Updated 27 August 2020

We are very much looking forward to welcoming students back to the academy in September 2020.

Please see below the latest update on re-opening for parents/carers.

September re-opening update  27 August 2020

July 2020 update

Staff at The Holgate Academy have been very busy planning for the new academic year at the same time as contributing to home learning, year 10 provision and the many other tasks which lockdown has presented. We have all been frustrated by the ongoing uncertainty and lack of opportunity to see our students face to face. School will have to be different in many ways in September, with students being managed in ‘bubbles’ predominantly based on year groups. This will mean students not having access to the full academy site and there being strict systems in place for lessons, breaks, lunch and movement around the site.

The planning will be subject to further guidance from the government throughout the Summer and we will reissue this letter with any changes in the week before we reopen in September. Parents and carers should be aware of the DfE guidance which we have considered when planning and conducting risk assessment for reopening in September.

Over the course of the last week, we have carried out a new risk assessment based on the guidance released by the government, ahead of the planned re‐opening of the academy to all students in September. This risk assessment has now been approved in principle by our Board of Trustees, however it is subject to a further audit in August. This second step is necessary to ensure we take into account any changes to our circumstances, new or updated government guidance or any localised infection control measures required in response to the ongoing Covid‐19 pandemic.

Start times and dates

Year groupDateTimeEntrance
Year 7Wednesday 2 September8.40amHillcrest Drive
Year 8Friday 4 September8.40amHillcrest Drive
Year 9Friday 4 September8.40amHillcrest Drive
Year 10Thursday 3 September8.40amHillcrest Drive
Year 11Thursday 3 September8.40amHillcrest Drive

NOTE: Years 12 and 13 will receive a separate communication from Hucknall Sixth Form Centre

Year groups on site for first 3 days of term

  • Wednesday 2nd September – Year 7 only
  • Thursday 3rd September – Years 7, 10 and 11
  • Friday 4th September – Years 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Finish time on each day is 3:15pm. Students will be dismissed in bubbles and encouraged to observe social distancing on their journey home.


Students from different households should try to keep distanced when travelling to the academy. We would continue to recommend a 2 metre distance if possible. Walking and travelling by bike are the preferable options but the Bestwood bus will be running for students who use it. (Please see section below on masks).

The school car park at Hillcrest will only be available for cars transporting students with accessibility issues. All other students arriving by car should be dropped off at a safe location near to the academy but with consideration to social distancing.

Entrance and exit

On arrival, students will be directed to dedicated routes to reach the zone for their bubble for the rest of the day. Please note that the only entry and exit points from September will be Hillcrest Drive main entrance and Nabbs Lane main entrance. For some students this will mean using a different route to the academy.


The DfE guidance is clear that students should be placed in bubbles of no more than 240 students. The bubbles will be based on year groups with the exception of a minority of students who are accessing bespoke curriculum.

Each bubble will be based in an area of the school on any particular day with the exception of lessons in specialist rooms when staff will escort students to ensure there is no contact with students from another bubble.


In line with government guidance the timetable has been maintained ensuring that a broad and balanced curriculum will continue in September.

Food Technology practicals

Food technology practicals will not take place in the first half term with the exception of year 11.

Music tuition

Music tuition will not take place on site for the first half term but we are investigating the possibility of virtual tuition using Microsoft Teams.

Physical education

The PE curriculum will be adapted to enable the majority of lessons to be outside, with no‐contact rules applying. Lessons will be split between theory and practical on rota, thus halving the number of students changing at any one time to enable greater social distancing. PE kit must be brought in on days when a student has a practical lesson. When a student has PE period 1 they may wear their PE kit to the academy but will need to change into their uniform after the lesson. When a student has PE during period 6 they may go home in their PE kit if they wish to.

After school clubs

After school clubs will have to run in year group bubbles which will mean a reduced selection of clubs until guidance relaxes. No after school clubs will run for the first two weeks of term.

WiFi network to support engaging lessons

To support with engaging activities in class which require the use of mobile phones or devices students will be able to connect devices to a student network and therefore avoid using mobile data. Students must not use mobile phones without the permission of staff.


