Covid Update Parent Letter

16th September 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

 

Welcome back!

It has been fantastic to see children from every class returning to school; thank you for entrusting them to our care.  On Monday, our new Year 7s had their first full day in secondary school, and what a terrific job they have done settling into school routines!  Our Year 12s will soon be starting their part-time placements with external providers, which is also very exciting.  A special welcome to Max and Kitty joining our Sixth Form from mainstream.

Keeping students and staff safe

I just wanted to remind you that we are encouraging social distancing wherever practical and possible, recognising some of our students will be able to manage this more easily than others.

Lessons have been taking place in each class’s form room, but soon we will be reintroducing practical subjects, which will increase movement around the school. We will maintain staggered breaks and lunches for different key stages as this increases the amount of space available to each student.

Even though we have wide corridors, we are encouraging all students and staff to use a face covering when moving around the school, in line with government advice to secondary schools. We do know that some students may have difficulty with this due to sensory needs etc and will approach that on an individual basis.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

What happens if my child becomes unwell or somebody in my household is affected?

  •          If your child isn’t well, they shouldn’t come to school until they are over their illness.
  •          If they have, or you think they might have,  any of the Covid-19 symptoms below, they should stay at home and get a test as soon as possible. 
  •          If you, your child, or anyone you have been in contact with has Covid-19 confirmed by a test, government guidance tells you who should isolate and for how long.  We have printed a separate reference guide to help make this clear.

 

A reminder that the most important symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

 

For most people, COVID-19 will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above, stay at home and arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to testing to arrange

The full government guidance is at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

What will happen at school if somebody linked to the school tests positive for Covid-19?

The school has to immediately contact the local Public Health England Health Protection Team for help and advice. They will ask the school for details of the case(s), who they have been in contact with, and how the school has organised its safety routines and control measures.

 

 The actions we may need to put in place include

  •          Enhanced hygiene, hand washing and cleaning regimes, and use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  •          Increased staff/pupils/parents/carers’ awareness of and adherence to the system of controls.
  •          Temporary partial or full closure to the building.

If all or part of the building needs to close

If the Health Protection Team’s advice is that the school needs to partly or fully close for a fixed period, we will immediately

  1.        Contact parents/ carers to explain the situation
  2.        Put our plans for remote learning into place
  3.        Carry out any recommended deep clean of the building prior to reopening

How much notice will parents/carers get?

We have never been in this position, so it is hard to tell, but we anticipate schools will be instructed to close immediately they are told to do so, which means the situation could change overnight. We recognise that this puts a lot of pressure on parents and careers: I very much hope that we will not be in this position.  However, with the number of new cases rising both locally and nationally, it seems a matter of time before at least some local schools are affected.

Congratulations to last year’s Year 11 and 12

Well done to last year’s Y11 and 12 who did so well in their exams and accredited courses this Summer.  This was the first year that we offered GCSE Chemistry and a new GCSE in Art & Design. Each of these courses allowed the talents of particular students to shine. The sheer range of and number of student passes is a testament to how hard each of them worked and how much they learned.  Thanks to all the school staff in making these successes possible for our young people!

 

Wishing you all a safe and happy week