HEADTEACHER Stuart Marshall has been describing the challenges of reopening Mossley Hollins High School.
Mr Marshall addressed the issues in Newsflash, the school’s e-newsletter.
He wrote: “Welcome back to what I hope will be a fantastic, engaging, challenging and above all else, safe new school year.
“It has been far too long that we have not been able to welcome our students every day.
“Our site staff, support staff and teachers have worked hard to ensure that everything is ready for the students.
“Of course, our first consideration is the welfare and safety of our pupils and staff and to this end, we have worked tirelessly over the past months and weeks to have everything in place for their safe return.
“Lots of things are new. Students now move around the building far less as teachers come to them, break and lunchtimes are staggered to allow safe social distancing, hands are washed and sanitised frequently, surfaces are disinfected many times each day, and of course our staff and students have to wear face masks in communal areas inside the building.
“Amidst all this change, though, is the need for students to engage quickly in the core purpose of learning once again.
“Whilst all of the above are critical to the safe reopening of our school, they have to become habitual so that we can pre-occupy the minds of our pupils with learning, engagement and interaction. That will be our key task during the first few days of this important term.
“Please help us by reinforcing with your child the need for hand hygiene and safe social interaction.”
Mr Marshall welcomed the new year seven cohort which will be the class of 2025, the year they sit their GCSEs.
And he also had a message for year 11 students who are beginning the “final lap” towards GCSE examinations next summer.
He said: “Like you we are acutely aware that we have missed vital learning time but rest assured that we are doing all we can to make up lost time and will soon be announcing plans of our extended school day for our senior pupils.
“Pupils across the county are in the same position, but it will be those who quickly put aside the difficulties we have faced and embrace the necessary changes quickly so normal learning can resume who will ultimately achieve most success. We will help you every step of the way.”Mr Marshall also referred to “essential improvements” which have taken place in the wake of the accident last year when pupil Alex Tandy crashed 30 feet through a glass panel on a walkway outside school and was described by a paramedic attending he was the “luckiest boy in England” still to be alive.
He said: “Some parents will recall the accident last year and we have been working hard to put in place improvements to the glass on balconies and stairwells.
“Although we were told the glass met all current safety standards, we have insisted on ultra-strong laminated panels, and additional guard rails in all critical areas.
“The work has now been completed and I am pleased to say that the temporary additional protective barriers have now been removed.”