Information in Support of Full Re-Opening | Highcliffe School

Information in Support of Full Re-Opening

All plans are subject to any change in the local or national Covid-19 situation or changes to government guidance to schools. 

The risk assessment overview regarding opening and full school risk assessment can be found here

For dates that year groups return to school please see this post on website


Headteachers Welcome Back Message

Key Points for Students

We published our Key Points for students last week - please make sure you have read this here

The journey to/from school

• School transport will operate as normal, however there will be compulsory zoning of students into year group sections on the bus these are labelled on the seats.   Currently the government guidance is that students using public transport need to wear a face mask and we expect students to adhere to this.  Following updated government guidance, and re-consideration of the Risk Assessment, students using school transport are also expected to wear a face mask for the journey.  Staff will be present on the buses over the first few days to help students sit in to correct areas and wear their face masks.  There will be compulsory hand cleaning getting on or off the school buses at school.  Re-circulatory air conditioning will not be switched on. Drivers will be wearing face masks and a protocol is in place to support the drivers address any non-compliance or Covid-unsafe behaviour on school transport  (please see Face Mask Letter for more information)


• Arriving/Departing by car: to help us reduce congestion of students at the main school entrances we are asking parents that drop their children off by car to drop students off away from the school site.  We are asking parents to help us by following the route map and drop-off points on the map HERE.  Where parents drop-off students from mixed year groups, we ask that the drop-off/pick up point is for the youngest student and the older students walk round to/from their own entrance.  This spreading out of drop-offs is in order to help us reduce inter-year group mixing outside school and effectively manage the zoned entrances explained below.

• Arriving/departing by bike: there are bike racks for each set of Year Group-specific entrances.  Additional bike racks have been located next to Da Vinci for Year 7/Sixth Form students using the Jubilee entrance 

• Entering/leaving the school grounds at the start/end of the day: in order to promote separation of year groups all three walking entrances to the school from Parkside will be used at the start and end of the day.  Banners on the fence indicate which year groups must use which entrance.  There is a map showing the entrances HERE and a video explaining them for each year - Year 7 and Sixth Form, Years 8 and 10 and Years 9 and 11. Hand sanitiser stations are installed at or near entrances and staff will remind students to use them when entering the school.  At the end of the day students must leave by their Year Group entrance/exit too 

• During the school day itself only the normal pedestrian entrance will be open for students when being collected by parents from Reception or when sixth formers arrive/leave site outside of normal start/finish times

Break and Lunchtime Arrangements

• Owing to the large number of students using school or public transport for their journeys, we cannot run a staggered start and end time to the day for different year groups. However, there will be two different break and lunch times for Year 7 to 9 and Year 10 to 13 to minimise their interaction which will divide the school into two groups from the end of Period 1 onwards, and a staggered end of the day as Sixth Formers may leave before 3:05pm under certain circumstances   

 The timings of the school day for each year group can be found HERE and videos for each year group below:

Years 7, 8 and 9

Years 10 and 11

Sixth Form


• Year groups will be zoned away from each other during their staggered break and lunch times in different parts of the school.  Go to your outdoor year group zone straightaway at break and lunch (unless you are first queuing to get food at lunchtime)    

• On Out Days the zones are shown below.  During In Days, students will use as their In Day the classroom timetabled for their next or previous lessons

• Students in Years 8, 9 and 10 will be supplied with a coloured pin badge to wear on their uniform to facilitate easy indication of their year group, to help us make sure they are keeping to their zones and other routines.  Year 11s have their black jumpers, the Sixth Form their ID lanyards, and Year 7 need not wear a badge    

• Sixth Formers, unless they have a lesson period 5 or need to see a staff member, or prefer/need to work in the Study Centre, or a transport issue, are strongly urged to go home after period 4 .  The Café is closed in the afternoon.    

