It’s been a while since our last whole school correspondence and so we wanted to get in touch and update you on a number of things, in particular how the government’s plans for on-site asymptomatic testing will impact your child’s return in January.
As a school community we have managed this current phase of the pandemic really well and this has resulted in relatively low levels of infection both amongst staff and students. Nationally student attendance has fallen by 60% in recent weeks yet as a school we have managed to secure attendance well above 95% throughout the term. We currently do not have staff absence that is of concern or that would mean switching to remote learning. We sincerely hope this will remain the case over the next couple of weeks.
With the reports of new variants being more virulent than ever, we need to remain alert and continue to take precautions such as good hand hygiene and the
reintroduction of masks, so that we can ensure everyone reaches the end of term and is able to enjoy an uninterrupted Christmas break. There is clearly some national concern over the transmission of the new Omicron variant and given the fluidity of the situation with the updates for the government and DFE becoming increasingly regular, all situations in school are now subject to rapid change. As always we will communicate with you as quickly as is humanly possible should this occur.
Our usual Christmas jumper and Christmas dinner day is scheduled to go ahead on Tuesday 21 December. Students will be able to wear a Christmas jumper/t-shirt/outfit instead of their school uniform, in exchange for a £1 cash donation. All proceeds will go towards supporting a local charity initiative ‘Homeless to Home’. Details can be found here: https://www.frameworkha.org/
As long as students make a conscious effort to wear something festive on their upper body, then they are welcome to wear jeans, trainers or other non-uniform items on this day. Students not wishing to engage in Christmas attire will be required to wear school uniform and must not simply arrive in ‘non-uniform.
As a reward for positive attitudes during December, any students with 100% attendance who have not received a ‘B’ (behaviour) point will earn themselves a free Christmas dinner. Any student who doesn’t qualify for these terms will be given the opportunity to pay for a Christmas dinner and money will be taken from their ParentPay account as usual.
Our final day of term is scheduled for Wednesday 22 December. This will be a non uniform day and students will finish at 1.40pm.
However please be aware that all Christmas events are subject to restrictions and covid advice so may change.
As directed by the government we will be testing all students and staff prior to the commencement of the Spring term. Testing will begin on Monday 10 January and we anticipate everyone will be back, and the school operating as normal by Thursday of that week. We will send finalised details of the schedule in next week’s correspondence.
At present these will go ahead but as with everything communicated in this letter, we will await final confirmation in due course. Please ensure that all students who this affects are revising and are ready for these should they go ahead.
On the whole, the students have been fantastic throughout what has been a tiring term returning to many ‘normal’ systems and structures. Hopefully we can finish with a sensible level of festive spirit, whilst ensuring that the safety of the whole community remains of paramount importance.
Mr S Huntington and Mr M Jones
Executive Principal and Senior Vice Principal