Thank you for the over-whelming support you and your children have shown over the last two difficult weeks. We have had too many emails of support to reply to individually, but please be assured they have all been read and shared.
I am pleased to say that the students and staff who tested positive for Covid19 are making a good recovery which is the most important thing. We have reflected upon our procedures and are going to further tighten our routines. The main changes are: students will be asked to wear masks when on-site, with the exception of in lessons and when eating; students will enter via the main gate only, where hand sanitising will be over-seen and students will not be able to enter until they have a mask on. If your child comes to school in a group, we would recommend they wear their face mask to minimise any risk. We will also be confirming with any student who has a face mask exemption as to whether their exemption is still the case as a result of the higher R numbers at present.
We are still deciphering the latest announcements from the DfE around the first week back and mass-testing. I can confirm that Monday 4 January 2021 is a staff training day so no students will be in. Between Tuesday 5 January 2021 and Friday 8 January 2021, just Year 11 and 13 students will be physically on site for face-to-face learning. All other students will have online learning, including Live-Teams tutor time and assemblies. We will have a Critical Worker and Vulnerable Student Provision on-site for these students to access their online learning as they have been doing this week. A Booking Form has been sent out to identify numbers needing to access this. All Year 7-13 students will be physically in school from Monday 11 January 2021.
Secondary schools are being asked to set up mass-testing of staff and students from January 2021. The purpose behind this is to try and identify any asymptomatic carriers, or where a staff member/student has Covid19, their close contacts can be tested and then either returned to lessons or asked to be picked up, depending on the result. This should reduce the number of students/staff we have to send home, causing less disruption. This is a welcome step forward, but we are working on the details as to how to manage this. The testing is in addition to mask wearing, sanitising and social distancing, not instead of. Students will be encouraged to have these lateral flow tests as we feel it will help improve the safety of our school community, however, ultimately the student and their parent will have to give consent, before any lateral flow test can be taken.
We have been working hard on improving our online provision of work and are hitting our aim of 50% live-lessons via Teams. Links to these lessons are found in Satchel by students using their log-in. Students should also be checking their Holmer365 email account daily, via which Live Teams lessons can also be accessed. If a student has missed a lesson for reasons of illness, etc. then these live-lessons have been recorded and can be caught up with. Learning will pick up again in the New Year with the assumption that all students have accessed and completed this work.
As of the New Year, we look forward to students bringing in their 1:1 devices for use in classrooms. Students will be asked to put them away at break and lunch to encourage them to talk to one another. Just as a reminder, the following video (here) from 3 mins in, shows how Satchel can be used more effectively to see the date from which work was set.
On the newsletter can you remove the highlighted bit please and re-publish: “Please find here a link to the Sixth Form Open Event and the various courses, that we have on offer for September 2021, including our STEAM scholarships. The deadline for applications is 29 January 2021.
With the shorter days currently, can I make a general reminder for students to stay safe when it is dark by walking with friends, keeping to well lit routes and notifying parents/carers of where they are.
Congratulations go to all our Year 7 – 10 students involved in the Bebras Computing Challenge. It is great to see staff and students still finding innovative ways of trying to bring the curriculum to life and engage with employers and our Year 12 Economic students meeting with a Research Manager from the Bank of England over Zoom, is a great example of that. Congratulations and a big thank you needs to go to Mrs Ginger and Mrs Whitby and all the students involved in the Virtual Christmas Concert. Finally, a huge thank you to the PTA and everyone that bought tickets for the highly anticipated Christmas raffle. It was a great fundraiser and I hope the lucky winners get to indulge themselves.
Have a great Christmas holiday and a happy New Year
It is difficult to imagine how we would have functioned this year without our smartphones, laptops, and the services we access online. They have become an essential part of our personal and professional lives. With this in mind, it is important to be aware of the steps you can take to pr...
If your child is going to be absent from school for any reason please call on each day of absence to advise us with a reason. If your child needs to leave school part way through the day please ensure they have a note in their planner so they can excuse themselves from a lesson and so we have authorisation to let them leave the school premises. All students must sign in and out on the school fire register in the medical room if they are late in the morning or leaving early for an appointment.
Please also remember to advise the medical room staff if at any time your child has a medical condition we need to be aware of.
Please note the School Nursing Team have provided the following dates for vaccinations this year:
Year 9 (Td/IPV & MenACWY) - Friday 5 February 2021