September return - updated information

Dear Parent/Carer,

Updated September return

As we approach the end of the summer holidays, we are all starting to think about our September return. I hope that you and your families have had time to spend some time together enjoying the better weather within the confines of the new normal.

We have worked hard over the summer holidays to ensure that Ash Hill Academy is a safe learning environment for your child given the Covid-19 pandemic (new classroom layouts, Deep Clean, new signage, additional eating and external social spaces, staggered start/ finish to the academy day, one-way systems to name a few). The safety of our students, staff and the wider community continues to be our utmost priority.

With this in mind it is vital that you support us in our steps to continue to reduce the risk to all from Covid 19. We want our students and staff to return successfully to the much needed routine of formal education that has been missed over the last 5 months.

It is important to encourage your child to discuss their feelings about returning to school. This may require a difficult conversation about the pandemic, especially in light of the debate around the safety of schools reopening and fears of further lockdowns.

If your child feels anxious or worried, help them understand this is perfectly normal, and that you and their teachers are there to support them. Also bear in mind your child may be returning to a pre-existing issue from before lockdown that may add to their anxiety and concern. We are here to help. If you need to discuss these issues, contact the academy by telephone on 01302 840961, or using the email address in order for the appropriate person to respond to your concern/ enquiry.

Equally, students may be anxious about coping with school life after such a long time out of the classroom. Please reassure them that teachers understand these difficulties and your child can expect plenty of support when returning back to Ash Hill.

As a reminder, listed below is a series of updated bullet points that sum up what the academy will look like as of September:

  • In all Delta secondary schools, we will require the use of face coverings in corridors and communal areas by staff, students and visitors. The academy will provide three reusable face coverings per student to support the implementation of this requirement, but, in advance of the receipt of these face coverings, students will be permitted to use their own face coverings, which must be plain in colour with no design/ pictures on.

  • The government has provided details of exemptions to the requirement to wear face coverings.  More information can be found via this link face-coverings-in-education.  Please let us know if your child will not be able to wear a face covering for one of these reasons.  We will keep this policy under review as the autumn term progresses. 

  • Every Year group from 7 to 11 will have their own learning area (bubble) within the academy and students can only mix with students within their own year group – this will include break and lunchtimes.

  • The academy will have different staggered start/finish times for all year groups (see below). It is vital that students stick to these times and do not arrive more than 5 minutes before their specified time. Students who arrive in advance of these times will not be allowed to enter the academy site until the appropriate time.

  • There will be more than one entrance/exit used for differing year groups (see below).

  • Students will be reminded throughout the day to wash their hands and continue to do so – Hand sanitiser will be located throughout the academy for staff and student use as appropriate.

  • No visitors are allowed on to site, including parents, without an appointment. Any necessary meetings will take place via telephone, email or video conferencing. In extraordinary and rare circumstances where this cannot happen, face coverings must be worn, strict social distancing guidelines must be followed, and meetings may be moved to a bigger venue in order to allow this to happen. Visitors to the main reception will be limited to 1 person at a time and should use the intercom situated on the door to talk to reception in the first instance.

  • Parents dropping their children off in a car, must remain in their vehicles at all times and not gather at the entrance to the academy.

  • Students who will be using public transport to and from school, are required to wear a face mask in line with government guidance.

  • Students are expected to be in full Delta Academies Trust uniform (all previous expectations re: mobile phones, jewellery and make-up still apply). - Uniforms do not need to be cleaned any more often than usual, nor do they need to be cleaned using methods which are different from normal. Where financial barriers prevent students complying with these expectations, parents should contact the academy directly for information on where and how to get support.

  • Students are required to bring a ‘school bag’ to school with basic equipment, (Black or Blue and red pen, pencil, ruler and rubber) including a packed lunch if preferred. Each student will also be given a clear zip lock bag with a variety of resources they will need. Students are required to show this, with their planner and writing equipment inside, each day as they enter the academy so we can ensure all students are fully equipped. Students are not permitted to share or loan equipment. Additional items in school should be kept to a minimum and all school rules regarding mobile devices still apply. Any bag needs to big enough to carry an A4 folder.

  • Students will receive a full and broad curriculum with all subjects being delivered.

  • Our Cleaning staff will remain on site during the day, cleaning all areas on an on-going basis.

  • All students will have a break and lunch time as normal but will remain with students within their year/bubble in separate locations monitored by staff. Students will be required to sanitise their hands before break and lunch and on returning from break and lunch under staff supervision.

  • Once students enter their bubble group location they will not be allowed to move from this location without direct permission from a member of staff.

  • All classrooms throughout the academy comply with government guidance re: classroom layout. Students will be sat in a seating plan and allocated individual workspaces.

  • Attendance: the usual rules on school attendance will apply, including:
    • parents’ have a duty to ensure that their child attends the academy regularly.
    • schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up ALL absence.
    • the availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct
  • Students who attend the academy on a bike/ scooter will be directed accordingly as they arrive.
  • Once students leave the academy at their designated time, they cannot return to the academy and must make their way home immediately. Staff will be on duty to reinforce these expectations.

  • Staff will meet and greet all students at their entry points each day.

  • Enrichment/Intervention/detention will be completed in year group bubbles as appropriate.

You should note however that:

No-student/ staff/ visitor with Covid 19 symptoms should attend the academy

for any reason.

Government information for parents and carers is provided here Parent carer guidance    .   

Please continue to follow this advice if your child or a member of your household are showing Covid 19 symptoms.    

In particular:

  • Do not send your child to school if:

  • someone in their household is showing symptoms
  • Arrange a test if you or your child develops symptoms. Inform us of the results.

This will help us to minimise any interruption to teaching and learning in school and help us to provide appropriate remote support for any children with symptoms.

The new layout/ timings of the academy:

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Year 10

Year 11

Bubble base: Science block

Bubble base: Upstairs Harper Building

Bubble base: Downstairs Da Vinci


Bubble base: Downstairs Harper


Bubble base: Upstairs Da Vinci


Entrance/Exit: Entrance A*

Entrance/Exit: Entrance A*

Entrance/Exit: Entrance B**

Entrance/Exit: Entrance A*

Entrance/Exit: Entrance B**


Start time: 8.35am

Start time: 8.25am

Start time: 8.25am

Start time: 8.15am

Start time: 8.15am

Finish time: 2.20pm

Finish time: 2.30pm

Finish time: 2.30pm

Finish time: 2.40pm

Finish time: 2.40pm

Bubble Lead:

Miss Sims

Learning Manager:

Mrs Wilkinson

Bubble Lead:

Mr Smith

Learning Manager:

Mrs Perkins

Bubble Lead:

Mr Cairns

Learning Manager:

Mrs Fotheringham

Bubble Lead:

Mrs Weyman

Learning Manager:

Mr Johnston

Bubble Lead:

Mr Higgins

Learning Manager:

Mrs Falkingham

*Entrance A is the student entrance on the left-hand side of the Da Vinci building; closest to the medical centre.

** Entrance B is the student entrance on the right-hand side of the Da Vinci building; closest to the new building work.

As you may all know, term starts on Thursday 3rd September for years 7 & 11, and on Monday 7th September for years 8, 9 & 10.

I genuinely look forward to reopening our academy and welcoming you all back, we will of course keep you fully informed of any further Government directed changes, which may occur between now, and September.

Kind regards,

Mr John Higgins