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    Posted on: August 31st 2020

    September return info & guidance

    We are all genuinely excited at the prospect of welcoming our students, staff and school community back on our site, and hope that all have had some respite over the summer from the pandemic and all its many consequences.

    This page and attached links contain key information about how the school will function for the foreseeable future. A reminder of return to school times can be found on the end of term letter When we can amend things, we will, and we will share information about changes with you via Twitter, Facebook, text messages and our website. Please do engage with our platforms.

    You may be aware that over the school holidays, we have received a number of guidance updates that impact how we operate as a school. This has delayed significantly our communications with you. For this, we would like to apologise, and hope the accompanying information gives reassurance and guidance about changes in place. The latest guidance for school reopening can be accessed here

    Changes we have initiated are there to keep our students and staff as safe as is practicable. A full risk assessment has been undertaken and approved by relevant agencies incorporating information from Public Health England, Teaching and School leadership union groups and the Local Authority.

    Academic outcomes: Our school is good and our staff are passionate, committed and dedicated professionals. We will work alongside you and your daughter as critical partners in reducing any gaps that absence over the last few months may have created. You may find that we often focus on safety and wellbeing in our communications with you. We trust our teachers and heads of department to work with your daughters to achieve the best outcomes we can. This hasn’t changed and is a given. We have a balanced approach to how we can utilise curriculum time prior to any external exams. Trust us. You can see information regarding our Alevel /190/latest-news/post/199/a-show-stopping-finale-to-be-proud-of-for-hornsey-sixth-form-college and GCSE results from the summer by clicking the links /190/latest-news/post/200/bold-brave-brilliant-hornsey-girls-excel-again

    Attendance  The Government has been very clear that all students and staff should be returning to school in September and that this return is mandatory. Any student absence which is not covered by absence protocols may be subject to a fine by the local authority. Parents and carers are advised to be very clear about our absence policy and speak to their attached Director of Learning for further guidance if it is required. During the pandemic, schools had to report daily to the DfE on attendance of staff and students and this is continuing at present.  

    A Covid-Secure School   We need to advise that students, staff and other adults should not come into the school if they have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or have tested positive in the last 7 days. We have systems in place to ensure anyone developing those symptoms during the school day is isolated in line with latest government guidelines.

    We have also undertaken the following measures to reduce the risk to you and your families of contracting COVID-19

    Wellbeing and behaviour

    We recognise students need support and guidance when returning to the school environment and that they will have natural anxieties which will be manifested in various ways. We have increased our capacity for counselling in place for the return of students, and are taking part in a pilot project to better integrate social services within the school for those that may require it. The impact of the pandemic may not be evident on our students until a later stage and we are prepared to respond to this.

    We are also seeking our families to support the school by highlighting the following changes and expectations to our student body:

    • Follow altered routines for arriving to school, going to lessons and leaving the school
    • Follow instructions on hygiene e.g handwashing and sanitising
    • Follow instructions to remain in allocated year group bubbles whilst in school
    • Follow instructions on moving around the school, including one way systems, recommendations for face coverings in communal areas and queuing at lunch and break
    • Practice “Catch it”, “Bin it” and “Kill it”
    • Follow social distancing rules at all times
    • Refrain from sharing equipment, food or water bottles.
    • Follow instructions for accessing toilets
    • Abide by clear rules related to touching the face covering of others, coughing or spitting at or on another person.

    If a student is seen deliberately coughing or spitting at or on another person, this behaviour will be treated as an act of violent or abusive behaviour and sanctioned accordingly under the ‘fixed term exclusions’ section of our behaviour policy which can be found here. Any actions like intentionally mocking coughing or spitting to cause another member of the school community distress or illness will be considered as a serious breach of behaviour. Students will be advised of these new expectations for behaviour on the first day of term. We seek your support as parents and carers to stress to your daughters the serious nature of actions listed above.

    Movement around the school will be very different. We want all to be aware of these changes and we will share this information with all year groups so they understand our rationale and their restrictions.

    Curriculum For the foreseeable future we have amended our curriculum to ensure that movement across the school is limited and reduced as much as possible. This has resulted in some changes to allocations for subjects. The good news is, we have ensured that all students have access to a broad and balanced curriculum and over the course of the timetable will have all of their usual lessons. In addition, and in light of the mental wellbeing of our students, we have increased CPSHE and time with tutors to support views, information and dialogue. Parents and carers also need to be advised that we will not be allowing exercise books to be taken home and will not be issuing planners until October. Key assessments will be marked but we are reducing equipment including books being taken from home to school and back again. We will be utilising our digital platforms and integrating these further across our subjects. This will also support in the event of a local or national lockdown.

    Lunch and break Students are advised to have a face covering for the duration of the queue within their bubbles. The community theatre and canteen will be open for year group bubbles during their allocated time. More information will be shared with students when they return to understand how the systems will operate.

    Face covering use Please refer to the attached letter for information on use of face coverings at Hornsey School for Girls. The documents attached have an approved poster from the WHO on how to safely use and remove face coverings. Parents/ carers are advised to ensure they have looked and shared this with their daughters prior to school commencing.

    Transport Update from TFL

    Uniform School Reminder Students are always expected to arrive at school in full school uniform.

    • School blazer
    • School jumper/pullover
    • White shirt
    • Black school skirt/trousers (pleated or A line skirt and no leggings or jeggings)
    • Plain black shoes/ trainers*  (no heels or sandals)
    • Lanyard in year group colour (these will be given to new yr 7)
    • ID card
    • Black coat or jacket preferred over the school blazer

    *Please note that black trainers are a change to our uniform policy and are being trialled for a full term following consultation and requests from our student leadership team. If this change is positive and we do not see a rise in uniform infringements or conflict as a result of this, we will adopt these changes permanently.

    Other changes to the uniform agreed to be trialed for a term are:

    • Piercing:  nose studs - 1 only, no rings – which must be removed for PE
    • No colour limitations to hair dye.
    • The student leadership team have worked incredibly hard to consult and work with students to update the uniform policy. If students wish to see the changes fully embedded they will need to act responsibly for them to be adopted. We will be monitoring how/if these changes impact on school standards.           

    We are really looking forward to having you back at school. We know that students and families may be anxious about return. It will take a little time to re-establish everything. We don't want anything to stop you returning and will do our best to ensure that you and your families remain safe and well. To do this we all need to adopt a different way of working together and we hope this information and these maps here will help reassure you all of how this is possible.   

    See you soon!