Parent Bulletin 05/03/21
Please see the latest bulletin from Mr Solly below - there is a lot of information concerning our return to school - the bulletin is attached at the bottom of the page should you wish to print it out
Dear parents and carers,
I hope this bulletin finds you all safe and well. There has been a lot of information sent out recently regarding our wider re-opening plans, so I have ‘chunked’ the bulletin into sections to make it easier to read.
This has been a very busy week in school with our Asymptomatic Testing Site in full operation over the past 2 days. Our team have been absolutely brilliant in creating such a well-organised provision in such a short space of time. Yesterday we welcomed Year 11 back for their first test and Year 10 have been going through the same process today. The level of consent we have received from our parent community has been excellent, with 99% of our students participating in the Lateral Flow Device testing.
We are excited to see our students next week and I have produced a video presentation (link here) for parents and students to watch in preparation for our phased re-start. Please take the time to sit and watch this with your child(ren) so you all have a good understanding of our plans and the expectations for the forthcoming weeks.
Once we have conducted the 3 initial Lateral Flow Device tests over the next 2 weeks, we will revert to home testing arrangements for students. We will issue students with these home test kits and more information will be provided about this closer to the time.
NHS Test and Trace announced earlier this week, that all adults in households with school and college age children without symptoms can now access regular rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing. Test kits can either be collected or ordered online (link here). Tests are fast, easy and completely free. There are different ways for a household, childcare or support bubble to collect their test to take at home, twice-weekly.
The Department for Education has asked schools to communicate a clear set of messages with regard to travelling safely to and from school. Please take note of the bullet points below and talk with your child(ren) about the ones pertinent to them:
- if you live a short distance from school, walk, cycle or scoot to and from school wherever it is possible and safe to do so
- avoid sharing a car with anyone outside of your household or support bubble
- if you are using public transport to get to school, plan ahead and allow more time for your journey
- when you are travelling by public or dedicated school transport, don’t forget to:
- wear a face covering (unless you are exempt, including if you are aged 11 and under). It is important you wear them for the entirety of your journey, including inside a bus or train station
- social distance where possible
- wash or sanitise your hands regularly
- be considerate to fellow passengers and staff.
On the important topic of food, please remember to pre-order any break time snacks or lunch meals using this link on the school website.
Our students were superb in their compliance with the expectations for face coverings in the Autumn Term. The government have tightened the expectations on face coverings in school and students are now expected to be wearing them during lessons. This will hopefully be a short term measure which ceases after Easter and we will follow the guidance for schools in order to create the safest possible learning environment for students and staff.
The arrangements for PE kit are the same as the Autumn Term. When students have a PE lesson they can wear their PE kit to school.
In the autumn term we issued students with equipment to support their learning in the classroom. We affectionately refer to these as Goody Bags. They consist of a clear plastic folder in which is a mini-whiteboard, whiteboard pen, whiteboard eraser, purple pen, glue stick and traffic light cards. Please can all students bring these back into school with them as they will form an essential element of our teachers being able to assess student understanding without circulating the classrooms.
Whole school approach
As I indicated last week, our focus will be on teaching, not testing, as we re-start. It is really important we support students with re-engaging successfully with face-to-face teaching and re-igniting a love of learning. Our students have, on the whole, engaged with online learning very well, but we are very keen to get back into the classroom and work positively with your sons and daughters. Clearly, for Year 11 there are important assessments which will be required as part of awarding GCSE grades and Mr Brookes has produced a video presentation to outline the processes we will be using.
Throughout this lockdown period things have been very tough for many people. It is almost a year since I wrote about how I was feeling as the scale of pandemic really started to become a stark reality. Since then the world has changed hugely and we have all had to adapt. The messages of thanks and support we have received from students and parents has been overwhelming. When UCC staff have found the going tough, our community have picked us up with kindness and thoughtful gestures. It is a privilege to work at Uppingham Community College, and for me it is an absolute honour to lead such a wonderful team of staff and students. I cannot wait to see my colleagues and our students next week.
Thank you for your continued support of our school.
Take care and stay safe.