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Covid-19 - Latest Updates From the Principal
Update: 25th September 2020
You’ll now doubt be aware that we have had two positive cases of Covid-19 infection confirmed for members of our academy community this week. We recognise that this is likely to cause some concern, so I wanted to clarify the processes and procedures that the academy follows. Please rest assured that we are following all the government guidance for schools and have worked closely with Public Health England this week and received detailed clinical advice.
If your child becomes unwell at school
If your child becomes unwell during the academy day, or arrives at school unwell, they will be assessed by a first aider. Any child that has symptoms consistent with coronavirus will be sent home and your child will be expected to self-isolate for 14 days. If your child has symptoms, you MUST book a test which can be done via NHS 119 or https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/
The website for test booking is very busy, but new appointments are released on the hour-refresh the website on the hour and you are more likely to get a slot. Everyone in your household should self-isolate until the 14 days are up or you have received a negative test result for your child. Your child can return to school when the 14 days are up, or you receive a negative test result and he/she is feeling better.
If anyone in your household is unwell with symptoms consistent with Covid-19
If anyone in your household is unwell with symptoms of Covid-19 your WHOLE HOUSEHOLD should be self-isolating, including your children. Please do NOT send your children to school if anyone in the household is unwell. Phone the attendance line and inform us that your child is self-isolating due to a possible case. Book the relevant member of the household a test. If the test is positive, the whole household must continue to self-isolate for 14 days from the onset of the affected person’s symptoms. This is really important as it means that your child won’t pass on Covid-19 to others. The most common way for Covid-19 to spread to others is through household transmission-members of families unsurprisingly pass it on to one another as they are in close contact-so it’s important to contain any transmission by isolating your household.
If your child has been in proximity contact (2 metres) with a confirmed positive case of Covid-19
In the event that the academy is informed that a pupil or member of staff has tested positive for Covid-19, the academy works with Public Health England to assess the risk of transmission. Pupils or staff who have been within 2 metres of a confirmed positive case for more than 15 minutes (for example in a lesson) will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of contact with the positive case. This is why our seating plans are so important-it means we can identify immediately who may have been within 2-3 metres and act accordingly. If your child is asked to self-isolate because they have been in proximity contact with a confirmed positive case, we will call you and ask you to collect your child. Your child should self-isolate for 14 days from the contact (we will tell you the date of return on a letter that is sent home with your child). The rest of the household do NOT need to self-isolate unless your child starts to display symptoms-and in this case, you’ll need to book a test. Please inform us immediately if your child becomes symptomatic when self-isolating and of the outcome of any CV-19 test. The 14 days starts again if your child develops symptoms-so it’s incredibly important you let us know.
I am so grateful for your support in cooperating with the academy when we alert you to either your child being unwell in school or when your child is asked to self-isolate by us. We’re also grateful for your openness in letting us know when you have possible or confirmed cases of Covid-19 in your households. It makes such a difference to keeping our community safe and in enabling us to keep your children learning and in school as far as possible.
Thank you for your ongoing support. The latest government advice on Covid-19 is available at:
Update: 24th September 2020
Dear parents and carers,
Thank you for all the support you have provided in helping us to set in place the many new procedures we have introduced to keep the academy as safe as possible at this time. Pupils have been absolutely superb, adapting with ease to our bubble system and our new rules on hand-washing.
Unfortunately, a single member of staff has tested positive for coronavirus and is now at home. This is a single, isolated case that we are treating with a great deal of care. We are liaising closely with Public Health England (PHE) to ensure we are responding appropriately.
PHE has examined the situation and advised that, because no pupils have been in close contact with the individual concerned, they should continue to attend school as normal.
This is a very important time of the year for pupils as they settle into their new year groups and routines, so we are grateful for your cooperation in ensuring that all pupils who are feeling well attend school.
As always, the whole community should be vigilant about social distancing and hygiene both inside school and beyond our gates. The new ‘rule of six’ has now come into force and it is currently against the law to meet socially with friends and family you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) in groups of more than six.
But just as we want you to follow the school and national guidance, we want pupils to remain calm, which is essential to their ongoing wellbeing, happiness and ability to learn: please continue to help to support us with this at home.
It is always a good idea to refresh your memory of coronavirus symptoms and what to do if you are concerned. See details lower down this page.
Update: 23rd September 2020
Dear parents and carers,
As you may have heard from your daughters, a Year 13 pupil has had a positive test result for COVID-19.
Thankfully, coronavirus is usually a mild illness in children and young adults and we are expecting the pupil to make a full recovery very quickly. However, we are of course treating the situation with a great deal of care and are liaising closely with Public Health England (PHE) to ensure we are responding appropriately.
Therefore, and in line with PHE advice, all 20 pupils who have come into close contact with the pupil have been sent home for the next 14 days. This is a purely precautionary measure that will help to keep the school and wider community safe. Our cleaning regime includes a nightly deep clean, and this took place as normal in order to ensure the building is thoroughly sanitised.
The pupils now isolating at home will be taught online so they do not miss out on their learning. Our bubbles are strictly enforced and we are confident that these are the only pupils in the school that have come into close contact with the confirmed case. Therefore, all other well pupils must continue to come to school.
As always, the whole community should be vigilant about social distancing and hygiene. We are very grateful to parents for everything you have already done to ensure that pupils respect the many new rules and processes put in place. Equally, we want pupils to remain calm, which is essential to their ongoing wellbeing, happiness and ability to learn: please continue to help to support us with this at home.
It is always a good idea to refresh your memory of coronavirus symptoms and what to do if you are concerned. I have added below the national advice regarding this.
