Frequently Asked Questions
Transport to and from School
- Dedicated school buses will commence from 1st September 2020.
- Translink are advising that pupils should try to avoid using public transport if at all possible to get to school.
What happens when pupils arrive at School?
- Pupils should not arrive onto the school premises before 8.50am.
- Year 8 pupils should make their way to the front playground (to the left of the Main Reception Area) and enter through the Hub doors when collected by their registration teachers.
- Year 9 pupils should make their way to the back playground and enter through the doors at the canteen corridor when collected by their registration teachers
- Year 10 pupils should make their way to the Tennis Court Area and enter through the Technology Doors when collected by their registration teachers
- Year 11 pupils should enter through the Canteen doors into the Canteen when collected by their registration teachers
- Year 12 pupils should enter through the Pupil Entrance into the Assembly Hall when collected by their registration teachers
- Year 13 and Year 14 pupils should enter through the Youth Club Entrance.
Do pupils wear School Uniform?
- Yes, pupils should wear full school uniform.
- Due to the current situation pupils may have to spend some time outside during the day. Please ensure that all pupils have a suitable coat in case of inclement weather.
Should pupils bring a school bag and equipment?
- Yes, all pupils must bring a school bag and it must contain all their necessary equipment including pens/pencils/ruler/calculator/eraser/sharpener, coloured pencils etc.
- This is particularly important as sharing of equipment is not allowed in the current situation.
How can we improve hygiene for pupils?
- Pupils must sanitise their hands on entry to the building.
- Each pupil will be required to sanitise their hands as they enter each classroom.
- Pupils will be encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly throughout the school day.
- Pupils must wipe down their desk and chair when they enter classrooms throughout the school day.
- Pupils should carry their own pocket-sized hand sanitiser and a packet of tissues.
What about Face Masks?
- On Tuesday evening (25th Aug) the Department of Education updated their guidance to schools regarding face masks. The guidance recommends that all pupils and staff wear a face covering in corridors and other communal areas of post-primary schools. The updated guidance also states that given the risk mitigations in place in schools to limit and contain the spread of COVID-19, face coverings are not recommended as being compulsory for routine life in classrooms. However, staff and pupils may wish to use them throughout the school day and this is acceptable. The guidance also states that some persons (including some children) are exempt from wearing face coverings.
- The advice remains the same that the Department of Education strongly recommends that all pupils wear a face covering on all dedicated school transport, including buses and taxis, where it is appropriate to do so.
- Based on the guidance, we will be asking all students from 31st August onwards to wear face masks on entry and exit from school and moving in the corridors throughout the day. Whilst using the indoor communal areas at break and lunch time pupils should wear face masks whilst queueing or waiting to be seated.
- We will issue each pupil with a washable plain black face mask during their induction sessions next week which can be worn in school. Further additional masks, if required, can be purchased from the school office at a cost of £2.00. Should pupils wish to wear their own face mask at school it should be plain or patterned and not contain any logos, motifs or writing that may be deemed offensive to any member of your school community. If your child is exempt from wearing a face covering, please contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org
*Please note that this guidance may change in the upcoming days or weeks.
How will Social Distancing be promoted?
- Whilst social distancing has been relaxed for pupils to allow a full return to school, it is essential that pupils follow the guidance to remain 2 metres from adults at all times and that all adults remain 2 metres apart throughout the day.
- Pupils moving around the school will follow a one-way system in corridors. All pupils must adhere to these systems when moving around the school.
- All pupils in Years 8 –10 will be taught in Class ‘Bubbles’ and at other times they will form part of year group ‘bubbles’, including at Break and Lunch-time and at the start and end of the day.
- All pupils in Years 11-14 will operate in Year Group ‘Bubbles’ throughout the school day.
Will PE still be taught?
- Yes, the guidance states that PE should take place.
- For Years 8, 9 and 10 pupils on the days that they have PE or Games the pupils are exempt from wearing school uniform and should wear their school PE Kit with a pair of navy tracksuit bottoms.
- For Year 11 & 12 pupil who have games on their Timetable they are also exempt from wearing school uniform on this day and should attend wearing full PE Kit with a pair of navy tracksuit bottoms.
Canteen Facilities for Lunch
- At Break and Lunch Year 13 & 14 pupils will be able to access a limited Menu in the Youth Area
- At Break and Lunch Year 12 pupils will be able to access a limited Menu in the Assembly Hall
- At Break and Lunch Year 11 pupils will be able to access a limited Menu in the Canteen.
- At Break and Lunch Year 10 pupils will be able to access a limited Menu in the Assembly Hall
- At Break and Lunch Year 9 pupils will be able to access a limited Menu in the Canteen. For those who wish to use the canteen, there may be hot food and sandwich options on alternate days.
- At Break Year 8 pupils should initially bring their own snacks at Break-time. For those who wish to use the canteen, there may be hot food and sandwich options on alternate days.
End of school day
- In order to ease congestion at the end of the school day pupils will be released from school through the most convenient exit within the one-way system at the following times:
Year 13/14- 3.05pm
Year 11/12- 3.05pm
Year 10 – 3.00pm
Year 9 – 2.55pm
Year 8 – 2.50pm
Attendance at School
- Any pupil who has symptoms of Coronavirus or has tested positive should not attend school.
- A small number of pupils may be in the Clinically Vulnerable category and these pupils should follow the advice of their medical consultant in relation to attending school.
- Where a pupil displays symptoms of coronavirus we will closely follow the Department of Education and Public Health Agency guidance and we will contact parents or other named contacts following our normal school procedures.
- We appreciate fully that this has been a difficult time for our pupils and staff and will endeavour to support any personal concerns as they arise. Please contact us through our email account or through the appropriate pastoral staff if you have any specific concerns.
- The Guidance from DE states ‘The school’s pupil behaviour policy should be reviewed to ensure that it covers COVID-19 related incidents and should make provision for the school to be able to sanction, up to and including exclusion, pupils who wilfully refuse to adhere to arrangements of social distancing and deliberately cough or spit at pupils or staff, putting them at risk.’
- Unfortunately, at this time we will not be able to run any extra-curricular activities or breakfast club. If this situation changes in the near future, we will let you know.
Can Parents/Visitors enter the School Building?
- Unfortunately, at this time we will not be able to permit parents or visitors to enter the school building unless through prior appointment. Contact can be made through telephone or by email at email@example.com