Message from the Headmistress
It is with some relief that I can report that all our pupils who have sought tests because of coughs, have been tested negative. You will be aware that many local schools have had to send home bubbles because of a positive case in their schools and that if we were to get one we would follow suit. We are taking all due precautions in school, including the additional wearing of masks in public indoor spaces in the Senior School and continuing to talk about the risks, the mitigations (primarily distancing and handwashing) and the symptoms.
We understand how tricky it is to identify the symptoms and to differentiate between some of the sore throat/clearing throat coughs associated with a cold versus a potential cough which could be a symptom of the virus. I remind parents that the government guidance states the 3 symptoms of Covid-19 are:
- A high temperature.
- A cough. This is defined as continuous coughing for an hour or 3 ‘episodes of coughing’ within a 24 hour period.
- The loss of sense (or change in sense) of taste or smell.
Whilst all those who have symptoms must seek a test, we are urging those not symptomatic not to. Siblings and family members do not need a test unless they too are symptomatic. We believe that the overwhelming request for tests which has slowed down the system and caused so much angst in actually booking the test has resulted from whole families seeking tests when there is no need to.
I am sorry for the complexities of the systems and the frustrations you will feel if the pupils have to remain at home whilst you find a test and await its result.
Can I also remind you of the new rule which came into force earlier this week: The Rule of 6
New government rules mean that no more than 6 people can meet indoors or outdoors from Monday 14 September. Pubs, restaurants, shops and other venues will remain open, but people can only attend in groups of up to six. Venues should also allow for social distancing between groups.
There will be some exemptions to this rule, including schools, work places, weddings, funerals and when your household or support bubble is larger than six
Beware also the more stringent rules in different parts of the country about visiting and group sizes.
Meanwhile we have had a really lovely week in school of something resembling normality. Having the classroom doors open mean that the delivery of our education is much more open and I am enjoying getting the highlights of Geography, RS and History through my door. It all sounds incredibly purposeful.
This morning some of our new Year 7 pupils presented a Harvest Assembly to Key Stage 3 on how we can be thoughtful and kind to people in need. As we weren’t able to share this occasion with you this year, a recording of the assembly can be watched here. We have had many tins and packets to support St Ann’s Food Bank – our chosen local charity this year. Thank you. The collection is still open through next week if you would like to pop a non-perishable food or toiletry item in the school bag on Monday.
We had a nice zoom evening with new parents on Wednesday at which all the staff were introduced to the parents so you can put faces to names… remember that we are available to message you if you have any concerns or wish to discuss anything with us.
Tonight is Parents’ Forum and again I am looking forward to good attendance. This is at 4.00pm. At the meeting, we will consider whether for future events it would be better being later.
Can I remind parents to ensure that senior pupils carry a mask with them every day, and that they wear one too if they are coming into school for a scheduled appointment. Our supply of spares has dwindled and we are awaiting further stocks.
From bubbles to bobbles: We have had to remind a number of pupils that hair should be tied back off the face if it is over shoulder length. This also applies to boys with longer hair. There are spare bobbles available outside my office if pupils have forgotten.
Junior parents are reminded that After School Club is operational and junior pupils may stay in school until up to 5.30pm. This may help with your work/life arrangements. If you missed the letter to book in, then please request another. You can of course use it on an ad hoc basis, though the charges are slightly higher for this.
Have a great weekend in the sunshine.
Message from the Head of Juniors
The children have had a lovely week in school and we particularly enjoyed the beautiful weather we experienced on Monday and Tuesday. I walked down to the Forest Recreational Ground for Games with KS2 on Tuesday afternoon; we are really very lucky to have such superb facilities so close by. Please follow us on our social media sites to see what the children have been up to in class, all the wonderful activities I am sure they have been telling you about.
Next week, we will be celebrating Harvest with assemblies for the children. If you have any donations for the food bank, please ask children to pass these to Form Teachers by next Friday.
Form Teachers will be in touch with you to arrange an online meeting, instead of in school, for Parents’ Evening this term. If you cannot make these dates, teachers will be able to suggest an alternative one. If you would also like an appointment with me, please let me know. We are, of course, always available for conversations so please don’t wait until Parents’ Evening to talk to us if you need to.
Have a lovely weekend.
Head of Juniors