Plan for the reopening of school

26 Feb 2021 | BY leekhigh

Dear Parents and Carers

As announced on Monday, Leek High School will begin to re-open from Monday 8th March. We will be staggering the return of students to ensure that we re-start in as safe a way as possible. In order to do this, in line with government guidance we would like all students to have a lateral flow test before they return and then once again when they are back in school.

Lateral Flow Tests are optional and will only be offered to students whose parents have given consent. The consent form which needs completing as soon as possible is online at:

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=2ZEO4Wgo4kyLCjxlLqw-hBHgkt0fz8tBmvGIKT2NrdpURVJJUjZQRFdMV1NIQkdTR1pYTEc3RFFUQy4u

Please can you support the school and discuss the importance of testing with your child. We have been doing testing with a team of staff who have all been fully trained and are experienced on how to carry out tests and ensure that results are provided quickly.

In order to allow us to test students safely and to manage their return, we will be staggering tests and return dates over the weeks beginning the 8th and 15th of March. Due to the high number of tests that we need to carry out and to ensure that large groups of students are not mixing, students will need to arrive promptly at school at the time given for their test. Students will be tested in form groups to help to keep the number of students who may have to isolate as a result of a positive case to a minimum. Students must wear a face covering and observe social distancing at all times.

On their test day students should make their way to the sports hall using the dining room entrance of The Fulmar. Students will be guided through the registration process for which they will need a fully charged mobile phone and will also need to know their postcode. Students can leave immediately after their test and will receive their result in an email and text message from the NHS. Parents and carers bringing students into school by car may park on the main car park or bus park and can wait but should not leave their vehicles.

From 15th March, students will be issued with home testing kits which they will use to test themselves twice weekly. Information on how to use the kits and how to notify results will be included in each pack.

In the event of a positive lateral flow test in school we will ensure that the student and their parents or carers are informed before we consider which other students will need to isolate. The student must then take a PCR test at a public test centre as soon as possible to confirm the result.

Remote learning will continue for students up until the point they return to school for lessons. To ensure that enough staff are available in school to administer and perform tests there will be no face-to-face webinars from Monday 8th March, staff will continue to set work that students can complete independently. Students will not have work set on the days that they are scheduled to attend school for testing.

The table below summarises the days and times for year group tests.

Testing Timetable

Year 11 and Year 13 students will return to school for lessons on Thursday 11th March and have their second test in school on this day.

Year 10 and Year 12 students will return to school for lessons on Friday 12th March and have their second test in school on this day.

Year 9 students will report to school just to have their second test on the morning of Monday 15th March and will return to school for lessons the following day on Tuesday 16th March.

When they return to school, students must be in full school uniform and follow our established expectations and routines on staying COVID safe. This includes year groups remaining in bubbles at break and lunch times. The use of hand sanitiser and the importance of washing hands will remain key to our approach. Hand sanitiser will continue to be available throughout the site, though we do encourage students to bring their own where possible. Students will also be expected to wipe down desks at the beginning and end of lessons. We were impressed by the conduct of students last term in adapting to these measures. Our expectations for their behaviour and conduct remain exactly the same. Any failure to follow these guidelines will be treated extremely seriously.

One significant change comes in the use of face masks. Students and staff will now be required to wear a mask at all times when indoors, including when in classrooms. It is essential that students bring their own masks to school; though we have some available should a mask be lost or broken, we do not have enough to regularly issue them to students. Students may wish to bring two masks with them to avoid this situation, and to enable them to change a mask should they wish to now that they will be wearing them for a greater amount of time.

Most important of all is that students do not attend if they feel at all unwell. This is especially important if they have:

– a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature);

– a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual);

– a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal. Symptoms other than these should also be treated with caution. The best advice is to stay off school and book a test should you be at all unsure.

Students should not attend school for testing if they have any of these symptoms.

Grading Qualifications Summer 2021

You are probably aware that yesterday, the Education Secretary announced the plans for grading qualifications for students in examination year groups the summer (mainly for students in Year 11 and Year 13). Once this information is published in full, we’ll communicate our plans and expectations to students and parents and carers. Our aim will be to ensure that students are not disadvantaged by the time they have spent away from school.

We’re really pleased about being able to welcome our students back and are looking forward to seeing them and teaching them face-to-face again. We realise that this return will cause many to be anxious, especially with the introduction of testing. We’ll be doing our best to reassure students and to ease any nerves. Should you have any questions or queries, please do get in touch.

Thank you for your support throughout this latest, and hopefully last, period of lockdown.

Yours sincerely
P. Evans
Headteacher

LHS Update Reopening Arrangements March 2021

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