School Life- August 2020

There is a video introduction to this section which I would urge you to watch to give some context to this situation. Below I have attempted to clarify the key issues.

Why are we only coming to school in groups?

In one word: safety. I make a promise to every child and adult who enters Culloden Academy- that we are doing everything we can to provide a safe and purposeful environment for learning and teaching. The most important way to do this is to follow the national guidance on social distancing and the requirements of this means a significant reduction in the numbers of pupils who can be in a classroom at any one time. With social distancing guidance recommending 2 metres, our rooms can only accommodate one quarter of their usual number. If guidance changes to 1 metre we can comfortably accommodate 50% of our pupils in school. We have created 4 groups which means that we can identify and bring in 25% of pupils on any day. It also means that if social distancing guidance changes, we can very quickly invite 50% of pupils into school, or 75% if that becomes possible.

To go back to my first point- this is all about safety.

Will I be in school with my friends?

Possibly, possibly not. Friendships  have not been a decisive factor in making up the groups because we had to prioritise other factors. Pupils will be in school with siblings because this helps parents. We have also tried to respect the fact that buses can only accommodate about 25% of pupils and so that is another influence on how we made the groups up. We have also looked at different subjects and tried where possible to create an even spread across the groups. Please note that given how complicated this has been we will not be swapping any pupils who want to join a different group.

Will I be in school with my siblings?

Yes and if for any reason when you see the groups this is not the case, please let us know- contact your Guidance tecaher

How will the buses work- will there be social distancing?

Yes- buses will identify which seats can be used to ensure appropriate social distancing. At this time we are working with the bus companies to try and identify any routes where we may not, with our groupings, have enough available seats.

Why is there a new one-way system and how will I know where to go?

In one word- safety. Some schools are reducing movement in schools to an absolute minimum but we wish to give you the opportunity to spend your time in school with subject teachers, thereby making strong progress in your learning. For that to happen we need to make travel around the school safe. For that reason we have devised a one way system for all staff and pupils, using outdoor routes, to minimise the numbers in the corridors. Miss Forrester has prepared a video for you and you can see it by clicking on this link.

What do I do when I arrive at school?

Each year group has been given a distinct social area and it is essential that you go straight to that area and minimise your time around other year groups. Details can be seen here

What is the system for getting food at lunch and break-time?

The catering service are working hard with us make their system simple and usable. An App to preorder food from the canteen is being trialled and this should be ready for August- there is a back-up system if it is not available. Therefore, at lunch-time (and hopefully break-time) pupils will not have to queue but can go straight to distinct areas according to their year group where their food will be waiting for them. Details of where each year group collects there food will be confirmed on the first day each young person is in school.

What will my classrooms look like?

Different from what you know. We have attached a few pictures for you of Mr Robertson’s classroom set up for 2 metre social distancing.

What will it be like learning in these classrooms?

Smaller class sizes will mean more direct engagement with you and the teacher. Movement around the class will be controlled

What equipment should I bring and what will be available in class?

The main thing about equipment is that there can be no sharing. You can bring pens, pencils, calculators and a fully charged up Chromebook but there must be absolutely no sharing of equipment. Spare Chromebooks and charging cables will sadly not be available.

Can I still get help online?

Teachers will still provide some support online but this will be significantly reduced as they will have to teach over 20 lessons per week as well as preparing materials to upload for pupils working from home. It is really important that you attend on your allocated day or days to get that support from your teacher.

If you have been specifically instructed to shield for medical reasons we appreciate that you will require some additional online support. Subject staff will work with members of the Support Department to try to address this. Please notify your Guidance Teacher as soon as possible that you have had notification to shield so that we can plan for this provision.

How will the pupil support department work with me?

There will be a mixture of online and face to face support, individualised to meet needs. It is likely for so long as we have social distancing that there will be less in class group support and more tutorial or online support.

Will there still be lockers?

Yes and pupils will simply need to respect social distancing rules when accessing them.

Do I have to wear school uniform?

Yes- we are Culloden Academy and we are proud to be so. On days when you have PE it may be that you are encouraged to wear PE kit as we have not yet been able to establish safe use of changing rooms. If that situation changes, this advice will be updated.