Daily Update

1 June 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you have had a good day.

Reopening of The Deanes - Phase 1


Today we started to welcome back some of our students.  It was lovely to see them again and we very much look forward to the day when all our students can safely return to The Deanes.

As previously outlined, we continue planning a phased reopening of The Deanes.  The first phase, which started today, is for children of critical workers and  vulnerable children ONLY.

It is no longer be necessary for parents of eligible vulnerable children to keep them at home if they can. In particular, vulnerable children of all year groups – children with EHCPs or a social worker – are to be encouraged to attend their educational provision where it is appropriate for them to do so.

If your intention is for your child to return to school as part of Phase 1, please follow this two part procedure:

1)  Complete this survey https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/Deanes-Phase1/.  

2) Once we have assessed your request and verified that your child is able to attend, you will receive a text message / email asking you to detail the days you child will be in school and you will be asked to agree to and sign a Home / School Agreement.  This agreement outlines what our provision in school will be and our expectations of parents and children accessing our provision.  It has been put in place to ensure the safety of all children and staff.

I wish to stress that parents/carers retain the authority to decide whether school is an appropriate environment for their children. Parents will not be fined for non-attendance at this time, and schools will not be held to account for attendance levels. 

I understand that many parents and carers may feel anxious about their child returning to school. Below this email you will find more information about how the school day will be organised so that you can make an informed decision about whether you send your child to school. 

Phase 2


From 15 June 2020, the Government are requiring secondary schools to offer some face-to-face support to supplement the remote education of year 10 pupils, which should remain the predominant mode of education during this term.  We are working on how to best achieve this and I will contact Year 10 parents and students in the next few weeks with the details.


We are really looking forward to seeing all of our students again in person. We know that the best thing for their education is for them to be back at school - but only when it is safe for them, and our staff, to do so.  We do not expect Years 7-9 to return to school before September and will continue to provide work for students to complete at home.


Distance Learning


As a reminder, this week's Distance Learning work can be found on our school website.


Year 7 - Year 9


Year 7 - http://www.thedeanes.academy/work/18-may-5-june/year-7

 Year 8 - http://www.thedeanes.academy/work/18-may-5-june/year-8

 Year 9 - http://www.thedeanes.academy/work/18-may-5-june/year-9


Year 10


Year 10 will be continuing with their Virtual Work Experience and Careers Learning.  Full details, and a complete timetable, can be found at http://www.thedeanes.academy/work/18-may-5-june/year-10. Students need to download the 'Contact App' as detailed in the email they received last week.  I have attached a timetable illustrating this week's plan.  Please contact Miss Fanning if you have any issues.


Year 11


We have created a section on our website for Year 11 so that they can start preparing for their A-Level / Level 3 studies.  The resources and guides can be found at http://www.thedeanes.academy/work/year-11-continued-learning/.  It’s up to the students how they use the resources but I would advise that they focus on the subjects they are planning to study next year and spend time learning as much as they can.

Students should feel free to contact the relevant teacher if they want to discuss anything about the work or get help with the questions.

In addition, our friends at USP College (Seevic) have emailed all Year 11 applicants detailing how to access transition resources and the additional support available to them. I would encourage our students who have received this email to engage with the material to ensure they are fully prepared for the progression to their next level of study.  

If any student has not yet applied to USP College but would be interested in a taster of what the College has to offer, please complete an application via their website. They will then be sent login details and be able to access the same learning materials.

The link to USP for students of The Deanes is https://www.uspcollege.ac.uk/the-deanes-school/


Distance Learning Help


In order to make things a little easier for parents and students, we have provided a list of email addresses for some staff so that you can contact them if you have a query about a particular subject.  This list can be accessed here - http://www.thedeanes.academy/work/help-with-distance-learning/


Let us know how things are going at home


Are you proud of the work your child has done at home? Are they helping out with household chores?

As a school we love to acknowledge students who are working hard or those who have done an amazing job in school. For obvious reasons we are not able to do this at the moment. So instead, we are asking parents to help us out. Why not send us a photo of your child getting stuck into their distance learning or doing a household chore and we will post it on our Twitter account (@deanesschool)?

Feel free to avoid photographing your child’s face if you prefer. Be sure to send us a sentence to explain what work they are doing or how they are helping around the house and we will share the positive messages! Please send these via email to dmckeown@thedeanes.essex.sch.uk  or tag us in on Twitter. 


Free School Meal Vouchers


The next set of Free School Vouchers have been released today from Edenred.  Please check your email accounts to access the latest vouchers. We have issued vouchers for the next 4 weeks (£60).  As requested by some parents, we have downloaded and printed the vouchers on your behalf; these have been posted to you today.  If you have any issues with the vouchers, please contact Mrs Hunt - thunt@thedeanes.essex.sch.uk - who is kindly helping me manage the voucher scheme.


How to contact us


Can I also remind you that we want to do what we can to support our students and their families during this period.  

In order to help with communication, we have set up a quick form.  By using this form, we will be able to respond to you very quickly and it will allow our reception staff to remain at home.


If you need to contact us during this difficult period, please click here.  The form is also on our website under the 'Contact Us' menu item.


In the meantime, I hope you all stay safe.



