The COVID-19 pandemic poses serious challenges and this is an continuously unclear and daunting time for us all. By working together and providing you with as much up-to-date information as we can, we as a school community want to support you as parents and carers to help your children to engage in learning outside school and to manage their return to the classroom.
On this page you’ll find links to letters we’ve sent home during the past few months, advice from the government and details about how we plan to welcome your child(ren) back into school.
This page is updated regularly with new information, so please keep checking back. There is also a link to this page from the school information tab on the school app.
On this page you will also find other advice, resources and useful links.
Testing continues to play a crucial role, in and out of classrooms, in our fight against COVID-19.
Staff should continue to test themselves and report results whilst encouraging secondary school and college students to do likewise.
Reporting test results can be done simply and quickly, from mobiles, online or by phone, and should be completed straightaway. Reporting not only supports contact tracing in the event of a positive case but also assists our understanding of community rates of infection.
To help in communicating the importance of testing and reporting, we have produced a blog on why reporting your test result is as important as taking a test, featuring further guidance and common questions. This also includes details on financial support available to parents whose children are asked to self-isolate after contact with a positive case. Please share this in your newsletters and communications with pupils and parents.
In response to the Prime Minister's briefing on Monday, Mrs Twist has sent the following letter to parents/carers concerning the wearing of face masks/coverings inside the school buildings.
The Secretary of State for Education has today written to children and young people to recognise the impact of the disruption they have faced over the past year and to thank them for their resilience. He outlines his continued commitment to supporting children and young people to recover from the disruption now that they have returned to school and college. The letter also highlights the importance of coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and the vital role this plays in helping to prevent the virus spreading.
Please click here to view a letter from Mrs Twist regarding arrangements from the 29th March 2021.
Community Collect testing service for households and support bubbles of school children
Students will be able to collect home test kits from their form tutors following their third test this week.
We would like them to take their tests before school on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Read the letter from Mrs Twist about Testing students at home here
Click the link below to record your child's result:
Upon return to school, from 8 March, all secondary aged students (year 7 and above) will be tested 3 times on site at the school testing site. The tests will be taken 3 to 5 days apart. Once students have had one negative test result they can return to school.
Read the letter From Mrs Twist about asymptomatic testing here
On 22nd February the Prime Minister announced that from 8 March, all children and students should return to school and college. All secondary students will be offered testing from 8 March, and those who consent to testing should return to face-to-face education following their first negative test result. Students are strongly urged to engage with the testing arrangements. However, if you or your child (if they are aged over 18) do not consent, they will not be stopped from going back and will return in line with school's arrangements.
Read letters from Mrs Twist about the wider opening of school from 8th March here
The government is delivering a programme of rapid asymptomatic testing from the start of January for children and young people in year 7 and above (or equivalent) in secondary schools, FE colleges, special schools and specialist colleges, AP academies, PRUs and registered independent AP.
The objectives of this programme are to:
All these settings will receive an initial delivery of lateral flow device test kits to support asymptomatic testing from the start of the spring term.
Rapidly identifying and containing any asymptomatic cases, which comprise up to a third of all cases, will help avoid individuals carrying the infection unknowingly spreading it. This is all the more so in the settings covered by this guidance, where education often involves close proximity between children or young people and staff and social distancing can be harder to observe.
Testing is voluntary and no child or young person will be tested unless informed consent has been given by the appropriate person.
No one will be prevented from receiving face-to-face education if for any reason they are not tested.
Testing is similarly voluntary for members of staff.
School will remain open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until 8 of March at the earliest. Details of Lockdown Learning can be found here.
Read letters from Mrs Twist about Lockdown Learning here
The DfE have updated the guidance for parents and carers on what they need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This update provides information on the national restrictions that came into force on 5 November, the latest advice for clinically extremely vulnerable children and young people and advice on the use of face coverings in education settings. This guidance can be shared with your parent networks.
On Monday 12 October the Department for Education confirmed that exams will go ahead next year. Most AS/A level and GCSE exams will be delayed by three weeks to give pupils more time to catch up on their learning.
The exams 2021 education blog published on 10 November provides further answers to the key questions being asked about exams 2021.
We would like to reassure you that our reconnect plans for our Year Group bubbles will continue unchanged. We will give advance notice if and when we deem it appropriate and safe to make any changes. Thank you for your continued support in ensuring the safety of all our school community.
Please also be advised that we have received the following message from The Department for Education to share and circulate to all parents/carers:
|Letter for parents about COVID-19 symptoms
Public Health England have produced a letter for schools to distribute to parents which explains when a person requires a coronavirus test and what the symptoms of coronavirus are.
The intention of the letter is to help prevent children being taken out of school unnecessarily and answer some of the questions parents may have around testing.
The free NHS COVID-19 app is a vital part of the NHS Test and Trace service in England, and the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service. It will be available to download on Thursday 24 September.
Click on the image below to view the Introductory Booklet for full details of how to download the App:
Check out the newly created "Back to School" website by St Helens Council. This is a new website for parents, carers and their children and is part of the ‘All in’ attendance strategy. The site contains the latest government guidance for parents, some videos relating to top tips and will be added to as new documents are developed. https://www.sthelens.gov.uk/backtoschool
We have studied the Government guidance meticulously and taken all appropriate advice to ensure that we can have the students back in September whilst maintaining the safety of all students, staff and families as much as possible. We have thoroughly reviewed our Health and Safety risk assessment and have drawn up plans for the autumn term. Please note that these plans could change if circumstances change and that they will be constantly reviewed and updated as the term progresses.
Please note that this phase is a replication of the Y10 face-to-face events, which took place at the start of June and worked exceptionally well so we feel confident that with everyone’s cooperation it will work for the whole school.
Phase 1 - reconnect
Year 7 and Year 11 will return to school on Monday 7th September and the remaining years 8-10 on Tuesday 8th September.
Each year group will have their own area of the school in which they will stay and they will also have their own entrance/exit point and specific toilets to use. Children will stay in their areas and staff will move to them. There will be a one-way system in each of the areas.
Break and lunch arrangements will be staggered so that no two year groups will mix. For the first few weeks, the food served will be from a limited menu and will be grab and go bags. There will also be food available to buy at break.
The highest of standards and responsibility will be expected from all students regarding the safety of everyone and any defiance of the safety procedures will not be tolerated.
All children will be expected to be in FULL school uniform. Chewing gum is most definitely banned and all other school rules will apply from day 1.
Unless there are exceptional circumstances children should arrive at school no earlier than 8:15am and no later than 8:30am.
All staff and students will have a temperature check on entry and will be expected to adhere to appropriate social distancing and hand washing procedures.
Each year group will have specialist teachers for their core subjects and then blended learning for foundation/option subjects. For KS4 there will be some face to face and an element of online learning both in school and at home. KS3 will have project based learning in foundations subjects. In addition to their academic subjects, all students will have appropriate pastoral support.
This first phase approach will enable us to get all students back in and routines in place that will ensure learning takes place in a safe environment. It is expected to remain in place for two weeks before being reviewed and will very much depend on the national and local COVID-19 pandemic situation.