Headteacher’s Letter 25th September 2020

25th September 2020

 

Dear Parents and Carers

It has been a busy week for our community and I know that you will have concerns about the positive COVID-19 test results.

First and foremost, our thoughts and love are with those who have had a positive COVID 19 result and we wish them a speedy recovery.

Please rest assured that we observe all DfE and Public Health England guidelines in a response to any positive test and we follow official advice.

Unfortunately, the infection rates in the communities around our school are very high.  I urge you all to be extra careful if you cannot stay home.

The systems and procedures we have in school are safe. We know this because when positive cases have come in, our processes have worked to limit the number of contacts those positive cases have and have stopped it from spreading to large numbers.

We have been extra careful in the measures we have taken. Where we have had positive cases, we have worked out all close contacts quickly and directed them to self-isolate. When we have had more than 2 cases in a Year group bubble, we directed the whole year group to self-isolate to limit the risk.

I debated with myself for a long time before starting this paragraph but I feel I must be honest with you as parents and carers. Some parents and carers are not doing what they should to keep their children and our community safe. For example, a child has been sent into school even though a family member has symptoms and the child should have been self-isolating. We have been notified that a child is self-isolating and then we have had reports that the child has been seen out in the local community. Invariably, we find out when these things happen. Myself and my team have had to have a number of very straight talking and direct conversations this week. It is not acceptable.  Everyone needs to do their bit to keep everyone safe.

So here is my position: I will do everything in my power to keep you and your families safe. Everything. That includes utilising my colleagues in the GM Police who are able to enforce restrictions and fine non-compliance. I do not say this to you as a threat. I say this to you as a promise that I will do what is necessary.

Home Learning- Yr. 9 & Yr. 11 bubbles

Yr. 9 is learning from home and will return to school on the 1stOctober
Yr. 11 is learning from home and will return to school on the 9thOctober
They will start their lessons as normal at 8.45 am.
They will access their lessons using google classroom.
They are being taught by their normal teachers, following their normal timetable.
Please ensure that they log in and work with their peers and teachers throughout the day.

Individuals isolating in other year groups

Pupils in Yr. 10 – your teachers have uploaded your work on google classroom
Pupils in Yr. 7 & Yr. 8 – you will have received a log in from your Assistant Head of year which will bring you to an online platform where you will access your learning.

We appreciate that all of this learning requires access to Wi-Fi and a laptop or tablet device (phones will not be sufficient.) We lent large numbers of devices to pupils before the summer break but we are also aware that circumstances change. Therefore, we will be carrying out another survey next week should you need to request a device or WIFI for your child.

Cough and Cold Symptoms

We know that this is the season of coughs and colds and there are many illnesses circulating that are not Coronavirus. However, if your child displays symptoms such as a cough, a high temperature or is unable to smell or taste, do not send them into school. If a child is in school whilst infectious then it clearly has serious repercussions for the wider community. I would also remind you that if you have your child tested they must then remain in isolation until the result is received.

 

Testing and results

We are all very aware of the problems in testing last week. I am very pleased to report that it seems availability in our areas has increased again and people are able to either book a test or attend a walk-in centre and are getting tested easily. I am also pleased to report that the results are being returned much more quickly – less than 24 hours in one case! If you or a family member has symptoms, please ensure that you book a test.

 

Test Results out of School Hours

Test results can be received late in the evening or you may receive a positive result over the weekend. In order to enable us to work together and make proactive decisions to safeguard our community, please email me directly if you receive a confirmed positive result over the weekend or after 4.30pm on a weekday evening, please email: ndoward@stretfordhigh.com During school hours (from 8.30am until 4.30pm) please continue to ring Students Services.

Face Masks

We have been very impressed with the way in which the vast majority of our students have complied with our face masks guidance. There are two issues I would like to address though:

Pupils should have a small resealable plastic bag to place their mask in when they take it off. A small sandwich bag is perfect for this. Not all pupils are doing this and are placing masks directly in pockets when they enter a classroom. This is not safe practice. Please ensure your child has a plastic bag to keep their mask safe and as virus free as possible.
Some pupils can forget their mask – especially on PE days!  On these occasions, we provide disposable masks as we want our children to be safe. However, we are also aware that after this pandemic is over, we want a world that is environmentally safe. Piles of disposable masks do not help that cause! Please help your child to remember their masks every day!

As always, be safe and take care.

Yours sincerely,

 

Nicola Doward

Head Teacher