Desi McKeown



Risk / Concern

Action / Information

Key/Critical Worker and Vulnerable pupil provision

We will continue to offer care, Monday - Friday, for vulnerable pupils and children of Key workers. This care will be located in R04, the computer room in the new block. This provision is strictly for children of critical workers and vulnerable childrenONLY and  parents may be asked to evidence their employment.

The provision will start at 08.30. Students can be dropped off in the top carpark.     Parents must not leave their vehicles.     Students should make their way to the new carpark by Technology.  They will have an allocated space to wait.

The provision will end at 14:30. Students can be picked up from the top carpark.     Parents must not leave their vehicles.     If students are making their own home, they must leave the school site immediately.



We will be insisting that everyone maintains a 2m distance at all times. Teachers will not wear PPE unless to deliver first aid and only then if absolutely necessary.


Equipment and uniform

We will provide learning equipment for students (pen, pencil, ruler, etc) and it will be stored in a wallet which will remain in school.  Students must not bring this equipment home.

Students must bring in a reading book from home each day.

The students should be appropriately dressed.  The normal uniform should not be worn.  The Government Guidance is that after a day at school children’s clothes should be washed, so with this in mind, children are permitted to wear their own clothes. Please ensure clothing worn is suitable for school learning both inside and outside. Trainers are permitted. PE kit is not required.

Children should not wear any PPE.



We strongly believe that no child should be disadvantaged therefore all children will be given the same learning opportunities whether they are at home or in the Critical worker / Vulnerable provision. 

Teachers will continue to design engaging and effective learning activities which are uploaded fortnightly to our website. Some, but not all, tasks can be emailed to teachers for review.  

Our Distance Learning Work is intended to provide clarity for students, support consistency across groups and ensure that the amount of work being set does not become overwhelming.  It consolidates previous learning and, in addition, provide opportunities for students to continue with skills development. Some tasks are devised to encourage a sense of curiosity and maintain a love of learning.

This is an opportunity to develop confidence and independent learning skills. A simple task done well builds confidence and gives a sense of accomplishment.  We should not endeavour to replicate progress and productivity achieved under normal circumstances; this is just not realistically achievable.  Therefore, we need to provide a way for learners to continue learning in some form and provide a purposeful focus (and possibly a welcome distraction) for them.  It is really important that we maintain a mindful balance for all members of our school community.



The computer room we will using (R04) have been adapted to cater for up to 15 children and to allow for distancing. If more than one group is needed, we will set up another computer room in a different area of the school to ensure that the groups do not mix while in school.



We will supply a lunch and are happy for children to bring their own. Our kitchen staff will be adhering to social distancing guidance and will ensure effective hygiene procedures. Lunches will be delivered to classes and if the weather is fine, the children will eat outside.  If not, we will use the Drama Studio and distance the students appropriately.



The school has undergone a thorough deep clean during the May half term week. From 01 June 2020 daily cleaning will be focused on the new building. A member of the cleaning staff will be stationed in the new block and will be available all day. 

The desks in the computer room will be cleaned at break and lunch, while the students are outside.

Toilets will be cleaned after each used.

The school will be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each school day.


General hygiene

Incorporated into our daily timetable will be regular hand washing. Children will wash/sanitise their hands every time they enter the building and enter the classroom. Children will wash/sanitise their hands before eating and after coughing and sneezing and after using the bathroom.


First Aid and medicine

First aid will continue to be administered by a trained first aider. When administering first aid, PPE will be worn if necessary. We will continue to administer medicine in line with our policy. If your child requires medication please ensure you have informed us and have the medication required.


Symptoms of Covid-19

The guidance remains the same. Children who display symptoms of Covid-19 must stay at home and isolate for 14 days. If a family member develops symptoms, children should isolate at home for 14 days. Children who develop symptoms whilst in school will be sensitively isolated, parents will be called immediately and arrangements for collection must take priority.

Please ensure we have your most up to date contact details.


Fire Regulations

The Fire Evacuation procedures will remain the same.  Students will leave the building through the nearest Fire Exit and gather on the Netball Courts (ensuring they remain Social Distanced).


Visitors to school

There will be no educational visits until further notice. Access to school will only be permitted if absolutely necessary.


Vulnerable and extremely vulnerable

Children with health conditions such as asthma should seek medical advice before returning to school. For children who fall into the extremely vulnerable category, we suggest they do not attend as we cannot guarantee social distancing. Children who live with someone who is vulnerable or extremely vulnerable may attend school, but again, we ask you to seriously consider the risk.  

We wish to stress that parents/carers retain the authority to decide whether school is an appropriate environment for their children. 


Travelling to and from school

The guidance is to avoid public transport if at all possible. If you need to use public transport to travel to or from school, please adhere to social distancing and wear a mask.  More information about safer travel can be found here.

The school buses will not be running.



Children will not be penalised in any way for non-attendance. If we are expecting your child and they do not attend, please notify the school using the Contact Form – click here.



Our Behaviour policy applies.  In addition, we require all parents and students attending Phase 1 to agree to and sign our Home / School Agreement.  Any student who commits serious or persistent breach of this agreement may be sanctioned by the headteacher using the full range of sanctions available, dependent on the seriousness of the breach, up to and including in extreme cases permanent exclusion.