LPSB Weekly Update 5th March 2021Posted on: March 5th - 2021
Well, it has certainly been a very long and often difficult journey, but I am delighted that we have got through it together and we are now ready to welcome the students back through our doors. There has been a lot of work going on this week to prepare for the return of the students to ensure that the site is as safe as it can possibly be, and I am very grateful to my Premises Manager, Neil Gunn and his Team for their preparation of the site. I am also grateful to Assistant Headteacher, Ben Jones, who has done excellent work producing the testing rota which began yesterday with our Year 13 students, and continued today with Years 11 and 12. You can only imagine the challenges of arranging a total of over 5000 lateral flow tests whilst also preparing the site and planning to get back to teaching face to face. There are unsurprisingly a number of things to update you on this week.
Lateral Flow Testing and consent
Many thanks to all families who have given consent for their son / daughter to have the 3 lateral flow tests that I have mentioned above. Having consent granted in advance will really help to speed up the process of doing the testing as we move through next week. For anyone who has not yet given consent, or who wishes to notify us that they do not give consent, the link to the online consent form is below. Please can I ask all parents / carers to ensure this is completed.
Once the students have had their first tests on site it is important that they then register the tests with Track and Trace when they get home so that the results are on the national system. The instructions for doing this are included on the card which the students will be given when they have their test which will include their individual test barcode. Please support your children in making sure these tests are registered as necessary. The school will also have records of the test results and will notify you if your son / daughter tests positive.
The full rota for the rounds of tests is now available on the website so you can see when your son / daughter is likely to be having their test. This may be subject to change depending on how quickly we are able to process the tests. I have also included a link to the schedule below. For the majority of students the tests will take place during the school day, but there may be occasions when 6th Form students will need to stay after school to have their test. All families should by now have received a letter with the specific times for your son’s / daughter’s year group.
Please note students do not need to wear uniform if they are only coming on-site for their lateral flow test.
On-site safety measures
I sent this information out to you last week, but I am including it again here as a reminder and to reassure you that we are doing all we can to make the return to school as safe as possible.. That means the following rules / expectations will apply.
• Start and finish times for the school day will be staggered between year groups as they were before Christmas. The start and finish times for each year group are attached to this email along with the full timings of the school day.
• All movement around the school will be done using external pathways as far as possible.
• There will be a strict one-way system in operation in the school building in order to minimise face to face contact of students as they move between lessons
• Students must wear a mask at all times when they move around the school building, and in all communal areas, including the refectory.
• Students will be in year group size ‘bubbles’, and each bubble will have its own social space in order to keep student apart as far as possible.
• 2 metre social distancing will be encouraged at all times as far as it is possible to do so in such a large school.
• Reminders about frequent hand washing, and the use of hand wash stations at entry and exits points to the school will resume.
• Lunch times will be staggered to ensure bubbles do not mix
• Equipment will not be shared between students unless it can be cleaned in between use by different bubbles.
• There will be enhanced cleaning throughout the school day of communal areas and toilets.
• All students will be expected to go outside at break and lunch time unless the weather is inclement.
The one significant change to the safety measures that were in place before Christmas is that students will now be expected to wear masks in their lessons as well as in the communal spaces as the Government is now advising. To that end it is really important that you ensure that your child has a high quality and comfortable mask that they can wear throughout the school day, other than when they go outside for break and lunchtime. Masks will not be expected for PE lessons. This guidance will be reviewed at Easter.
A reminder as well that from whenever students return to school for face to face lessons next week they must be in full school uniform and bring all of the necessary equipment with them – including a mask - for each day. The day when each year group returns to on-site lessons is below.
Monday 8th – Years 11, 12 and 13
Tuesday 9th – Years 7 and 10 (Test only on Monday)
Wednesday 10th – Years 8 and 9 (remote learning Monday, test only on Tuesday)
Catering and lunchtime
Our kitchen will be back in action from next week so please can I ask all families to go online and check that your son / daughter has sufficient credit on their lunch card. Arrangements for lunchtime will run as they did before Christmas for all students with a staggered lunch break to reduce congestion in the refectory. Year 11 students will not be permitted off-site at lunch time for the time being so will need to have money on their cards to buy lunch at school.
Years 12 and 13 can go off-site at lunchtime and we would ask 6th Form students who do not have a period 5 or period 6 lesson to go home at lunchtime to reduce the numbers on site.
