Dear Parents and guardians,
After what has been one of the most challenging years in education it has been great to welcome all pupils back into face to face lessons since the Easter break. We are proud to have done everything within our power to keep pupils safe, and it is thanks to the hard work of our staff, you the parents and our pupils that we have been able to do so.
In all our decisions on how we operate as a school we have tried to balance the priorities of keeping everyone safe, whilst ensuring the best quality education for all our pupils and students. We have monitored the situation both locally and nationally very carefully, to see where we can make changes which meet both of these priorities. We have amended our risk assessment when needed to react to the changing guidance and safety concerns during the pandemic.
We are very proud of the fact that we are one of only a few schools that have not been instructed by TTP to send any year groups home due to an outbreak of infection. We are only in this position due to the hard work and resilience of all staff and pupils at PHS and the conscientious way our community has operated during these difficult times. I am delighted that we are now in a position, due to a variety of factors to make some significant amendments to our operational procedures here at Prestatyn High School.
These changes are possible because:
- The plans and risk assessment we have in place have been robust to keep people safe.
- There are low virus rates in the community.
- All staff and many pupils are testing twice weekly.
- Y11 and 13 leave on 28th May meaning we have 400 less students on site.
- Due to ongoing refurbishment work, the narrow Science corridor is blocked off allowing a safer flow of traffic with more travelling outside.
Therefore, on our return after the half term break on the 7th June pupils will return to moving between classrooms for their lessons. This means that lessons can take place in specialist classrooms which will be better for all pupils. For Year 7 pupils there will be the chance to get used to how secondary school works before we hopefully return to full normal operations in September.
We will make sure all Year 7 pupils are guided to any rooms that they have not yet visited. Pupils will receive new timetables with their rooms on during the first day back. We will continue to ensure that all desks and chairs are wiped down thoroughly between lessons, that there is good ventilation in all rooms and that sanitiser is available and used regularly by pupils and staff.
We will continue to separate pupils into their year groups where possible, including at lunchtime. However, we are able to make some alterations to lunchtime procedures. From 7th June Year 7s will go for lunch at the standard time of 12.20, which will allow them access to a full lesson 3. In preparation for next year Year 9 will move to the KS4 lunch time of 1.20-2.00pm. Pupils will be reminded of their year group’s location on their return.
Other measures such as separate entrances for different year groups, separate toilet facilities and separate diner times will remain. Face masks will remain mandatory in all areas of the school until the Welsh Government relax this measure.
Reminder: All pupils and students in Years 7 to 10 and Year 12 are to continue to test using the Lateral Flow kits over the half term.
I wish you and your families a restful half term break.
Neil Foley - B.Sc. MA.