November 2020 | Headteacher Headlines

First half term back after the lockdown

Firstly, can I thank you for your fantastic support last half term. The attendance of our students was very strong and considerably higher than the National picture. Sadly, this was affected by confirmed cases of Covid in the academy and the fact that groups of students, and in some cases whole year groups, had to be sent home. Regrettably, for some students, this has now happened on multiple occasions. We know this is really upsetting and difficult but unfortunately this is something we are all going to have to get used to. It is vital that students fully engage in home learning set so they do not fall behind.

It is clear that the virus is still prevalent in the area and if anything, it is increasing at the moment. We are going to be faced with exactly the same challenges this half term as we had in the last one. Unfortunately, there will be times where we have to send cohorts of Year groups home to isolate, when we are informed about a positive case in the Year group. This is simply unavoidable. We can however try and limit the amount of time our young people spend out of school if we all take
responsibility and follow the guidance.

Please communicate with us if your child or anyone else if your family has symptoms or is going for a test, please let us know. The more we know in advance, the more we can prepare. Regrettably, some of the cases we have had in the academy which have required large cohorts of children to be sent home would have been avoidable if the guidance had been followed. I must
reiterate, if anyone in the family home develops symptoms or goes for a test, then the entire family must isolate immediately until a negative test is returned. If your son/daughter has been in close contact with anyone who has tested positive for coronavirus or if they are identified as a close contact, then the must stay at home and isolate.

I understand that the thought of keeping your son/daughter off school for a couple of days as a precaution may seem difficult, but it is essential. It is also much better than up to 80 children having to miss two weeks of school and self-isolate. We have all got to take responsibility for this and do our bit to look after each other and our young people.

To remind you all of the current guidance, the main symptoms of Coronavirus are:

  • High temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to
    measure your temperature)
  • New, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more
    coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you have noticed you cannot smell or
    taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

Masks and hand sanitiser
Can I please remind you all how important it is for students to have a face mask with them. It is mandatory that they wear them on corridors as per National guidance. The aim of face masks is effectively to stop the spread of Coronavirus in the Academy and in your homes. In addition, we have hand sanitiser that must be used in the classroom. Students are welcome to have their own.

Stationery
Can you please make sure students have basic equipment – pen, pencil, ruler, green pen, rubber, pencil sharpener and glue stick. We cannot lend equipment to students at the moment so not having equipment causes huge issues.

What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in
the autumn term

Remote Learning Update
I will shortly be sending out a detailed letter about home learning and our approach to this.