September Return: Reminders and Updates

As we approach the date for the long-awaited reopening of schools to all students, I write to remind you of the details originally sent in my letter of 14th July and to provide you with a couple of important updates.

Hopefully, you will have read the letter I sent in July, especially the information sheet that gave exact details of what the new school day will look like for your child. I would urge you to re-visit this information with your child to ensure that they are fully aware of the ways in which school will be different for them next term. We will, of course, be talking to students at length about the new arrangements once they are back with us next week.

It is particularly important that all students stick rigidly to the timings given for their return on the first day (Tuesday, 1st September for the new Year 7 and Thursday, 3rd September for all other year groups). These timings are different from those that will apply from Monday, 7th September and it is vital that students arrive at their designated times so that we can successfully keep year groups apart.

There are some important additions to the information sent out in July, notably regarding face-masks. At the time of writing, Government guidance advising against students’ use of face-masks in school has not changed; however, Scotland has today signalled that its guidance may change and experience suggests that England may follow suit. This is by no means certain, but I wanted to give you the “heads up” so that you have time to prepare for any potential change in the rules.

Given all the recent developments regarding the use of face-masks across various settings, we are prepared to allow a student to wear a mask at the request of their parent. Please note that re-usable face-masks MUST be in a plain colour, without pictures, words or patterns; disposable “surgical” masks are also acceptable. Any student wearing a mask will be expected to use it in line with guidelines for safe use and we reserve the right to prevent a student from wearing a face-mask if they are not using it safely. Guidelines on the safe use of masks can be found at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/health-52606128

This situation may change over the coming days and we will, of course, keep you informed if there are changes to the rules. Please keep an eye on the website as this is the source of the most accurate information.

A further development to make you aware of is that there will be no catering available in school at breakfast time or at Key Stage 3 break-time. Key Stage 4 students will still be able to buy food at break-time, but all Key Stage 3 students are asked to bring with them any snacks they wish to eat at break time. There will, of course, be catering at lunchtime for all students, with designated serving points for each year group.

Finally, do remember that our email address questions@flhs.wigan.sch.uk is still available if you have any questions or concerns about the reopening next week. We are very much looking forward to welcoming all our students back to school and believe that we have done everything possible to make this as safe as we can. Of course, we cannot say that there is no risk but we can say that this has been reduced as much as possible.