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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School

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Year 9 to Learn Remotely

Single case of COVID-19 in teaching staff. Year 9 to work remotely.

Unfortunately, we received notice this morning, Tuesday 10 November 2020, that a teacher at Deer Park has had a positive COVID-19 test and is now required to self-isolate for 10 days following the onset of symptoms. He was last in school on Friday 6 November 2020.

We are following the guidance from Public Health England and we have identified and advised his ‘close contacts’ in school and asked them to self-isolate for a period of 11 days from today, Tuesday 10 November to Friday 20 November 2020 inclusive. This involves 25 pupils who were identified as ‘close contacts’ in Year 7, 14 in Year 9 and 4 in Year 10. Three other teachers with whom the teacher has been in close contact are also required to self-isolate for the same period.

What is a 'close contact'?

A close contact is defined as Contact within 1 metre, which would include:

  • Face-to-face conversation or contact within 1 metre for 1 minute;
  • Contact within 1 metre for 1 minute or longer without face-to-face contact;
  • Contact within 2 metres of someone who has tested positive for more than 15 minutes.

The number of absent teachers across the school is now 13, including 8 who are self-isolating because they have been identified as close contacts through track and trace in school or out of school. This is well above the threshold at which we can effectively cover their lessons and keep the school open to all pupils. It also impacts significantly on two of our faculty areas.

Year 9: Plan for this week

In line with our COVID Response Plan and the notice parents were given in our latest newsletter (Friday 6 November 2020) and on our website (Staff Shortages), regrettably we are asking all pupils in Year 9 to work at home and learn remotely from Wednesday 11 November 2020 for the remaining three days of this week.

During this short period, we expect all pupils to be ready to learn from 9:00am each morning and strongly advise that they all follow their normal school timetables. This is in keeping with our Remote Learning Plan. Teachers will post their learning materials in MS Teams and on Show My Homework and, where we have the capacity to do so, pupils in Year 9 may be invited to attend live lessons in MS Teams.  All pupils should routinely check their school emails for updates and invites.

Pupils in Year 9 are not being asked to self-isolate unless they have been identified as close contacts of the teacher who has tested positive and advised in a separate letter to do so.  However, as we are in a period of national lockdown it is imperative that they all stay at home and follow the government's guidance.

I assure you this decision has not been taken lightly.  We have spoken with the Department for Education and Gloucestershire County Council.  We have been advised that in the event of staff shortages we can introduce a rota and we are currently looking at the provision we can make for all pupils in Year 9 from Monday 16 November 2020.

Year 9: Plan for next week

Half and Half. We plan to bring half of the year group (B side) back into school for two days on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 November while the other half continues to learn remotely at home, and then ask the other half of the year group (A side) to come in for the next two days on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 November while the first group work from home. This will enable us to achieve a balance of face-to-face and blended learning until our teachers’ periods of self-isolation finish.

Friday 20 November is an in-service training (Inset) day and, therefore, the school will be closed to all pupils.

This will of course be subject to the actions we take should we have any further confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our learning community.

More information, including a revised timetable for Year 9, will be published on our website and we will continue to update you with our plans via email and our e-newsletter.

Please let us know as soon as possible if your child experiences any onset of symptoms and, more especially, if they are subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 during this period. This will enable us to undertake further track and trace and, if necessary, make further adjustments to our provision.


We appreciate this is not ideal, but, as you are aware, we are all working in exceptional circumstances and we are all doing our very best to maintain the rhythm of learning.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Chiquita Henson, Headteacher