Unfortunately all students will not be able to return to the Academy on TUESDAY 5TH JANUARY 2021 - this will only be for priority pupils and key worker children please read email sent to all parents from the Headteacher (01/01/21)
Letter to Parents of all students
1st January 2021
Return to School and NHS Test and Trace: COVID-19 testing for secondary schools
In accordance with the latest government guidance, we are writing to update you with the information that we currently have regarding the return to school and the Covid-19 testing of staff and pupils.
Return to School
Monday 4th January is a staff training day as planned and part of the school holiday period for all children.
Tuesday 5th January to Friday 8th January.
The Academy will be open for priority pupils and children of key workers. If your child is a priority pupil, you will have been informed of this via a separate communication along with the arrangements for attending school. We are already aware of those children where parents are classified as a key worker, Critical workers and vulnerable children who can access schools or educational settings - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk), in Years 7 to 10 and 12. If your child is in Y11 and 13 and you are a keyworker and you require your child to attend school please contact the email below with your child’s name and year group so we can make provision for this.
Our staff have planned to deliver high quality remote learning for all year groups from 5th January. We encourage strong participation from all of our students to ensure that we are able to support their education as much as possible. Students should follow their normal timetable and log onto Classcharts at 0830 each morning to access the work for that day. Classcharts can be accessed through their webpage on a laptop or mobile device (classcharts.com). Alternatively the Classcharts student and parent app can be downloaded onto a mobile. In most cases, completed work is to be emailed to the class teacher. This can be sent as attachments including images of any paper based work.
It is expected that students send all completed work to class teachers on the day it has been issued. Alternatively students may be asked to complete online tasks which will also be monitored e.g. an online quiz. In addition to the work on Classcharts, students may receive invitations for live lessons through their academy email. Live lessons are conducted through Microsoft teams which can be accessed either through the office webpage or the Teams mobile application. Exam groups will be prioritised for live lessons in the first week. If students have queries regarding their school work they should contact their class teachers via email.
For children who have formal examinations during this week these will continue as planned. Arrangements will be shared with those pupils. We will postpone mock exams this week and rearrange with new timetable to follow.
Monday 11th January to Friday 15th January
The Academy will be open for priority pupils and children of key workers as previously identified. They will be part of the initial Covid-19 testing programme (see below).
For children in Y11 and Y13 on-site learning will start and both Year Groups should return to their normal routine and timetable as in the autumn term. They will be part of the initial Covid-19 testing programme (see below).
For children in Years 7 to 10, and Year 12 online learning continue as per the previous week. They will be part of the second phase of Covid-19 testing.
Monday 18th January onwards
From the information that we have available to us at this time we expect the Academy to be open to all children from this date.
We understand these changes are being made close to the start of term but are in response to a changing national situation and Government advice.
Free school meals will be made available to all eligible children who are not able to be in school. These will be provided using the same method as in previous periods of enforced absence.
Please note that any children who have symptoms of Covid-19 should not attend the Academy site for any reason. Government and NHS guidance re testing and isolation should be followed and we would be grateful if you could contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org to make us aware of the isolation and any test outcome.
Testing of Staff and Pupils
In accordance with the latest government guidance, a mass testing programme for all pupils and staff at the Academy using new and quicker COVID-19 tests known as ‘lateral flow tests’ is being introduced.
The test is voluntary, but we would encourage everyone to take it.
We will start the planning and delivery of the testing programme from the week commencing 4th January 2021. You will receive further information via a separate communication as to when your child should attend for their test. Priority pupils, children of key workers and those pupils in Y11 and Y13 will form the initial cohort. When attending the Academy site for testing face coverings should be worn at all times unless there is an exemption. If anyone has any symptoms of Covid-19 they should not attend the Academy site.
If you are happy for your child to be tested, please complete the consent statement (one per pupil) using this link NHS Test and Trace consent form for COVID-19 testing (NHS Test and Trace consent form for COVID-19 testing (office.com) or the attached form and return it to the Academy on the day of your child’s test. Paper copies are available from the Academy reception.
Pupils will administer the test themselves. They will be supervised and supported, if necessary, by trained staff and the test will be taken in an area of the school set aside for this purpose. The ‘lateral flow’ tests are quick and easy to use. A Department for Education guide that explains the process is attached to this letter and should provide reassurance that it is relatively easy for pupils to take. Results (which take around 30 minutes from testing) will be shared directly with those being tested. Where participants are under 16, parents or legal guardians will also be informed.
What if a pupil tests positive?
Participating staff and pupils who test positive will be informed about their results individually. Where participants are under 16, parents or legal guardians will also be notified. Guidance on safe travel and additional precautions will be provided along with test results.
Pupils will need to take a further ‘PCR test’ (similar to those done in local and regional testing sites) on the same day (or as soon as possible). We may be able to provide these PCR test kits to perform at home, dependent upon availability, or you can go to www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119 to book a follow-up test. If ordering a PCR test yourselves, you should choose to visit a drive-through test site if possible, as it is faster than requesting a home test.
During this time while your child waits for the PCR result (via text/email) they will need to self-isolate along with all other household members.
If the PCR test returns a positive result, your child and other household members will have to self-isolate and follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace.
What happens if the test is negative?
Pupils will be able to stay in school and resume their activities as normal. A pupil will only be told if they test positive on a ‘lateral flow’ test, so if you do not hear you can assume it was negative. A small number of pupils may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason.
What if a close contact at school/college tests positive?
A close contact of someone in school who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be able to return to school if they agree to be tested once a day for 7 days and the daily test is negative. If they do not want to take the test, they will need to self-isolate as per the national guidelines. This does not apply to household members or close contacts outside of school who will still need to self-isolate. Further details will be provided at the time, but if you would prefer to self-isolate instead of doing daily testing, you can.
What if my child develops symptoms?
This testing programme at the Academy is for people with no symptoms. If your child develops symptoms at any time (such as a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste) they must immediately self-isolate, and book a test by calling 119 or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
We will support our staff and pupils throughout and please contact the Academy if you require any further information.