First Week Back for Year 10 & Year 12

Friday 19 June 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

It has been a tremendous first week back at The Leigh UTC. Life at the Leigh UTC is different at the moment; students are frequently encouraged to wash their hands and use the sanitisers available in the classrooms, Assemblies are being delivered through video rather than in person. Break times are being taken in small groups (that we are calling bubbles). For our year 10 students, phones are no longer allowed to be used on the school site.

It would be realistic to expect that our students might take some time to get used to the new restrictions to ensure that students can socially distance. As always, our students are able to surprise us. The first week has been a smooth transition to the new rules. Thank you to the students, who are supporting us in minimising risk during these difficult times.

We have been able to reflect on the plan and have decided to revise the number of breaks that students are having.  A few students struggled to concentrate throughout the longer afternoon sessions, consequently, we are adding an afternoon break time for Year 10 and Year 12 bubbles.

Here are photographs of the break time and lesson for a group of Year 10 students. It is clear that adequate separation is respected at all times.

Some Leigh UTC students are shown sitting at desks in a classroom. The desks are spaced apart to allow for social distancing.

We have also noticed a few things that we thought that parents would like to be aware of. Firstly, please ensure that your child brings enough food for the day. We have a morning break, lunchtime and afternoon break at the moment and some of the students have explained that they are hungry or have finished their lunch during morning break time! Sometimes, hunger can adversely affect concentration. It might be worth discussing this with your son/daughter as the school is unable to sell food at this time. Secondly, some students have not brought water bottles into school. It is extremely important that students are hydrated to support concentration for extended periods of time. Finally, despite the challenges that 2020 has delivered, this time next year, students will have completed their courses. It is imperative that we do everything that we can to prepare our young people for success on all their courses which is why we have taken such a bold approach to reopening the school.

There will be exams/assessments taking place before the summer holidays. This is a crucial part of preparing students for the challenges that lie ahead. Please ensure that your son/daughter is preparing appropriately.

Mobile phones and headphones should be not used on site by students in year 10. Again, I’d like to thank the students as this has been well received and students have respected this. I think we have seen a greater focus during lessons and greater interaction during break and lunchtimes.

I’d like to take thank the whole school community for the trust that they’ve placed in us as a school to keep their children safe and also the teachers and support staff who have worked tirelessly to continue to support students during the closure and for the positivity that they have shown when returning to the academy to support our young people.

For students who are not currently attending school, or if you are absent from school; continue to follow the work set on your Google Classroom to ensure that you keep up with everything as well as you possibly can.

Yours faithfully

Neil Arnould

Vice Principal