Dear Parents, Carers, and Students, 

As we approach the end of the first full week back to school, after a long closure for the vast majority of students, I wanted to express my appreciation for the manner in which our students and staff have supported and embraced the control measures that are in place. 

The use of staggered starts, endings, breaks, and lunch, alongside the use of year group bubbles operating in zones, as well as the one-way systems in school are designed to minimise the number of social contacts in school.  We want to both minimise the transmission of infection and to be able to support the process of test and trace.  This alongside maintaining good hygiene practices increases our chances of keeping our school open, during the challenges of the autumn and winter months. 

The changes have been adhered to and given the size of our school, we need the understanding and compliance of our students in order to make it work.  They have stepped up to the marked wonderfully and it makes a difference.   

We have been fortunate so far, in that we have had good weather and students have been able to wait in their bubbles before entering the school.  Those arriving for 8.35am and 8.45am will want to consider the timings that they arrive at school, so that they are not having to stand outside for longer than is necessary.  This will be especially important during wet and colder mornings. 

The First Aid office has provided a tremendous service in managing the needs of our students when they have been feeling unwell and there does seem to some seasonal illness that we always encounter at the start of the autumn term.  We face a number of challenges in meeting the demands of test and trace and are thankful that parents and carers are supporting these national procedures.  At the risk of being repetitive if your child becomes unwell with a new, persistent cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste of smell, they must stay at home and you should follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection guidance.  

Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus COVID 19 infection 

With a school population in excess of 1500 students and staff it is important that we continue to work together and the evidence from this week is that we can and are operating in a controlled environment. 

I am conscious that with such a large school and extended school community there runs the danger for misinformation to spread but please be reassured that we will continue to share as much information as we can during these coming weeks and months.  Take care. 

Yours faithfully,

Vince Murray