• Sixth Formers are permitted to leave and return to the site at break and lunchtimes to use the local shops/food outlets; but will need to sign in/out as normal and use the sanitiser stations    

• The Pod, The Hatch and The Kitchen will NOT be open at break times so students need to bring enough food with them to last all morning    

• Year 7 to 11 will be given a personal QR code to use to buy food instead of using the PIN pads    

• The water fountains are shut OFF so students will need to bring enough water to last all day     

• Seating in the Hall outlet for The Kitchen at lunchtime is zoned and there is a One-Way Entry/Exit system operating.  Face masks are required to be worn by students when queuing until their purchase is complete and they’ve left the till area.      (please see Face Mask Letter for more information)

• For the first couple of weeks Year 7 will go to lunch a little earlier than their standard time, to help them adjust to the school routines and menu choice     

• Food display and serving methods in The Kitchen, The Sixth Form Café, and The Pod have been altered to prevent/minimise the handling of food by students before they purchase

Hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and other infection controls

• Wash and sanitise your hands properly and as often as possible, especially when you’ve been to the toilet or after you’ve eaten   

• Use the stations to sanitise your hands as you enter and leave every lesson/Tutor Time (you can bring your own sanitiser if you prefer to)   

• The school has installed a significantly large number of hand sanitiser stations throughout the school and in all key entry/exits points including to classrooms.  However, parents may prefer to provide their son or daughter with their own supply, especially for students with skin conditions.  We encourage parents of students with more severe skin conditions to seek medical advice about suitable hand sanitiser gels or products to use.  Any concerns or for advice – please contact Miss Rickard the Student Support Officer   

• Students are encouraged to try to keep their fingers away from their mouth, nose and eyes   

• Sneeze and cough into your elbow not your hands   

• Stick strictly to the seating plan in each lesson, for Track and Trace purposes   

• Students must wear a face mask indoors moving around school at Tutor and Lesson changeovers including at the beginning/end of break and lunchtime, and end of the Period 5, and indoors in corridors during breaks and lunchtime   

• Students must wear a face mask in an indoor food outlet queue, including the Sixth Form Café   

• Students must pop their face mask on briefly if a staff member asks you to, e.g. in order to sit with you to help you with your work, or during a detention or when in Internal Isolation   

• Students don’t need to wear a face mask outdoors or in their lessons (unless asked to by a staff member for a specific reason)   

• We ask parents of students with persistent minor coughs/sniffles/colds [but NOT Covid-19 symptoms] to help us ensure their child wears a face mask in school all the time until they recover, so that they don’t feel like they have to avoid school or to minimise possible anxiety about their illness among other students   

• Any students in the official ‘Exempt’ categories will of course NOT need to wear a face mask at all (please contact us to double check we know who you are) and any parents of students with a SEND need which may make the periodic use of a face mask problematic should contact Miss Warburton, the Learning Support Manager, at school. Support towards the cost of face masks is available to families receiving Free School Meals   

• For further information regarding Face Masks please see our letter here and MIND have some excellent information regarding Mask anxiety, face coverings and mental health

• Classrooms have been re-arranged according to government guidelines.  Seating plans – used as a matter of routine at Highcliffe already – are of critical importance to Track and Trace in the event of a possible/confirmed Covid-19 case.  Students MUST adhere at all times to their teachers’ seating plan, including during cover lessons and including all Sixth Form lessons    

• Sixth Formers MUST use their ID lanyard to sign/in out of the Study Centre AND the Café, for Track and Trace purposes    

• The dropping/leaving of litter or partially eaten food remains on tables or on the ground (inside or outside) and the use of chewing of gum, are unhygienic actions. Students should note the ZERO TOLERANCE of chewing gum use in school. All the undersides of desks at school have had several years’ accumulation of chewing gum surreptitiously stuck there by students removed during school closure. Students – thank you for your full cooperation of the matter of litter and chewing gum    

• In offices, meeting rooms, and toilets notices on the door indicate the maximum number of people permitted in that room at any one time whilst maintaining social distancing.  Students, if you enter and there is ‘no space’ please leave and wait outside for your turn.    

• All our programmes facilitating students from different year groups to work together will be temporarily suspended or adapted to work as online-only programmes.  This includes the Peer Mentors of Year 7, Sixth Form Subject Ambassadors, Sixth Form Reading Buddies, and School Council. It also includes any extra-curricular club or activity which would normally be inter-year group.  A limited menu of clubs and activities may still be offered but only in year-group specific ‘bubbles’.  There will be no residential trips or visits to sites in the UK or abroad until guidance changes    

• Specific and more detailed guidance for practical Music and PE lessons published by the government has been applied in school.  Teachers will explain the alterations to normal practice during your first timetabled lesson in those subjects    

• Gatherings for assemblies in the Hall will not take place.  Assemblies will be broadcast during Tutor Time according to each Year Group’s assembly rota    

• Specific limitations/prohibitions apply on students sharing pencil-case type equipment between each other, and on staff loaning equipment to students e.g. calculators.  This will mean students need to come to school with all the correct general equipment from the Equipment List, every day.    

