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Covid-19 - Latest Updates From the Principal
On this page, we will update you with key information relating to the school and Covid-19, so that you always have the latest details in one place. All previous updates can be downloaded from our Letters & Emails page.
Update: 24th November 2020
Dear Parents and carers,
Dear Parents and carers
I hope this update finds you all well and managing the current national lockdown well with your families. Thank you for continuing to support your children through these challenging few weeks. A reminder that there is a wealth of resources relating to mental health on our Wellbeing at Home page. Should you be particularly concerned about your child, please do not hesitate the heads of house or post 16 welfare manager.
I write to remind all parents about the expectations regarding your child staying at home if he or she is unwell and, most importantly, if anyone in your household has Covid-19 symptoms or is awaiting a test result, the WHOLE FAMILY/HOUSEHOLD should be self-isolating and children MUST NOT ATTEND SCHOOL. We of course recognise just how important education is - but so is health and it's better to stay safe at this time. If your child is unwell, do not send them into school. Should you need any support in booking Covid tests or want to discuss your child's health and wellbeing, do contact us straight away. If anyone in your household is confirmed to have Covid-19, please do make us aware, as well as ensuring that your child stays at home.
We do understand that every parent is worried about their child missing learning. Every lesson is uploaded at the end of the school day for your child and your child has access to both maths and literacy lessons through Bedrock and Mymaths if they are in years 7-10. There are many, many online resources available for your children to access at home if they do have to self-isolate. Should you have any questions about this please don't hesitate to contact us-we're happy to help. Please remember that should your child have to self-isolate and is eligible for Free School Meals, the academy will provide a food parcel to cover the days of self-isolation, so please do ensure that the rules about self-isolation are followed for everyone's wellbeing.
Supporting Southwark Foodbank
During such difficult times, it's important to support our wider community and the academy has therefore chosen to support the Southwark Foodbank. Please send in donations via your children to the Assistant Principals' Office. The foodbank would like to request the usual items (click HERE to see a list) or the following items to share some seasonal cheer with local families in need. Any support you can offer is very gratefully received:
- Mince Pies
- Christmas cake
- Christmas pudding
- Snacks and nibbles
- Chocolates and treats
- New children’s books for Christmas (between ages: 5-7, 8- 9, and 10–12 years old).
Please bring in your food donations by Tuesday 8th December.
Thank you as ever for your ongoing support during such a challenging time.
All previous updates can be downloaded from our Letters & Emails page.
Symptoms of coronavirus
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are the 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.
The government provides updated guidance on what parents and carers need to know about schools and colleges. 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.
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, so 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 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 as 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.
The latest government advice on Covid-19 is available at:
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
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
The canteen will serve a limited menu at lunchtime and will be open only for a few items at break time. Students should eat breakfast at home and bring a snack to school. The free school meal allowance can only be used at lunchtime.
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.