18 October 2020

Good afternoon,

"Tier 3" lockdown:  As you know Lancashire has moved into Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions as the rates of infection in our area are very high.  The effects of this in school are:

Face coverings:  The government guidance is now that

"When an area moves to the local COVID alert level ‘high’ or ‘very high’, in education settings where year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults (staff and visitors) and pupils when moving around indoors, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain. As in the general approach, it will not usually be necessary to wear face coverings in the classroom, where protective measures already mean the risks are lower, and they may inhibit teaching and learning.” 

Whilst fully recognising that some students cannot wear face coverings for medical reasons, our overall rule of "strongly advise" will change to “should” in line with this guidance so students should wear face coverings when moving around the school indoors and when they are close to other students outside.

Behaviour:

The Tier 3 restrictions reinforce the point that I made about behaviour last week - we have no capacity to deal with arguments between students, particularly ones that become physical.  These are very rare at WLD, but we have had a couple in the last few days.  With the regulations saying that staff have to keep 2 metres away from students at all times we cannot resolve arguments in our usual way nor intervene as we would.  Students who argue, who cause arguments or who are physical towards one another cannot be in school because such behaviour is highly unsafe in a pandemic.  This also applies to, usually younger, students who persist in running about and pushing each other as a "joke" - we have a well-known "No touching" rule at WLD and this is exceptionally important at this current time.  Please discuss these points with your son or daughter - we need to continue to keep our school a calm, respectful well-ordered place for the safety of every single one of us.

Meetings:

As you know we have been keeping face to face meetings in school to an absolute minimum - usually only those involving other agencies such as the police or social services have been taking place on-site.  We will continue to do almost all discussions with parents and carers by email or phone.  Please do not turn up expecting to see someone - every single one of us is working almost continually with students and the routines for safe supervision of students are precise, involve everyone, and cannot easily be adjusted.   As with all places of work we also face staff absence due to requirements to self-isolate which stretches our capacity to meet with parents & carers.  We aren't being rude or awkward - we are doing our very best to run the school effectively in a pandemic!

Positive COVID-19 case:  We have been notified of a positive case of coronavirus in Year 11.  All students in Year 11 and all students who travel by the 441 bus are required to study from home on Monday.  Further information will follow by the end of Monday.  

Late buses:  Just a reminder from last week's bulletin that the late buses will not be running between half-term (2nd November) and Christmas.

Blackburn bus routes:  Again, a reminder of the item on last week's bulletin that the Blackburn bus routes change from half-term (2nd November). Details are on the website here.

Payment for Hothersall Lodge (Year 7):  A reminder that the payment deadline for the Hothersall Lodge trip is this Friday (23rd October).

Half-term break:  Please be aware that next week is the half-term break (from Mon 26th to Fri 30th October)

Communications:  Please remember to register for Classcharts (email classcharts@waltonledale.lancs.sch.uk with any issues) and School Gateway to keep up to date with information from school.  If you use social media, please keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.  There have been several messages sent out this week:

  • Email to year 7 parents re nasal flu vaccine. 
  • Reminder email to year 7 parents regarding outstanding data collection forms.
  • Message to year 7 parents about contact with form tutors..
  • Text reminder to all parents reminding them that their child should have a face mask on them when at school - this becomes particularly important now in the light of "Tier 3" restrictions,

Have a good week....

James Harris

Headteacher

Posted by James Harris

Category: WLD Updates