Coronavirus Bulletin HANDS! FACE! SPACE!
Dear Parents and Carers,
I do hope you all enjoyed a happy and healthy half term! We are now planning for the return to school of our students following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday night. As you will expect, the rapid testing of students has caused some logistical issues which we have been ironing out over the past few days. We now have a plan for the return to school and testing which I would like to share with you.
We must all bear in mind that whilst schools will be open again, no other Covid restrictions have been lifted at all. The rules around hands, face and space still stand in and around school.
Asymptomatic Testing Consent Forms
If you haven't already done so, please can I urge you to complete the online consent form for testing as soon as possible. We will take no response as no consent and your child/ward will not be tested in school. If you have a child with SEND, they can move straight to home testing if you prefer. Please let us know if you require this as soon as possible.
The consent form can be found here:
If you have already completed and submitted this form, you do not need to do so again unless you have changed your mind about consent.
Testing in School/Return to School
School buses are running as normal. Please remember that car sharing should not happen. The return to school will be phased w/c Monday 8th March in order that we may test all students who have parental consent. However, the table below outlines our plans for testing some students from next week.
We would like students in Years 12 and 13 to come in on Friday 5th March for testing only. Following their test, they should go home. Testing will be available from 8.30am until 2.30pm that day. Students must observe social distancing and wear a face mask at all times. Testing takes place in the Old Gym; students should come into school via the 6th Form entrance and sign in as usual. It would help us enormously if sixth formers could come in that day given the volume of tests we need to get through!
|Date||Fri 5||Mon 8||Tues 9||Wed 10||Thurs 11||Fri 12||Mon 15||Tues 16||Wed 17||Thurs 18||Fri 19|
|Yrs in School||
|Yrs testing||12 & 13||
|10, 12||7, 8||9, 11||10||7, 8||9|
You will see that from Monday 8th March, year groups will return gradually starting with Years 11,12 and 13. By Thursday 11th March we expect all year groups to be back in school and the first round of testing to be completed for all year groups. By Friday 19th March, all students with parental consent should have been tested three times, as required by the DfE.
If your child is a vulnerable/key worker child who has been in school throughout the week and has had tests during that time, they will not need to have a further round of tests after 8th March.
Key worker/vulnerable students will continue to attend school, during this phased return, even if their year group is not yet phased in.
From 8th March, students in school will remain in school for lessons for the whole day. They will follow their normal timetables and will remain in their bubbles and zones as they did prior to lockdown. Their classroom base will be the same as it was before lockdown and teachers will move to lessons.
Please note that Clinically Extremely Vulnerable staff will continue to shield until Easter so their lessons will be delivered remotely with the class supervised by support staff or a supply teacher.
Students who remain working from home will still have tasks set and some face-to-face online learning on MS Teams until they come into school. Please make a note of the first day back for your child/ward from the previous table.
Home Testing Kits
All students will be supplied with home testing kits after 15th March (SEND students, vulnerable/KW students before if required). If they have been tested in school, they will have had supervised practice in self-swabbing and should be able to confidently do this at home. When you receive the test results you should notify NHS Track & Trace (instructions for how to this are included in the testing kits) and contact school if the result is positive on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your support in this matter.
It is now compulsory for all students to wear a face mask in lessons and outside of lessons. They may only be removed when eating or drinking. We expect this precaution to be in place at least until Easter. Students who are exempt from wearing a face mask must wear their sunflower badge given to them by the school. If your child/ward does not have one, they should carry a signed note from their parent/carer which states that they are exempt until school can issue them with a badge.
We know that masks can break or get lost so please ensure your child/ward carries a spare with them at all times in a small plastic bag. Masks are as essential now as a pen or pencil. Students do NOT need to wear a mask during their PE lessons and, as planned before Christmas, they should bring their PE kits to school to get changed, rather than coming to school in their PE kits.
During the past 12 months our young people have been through a lot of uncertainty, loss of routine and have had many other barriers to overcome. I am sure they will be happy to be in school again, seeing their friends and teachers and getting back to live learning! The staff will love having them back and are ready to support them pastorally as well as academically.
Our expectations around attendance and punctuality, full school uniform (no dyed hair, acrylic nails, nail varnish, make-up, trainers, jewellery/piercings), standards of behaviour both in lessons and around school/before school/after school, remain high. I would be most grateful if you could remind your child/ward of this so that they can enjoy a really positive return to school.
Our uniform suppliers have plenty of stock so it might be worth checking that everything still fits before the 8th! If you are struggling with purchasing any item of uniform please let us know as soon as possible.
Students who do not have the correct uniform should bring a note in to the Form Tutor signed by a parent/carer. Please can I remind you that piercings which have been done within 6 weeks must still be removed for school – plasters over piercings are not acceptable.
The School Day
The timings of the school day remain the same and all school buses are running as normal. Face masks are still mandatory.
School Canteen Menu
If you have not applied from Free School Meals but feel your child/ward may be entitled to them, please contact us. We can help you complete the forms necessary to ensure they can benefit from this provision. Our canteen operates under the highest hygiene and Covid measures so please feel confident that we can provide healthy, nutritional meals for your child/ward.
And if your child/ward pays for their meals, now would be a good time to top up ParentPay ready for that first week back!
In the news this week there has been much about students catching up on missed learning and summer schools. We are currently looking at providing catch-up support and the methods we feel would have the most impact on our students. We will update you on this over the next few weeks. Support for our SEND students will continue within bubbles as it did before lockdown.
We have just submitted further bids for repairs to the English Centre, a new boiler and further electrical improvements across school. If successful, much of this work will need to be carried out over the summer holidays. We do not currently know therefore if we will be able to provide extra learning on site over the summer.
Student Star of the Week
This week the award goes to…… Herbie in Year 9 for his amazing work in Geography! Mr Kevan is keen to make sure your hard work is celebrated… and so are we! Well done Herbie!
Staff Star of the Week
Our Staff Star of the Week goes to our SENDCo, Mrs Noonan! She is leading some wonderful work and projects to support our SEND children and young people; not even a lockdown can stop her! Congratulations Mrs Noonan from all your colleagues! Other nominations were: Mr Morris, Ms Mitchelmore and Mrs Court. Well done everyone!
Thank you very much for all your support of our school. I am hopeful that we will soon be able see an end to all this but we must pace ourselves, do it right and keep everyone safe in the process. Your help is very much appreciated.
Stop the Spread! Stay safe!