Update from Chiquita Henson, Headteacher
We continue to review our risk assessment and outbreak management plan. We also routinely respond to any guidance we receive from the Department of Education.
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday 27 November 2021 regarding the coronavirus Omicron variant and the measures being put in place nationally, we advised pupils, parents and staff that we were reinstating the wearing of face coverings in all indoor areas in school from Monday 29 November. This preventative measure is in line with the guidance for all schools that we subsequently received on Sunday 28 November and with the mandatory wearing of face coverings in shops and on public transport which is being introduced across the country from Tuesday 30 November.
We are very grateful for the positive response seen in school which reflects the resilience of our pupils and staff and their shared determination to get on with learning and teaching. We apologise for this about-turn and for any confusion caused. Unfortunately, we had previously advised pupils, parents and staff on Friday 27 November that following the significant drop in the number of positive COVID cases at Deer Park since half term, we were withdrawing wearing of face coverings. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and understanding.
In line with the guidance and our own outbreak management plan, we actively encourage good hand and respiratory hygiene. All pupils should use the hand sanitising dispensers on entry to each classroom and wipes are still available in each classroom for those who chose to continue with their use.
We continue to keep our classrooms well ventilated. This means most windows and doors are open. In some areas of the school CO2 emissions are being monitored closely. We appreciate more wintery weather is now upon us and external temperatures have dropped. Therefore, we have made the following concessions around uniform:
- All pupils should wear a school uniform striped shirt. However, in the interests of keeping warm throughout the day, pupils are allowed to wear an additional layer underneath their school shirts during the winter months at least until the February half term. This could be a plain coloured base layer or a plain short sleeved t-shirt.
- All pupils should wear school uniform v-neck jumper or school cardigan over the top of their school shirt. This potentially provides a third layer.
- Pupils can wear the optional school uniform ¼ zip top as an additional layer. They should not wear any other style of jumper, cardigan, sweatshirt or hoodie. Pupils will be asked to remove any non-school uniform items at the start of the day and in lessons. If they continue to wear non-school uniform items these may be confiscated.
- Pupils can wear a plain coat in lessons through the winter. Temperatures clearly vary depending on where classrooms are situated in the school and how they are ventilated and heated. This means this additional layer may not be necessary.
We will review these uniform concessions in February 2022. They are a temporary response to the pandemic and the protective measures we have had to put in place.
If pupils travel to/from school by bus, in line with national guidelines they should wear a face covering on the bus.
We encourage everyone (unless you have had a positive coronavirus result in the last 90 days) to continue or start testing regularly (twice a week) to try and keep the level of transmission of coronavirus low in school and in the local community. In school, pupils should see Miss Brace, Assistant Head for Lateral Flow Device test kits for themselves. If you cannot access Lateral Flow Device tests through work, you can collect from a local pharmacy (remember you now need a 'collect code') or order tests to be delivered to your home. Find out more...