Students are expected to wear full school uniform in September. Please refer to other uniform documentation and the uniform policy available on the web site for further clarification and for details on PE kit, make up, nail varnish, jewellery and hair styles. The general approach is one of a traditional business wear.

In brief the uniform is:

  • Holgate Academy blazer
  • Holgate Academy clip-on tie
  • White shirt or blouse
  • Optional black jumper with Holgate badge
  • Black trousers or black skirt (A general rule for trousers is that they should be suitable for ironing, and for skirts is that they should be ‘A’ line and on the knee)
  • Black socks or tights
  • Black polishable shoes (All leather upper or imitation leather upper)
  • Optional coat (no hoodies)


Present government advice does not recommend the wearing of face masks in school. Should that guidance change before September we will update you of the academy’s position in relation to this. If you have any individual queries in relation to this please contact the academy immediately prior to us opening. Masks will not be provided by the academy.

Students travelling on the Bestwood Bus will not be expected to wear masks but may do so if they wish. Present guidance says these should be removed before entering the academy. Students using service buses or other means of public transport must wear a mask. Masks for public transport will not be provided by the academy, nor the bus/transport company.

Behaviour and attitude

Core ethos

Our behaviour expectations revolve around our core ethos of Manners, Determination and Teamwork:

  • Manners – we expect all our students to be polite and courteous at all times
  • Determination ‐ we expect our students to try their best with every aspect of academy life
  • Teamwork ‐ we expect our students to help their peers, their teachers and any other members of our community (this will be particularly important in order to maintain a safe environment during the return from lockdown)

Positive culture

The 2020-21 academic year will signify a complete reset of behaviour management at Holgate Academy with an emphasis on staff and students working together to support learning. In line with a new restorative approach to behaviour management, staff will provide students with opportunities to prevent graduation on the consequence pathway through restorative conversations at the end of lessons, break times, lunch times, briefly after the academy day, or any time that is convenient to the member of staff. All staff will be focusing on a positive culture aimed at enjoyment as well as at achievement.

Change from vertical tutoring to year groups

From September the vertical tutoring system was already planned to revert back to a traditional year group model. This will allow more age-related personal development delivery. In light of the effects of lockdown on wellbeing, many schools are choosing to change from vertical tutoring to year groups which again allows a response relative to the age of the students.

Consequence pathway

The focus on a positive culture where students enjoy more as well as feeling that they achieve more should set a tone where students can take responsibility when they do not meet our expectations but staff will refer to the following consequence pathway proportionately:

  • C1 ‐ Effectively a formal verbal warning from staff
  • C2 ‐ Another verbal warning with 10 negative behaviour points subtracted from the student’s cumulative behaviour score on SIMS
  • C3 ‐ Academy detention ‐ A formal detention that will be communicated via weduc to parents/carers

Social distancing is a clear expectation that would be considered for consequence pathway subject to any action being deliberate.

Restorative and respectful commitment from students

Students who do not engage with the restorative process will not be allowed to continue with their timetable. Where possible they will be placed in holding with an identified mentor (from our staff) and may find that they progress to the more serious stages of the consequence pathway.

Positive rewards and Holgate Achievers

Overwhelmingly, monitoring of behaviour will be focused on celebration and reward. Positive points may be awarded by any member of staff relating to our core values.

Cumulative positive pointsActions
100Tutor call/text home. Recognise/celebrate during Form.
150Head of Year call/text home. Recognise/celebrate during assembly.
300SLT call home. Meet the student during Tutor. Recognise/celebrate during assembly.
500Principal writes home, student invited for meeting with Principal. Recognised/celebrated in assembly.
700Chair of governors writes home, student invited for meeting with chair of governors, principal and parents. Recognised/celebrated in assembly.

This year we will also be identifying the students with the very best attitudes called ‘Holgate Achievers’ who will be eligible for an enhanced rewards scheme.


