How will remote education be delivered? 

Remote education will be provided by RTS staff for all students (inc. SEND) who are not in school, through use of quality online and offline resources and teaching videos. Students will follow their school timetable where possible and all lesson resources will be shared via their subject Google Classroom.

Resources to deliver this remote education plan include:

  • G-Suite (Google Classroom, Drive, Gmail accounts etc)

  • Use of recorded video to accompany lesson slides, at RTS we refer to these as ‘talking heads’ 

  • Google-Meets (for teaching episodes with classes/teaching groups)

  • Google-Meets Live Stream (for assemblies and whole school/year group events)  

  • YouTube ‘Live Stream’ (for whole school/year group events and information events for parents/carers)

  • Phone calls home

  • RTS subscription learning platforms (including but not limited to Hegarty Maths, Active Learn, Kerboodle, Seneca Learning)

  • Use of BBC Bitesize, Oak Academy

7. Provision of free school meals

As stated in the government guidance (published on 23 September 2020), schools should provide meal options for all students who are in school.

In a Tier, 2, 3 or 4 situation, we will endeavour to support students eligible for benefits-related free school meals who have to be at home for reasons relating to coronavirus (COVID-19).

School Reopening September 2020

School reopening 07 September 2020

RTS will reopen as planned to Year 7 students on 07 September 2020, and Year 8-10 students on 08 September 2020. Please read the Head's Start of Term Letter for details and refer to the table below for the school's COVID-19 guidance.

Example 

Students should not attend school due to coronavirus (COVID-19):

Parent/Carer guidance and responsibilities

1

Students who have symptoms 

Students who have symptoms should self-isolate and get a test.

2

Students are required to self-isolate as they, or a member of their household, has symptoms or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19)

If a student tests negative and if they feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to coronavirus (COVID-19), they can stop self-isolating and return to school.

If someone in the student’s household has symptoms, the household should self-isolate and the member of their household should get a test.

3

Students are required to self-isolate because they are a close contact of someone who has symptoms or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19)

Students may not have symptoms themselves but may be required to self-isolate if they are a close contact of someone with coronavirus (COVID-19).

The NHS test and trace guidance states that a person should self-isolate for 14 days if they have had recent close contact with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). 

4

Students who are required by legislation to self-isolate as part of a period of quarantine

As usual, parents/carers should plan their holidays within school breaks and avoid seeking permission to take their children out of school during term time.

Families should also consider that their child may need to self-isolate following trips overseas that require a period of quarantine.

5

Students who are clinically extremely vulnerable in a future local lockdown scenario only

Shielding advice for all adults and children paused on 1 August 2020. This means that even the small number of students who will remain on the shielded patient list can return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding.

6

Local lockdown

If rates of the disease rise locally, schools may need to prevent some pupils from attending.

Schools should follow PHE or DHSC guidance on what measures are necessary in the event of local lockdown. 

Coronavirus Catch-Up Grant Plan 2020-2021

The Department for Education has recognised that young people across the country have experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). Those from the most vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds will be among those hardest hit. 

The government announced £1 billion of funding to support young people to catch up. This includes a one-off catch-up premium for the 2020 to 2021 academic year to ensure that schools have the support they need to help all students make up for lost teaching time.

Although all students have had their education disrupted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, it is likely that disadvantaged and vulnerable groups will have been hardest hit. That is why, alongside the universal catch-up premium, the DfE has launched the National Tutoring Programme to provide additional, targeted support for those students who need the most help.

Schools should use this funding for specific activities to support their students to catch up for lost teaching over the previous months, in line with the guidance on curriculum expectations for the next academic year.

Our Coronavirus (COVID-19) catch-up plan sets out details of:

  • how it is intended that the grant will be spent
  • how the effect of this expenditure on the educational attainment of those students at the school will be assessed

Coronavirus (COVID-19) catch-up plan

School Closure - March - June 2020

Updated 11 May 2020

RTS remains closed until further notice. All queries please contact the School Office via email: info@rts.richmond.sch.uk.

Partial reopening - 19 June 2020

With the possibility of partial reopening for small groups of students for one-off face-to-face check-in meetings, please see the Risk Assessment below:

Revised School Day - Online Learning

We have produced a guide for parents/carers to assist with the online learning programme that we are currently offering. This includes the revised timetable of the school day: