Dear parents and carers,
I hope that you and your family had an enjoyable Christmas, notwithstanding the COVID-19 restrictions that we are all living with.
As you know, we have worked incredibly hard since the start of the pandemic in March to keep our school as safe as possible, and that work has continued over the Christmas holiday period. I would like to thank our staff for their commitment and professionalism, which has seen many working over the holidays.
My letter today includes important information relating to when your child will return to school at the start of this coming term.
Information relating to school re-opening in January 2021
The Government has now announced that secondary schools and colleges will re-open on a phased basis, as follows:
Parents whose work is critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined in the following link: http://bit.ly/34nAlcF
Vulnerable students and students of critical workers who will be on site from Tuesday 5th January will follow the routines that are already established which means using specific entrances. They will wear full uniform and any decision regarding PE will be made next week. Normal catering arrangements will apply and students will be expected to have equipment and be ready to learn.
I would once again like to reinforce how important it is that everyone abides by the Government’s guidance and takes all precautionary measures including regularly washing hands, wearing a face-covering and social distancing (we will be operating year group bubbles as usual). If a member of your household experiences symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature; a new, continuous cough and/or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste), you must stay at home and arrange for a test. Please let us know if a student shows symptoms and if you receive a positive result, please let us know immediately by emailing [email protected] or calling us on 01384 566 598.
Face coverings must continue to be worn properly by all students and staff when moving around the site including in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot be easily maintained. Current guidance states that students are not required to wear masks when they are outside, leaving the Academy. We expect the use of reusable masks or daily disposables, provided by parents. Face coverings must be as plain as possible and without any offensive or aggressive words or images on them. We will continue to rigorously enforce this.
Families in receipt of free school meals will be contacted directly with regard to provision.
As before, a great deal of planning and risk assessment has gone into ensuring that our school continues to be as safe as for pupils and staff, in line with latest Government and Public Health England guidance.
We will continue to take decisions in the best interests of our pupils, working with you and keeping you informed every step of the way, while following Government rules and advice.
You may have heard that testing for those without coronavirus symptoms is beginning across the country using COVID-19 tests known as ‘lateral flow tests’. Along with the other protective measures we are taking, these tests can help staff and pupils remain in school safely. We will be writing next week with details about this testing.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very happy New Year. Please do continue to take care and stay safe.
Dr Lisa Mason
Ormiston Forge Academy