We are pleased to confirm that in line with the government guidance school will be reopening to all students in September. We will continue to update the information on this page as our plans are finalised in the coming days.


What will happen in September?

Staff have been preparing for the full reopening of school during the summer. Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd September have been allocated as staff training days. Students should not attend on these two days.  

Term Dates


Thursday 3rd September

Year 7

We look forward to welcoming year 7 on Thursday, 3rd September for their Induction Day. Children should arrive at school for 8:45 am. They can arrive either at the front entrance of school or via the back gate entrance, members of staff will be available to support and direct the children when they arrive. If parents are dropping children off at the front of school, we ask that you remain in your car in order to reduce the number of people on the school site. The back gate will be open from 8.30am.

The Induction Day will end at 2.30pm.  If parents are collecting children from school please ensure that you confirm where you will meet them to avoid any unnecessary worry at the end of the day.

Year 8 - 11

Also on Thursday 3rd September, we will welcome back all students in years 8-11 for a face to face academic and pastoral review meeting with their form tutor.  More information about the review meeting can be found here. Students will be sent an e mail confirming their appointment time on Tuesday 1st September.


Friday 4th September

On Friday, 4th September we will welcome back all students.  Things will be very different the following sections will guide you through the outline plan for wider reopening. 

Students will start at slightly staggered times and will use different entrances, depending on their year group. This will all be sign-posted.  The staggered starts is a temporary measure to accommodate all the challenges presented to us by the restrictions placed on us by the Covid-19 pandemic.  Outside spaces will be zoned.  At some point in the future we will revert back to an 8.20am start.

Year Group Start Time Entrance Point and Temporary Form Rooms Finish Time
Year 11 8:30am

Side door at the end of the A corridor (Maths and English corridor)

11CCO - A12;  11AHN - A9; 11PRA - A5; 11VLA - A11; 11RYO - A8; 11JCA - A10

Year 10 8:45am

Side door at the end of the A corridor (Maths and English corridor)

10VCA - D10; 10SSI - D11; 10FMC - D12; 10MWA - D9; 10USH - D8; 10KBA - D7

Year 9 8:35am

Side door at the end of B corridor (Art corridor)

9WTA - E2; 9JWA - F10; 9ZMU - E7; 9SRE - E4; 9EEN - E6; 9AEB - E3

Year 8 8:40am

‘Box’ entrance from the main playground

8NPI - B2; 8PPO - C10; 8KOS - B4; 8TLI - B1; 8LCR - B5; 8AHA - B3

Year 7 8:30am

Headway entrance at the front of school

7KSM - D2; 7CGA - F8; 7AGR - F6; 7AHH - F9; 7RAS - D4; 7LPE - D3



Face Coverings

From 1 September 2020, new advice will apply to the use of face coverings by staff and students in schools and other education institutions that teach students in Years 7 and above in England. This guidance can be found on the Government website. In areas where local restrictions are in place, including Tameside, it will be mandatory for students and staff to wear a face covering in school areas where social distancing is difficult.  

Students must wear a face covering on public transport and on entry to school.   Once they are in their form rooms they can remove the covering and place it in a clean plastic bag.  Students will be instructed throughout the day as to when they need to wear the face covering. 

Face coverings should be a plain colour and be either washable fabric or of the disposable type. Students should bring a small clean plastic bag to store their face covering when not in use.  



Any student or staff member who has symptoms of Covid-19 or lives with someone who does must not come into school. Full details of symptoms, how to get a test and self isolation rules can be found here. School should be advised as soon as possible. There will be an amended attendance policy available towards the end of August.The national guidance makes clear that the current improvements to the Covid19 situation and the significant risk to life-chances and educational opportunity of missing school mean that attendance at school is compulsory to all students.  


Travelling to school  

It is recommended that students avoid or minimise the use of public transport.  It is the law to wear a face-covering on public transport (this should be removed upon arrival at school). If possible, students should walk or cycle (wearing their helmets).  Those travelling by car should not get dropped off (and collected) on the school grounds.  Students from different households should not car-share.

Transport for Greater Manchester have confirmed that they will not be issuing allocated seats through the yellow school bus pass this year. Students will only need an IGO and a valid bus ticket to travel.  The bus route and timetable can be found on the school bus page.


Breakfast provision  

There will be no breakfast club initially, perhaps for the first few weeks, until we can see how the new arrangements will work in practice.  


Form time

Form time will continue as normal but assemblies will be presented digitally to the classroom for each year group.  There will be no large gatherings or assemblies.

Break and lunch time

Break and lunch time will be staggered by year group; this limits the number of students in the social spaces around school and allows for cleaning between sittings in the dining room.  Students will have their food in zoned spaces and will have the remainder of their lunch break in indoor/outdoor zoned spaces.  In the early weeks, and maybe even longer, there will be a limited menu which will involve mainly ‘grab and go’ type food, for example, pasta, sandwiches, pots of stew, etc.  Students may still bring a packed lunch if they wish.


Movement around school

Whilst we are allowing students to move around the building this means we will work even harder at maintaining distance and cleanliness.  We will have a strict one-way system for ensuring the students are not in contact with each other for any appreciable length of time.  This will include walking outside to get to particular lessons.


