THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR
Dear Parent / Guardian
I hope this letter finds you and your family well.
As we have now reached the end of the summer term I wanted to write to you on behalf of myself and the Board of Governors to thank you for your understanding and support in these challenging times. This has meant a lot to us as staff and helped us to keep our school family together, even though we have been apart. Thank you also for supporting your child’s learning, many have really excelled with their home learning. I am hugely indebted to our staff who have adapted quickly to our new normal and worked extremely hard.
You will, no doubt, have heard lots of discussion in the media about the plans for the new school year. We received detailed guidelines from the Department of Education on the school restart programme a short time ago and have been working on our planning since.
The Governors, staff and I are keen to have everyone back to school safely, as soon as is possible, but I am sure you understand that the current 1m social distancing rule will not enable the return of full classes to school every day. As directed by DE we are giving priority to Years 12 and 14 and other groups will be taught through a mixture of in school and online learning.
At present we are planning for the following key dates:
- Monday 17/8/20: Staff return to work
- Thursday 20/08/20: GCSE Results Day / Interviews for Year 13
- Monday 24/08/20: Year 12 and 14 Return to School (Full Time). Year 13 Induction (am)
- Tuesday 25/08/20: Year 13 Induction (am)
- Wednesday 29/08/20: Year 13 Induction (am)
- Monday 31/08/20: Bank Holiday
- Tuesday 01/09/20: Year 12 and 14 in school / Year 8 Induction (9 am – 1 pm)
- Wednesday 02/09/20: Year 12/14 in school / Year 9 Induction (9 am – 1 pm)
- Thursday 03/09/20: Year 12/14 in school / Year 10 Induction (9 am – 1 pm)
- Friday 04/09/20: Year 12/14 in school / Year 11 Induction (9 am – 1 pm)
- Monday 07/08/20: Whole School Teaching resumes
It is my intention to keep you up to date as the situation unfolds but at the minute we anticipate all students being in school in full uniform for some time every week. It looks as though alternate days would be the best solution for now.
You will understand that the current situation means it will not be possible for school to issue shared equipment and materials in lessons, to minimise the risk of cross contamination. Therefore, we ask that as far as possible, students bring the items on the attached list to school for their own use.
I will be in contact with you again with more details closer to the start of term. In the meantime, I thank you for your continued support and hope you continue to keep well and stay safe.
SCHOOL EQUIPMENT 2020
- Pens (at least 2 blue/black and 2 red)
- Pencils (at least 2 HB pencils)
- Plastic Ruler
- Glue stick
- Colouring pencils/felt tip pens
- Highlighter pen
- Whiteboard pen
- Calculator: A simple calculator is sufficient for Years 8 – 9, but students for Year 10 and above will require a scientific calculator.
- A Maths pack of protractor, compass, ruler would be useful if you wish your child to have their own.
- Plastic A4 Document/Popper Wallet to keep their books/school resources in as it is a wipe able surface to carry in their school bags to reduce contamination.
Hand sanitiser and wipes will be available in all classrooms throughout the school. You may wish your child to have an additional small bottle of hand sanitiser and a small pack of anti-bacterial wipes for their own use throughout the day in addition to what is available in all classrooms/school areas.
Due to the uncertainty of the current health guidance, you may be required to replenish these items during the academic year.
A SCHOOL IN THE COMMUNITY
As ‘a school at the heart of the community with the community at the heart of the school’ Abbey Community College works in partnerships with parents, local business and community based groups to build opportunities for community education, sports participation and family support. Current partners include:
- Business in the Community
- Monkstown Boxing Club
- Monkstown Village Centre
- Start 360
- Henderson Group
- Danske Bank
- Young Enterprise
As an active member of Newtownabbey Learning Community, collaboration with other local schools and Northern Regional College will enhance the curriculum by providing students with access to a wide range of academic and vocational courses at GCSE and Post 16.
Bridge Youth Club will operate for local children and young people of all ages in the evenings over the course of the week.