Letter from the Headteacher - The Final Furlong
Dear Parents and Carers
It was great to see the students back in school this week after the half term break. They have settled back into the school routine really well which was great to see. We have been especially pleased with the Year 9 and 10 students who have shown a much improved level of respect and responsibility towards their own and other students’ learning. The new system of one removal receiving an after-school detention has certainly raised the bar of expectation of good behaviour for learning which the Year 9 and 10 students have met. This has been overwhelmingly welcomed by parents and a number of students who have commented that the new system has allowed them to focus more on their learning.
Our teachers have been working incredibly hard to complete the Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) process including a huge moderation process. I would like to thank them for all their hard work and dedication throughout this process. It will be good to complete it and then concentrate on high quality teaching and learning throughout the rest of the term.
Like many of you, I am looking forward to the start of the Euros tonight. Whether you like football or not it’s always good when we have a good cup run as it seems to raise spirits and bring people together - even if it still has to be socially distanced.
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.
Supporting & Maintaining Good Mental Wellbeing
We are fully aware that the last 18 months has been a hugely challenging time for students and staff. We understand that this has had a negative impact on so many aspects of our all of our lives and we are committed to supporting everyone’s mental wellbeing so that they are able to build up the resilience needed to fullfil their potential. To support this, we have a dedicated pastoral team including Heads of Year and Pastoral Coordinators who are able to support students on a day to day basis. However, for those students that need more support we can offer them the opportunity of meeting with volunteer mentors to talk through issues that they are facing. For those students that have more acute needs, we also have a small team of professional counsellors that have the expertise to further support their mental wellbeing. We encourage parents and carers to contact the pastoral team if they feel their child could benefit from some support.
Future Careers Events
We are really pleased to announce that we are now in the position to run some careers events. This is something that will hopefully help to inspire our students to think about what their next steps might be.
Wednesday 16th June – P1 St Christopher's Hall
Year 10 and 12 Physical Education Students - Hayley Reed (former student and member of our Alumni and now Chelsea Football Marketing Executive) will be giving a career pathway talk to all Year 10 and 12 Physical Education students
Year 9 - David Smith - A comedian who uses comedy to get students more engaged with creative writing and making them more confident with writing in general.
June 28th – Monday 9.10am
Year 10 - David Follett - He is a pro para badminton player and tells his story about how an accident as a teenager changed his life and left him in a wheelchair.
June 30th - Wednesday 9.10am
Year 10 & 12 Exams
The Year 10 and 12 mock exams will be between the 21st June to the 2nd July.
Health & Safety
There are things that will be continued but also some subtle differences/adaptations have been made by the DfE in line with stage 3 of the Government’s Covid 19 roadmap to recovery. Please see a basic overview below.
What’s the same
Students and staff must continue to use good hand hygiene measures throughout the day by using hand sanitiser before and after each lesson, before and after eating and they must also wash their hands after using the toilet.
Students and staff must continue to wear face coverings on the corridors unless they are exempt.
Good respiratory hygiene must continue to be followed by following the ‘Catch it, Bin it and Kill it’ process.
The use of good ventilation in classrooms must be followed.
Students must continue to work and socialise within their own year group bubble.
Students must wear a face covering on all dedicated and service bus transport unless they are exempt.
Staff do not have to wear their face covering whilst they are in their teacher box.
Staff must maintain social distancing and so must still remain in their teacher’s box.
Staff must continue to wear face coverings in communal spaces such as offices if they cannot maintain social distancing.
Enhanced cleaning of classrooms and regular touch points will be carried out during the school day by a dedicated cleaning team.
Students do not have to wear face coverings in classrooms (students still have the
option of wearing one if it is their favoured option).
Students do not have to wear their face covering once they are in a communal setting (St Christopher’s Hall)
Covid 19 Section (unaltered since 23rd April 2021)
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.
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: email@example.com 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. 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.
DfE Guidance (Updated 10th May 2021)
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.
We hope all our students and parents enjoy the weekend.