National Guidance on Coronavirus
Symptoms of coronavirus
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
- new continuous cough and/or
- high temperature
- a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
What to do if someone in your household develops symptoms of COVID-19
If someone in your household develops symptoms of COVID-19, they should remain at home for at least 10 days from the date when their symptoms appeared.
All other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days.
The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
Household members should not go to work, school or public areas and exercise should be taken within the home.
Household members staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
If you are able, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period.
If your child or anyone in the household does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from NHS 111 at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/ or by phoning 111.
How to stop COVID-19 spreading
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19. Do:
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- wash your hands as soon as you get home
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
The government has now published its final guidance on the wider re-opening of schools. You can read the latest government guidence HERE.
This guidance is now also available in the following languages: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese – traditional, Chinese – simplified, French, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romany, Somali, Turkish, Urdu.
Timings of the day
There will be a staggered start times for each year group.
- Year 7 - 8:20am arrival - please go to sports gate
- Year 8 - 8.50am arrival - please go to sports gate
- Year 9 - 8.20am arrival - please go to main gate
- Year 10 - 8.50am arrival - please go to main gate
- Year 11 - 9:20am arrival - please go to main gate
It is absolutely crucial that your daughter arrives at the time indicated. The staggered starts are essential to the school managing hand washing on arrival for our 860+ pupils.
In order to follow government guidance, every year group will be contained in their own ‘bubble’ and will follow their own bespoke timings of the day. Bubbles will not come into contact with each other, which will help to reduce the risk of an outbreak and minimise the number of children who have to isolate in the event that there is a confirmed case at the academy.
The timetable has been re-written so that the ‘bubbles’ of students remain consistent. The arrival and lesson times have been staggered and each year group ‘bubble’ will have different arrival, break, lunch and departure time to reduce social contact.
Please encourage your daughter’s excellent punctuality so we can manage this effectively. If students arrive late to the academy, they will not be able to enter their ‘bubble’.
Accessing the bus stop
Due to the need to maintain social distancing the school bus stop is closed, except for our new year 7 students. Students will need to walk to the bus stop on Peckham Rye or the bus stop beyond the shop on Stuart Road. Students are not permitted to use the bus stop at the shop as this space is not suitable for 250 students to be lining up at any one time, this is consistent with our usual policy.
House and Coaching Groups
Students will remain in their Houses, with the same Head of House but will not attend coaching time in the coaching group they were in last academic year. Instead, students will have coaching time with their teaching group as this reduces the mixing of students throughout the school day. Heads of House are the first point of contact for parents. Please see the contact page on the academy website should you need to contact your daughter’s Head of House.
Our uniform expectations remain the same. All students should ensure that any false nails, eyelashes or un-natural hair colours are removed before the start of the new school term. Students should not have piercings other than one stud in each ear, all other piercings should be removed before students arrive at school. Students arriving with piercings or jewellery not permitted will have these items confiscated. The uniform policy is listed below:
- Black trousers (no denim/jean material or style or leggings) or black pleated skirt (should be knee length) /or ankle length skirt for those wishing to fully cover their legs.
- Black blazer with Academy logo.
- White open neck Academy blouse.
- Blue Academy jumper (students do not have to wear this but no other jumper/cardigan is permissible as an alternative at any time of year so purchase is strongly advised).
- Black shoes, which can be polished (no trainers or plimsolls/canvass shoes or boots/no Vans).
- Plain white or black socks (no cartoons/patterns).
- Plain tights – black or tan only.
- Plain black or dark navy blue outdoor coat (no logos, denim, leather jackets or hoodies).
- Headscarves worn for religious reasons should be plain black or white with no studs, sequins or other decoration.
- A lanyard (provided by the academy) or badge holder containing the pupil’s school ID card. This is to be worn at all times, from arrival at the academy gates.
- One small stud in each ear (no rings, bracelets, necklaces, no web enabled watches)
Every student must come to school prepared for learning, every day. All students should attend the Academy with the following essential equipment:
- Pencil case with pens, ruler, eraser, pencil sharpener
- Coloured pencils
- Scientific calculator
- Reading book
- A black bag that is big enough to hold A4 books and folders
In order to prevent distractions and disruption, the Academy operates a “zero tolerance” policy for all electronic equipment, including mobile phones. Mobiles phones must be switched off and stored in her bag before she arrives on site. If a mobile phone is seen or heard, it will be confiscated.
Break and lunchtime
Students will take their break and lunchtime in their year group ‘bubble’. Due to the need to run three different lunchtimes, the canteen will serve a limited menu at lunchtime and will not be open for food sales at break time. Students should eat breakfast at home and bring a snack to school if they wish to eat something at break time.
Supporting your daughter academically
Every child, and every home, has had a different experience with lockdown and home learning. We recognise that there will be learning gaps to be filled and have planned a ‘recovery’ curriculum for the autumn term so that everyone has the chance to catch up. Teachers will set out the content that will be covered throughout this first term in their first lessons with students, so they are clear of the learning journey of each subject.
In order to communicate academic content home, we will maintain the Microsoft Teams platform that students used to access home learning throughout lockdown. Teachers will use this platform to post their lessons and homework so that you can see what your daughter has been learning at school. Homework will be an essential part of checking students have secure knowledge and we advise you ask your daughter to show you her Microsoft Teams daily so that you can check her homework. We hope you find this useful in understanding what your daughter is learning in each of her subjects.
We will, of course, also need your help and support to keep the school safe. Obviously, if your daughter (or son in post 16) has any symptoms they must stay at home. You must report your child’s ill health to the academy promptly so that we can take Public Health advice. You must ensure that your child is tested if you believe they may have Covid-19. It’s important that if you or anyone in your household is unwell, that your child self-isolates. We anticipate that everyone in our school community will act responsibly to keep us all safe.
On behalf of all staff I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support.