COVID-19 testing in school update
The Government has recently sent schools revised guidance on COVID-19 testing and the identification of close contacts. We will continue to operate our COVID-19 tests on Mondays and Thursdays, allowing students in school to have a test. Our staff will be tested twice a week. We do need to change our approach to identifying close contacts whilst we are operating our Key worker provision. In this provision students are allocated to a classroom for the day, and spend the 5 lessons with the same group of students in that classroom. Therefore, should a case of COVID-19 arise in a classroom, we will now treat all students in that classroom as close contacts. Our revised approach reflects the increased transmissibility of the new COVID-19 variant and the length of possible exposure. The Government has now stopped the 7 day serial testing which replaced the need to self-isolate, and therefore, close contacts will need to self-isolate for 10 days. During this time if the student develops symptoms then s/he will need to take a COVID-19 PCR test. Please can I remind you to use the dedicated COVID-19 email to report any cases of COVID-19 in your household, even if your child is not in school.
A polite reminder from our welfare team - In order to maintain school records and identify close contacts please can all student’s test results be sent to our COVID-19 email email@example.com
Thank you to the almost 300 families who completed the Parent Voice questionnaire last week. Whilst it will take us some time to fully analyse the responses we have been blown away by the support and encouragement for our staff and remote offer to date. We are always reflective and will take on board suggestions where we can. Keep an eye on the school website over the next couple of weeks where we will share some responses to Frequently Asked Questions, and a ‘You Said, We Did’ evaluation.
Year 9 Options Process
Like many things, our Options process has gone virtual this year. All Year 9 students have been provided with lots of information in form time and to replace the Options Evening we have developed our Virtual Options webpage. Please take some time as a family to look at the department videos that have been created to provide you with some insight into all the subjects that are available. Full details of the process are available in the Options booklet. We hope that these resources, along with the Parents' Evening on Thursday 4th February will support you in making these important decisions, but for anyone with specific questions there is also an online question facility. Please do reach out to the school if you or your son/daughter have any questions. We look forward to receiving your child’s completed Options Form by Monday 22nd February.
Mrs Flood, our Careers Advisor, has been working hard to keep all students up to date with information about colleges, apprenticeship programmes and continuing to hold her individual careers meetings with our students. Students are encouraged to check their year group noticeboard every day so they don’t miss vital information or their appointments. Raising Standards Leaders and staff members also regularly update the Parent noticeboard so it is worthwhile checking that on a regular basis.
Celebrations of achievement
We have been so impressed with the way our students have engaged with online lessons, and the standard of work has been amazing. We have tried to share samples of this in the school’s social media and the Raising Standards Leaders are also sharing year group ‘shout outs’ in their weekly messages. However, if you are particularly proud of your child’s learning don’t be shy, please do drop your RSL an email so we can all celebrate together as a community.
House and Year Group Competitions
Last week saw the introduction of a number of House Competitions. Miss Slater challenged students to get creative with photography; Mrs Bentham decided to test our baking skills; and Mrs Lucas has got inventive with her weekly Taskmaster challenges.
Well done to everyone who entered who will all be awarded House Merits but I was delighted to see the following submissions as overall winners.
I am also eagerly looking forward to seeing Year 8’s responses to Miss Hulance’s pet photography challenge, and Year 9s getting active with the Go Outdoors challenges. We will have some exciting news later this week with the launch of another challenge to test your fitness so keep an eye out on our social media and noticeboards.
Dates for your diary
Have a good week, and stay safe and well.
Mrs J. Lowe