A DENTON secondary school has announced it is introducing ‘home learning.’
Pupils at Denton Community College will also have four lessons instead of five as the school day changes – but they will be longer.
And in line with Government advice, they will be required to wear face coverings in communal settings.
The school, formerly known as Egerton Park, starts its latest curriculum on Monday week, September 7.
Now headteacher Greg Rule has announced pupils from each year must spend an afternoon at home, where they will be taught.
In a letter to parents, he said: “The main change will be the implementation of ‘Home Learning’ within the timetable.
“Each year group will be required to work from home one afternoon each week.
“This will be a structured period of learning that will be supported by online and paper resources.
“‘Home Learning’ will be a formal part of the curriculum and the work set will be monitored by classroom teachers and quality assured by the senior leadership team.
“Each year group will be allocated a different afternoon, the details of which will be communicated via email September 1 and will begin on September 8.
“Whilst we all want our young people to be in school all of the time, ‘Home Learning’ has been implemented to isolate individual areas of our building so that the necessary deep cleaning and sanitisation of our learning zones can take place each week.
“Whilst these arrangements are not ideal, they do provide us with a platform on which we can build.
“Getting our students back into full time education is our priority, yet this must be done in a way that is safe for both students and staff.
“These arrangements are aimed not only at minimising the risk to individuals but also against the need to close the whole school in the event of a Covid-19 outbreak amongst our population.”
Denton Community College is set to welcome pupils back on Wednesday but things will have changed – and they may change again later in the year.
One thing that is definite, for the time being, is face coverings are required outside the classroom.
Mr Rule added: “With regards to facemasks in school we recognise that some students and staff will always feel reassured by wearing one and in normal circumstances we would leave this to the personal choice of the individual.
“However current Government guidance states that in schools in areas that are under local restrictions, students must wear facemasks in all areas of the school apart from classrooms (e.g. dining areas and corridors).
“Currently our understanding is that Tameside is such an area, so please ensure your child has an appropriate face mask and a plastic bag to store it in during lessons.”
The structure of the school day will also change, as Mr Rule explained, saying: “Alongside our new health and safety measures the following changes to the school day will be implemented.
“Start of the School Day 8.40am, lesson one 9.50am, Movement and Sanitising Break 10.05am, lesson two 11.15am, 11.15 to 11.45 Lunch Y7 and Y10 Tutorial Y8, Y9 and Y11, 11.45 to 12.15 Tutorial Y7 and Y10 Lunch Y8, Y9 and Y11, 12.15pm lesson three, 1.25pm Movement and Sanitising Break, 1.40pm lesson four, 2.50pm End of the School Day.
“To make these changes the following principles have been applied: We will be moving from five lessons to four lessons each day. Each lesson will be extended from one hour to 70 minutes in length.
“Each day will begin with lesson one rather than the traditional registration period. Two movement/sanitising breaks will be implemented between lessons one and two and then between lessons three and four.
“Students will only make one movement between learning zones each day depending upon their timetable.
“Lunch time will be split depending on the year group. Lunch time will be brought forward from 1.20pm to either 11.15am or 11.45am depending on the year group. Lunch time will be the only opportunity for students to purchase food and drink during the school day.
“A new 30 minute curriculum based PHSE/Tutorial will be implemented each day to enable the split lunch to take place.
“This timetable will be monitored and reviewed in light of changes to government guidance and if required a new version will be implemented from November 2.”