Important COVID-19 Update – 12th July 2021

Decision to move Year 10 and Year 9 to remote education.

Over the weekend we received an additional 8 cases of COVID-19 with the majority affecting Years 9 and 10. Since the start of July we have experienced almost the same number of cases as the total cases reported in the first half of Autumn term. Our expectation is that the number of cases is going to continue to rise during this week with the inevitable need for students to be sent home to self-isolate. Currently we have some year groups with more students at home than in school; we also have a large number of staff who are now self-isolating. As a result of these very difficult circumstances, managing the school and providing a high quality experience for all our students has become very challenging.

We have decided that Year 10 and Year 9 will switch to remote learning for the remainder of term. This has been a very difficult decision to make but it will mean that we are able to provide a better quality of education with greater consistency of learning for our students and also it will also reduce the risk of your child needing to self isolate during the summer holidays, should they be identified as a close contact.

From tomorrow morning live form time will start promptly at 8.30am for all Year 9 and 10 students. Students will then follow their usual timetable for a red week, until the school closes on Friday. Friday will have a slightly altered timing due to the celebration assembly and end of term arrangements. Form time will be extended, periods 1 and 2 as normal and then a shortened period 3 for form time goodbyes.

All lessons, including form time, will be accessed via Google Meet in Google Classroom. Resources will be uploaded by the teachers and students will be directed to these either in the classroom or by the teacher. Any student who does not attend the lesson will be sent a ‘non attendance’ notification via Class Charts. It is expected that all students will attend all lessons and participate fully. 

For those students who are unable to access remote learning we will provide a suitable facility to support them. In the first instance, please contact your Raising Standards Leader for details.

Unless they are isolating or unwell, students in Years 7 and 8 will continue to attend school as normal. Their curriculum is different to the other Year groups and the majority of their timetable is spent only with their own tutor group. It is hoped that the remote learning provided at the end of last week, along with the weekend, will provide a potential brake on the rate of transmission in these Year groups. We are also aware that these students will often require more child care arrangements when at home. 

Students who are currently in self-isolation will still need to complete their period of isolation according to the government guidelines. However, those who are studying from home as a result of our decision to switch to remote learning, and are not an identified close contact, will not need to self-isolate.

The end of this term has been unprecedented, with the number of positive cases reaching levels not previously seen without the government closing schools. Due to the current rules concerning close contacts a significant number of students are now in self-isolation and studying from home. There is now a considerable impact on large numbers of families having to self-isolate at the beginning of the summer holidays, and the subsequent effect on family plans and wellbeing. It is reasonable that we try to mitigate these negative effects on our families after such a difficult year.

Please accept our appreciation for your continued support in these extremely trying times. This decision has not been taken lightly, but it is felt to be in the best interests of our students and families for the remainder of term.

Mrs J. Lowe

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