Letter from the Headteacher - Summer's Coming
Dear Parents and Carers
It’s been a great start to the summer term and the weather has been really kind to us which always makes things easier for everyone. The vast majority of students have returned to school really well and we would like to thank them for their hard work and dedication. We are extra specially impressed with our Year 11 and 13 students that have quite simply been amazing. They have shown real resilience and a determination to succeed. The extra- curricular activities are now starting to get into full swing and it is great to finally hear the sound of music lessons coming back into school now that our visiting music teachers are able to start their sessions again.
Once again, I will look to pick out a few highlights from the week and offer some reminders to ensure that everything runs really well next week.
Year 11 and 13 Last Day
Hi all, I can confirm that the North Devon Secondary Schools have all agreed that Year 11 and 13 final face to face lessons will take place on Friday 28th May. We know that this is something that has been on your minds and we are really pleased that we can finally offer you that clarity. We will continue to support our Year 11s into their Post-16 education and our Year 13s on their respective journeys into University or employment. Further information will be communicated to students and their parents next week by Mr Tilley (Head of Y11) and Mr Collins (Head of Sixth Form)
Year 11 Mock Examinations and Revision
As we build up to the last assessment cycle for Y11, we would like to remind students that they have the opportunity to use the school library space and computer rooms 3&4 for independent revision from 3.25-4.30 Tuesday to Thursday. As yet the students haven’t wanted to use the transport and if that continues then we will have to withdraw the offer as it represents funding that we cannot afford to waste. However, we will certainly look to offer it again in the last week proceeding the final assessment window. The school will provide transport for students who live in the outlying areas. One bus will cover Combe Martin/Berrynarbor/Lynton and the other bus will cover West Down and Woolacombe. This provision will be reviewed at the end of the first week and as long as students are using the service it will remain for the whole of the half term. This ‘Period 6 Independent Study’ opportunity gives Y11 a quiet study space with all the resources they may need to confidently prepare themselves for the final assessment window taking during the final two weeks before they break up for May half term. If parents want their child to use this provision but live outside of the extra bus provision offered, please contact Mr Tilley or Miss Young.
Mobile Phone Policy
We would like to remind all students, including Sixth Form, of our mobile phone policy. If brought into school, mobile phones must be switched off (not put on silent) and placed in students’ bags. There may be occasions when a teacher allows a phone to be used under strict direction and supervision for learning in lessons. This is the only exception and phones will be confiscated if they are seen at any other time. Under no circumstances should phones be used in the corridors as this poses a health and safety risk.
Thank you to all students who have returned to school in full uniform and appropriate PE kit. The vast majority of our students are looking very smart and meeting our expectations. May we remind parents of our uniform expectations.
Outdoor coats, this includes hoodies or sweatshirts being worn as outerwear, need to be removed at the beginning of tutor time and placed in bags. They should not be worn whilst moving around the school building or in lessons. On days when students have practical PE lessons, they are permitted to wear their school PE kit. They are not allowed to wear sports kit on any other day. These expectations of school uniform will be monitored regularly in the summer term and we are grateful for parental support in ensuring their child is appropriately dressed for school.
The Big Ask
‘The Big Ask’ is a national survey created by the children’s Commissioner for England which asks young people across the country to set out their priorities for improving childhood post-COVID. Please see the link below:
Internet Watch Foundation campaign launched to raise awareness of “self-generated” child sexual abuse material
The DfE have asked schools to share the concerning point that in the last year, “self-generated” child sexual abuse imagery has increased by 77% and is a third of all child sexual abuse material identified and removed from the internet. These included images of girls aged 11 to 13 whose abuse had been recorded via a webcam in a domestic setting.
To help prevent the creation of this type of abusive imagery, a campaign has been launched by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) backed by the Home Office and Microsoft. It aims to help raise awareness of this type of criminality among parents and carers of young teens, empower and educate girls aged 11 to 13+ to spot the techniques used by sexual predators and give them the knowledge to Block, Report, Tell someone they trust. It is a national campaign running from Wednesday 21 April for six weeks. Parents can find out more on the IWF website, as well as specific sites for parents and young people.
The school will also be covering this through appropriate assemblies and PCRE lessons to raise awareness, educate and protect our students against this form of abuse.
Home testing will continue through the rest of this term. It is essential that everyone who has consented to testing continues to test themselves on Sunday and Wednesday each week. This is to ensure that our community remains safe and that we can all focus on teaching and learning in school. Social media reminders will be sent out each Sunday and Wednesday to help students keep to the testing schedule.
Completing the Test
Please see the link below for NHS guidance video on how students can complete the LFT CV19 test at home. Also, the attached guide gives further details and guidance.
Reporting Your Results to the NHS
Report your result so the NHS can monitor the spread of the virus, support communities across the UK, combat the virus and save lives. You can report your results online by visiting www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result. Alternatively, you can call 119 (free from mobiles and landlines), the lines are open 7am to 11pm.
Reporting Results to School
In addition to reporting all results to the NHS we would also like parents and carers to inform the school of only any positive or void test results that you record at home. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org If your child has a void result we are happy to offer them an in school LFD test the next day they are in school.
Guidance From Devon County council – Please Read Carefully
Follow-up PCR tests required after a positive LFD test
Previously, a follow-up PCR test was only required following a positive LFD test carried out at home. The Government has re-introduced the requirement for a PCR test after positive LFD tests carried out at all assisted testing sites. As of 31st March, staff and pupils who get a positive LFD result (whether at home or at supervised testing site in school) should take a follow-up PCR test. This requirement is now published in the Stay At Home Guidance. Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and has been included in the DfE daily update. As the prevalence rates are now low in England, follow-up PCR tests will help reduce the chances of false positive LFD tests. The follow-up PCR test should be taken as soon as possible and within 2 days of the positive LFD result. The quickest way is to book a test online or call 119 for an appointment at a nearby nearest testing centre. Alternatively, a PCR home test kit can be used but it may take longer for the results to come back.
Staff, students and pupils who have a positive LFD test result, their household members and close contacts should self-isolate immediately whilst waiting for the follow-up PCR result. Public health action must be taken from a positive result, whether from a LFD or PCR test, to quickly identify close contacts in school and request that they self-isolate.
If the follow-up PCR result is negative
If the follow-up PCR test result is negative and the test was done within 2 days of the positive LFD result, the person, their household members and close contacts at school can stop self-isolating and return to school or college if they are well. PHE SW Health Protection Team have distributed a template ‘stand down’ letter (attached) which can be used for this purpose. It is important to continue with all existing protective measures, negative test results should not be read as a means to relax preventative measures which are intended to reduce the risk of transmission.
Parents and Carers please see the latest DfE guidance for schools
As ever, the school will continue to monitor and make any adjustments 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.
Thank you all for such a positive start to the erm – let’s hope the sun continues to shine!