Announcement

Arrangements for the re-opening of school - March 2021

Dear Parents & Carers,

Full Re-opening of school from Monday, 8th March 2021, with testing from Friday, 5th March 2021

I hope you and your families are well.

I am sure that you are aware of the announcement of the government’s plan to get all students back to school.  I would like to give you some indication of when this will be and also what additional safety precautions will be in place for the return of your child.  I will focus on the questions and issues that I believe to be salient:

Will my child be tested upon return to school for Covid-19?

Yes, and we ask that parents will give permission first. In January, you were invited to complete a consent form. I encourage all parents, who have not already done so, to complete this without delay as it will give everyone in our community the confidence that they are returning to a safer school. The form can be found at this link: https://bit.ly/ttconsentpupils.  Each student will be tested upon return, and then twice more, 3 to 5 days apart.  Beyond this, home-testing kits will be distributed and parents will be expected to supervise home tests twice per week.

What happens if my child tests positive for Covid-19?

If a test is positive, you will have to collect your child as soon as possible and arrange for a PCR test via NHS Test & Trace. If the result of the PCR test is also positive, they will need then to isolate for 10 days, along with any close contacts – this is the same as before Christmas.

What if my child is a close contact with someone who has tested positive?

The school will have to follow the same procedure as last term – identifying close contacts at school and sending students home for a ten-day isolation period.  (Note: the idea of close contacts staying in school and having repeat tests each day for seven days, put forward in January, has been withdrawn.)

When will my child return to school?

Testing will begin on Friday, 5th March 2021. As you can imagine, it will not be possible to test all of our pupils on the same day.  The government have asked schools to prioritise Year 10 and above – so return dates will be staggered from 5 March and throughout the week beginning 8 March.  This means that some year groups will not return to face-to-face classes until Wednesday, 10th March.  On their day of return, students will be asked to arrive at a specific time so that they can be tested when they enter the site. They will not have to wear uniform for their first test. They will leave school immediately after their test and return the next day, if their test result is negative. I will write again with the exact timings of return for your child.

The initial test will be on the following dates:

Friday, 5th March          Years 10 and 11 (face-to-face lessons begin in school on 8 March)

Monday, 8th March                 Years 7 and 9 (face-to-face lessons begin in school on 9 March)

Tuesday, 9th March                 Year 8 (face-to-face lessons begin in school from 10 March)

When returning to school after the first negative test, the boys will revert to the separate entrances, exits and timings that were initiated in September.

You are reminded that, as before, any pupil displaying Covid-19 symptoms should not return to school but should self-isolate until they have booked and received a negative PCR test.

Lunchtimes will continue be staggered and I remind you to top up your accounts to ensure there are funds available for lunch.

When will remote provision change?

We will continue to deliver live remote lessons until Thursday 4th March. From then on, initially, work will be set on Showmyhomework for those pupils who are at home. If you have borrowed a laptop, we will contact you shortly about its return.

What additional safety precautions will be in place for students’ return?

The government has updated its “System of Controls” and this corresponds to what Salvatorian College already had in place – with two additional areas of emphasis:

  1. An even greater emphasis on cleaning hands: Students are now expected to clean hands whenever they change rooms.  Whilst hand sanitiser is available, I would ask that all students bring with them their own hand sanitiser to enable this greater frequency of hand cleansing.
  2. Wearing face masks. When in school, face masks are to be worn at all times unless directed to be removed by a member of staff or unless a pupil is officially exempt from wearing one.  A member of staff may ask for their removal if either the students are socially distanced, or they must be removed to enable the curriculum to be delivered (for example in PE).  The emphasis upon face masks is now such that the school will consider sanctions for students who don’t wear them. I would ask that parents provide their child with a spare face mask each day in case the ear straps break.

I am very glad that we will be returning to school from 8th March.  Understandably, there are parents, students and staff who are very concerned about their safety and the safety of their vulnerable relatives and so we will be returning with an increased emphasis upon protecting others in our community by our own hygiene routines.

Remember the mantra: HANDS, FACE, SPACE

When will things return to normal?

With the vaccination programme in full swing, I have no doubt that a “new normal” will be achieved relatively soon. In the second week back, I am hoping that we will be able to continue as normal with routines we had established in the Autumn Term (A moment for Jesus; voluntary Mass; 5 o’clock club; Saturday sessions; extra-curricular activities etc). I will remind you that our rules have not changed: mobile phones are not allowed; exaggerated hair styles are not allowed and uniform should be worn correctly. If you have any issues with uniform, or have any other queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at admin@salvatorian.harrow.sch.uk

I am in no doubt that the best place for all children is at school and, although we have done our best with Remote Education Provision, there is no long-term substitute for face-to-face schooling.

As I indicated above, we will be writing again very soon with further information about our return to school – let us hope and pray that this move back to school is the beginning of the end of the negative influence of Covid-19 on our lives.

With kind regards,

Mr Bryant
Head of School

 

 

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