Dear Parents and Carers
As you will be aware, the country moved to lockdown on Thursday. New guidance for schools has now been published by the DfE, and we are therefore making some small changes to how we operate. As of Monday all schools, where children are in Year 7 or above, will need to make face coverings in indoor communal areas compulsory. We have already implemented face coverings in corridors so we will only need to make some minor changes to what we are already doing. From tomorrow, in addition to corridors, students must also wear a face covering in the Dining Hall (unless they are eating) and Sixth Formers will now need to do the same in the Sixth Form Common Room. The guidance remains that face coverings are not required in classrooms, but as before we are allowing this for students and staff who wish to do so.
We have been advised by Worcester Children First that face coverings are not compulsory outside, but again we are allowing students to do so if they wish. It is vital that we continue to support the fight against the virus by adhering to these guidelines and by ensuring we all observe both social distancing and good hand hygiene. School continues to ask students to sanitise hands as they enter and leave rooms, and all rooms have a supply of sanitiser. However, I would encourage all students to bring their own to school so that they are able to sanitise their hands as often as possible.
The canteen continues to sell a variety of drinks but we have, in line with guidance, turned off all water fountains. Please can I ask that students bring water to school with them. We are unable to fill bottles up for them, as this would involve staff handling bottles.
Free School Meals
If your child is entitled to free school meals and is required to isolate, then school will provide a packed lunch. Initially we will be delivering these on a daily basis, but if the numbers increase, or we have significant staff absences, then we may need to change how we provide these. I will update you if this becomes necessary.
Protocols around Positive Cases
I would like to take the opportunity to remind you of the protocols around positive cases, close contact and possible cases. If your child, or anyone in your household, has any of the symptoms of Coronavirus please do NOT send them in to school. They should book a test and your household should isolate until you receive the result. If this is negative, then your child may return to school, and the household no longer needs to isolate. If the test is positive, then you will all be advised to isolate. Please adhere to the dates you are given by Public Health England. In all cases, please ensure you inform the school as we are not being told by PHE of cases and we rely on families to keep us up to date. As I have outlined before, if we do get a positive case at school you will be informed. Students and staff who Public Health England deem to be ‘close contacts’ will be asked to self-isolate and will be informed of this separately. All other students should attend school as normal. Please can I stress that we are NOT at liberty to give any more details to parents, so I would request that you do not contact school and ask. As I am sure you will understand, we must follow the guidance we are given, and we do not have the staffing capacity to answer individual queries regarding this. I do appreciate the concern many of you have over the virus, and this is reflected amongst many of the staff, but please be assured that in all cases we are following the advice given to us form both Public Health England and the Department for Education.
Where students are having to isolate, school will set work. This will take a variety of approaches and is unlikely to be ‘live lessons’, and I would appreciate your support and understanding regarding this. Teaching staff continue to work incredibly hard at this extremely challenging time. As well as moving around the school and teaching in bubbles, they are trying to set work for those isolating. There will be times when this may take a little longer, particularly as in some cases staff are also being required to self-isolate.
All of us also need to ‘do our bit’ when we are not in school. It is imperative that students wear face coverings when required, observe the lockdown rules and maintain social distancing. Click here for the latest guide as to the lockdown rules, for your information.
Finally, thank you all for your support of the school. I am sure it has not gone unnoticed that while the rest of the population is being told to work from home, school staff are in school, with almost 1000 students each and every day. In the last lockdown we were all asked to clap the NHS. It is now time to recognise the extraordinary efforts being made by staff in schools and I am sure you would want to join me in saying a huge thank you to everyone here at Trinity.
With very best wishes