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Principal's Letter to Parents - March 10 2021

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

Let me begin by saying that I hope you are all safe and well and are in the best of health.

By now you will no doubt all be aware that we are well on the way to being fully open for all students in all year groups by the start of next week.  I am happy to report that the testing last week went extremely well with students turning up on time and engaging in the testing process positively and effectively.  This week we have a rolling programme of students returning to school full-time with different year groups being tested for a second time at various points.

As I write, over 500 tests have been completed with zero positive results.

I am sure that you are already aware of much of this through the various emails you will have received from Heads of Year and from Ms Downey, Vice Principal.  The purpose of this letter is simply to bring to your attention a few important events and expectations as we move, hopefully, towards being fully open and eventually the end of this pandemic.

  • Testing will continue for the next week to ten days for those students who have presented completed consent forms.
  • The Home Testing Kits you may have heard about in the media will be distributed to students once the school testing programme is completed.
  • For the foreseeable future the usual quarantine/isolation procedures remain in place together with the requirements of NHS Test and Trace.

During the lockdown the school remained open for the children of Key Workers and for vulnerable children.  The site has been carefully prepared, all rooms have been deep cleaned and the range of procedures in school remain broadly similar to those in place prior to Christmas.

In and around the school our expectations are:

  • Attendance is compulsory and your Head of Year will tell you your start date.

  • Turn up to school on time and at the right entrance.

  • Full uniform is required including blazer and jumper.  Remember your PE kit on the correct day.
  • No phones, ear pods, headphones or earpieces.
  • No fizzy drinks, chewing gum or sweets in school.
  • Hair colourings and piercings in line with the school rules.
  • All the previous Covid-19 procedures remain in place; hand sanitising, social distancing, procedures going into and out of classrooms, one-way systems, staggered start to the day and segregated playgrounds.
  • There are new rules concerning the wearing of face coverings.
  • Come to school with your mask ready for the day.
  • Around the school, in communal areas and in classrooms you need to wear your mask at all times.
  • You must wear your mask in the canteen.
  • If you are outside at morning break or at lunchtime, you do not need to wear your mask, but you must remember to put it back on again as you come into to the building.
  • If you feel unwell at home, for any reason, do not come to school.

If a student arrives at school without a face mask, they will be given one but a sanction will be applied.  The new guidelines are very clear in that only one kind of exemption is mentioned in terms of wearing a face covering.  These guidelines are not compulsory but we have made the decision that if, for any reason, a child is not wearing a face mask and refuses to wear a face mask they will be educated on site but separately from all other children.  This is to protect all the students involved.

I have been thoroughly impressed by the way in which students have approached the testing and the return to school so far.  Students have been cooperative, enthusiastic and clearly very happy to be back in the school environment.  I thank you for your part in continuing their education over the past few months (we know it has not been easy!) and for your continued support of the Academy as we go forward.

If your child is having any problems associated with returning to school, the new procedures for testing, or any other issue please contact the relevant Head of Year in the first instance.

Of course, we will keep all parents and carers fully informed as the situation inevitably develops and changes.

If you have any questions or concerns on these matters or anything else please do not hesitate to contact the Academy in the usual way.

Please look after yourselves.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Sutton



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