As we move into the final week of term I wanted to write to thank you for your positivity and support over the last two terms. This term has been a massive effort by all involved with the school, firstly to administer nearly one and a half thousand tests prior to pupils returning, then to provide another three thousand tests in the first weeks after return and then supporting the provision of home testing, not to mention putting in place measures to support pupils’ return to school. I am hugely indebted to the fantastic staff at the school who have enabled this to happen, in particular the testing team who worked over weekends and balanced testing with their normal work (which did not go away) in order to ensure a swift and full return to school.
It is also appropriate that I reference the support we have had from parents and the students themselves. Both have been superb. Parents brought pupils in for testing and we had a near 100% turnout rate for the appointments that were provided. This made everything a huge amount easier. The pupils themselves have taken a fantastic no-nonsense approach to testing and the return to school in general. We have had no histrionics or drama. They have got on with it and run with it. Their behaviour round the school and focus in and out of lessons has been excellent. It is vital that this continues as senior years undertake crucial assessments that will support the grading process, whilst other years have some catching up to do.
A wide ranging email was sent out at the end of last week with a number of reminders. I would draw your attention to this if you have not yet read it. I will not repeat everything in it now, but would want to emphasise one element. The guidance that we have is that pupils should continue to home test through the Easter holidays. However, what it emphasises extremely strongly is that all pupils should test at home on the Sunday prior to their return to school. In order for us to have a safe and positive return after the Easter break I would implore parents to ensure that they undertake this carefully and report any positive results both to NHS Test and Trace and also to the school.
Finally, we commend students for the mature and sensible approach they have taken to the wearing of face coverings in classrooms and while moving around the school. This measure, recommended by the government on 8th March, was designed to be a short term step, in place until Easter and kept under review. We await to see the outcome of any review and will update all parents accordingly.
Thank you once again for your support this term and I wish all our families a positive and safe Easter break.
Mr E Hodges