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UPDATED: Start of term 3 - COVID-19 testing

boars head 54x64pxHappy New Year. I hope that you have enjoyed a peaceful holiday.

Yesterday, the Department for Education issued updated Covid-19 safety guidance for schools. The main points concern the use of face coverings, on-site Covid-19 testing at the start of Term 3, new rules about self-isolation, and daily testing for close contacts of Covid-19.

On-site Covid-19 testing schedule

Students will be offered one on-site Covid-19 test on Tuesday 4 or Wednesday 5 January according to the schedule below. Although testing is voluntary we would encourage as many students as possible to take part in the on-site testing offered to help facilitate the safest possible school environment for their return to school for Term 3.

Please be aware that the guidance around testing in the 90 days following a positive test has recently changed. The guidance now states: Even if your son/daughter has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, they are strongly encouraged to take part in on-site LFD testing or test at home once they have completed their isolation period for their prior infection. If your son/daughter chooses to test at home please report the results to school. Students not taking part in the on-site testing should return to school at the same time as their form group according to the testing schedule below. If students are unable to attend their time slot, they should test at home - there will be no 'catch-up' opportunity.

Safety measures on the first testing day

Our testing centre is based in the sports hall building. Students must not enter any other building before completing their test. They must use the gate immediately in front of the sports hall.

Students must:

  • Wear a face covering, unless exempt, until instructed to remove it by the testing assistant
  • Use the hand-sanitisers when asked to do so

The full schedule of testing and phased return to face-to-face teaching is below.

Tuesday 4 January 2022

Year 11 Time Year 13 Time
11B 8:40am 13B 10:05am
11D 8:55am 13D 10:20am
11H 9:10am 13H 10:35am
11N 9:25am 13N 11:00am
11S 9:40am 13S 11:15am
11T 9:55am 13T 11:30am

 

Year 12 Time Year 10 Time
12B 11:45am 10B 1:45pm
12D 12:00pm 10D 2:00pm
12H 12:15pm 10H 2:15pm
12N 12:30pm 10N 2:30pm
12S 12:45pm 10S 2:45pm
12T 1:00pm 10T 3:00pm

Year 11 and 13: Students should arrive at school at the time of their COVID-19 test. After their test and 15-minute isolation period students will return to normal lessons in school if the result is negative. Students in year 11 should wear school uniform.

Year 10 and 12: Students should arrive at school at the time of their COVID-19 test and return home as soon as their test is complete. Learning resources will be uploaded to Google Classroom according to timetable. Students return to school on Wednesday 5 January.

Year 7, 8 and 9: Live remote teaching according to timetable.

Wednesday 5 January 2022

Year 10, 11, 12 and 13: Normal lessons in school.

Year 7 and 8: COVID-19 testing followed by return to normal lessons (see timings below)

Year 9: COVID-19 testing only (see timings below).
Learning resources will be uploaded to Google Classroom according to timetable. Students return to school on Thursday 6 January.

Year 7 Time Year 8 Time Year 9 Time
7B 8:40am 8B 10:05am 9B 12:00pm
7D 8:55am 8D 10:20am 9D 12:15pm
7H 9:10am 8H 10:35am 9H 12:30pm
7N 9:25am 8N 11:00am 9N 12:45pm
7S 9:40am 8N2 11:15am 9S 1:15pm
7T 9:55am 8S 11:30am 9T 1:30pm
    8T 11:45am    

Year 7 and 8: Students should arrive at school at the time of their COVID-19 test. After their test and 15-minute isolation period students will return to normal lessons in school if the result is negative.
Students should wear school uniform.

Year 9: Students should arrive at school at the time of their COVID-19 test and return home as soon as their test is complete. Learning resources will be uploaded to Google Classroom according to timetable. Students return to school on Thursday 6 January.

Year 10, 11, 12, 13: In school for normal lessons.

Updated guidance from the Department for Education

The most important and immediate change for students is about the use of face coverings in school.

As before Christmas, face coverings should be worn by students, staff and visitors in communal areas and corridors. In addition, it is now recommended that students wear face coverings in classrooms. Face coverings are not required in PE lessons, or when students are outdoors.

The following detailed information is taken from the DfE’s guidance to schools (full information for parents and carers is here). We would be very grateful if you would discuss these changes with your son/daughter.

Face coverings

Face coverings help protect the wearer and others against the spread of infection because they cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of transmission of COVID-19.

From 4 January 2022, we recommend that in those schools where pupils in year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn in classrooms. This does not apply in situations where wearing a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity, for example in PE lessons. This is a temporary measure.

Where pupils and students in year 7 and above are educated, we also recommend that face coverings should be worn by pupils, students, staff and adult visitors when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas. This will also be a temporary measure.

These pupils and students must also wear a face covering when travelling on public transport and should wear it on dedicated transport to and from school.

Face coverings do not need to be worn by students when outdoors.

Circumstances where people are not able to wear face coverings

There are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear a face covering. Some people are less able to wear face coverings, and the reasons for this may not be visible to others.

In relation to education settings, this includes (but is not limited to):

  • children under the age of 11 on 31 August 2021
  • people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • people for whom putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress
  • people speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
  • avoiding the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others
  • removing a face covering in order to take medication

Changes to the self-isolation period for individuals who test positive for Covid-19

Since Wednesday 22nd December, the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason.

Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self- isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to school from day 8

Daily testing for close contacts of Covid-19

People who are fully vaccinated, or children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years and 6 months, identified as a close contact of someone with Covid-19, should take an LFD test every day for seven days and continue to attend school as normal, unless they have a positive test result or develop symptoms at any time.

Many thanks for your continued support with these measures.

We’re looking forward to welcoming the students back to school this week and we hope to see you soon.

Yours faithfully

Mr M Jones
Headteacher

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Year 7 Lockdown Gallery
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Kent Mountain Centre 2019
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Sports day 2019