Happy New Year. I hope you managed to spend some quality time with those closest to you over the holiday period.
I have a brief covid update for you ahead of the start of term for students to serve as a reminder and to clarify some points you may have seen in the media.
Start of term arrangements
Students will be returning to school throughout the week following a period of onsite testing. Details about when each year group will return and when their testing period is can be found in the letter sent before the holidays or on our website here. Some students have separate arrangements due to examinations, these have been communicated via a letter before the holiday to those who are affected. Teachers have uploaded a series of subject specific tasks for students to complete on the Show My Homework platform. These activities will consolidate their prior learning and act as active preparation for the half term ahead. Please encourage your child to engage with these prior to their scheduled return.
Each year group has a window for onsite testing the day before the return to school. The testing is a key part of the strategy for keeping our whole community safe and it is vital that all students who can take part in the testing do so. Identification of positive cases will help us to ensure continuity of service and will keep the cases in school to a minimum. If you have not already consented to have your child tested, please complete the form on this link to do so.
The weather is forecast to be cold this week and students do sometimes have to wait at busy times for their testing. The busiest times tend to be at the start of the window so it may be wise to avoid these points if possible. Students should come in warm clothing as there is very limited indoor, covered space for them to wait in ahead of their test.
Following the onsite testing, students will be provided with a number of home test kits. They should complete these every Sunday and Wednesday and report the results here. Any positive results should also be communicated to school through the firstname.lastname@example.org email.
The rules around self-isolation have changed recently. You can find an update on the NHS website here.
To summarise, anyone who is positive on a home test must isolate for 10 days. If they return a negative test on day 6 and 7, they can then end their isolation. In this instance, please send in a photograph of the negative test including the barcode on day 6 and then a separate test on day 7 – this must be on consecutive days and not bundled together. Students cannot return to school unless this protocol is followed correctly.
Close contacts of a positive case should test every day for 7 days, this includes anyone living with a positive case or those contacted by track and trace. Anyone with symptoms should self isolate and book a confirmatory PCR test.
Face coverings are now an expectation throughout the site. Students must come with at least one face covering and a spare as they will now be wearing them whenever they are indoors, this includes classrooms. The school has a very limited supply of disposable masks. We are therefore asking families to either provide their child with 2 disposable masks each day or use a clean, reusable face covering instead. Thank you in advance for your support and understanding on this matter.
We are aiming to keep things as normal as possible this half term. Attendance at the academy is vital for our students as we know that school is so much more to them then the subjects they are taught. Ensuring continuity of our provision without compromising the wellbeing of anyone in our community is our key focus as we begin the Spring Term. I thank you again for your support with our measures.