New Year - Update Message from the Principal
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Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope that you and your families enjoyed a happy and safe Christmas together, and feel a little more rested as we move into the New Year.
As we are all aware, the new Omicron COVID variant is causing cases numbers within our community to rise significantly, with many families having been impacted over the Christmas period. There is also a shortage of Lateral Flow Tests available nationally at present which add to our uncertainty about who may be positive.
With this in mind, we have taken to decision to slightly stagger the return to school over next week to ensure that all students have been tested effectively in a well-managed way. Fortunately, we received a delivery of Lateral Flow Tests before Christmas which means that we will be able to undertake supported tests with every child once in school. We are also hoping to be able to provide families with tests for their children to use at home, these should be distributed in the first week. If you have completely run out of home test kits over the holiday, you can collect one box per family from reception on Tuesday if you are unable to source any from your local pharmacy. Please support your child with a test in days before their return to school. As always we ask that you log your results on Operoo. There will be a new form available from 2nd Jan for reporting test results in January ‘COVID-19 Test Result Students Form - January 2022’. We will send an SMS reminder on Tuesday.
The day on which your child should return to school is as follows:-
Wednesday 5th January – Year 7, Year 11, Year 13
Thursday 6th January – Year 9, Year 10, Year 12
Friday 7th January – Year 8
Students should arrive at school in the usual way, at the usual time. They must bring a face covering (unless exempt).
Students in Years 8,9,10 and 12 will have work set for them on Firefly, including live online lessons, on Wednesday (and for Year 8s on Thursday as well). The website will be updated before start of term with guidance on how to resolve any technical issues such as forgotten passwords. Students should treat that day as a normal school day getting up at the usual time before logging into their classes at those specific times. Students should bring the work completed with them into school on their day of return or submit electronically if requested by their teacher.
We have taken the decision to ask students, colleagues and visitors to wear face coverings in classes as well as communal spaces for the first week back. We will review this position once we have a clearer understand of case numbers within our school community. We will, of course, continue to maintain good ventilation throughout the building and increased cleaning of high touch areas, since these approaches appear to have served us well until now.
We will, of course, get back in touch with you if the situation changes any further. In the meantime, I wish you a Happy New Year.