We have had a good start to the new term and are beginning to adjust to our new times and routines. The day is certainly more complex for the staff but we and the students are adjusting well. I would like to thank you for your support, in particular with arrival times in the mornings which have been calm and the staggered start has worked well. There are a number of things I would like to make you aware of and ask for your support with.
I would like to reiterate that we would recommend and encourage students to wear face coverings indoors except for in lessons and will continue to remind them to wear them if they have them. This is not compulsory at this time but could change in the event of government guidance if there is any local lockdown.
Behaviour outside school
Our students do behave well outside school but we have received a few calls regarding students not observing social distancing outside and taking masks off when on buses. Please remind your child of the expectations in this regard.
Senior staff are on duty outside school at the closest bus stops for a longer period of time than usual until about 3.50pm. We are aware that there is a problem with the capacity of buses with social distancing measures in place and this has led to students waiting for a long time in some instances and being late in the mornings. We are being as understanding as possible in the mornings and have spoken to the bus company about the possibility of additional buses. We have an additional bus from today which is initially for students in Year 8 and 10 until we can establish whether there is capacity for more students. Please remind your child that wearing a face covering is compulsory on public buses.
Dropping students off before and after school
Please do try to avoid dropping off or collecting your child in close vicinity of the school gates as this is leading to congestion. Please do not try to drive onto the school site as we do not have the ability to separate cars and students as they enter and leave school.
Gaydon Road Gate
Following a review of the usage of the Gaydon Road gate, we have decided to close this entrance as from Monday 14 September 2020, this will allow duty staff to be used in other locations.
Fortunately, students are not arriving at school earlier than we have asked. However, please ensure that your child does have a suitable warm and waterproof coat as the colder and wetter weather of autumn and winter approaches. We do not have space or the ability to supervise students indoors before school and have limited space for them at break and lunchtime.
Our catering staff are coping well with serving an additional lunch as well as having an oven out of service and disruption in supplies. I am aware that we haven’t been serving the meals that students are used to but have been assured that we should be able to bring back most of the favourite options in the next couple of weeks.
The restrictions in use of mobile phones in school has been very well observed by students and gone smoothly. Of course, we are not stopping them from being brought into school but expect them to be switched off so that we do not see or hear them. If they are brought into school this is at their owner’s risk.
Other important information for parents:
We ask parents to pay £10 per family at the start of each academic year. School fund pays for facilities not covered by the normal expenditure from the school’s annual budget, such items as transport for school teams, small items for clubs and societies rely on this fund. Families who feel they can make a larger contribution are welcome to do so. Payment can be made via your ParentPay account, if you need log in details please contact firstname.lastname@example.org giving your son/daughter’s name and form.
Our school website www.aldridgeschool.org gives you all the latest information, holiday dates, letters etc. If you do not have access to the internet your local library can provide this facility free of charge.
In particular, I would like to draw your attention to the latest versions of the Behaviour Rewards and Consequences Policy and completely rewritten Anti-Bulling Policy which can be found under information for Parents and Students>School Policies.
Relationship and Sex and Health Education
The Relationship and Sex and Health Education programme is part of our PSHCE Curriculum. The programme is planned as a ‘spiral’ from Years 7-11 so that topics can be revisited periodically to reflect students’ developing maturity. The School Nursing Team support our delivery to ensure that we are complying with statutory guidance. Further information can be found in the PSHCE policy which is available on our school website.