Letter from Mrs Jackson – March Re-opening

Dear Parents and Carers

I am sure you are all now aware of the Government’s announcement on Monday that schools will start to re-open from Monday, 8th March.  I am delighted that at last we will get to welcome all of our students through the door and get back to face to face learning.

Our risk assessments are being reviewed to ensure a safe return to school.  We will maintain all the COVID secure procedures that we were doing last term such as: year group bubbles, staggered breaks and lunches, wiping down of desks and chairs on entry.

The following additional arrangements will also be in place from Monday, 8th March:

Face Coverings

Until Easter, students will now be required to wear face coverings in classrooms as well as communal areas.  Please ensure your child has at least one face covering with them at all times.

Exceptions will still apply to some students (those who are medically exempt) and students will not be required to wear a face covering while they are eating, or during practical PE.

Testing

All students will be offered three lateral flow tests in school.  The first test will take place the day before your child’s year group returns to face to face lessons.  On the day of the first test, students will only attend school for the test and will return home immediately after taking the test.  The next day, they will attend school as normal for face to face lessons.  The remaining two tests will take place within the first two weeks of term (at least three days apart).

After the initial three tests, students will be offered home testing kits to be completed twice a week and the results recorded electronically.

Testing is not, however, compulsory and if a student does not wish to have a test they will return to face to face learning along with their year group.

In the next few days, we will send you the date and appointment time for your child’s first test.  Please do not attend school until your allocated time slot.   There will also be a consent form to complete which will be available on Edulink.  This consent form is different to the consent many of you gave for testing before Christmas due to changes in the Government’s intended use of the test.  For this reason, we need to ask you to fill in the consent again, even if you gave consent previously.  Please remember, you can give consent for a test via Edulink or on the day.  

We would appreciate it if you would accompany your child to the test as this will also show you how the tests are administered and will help you with the home testing kits that students will subsequently be given.  It is expected that children aged 12 years and older will administer their own test and staff will be available to support them in this.  If your child is 11 years old (Year 7), then they must be accompanied by an adult.  We will contact you via Edulink to inform you of the result.  Please note, if your child has tested positive for COVID 19 in the last 90 days then they should not have a lateral flow test.

Testing will be done over a number of days and therefore we will have a staggered start.  Not all Year groups will return on Monday, 8th March.  The second and third tests will take place during the school day and parents will be informed if their child tests positive.   

Remote learning will continue while pupils are returning to school.  The last day of remote learning will be Wednesday, 10th March as all pupils will have returned by Thursday, 11th March.  Please note, students do not need to attend live lessons on the day of their test, but teachers will upload some work for them to do.

Please note, our Hub provision for key workers and vulnerable children will cease on Thursday, 4th March to allow us to staff the testing facility.

Year groupDate of first COVID testDate of return to school for face to face lessons
Year 11 / 13Friday 5th MarchMonday 8th March
Year 10/12Monday 8th MarchTuesday 9th March
Year 8/9Tuesday 9th MarchWednesday 10th March
Year 7Wednesday 10th MarchThursday 11th March

Free school meal vouchers, for those families entitled to them, will be provided up until the day the year group returns to school.

GCSE / A Level / BTEC Awarding of Grades

The Government has announced that teachers’ assessments will be used to award all grades this summer.  Teachers will use a mixture of assessments, tests, mock exams, class work, course work and essays to make a judgement.  It is extremely important that students realise that it is not one piece of evidence that will determine the grade awarded, the grade will be based upon a combination of pieces of evidence.

In order for us to have as much evidence as possible, it is our intention to run a series of mock exams for Year 11 and 13 starting in the week beginning Monday, 19th April.  The exams are likely to run over a two

week period.  In addition, teachers will continually assess pupils work through a combination of classwork, homework and mini assessments in class.

It is essential that students keep working as hard as they possibly can throughout the next two terms to show how well they can do.

We will continue to update you with further information as we receive it.

Thank you for all of your support and hard work over the last few months, it is greatly appreciated.

Yours faithfully

Emma Jackson

Head Teacher

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