Letters from Principal

Re: September 2020 update to all parents and carers

I hope you have all had a good summer holiday.  We are looking forward to the new school year even though many aspects of school will be different. Please see below for an update to the information I sent to you in July.

Throughout the summer we have been regularly receiving changes to the guidance for schools. We will continue to monitor and adapt our procedure in line with this and in the best way to support the needs of our students.

The key principles we are following are as follows:

  • a requirement that people who are ill should stay at home
  • robust hand and respiratory hygiene
  • enhanced cleaning arrangements
  • active engagement with NHS Test and Trace
  • formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and maximise distancing between those in school and wherever possible, minimise potential for contamination so far as is reasonably practicable
  • grouping children and young people together
  • avoiding contact between groups as far as it practically possible.
  • arranging classrooms with forward facing desks
  • staff maintaining distance from students and other staff as much as possible

We have 4 Centres (sites) at Goldwyn, with the largest of our centres having a maximum of 80 students; we will, therefore, treat each centre as an individual “bubble”.  Within each centre students will remain with their own class group as much as is practically possible. Lunchtimes and break-times will be managed so that groups will be physically distanced from each other.

Our newest and youngest students will be taught predominantly by 2 staff in their Tutor Room for the majority of the day, only accessing PE, design technology, art  and cooking in specialist areas. 

Classrooms have been cleared and furniture rearranged to create rooms with forward facing or side facing tables and chairs.  Teaching and support staff will use disinfectant spray to clean within their classrooms between different groups

In order to provide a broad curriculum and continue to deliver the courses students enjoy and achieve in, we will need to have some mixing of student groups for their vocational options.  This necessity is recognised within the new guidance.

Practical subject areas such as PE, music and DT have modified their curriculum content to minimise sharing of equipment and, where this is not possible, cleaning of equipment between use.  We have requested that students bring in their own pens and pencils in a pencil case, which they can take from lesson to lesson.  If you are not in a position to do this a school set will be provided free of charge.

Regular hand washing and cleaning routines have been established in all centres, with staff taking on additional responsibilities and cleaners working additional hours.

You will be aware of the debate about facemasks in school over the summer. At Goldwyn we have taken the decision to allow students and staff to wear a facemask in school if they wish to.

Over the past 3 months most staff have undergone additional training to ensure they are fully prepared to support students who might be feeling additionally anxious or worried on their return to school.  Lessons such as PSHE and SEAL (Social, Emotional Aspects of Learning) will have additional content aimed specifically at building confidence, positive peer interactions, managing change and anxiety and rebuilding learning skills and resilience.

Teachers have been adapting their long term plans so that they are able revisit some prior learning and cover gaps that may exist from the past few months. This will be a careful process and no student should feel overwhelmed or under adverse pressure.  Many students arrive at Goldwyn having had gaps in their educational provision previously and so this is not a new issue to resolve for Goldwyn staff.

From September we will resume our usual transport arrangements. However, as far as possible, students will not share a vehicle with a student from another site.  Students and drivers will be required to wear a face covering and students will need to apply hand gel prior to getting into the vehicle.  Each vehicle is cleaned inside before being used by other drivers or students.  If you wish to transport your child to school yourself please let us know.

Unfortunately, large whole school events such as assemblies, concerts and Progress Review days will not take place during the autumn terms.  We will also be restricting visitors to our centres and holding our multi-agency meetings via virtual platforms.

Some of our student’s access external support services (e.g. Counsellors); we are planning to provide these sessions where applicable. 

I understand that some of you may have additional questions or anxieties about the return to school for you child in September.  I would like to assure you that we will do everything we can to maintain a safe school and will put our efforts into providing a predictable and happy environment for everyone.

I would like to urge you to help us prevent the virus from entering the school, therefore please note the following protect and prevent measures:

  • Do not send your child to school if they are unwell
  • Ensure your child wears a mask in the school transport
  • If your child is suspected of having the virus whist at school, you will need to come and collect them from school immediately
  • Teach your child to stay safe and alert when they are not in school by observing social distancing and good hygiene measures.

Finally if you have not already done so please ensure you have read the “Student Expectations” document with your child, as it describes in detail any changes to normal routines.  This can be found on the Goldwyn Website and was sent to you in July.

If you have particular questions please feel free to contact your Centre Manager, or me directly.


With best wishes,

Charlotte Lewis



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