Year 11 and 13 assessments update
Families of students in Years 11 and 13 will by now have received a letter from Mr Ridley, Deputy Headteacher, outlining the process by which GCSE, A Level and BTEC exams are to be awarded this year. He also sent out a video to explain the outcome from the consultation on assessment. We are expecting further information from the exam boards over the comings days and weeks and we will keep you updated as we hear more. I would reiterate that it is our intention to ensure that our students are awarded grades which fairly reflect their work over the last two years, and to that end we will be using a range of data to draw on, both work that has been completed up to now, as well as the work they produce over the coming weeks.
The message for Years 11 and 13 is simple – keep calm and keep working. We are with you every step of the way.
Careers Day – Wednesday 3rd March
A big thank you to all families who supported their sons / daughters during Wednesday’s Careers Day. I am aware that many of you allowed your children to interview you about your own career experiences as part of the day. The feedback from our staff and students has been extremely positive, and it proved to be a very useful and interesting day. I am grateful to Assistant Headteacher, Anna Siddell, for her significant work in organising the event.
As we reach the end of lockdown I would just like to say thank you once again to Mr Bullen and the music team for the work they have done during lockdown to keep us entertained. Last week’s informal virtual concert was fantastic and is still available to view on youtube using the link below if you have not yet watched it. It is good to know that before the end of this academic year theatres should be re-opening so that we can get back to performing live. Hopefully we can entertain you further over the coming months.
As ever this week’s sports update is attached to this email. I would like to thank once again the PE Team for all of their work in setting up and running our weekly challenges which I know families have really enjoyed taking part in, and which at a time when we are all spending far too long staring at computer screens has been really important for both our physical and mental health. With some modifications for Covid as we had in place before Christmas our sports programme will resume from Monday and you will find attached with this email a letter with some details of what this will look like.
Jack Petchey Presentation Evening
The Annual Jack Petchey presentation evening adopted a slightly different format this year. Normally our Award Winners proudly accept their Medallions at a ceremony at the Churchill Theatre, cheered on by friends and family. This year, the event took place on YouTube last Wednesday, but we are no less proud of our award winners from the year 2019-20:
Jake Lloyd, Tom Bostock and Lewis Bartlett from last year’s Year 8;
Ben Tang, James Burden and Jamie Goulds from year 11;
Liam Jones, Blaise Pitrik and Joe Taylor-Hamilton from the sixth form.
There is also an award for a member of staff who has made an outstanding contribution to school life, this year awarded to Sarah Niblock, one of our wonderful Librarians. She has taken many roles at LPSB over the years, including administering the Mathematics Specialist School project, running the F1 Maths in Motion project (National Champions), playing a pivotal role in Filmbox, and is currently also a PP Maths tutor.…the list goes on.
Many congratulations to all our Award winners.
Intermediate Mathematics Challenge
This year the IMC was completed online. The questions were just as devious as ever, and our brainy mathematicians achieved a staggering 41 Bronze, 17 Silver and 3 Gold awards. These are only awarded to the top 40% of entrants (and schools only enter their best mathematicians, so these really are la crème de la crème). Special mention goes to the highest-scoring pupils in the three year groups:
Year 9: Sean Gallagher and David Harrison
Year 10: Charlie Davies
Year 11 Thien Nguyen
The best-scoring students proceed to the follow-on round, bizarrely called the Mathematical Kangaroo, later this month. Many congratulations to all participants.
Following on from an email I sent out before Christmas please can I remind you that e-scooters are not legal in this area at present and students should not be using them to get to and from school.
So we reach the end of my final (hopefully!) lockdown update. I have said this before on several occasions but forgive me if I say it one more time, I have been overwhelmed by the level of support and encouragement that you as families have given to myself and the staff here at the school over the last few months. I do not underestimate how difficult managing home-schooling whilst also managing your own working lives has been. I am grateful to you all for your support.
I would also like to say a final big thank you to all of my staff who adapted to a completely new way of working so smoothly and without any fuss. I believe the quality of what our students have experienced over the last few months has been extremely good given the circumstances, and I am very grateful to all staff, both teaching and support staff, for their hard work. A special mention also to my Cover Coaches and Teaching Assistants who have worked on site every day supporting our key worker and vulnerable students. It has been a real team effort of which we should all feel very proud.
I will continue to send you a weekly update on a Friday afternoon over the coming weeks as events develop both in relation to lockdown and in relation to Years 11 and 13, but now once again the weekend is upon us. For the final time, I would invite you all to log off…..
Mr S. Parsons
Langley Park School for Boys