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Parent Bulletin 12/03/21

Please see the latest parent bulletin from Mr Solly below....

Dear Parents and Carers,  

It has been an absolute pleasure welcoming your sons and daughters back to school this week. At times it has been difficult to see (because everyone is wearing face masks) but there have been smiles on faces throughout the week as everyone in our school community reconnects with each other. The smiles are most definitely there though, you just have to look a little closer!  

It has been wonderful to see students immersing themselves in lessons and I know our staff have thoroughly enjoyed being back in the classroom. Whilst one of the most important aspects of this re-start is teaching the curriculum, lockdown has acutely demonstrated to us that school is about so much more than that. This is something we have always known, but these extended periods of time away from school have really sharpened our focus on the importance of social interaction, all-round wellbeing and the holistic development of young people. I have repeatedly said that it is just as important that a school experience teaches young people how to be great human beings, as it is for a school to deliver the curriculum, support students in achieving excellent qualifications and providing a passport for them to access their next steps in life. The attitude of students throughout the week has been superb and I have been so impressed with them.  

The past 8 days has seen our Asymptomatic Testing Site, based in the drama studio, significantly scale up its capacity, as we have been testing two entire year groups each day. The work of our volunteers and the existing UCC staff who have been re-deployed there, has been truly astonishing. It is a gruelling shift and these people have really stepped up to the plate and done an amazing job. They have remarked to me on many occasions how impressed they have been with the polite, calm and courteous nature of our students. The testing process is not pleasant, as many of you will know, but our students have just accepted that it is something we all have to do right now, in order to keep ourselves and those around us safe, and they have simply just got on with it. Thank you to all the parents who have supported us with driving your child(ren) to school at designated times throughout this period.

Year groups are now starting to transition to the home testing processes and we will be asking students to routinely take the test at home every Monday and Friday evening, once their year group has completed the initial 3 in school lateral flow tests. Students will be given the test kits to bring home, along with instructions on how to conduct the tests. Students will be given their home testing kits as follows: 

Friday March 12th - Year 11 
Monday March 15th - Year 10 
Wednesday March 17th - Years 7, 8 and 9 

We have received over 99% consent for the testing, which we are delighted with, as this shows how determined our school community is to protect each other. Below are a few bullet points for parents to be aware of regarding the home testing arrangements:  

  • If a home test generates a positive result, you must book a confirmatory PCR test for your child as soon as possible.  
  • There will be an online form to fill in for each home test, which informs the school of the result. This must be completed after each test.  
  • If there is a positive result, parents should also let us know by emailing  
  • There is also a requirement to log the test outcome on the government website each time.  
  • We have selected Friday and Monday evenings as our ‘test days’ for students and staff. This is because a confirmatory PCR test is required if the home Lateral Flow Device test generates a positive result. By testing on a Friday, families have the weekend to get the PCR test booked and completed – if this comes back negative then the child or staff member can return to school on the Monday, with no school days missed.   
  • If we receive notice of a positive case, we have to complete our internal process for tracking ‘close contacts’. Given that the results will be received by us on a Monday or Friday evening, this means that we may have to instruct the whole year group to remain at home for the next school day whilst this close contact process is completed. We would then invite all students who are not close contacts back into school the following day, with the identified close contacts having to self isolate at home for 10 days from the date they had contact with the person who tested positive. Below are a couple of examples to explain this further.   


Example 1 – positive lateral flow device test, followed by a negative PCR test  




‘Student A’ student tests positive from Home LFD test.  


Student A’s family completes the online forms to inform the school and government.  

Student A takes a confirmatory PCR test, which comes back negative and then informs the school.  

Student A attends school on Monday as normal.   


Example 2 – positive lateral flow device test, followed by a positive PCR test  





‘Student A’ student tests positive from Home LFD test.  


Student A’s family completes the online forms to inform the school and government  

Student A takes a confirmatory PCR test, which comes back positive and then informs the school.  


School sends out an email to inform parents of a positive case and that their child should not attend on Monday.   

All students from the Year group remain at home and complete work at home by accessing the Self Isolation page on the school website.  


School completes close contact tracking process and identifies a number of students who need to self isolate for 10 days. These students are contacted by email.  


All other students from the Year group are informed they can return to school on Tuesday  

Student A and close contacts do not attend school until the designated return date and complete work at home by accessing the Self Isolation page on the school website.  


All other students from the Year group who are not close contacts return to school.   

 We have noticed that there has been a significant increase in the number of students being dropped off and collected by car. This may be linked to parents not wishing their child(ren) to take buses to school at the moment, or the fact that the weather has been horrendous lately! The result has been a lot of traffic, congestion and delay at the start and end of the day. Our site team, who work diligently to ensure everyone’s safety, have been subjected to a number of abhorrent and abusive comments, which is unacceptable and very disappointing. Thankfully, the vast majority of the adults who have visited the site to collect their child(ren) have behaved like adults and shown understanding, patience and respect. Please can I ask that all parents wait until 3:20pm each day to collect their child(ren) by car, as this gives us time to get the buses out of the car park and allows sufficient space for safe pick-ups.   

Finally, I would just like to reflect on the week where we welcomed 900 wonderful young people back into our lovely school. I remarked to a colleague on a rainy bus duty a few days ago that we have slotted back into school life seamlessly and that it felt as normal as it could do, given the circumstances. I also read a quote that resonated with me, from the author Deepak Chopra — 'Nothing is more important than reconnecting with your bliss. Nothing is as rich. Nothing is more real.' I think that throughout this week, teachers have been reconnecting with their passion – teaching and inspiring young people in the classroom. Similarly, young people across the country have been reconnecting with friends, school staff and a love of learning. It has all been an absolute pleasure to see. We have made an excellent re-start at UCC and it has been a huge team effort involving staff, students and parents. Thank you for all your support.    

Have a great weekend
Mr Solly.