During lessons

Students, as far as possible, will face the same direction (most do anyway) but this may not be possible in some specialist rooms e.g. Art or Technology. Upon arrival, staff will have already cleaned the desks but students may also be required to use desk wipes.  Hand sanitiser is available in all classrooms. 

Also, we have rearranged some teaching groups to reduce the number in some of our smaller classrooms.  This is a temporary measure to ensure that class size does not exceed 30, in line with DFE guidance.  Some KS3 sets have been adjusted to reflect this, but this is temporary and will be monitored accordingly.


The end of the school day

Students will leave by arranged exit routes in a slightly staggered way at the end of the day starting at 2.35pm and the final stagger at 2.45pm.  Again, this is a temporary measure.



Students will be in full uniform including correct footwear.  There can be no exceptions.   On each student’s timetable will be their PE lesson(s).  On the day(s) a student has PE & Sport (in the normal school day) and because we will not be making use of the PE changing rooms, students should come to school wearing their PE uniform and keep it on all day.  Students are permitted to wear, on top of their PE kit which is Alder branded T shirt and shorts, an Alder PE hoodie and track pants.  This is a temporary measure.  Alternatively, students can wear their blazer despite it not quite looking the part! The PE department have a number of second hand (but washed and dried!) black Alder PE hoodies available for a donation of £1.  



Students must bring a bag to school and their essential equipment. We are also encouraging all students to have some extra preferred equipment.  It should be clean.  Students are also encouraged to bring their own small and safe hand-sanitiser and must bring tissues each day to each lesson.  We cannot lend equipment, unfortunately. Lockers will not be accessible until further notice.    

Uniform and Equipment


Behaviour and safety 

Our expectations on students’ behaviour will be even higher than before and will be reflected in ‘Covid-secure’ changes to our behaviour policy.  Most of the routines, expectations, rules and protocols will be the same but each student will have a duty to protect herself or himself and to do everything to look after every other student and adult in the building.

The virus has not gone away so all our safe and sensible measures must be observed.  Furthermore, too many students have lost too much school-time already so we will insist that time is not wasted on return to class.   But we can only do all this in a positive, warm, strict and friendly manner with the support of students and parents and carers.


A broad & balanced curriculum   

The government expect us to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum whilst maintaining all the safety controls described earlier.  We will run the normal timetable as far as possible but specialist subjects will have to adapt the curriculum to fit the safety guidance.  For example, PE cannot do contact sports such as football or basketball.  The use of musical instruments is limited and practical equipment needs to be cleaned regularly.  There are many other examples and the curriculum offer will look different as we continue to move through this pandemic.

Clubs and extra-curricular activities will at some point continue but may be restricted to ensure that mixing is minimised, and social distancing is practised, as far as possible.


GCSE and BTEC Examinations for Year 11, Alder Class of 2021

OFQUAL (the national Office of Qualifications and Examination Regulations) has not yet decided how the examination season will run next year for our new Year 11.  As soon as we know we will let you know.  At present they are considering (but it is not definite) that the examinations will take place later in the year (perhaps June and July rather than May and June).  There is no suggestion, yet, that the content of the examinations will be reduced or made easier:  this is very unlikely.

What we know for sure is that our new Year 11 have already missed one term of their Key Stage 4 experience in the classroom.  The vast majority have kept on track of the work we have set and taught remotely (which is great news for them) and we were able to bring almost all of them back in for a little time between the 22nd June and the 16th July across all their examination subjects.

On their return, teachers will look closely at what knowledge, understanding and skills (from the year 10 content) need more work and teachers and curriculum leaders are already adapting the Year 11 curriculum in readiness.  


Extended school day for year 11 

It is important to say, now, that it is likely that – from the week beginning Monday, 5th October each Year 11 student will have a compulsory extended day, one more lesson per day on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  This is not unusual for Year 11 as we have always run intervention classes in the past but the difference this year is that it will be a requirement for all Year 11 students.  This is not intervention and indeed, large amounts of intervention is not the way forward.  It is to make up for lost teaching time especially as the content required for the examinations has not been reduced in English, maths and science.  It will not be optional.   

It is important that students start work straight away and that they engage with every opportunity given to them.  The additional lessons will ensure they catch up with missed content over a period of time rather than cramming at the end.   We can only support Year 11 to achieve well if we ensure they cover the content well and in depth.  More details of our plans for the Year 11 school day will once the term has begun.


Health and safety

The school will comply with health and safety law which requires us to assess risks and put in place proportionate control measures.   We have reviewed our risk assessment and we have drawn up plans for the Autumn Term that address the risks identified, using the systems of control set out in the national guidance from the Department for Education:-   The Guidance for Full Opening:  Schools, was published on the 2nd July, 2020.  It can be found on the Gov.UK website.

This guidance has led to significant changes to how school will run in the Autumn Term.  The changes cover the following key matters:

•             Public Health guidance to minimise Covid-19 risks;

•             How the school will operate during each day;

•             What teaching, the curriculum, pastoral care and behaviour will be like;

•             Year 11 GCSE Examinations in 2021;

•             Contingency planning in case of a school, local or national outbreak of Covid-19

© Copyright 2018–2021 Alder Community High School