Academy reopening – FAQ’s

Our frequently asked questions will be updated regularly, and initially only apply from the 15 – 26 June.


Are students expected to return only if they require any additional support to home learning?

Year 10 students are in the middle of their GCSEs and therefore a very important time of their learning. Whilst we understand individual circumstances for some families will mean some parents/carers do not wish to send their child to school at present, we expect all other students will now return for the sessions offered to them. If you choose not to send your child, the government have said there will be no fines for non-attendance.


How will I get my child to school?

Unfortunately, at this time there will be no school buses available to students, so students will need to find alternatives ways of getting to and from the academy.


How large will the groups be?

Students will be put into social ‘bubbles’ – these ‘bubbles’ will have a maximum of 9-12 students in them.


Will all tutors and subject teachers be available?

Staff will attend school on a rota basis to ensure the amount of staff on site is kept to a minimum whilst also ensuring enough staff are also available to continue running the home learning for all year groups.


Will my child know their grouping before attending?

We will share your child’s individual time slot and date for their face-to-face session. Due to the General Data Protection Regulations we will be unable to share the details of other individual students with you. The pastoral team will try and ensure everyone is in a group where they know someone else. Unfortunately, due to capacity we will not be able to change timeslots or days.


Will there be any breaks?

As students will only be on site for three hours, there will be no lunch break. We will offer a short break within their ‘bubble’ which will be supervised.


Why can’t the year 10’s and 12 have increased access to schooling rather that the proposed three hours once a fortnight – especially given that they have exams coming up in the not so distant future?

We are following guidance from the Government and Department for Education and working with the academy Trust and Trustees regarding the phased opening to identified year groups. A small and controlled phased opening will allow us to ensure the safety of our students and staff which is our priority. We hope to increase the offer to students as and when we are advised. When we are confident, we can accommodate more students on site, whilst ensuring safety measures are adhered to, we will.


How will the school maintain social distancing behaviours whilst my child is in attendance?

On arrival, students will be greeted in the car park and directed to their classroom. Routines and habits for social distancing will be discussed and clarified with students.  Staff will also have been trained in these routines prior to teaching their lessons and will supervise students to embed these habits. Signage and social distancing prompts have been placed around the academy site as a reminder to students and staff of the importance of personal safety and hygiene habits.


How many students will be in each group and will you ensure they stay within a social ‘bubble’?

Prior to attending, students will be allocated into ‘bubbles’ – the size of which is dependent upon the safe maximum of the classroom used.

These ‘bubbles’ will have varying start times, break times and end times, plus each ‘bubble’ will access different areas of the building and use different toilets to ensure there is minimum contact between students.

Wherever possible, ‘bubbles’ will remain in place during the period up to the end of term. A number of classrooms will be set up in each social area so that there is sufficient time between use to allow for deep cleaning prior to further use.


How will the school be set up to ensure safety?

All classrooms used will be arranged to ensure that students are at least 2 metres away from each other and staff. There will be access to hand sanitiser, tissues and pedal bins in every classroom and additionally distributed in areas around the school that are used by students.  Students will be reminded to wash their hands thoroughly if they visit the toilet facilities after use.


What arrangements have been made for additional cleaning?

There will be a cleaner on the academy site during all face to face sessions.  The cleaner will be cleaning surfaces down during the time students are in the building, including regular cleaning of the toilets. Cleaning staff will need to sign off areas that have been cleaned before they are used again.


What will be the routines for toilet facilities and will additional cleaning take place?

Each ‘bubble’ of students will have their own toilet area, each day, during the initial two-week period. The toilets will be deep cleaned before use each day. The external doors will be propped open and students will only be allowed to go to the toilet one at a time.


Will students need to wear uniform and what equipment will they need?

Students will be expected to wear full uniform. Students are expected to change from their uniform into their own clothing when they return home to reduce the risk of transmission. Students should bring an absolute minimum into the academy, which may include a water bottle and snacks for break. All equipment required for the lessons will be provided and remain in school as the students personal equipment. Mobile phone use remains consistent with school policy and should not be used whilst in school.


Will there be any refreshments or lunch available for students to purchase?

From the 15 – 26 June there will be no catering facilities available and all face-to-face sessions will be morning only, meaning students can travel home for lunch. Students will need to bring refreshments if they wish to eat or drink something during their break time. Water facilities will not be available, so students are encouraged to bring their own prefilled water bottle.


How many face-to-face sessions will my child receive?

It is our hope, providing updated plans and risk assessments are approved, that we might increase the regularity of face-to-face support over time.


Will students need to wear face masks while in school?

At the time of writing, the government guidance does not suggest that students or staff need to wear any additional PPE for normal activities in school. Social distancing and good hygiene routines will need to be maintained. If students choose to wear a face mask it must be plain and be worn for the duration of their time in school.


What will my child be taught?

For year 10 students the aim is to change the academic curriculum input for each face-to-face session to encompass as much of the curriculum as possible before the summer term. Sessions will run for three hours in total and the content of the day will run as follows.

  • 15 minute discussion on the routines, habits and behaviors that will ensure that that staff and students remain safe
  • Math’s input delivered by a math’s specialist
  • Science input delivered by a science specialist
  • Pastoral input delivered by a tutor or a member of the pastoral team

For year 12 students, the first face-to-face session (15 – 26 June) will be based on supporting students to think about future pathways, as well as accessing our UNIFROG system where all university, college and apprenticeship applications are made.


Will remote learning continue for students not attending?

Remote learning will continue for all subjects during the wider reopening of the school for year 10 and year 12 students. If students do not attend the face-to-face sessions, work will be set for them to complete remotely. We are currently rolling out the use of Microsoft Teams to year 12 students and are continuing to expand the use of more ‘interactive’ lessons such as live video discussions and questioning, recorded videos, voice over PowerPoints etc. Training videos on how to use Microsoft Teams can be found here.


Will remote learning continue for students attending?

When students are not in school they will be expected to continue with home learning. The amount of home learning will be adjusted to recognise that they have been in school.


What will happen if someone who has attended tests positive for COVID-19?

Dedicated health rooms are being set up to isolate any students or staff that are taken ill at school. These individuals will then be sent home and told to isolate if they are displaying COVID-19 symptoms as per government guidance. If any child begins to display symptoms please inform the academy. The academy will notify you if your child has been in contact with any individual who has displayed symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19.  We will be keeping registers and a log of all students and staff that have been in contact whilst at Tuxford Academy.


What support will be provided for students who are anxious about returning?

The initial session will be based around supporting students to get back into school life and there will be the opportunity to discuss concerns with staff and their peers. Staff will be available to mentor students.


What is the plan for examinations in 2021?

The Association for Schools and College Leaders are currently working with the Department for Education and Ofqual to look at how the 2021 exam series applicable to year 10 and 12 will need to be adapted to ensure children are not disadvantaged following the extended closure of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of student’s face-to-face sessions, we will be talking to students about how they can best prepare themselves for future examinations, but also reassure them that we will support them next academic year to succeed in those assessments. We have no immediate plans to assess our students through mock examinations until we have a clear understanding of what the exam series looks like and how students will be assessed.


Will the academy be open during the summer holidays?

At this stage there are no plans for schools to open during the summer holidays.

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Tuxford Academy