• Enhanced frequency and attention to detail in routines around the cleaning of rooms, handles, door plates, other surfaces and specialist equipment at key times is in place    

• Specific routines for refreshing classrooms between lessons are in place, with specific adaptations for Computing rooms or other heavily IT-equipped rooms

The One-Way System

• To reduce congestion the school will operate a One-Way system between 8:45am and 3:15pm for all students, staff and visitors.  Click the images below to load a full PDF version of the map (students will be provided with a map and walk the one-way system on their first day back in school)

One-way System Videos

Behaviour Management

• The DfE require schools to publish adaptations to their Behaviour Management policy taking into account the Covid guidance, and in particular to clarify for students and their parents the consequences for students who do not comply with the school’s routines and expectations about Covid-related safe behaviours, including movement around the site, hygiene, chewing gum etc. The guidance specifically includes the government asking schools to consider deliberately coughing or sneezing at other students, or spitting in their proximity or even on them, as forms of physical assault (as we have seen happen in public life) and sanctioning them as such.  Thankfully, based on the exceptionally sensible and responsible attitude of all the Year 10, 12 and Key Worker students we have had on site since March 23rd, we are confident that, when thoroughly briefed and having had all the reasons explained to them, all Highcliffe students will take great care to comply with all the routines and expectations at all times, to keep themselves and each other safe.  Our Behaviour Policy adaptions can be seen HERE   

• Full school uniform will be worn and the full Dress Code will apply again to all students, including on piercings and hair styles. Guidance indicates that normal routines for washing uniform are sufficient at present.  Students do NOT need to wear PE kit to school on days they have PE lessons and their teachers in advance of each lesson whether to bring full or partial kit.  The Dress Code for Main School is HERE. The Dress Code for Sixth Form is HERE

Visitors to school

• All visitors to school, including parents to see members of staff, are by appointment-only.  Parents should therefore please note they will not be able to gain access to any member of staff without first contacting them to arrange an appointment  

• If you are collecting your son or daughter from school, you are welcome to wait in Reception   

• All visitors into school including multi-agency staff, contractors and parents are permitted access only after following the Covid-protocol which is viewable in the overall risk assessment HERE

Mental Health, Student Well-Being and Inclusion

• The DfE have made clear that from September the temporary relaxation of legal requirements about parental responsibility for sending their children to school will end, and the normal legal requirement to send a child to school will resume.   

 • We are aware that some parents and students may well feel sufficiently anxious about returning to school as to make them unwilling to do so, although we hope all the work we are doing to make the school as safe a place as possible means this is not the case.  We will engage with any student and their parents who feel temporarily unable to return to school, providing the emotional and practical support to make their return possible.   

• We intend working with individuals already known to us or who become known to us in September who have had especially difficult experiences during school closure to support their full inclusion in the school experience and their return to full emotional and mental health.  Specific attention will also be paid to the most vulnerable groups of students such as Looked After Children, Free Schools Meals and SEND students, from those staff who have responsibility for them.   

• We will provide opportunities on their return to school for all students (and indeed staff) to reflect on their own experiences of lockdown and school closure, positive and negative, and identify their concerns and hopes going forward so that we may support them all.   

 • An enhanced programme of learning and reflection about mental health, positive friendships, resilience, the importance of community, will feature in the tutor programmes of all year groups.    

 • The above strategies will make use of specialist expertise and staff in school already and the support services available to us from BCP Council and the local NHS Trust.

