Face coverings until the end of term
On Monday 21 June 2021 we reinstated the wearing of face coverings in school, for an initial period of 2 weeks. Our thanks to pupils and staff for your cooperation over the last fortnight.
We have reviewed the need to wear face coverings and have taken the decision to ask everyone to continue to wear them indoors until the end of term.
This is a preventative measure. We want everyone to be well enough to:
- attend school over the remaining 2.5 weeks
- take part in our reward trips on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 July
- go on holiday over the summer.
The decision to reinstate the wearing of face coverings initially was owing to confirmed cases of COVID-19 in pupils; these cases related to transmission outside of school and were picked up by Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests. Please continue to do these LFD tests twice weekly. Small groups of 'close contacts' of the pupils with confirmed cases in our (new) Years 9 and 10 were asked to self-isolate and two pupils self-isolating subsequently tested positive for COVID.
We plan to welcome our new Year 7 pupils (current Year 6s) to Deer Park on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 July for their Induction Days and have had to put additional preventative measures in for them to reassure their parents and their primary schools. We want them to be able to enjoy their induction.
While it is likely to be a coincidence, since we have all been wearing face coverings indoors again, there have been no further confirmed cases in school (as at Friday 2 July). However, we cannot be complacent. Gloucestershire County Council have reported that cases are rising in the county, especially in the Cotswolds and around Tewkesbury:
- ‘8.5% of the school population in Gloucestershire is currently out of school’
- ‘The rates profile is steeper than the October/November patterns and there are no lockdown breaks planned to slow down the spread’
- ‘Gloucestershire has been lowest in South West in youth population to date but it is now spreading widely and is now highest in South West’
Key messages for our pupils:
- Thank you again for your patience and understanding.
- Please continue to help us by complying with this simple request to wear a face covering inside school until the end of term.
- If you are exempt from wearing a face covering, remember to wear your lanyard to avoid any unnecessary challenge.
- Staff will remind you to put face coverings on indoors and have spares if you forget yours.
- Remember to dispose of paper face coverings in the bins after use *. Too many disposable masks are being dropped (whether accidentally or due to laziness) on the school site each day and these, and other items of litter, potentially endanger wildlife if eaten or caught around necks etc.
- Please continue to do regular (twice a week) Lateral Flow Device tests and log the results. We can provide test kits for pupils. If you want to test and haven't until now, please see Miss Brace, Assistant Head.
* From an environmental point of view, reusable face coverings are the best option. If you have to use a disposable mask, take it home and ensure that you dispose of it thoughtfully in a bin and snip the straps first if at all possible. 'Sadly, discarded face masks are not only adding to litter and pollution across the UK’s parks, rivers and seas – they’re also hurting and killing wildlife.' We have noticed around school, that masks on the ground are overwhelmingly the disposable types, which makes us think that pupils take better care of something that needs to be reused.
What are the main symptoms of Covid-19?
The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
Most people with symptoms have at least 1 of the symptoms above. However, about 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms (they are asymptomatic) but can still infect others. This is why everyone is advised to get tested regularly.
Where can we get LFD tests?
At school we regularly distribute LFD test kits for home testing to pupils, for whom we have parental permission, and to staff. If your child does not currently test but would like to start, they should see Miss Brace. Any individual can access regular LFD tests and you can collect tests to do at home from a local pharmacy or test centre. Find out more...
What if one of our pupils has a positive LFD test result?
Contact Assistant Head Miss Brace (C.Brace@deerparkschool.net) at the very earliest opportunity so that we can instigate our internal track and trace. You should book a confirmatory PCR test.