Back to School!
Back at school for a new year of learning and growth
On Monday 6 September 2021 we were delighted to welcome all pupils back to school at the same time.
We were able to do this because our timetables for Years 8-11 began earlier this year in June and, consequently, our pupils were already prepared for the week and term ahead. Similarly, while our pupils in Year 7 are new to the school, they were able to find their way around as a result of their orientation during our two Induction Days in July. Staff are on hand of course to provide direction and support.
It has been an absolutely joy to hear young voices in our school again and to listen to learning taking place. Our in-service training days focused on the development of our curriculum and we are impressed by our pupils’ attitudes to learning, their readiness to engage and challenge themselves.
Chiquita Henson, Headteacher
In preparation for their return to school, and in line with Government expectations, we offered all pupils two COVID tests, the first on either Thursday 2 or Friday 3 September and the second on either Monday 6 or Tuesday 7 September. Impressively, over 600 pupils came up to school before their term formally started and a further 800 tests were taken during the school days on Monday and Tuesday. As a result of this we had one positive result in school on Monday morning, but we were subsequently advised later in the evening that following home tests two other pupils had tested positive. All three pupils, two of whom are asymptomatic, have been asked to self-isolate. We are immensely grateful to our team of staff and volunteers who so efficiently led and managed our test centre and to our pupils and their parents for their cooperation.
While as a school we are now longer required to track and trace, or ask close contacts to self-isolate, out of courtesy and to minimise the risk of transmission, we will continue to advise staff and parents of pupils identified as close contacts and recommend they have PCR tests.
Pupils who participated in our in-school testing have been equipped with home test kits and are encouraged to complete two tests a week 3-5 days apart. We ask that parents advise our Attendance Officer, Mrs Forrest (email firstname.lastname@example.org), if their children have any symptoms or if they have a positive test result. We will be monitoring attendance closely.
Assistant Head Miss Brace said 'I am very grateful to the School staff and parent volunteers that enable us to do this quantity of testing. I also really appreciate the high level of pupil take up for tests and the good humour and spirit with which they undertake them.'
We are continuing to promote good respiratory and hand hygiene. Pupils are expected to routinely wash and sanitise their hands. We are maintaining our staggered breaks and lunch times so that we have the flexibility to switch back to year group bubbles and home bases should we need to do so. This is a part of our outbreak management plan.
We are continuing to keep our classrooms well ventilated and we have so far been very fortunate with the weather! If temperatures are forecast to exceed 24 degrees (according to the MET Office), as they have this week, we will advise pupils they can wear their PE shorts or skorts in place of their school uniform trousers or skirts. Pupils should not decide to do this without our instruction.
At present pupils and staff do not need to wear face coverings, but we are politely asking visitors to the school to do so, just as we would if we were visiting a shop or supermarket.
We have received a 'COVID-19' Update letter from Gloucestershire County Council which they have asked be shared with parents - you can download it below.