4 September 2020

Please find below a letter from the Headteacher dated 4th September 2020. You can also download it on our newsletter section of the website here: https://longbenton.org.uk/parents/newsletters

 

4th September 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

I wanted to write to you at the end of our first week to update you on how things have gone and to remind you of timings for next week.

Year 7 were a fantastic cohort to meet on Wednesday and Thursday. They had a great two days getting used to the building without any other year groups and were an absolute credit to themselves in terms of their eagerness to get back into school, their behaviour and acceptance of our new safety protocols. We were excited to meet them all and looking forward to getting to know them better as they become part of our school community.

Our other year groups have been in school for induction sessions with tutors and again have made a very positive start to the new school year. With all of our students we have aimed to be as positive and reassuring as possible, reinforcing the importance of kindness in these first few weeks. I hope that they have come home feeling excited about returning to lessons next week.

Catering

We are conscious that there have been problems for some families getting the new cashless system set up with catering services. Unfortunately, this has been out of our control: we do not manage the system and cannot help set up or re-set accounts for Parent Pay. If you are still having issues with accounts, please contact North Tyneside catering services on 0191 643 8355 or parent.pay@northtyneside.gov.uk.  To clarify: the new cashless system is ready for Monday and students can use either their code or a contactless debit card if they have one. If there is a problem, students will still be served at the canteen and we can sort out payment issues later.

Face masks

I’m pleased to report that on the whole, students have been excellent about the wearing of face masks in communal areas. Thank you for your parental support; the vast majority have arrived at school wearing their own masks and have understood why they need to be wearing one. We do have a small stock of spare masks in school, but I would advise that students try to have their own in order to feel more comfortable. For the minority struggling to accept the new protocols around this, I must remind families that we have these measures in place for the safety of everyone and we are following the guidance from Public Health in North Tyneside. If students refuse to wear a mask (except for those with exemptions) we will have no choice but to stop them socialising with others at break and lunch time in communal spaces; they will have supervised breaks with the senior leadership team.

Planners

A few parents have asked about whether it is fine for planners to come to and from school; this is perfectly acceptable as it is the same as anything else coming to and from school that is not shared with other students. Similarly, if students want to bring a book to read at break time or so on, this is also not a problem, as long as it is not shared with others.

Timings next week

Can I please remind parents and carers that students should not be arriving too early to school. Years 7-9 will be going straight to tutor rooms when they arrive from Monday and tutors will not be there until 8.20am at the earliest. Similarly, Years 10-11 will be going straight to their first lesson when they arrive to school each morning from Monday. Students should not be arriving more than 10 minutes before their start time.

 

Year Group

Entrance

Start time

Finish time

Year 7, 8 and 9

Café doors

8.35am 

3.00pm (1.55pm on Tuesdays)

Year 10 and 11

Dining doors (through Y7 yard)

9.00am

3.25pm (2.05pm on Tuesdays)

Year 12 and 13

Main front doors

9.00am

3.00pm (1.55pm on Tuesdays)

 

Benton Dene path

Can I also remind you about Benton Dene path: our students should not use this as a route if they are walking home. Benton Dene schools have their own staggered finish times for different year groups, so our students should not be crossing their site or waiting to see old teachers or friends. If your child helps to collect siblings, they will need a letter from home requesting a pass, which will be issued by their year leader. They will need to show this pass to whoever is on gate duty.

Year 11 ‘keep up’ sessions

From the week beginning September 14th, we will be running additional sessions for Year 11 students after Period 5; we are calling this ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’, but it is essentially to ensure that we can give Year 11 as much support as possible given the disruption to their GCSE learning. Students will go to registration after Period 5 at 3.00pm until 3.10pm, and the support sessions will run from 3.15pm until 3.45pm.

Provisionally, these will be as follows:

 

 

Week One

Week Two

Monday

North English, South Maths

North Maths, South English

Wednesday

Block D

Block A

Thursday

Block C

Block B

Friday

Science

Science

 

Once again, thank you for all of your support. We are all looking forward to getting back into a more regular daily routine next week and I am sure you will be too.

Yours faithfully

 

Kelly Holbrook

Headteacher