Posted: 31 December 2020

Return to School – January 2021

31 December 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

You will no doubt have heard yesterday the announcement of further delay in re-opening secondary schools in January and the implementation of rapid testing for secondary school students to limit the spread of Covid-19. The information provided by the government on this can be found here:

As I hope you know, we have followed all government guidance and directives and will continue to do so, therefore I am writing to give you the information about our response to the latest announcement:

  • As per my letter of 18th December, we will be shut to all students on Monday 4th January (INSET Day) and Tuesday 5th January (Academic Review Day – meetings to take place as planned via MS Teams)
  • All lessons for all students from Wednesday 6th January will be taught remotely with the teacher present in the lesson, as per the student’s usual timetable. If teaching staff are unwell, lessons will be posted onto MS Teams. Please note that there have been some timetable and set changes, so students should check their Teams very carefully; these have been updated.
  • All students need to log on for tutor time at 8.30am and from there they will follow the usual timings of the school day. Teachers will ensure that all lessons have been calendared in advance. A reminder that a guide to using MS Teams can be found here.
  • Children of critical workers, those who have EHCPs or who otherwise require an on-site provision will be on site in designated, socially distanced study areas. If you believe your child may be eligible for this because you are a key worker, then please book their place using this form.
  • Year 11 and Year 13 students will return to school for face-to-face teaching on Monday 11th January. All mock exams for these students will take place during this week; an updated timetable will be sent out early next week.
  • The full return to school and normal lessons is anticipated for all students on Monday 18th January, COVID-19 data dependent as per the Prime Minister’s statement yesterday.
  • Parents of children in receipt of free school meals will be able to collect a food hamper from Wednesday 6th January; please confirm on this form if you would like one to be provided for your child.

Below I have organised the explanation of on-site testing by answering the questions I think you will find most useful:

How will rapid Covid-19 testing work?
We are intending to implement rapid Covid-19 testing in school from 8th January. We are working hard to ensure our site and staff are ready to deliver these safely. The schedule outlined for testing is subject to the school receiving the correct number of testing kits and personnel to be able to run the programme. We will update you if we feel we need to adjust our plans from those I am sharing here.

What is a rapid Covid-19 test?
A rapid Covid-19 test involves a simple swab, which the child can administer themselves, in their mouth,
under the supervision and guidance of a trained test assistant.

When can my child have their test?
Please note this is a provisional timetable at the moment.
Each tutor group will be given their own half-hour time slot to attend within these timings.
Students who have had confirmed COVID19 test results within the past 90 days must not attend the
testing process as the lateral flow tests indicate positive results for 90 days post-contracting, so false
positives will be recorded. Students will need to attend for two separate tests, three days apart.

  • Years 11 and 13: Friday 8th January 8.30 – 10.30 Monday 11th January 8.30 – 10.30
  • Year 7: Monday 11th January 9:00-12:00 Thursday 14th January 9:00-12:00
  • Year 8: Monday 11th January 13:00 – 15:30 Thursday 14th January 13:00 – 15:30
  • Year 9: Tuesday 12th January 10:00 -12:00 Friday 15th January 10:00-12:00
  • Year 10 and 12: Tuesday 12th January 12.30 – 15.00 Friday 15th January 12.30 – 15.00

Is testing compulsory?
Participation is voluntary and active consent is required. We will be sending out consent forms to all parents w/c 4th January, starting with the children who will be accessing our in-school supervision. If you decide that you would NOT like your child to be tested, this does not prevent them from coming into school. It would mean that, if they were confirmed as a direct contact, they would have to self-isolate for 10 days as opposed to being given a daily test on site at school for 5-7 days, which allows them to remain in school each day if they are negative.

How will we be told the test result?
Test results take at least 30 minutes to process so we will require all students to leave site once they have
completed their test, unless they are part of the on-site provision. We will then contact, by telephone, anyone whose test result was positive. If you haven’t heard from us, then this means your test result was negative.

How many times to do the students have to be tested?
This first round of testing is known as mass testing. This is where we test all members of our school
community. To complete the testing process, you must be tested twice, approximately 3 days apart as per
our draft schedule.

Where do students go for this test?
Enter via the main student entrance at the front of the school and make their way to the school library. The library will be the testing centre and staff and signs will be in place to direct you to the correct entrance and route through. Parents will not be permitted to accompany students onto site.

What happens if my child tests positive for Covid-19?
Your child and their household must self-isolate and follow the government guidance linked here: They will also be
required to complete an additional PCR home testing kit test which is available nationally. We will provide remote work for them to complete during their isolation time.

What do parents need to do now?
Complete and return the consent form ASAP next week. Use this to indicate consent for testing, which must be complete before your child’s test date. Any child who arrives on site without consent will not be
permitted to have a test.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact

Thank you for your continued support as we try to navigate our way through much unknown territory. As ever, I can assure you that I will be doing all I can to keep your children safe.

I hope you have had a safe and restful Christmas and I wish you a very Happy New Year, let’s hope that 2021 brings us an easier way forward.

Best wishes
Mr D Littlemore

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