I hope you are all well and in good health.
I am writing to thank you all for all the support you have provided to students and the Academy this week, which has enabled us to have a really positive return to school.
As you are aware all secondary schools have had to conduct mass testing with students in order to support a safer return to school. I am really proud to say that students have been exceptional in their approach to the testing centre and as a result we have been able to test over 86% of the student population. This will hopefully have a great impact on reducing the transmission of COVID within the school and wider community, especially as we have been able to retest the students during the week.
Unfortunately, we have had to make the extremely difficult decision of isolating our Year 10 cohort on Thursday as we had three confirmed positive cases in the same year group. We can imagine the disappointment from parents and carers, particularly as we have been so excited about having our students back after such a long period of remote learning. However, we will continue to provide live lessons to our students to support their learning at home. Students will return on Monday 22nd March and for those students in school yesterday we have sent home testing kits with them so they are able to retest before they return. Any that did not receive kits will be contacted in due course to arrange collection.
Although it is immensely frustrating to have to isolate students, the testing enables us to isolate and prevent further transmission which may otherwise not have been possible as quickly, due to the cases being asymptomatic.
Home testing kits will be given to all students after their third test next week and there will be detailed instructions to help you take the tests at home with students. Each kit will have 3- 7 tests and all results will need to be uploaded to the Trust portal via the link below.
This link can also be accessed by the school website under ‘home testing’. There are further instructions and a video which can be found within this link to support home testing. Kits should only be used by those they are assigned to. We will reissue home testing kits every Wednesday to students during form time.
Home testing should also not commence until all parents/students have completed the declaration that they have watched the training video and completed the consent form which is all within the link attached. We would like parents and carers to ensure that home testing takes place every Sunday evening and Wednesday evening as a routine please.
If your child does test positive at home please follow the normal stages of reporting both to the academy and also via the link above. Please note they will need to book a PCR test to confirm the positive test when testing at home.
Please remember that you must not send your child to school if they are unwell or displaying any of the following symptoms of COVID-19:
- New continuous cough
- High temperature
- Loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
Any member of our school community that is displaying symptoms must self-isolate and be tested. In the event of a positive test result, we will inform Public Health England (PHE) and require all students identified as being within prolonged close contact to the infected person to isolate for 10 days. In the event of a positive case in a child, students identified through close contact will be required to return to remote learning and self-isolate for the government advised 10 days.
Our students have been extremely resilient during lockdown and the overwhelming majority have returned to the academy with an extremely positive attitude towards their learning. They have displayed exemplary behaviour with regards to wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing.
We have had very minimal uniform issues and again I would like to thank all parents and carers for their support towards the academy as students have arrived smart and ready to learn. As a parent myself I can appreciate this would not have been easy to organise in lockdown but you have all been extremely supportive by ensuring students have had the correct uniform and maintained the academy’s high expectations – thank you for your ongoing support in this matter.
Student attendance to school this week has been on average 92% although slightly lower than our aim of 95% still shows a positive start to the term.
Finally, we have some more excellent news regarding Chromebooks. We are due to receive a delivery on Monday for Year 7 and hope to roll these out as soon as possible. The remaining year 8 and 9 students are anticipated to receive their Chromebooks before Easter and we will write to you with further information about this nearer the time.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Mrs N Anwar