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Letter from the Headteacher (4) - The Sun Is Still Shining

Dear Parents and Carers


As ever it’s been an eventful week at The Ilfracombe Academy. We have supported the NHS team in administering 480 Flu vaccinations across Years 7 to 11. As we all know, Covid 19 cases are rising in Devon and we are seeing a similar trend in our learning community. At this time last year there were 40 cases per 100,000 people and at this point the rate is 400 cases per 100,000 people. Please read the important information outlined below.


On a really positive note, students have really got to grips with their Knowledge Organisers and home learning which will without doubt help them in any forthcoming assessments. Students are also engaging in their morning tutor reading sessions to help them improve their reading comprehension – a key skill needed in all subject areas.


Below are a few points that I would like to make Parents/Carers aware of in readiness for our return on Monday 27th September.

Covid 19

Last night we wrote home explaining that the number of cases had increased. Public Health England have confirmed that the measures we have in place are proportionate with the number of cases that we have in school. This is because no single year group is anywhere near their 10% infection rate threshold.

However, PHE have suggested we introduce the following measures that should be stepped up in our school:

  • to move assemblies from face to face to remote until cases reduce.

  • for the school to assist in track and trace within year 7

The current case numbers are as follows:

  • Year 7 - 9

  • Year 8 - 2

  • Year 9 - 4

  • Year10 - 1

  • Year11 - 2

  • Year12 - 0

  • Year13 - 2

We will also take the additional measures of ‘fogging’ (antibacterial misting machine) the PE changing rooms after each lesson.


As parents are aware, Devon has been designated an Enhanced Response Area (ERA) and the wearing of face coverings is therefore a directive from the County Council unless a person is exempt. We have communicated on numerous occasions that we have a clear policy of wearing face coverings on the corridors and the break and lunch queues unless a student is exempt. Unfortunately, a proportion of students are choosing not to wear their face covering or coming to school without one even though they are not exempt. It is also concerning that a number of students are also coming to school without a face covering which mean they have to be issued one by the school. This is all very time consuming and costs a lot of money which we would rather direct towards teaching and learning. Therefore, we ask that parents ensure their child brings a suitable face covering to school and encourage them to wear it to reduce transmission at school unless they are exempt. We have issued students with exempt badges, but some choose not to wear them which can cause issues on the corridors when they are challenged by staff. We therefore also ask that parents encourage their child to also wear their exemption badge to make things easier for everyone.


Sports Fixtures

Following DfE guidance on the importance of sport for children’s physical and mental well-being, we intend to continue with sports fixtures. Many of our students take part in team sports outside of school and play alongside children from other schools already. Our school sporting fixtures take place outdoors so risks are minimised. Moreover, as sport plays an important role in developing children’s interpersonal and teamwork skills, we believe that continuing with fixtures will be really beneficial to our children.

Piercings, False Nails and Hair

There are a number of students that are still wearing items that are not in line with our school policy. Nose piercings and false nails must be removed. Students are permitted one small pair of stud earrings only. False nails should not be worn in school – again these need to be removed during term time. Hairstyles should not be extreme in terms of either style or colour. Unfortunately, we will have to take appropriate steps if these issues are not resolved. We ask parents to support this and ensure that their child arrives attired in line with school policy. If students are not following school policy, it is now likely that they will have to spend some time in the removal room until the issue has been rectified.

ClassCharts

We encourage all parents/carers to download the ClassCharts App so they can track their child’s performance in lessons each day. This is useful so that you can offer supportive conversations at home and possibly reward your child for a great day’s work.

Remote Learning Clarification

If your child is currently self-isolating, remote learning work can be accessed through ClassCharts. Each subject teacher will have posted work for students to complete.

The Astro Grass Pitch

Due to the surface of our 4G Astro Grass Pitch, only Football boots can be worn. These are commonly referred to as ‘rubber moulded’ studs or blades. All students in Year 7, 8 and 9 will have their Physical Education lessons on this surface so this is a compulsory piece of Physical Education kit for everyone. As well as this, students will need to wear a pair of shin pads for their football lessons.

Please ensure that your child is prepared with this equipment for their Physical Education lessons this year.As always, if you have any questions or concerns do not hesitate to get in contact.

