26th August 2020
I am sure you are keeping up to date with all the news regarding COVID-19 and will be aware of the government's announcements surrounding the use of face masks in schools.
I am sure you will appreciate that we are educationalists and not COVID-19 experts. Our job is to secure the safety of our community as much as we possibly can and, to that end, although the guidance is still vague, we feel under the circumstances it is necessary to review our approach.
Previous communications have stated that your child may wear a face mask if they wish and must wear it for school/public transport. We also indicated that staff may be wearing a visor or mask.
In light of the latest guidelines, we will be proceeding with the following approach, informed by the Government guidance and the World Health Organisation (WHO) advice, which the Government has deferred to:
Students are advised to wear a face mask:
if they are walking in close proximity to friends outside their ‘bubble’ on the way to school
as they arrive into school and as they walk into their ‘designated area’
as they walk from one area of the school to another
if walking around a classroom
as they wait in a queue, for example lunch, a class etc
as they use the toilet facilities
Face masks MUST be worn on the public and school transport as previously indicated, however, should your child wish to keep their face mask on as they depart the bus that is advisable.
Face masks must be worn and removed correctly, link below which provides advice on the wearing of face masks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMSqc9SpbJc
Students may wear a face mask in the classroom / in a lesson, however this remains by request
Students MUST wear face masks appropriately and any misuse will lead to our Behaviour policy being deployed in order to safeguard our community.
Some students and staff will not be wearing face masks due to personal medical reasons and we will all be sensitive and respectful in these situations.
Some students and staff will be wearing face masks in classroom settings as well as corridors, etc. due to personal medical reasons – again, we will be sensitive and respectful in these circumstances.
If a student wishes to wear a face mask during a lesson because it makes them feel safer, more comfortable, etc. then we will, of course, be respectful of this.
We are mindful that we are a community whose youngest members are 11 years old, and therefore face masks must be appropriate for a school setting, with no inappropriate slogans etc.
It is the responsibility of parents/carers to provide students with a face covering
Students will see members of staff adopting the same protocol, with some teachers choosing to wear visors during lessons.
Members of the community who visit the academy MUST wear a face covering
Staff at Ormiston Rivers may also be wearing face masks / visors, particularly when moving around the school and when on duty. It may be necessary when on duty for staff to remove face coverings in order to undertake their duty effectively, they will however be following social distancing rules wherever possible.
Maintaining a distance and following the guidelines sent out earlier this week remains absolutely crucial in order to reduce any risks. The full document from the government can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-in-education/face-coverings-in-education
Thank you for your continued support and, should there be any further changes we will of course let you know as soon as possible.