I am writing to you with an update as we only have 11 days to go until the first student day on Monday 7th September. A number of parents have been in touch with queries so I hope the below covers most of what you need to know and if not please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The summer has been a very exciting time of hard work for a number of staff and contractors to make sure we are ready to open. Yesterday we were finally connected to the National grid and next week we have confirmed days for our waste water supply connection. These represent the last barriers that could have prevented us being able to open. A large team of workers have begun delivering, unpacking and setting up all our furniture, equipment and resources. These tasks will be completed next week and mean we expect to open on time ready to teach and learn.
We recently found out that building work at Northbrook College will extend for the next half term. This means we will not be able to use the North Gate from their site at the start and end of the day. ALL students must enter from the Queen Street entrance next to Queen Street Church. Please can I remind the small number of parents dropping off students by car that we are operating a voluntary one way from Carnegie Road, down Cortis Avenue (where drop off should happen) then either way onto Queen Street. There is no ability for parents to drop off at the actual school site.
First Day Monday 7th September:
The school day starts at 8:40 and staff will be out and about to greet students from 8:00. Many students walked themselves to summer school and there is no requirement for parents to bring students to the school gate. Amongst other things the first day will involve assemblies on our vision and values, site tours, explanations of systems and structures and biometric registration (if necessary). However your son/daughter should also come prepared for lessons as well and bring their PE kit in case it is part of their timetable. The day ends at 3:30 – please make sure your son/daughter knows exactly where to meet you or how they are to get home as again there is no pick up possible directly from school except on foot.
The school photographer will also be in on Wednesday to take photos of all staff and students for our database. They will also provide you with the opportunity to purchase photos should you wish.
The most significant impact of the late electricity connection has been to delay our ICT server and network installation and subsequently whole school software and site hardware set up. ICT teams are working over the bank holiday so that we will have hardware and our database in place by the middle of next week. Unfortunately the knock on affect is that in order to ensure we set everything up properly we have had to delay the launch of the iPad scheme and some of our on line services until after the start of term.
For those parents who have signed up for the scheme your first payment is due to come out of your bank account on 24thSeptember. This is the date by which we are aiming to have iPads ready for pick up from school and the time created allows us to do the following:-
· If you are planning to bring your own iPad into school we will able to gather the information about your device which we need to know in order to arrange the software installation and apps for school use. There is no need for any student to bring in their own device at the start of the year. We will contact you after the start of term regarding the next steps.
· The extra time will also allow us to confirm and clarify iPad arrangements with any families entitled to free school meals.
· Although the portal is now closed we can make further bulk orders if there are new parents or others who have changed their minds and we can co-ordinate this order over the coming weeks.
School Comms, Catering and cashless payments:
The accounts for these will be set up later next week and details sent out to parents. We will start term without this system fully up and running however this will not impact on any child’s ability to use the cashless system in school and get food at break or lunch. For the first week whilst we complete the biometric registration and parents respond to the enrolment process for School Comms we will allow students to run credit up to the value of £2:50 each day for food. No child should bring money to school for food as our tills do not take cash.
Our Email and phone number remain the same as they have been all year. We expect to get a landline number confirmed by Virgin and installed during the first week of term. Please phone 07517 979768 if you wish to contact the school and report any absence to email@example.com. Once we have a working landline we will distribute this number to all parents.
We expect all facilities to be up and running from day one except the Library. PE will use a combination of on site, the Manor sports ground or the Glynn Owen centre over the coming months. The summer school was again an excellent opportunity to practise how we will safely escort students using the current crossing on the A24 which we will continue to use until the new crossing is completed. This is currently expected to be in the second half of term.
Our caterers Chartwells have asked me to pass on that if anybody is interested in a Kitchen Assistant role for c.20hrs a week they should contact Sandra Johnstone on 07789 941418.
Our transition booklet on this website has a lot of key information in it for your reference. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you all regarding our expectations over mobile phones and uniform.
Starting secondary school is a really exciting time and we have the additional excitement of a new site and facilities. Our aim is to prioritise learning and manage the whole process of opening as smoothly as possible. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any question or concern you may have. I look forward to seeing you on the first day of term.