2020 September Update - COVID
It has been nearly four weeks since we have been back and I am happy to report that it has been a very successful start of term.
It has been wonderful to have our students back on site and in classrooms learning again.
Attendance started off very high and I would like to thank all of you for the work and guidance you have put in to helping your children return.
In the summer I wrote to all parents outlining our risk assessment and also detailing the many changes the academy has made in order to minimise risk. As part of that communication, I stressed the importance of everyone familiarising themselves with the changes. As part of students returning to the academy we have had to create year group bubbles, which means as often as possible year groups are separated to minimise any risk of transmission. We have designed our one way system and use of classrooms to specifically reduce movement, reduce risk and follow government advice and guidance. There have only been a few issues which have concerned me and I would like to address these now:
- Each year group has been allocated a bubble/zone as their main area to be in during the day. If a student deliberately breaches their bubble/zone during social time (Break or Lunch) we have no choice but to use one of our most serious sanctions for ignoring clear health and safety instructions and putting others at risk. Each zone/bubble has their own toilets and access to food. Initially many students arrived with packed lunches and the amount of students buying lunch onsite was very low, the demand has since tripled and we are try to make sure there is a correct amount of food provided in each bubbles eatery daily.
- Parents are NOT permitted to drive onto our site. This was made clear before the summer break, please drop your children off at the turning circle area and let them walk onto site.
- Finally, we are increasingly concerned about your children missing learning time when this could possibly be avoided. Although we so understand everyone is being cautious due to Covid-19 but the symptoms outlined are very clear- Unless your child or someone with in your household/bubble is presenting with any of the 3 below symptoms, they do not need to follow self-isolation guidance and are able to continue to access on site learning.
Current NHS Guidance
Symptoms of coronavirus in children
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
- a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
What to do if your child has symptoms:
If your child has any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:
- Get a test to check if they have coronavirus as soon as possible.
- Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get the test result – only leave your home to have a test.
Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get the result.
Get advice from NHS 111 if you're worried about your child or not sure what to do.
For children aged 5 or over – use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.
We absolutely understand that as parents you will want what is best for your children and we do as well. Unfortunately some parents are not following this guidance and keeping children at home for minor illnesses including; common colds, sore throats, headaches. Most of these minor ailments can be treated easily and sending your child to attend each and every day is of utmost importance for them to achieve their very best. If you are in anyway unsure, please contact us and we can discuss their symptoms and encourage your child to attend school to continue learning, even if a little under the weather. I cannot emphasise enough how important it is that we welcome them back into the classroom and support them making progress in their subjects.
Considering we made so many changes to the site, systems and policies, the first week back has gone smoothly. Naturally, it has taken a few days for students to get used to their timetables but punctuality to lessons has been good and the site has a really positive and vibrant atmosphere to it. We have a buzz back which has been missing. I have been into many classrooms already and seen some fantastic work. I am hoping that we can all manage to stay safe, follow the guidance and remain in school for as long as possible. As ever, thank you for your continued support.