Headteacher Update

March 2021

Hopefully we have now reached the end of sustained periods out of school for our students. It is so important for them to return to school for both their social and academic progress and we are all so much looking forward to seeing everyone as they return next week. You should now have received your child’s start time on the day they return. It is really important that your child only arrives at this time as we have a system in place to test students upon arrival and we want to do this as safely as we possibly can. Please contact the school today if you have yet to receive the notification for your child’s start time. Full details of testing arrangements can be found here.

As I have mentioned in previous updates, we will be testing all those students for whom we have consent on 3 occasions following which we will be sending home test kits for them to test twice weekly themselves with your supervision. Earlier this week the government also announced access to household testing and this can be accessed from now. Details of how to obtain these tests can be found here.

Our priority this coming week will be to settle our students back into routines, relationships and expectations. Lessons will be running as normal, but there will be plenty of support on offer for those that are struggling to make the transition back into school. We fully recognise that there will be a wide spectrum of how students are feeling from excitement right through to anxiety about being back around lots of people. We will do all that we can to ensure everyone is given whatever it is they need to make the return as positive as possible. Please do get in touch with your child’s Head of Year if you have particular concerns.

For parents of students eligible for Free School Meals – the voucher scheme has now come to an end so the catering team have organised packed lunches for students (collection only) on request up until the day they return to school. A message was sent out yesterday, so do please respond if you would like one for your child. We are hoping that the uniform vouchers will be available next week and will get these out to you with details of how to redeem the uniform supplier voucher as and when they arrive.

There is a real sense of anticipation in school as we all look forward to next week as it does feel like a significant step towards the return to normality. Having said this, we are acutely aware that transmission rates are still relatively high and also that the dominant variant is more transmissible than was the case in the autumn term. With this in mind, we will continue to apply the measures we have in place and ask that everyone in the school community does their bit to keep one another safe by abiding by the expectations around distancing, hygiene, face coverings and testing. In this way we can help to ensure that community transmission does not increase and also that no further time in school is lost to self-isolation.

Best wishes and stay safe

Jonathan