24 February 2021


This is a transcript of the video...

Following the government's announcement on Monday and my brief update on Tuesday morning I plan to do a series of short video messages about the arrangements for the return of all students in the week beginning the 8th March.  Please don't feel that you have to listen to me - I will provide the main points in writing along with each video.  I fully understand - I wouldn't listen to myself!  Each message will cover different key points and I hope will be easier to digest than a very long email!  

This first message is about dates of return for each year group, arrangements for key workers and vulnerable students and testing.  Everything that we are doing is based on the government's guidance to schools which can be found here.  There is really good communication between all our local high schools and so, while each school will have slightly different arrangements based on their circumstances, I know that we are all basically following the same processes.

The government has said that students should be tested for COVID as they return to school.  This testing is entirely voluntary and a student can return to school whether or not they have been tested, but, for entirely obvious reasons, the government is encouraging as many people as possible to be tested on return and on an ongoing basis.  We will be sending out requests for consent to be tested and, if you give consent, your son or daughter will be tested 3 times at school over the first few weeks and will then be provided with kits so that they can self-test at home  from then onwards.  Testing at school has been underway for weeks with staff and children of key workers and is carried out in the "old nursery" which is part of the school buildings.  

We can test a year group per day so the government suggests secondary schools and colleges stagger the return of students to school across the week beginning the 8th March to allow testing to take place.  Along with other local schools, we will therefore build up the school a year group at a time so that the incoming year group can be tested on the first day that they return.  Year 11 will return on Monday 8th March, Year 10 will return on Tuesday (along with Year 11), Year 9 will return on Wednesday (along with Years 10 & 11), Year 8 (along with Years 9, 10 and 11) on Thursday and the whole school including Year 7 will be in on Friday 12th March.  Remote learning will continue across that week for the year groups who have not yet returned to school.  Provision will continue for children of key workers and vulnerable students in all year groups throughout that week, but, instead of working in the ICT rooms these students will attend their normal lessons and the teachers will teach them along with the majority of the class who will be taught remotely.

We are so looking forward to seeing students back and the best way of visualising it is like the return in September adding in COVID testing and an even greater focus on safety and hygiene.  But more of that in another message - for now I wanted to make sure that you knew the dates when different year groups return, the arrangements for COVID testing and the reasons for our decisions.  

The letter about consent for COVID testing is on the website here and the link to the online form to give consent is here.

Posted by James Harris

Category: WLD Updates