• The Ilfracombe Academy

Letter from the Headteacher - To Follow The Guidance?

Dear Parents and Carers,

It’s been a cold but sunny week and it has been great to see the students getting outside during social time to get some much needed fresh air.

We have become accustomed to receiving the latest adaptions or relaxations to Government guidance with very little notice and this is normally via the news headlines before receiving a confirmation from the DfE later in the evening. This obviously causes issues with planning and communicating those adaptions to the community. We always look at the guidance and then compare that with the current situation in our school in terms of cases and staffing levels.

As of Monday, we will only have 7 LFD student cases and 5 staff cases which is extremely low. Unfortunately, we do have a number of staff absences for other reasons. Therefore, we decided to strongly recommend that students continue to wear face coverings in lessons so that we can further protect our staff to ensure we can continue to teach our children in school without sending any year groups home. We’re hopeful that the staffing situation will improve but if it does not then we will need to look at our own Plan B measures which potentially could include sending a year group home to be remotely educated – which is something that nobody wants to see. We realise that some parents have differing opinions on the measures that are implemented in school and nationally. We do try to respond to concerns raised by parents but would like to remind you that we are doing everything we can to keep everyone safe whilst also endeavouring to deliver an excellent education to all our students.

The Government is set to relax the measures for face coverings further from the 27th January, which is something we potentially will look to follow as long as our staffing situation increases. As ever, we have contingency plans in place and will be training staff and students on how to access live lessons via TEAMs if we need to move to Plan B. This training will be taking place next week. Please be reassured that this does not mean that we will be sending anyone home at this stage. It is simply preparation in case we do need to take action in future.

Please read on for further points of interest.

Quantum Theatre

On Wednesday, we hosted a visiting theatre company called Quantum who visit schools all over the country to perform exam texts to KS4. Our Year 10 and Year 11 cohorts had the wonderful opportunity to see the production of an English Literature exam text, A Christmas Carol, which they will be responding to in the summer exams. The performance took place in St. Christopher’s Hall where students enjoyed a ‘theatre’ style experience and professional actors bring a set text to life.

It was fantastic to be able to provide our students with an opportunity to access a wider cultural experience that due to the last two years of the pandemic has been heavily restricted. Through watching the performance, it was clear to see the year groups enjoy and gain in terms of consolidation of plot and characterisation. We hope this theatrical experience has enriched their understanding of the set text and has brought to life their experience of reading and learning.

Furthermore, we were very proud of our students and how they upheld our school values. Students showed integrity and respect whilst watching the show and the theatre company made a point of commenting on how engaged the students were with the performance. Well done Years 10 and 11!

Knowledge Organisers

All the knowledge Organisers have now arrived, and the students have all commented on their quality. We apologise for the delay, but our supplier has guaranteed that they will deliver next terms before we break up for the Easter holidays. Once again, please note that the Spring Term KOs contain a ‘Challenge’ statement and suggestions for extending some of the learning strategies. We expect all our Most Able students to complete these tasks regularly and encourage all students to try these from time to time.

LFD Testing

  • People who are self-isolating with COVID-19 will have the option to reduce their isolation period after 5 full days if they test negative with a lateral flow device (LFD) test on both day 5 and day 6 and they do not have a temperature. For example, if they test negative on the morning of day 5 and the morning of day 6, they can return to their education or childcare setting immediately on day 6

  • The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day. All test results should be reported to NHS Test and Trace

  • If the result of either of their tests is positive, they should continue to self-isolate until they get negative results from two LFD tests on consecutive days or until they have completed 10 full days of self-isolation, whichever is earliest

Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests or anyone who continues to have a temperature will need to complete the full 10-day period of self-isolation

This means that the completion of at home LFD tests is really important. We would again like to thank our parents/carers for supporting their child to complete two LFD tests at home on Sundays and Wednesdays each week. Some students have tested positive through this process and are self-isolating at home.

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

Yours sincerely,

Steve Rogers


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