COVID MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

Updated Wednesday 1 September 2021

Q. What measures will we have in place to prevent the spread of Covid?

A. We will be encouraging hand-washing and good hygiene, increased ventilation by ensuring doors and windows are kept open or mechanical ventilation is used. All students will be offered lateral flow tests.

Q. What happened to the bubbles and face coverings in place last year?

A. The Department for Education has removed requirements for students to be kept in smaller groups or bubbles to restrict the spread of Covid. Requirements for College students to wear face coverings have also ended, and we will no longer need to trace contacts of students with confirmed cases as this will be carried out by the NHS service. As a result of the current outbreak we have requested that face coverings are worn indoors when social distancing cannot be maintained – this will be reviewed on Friday 17 September.

Q. Will students be sent home after contact with a confirmed case?

A. Under-18s or those fully vaccinated no longer need to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact, however they are advised to take a PCR test. Any positive test should be notified to the College via emailing studentabsence@catmosecollege.com. If we have a significant number of cases (an outbreak), we will work closely with Public Health England (PHE) and other government bodies to consider additional measures which may include affected groups requiring to stay at home and engage in remote learning.

Q. How will we handle outbreaks?

The DfE’s new framework requires that we seek advice from public health officials about further measures to prevent and limit outbreaks. This may require controls such as face coverings, remote learning and other mitigations being reintroduced for a time.

Q. Given the airborne spread of Covid, what about improving ventilation?

A. We are fortunate to have a modern building with very good ventilation throughout. Our building management system has air quality sensors built in so that we can continually monitor this and take action if it is required.

Q. How will Covid testing be done?

A. Like last year, two lateral flow tests for students in Year 7 and above will be administered within the College at the start of term. Later tests are voluntary and are to be done at home using the kits provided. Those who test positive will need to self-isolate and take a PCR test. Tracing of confirmed cases will be done by NHS Test and Trace.

Q. Will students be vaccinated?

A. Currently those aged 16 and over can be vaccinated, while those aged 12 to 15 who are clinically vulnerable to Covid or live with adults who are at increased risk from the virus are also eligible. Recent reports suggest the government is preparing to offer vaccines to all children aged 12 and over, we will update you further if any announcement is made.

Q. Can I see your risk assessment and full plan to manage any outbreak?

Yes. Our approach to mitigating the risks of Covid are regularly updated by the Federation and can be viewed on our policies page by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom of the page.

Please watch the following video which gives further information about our approach.

OUR APPROACH TO REMOTE LEARNING

At present, the College is open as usual and all students should be attending as normal, this page outlines are strategy should we be required to move to a remote learning approach for some or all of our students.

What should my child expect from immediate remote education in the first day or two of students being sent home?

All work will be set on show my homework. Students can access this through the app on their phone or through a website. Parents can do the same. If you have lost your login please use the lost password link on the login page. If you need further support, please email itsupport@catmosecollege.com.

Following the first few days of remote education, will my child be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in College?

Yes. It is our intention to deliver the same curriculum as we would at College. If it’s appropriate to do so the order of some topics will be moved about so that the work set at home is accessible and allows students to continue to make progress. Students will, however, over the course of the year cover all of the content we intended to within our planned curriculum. For more details of our curriculum please click here where you will find further details about what we teach in each subject, broken down by year.

How long can I expect work set by the College to take my child each day?

We expect students to work for just over 5 hours per day on classwork and 30 minutes for a tutorial. In addition, they will need to spend around one hour per day in KS3, rising to two hours per day at KS4 completing prep. We will follow your child’s normal timetable through any period of remote learning and the usual pattern of the working day will be followed using the timings found here.

Electives time will be given over to private study to allow students to catch-up any incomplete work or prep.

How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?

They may use any device capable of accessing the internet. Many students simply use their mobile phone. All work will be accessible through SMHW.  In addition, live lessons will be offered using Microsoft Teams which is available as an app on mobile phone platforms, windows or MacOS. Students can access all of these resources through our VLE which can be accessed by clicking here. Here they can access their home network area, the Microsoft Office suite (word, Excel and powerpoint), email, Teams and SMHW.

If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education?

Please contact itsupport@catmosecollege.com who will be able to offer you support and advice. We will do what we can to help.