Use of Student Support and Medical Room

• For enquiries relating to pastoral, IT support, Library, finance and Data & Exams, a student should attend the department directly and NOT queue at Student Support  

• To hand in a letter or other correspondence, do not queue outside Student Support please use the post box situated on the wall to the left of Student Support   

• If a student is unwell or injured and this cannot be dealt with by a first aider using the first aid kits situated around the building (for example requires medication from the medical room), the student should alert the nearest member of staff and present at Student Support as normal     

• In the case of requiring student support, students must wear a face mask whilst queuing unless they have lost or damaged their mask in which case the student must adhere to social distancing whilst waiting for a replacement   

 • If a student loses or damages their face mask, they must attend Student Support to be provided with a disposable mask for use that day

Learning Support and Jubilee Provision

 • Students who are particularly vulnerable may be invited to use Learning Support or Jubilee provision at break and lunch times. Attendance is strictly by invitation. They will not be permitted to bring a friend as we need to keep numbers of students to a minimum to ensure adequate distancing. Students who are invited are not obliged to attend. Students will be given a workstation which they should clean on arrival and on departure with the equipment provided

Academic Learning and Progress

• It is important to note that very many students have coped well academically and continued to make good progress during school closure, as a result of the distance learning programme we have provided.  However, even those students will have gaps in the learning caused by altered content in their courses, postponed assessments, or limited/no access to specialist facilities.  We know that others have found learning at home more difficult and their gaps in learning require more attention.

For ALL Year 8 to 13 students

• Our approach to addressing any gaps in learning and progress which have developed during closure is straightforward and positive in language and intention.  It will all be focused around Map Master and Move Forward. Further information about this is available in the video below   

 • This essentially means identify the gaps with each student, help them deal with the gaps, then move on to new learning (or move on immediately where the gap is not an impediment to the current topic). Through the methodology for “subject learning reviews” during June and July used with Year 10 and 12 face-to-face in school, and for all other year groups online, our teachers are already doing this work with Year 7 upwards and have been adapting their schemes of work for the Autumn for some weeks now.  There is no need for students to feel anxious or ‘doomed to failure.’ We will use positive language, focus on the positives, and help you get everything sorted as it should be as quickly as you can each cope with.   

• We will continue the Academic Review process provided by Heads of Achievement this term, helping targeted students plan a way through to success.  At first we will focus on those students who had completed the least work at home but whose parents declined the offer of an Academic Review this term, but will move to other students most in need after the first couple of weeks.   

 • Once the government clarify what the promised catch-up funding is, who exactly it should be spent on and what kind activity it should be spent on, some of this funding may be directed to targeted students in Years 8 to 10.

For incoming Year 7 students specifically

• We will run our own diagnostic assessments to supplement the teacher assessments from primary school, to identify what each student can and cannot yet confidently do in Maths and English, then apply the Map Master and Move Forward approach to their lessons.   

• Specific catch-up and support packages for the least academically able and for students with SEND will be provided as normal.

For Year 11, 12 and 13 students specifically

• In addition to the Map Master and Move Forward approach during normal subject time, and access to Academic Review and Study Skills support, Year 13 will have the opportunity to work individually with teachers to identify any learning gaps from the closure period and re-do the lesson and tasks in the distance learning programme.     

• Year 12 will be supported to ensure they complete their Transition work to the highest standard as quickly as possible, if they have not yet done so by the start of term.     

• At present the Catch-Up funding promised by the government does not apply to post-16 students.  If this changes, then we will use some of that funding to provide further additional support for Year 13.      

• In addition to the Map Master and Move Forward approach during normal subject time, and access to Academic Review with the Head of Achievement, Year 11's who need it most will have additional teaching in Maths, Science and English during the school day, without impact on their other examination courses.     

• Once the government clarify what the promised catch-up funding is, who exactly it should be spent on and what kind activity it should be spent on, it is likely much of this funding may be directed to targeted students in Year 11

Other Academic Issues

• We may need to make adjustments to the published school calendar in relation to the timings of certain Parents Evenings and Progress Checks or Data Drops, which are timed to make sense in a ‘normal’ school year; and may even need to make alterations to the type of information shared so that it is as useful as possible to staff, student and parents.  We are exploring the operation of alternative approaches to Parents Evenings, should that prove a necessary step to take   

• We now know from the government that the full suite of GCSE and A Level subjects will be available to any current Year 11 and Year 13 who wishes to sit them in order to attempt a higher grade.  As these will run in October and November they may have the potential to cause some disruption to the school’s ability to operate a timetable for other year groups.  Parents and students should be forewarned we may need to return, for a short period of time, to distance learning at home for some year groups if there are large numbers of former Year 11s and Year 13s taking Autumn exams


    Owned by: PEW | Last Published: 03/09/2020 07:42:21 | Next Update: N/A


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