Cowbridge Comprehensive School, Aberthin Road, Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, CF71 7EN |

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School Opening Plans for Sept 2020

Dear Parent(s) and Carer(s),
Re: Educational Provision for September 2020
We are delighted to inform all parents and pupils that following information received from Welsh Government yesterday, there has been a decision taken for all pupils to make a full return to school by September 14th, 2020, at the latest. 
Since the wider re-opening of the school on June 29th, 2020, where we were required to operate with no more than a third of pupils in school at any given time, it has been highly rewarding to see pupils once again. We congratulate them all on their positivity and cooperation to new and unfamiliar routines. We have been particularly inspired to hear of their remarkable experiences and activities of the past few months. Many families have taken the opportunity to use this highly challenging and complex time,  to engage with different ways of learning new skills, hobbies, projects and indulge in creative ways of coping with adversity, realising that learning takes many forms. We also wish to thank parents for ensuring, where, possible, pupils completed the paper-based and online work and for contacting us to express your gratitude and securing assistance if your child was stuck! 
We are particularly proud of those pupils and their families who have been supporting and assisting family members, neighbours and the local community, voluntarily over the past few months.  During this time, our overall school philosophy has been to recognise that crisis brings out the best and the worst in all of us at different times; 'be at your best, when others are at their worst'. We are very proud to be part of a community which values altruism, above all else, in times of need and hardship. 
Our Provision for the First Term 
The school will open for staff on the first official day of the autumn term on Tuesday, September 1st, 2020 and this is a mandatory preparation and training day for teachers. The school will begin its formal educational provision for pupils with a staggered approach as outlined below to ensure that the start of the new term is as calm and organised as possible, and to ensure that the safety, wellbeing and learning needs of all pupils are of the highest priority. 
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020
  1. Induction  and confirmation of programmes of study for Y12 pupils starting post-16 education. Welcome for new Y12 pupils joining us from other schools. Guidance opportunities for CCS pupils for alternative post-16 education at college, who did not meet the criteria for Sixth Form entry at CCS.
  2. Re-integration for Y13 pupils.
Thursday, September 3rd, 2020
  1. Welcome and induction for new Y7 pupils.
  2. Day 2 for Y12 and Y13 pupils.
Friday, September 4th, 2020
  1. Induction Day for Y10 pupils finalise timetables for GCSE options.
  2. Day 2 and 3 for Y7, Y12 and Y13 pupils.
Monday, September 7th, 2020 
  1. Reintegration of Y11 pupils 
  2. Normal timetabled lessons for Y7 , Y8, Y10, and Sixth Form continue face to face teaching and learning.
  3. Induction day for half of Y9 pupils (surnames A - K) to organise and finalise timetables for GCSE options
Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 onwards
  1. Normal lessons for Y7,Y8, Y10, Y11 and Sixth Form
  2. Induction day for half of Y9 pupils (surnames L-Z)
  3. Learning at home day for Y9 pupil (surnames A-K)
Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 
        - Normal lessons for all pupils
Recovery phase for Education and Provision up to October half term
Our School Improvement Plan Priorities include implementing a recovery phase for all pupils and staff. The most important aspect of this is to resume face to face teaching and learning and for pupils to engage with teachers and peers to re-establish routines, structure and a feeling of return to regular, normal life, learning and work . During the first term of provision, we will establish progression, potential deficits in learning and well being for all pupils and will promptly plan any interventions  which need to be prioritised to support individuals and groups of pupils. Our Blended and Distance Learning policy will continue to be developed over the school year to enhance the school day provision and will aim to provide a range of online resources to assist pupils with any learning deficits into the foreseeable and medium term future. 
Our staff feel excited and confident that pupils will recover their learning and well being promptly from September. This is because:
1. GCSE Stage Pupils (Y9, 10, 11)
All current GCSE stage pupils at Cowbridge, have been studying programmes of study since the beginning of Y9. This is one year earlier compared with national requirements. This means that pupils in current Y9 and 10  moving into Y10 and Y11 from September,  are already at an advantage and were already in advance of the vast majority of pupils nationally. We also prioritised Y10 into Y11 pupils to ensure that they had a full timetable of teaching 
in the 3 weeks of available time from June 29th, 2020. This allocation of teaching exceeded that provided by other state schools. 
2. Sixth Form Pupils
Our sixth form provision provides 9 hours per fortnight of taught lessons. This is above the recommended 8 hours and is above what most secondary and tertiary providers facilitate. Therefore, Y12 pupils moving to Y13, have already had more provision than other secondary pupils and will continue to have allocated hours in excess of the recommended hours for A level education.  It is also a fact that Cowbridge School, since 29th June, 2020, has provided more contact hours than any other local and state Sixth Form. 
3. Intervention Programmes
We already have proven success in implementing effective interventions and support. For at least the past 5 years, programmes of intervention, coupled with excellent face to face pedagogy, has secured excellent value added outcomes for pupils and our staff are fully committed to ensuring that pupils are ready to learn, catch up and fulfil their aspirations for next steps of their learning and work.
 Further Details
The Welsh Government has informed all schools that there will be detailed operational guidance available early next week. Although a return to school for all pupils is expected by September 14th, 2020, there will be restrictions and safety measures to ensure that the school environment continues to be low-risk and continues to be as safe as practicably possible for all. Therefore, we will not be returning to 'business as usual'  and we will need to continue to operate many of the features of our current risk assessments. Once the detailed guidance has been published next week, we will review our risk assessments and communicate our plans with you and publish this information ( as all previous communication) on the school's website. 
Many thanks to you all for your continued support and patience as we work towards our planning for reintegrating all pupils for September. 
Mrs Thomas