Message from the Headmistress
We are ever hopeful that this will be the last lockdown communication you receive. However, the weekly newsletters will keep on coming.
Tonight at 7pm there is an opportunity for parents to come and pose their questions about the return to school to myself and Mrs Wright. The Zoom link is as follows:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 891 1253 8118
We will be there from 7pm. If no one arrives, we will log off at 7.15pm. If there are a good number of people and the discussion is on-going we can continue until 8pm at the latest.
Return to school details:
All pupils in Junior School (children from Nursery to Year 6) return as normal on Monday 8th March. Mrs Wright has sent reminders to you already about the times.
Senior Year 11, arrive on site at 9.00 on Monday 8th ; Senior Year 10 pupils arrive on site at 12.00 on Monday 8th.
Senior Year 9 arrive at 08.30 on Tuesday 9th
Senior Year 8 arrive at 09.30 on Tuesday 9th
Senior Year 7 arrive at 10.30 on Tuesday 9th
If these Senior staggered times cause parent difficulties, there will be a holding space for any who arrive early.
We are requiring full school uniform to be worn wherever this is possible. We are aware that some will have grown out and stocks may not be available for replacement; and that some sports wear is no longer available when the school supplier reopens their doors. Whilst we will be flexible, we would like to keep as close to the appearance of full uniform as possible. We do not wish pupils to wear hoodies in school. If it is chilly, because of additional ventilation, we recommend them layering up underneath their shirts. Blazers should be worn.
If it is a PE day, the rules for wearing PE kit to school is as it was before Christmas.
We do have some second hand stock so please send Mrs Bamber a mail if you wish us to search for any required items . (email@example.com)
Lateral flow testing:
All our staff will be testing twice a week, from before they come into contact with the children on Monday morning and until further notice.
We are hoping that all the Senior pupils will also test with us on arrival in school and for two further times in the first 10 days. Thereafter they will be given self-test kits to take home. To do this we have to have parental consent from parents. (Over 16s may self consent on the day and we will have forms available on the day for these if required). I currently have a return from about 60% of Senior parents. If you have already returned consent, do not resend. If you haven’t, please do so by Monday morning. No consent. No test. It is useful to have a decline consent notification from you if you wish to do this, then we will not chase up. The consent form came on my previous email sent on Monday.
I advise that all children who have received a positive PCR test in the last 90 days do not take the LFD tests.
We now have trialled our ‘testing centre’ and have ironed out the procedures. We are ready to go.
Can I remind you that LFD tests are for ASYMPTOMATIC people only. Anyone with symptoms must self-isolate and get a PCR test at a local centre.
However the rules for those testing in school have been amended and if a positive test is received on LFD, you are no longer required to follow up with a PCR. Instead the positive person is required to self-isolate with their household for 10 days . Any positive LFD in school will also impact on close contacts, who will be sent home to self-isolate as well.
The pupils will be supervised and instructed in how to do the tests, each time they test in school. All the testing team are fully trained in procedures.
The key team are:
Mrs George: Test Assistant
Mr Arnold: Processor
Mrs Marriot: Registration and Results Recorder
Those who travel on school buses:
I sent out the following earlier today, but here is a reminder:
We have had information from the High School who organise the school bus service, to say that all pupils travelling by school transport MUST have a received a negative LFD (Lateral Flow Device) test BEFORE travelling.
This means that children will need to either: a) be brought in to school on their first day back, whereupon they will be tested in school, in line with our schedule or b) must access a LFD test either via a local walk in centre, or by collecting a test box from one of the local sites. The following link tells you where you can collect kits. https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests
Lunches will start on Monday following the same pattern as when we left in December. Currently we only have the grab bag option in the Senior School. Requests for lunches for Seniors for Monday and Tuesday have already been sent separately. From Tuesday Year 11 will order as normal via their Form Teacher and from Wednesday all other Senior classes will order as normal.
Sadly today, we have said goodbye to Roberta (Bertie) Hutley, our Marketing Manager. We are very grateful that she has managed to put together our lockdown edition of Holly Leaves for us and the production of this Weekly News will be her final task before signing off. She has been just great and we wish her every success as she moves into her new Civil Service role. We will be putting interim staff in to cover the more public aspects of her role until our new appointee, Claire Jones, starts after the Easter holiday.
We have a Virtual Open Day this Wednesday for those still seeking places for September (or indeed, after Easter). If you know any prospective families, do remind them to book onto this event. Who knows, in the Summer Term we may be able to have visitors back on site again… that would be lovely.
I can’t wait for next week, and hope all the children are just as excited as the staff and I! Have a wonderful weekend and see you soon,
Message from the Head of Juniors
Firstly, a huge thank you to all of you for your support over this period of school closure. Both children, parents and staff have been amazing and this has been clearly demonstrated through the quality of work produced over this time. I hope the children enjoyed World Book Day yesterday; I loved looking at some of the photos of the costumes – great efforts. We will be continuing some of this work in school next week.
We are very much looking forward to welcoming the children back on Monday. Please could I remind of end of day timings again – EYFS and KS1 will finish slightly earlier at 3:15pm whilst KS2, at the usual time of 3:30. This will make Elm Avenue less busy and allow you to distance more easily. All Junior children can stay to After School Club if you wish them to. We are back to usual timetables from Monday mornings so lessons such as PE will be happening. If you find pieces of uniform no longer fit, please do not worry! Any questions or concerns about the return on Monday, please drop me an email.
Sadly, we say goodbye to Miss Hutley today. I would like to wish her every success in her new adventures and thank her for everything she has done. We will all really miss her.
Have a lovely weekend and we will see you on Monday.
Head of Juniors