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Headteacher Update: Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

Important – Latest Advice to Parents/ Carers regarding CORONAVIRUS (Covid-19)

Important update: 24th February 2021

Dear Parents/Carers,

Following the Prime Ministers announcement on Monday 22nd February 2021, I am delighted to announce that school will be fully reopening to all pupils from Tuesday 9th of March. A reminder that Monday 8th March is an INSET day.

Firstly, can I thank you all for working with us over the last few months to keep numbers of pupils in school to a minimum and for those of you who have had your children at home, you have done a wonderful job supporting your child to learn from home. As a parent myself, I understand the challenges the lockdown has brought to families and the pressures that home learning creates. You have all done a wonderful job and I am very much looking forward to welcoming all the children back into school and hopefully parents and carers as well later in the year when it is safe to do so.

Pupils returning to school

Those pupils who are currently learning from home will return to school from Tuesday March 9th. We will alert transport. If you have any specific concerns about your child returning or if your child is classed as clinically extremely vulnerable and so therefore has been contacted to shield till March 31st please contact us via parents@brackenfield.derbyshire.sch.uk . The following is in place to keep pupils and staff safe:

  • Enhanced cleaning schedules throughout the school including ongoing cleaning of high touch points (door handles etc) throughout the day
  • The school has now been divided into class bubbles to keep the number of children and staff mixing to a minimum
  • Staff have received a first vaccine to immunise them against COVID 19
  • There are additional alcohol hand gel dispensers installed around the school
  • Movement of children and staff around the school building is kept to a minimum
  • Outdoor learning is staggered to ensure that children are not mixing out of their bubbles. Outdoor equipment is wiped down between groups
  • Specialist spaces (teaching kitchens, sensory rooms, library) in school are being timetabled and cleaned down in between use
  • Bubbles have allocated toilets to avoid using the same facilities as people in other bubbles
  • Teaching staff work over the lunchtime period to minimise changes of staff with the children and more exposures
  • Staff are using appropriate PPE for personal and intimate care and for taxi time
  • There is a one-way system for taxi time
  • Enhanced hand hygiene is taking place for both staff and pupils throughout the day
  • Home testing will be coming into place for secondary aged pupils and all staff
  • Pupils are welcome to wear masks in lessons if they feel comfortable doing so

Lateral Flow Tests

We have been successfully administering lateral flow tests for staff and for those secondary pupils on site who have had consent since the beginning of the spring term. The government has announced that when pupils return to school from March 8th onwards, secondary aged pupils must be tested in school on 3 occasions and then will be provided with test devices to self-test at home twice a week.

Further information will follow about testing of pupils for COVID 19, including how the tests happen and consent forms, but to give an overview - pupils who have parental consent will be tested on Tuesday 9th March, Friday 12th March and Monday 15th March. Pupils will self-test supported verbally by staff or parents will be invited in to physically support. Following these dates secondary pupils will be issued with home test kits, we will show the pupils in school how these work and send information home to you to support the administration of these tests. Home tests will need to be taken twice weekly on a Sunday evening (prior to coming back to school after the weekend) and on a Wednesday evening. Information will also follow about how you log test results and let school know.

Staff will also start undertaking lateral flow testing from home twice weekly.

School year dates, leavers, and new starters

As you will know, our school year runs from June - June so that we are able to effectively transition in new stater pupils for the following year and also transition all pupils to new classes before the summer holiday break. The children will have transition lessons to their new classes on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th June and move to new classes from Monday 14th June. New starter pupils to the school will start transitioning in from Monday 14th June till we break up for the summer holidays in July.

Year 11 pupils last day of school will be Wednesday 9th June. There will be a number of leaver activities arranged for them during their last week. Due to restrictions this year it has not been possible for us to undertake a thorough transition to post 16 placements. For this reason, the focus for our school leavers will be transition from when they return in March. We will be working with their post 16 providers closely to support this.

Finally, it has been a really challenging year for everyone, I have been so proud of how the children have responded and coped and so grateful for the ongoing communication from you as families. I am hopeful that the relaxing of the lockdown restrictions is paving the way back to normality in schools and that soon we will be able to resume all the activities which have been put on hold of the last 12months. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us via parents@brackenfield.derbyshire.sch.uk.

Yours Sincerely

Mrs T Turner

Head Teacher

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