Our first full week back has gone well, and students have settled quickly into the new routines for keeping safe. Last night we held our first Virtual Open Evening with a Live Stream and talks from Dr Creaby, the Head Boy and Deputy Head Girl and two year 8 students. In the absence of Open Morning Tours we hope that it was informative to prospective parents in showing the ethos of the school. If you would like to view the broadcast, you can do so on our relaunched website www.sandringham.herts.sch.uk
We were aware from the start that adjustments may need to be made, either due to national guidelines or our own analysis of how to fine-tune systems. The adjustments made this Thursday, we hope, will further improve life at Sandringham and allow us to continue to deliver the full-range of curriculum entitlement. As you may have read, a number of local schools have had to send students home on advice from Public Health England and whilst at the time of writing, this has not been the case here, we need to be realistic and assume that at some point we may have a confirmed case of Covid-19 and will need to respond appropriately.
We will follow the advice of PHE, and anticipate that in the first instance if a student is confirmed positive, the entire year group ‘bubble’ would have to work from home using our VLC, rather than be in school. Potentially, this would be for a two-week period. We would contact you immediately via parent mail and also send a covering text, should this be necessary to give you as much notice as possible. I am sure you appreciate that we will have to move very quickly in such circumstances.
Students have embraced the new systems of wearing masks in corridors really well and this will now be our new norm for the foreseeable future. What we ask now is that students move to reusable masks that are cleaned regularly to avoid mass waste of disposable masks and issues with disposal. There will be a period of settling in but if you are able to obtain a cloth face mask (plain) that would be greatly appreciated. Sandringham colours are Red, White and Black and we would like to encourage students to go for these colours. Red would be my preference; far more cheerful than black. If any student does not have a mask they will have to go to student services and buy one from the school. We will log their name and this will be a one-off option. The school is not set up to be a regularly supplier to those who forget masks I am afraid.
I have spent some time walking the school this week and the learning atmosphere is back to its usual standard with really well-planned and delivered lessons and students enjoying what they are doing. It also seems that they have built on their learning since March through the VLC which enables us to move forward with the curriculum here without too much going back over previous material.
It is difficult to predict the future but it is likely that the herd-immunity threshold will be reached at some point this year and that, coupled with a reasonably effective vaccine will allow us to move to a position of maintaining an open school for all students all of the time.
Mr A Gray