How will my child be taught remotely?

Online lessons will be set using SMHW complemented by live lessons using Microsoft Teams. At KS3 we will offer at least one hour lesson per week for the core lessons of maths, English, humanities and science. In other subjects a live one hour lesson using Microsoft Teams will be offered after every three SMHW lessons. These lessons would take place during the normal timetable slot to avoid clashes. At KS4 we will offer one live lesson per week per GCSE subject during their normal timetable slot. Teachers may also ask students to attend additional live lessons. A register of attendance will be taken and we will seek your support if students do not attend.

If students struggle with any work that is set, they should email their class teacher directly, but also look to complete other work whilst they wait for a response. For students needing additional support, small group live lessons will also be offered to complement the work set on SMHW.

What happens in my child’s lessons if a member of staff needs to isolate as a result of Covid-19 symptoms?

If they are well enough, then they will set work on SMHW and then if appropriate join the lesson virtually using Teams. An additional member of staff will be deployed to support the teacher delivering the virtual lesson from home.

Teacher delivering a lesson to a class whilst isolating at home.

What are your expectations for my child’s engagement and the support that we as parents and carers should provide at home?

Our expectations for remote learning are the same as they would be at College. We have written a specific procedure that complements our existing behaviour and exclusion polices and are annexes within the main policies.

We know from the last lockdown that students who established good routines early found working from home more manageable, please therefore discuss with your child expectations around getting up in the morning, attending lessons, completing work in good time and being proactive in seeking help if they are struggling with anything. We are very mindful of students’ wellbeing and the additional pressure of needing to isolate. We have added an additional page of support on our website which can be accessed here. Your child should also feel comfortable to email their tutor who can then access further support through Client Services for those that need our help.

Your child’s tutor, will be asking all students to join their usual tutorial lesson at 2:05pm every day, (except Wednesday) and a register will be taken at that point. This will be an opportunity to carry out the usual tutorial programme but also for students to simply to check in with their tutor if they have a concern or question about what is happening.

How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?

We will monitor your child’s access to SMHW and contact parents directly if we are concerned. Likewise, teachers will be taking registers for live lessons, checking work is submitted on time, marking it and providing feedback in the usual way.

We will continue to contact parents when we have concerns about their child. We also encourage parents to contact teachers directly using email (addresses are available from the last report home) if you have any concerns about the work being too hard, too easy, too much or too little.

How will you assess my child’s work and progress?

Teachers will mark and follow up with additional support with students who have not completed work, or, their work is below their usual standard. We will still follow our published assessment calendar of checkpoints and key assessments, the results of which will be reported home in the usual way. We will also continue to offer our usual progress evening albeit online so that you can discuss your child with their teacher.

How will you work with me to help my child who needs additional support from adults at home to access remote education?

Following individual risk assessments, students with EHC plans will be educated on-site unless it is considered unsafe for them and they will have access to their usual support. For Designated Special Provision (DSP) students, their core lessons will be taught by specialist teachers and learning from non-core subjects will be supported by teaching assistants utilising SMHW.

For those students who are working from home and need additional support, Teaching Assistant support will be made available via Microsoft Teams.

If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating or are ill for another reason, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above? 

Prior to lockdown, classwork was not routinely set for students who were absent. However, in order to keep students’ learning on track as a result of any absence, we have changed this approach. In addition to prep, classwork is now being set by the end of each working day by teachers on SMHW so that those who are absent, whether COVID–19 related or not, will be able to do their classwork as well as prep, if they are well enough. If students struggle with the work or need further help, then please ask them to email the teacher directly in the usual way but be aware that teachers are unlikely to be able to respond immediately because of their usual teaching commitments. Students should move onto another piece of work until they receive the help they need.

Once the student returns to College, teachers will review their work and, if the student was not well enough to finish it, teachers will give the student a reasonable time frame to complete it. Routine procedures will follow, such as catch-up sessions, if further time is needed and we will contact you in that event.

If the student is struggling with their workload, there will be a 1:1 meeting with a member of the Intervention Team who will produce a plan to support the student. Interventions may include additional work in lessons, withdrawal from non-core lessons and morning or afternoon catch-ups.

A chart showing the College’s process to maintain the student’s learning during absence can be found here.