I hope that you and your child have had an enjoyable summer holiday and are preparing for the return to school on Tuesday 7th September. Can I remind you that there will be a staggered induction for all Year Groups on that day and therefore pupils should attend school at the following times:
Year 7 – 8.35 am assemble on the Leisure Centre Car Park
Year 8 – 12.50 pm assemble on the Leisure Centre Car Park
Year 9 – 1.20 pm assemble on the Tennis Courts
Year 10 – 1.20 pm assemble on Leisure Centre Car Park
Year 11 – 12.50 pm assemble on the Tennis Courts
From Wednesday 8th September 2021, following updated Welsh Government guidance, all pupils will begin school at the usual time of 8.35 am, and the school day will finish at 2.50 pm.
The Welsh Government have published updated COVID-19 operational guidance and we are now able to confirm arrangements for the start of the school term. https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/pdf-versions/2021/8/2/1629812307/operational-guidance-schools-and-settings.pdf
Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing
In line with the WG Education Minister’s press release Wednesday 25th August “Take the steps needed to keep learners safe and learning” all students and staff, without symptoms, should take two LFD tests three days apart during the week leading up to their first day back. If the test is positive, they should self-isolate, and book a PCR test. Tests can be obtained from local community hubs by following the link: https://www.torfaen.gov.uk/en/AboutTheCouncil/Homepage-Stories/Coronavirus/Lateral-Flow-COVID-19-Tests/Lateral-Flow-COVID-19-Tests.aspx
Pupils are therefore required to take a Lateral Flow Device test as below:
First LFD test: Saturday 4th September
Second LFD test: Tuesday 7th September (prior to attending school)
Once the test has been conducted, you or your child must log the test result online at https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result
We shall continue to apply a number of preventative measures based on our local circumstances and ask for your support in the implementation of these. An updated draft risk assessment will be available on our website in readiness for the new academic year.
We continue with a number of safe routines, these include:
- Expecting our pupils and staff to continue to wash or sanitise their hands on a regular basis. This includes when they arrive at school, when they return from breaks, when they change rooms and before and after eating. Regular and thorough hand cleaning is going to be needed for the foreseeable future.
- We shall continue to promote good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it, wash your hands’ approach.
- Following the one-way system when moving around the school.
- Maintaining appropriate levels of cleaning and sanitising of equipment and rooms.
- Expecting all members of our community to wear face coverings within communal areas of the school. Staff and pupils will not be expected to wear face coverings within the classroom however if they wish to do so they can.
- All pupils arriving on public transport will be expected to wear a face covering.
- The school will continue to ensure there is adequate ventilation.
When not to come to school
The best way we can maintain full operations is by keeping COVID-19 out of our school. It is important we all fully understand that any pupil or staff member with any of the three symptoms of COVID-19; new persistent cough, fever and/or loss of taste or smell – should not attend the school but should self-isolate, arrange a PCR test and notify the school of this. We are asking all families to take a cautious approach.
In addition, pupils, staff and other adults must not come to school if they:
- have COVID-19 symptoms
- have tested positive for COVID-19
Pupils, staff and other adults who are fully vaccinated or under 18 are not required to self-isolate as a contact and can be allowed to attend school. However, they will be contacted by the local contact tracing service and advised to take PCR tests on day 2 (from their last contact with the positive case) and day 8.
PCR tests for close contacts – particularly if the contact is part of a household setting – helps break the chain of transmission within communities and protects those who are vulnerable to the virus. All members of our community are expected to remain vigilant for new symptoms and try to avoid contact with vulnerable family and friends in the short-term (e.g. elderly relatives or those who are higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection).
Staff and other adults who have not been vaccinated must not come to school if they:
- live with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms;
- live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19;
- have been told to self-isolate by the local contact tracing service
Lessons and movement around the school site
There will be five, one hour lessons each day. Staff will continue to teach in their subject and department areas. Pupils will continue to move around the building and will be expected to follow the one-way system thus promoting safe movement around the building and minimising the number of contacts between pupils.
I appreciate that there is a lot of information provided in this letter, if you have any queries, please contact the school directly.
Finally, I look forward to welcoming your child back to school on Tuesday 7th September.
Mrs D Gill