If you are unable to afford boots/shin pads you may be eligible for support from the school. Please get in contact via email to lnorris@ilfracombeacademy.org.uk

As ever, the school will continue to monitor and make any adjusts in our way of working in line with any further guidance. This guidance will always be clearly communicated to our students and their parents/carers.

I hope all our students and their families enjoy the weekend.

Yours sincerely

Steve Rogers

Headteacher

Covid 19 Information

What to do if your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or tests positive for COVID-19

If your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), they should get a PCR test and remain at home at least until the result is known. If negative, the child can end self-isolation; if positive, the child should isolate until at least 10 days after their symptoms appeared. Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a new, continuous cough, or a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia). If the child has a positive test result but do not have symptoms, they should stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days from the date the positive test was taken. This isolation period will be extended if they go on to develop symptoms by counting 10 full days from the day following their symptom onset. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for a PCR test (the normally available test type) and this can be arranged via Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) or by calling 119. Please be aware results are received much more swiftly if you take your child to a testing centre.

Instructions for people who live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 (tested positive or symptomatic awaiting a test result)

From 16th August, you will not be required to self-isolate if you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and any of the following apply:

  • you are fully vaccinated

  • you are below the age of 18 years 6 months

  • you have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial

  • you are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Fully vaccinated means that you have been vaccinated with an MHRA approved COVID-19 vaccine in the UK, and at least 14 days have passed since you received the recommended doses of that vaccine.

NHS Test and Trace will contact you to let you know that you have been identified as a contact and check whether you are legally required to self-isolate. If you are not legally required to self-isolate, you will be provided with advice on testing and given guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19. Even if you do not have symptoms, you will be advised to have a PCR test as soon as possible.

Any member of the household who is aged 18 years and 6 months or over and has only received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine or has not received any dose of the COVID-19 vaccination will still be required to self-isolate as household contact of a someone with COVID-19 symptoms awaiting testing and someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Please read the stay at home guidance which provides information on this.

Household members who are not exempt from isolation as close contacts should not go to work, school/college/childcare/education setting or public areas, and exercise should be taken within the home. If you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, or walking a dog, you should ask friends or family. Alternatively, you can order your shopping online and medication by phone or online. Household members staying at home for 10 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.

You could be fined if you do not self-isolate following a notification by NHS Test and Trace. You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you are required to stay at home and self-isolate or you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate.

Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should be supported to minimise their contact with other people in the household during this period, regardless of whether others have symptoms or not.

Instructions for household contacts who are not required to self-isolate from 16 August

Even if you are vaccinated, you can still be infected with COVID-19 and pass it on to others. If you are identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 but you are not required to self-isolate, you can help protect others by following the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread. As well as getting a PCR test, you may also consider:

  • limiting close contact with other people outside your household, especially in enclosed spaces

  • wearing a face covering for those aged 11 and over in crowded places such as school/college/public transport

  • limiting contact with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable

  • taking part in regular LFD testing

You should follow this advice while the person in your household with COVID-19 is self-isolating.

If you are a health or social care worker or a student undertaking a work placement who has been identified as a household contact and are exempt from self-isolation, there is additional guidance available that you should follow to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 in these settings.

If you develop symptoms at any time, even if these are mild, self-isolate immediately, arrange to have a COVID-19 PCR test and follow the guidance for people with COVID-19 symptoms.

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

If your child does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from the nhs.uk website at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/. If you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, or they are worsening you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://111.nhs.uk/ or by phoning 111.

How to stop coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading

There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • get vaccinated – everyone aged 18 and over can book COVID-19 vaccination appointments now and 16-17 year olds are being offered 1 dose of the vaccination by 23 August

  • wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards

  • meet people outside and avoid crowded areas

  • open doors and windows to let in fresh air if meeting people inside

  • wear a face covering if aged 11 and over when it's hard to stay away from other people – particularly indoors or in crowded places

  • participate in twice weekly LFD testing following national guidelines (recommended for 11 years and over). We encourage you to log your results here: https://www.gov.uk/log-test-site-covid19-results

Further Information

Further information is available at

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

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