Every bubble will have separate toilet facilities. A programme of refurbishment has been planned to ensure that this is possible.

Lunches and catering

In addition to the two food service areas at Hillcrest and Nabbs there will be an additional food service at Hillcrest Main Hall. Each serving area will serve one bubble after the other with a contact gap so that students from different bubbles do not meet and any surfaces can be cleaned. To make this easier break and tutor time will be swapped for 3 bubbles, an early lunch sitting will start 10 mins earlier than usual and a later lunch sitting will finish 10mins later than usual.

Students should bring water or a non‐fizzy drink as students will not be able to access the water fountains. All students in each bubble will be expected to travel in the same general direction to help prevent contact between bubbles.

Equipment and Pupil Premium School Funding

Pupil Premium is understood by many parents to mean eligibility for Free School Meals. However it actually covers anyone who has been eligible for Free School Meals at any time over the last six years. The government assumes that the number of eligible requests for Free School Meals is an indicator of local economy rather than employment stability. It is very important that parents take advantage of Free School Meals if eligible even if they know that they will not be eligible for a long time so that in addition to pupil meals being accessed, we can offer extra support, including:

  • A focus on well‐being
  • Learning resources outside of academy hours – such as additional tuition, targeted one to one intervention, access to revision guides and programmes
  • Learning programmes to support identified individual or group needs
  • Accessing external providers – to ensure students have external learning experiences, including additional careers guidance
  • Enrichment – inside and outside of the classroom

There is a separate strand of Pupil Premium which includes students who have parents in the Armed Forces or have parents who receive an armed forces pension. Again it is vital that our information on this is as accurate as possible.

With over 20% of eligible parents not registering for Free School Meals, it is worth being aware that there are many different circumstances which make a student eligible. For information on how to register please click here. 

Should you need assistance with accessing this service, please contact the academy and we will be please to help. Although the pupil premium funding is not assigned to individual students we are able to use it to support individuals with specific costs.

A reminder for those of you who presently access Free School Meals that the voucher scheme continues into the summer holidays. In line with this guidance, a single e‐voucher from our supplier Sodexo will be provided to cover the period 20 July to 28 August 2020.

In relation to equipment, we will be supplying all students with the following items to enable our lessons to run in accordance with the September reopening guidance from the government:

  • A dedicated exercise book for all subjects called the day‐to‐day book
  • Black pen
  • Whiteboard/whiteboard pen/board wipe
  • Green pen for marking
  • Highlighter
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Green folders with plastic pockets and labels – to put subject specific work in

These must be brought to the academy every day and cannot be shared with other students. The academy cannot replace items which are deliberately damaged or misplaced. Calculators are a vital equipment item which we are asking parents to buy. To ensure that all students have the same opportunity we will be teaching using the Casio FX 83. We will purchase these for students who are registered as Pupil Premium. For those of you who are not eligible for a free calculator, this model can be bought at major supermarkets but can be purchased at a discounted price of £8.50 by logging into a sQuid account at www.squidcard.com

The day‐to‐day book will be of particular interest to parents. Students will use this to record the start and end of every lesson amongst other pieces of work. Students will record their Manners, Determination and Teamwork (our 3 core values) and their Confidence (an indication of how well they have understood the lesson). It will be clear who is presenting their work well, who is participating well and whether students feel they need further support. Parents will only need a quick look in the book each day to be able to recognise where praise or encouragement is needed.

Covid related illness

In September we will still need to monitor any Covid related illnesses carefully. Symptomatic individuals must self‐isolate for at least seven days and should arrange a test to determine if they have Covid‐19. Other members of their household (including any siblings) should self‐isolate for 14 days from when the symptomatic individual first had symptoms. The government ‘stay at home guidance’ is available here.

For any other questions please email info@holgate‐ac.org.uk


We would like to thank all parents for their overwhelming support throughout lockdown. The message ‘we are all in it together’ is an obvious point of reference. I look forward to welcoming all students back to the academy this September for what I hope will be a year where the Holgate community spirit shines through in everything our students achieve.

We are Holgate.